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Stingray - The Bernard Edwards Tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Misterwogan, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. How would you setup the EQ on a 3-EQ Stingray HS to get the BE tone?

    I'm assuming that we stick with position one - the humbucker, as BE's SR was a single HB model.

    What about plucking location?

    Just to remind you all - here's an 8-bar section from "Good Times", just the drums and Bernard.

    Have a listen...
  2. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    You'll have to put flatwounds on it. Bernard used the stock factory installed strings.
  3. LDonnie


    Aug 3, 2008
    Closest I can get to the sound with my single H 3EQ is by rolling off highs a bit, rolling off mids some more and by adding bass. Can't get the 2EQ sound out of a 3EQ though.
  4. Not going to happen. I get friction burns from flats when sliding and the plucking fingers stick to strings and slow me down - unless I dip my fingers in Vaseline, which can give the wrong impression entirely.
  5. Yes, that's got me closer - although I suspect that without the flats, closer is as close as I'm going to get.

    Anyway, it doesn't have to be perfect - just not totally wrong.
  6. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I've owned a ton of Rays...A 3eq bass isn't going to sound like a 2eq bass. Even more when flats are involved. You'll have to do your eq'ing at the amp.

  7. Sterling Ball (CEO/owner of Ernie Ball Musicman) talking about the 2 eq versus the 3 eq on the Stingray:

    "Keep in mind that the design objective with the three band was for the player to keep the mid flat and boost the treble and bass and replicate the two band preamp. With the treble and bass boosted this is the classic setting for the old school stingray. The idea was that you should get the classic sound and tons of tones inbetween."

    So there's a good starting point for you. How Bernard had his 2 band EQ set up is anyone's guess.
  8. Sterling Ball would tend to disagree with you on that.
  9. That's very, very helpful - thanks.
  10. Dluxe


    Jan 9, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I read in an old interview that Bernard used Dean Markley Flats.
  11. One thing that I do find with the 3-band eq, is that when going DI to mixer, if I boost say the bass, then I have to cut either of the other two - otherwise it clips at the mixer. So not an issue direct to an amp - but for recording the output has to be balanced.
  12. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Yes, that's okay, he can all he wants. The two pre's are voiced differently, and I've owned multiples of every combo: vintage, new, 2eq, 3eq, single pickup, dual pickup.
  13. sevdog

    sevdog Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2008

    I agree. The 2 band doesn't sound like the 3 band. You can twiddle to get them close, but the way that the clip you've got sounds, it just has the 2-eq sound all over it.

    A John East or Nordstrand replacement and maybe some foam rubber to mute at the bridge would get you there.
  14. Or - I need to buy a 2-EQ Ray. Now look what you've done!
  15. sevdog

    sevdog Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2008
    I've owned Lakland(s), Zon, Modulus, Fender (newish and vintage), a 199x something Sterling and a 199x Stingray...my Stingray Classic 5 is my favorite sounding and playing instrument that I've ever owned.

    ...does that help calm your GAS down?:smug:
  16. No - just made it worse. At least this time, I have someone to blame directly.
  17. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Bernard played on the E & A strings as much as possible, playing UP the neck for higher notes. And he really felt what he played.
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    EQ isn't going to get you his sound. Thinking and playing like him will get you on the right track. For instance that staccato vibe on Good Times? That's hands, not EQ.

    He sounded like Bernard Edwards on several basses. Buying a bass to sound like him is a waste of money IMO.
    Fxpmusic and chris_b like this.
  19. Great answer - but, to a question that was not asked. The question was not how he produced the tone - but how to get close to the outcome.

    Anything that can be produced can be analysed and synthesised.
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    It's not EQ. You can get close to his sound with your bass' EQ set flat. I know, I've done it. So while you think it's not the answer you seek, unfortunately it is.

    If you really analyze what Bernard did, this will become painfully obvious. I'm trying to help you avoid chasing your tail. That's all... I've been a big fan since he hit the scene and get his sound on so many basses it's ridiculous and I rarely use onboard EQ and I keep my amps set flat. And I don't use flats.

    IIRC Marcus Miller tells a funny story about Bernard. He bought a bass that he saw Bernard played on an album only to run into him later and find out that the bass Bernard used in the studio was a P bass.