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Stingray Pickup Transplant for Weak G String

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JazzneckP, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. JazzneckP


    Jul 8, 2013
    Auburn, AL
    I have a 92 EBMM Stingray 4 that suffers from weak G string. I've used a DBX Compressor, a fat finger, different amps and string changes but could not shake the problem. I purchased a Ray34 as a second bass and it did not display any of the dreaded weak G string issue. In fact, I now play the Ray34 more than my original EBMM SR4.

    I decided I wanted to get my EBMM SR4 back in business. I considered buying a Bartolini, Duncan, or LP pickup to replace the original. However, I conceded that it could also be the preamp. I figured I liked the sound of my Ray34, and lots of folks seem to be buying them and upgrading the pickups and preamps. Thus, I figured I might find a TBer who would be willing to sell me their pickup and preamp. After about two months of looking, I got an offer. Deal was made, money changed hands and I received the pickup and preamp via priority mail yesterday.

    The first thing you notice is that the pickup cover for the Ray34 is different than the SR4. So it is necessary to pull the coils from on pickup cover and place them in the other. Additionally, the Ray34 coils are screwed to the pickup cover and the entire assembly is glued around the perimeter to hold the coils in place and "protect" the wires that connect the coils together (see photo). I gently cut the glue from the perimeter. After working the glue loose and removing the screws, I was able to get the coils out of the Ray34 cover. In the process, I sliced/broke the two wires that connect the coils together. These are very thin wires compared to those on my SR4. I soldered two new heftier wire splices to repair the pickup.

    In the deal, I received the entire chrome banana with all 4 control pots. This fits exactly on a SR4 (thank goodness). I soldered the pickup wires, battery leads, and ground wire to the proper places on the preamp. I used the jack from the Ray34 since it was included, but it is of much lower quality than the SR4. I replaced all screws, restrung it, and tuned it.

    No more weak G string! So my gamble paid off. The new pickup/preamp seems to handle the G better. The only downside I feel is that the pots for Ray34 preamp are much lower quality and as are the EQ and volume knobs. There is a slight difference in shaft size between the pots, so it is not as simple as swapping the knobs. Bummer.

    The only thing I did not do was to try the Ray34 pickup with the SR4 preamp and vice versa. That might be a good experiment, and I may do that as I tend to tinker with things a little. If I do, I'll be sure to post the results.

    Thanks to the entire Talk Bass community. I've found the answers to most of my nagging bass related questions here.

    Have a great weekend!


    Attached Files:

  2. stonewall


    Jun 14, 2010
    TOO BAD there is a Simple fix for the weak G string for the Stingray takes 10 minutes weak G gone fore EVER....
  3. JazzneckP


    Jul 8, 2013
    Auburn, AL
    Do tell?
  4. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    any interest in selling your old ray pickup?
  5. stonewall


    Jun 14, 2010
    Here is a video re weak string Stingray exactly what this fellow says it works perfect when you push the pod you may need a coin or a flat object to free it up but as soon as the pod moves its not hard to adjust to where you like i did exactly what he said perfect balance first try http://youtu.be/h6qbVHvX29Q
  6. JazzneckP


    Jul 8, 2013
    Auburn, AL
    I wish it was as easy as leveling down the pole pieces or lowering the E string side of the pickup. Pole pieces were already lowered. Tried angling the pickup, still thin G string sound. Some folks have said it's the neck, some have blamed it on the preamp. This did make a huge difference.
  7. JazzneckP


    Jul 8, 2013
    Auburn, AL
    @narud, I'm gonna hang onto the Stingray pickup, just so I can keep it stock if I ever sell it.
  8. aparker82


    Sep 19, 2012
    Did you ever do the experiment with the different pickup/preamp combinations?
  9. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Every time I see one of these threads I imagine the G on my US SUB is weak when it's not. You guys are MESSING WITH MY MIND!!!
  10. Hapa


    Apr 21, 2011
    Tustin, CA
    Get a Nordstrand MM4.2
  11. JazzneckP


    Jul 8, 2013
    Auburn, AL
    Yes, weak G string exists. Some people can fix it with angling the pickup of fiddling with the pole pieces. I was never able to get mine to work. I've tried compression, fat fingers, EQ etc. Nothing fixed it to my liking.

    I went with a SBMM pickup and preamp because I already had one and hoped they had worked out the issues over time. You can't buy OEM and I figured there were few out there trying to sell their SR4 pickups and preamps.

    Of course, aftermarket may have been the way to go. I actually came out cheaper in the end.
  12. ronald cardenas

    ronald cardenas

    Jul 3, 2016
    the problem is the preamp...the setting of the high frequenzy is the problem...this give a so much brilliant slapping tone..but you sacrifice a big fat g string tone... for fat g string the mids frequency is indispensable

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