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Stingray Pickups... Too Sensitive?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by justinmikehunt, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. I'm not sure how to explain this issue, but here goes.

    I've got a Stingray 4 string that I bought new in '05.

    I feel like something's off with the sound, but I don't know enough to know what it could be, or what to do.

    The pickups are, for lack of a better description, too sensitive. It's been a gradually increasing issue, where you get a loud noise when picks or fingers hit the strings. A lot of noise when sliding around the board. It's a very high end noise, and I used to get it to sound decent by rolling off the treble on the amp. But it also doesn't seem to pick up the G string very well. So when I turn my treble down, I hear that string even less.

    As I've said, the issue of it being noisy has seemed to be getting worse. At recent sound checks, people in the crowd have said they hear a "Clicking" noise. It's really just the noise of the pick hitting the string that they're hearing... but it's almost all that you can hear!

    So I'm not sure what to do. Are there any suggestions for fixes? Or am I probably going to need new pick ups?

    And to get it out of the way, I have replaced the battery multiple times, so I know it's not an issue with that.

    Thanks a lot
  2. Try tape over the poles. Its a temp fix but it'll help a lot for that clack noise that I am also very familiar with.
  3. syciprider

    syciprider Inactive

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
  4. Please elaborate...
  5. syciprider

    syciprider Inactive

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Try using flatwound strings.

    They tame the SR nicely. You can still dial in some sizzle if you want to.
  6. Thanks, I'll try that.
  7. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    If you are hearing unwanted sting noise or the thud of your fingers against the string, too much pick click and percieve this as a pickup problem, allow me to suggest a different scenario.

    What you are hearing is bad technique. If you spend time practicing clean technique, you will have.... clean technique. The pickups will reproduce the sound you make. If you technique is precise, quality pickups will capture the every nuance of your performance which is a good thing. If you are sloppy, unfortunately a good pickup will reproduce that.

    Practicing making clean notes and a beautiful sound is way more important than practicing fast licks IMO. If you are considering music as a profession, I can emphasis this enough.

    Respectfully IMO of course!
  8. I agree with what you're saying, however since it's an issue that has only recently surfaced on the bass, and isn't an issue when I play other stingrays, that makes me tend to believe there's more to the issue than my technique.
  9. Try nickel rounds instead of SS rounds.

    Or like has already been said, try flats, i love my fretless HH stingray (flats), and im getting a bit annoyed with the abundance of noise coming from the fretted one (SS rounds, mainly my bad technique tho :bag: ). Im sticking flats on my fretted ray, ive heard nothing but good reviews of doing that :)
  10. I've currently got Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinkys, which I believe are Nickel Rounds.
  11. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    better technique or lower the pickup a bit.
  12. I'll lower the pickup a bit, and see how that works.

    None of this touches on the issue of the G string not being picked up as loud as the other strings. The screws on the G string side of the pickup often times come loose, so there's times when the pickup is almost touching that string, and it's still quieter than the others, unless I crank the treble.
  13. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    The G string on stingrays is quieter than the other strings. its just a characteristic of the bass. adds to its unique slap tone.
  14. phatduckk


    May 24, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    i agree with figjam on this... lower the pickups. check out http://www.ernieball.com/faq_content.php?subjectcode=mm_basses to see what MM suggests

    also... the pickup being too close to the string will stop the strings motion. the magnets from the PUP will have too much force over the steal in the string causing the string to move less freely. so pickups being too close is about as bad as them being too far... there's a sweetspot
  15. I had never seen it that way!

    You always learn something over here...
  16. MD-BassPlayer

    MD-BassPlayer Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    After seeing the audere preamp, I wonder if the basses I think sound "clanky" like the SR5 and Carvin are due to the input impedance of the preamp. (I own, and like an SR5, so don't burn me at the stake.) ;)
  17. midopa


    Nov 26, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    +1 with phatduckk. Try giving it a setup close to factory specs. When setting the pickup height, raise the pickup just a bit on the D and G side. If all that fails, give EBMM customer service a call about it.
  18. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Or you could try and Fender Jazz and see if its sound suits you better. ;)
  19. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    +1 to both.

    One thing I've noticed among exclusively-electric players is that they nearly uniformly have poor right-hand technique. I started on classical guitar before switching to electric guitar, and finally to electric bass. With classical guitar, a great deal of focus goes into creating beautiful tone from your fingers, shaping your fingernails, proper angle to pluck the strings, rest-stroke vs. free-stroke and how this affects tone, what part of your fingertip you're using, where you're plucking along the length of the string (toward the bridge for a sharper sound, especially when combined with the nail and a glancing angle from your fingertips, over the soundhole with the pads of your fingers, straight-on, for a sweeter tone) - and a HUGE amount of time & energy is focused on achieving "roundness" - that is, a full, strong, open sound resulting from perfect fretting-hand technique and perfect right-hand plucking technique combined with proper positioning of the instrument for the best projection to the audience with no string noise and absolute clarity.

    On the other hand, with electric bass, Lesson 1 goes something like, "For the right hand, you use your fingers to pluck the strings, or you can use a pick. Now, for the left hand..."

    Although I am biased, from my experience, I recommend studying classical guitar technique before making changes to the pickups, with the exception of lowering them, if they are too hot.

    I recommend Christopher Parkening's book with Jack Marshall and David Brandon, published by Hal Leonard. It's called "The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method, Vol. I," and if you can get the right-hand stuff in there down, my guess is that this pickup problem will dissolve on its own.


    - Dave

    I have to agree with Dbassmon in that a quality pickup will reproduce whatever you're doing, and a hot high-quality pickup will do it with a better signal-to-noise ratio. If you're getting an element you don't want, it's almost certainly your technique.
  20. IME this is true with Stingrays, but other basses I've played with the same style pickup, namely my old TBC haven't had the whole 'too trebly/lot's of finger noise' issue. I think if EB's had a good Passive Tone control, it would be really beneficial. The Preamp definitely has a lot to do with it IMO. Maybe try a different preamp?

    Definitely try lowering the pickup, although don't go overboard. You could try another set of strings but I doubt that's where the issue lies.

    The whole technique thing is really debatable. If you find you're experiencing too much treble noise on one bass, but on other basses it's fine, then definitely don't get too worried about your technique.

    I don't really understand why the G string would be quieter, definitely not something I've experienced on the Ray's I've played. Try keeping the G string magnet a bit closer to the strings than the other strings, or drop the action on the G a little.

    Really, you should just take all of this as a grain of salt, and take it for a pro setup, explain the issues you're having and get the tech to sort it out. After that it's still not working out, then maybe it's not the bass for you.
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