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Trying to calm my MM sterling down, Reccomendations?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gt96g, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. gt96g

    gt96g Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Philly Area
    I need some advice here, I have an early to mid 90's sterling and I have not been totally in love with the tone lately. It is aggessive which is why I really liked it years ago but the more high end basses I play the more I am seeing how sloppy and poor the dynamics of the tone are. I lowered the pickup a bit and that helped, but I am wondering if a new pickup like a nordstrand or a duncan basslines which are voiced like stingray pickups, would calm the bass down a bit and make the sound more focused. all opinions would be helpful here.
  2. If you really want to calm it down, try some bass nip. That should help take the edge off.

    On subject though, maybe its just time for you to part with it. It sounds like your moving on sonically (SP?). Unless its just one of those basses that you just can't part with.
  3. gt96g

    gt96g Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Philly Area
    ya thats part of it i really am attached to it
  4. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    That's an easy one.The quickest and cheapest option is to put a set of flatwound strings on it.I currently own 5 Sterlings,and one of them has a set of EB flats on it.Great round thumpy tone,no overtones,very focused,and they feel great under your fingers.Try some Ernie Ball flats,or La Bellas.
  5. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    +1 on flats.

    I put a nordstrand mm5.3 on my SR5. The jury is still out for me, but it is definitely more vintage sounding than it was before... if that's what you want, give it a try.

    I was in your boat too. I can't sell my SR5 due to sentimental reasons. Because of that, it's now my backup bass. I don't have to sell it, I can get other basses that are closer to my current tonal goals... and everyone is happy.
  6. gt96g

    gt96g Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Philly Area
    not sure about the flats but solely backup is an idea, im just not sure about pumpin another 100 bucks into a bass I might be loosing,
  7. limit6


    Dec 5, 2007
    Philly, PA
    I face the same problem, and I hate selling mine because it feels unbelievable! Experiment with strings. I really dig the D'Addario sound over the boomers I have on it right now. Also, if you'd like to hear what the Nordstrand sounds like go into the thread in my signature. It has a 2 min soundclip of my stingray with a nordstrand and it sucked some of the harsh sounding highs and made them more mellow, and it gave the bass a much more well rounded tone. I'm still selling it, though, if that says anything...
  8. ihateusernames


    Jun 26, 2006
    strings and knob turning can make a sterling sound not like a sterling.
  9. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Bart MMC pup, less aggressive pup but keep the old one.
  10. Basehead

    Basehead Now with even more synthy goodness...

    Jan 3, 2008
    New York NY

    I have a 94 MM sterling that just didn't have the "umph" or bottom that my other basses did. I ordered a Nordstrand MM4.3 from Blueberry Hill Bass and I'm loving the tone. More low end fundamental and definitely not as zingy. Try one out, you'll dig it. ;)
  11. ihateusernames


    Jun 26, 2006

    great suggestion! this is a nice pickup.
  12. DJ Jazzy Death

    DJ Jazzy Death

    Apr 14, 2008
    So random... i was going to start a thread on my Sterling too but you already did all the work for me!

    I have a brand new Sterling H/S and plays like a dream. The problem I'm having is the D and G string just aren't cutting through with the balls I expect them to. I really want it to have that Geddy Lee kind of growl to it. I have it with my top string definitely. Is this an EQ thing perhaps?
  13. Chinguschild


    Apr 17, 2006
    Chico, Cali
    I have a same era sterling and I have found that I can get a much calmer and modern tone if I switch the pickup selector to the bridge position and eq a little bit
  14. Ezbass


    Apr 3, 2008
    +2 Did the exact same thing to my old Stingray, I used La Bellas.
  15. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    No, it's an inherent design of the EBMM pickup. The aftermarket pickups all seem to address this issue. I know my Nordstrand 5.3 did.
  16. mdiddium


    Jun 21, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    Putting TI Flats on my '93 Stingray 5 made me fall in love with her all over again. I'd strongly suggest that approach, since flats on a Stingray (or Sterling, since the Stingray 5 is so similar) really don't sound like flats on any other bass.
  17. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    I put a set of Ernie Ball 2810 flatwounds on my Sterling 5 H to help take a bit of the edge off. They sound great and feel great as well.

  18. gt96g

    gt96g Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Philly Area
    From what Im seeing here it looks as if a nordstrand pickup would address my issues. Like i said I have been playing it with the pickup alot lower and have been digging it alot more But still feel there is too much high end and not enough low end. Even when I cut the highs and boost the lows. So is the reccomendation nordstrand?
  19. tubster


    Feb 5, 2003
    Southwest Spain
    From what I am reading and from my own experience

    1. Strings
    2. Pickups

    Be sure to try strings before moving to step 2 - should save you a bunch of cash. TI Flats worked well for me.
  20. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Buying a MusicMan cause you want "that sound" and then stringing it with flatwounds to take the edge off... I dunno, that just kind of seems like driving a Ferrari with one foot on the gas and the other on the brake.

    But I've never owned a MM so what do I know?

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