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Stingray-sounding Jazz 5 rig?...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Hackster, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. Hi, frequent lurker, rare poster here. My main squeeze is a '78 Stingray, stock. But due to my band's evolving setlist, I'm having to strap up the 5 string, a Yamaha RBX-755 (yeah, I know) more often.
    I really have to work to make the Stingray sound bad, regardless of how or what I'm playing; I just wind out the knobs and let it rip. OTOH, while the Yamaha is a pretty serviceable player, I'm about to give up on making it sound good on *anything*, as-is. Pickups and preamp are dead-skanky.

    Finances dictate a pickup/elex upgrade to the Yamaha, rather than replacing it, so here's my tall order-- I want the Yamaha to sound as close to the (pre-Ernie) Stingray as possible, without selling a kidney. So I guess what I'm looking for is an active pair of 5-string jazz pups that I can wire together as a humbucker, and a decent onboard preamp with volume, bass and treble controls. I'm realistic-- I know I'm not gonna clone the Stingray sound with the Yamaha-- but I'd love to find something in the same zip code, if not neighborhood (without spending my kids' meager inheritance).

  2. look into getting a luither to route a hole for a stingray sized PU in the yammy.
    get a nordie MM pickup.
    disconnect, or not, the upper jazz pickup.

    shouldnt cost too much.
  3. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    The Stingray sound has alot to do with the placement of the pickup, also the woods play a major factor.
    IMHO You´ll never get close to Stingray sound without completely butchering your Yamaha, even then you probably won´t get it.
  4. Stox


    Mar 18, 2005
    London UK
    I wouldnt go messing with your Yamaha just yet. I dont think you'll end up with a Stingray sound whatever you do to that bass.

    Why not try an outboard pre amp? You'll probably find some sounds you'll like instead.
    The SansAmp and Sadowsky pre's get good press around here.
  5. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    do you need the full low b, or just some low notes to hit, if so you could through a hipshot xtender on there and change the e to a d whenever you like.
  6. Okay, let me come at this a different way. Like I said, I *know* I can't clone the Stingray sound perfectly with the Yamaha. So...

    What's a decent-- not *too* expensive-- 5-string J pickup set that will sound "better" than the stinkbait that's in there now?

    By "better", I mean... fuller bottom, less muddy low-mids, better clarity in the high-mids and highs? While I usually set everything flat, tonight at rehearsal I tried rolling the bass and treble on the Yamaha all the way up, and it helped a *little*. I play with both fingers and a pick. We play mostly hard and classic rock.

    I *think* I want to stay w/active elex... but maybe not?

    Not looking to rout the guitar; I've had limited success with my SansAmp on the Yamaha; and I do need the full low-B string range. Still, I do appreciate the replies so far.

  7. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    Have you played with the NE-1 Yamaha parametric box? Maybe it won't give you Stingray sound but you may find a usable sound for $50.
  8. Not familiar with it. I have a Boss para bass pedal that doesn't help much. I'll check the Yamaha out; thanks. I still think there has to be a pickup out there that'll get a lot closer to what I'm looking for than the stock pups.
  9. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    Sorry for slightly distracting idea, but have you considered OLP Tony Levin? Not much funds required..
    If pickup only change is required, maybe Aeros? I don't know how close to SR they could get you, but it should be surely an improvement towards the sound you have described.
  10. Don't apologize, I appreciate any suggestions! Frankly I didn't even know that OLP made a Tony Levin sig. My guitarist plays a Wolfgang, but has a similar OLP that he's upgraded the pups in, and it's a *real* decent guitar. Only thing is I'd have to plan to upgrade the pup right away. I'll definitely try to find one to play, though. BIG TL fan, here.

    As an update, at last night's gig I re-visited the Sansamp BD and experimented, and it *did* actually help the Yamaha's voice a bit. Since I only use the Yam for a few songs, maybe the BD'll get me through until I'm ready to spend money on a real cure.
  11. ghindman


    Feb 10, 2006
    A friend of mine hates the weight/width of a 5, so he just strings/tunes his 4-string like the low-4 strings on a 5. You just need to play with string weight a bit in order to get a good, tight, B.

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