Stingray5 compared to Stingray4

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jroc07, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. Jroc07


    Nov 19, 2009
    So I traded my stingray 4 3eq for a 5 about 6 months ago and I've been really digging it. It's a 2000 single H model and I've been missing the fullness/fatness the 4 had in the lows or low mids. I find the 5 has more mids and is brighter, but only gets boomier or deeper when the lows are turned up. The 4 had a certain fatness I can't get with the 5. Is this just the nature of the 5? Or is it something to do with different pickup materials or preamps between the 2?
  2. Waltsdog


    Feb 21, 2009
    Ottawa, ON
    Try and find a newer SR5 and compare the two, it's probably just the slightly different pickups in the older 5 string. Are you using the same strings?
    Wfrance3 likes this.
  3. Grumry


    Jul 6, 2016
    Anything from strings to pickup and string height to year of manufacturing could be a variable.
    el_Bajo_Verde and dinoadventures like this.
  4. Jroc07


    Nov 19, 2009
    The strings are a good point, I was using dr fat beams on the 4, and now I'm using Dunlop super bright nickels on the 5, I'm going to try a fat beam 5 string set and see if that's what my ears are hearing. Thanks for the suggestion
    Nephilymbass and Helix like this.
  5. The older SR5s had a ceramic magnet pickup, not alnico.
    rogerbmiller, osonu and spaz21387 like this.
  6. Musicfreak1988


    Feb 2, 2005
    The first SR5's had an alnico pickup. They quickly changed it to ceramic, but since the introduction of the Sterling 5, the SR5 again has an alnico pickup, wheras the Sterling 5 has a ceramic pickup.

    In short: the Sterling 5 sounds like the majority of the SR5's on the market. Check the EBMM forums (fora) for more specific info such as exact dates for pickup changes for the SR5.
    Jroc07 and Kitsapbass like this.
  7. Kitsapbass

    Kitsapbass What key is this?

    May 26, 2005
    Bremerton, WA
    I'm curious how much of a difference between the 2 band and 3 band. I have a Warwick FNA 5 string with the 3 band, and a US made Sub 5 with the 2. The Sub gets way more play time. Thinking about for my next a classic 5.
  8. bigsnack


    Aug 24, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Strings, pickup, and pre will factor in the most imo. I have a '99 sr5 and wasn't truly happy with its tone until I swapped to the nordstrand PU and the John East pre.

    Edit: I always felt that the 3 band pre and the ceramic pickup had a harsher quality to the high end, just my .02!
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
    Kitsapbass likes this.
  9. Sounds like a set up issue. Both 3 bands should be the same.
  10. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    I have never experienced any difference in tone between a SR4 and SR5.

    The classic sound little different, I currently have a SR5 with ceramic pups that sounds really close to the classics I owned in the past.

    Here is a good comparison

    bassomane and Mastermold like this.
  11. CLJMB

    CLJMB Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    North Alabama
    I have an older SR5 with the slanted pickup selector and a newer one with the pickup selector running straight from the neck to heel. There's a pretty big difference in tone between the two which is similar to the OPs comments.
    Jroc07 likes this.
  12. As previously stated, there IS a different pickup magnet. Your SR5 was manufactured with a ceramic pickup. Your SR4 left the factory with alnico pickup. The SR5 you have was assembled / built with all the essential ingredients of a 4 string Sterling (USA, of course).
    Jroc07 likes this.
  13. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I disclose nothing
    I did a setup on a really nice 5 string HH model ... I favored the neck pickup and boosted mids ... it had incredible thump ...
  14. Weird, in this video the first bass has a ceramic that sounds warmer more like an Alnico and the second bass has an Alnico that sounds brighter more like ceramic.
  15. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    If strings are the Same then it's probably an alnico vs ceramic pickup issue. Also pickup height and well for that matter other differences in setup could be the deal. Double check what you have/had and see where that takes you.
  16. osonu


    Aug 5, 2013
    Las Vegas
    Before I bought my SR5, I checked out a Sterling, and I agree with the other posters about it probably being a ceramic vs. alnico issue. Between strings (flats?) and the pre-amp I'm guessing you can get to where you want, though
  17. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I had the exact same thought.
    Although in every example I liked the Classic best.
  18. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Your 2000 SR5 is more similar to a Musicman Sterling, from 1993 til about 2007 the SR5 got essentially the same elecronics as the Sterling model: ceramic pickup and same eq .
    The StingRay was always alnico, and the SR5 initially started out that way, and around 08 went back to alnico when MM came out with the Sterling 5 model.

    But even with all that said, I was never able to love any single H SR5, I always liked the dual pickup ones.
  19. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    Correct and my ceramic SR sounds like that, my assumption is the old SR use different ceramic pickups and preamp than Sterlings, both are ceramic but different specs and preamps are also voiced different.
  20. Jroc07


    Nov 19, 2009
    A lot of great responses, thanks guys! I'm definitely thinking it's the preamp, that would make sense. It's still an awesome sounding instrument, just a different tone from the 4. was just looking at the Nordstrand MM5.2 pickups, they look interesting
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
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