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

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


  1. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    Alnico V Vs Ceramic.
     
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  2. Finished fret level on new black-n-maple Ray4. Set up with the Ti Flats. Comments . . .
    • I had myself convinced that the TI flats would be too floppy . . . they are not. Definitely more flexible than the LaBellas I've been using but not too 'floppy', if that makes sense. After switching mostly to stiff flats, pretty much any round feels floppy to me, not the TIs.
    • Tone with the SUB puckup in series and the TIs is pretty good. Very present and articulate. Smooth full mid-range.
    • Like @Yahboy said, G-string has a fuller sound with the TIs . . . which is a huge plus for me . . nice to have the option to go to the G instead of up the neck
    • The Ray4 seemed to actually be set up, as they claim they do. The D-string was roughly tuned to A, like the A string. Otherwise, nut, neck relief, saddle height, were all pretty good.
    • Fret ends all clean, however, needed a fret level and polish, which I did. Not sure if that's just me being picky or just what you get for $300. I did recently check out a Ray4HH in guitar center that had plenty of relief, high-ish set up, yet had lots of buzzing up and down the neck.
    • Love the truss rod wheel . . . I really don't understand why all basses don't use this system. Seems like any patent protection would be over . . .
    • ISSUE: I am getting some clipping when I dig into the E string. I suspect that its the pre in the guitar clipping but I will need to take some more time to sort that out. When I get a chance, I will probably go ahead and revise to parallel wiring since I have 4 wires . . . I think that should reduce output from the pickup and improve the clipping.
    Overall pretty happy so far.
     
  3. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    Suggest lower the pickups height a little more than usual.

    On my previous Sub ray4, i drop the pickup E side down to 6mm (measure while pressing E string on last fret), 4mm on G side. After that fine tune until I heard string to string output balance across the board.

    Meanwhile, on my ray5, I raise those EAD magnet pole pieces for better string to string output balance.
     
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  4. Thanks @Yahboy . . . 6mm would put the pickup almost completely inside the body . . . then where would I put my thumb :D? I will try lowering as much a practical. I also did think about shimming the neck and raising the saddles. May just do the parallel mod first and see where that gets me.
     
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  5. skycruiser

    skycruiser

    Jan 15, 2019
    Texas
    I mapped out the series/parallel switch wiring just to convince myself it does the right thing. This is from Seymour Duncan, and basically uses the switch wiring you can find all over the internet:
    upload_2021-7-20_10-12-13.png

    And my schematic of the same thing:
    upload_2021-7-20_10-12-7.png

    So it looks like it does what is expected! The upper state is Parallel, lower state is Series.

    I also check the weights of the pickups: The old PU is 0.5 pounds, new one is 0.36 pounds. So that's another 0.14 pounds cut just by swapping the pickup! Not bad.
     
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  6. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    My order for the used Ray4 was cancelled because it had actually sold in-store. :(

    I found another mint green one and nabbed it. Fingers crossed for this one!
     
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  7. P Cheen

    P Cheen Chelsea Blue is the colour! Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2015
    Sacramento, CA
    If it fails again, try looking up Guitar Center and choose the Roseville, California store. They have one for $199 used.
     
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  8. P Cheen

    P Cheen Chelsea Blue is the colour! Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2015
    Sacramento, CA
    Everyone,
    Is there a direct* bridge replacement for a Ray5? I’m planning a project and I can snag one of the Ray5 for cheap.

    I know LowEndLobster used an Albridge on his Ray4 project.

    *by direct I mean no drilling required. I don’t mind as long as use at least 3 or so screws.
     
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  9. skycruiser

    skycruiser

    Jan 15, 2019
    Texas
    Installed the Seymour Duncan pickup and series/parallel switch today. I was able to get the wiring right on the first try surprisingly. I also had to sand the pickup cut-outs slightly around the 3 screw bosses, but just took a few minutes and it is not noticeable at all. In the end I'm really happy with the results. There is a reduction in volume, as expected, in parallel mode. Parallel is a slightly more "tame" tone but both modes have a lot more grunt and edge, especially playing down on the first 5 or 6 frets. There's a life to the bass that was missing from that stock pickup! Planning to stick with the stock preamp for now. Maybe it's just in my head, but I think I can feel the difference from that ~1/2 pound I removed by cutting the body under the pickguard and with the pickup swap. I'm thinking about a Hipshot tuner swap as my "final" step for this bass.

