Stringray HH always this harsh?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lavaxtris, Jul 18, 2021.

  1. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    The 4 sounds thicker, and darker. The 5 has much more mid presence, and an overall tighter sound. The 4 sounds a little scooped. But, it's probably just the difference in woods really. Maybe also that the strings on the 5 have been broken in.
  2. lavaxtris


    Feb 3, 2009
    Woods have little to nothing to do with electric bass tone. Strings have more of an effect. Broken in strings would sound duller, which isn't the case here.

    The 4 string is a StingRay Ray34HH in stealth black and a roasted maple neck. They currently sell this model.
    The 5 is an older model in tobacco sunburst with a matching headstock and maple neck. Both have rosewood fretboards.
    wizard65 likes this.
  3. P Cheen

    P Cheen Chelsea Blue is the colour! Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2015
    Sacramento, CA
    True about the strings, but here is a specific example why the tone wood theory might be true–
    Consider the [current] Squier Classic Vibe Precisions, both the 60s and 70s. They have absolutely the same hardware and pickups, but the body and neck woods used are different. They sound very different from each other.

    The 60s has poplar for the body, maple for the neck, and indian laurel for the fretboard. The 70s has nato for the body, maple for the neck, and maple for the fretboard.
    Giffro, Mili and Funkinthetrunk like this.
  4. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Well, you're wrong all the way around. If the pieces of wood didn't make a difference in tone, every bass would sound the same. And they don't. In fact, the neck itself alters tone more than fret board. And broken in strings, aren't dull. Dead ones are. Strings even themselves out, lose the initial scooped effect, and gain mid range across the set.

    But, look closely at the pickup positioning. Measure it if need be. Sometimes, the bridge pickup is in a different spot on the double bucks than it is on the singles. A hair either way is all it needs to alter the tone.
  5. lavaxtris


    Feb 3, 2009
    The fretboards have the most tone coloration and not only because of the woods but the finish as well, but since these both have rosewood fretboards and maple or roasted maple necks, there isn't much tone variation when listing through a DI. Not enough to make this much of a difference, anyway.
  6. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    I have a Ray34 HH. Can get all kinds out of it. Nothing unwanted that I can't eq out.

    So not sure what you have goin on
  7. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    To add to last, I have that exact bass. Sterling Ray34 stealth black. Roasted neck. Bought new a month or so ago.

    I do not have any issues as you describe.

    I would have a trusted tech take a peek.

  8. lavaxtris


    Feb 3, 2009
    Would you be able to send a sound sample?
  9. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    Unfortunately, I have nothing to record to right now. My son has my laptop to record some stuff.

    If you think it would help at all, I will give you my number and you can call me tomorrow

    Not sure if you would be able to tell anything over a phone, but wil give it a whirl if you wish.
  10. Eon Sky

    Eon Sky Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2013
    Pacific Northwest
    And that's in the full on bridge position? It sounds like the neck pickup is still on. Maybe the position isn't fully cutting it off and it's causing that almost chorus effect. Wiring issue?
  11. Lukasonbass


    Dec 12, 2019
    New Hampshire
    Just because the batteries aren’t dead, doesn’t mean they are giving the bass what it needs. You need to be giving close to full power (9 or 18 V, I think it’s like 8.2V per 9V minimum) to get the best sound and batteries dwindle below that sooner than we often realize.

    Try to replace the battery and if you’re still having the issue I’d recommend taking it to a trusted tech. It may just need some TLC.

    As far tone goes, people underestimate how much the players technique has to do with it. I play a 5HH as well and if I put an audio sample up you’d have no idea we were playing the same bass.
    One Way and JeezyMcNuggles like this.
  12. Fwiw, I play a Stingray Old Smoothie. It's basically a classic style 4 string with 10-pole 5string pickups in it that straddle each side of the strings rather than sitting directly under them. I love it and get tons of compliments on the tone. They call it the smoothie because the intention is to smooth over some of the Ray harshness in the midrange. It works.. They call it old because ...well, you know.
  13. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    Look at the comparison of Sterling by Musicman H vs HH.

    They do sound different, so there's probably something going on differently with the electronics there. I don't think the EBMM USA versions have such a noticeable difference, but I don't really care for HH either way, so, yea. HH doesn't have the same clarity as the H model, soundsa bit more muffled, congested. Same as yours.

    But yeah, I don't think there's anything wrong with your HH, it's just the way it is. I will add that it doesn't sound like series though, it's parallel, it's fine, they just don't sound exactly the same as the single H versions.
  14. raphaeld


    Sep 19, 2012
    yep, this is the very reason why I sold mine (new version). Fantastic ergonomically, but the sound was way too harsh for me and for my bands
    20190704_133232 1.jpg .
    Lammchop93 likes this.
  15. '

  16. Lammchop93

    Lammchop93 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    sounds like a musicman to me. I don't notice any harshness to my ears, but it does sound like a mid-forward musicman to me.
  17. lavaxtris


    Feb 3, 2009
    There seems to be a massive difference between the two in that video, just like mine... but I'm wondering why.
    The US made basses sound nothing like my Sterling by MM HH. US HH basses sound more like they were designed to keep the clarity of the single humbucker version.
    In fact, I'm having a hard time finding other cheap HH sterling basses that sound as bad as mine does. It's basically just the 2019 Ray34HH that sounds different than everything else.

    I need a remedy. I might end up selling this thing.
    mouthmw likes this.
  18. klaymaster


    Jun 10, 2016
    Is the 5 string a Ray35 and the 4 string a Ray34? There is a big difference in the pickups from the Ray34, Ray24 and Ray4
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
    Staccato likes this.
  19. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man

    Apr 10, 2015
    My HH fretless has a midrange "chime" that absolutely cant be dialed out in a solo context, but It sounds solid in a busy mix.
    Mili likes this.
  20. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Sell it and get an atk
    raphaeld likes this.
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