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Weak G string on a Musicman Fretless!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mexibass, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. mexibass


    Feb 12, 2012
    Cozumel, México
    Hey guys, well, the title says it all. I've got a MM Stingray fretless. The bass is a beauty. The only problem is that the G string is considerably weaker than the rest. Any advices on what to do to fix this problem? Would raising the pickup alleviate this situation? Thanks a lot!
  2. punchdrunk

    punchdrunk Supporting Member

    Jun 22, 2013
    Jacksonville, Fl
    raising the pickups a slight bit on the g string side would certainly be a place to begin, and you may want to change your strings while you're at it. Those two things are often a problem solver in a weak string scenario….
  3. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    If you do a search you'll find that this is a common complaint with MusicMan and it doesn't always resolve with standard treatments. Good luck.
  4. The above comments are both accurate IME.
  5. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    On the EBMM StingRays you can actually carefully push the magnet poles up or down.
  6. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    I've always been curious..does a better pickup fix the problem or is the weak G string just in the bass itself? My friends Stingray 5 also has a poor sounding G string.
  7. I seem to recall someone saying it was something to do with the preamp? But I'm not entirely sure.

    Happily it's not been a problem I've had with either of mine.
  8. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    I'm sure it's not about the pickup/preamp. The issue with my Sterling was the string not aligning with the pole piece. It was just off enough to affect the output. I put an Alnico 'Ray pickup in and nothing changed. Until I put in a blade pickup (Lane Poor) the problem persisted. Now it rocks.

    I do see that the modern MM's can have this issue. I look at the neck pickup on a double H setup and back away. Leo's originals were spot on centered. Some new ones aren't - it's hard to pinpoint and I'm sure the way you play it (in other words, your expectations) have an impact on your perception as well. Like a dead spot - play through it quickly and you won't really notice. Hold a note and there it is. These are well made basses so where's the weak point? Resonance? Posts about this issue recur here on TB with some regularity - from noobs and seasoned players alike. (BTW, over at the EB forum they'll tell you you're hallucinating. Not quite as objective.)

    I managed to solve my issue and I'm glad. Once I did it I fell in love with the bass again. Until I did, it got to where I didn't think about playing it much. It's the kind of thing that'll take the bass out of first in the rotation for sure. So try all the standard suggestions - they're all good and usually should work, or at least help. If, after all that, it's still a problem you'll just have to decide what you're willing to put up with. Just like a dead spot.

    I'll repeat that a different brand of a pole piece MM pickup will have no effect if the issue is alignment. Don't waste your money.
  9. tbz


    Jun 28, 2013
    Few things to consider:

    1) Factory Strings - Last time I checked, SRs and Sterlings come from the factory with 45-100 Ernie Ball Slinkies; I use those strings myself and do not have any issues with a weak G. It might help to try that.

    2) Adjust the pickups - Use the screws on the side of the pickup; raise the G side slightly; play a bit, adjust until it's better but not worse (if that makes sense)

    3) EQ at the Amp - This is just something I do personally, but I noticed it helped the "G" issues a bit. EQ at the amp, use your bass preamp minimally. If you need more bass, for example, try to dial it in by turning bass up on the amp, or turning mids down on the amp, instead of leaning on the MM EQ. If you EQ too much at this layer, and don't run all tube, you end up with a signal that will likely be too "hot" for your amp's pre or poweramp.

    Also, I'd suggest a professional setup by a reputable tech with a good reputation. Most of my earlier G string problems vanished as soon as I had a good tech performing my setups.

    If you legitimately have that skillset at a professional level, then do it yourself, but...yeah...this is a case where having a seasoned pro is quite helpful.
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    This. The only fix I would attempt for the notorius Stingray weak G would be to raise the G string poles.
  11. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    My Sterlings have a fairly weak G. Every bass has a frequency its not strong at I guess. It does its thing so well it doesnt bother me 99% of the time

    Boogie Oogie Oogie aside ha ha That last hammer on the G just doesn't come through !

    Bongo isn't as bad & is the exception to the rest.
    faulknersj likes this.
  12. EricMordus


    Aug 29, 2013
    What screws?
  13. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
  14. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it

    Oct 31, 2006
    Such cool basses...wish this wasn't an issue. All 4 I owned had this issue...weird.
  15. tbz


    Jun 28, 2013
    IMG_5719. [/URL]

    See above.
  16. FunkyMcNasty


    Dec 4, 2010
    I fixed a bad case of "weak-g" by throwing in a Bart pickup in a fretless EBMM ray that I used to have. Sounded great with the bart.
  17. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Seymour Duncan Preamp + stock MM pickup solved the weak G issue for me.
  18. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    I had a Stingray fretless for a while and I was disappointed with the G too. The G needs to be especially strong on a fretless bass.

    Try a Jazz?
  19. Damn Stingrays and their weak G strings! Good thing their bottom end is amazing haha! :bassist:
  20. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    My fretless 2 band SR was a great bass but the G was nonexistent in the mix.

    I bought it and had a corporate gig in Mexico before I had a chance to hear it in a band mix. It wasn't good (the G) and I tried lifting the poles, raising the pickups, etc.

    I am a huge EBMM fan, but not a fan of fretless SRs at all.