    I think a @LowEndLobster video mentioned that the wires are very tiny on this pickup, and he was right. Each wire only has about 5 or 6 threads, so it is very hard to work with. All of the wires went to the series/parallel switch and I think, after a little effort, I was able to make solid connections. Seymour Duncan didn't make this pickup easy to install, but it can be done!

    upload_2021-7-20_22-12-51.png
     
  10. Update on my black-n-maple, if anyone cares :D . . .

    Lowered the pickup as has been suggested. Right now, its about 4mm from the bottom of the E string to the top of the pickup with the string fretted at the last fret. Seems to have completely eliminated the clipping. Pickup is about 3mm on the treble side. Still enough for a thumb rest.

    I'm not usually an action-measuring-person, I just set to feel . . but since I had the ruler out, I measured the action on the E string at the last fret and it is about 2mm. It feels pretty good and low to me.

    With the stock series pick-up wiring and the TI flats, the sound that is coming out of this thing is not what I would say is very sting-ray like, but I'm kinda digging it so I think I'm going to leave it for now as it is . . . well, I did order some brass saddles for it . . but then I'm done! for now

    IMG_4801.JPG
     
  11. Waggins00

    Waggins00

    Jun 8, 2021
    Lyon (France)
    With the new bridge... next step, the tuners... but later ;). 50€ upgrade, and it's as good as a ray24 :thumbsup:
    20210722_081713.jpg 20210722_081723.jpg
     
  12. P Cheen

    P Cheen Chelsea Blue is the colour! Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2015
    Sacramento, CA
    Beautiful! Much better than a Ray24! Trust me, the Ray4 is the most bang-for-your-buck out of any SBMM bass.
     
  13. skycruiser

    skycruiser

    Jan 15, 2019
    Texas
    Looks great! Could you please post a link to that bridge? I tried to find it in the thread but came up empty. I'm looking for a drop-in replacement if the price is not high. The stock bridge does look a little funny.
     
    Inara likes this.
  14. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    The replacement used Ray4 from GC shipped yesterday! Scheduled to get here next Tuesday! :)

    That's the good news. The bad news? On Sunday I fly back to Nashville to visit family for two weeks, so I won't actually see the bass until Sunday, August 8. Or more likely the following day, as my flight gets back in to Seattle pretty late, and I doubt I'll have the energy to unbox a bass at midnight lol.

    It's all good ... Just happy to have one with the finish and the fingerboard I wanted on the way. The Mojotone pre that I grabbed thanks to @skycruiser posting here arrives the same day as the bass, and then the AliExpress pickup and pickguard get here mid-August.
     
  15. shojii

    shojii

    Sep 7, 2011
    Sorry to hijack - Here's the one that I bought for my bass $9.80 + $4.00 shipping. I also bought some EBMM bridge saddles from EB (they're heavier, but you need to enlarge the intonation screw holes)

    9.8US $ |Chrome 4 String Hard Tail Fixed Bass Bridge MMB 4|bass bridge|fixed bridgestring bridge - AliExpress

    upload_2021-7-23_11-29-0.png
     
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  16. P Cheen

    P Cheen Chelsea Blue is the colour! Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2015
    Sacramento, CA
    Thanks! How’s the thickness on these? Same thickness as on the Ray24/34?

    I was planning to get this Albridge for a Ray4 project:

    AA913788-208E-4758-A16E-B0A2F6149327.jpeg

    I was just going to use the center 3 holes. LowEndLobster used this too, though he bore 2 additional holes to complete the 5.
     
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  17. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    Are the string grooves on the saddles placed differently on the EBMM saddles? It doesn't look like the ones in this photo would line up properly, if you look at the distance between the G saddle groove and its nearest mounting hole, compared to the stock bridge?
     
  18. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    I been share a direct drop in 3rd party 5 string bridge on earlier post. From AliExpress.


    15.0US $ |1 Set GuitarFamily Five 5 Strings Electric Bass Bridge For Musicman Bass Chrome ( #1247 ) MADE IN KOREA|bass bridge|electric bass bridgestrings electric - AliExpress

    Check this, same bridge position, same string spacing, and most important thing is all string well align with magnet pole piece after install.

    I have no longer own the ray5 , if not, I will carefully check and measure for you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
    shojii likes this.
  19. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    On my previous Ray4, I also set the action from 2mm E string to 1.6mm G with Ti flat, without single fret buzz found , except I dig it hard. Factory fretwork are truly great in my both ray4 and ray5.
    In others hand, I get fret buzz on Squier VM PJ, VM stdJ, VM70J, VM77J if I set action like above. Only all china CV bass I own can get that low without fret buzz.
     
  20. P Cheen

    P Cheen Chelsea Blue is the colour! Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2015
    Sacramento, CA
    Thanks! It has 2 studs on each side though.
     
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  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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