The Sterling By MusicMan SUB Ray 4 and 5 Club!!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TheBassmaster27, Apr 2, 2019.


  1. Gustopher

    Gustopher Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2018
    SWVA
    Yes, a little. I picked up a MM style bridge from a fellow TBr and installed it but the saddles were jammed in between the side posts and the intonation couldn’t be set correctly, so I cut the tops from the posts and put them over the screws on the SBMM bridge for a different look. I might put on a mute kit too, not sure yet.
     
  2. Gustopher

    Gustopher Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2018
    SWVA
    I think my next idea for this thing after seeing how good it sounds passive is to scrap the preamp system entirely and do a passive harness with a tone pot. I still want to add a P pickup, or a second MM pickup directly adjacent to the current pickup and use a selector switch for that. Not sure which pickup yet but I love the Delano I have so much, it will likely be their Pbass pickup. Just need to get some router practice before I dive in.
     
    Waggins00 likes this.
  3. Chrome Dome

    Chrome Dome Chrome Dome Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2013
    Piqua,Ohio 45356
    Been noticing lot of pickups,and preamp comments,on the Ray4 mods. I noticed the different bridge on my Ray4,was off Ray34. Mounting holes for the anchor holes,were little off,and to get the strings over pickup poles,I switched the saddle barrels over,on the G and D strings,so the grooves in the saddles,would let the strings set over the poles better. I managed to get a US 96 Stingray pickup,and preamp,for my modding. Had to get a luthier locally,and had him to do the routing,and soldering for me to get the preamp to fit in the control cavity. Don't know about how these pickups,are wired,but it is active preamp,and should be a alnico pickup,by it being a US 96 Stingray pickup. IMG_0779.jpg IMG_0785.jpg IMG_0805.JPG
     
  4. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    If you check the EB stingray carefully, the bridge actually sit a bit off to control plate side rather than center.
     
    Jimmycs and Chrome Dome like this.
  5. skycruiser

    skycruiser

    Jan 15, 2019
    Texas
    I disassembled my Ray4 yesterday and will try cutting out some body weight under the pickguard with a plunge router today. The unloaded body is 4.85 pounds and I'm hoping to cut about 0.5 pounds (~10%). Never done this before so we'll just see how it goes! Hopefully I won't ruin it, but it was a cheap bass so I'm not too worried about it. I plan to keep a line of wood just above the E string since I tend to rest my thumb there when I play. And probably a couple more ribs just to keep the body structure solid.

    Also ordered a Seymour Duncan AlNiCO pickup and will add a Series/Parallel switch to try that out. Thought about doing the series/parallel/split mod but don't want to spend $10 on an ON/ON/ON switch. I have an ON/ON DPDT switch already I can use for series/parallel.

    upload_2021-7-17_10-28-38.png
     
  6. skycruiser

    skycruiser

    Jan 15, 2019
    Texas
    Well I routed out some of the body to lighten the weight and turns out probably wasn't worth the trouble. I was only able to remove 0.4 pounds so in the end it won't make a lot of difference. I didn't feel comfortable going more than about 2/3 of the thickness of the body (~1" of 1.5" body). I also didn't notice until it was too late that I cut out a corner of the battery tray :) It still works fine but one of the screws was cut out so I will replace it with another one in a different location.

    So maybe this was a silly exercise, but I learned a little bit from it.

    upload_2021-7-18_14-25-32.png
     
  7. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    That looks very clean! And any weight saved is worthwhile, to me at least. If you switch to Gotoh resolite or Hipshot ultralight tuners, you can save about that same amount ... Combined, you'd be down nearly a pound. It's not free, like your router project, though! :)
     
    BBassBassington and skycruiser like this.
  8. Gustopher

    Gustopher Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2018
    SWVA
    Looks great, any weight off is helpful and like Inara said with lightweight tuners you can drop that much on the other end too.
     
    BBassBassington, Inara and skycruiser like this.
  9. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    I just pulled the trigger on a used mint green Ray4 on the Guitar Center site. I play 99% fretless, but I have some chordal and tapping solo bass pieces that I wrote on a fretted bass that I'd like to play again, and I'm also thinking of mixing things up a bit and using frets in a funk-oriented project I want to start with a drummer friend. I used to have a fretless Ray34CA, and have fond memories of that. I've read this whole thread, and decided the Ray4 would be great for what I want to do. Thanks for all the info everyone has shared!

