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Stingray Ultra Highs Issue

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by stonewall, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. stonewall


    Jun 14, 2010
    Ive been having a love hate relationship with my Stingray.I love the feel its just the Ultra High tones i hate.If i roll the treble off to were the clanking metal fretty sounds are gone i end up with no voice just muddy tones.I had about 2 hours this weekend PA was set up early for the gig just me my Stingray the Hall and PA.I tried everything pre and post amp DI and alot of different tone adjustments i completely rolled the treble off my board channel and still could hear that metal fretty sound.It bothered me so much i drove to my music store grabbed a New MIM P Bass drove back to the gig spot set amp and PA back flat adjusted my amp volume played some tunes and thank you Lord a beautiful old school full sounding bass no adjustments required.I dont know if its active vs. passive or maybe the 3 band eq or just simply its not the bass for me.Its a shame cause i really did like the feel of the bass.
  2. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    That's why I own no StingRays/Sterlings and some more Jazz and Precision basses

  3. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    'Clanky metal fretting sounds' make me think the action could go up a tiny bit. I would get it setup once more with slightly higher action before getting rid of it, and if worse comes to worst you can always say "just setup" in the ad :)
  4. How is the bass set up in terms of pickup height, action, and freshness of strings? Since the main complaint is 'clanking metal fretty sounds', maybe you could try less bright strings (or even flats), make sure the action is not too low, and also try lowering the pickup height. That is something I had to do when I first got my SR5 as it was way too hot with the pickup too close to the strings. I lowered it significantly and have loved the tone ever since.

    If none of this or anything else helps, then it just might not be the right bass for your sound goals.
  5. I had exactly the same feeling about my Stingray and came up with the same solution: Sold it bought a PBass. Now I am happy.
    However, I got to try a Classic Stingray and I must say wow! Much better IMO
    Overall I feel the Stingray is well suited for aggressive bass styles. Since I play mostly Alt rock, Country rock and Reggae it really did not fit the bill. Too bad, I loved the feel, the look and I have a lot of respect for the Musicman brand.
  6. You might want to try different strings and raising your action a little.
  7. BassBuzzRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    Change to the old two-band preamp :)
  8. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    I had similar problems and went through two Stingrays before I finally went Jazz bass. That said, I think finding the right set of flats (along with the already mentioned adjustment suggestions) may help the bass work for you. I caught a crazy Canadian metal band a few years ago whose bass player used a Stingray and he was getting a gloriously warm tone out of it. IIRC, he was playing through an older Hartke head and a non-branded 410. Anyhow, point being, you can definitely get a non-clanky tone out of them.
  9. ale29


    May 25, 2008
  10. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    stonewall, I've been where you are so many times, and I know exactly what you are talking about. The answer is flats.

    Also, if you have the 3-band eq, I also recommend the 2-band. I used to have a 3-band and a 2-band at the same time, both with identical strings. The 2-band is warmer, more vintage sounding. The 3-band is very modern sounding, which some people love, particularly for the reasons you find displeasing. If you have a 3-band, I'd also suggest trying the John East MMSR 3-band preamp. It's pricey, but I had one in a Stingray years ago and it's quite good. When the mid knob is at the center detente, it's designed to sound just like a 2-band.

    But again, get some flat wounds first.
  11. I cant understand why you guys have this problem - the bass has working tone controls just turn the treble down - watch how much you cut the mids and boost the lows also. Probably best to have them flat.

    In comparison the P bass is a rather lifeless animal doing the sort of thing you described the Stingray did with the treble cut.

    If the sound man only knows how to deal with fender basses they may well cut the mids boost the bass and treble on the pa input - you need the treble flat or cut. I endured half an outdoor gig with this problem until I realised why - and that was a fretless clattering.

    Everything you've described sounds like operator error of one sort or another I'm afraid. You may also have too low an action or too high a pick up setting - which may cause mechanical clatter and especially if you dig in to the extent you may feel inclined to on a P bass.
  12. mantaraya


    Apr 10, 2007
    When i had mine's (Rays and Sterling) i tried everything, and i mean EVERYTHING (set ups, strings, hand location, action, PUP height et etc) and i could never got rid off of that "fretty clankyness" the only way was raising the string to a far beyond tolerable play. And yes, equally, rolling off the trebles just worst things more over. Its all about muddy with treble roll off. I
    Some people like it some not. Since you bought a P-bass it looks you are after other kind of sound than a Ray/sterling can achieve. Great basses, just not for everyone and all kind of projects.
  13. mantaraya


    Apr 10, 2007
    ....no adjustments required....

    And this at least for me was the worst part. Every time i was more fighting with the bass in order make it sound the way i wanted, than rather playing it. If one adjustment at bass or amp seemed to work, minutes later seemed not working.
  14. get the pickup wiring changed from parallel (Standard for a stingray) to series. it will lower the resonance frequency of the pickup from fretty zing to a more tolerable point and will thicken the lows somewhat.

    Sounds like exactly the mod you would enjoy most, and it's free if you do it yourself (with some careful work with a soldering iron) or just some money to a QUALIFIED tech who has done mucho pickup modding before.

    Also, if you get too much fret noise, finger ON the frets rather than between them like the monster bass players do... it cleans things right up. Also lets you move to fretless really easily. Takes practice, but everyone wants to become a more advanced player, so that is a great technique to learn and helps solve lots of subtle problems.

    I don't always play that way, in fact I often play just behind the fret, but I CAN play that way when I want to control the fret noise because I practiced like that in the later 80s when I was playing really seriously.
  15. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Sounds like you have never owned a Stingray.

    OP, I own a 2 band StingRay with a maple board, I have to really EQ out the high end when going through my fEARful as it is BRIGHT. You cannot remove the clank from a Stingray, that is part of their character in my experience.
  16. huckleberry1


    Jul 1, 2013
    Mesquite, Texas
    If you've got a Stingray with a maple neck & I do with 2 band EQ, your going to have that growl, that being said it is a great rock & metal bass but not suitable for some genres. This is why most of us have several basses. Ive got a jazz with a John East & am about to purchase an American p-bass for the same reasons you are looking at. The Ray is a Janice Joplin type voice not suitable for church.
  17. BassBuzzRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    Who has a 2-band eq version that is clanky? I don't think they exist.
  18. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Is that a serious statement?

    Mine is clank city, in fact the only Ray I have played without clank had store quality setups. (3-4mm action and relief than can accommodate a pinky) For the record, that was a rosewood classic.
  19. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks I build Grosbeak Guitars and Basses Commercial User

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Grosbeak Guitars
    Yeah if I crank the treble on mine it gets clanky.
  20. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I've got the Sterling Ray34 CA (Classic Active) which has 2 tone controls. I know what you mean about the over aggressive high end on the treble control, and I have to roll it back a bit for it to sound useable. That said, I don't find the instrument to lack definition or clarity with the top end rolled back. I would suggest you address this in the midrange EQ of your amp's preamp. I get plenty of clarity and definition even with the treble rolled all the way off. IMO, the stingray tone is a bit aggressive, and responds well with a bit of high end (not overbearing) and if you really dig into your playing. It doesn't have a lot of low end subwoof going on. If you've got any midrange cut in your tone, you'd be missing the strength of the design. Think Chili Peppers or RATM, or Queen "another one bites the dust". That is the sig sound of the Stingray.

    Otherwise, if you find it unbearable to use, then so be it. I tried about 20 various Music Man or Sterling basses before I found one that I felt was worth purchasing, including many models that were upward of $1500. I settled on a $600 Sterling, which played and sounded better than the EB MM basses costing 3x as much. Use your ears and instincts.

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