    I'm planning on changing out the pickup and pickguard ... I'm eying the Donlis white alnico and an aged white pearl guard from AliExpress, but my card was declined ... I've never ordered from them before, so I'm thinking maybe my bank flagged it as fraudulent. I'll call them tomorrow.

    I have a set of Hipshot Ultralight tuners with eXtender and a Hipshot Kickass bridge left over from a past project that will get installed as well.

    Anyway, here's the photo from the GC website. Nothing special, just another mint green Sub :)
    000000117097336-00-500x500.jpg
     
  10. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    It was my bank's fraud department, as I thought. All sorted out, and the white Donlis alnico pickup and aged pearloid pickguard are ordered now. After I see if I like the pickup, I might splurge on the Mojotone preamp, but I'm going to try things out with the stock preamp first.
     
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  11. skycruiser

    skycruiser

    Jan 15, 2019
    Texas
    Mojotone 2-band preamp just listed in the classifieds for a good price if anyone is interested!
     
    Gustopher, BBassBassington and Inara like this.
  12. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    Thank you!
     
    skycruiser likes this.
  13. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    Thanks again! This is shipping out to me tomorrow :)

    I was going to hold off and see how much I liked the stock pre, but that was a great price
     
    BBassBassington and lowdownthump like this.
  14. skycruiser

    skycruiser

    Jan 15, 2019
    Texas
    Cool! I actually would like to pick up one of these too but don't have the $$ right now. Let us know how you like it once you get your bass set up!
     
    BBassBassington and Inara like this.
  15. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    Will do!
     
    skycruiser likes this.
  16. I got my new Ray4 delivered today. Right away noticed the hot preamp output . . so, I guess that is still an issue. Took the control plate off an found 4 wires from the pickup. Two go to the preamp (green and a wire inside an added black jacket) and 2 are connected together. So, it would seem pretty easy to wire in parallel. I know others have switched out the pickup but has anyone tried just re-wiring the stock pickup? I think I asked this before and no one responded . . . so, maybe that's a 'no'.

    I've already got this on the bench, strings off. Found fret ends fine but tops not super-level so I am doing a cursory fret level. Then, I will get it back together with the TI Flats I got also to try . . then, I will see now good I can get it dialed in. Since there are 4 wires in the control panel, I can look at parallel mode next if needed.

    Here is a pic before I tore into into it, still with plastic covers, pictured with my '01 USA SUB . . . IMG_4793.jpg
     
  17. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff

    Jun 8, 2021
    Haha.....

    When I read ur first post abt weight relief, I thought to myself..... 'Well that's gonna be a waste of time' .

    Been there, done that.
    .
     
  18. skycruiser

    skycruiser

    Jan 15, 2019
    Texas
    My stock pickup only has 2 wires and the coil connections are sealed off internally. No way to change the wiring.
     
    BBassBassington likes this.
  19. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    Congratulations.
    Been use Ti flat on my previous Sub ray4 make the G string sound fuller , meanwhile overall tone sound like P bass with less low-end meanwhile has better clarity on each note.

    The mix of GHS flat ADG + Cobalt flat E able make the sub ray4 sound more fuller along with tight solid E string voice.

    Since you mention that there are 4 wires on your stock pup, but both mine ray4 and 5 just has 2 wires, I believe current batch ray4 use same ceramic pickups which use on Ray24.
     
    skycruiser and BBassBassington like this.
  20. skycruiser

    skycruiser

    Jan 15, 2019
    Texas
    I received my Seymour Duncan "4-wire" pickup today (SMB-4A).
    Measured coil resistance:
    Black/White: 3.76 kohm
    Red/Green: 3.88 kOhm

    Stock series wired pickup: 6.3 kOhm

    There's a noticeable difference in size and weight between the two pickups. I'll get a weight measurement tomorrow to confirm that - maybe my mind is playing tricks on me on the weight.

    Here's a pic side-by-side:
    upload_2021-7-19_22-24-1.png

    It looks like the stock pickup is sitting on something - that's just the big magnet on the bottom:

    upload_2021-7-19_22-27-59.png

    The pickup came with some sticky foam pads to make up the difference in thickness.

    And finally, I found this little stubby switch in my parts drawer that I'll use for series/parallel switching:

    upload_2021-7-19_22-31-9.png

    Cute huh? :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 30, 2021

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