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Weak g string on stingray.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Benn, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Benn


    Apr 25, 2017
    Hi everyone, I know there are a lot of previous posts regarding weak g strings on my stingray basses. I have read all of the posts and can honestly say I've tried them all including sending my bass back to the factory, buying a new pickup, adjusting pole pieces, equalising, using compression, adjusting pickup height, experimenting with string guages; I've tried it all and consequently have still been not satisfied. as much as I love the stingray tone, I found myself avoiding using the g string as it was just too quiet. After trying everything and the mm factory repeatedly telling me my bass was perfect, I tried an active pickup (emg mmcs). Being active means that the basses standard pre-amp cannot be used. Consequently, I have come to the conclusion that the weak g string problem was pre-amp related as the emg mmcs has made my g sing like never before. A friend of mine replaced his preamp with a SD and his weak g is also no longer an issue. I hope this helps someone out as I have spent a lot of money and countless hours regarding this. I have owned this bass for 15 years and have been exploring this problem since then.
  2. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Great Post
    John K once posted that Leo told him he wasn't sure why that happens with the Stingray.
    I found that it wasn't so much as less volume but rather the tone thinned out on the G making it seem quieter.
    Do you still get the Stingray sound with a the active EMG and no pre-amp?
    I had wanted to try a different pre with the stock pup but my 83' is the last year before the tyrant took over and is too valuable to modify.
  3. really? I don't see why. Are you talking about the original 2-band or the 3-band with series parallel switch?
  4. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Stingray 4s don't have series/parallel switches.
  5. monkeyland


    Jul 1, 2008
    Ft Myers, Florida
    Endorsing artist: Curt Mangan Strings, JH Audio
    It's not the preamp. The reason that emg fixed the problem is the bar magnet. i got the same result with a Delano he. The problem is the stock pickup.
    Sub-Frequency and delta7fred like this.
  6. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    I totally believe you. I had a 1980 Stingray w/2band EQ(which I prefer to the 3 band) for 24 years and always found myself struggling to get any "body" on the G string. I would always move my fingers closer to the neck when using the G string.
    I ran the bass EQ close to full on, treble about 1/2 way, as I liked what it did to the lower strings. But that EQ just left the G in the dust! I finally gave up the "Stingray ghost" when I bought my '04 Fender American Precision. I borrowed one on a gig 1st and REVELATION!! This was what I was missing!
    Since then, I purchased 3 more Stingrays and couldn't bond with any of them. They're all gone and the Fenders remain.
    Jim C and joebar like this.
  7. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Does this issue only apply to certain years of stingrays? Or four strings?

    My stingray 5 has a robust, loud G string.
    In fact, I've had several and never noticed this phonomenon.
    I have read about it quite a bit so I figure it does exist.
    nnnnnn likes this.
  8. Benn


    Apr 25, 2017
    Hi Jim. After trying a variety of passive pickups including bass lines, Bartiloni, and aguilar, I noticed very little change in tone or volume. In fact I think any subtle differences were in my head; being hopeful. I decided to just try the active emg as there is no soldering involved and as far as modifying goes, it's easily reversible. To be honest, I was expecting the tone to be a lot different, however, the only noticeable difference is the top end. Stingrays have quite a clack top end (probably quite 4k prominent) which works but Is a frequency people will love or hate. The emg is noticeably different in the top end, it is a little less brittle but seems to have a little more sparkle. The only downfall is that at the moment I only have a volume and tone pot leaving two vacant holes. Emg makes pre-amp to suit this pickup that I will be purchasing. They have a variety of options including stacked pots with sweepable mids etc. Overall, I purchased the pickup to try so I didn't have to modify my bass beyond return. However, I'm loving the tone and will not be taking it out. I'm loving hearing a full time to my g string and would highly recommend it. If you want to hear it, there are several clips on you tube
  9. Domespeed


    Oct 7, 2010
    I think this is part of the problem.
    The bass EQ doesn't pick up the frequencies of the G string, because they are too high.
    SJan3 likes this.
  10. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    I absolutely agree! Better string balance if you don't push the bass EQ on the instrument. Maybe better to run the bass flat and do all EQing at the amp.
    Geri O likes this.
  11. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    When I had a SBMM SUB Ray4, the G didn't seem weak, but the tone was on the brittle side (lacking "body"), which didn't jive with me. I recently picked up an old Japanese Aria Pro II CSB-300, so I've got some of that Stingray punch on hand again, but with a sweet and full-sounding G string, probably thanks to this pickup arrangement (with E-A closer to the bridge and D-G further away)...
    ...which reminds me of this:
    Makes me wonder if some sort of split coil arrangement/moving the treble string magnets north would resolve the weak G string issue. Maybe Leo was on to something with his Stingray prototype.
    SJan3 likes this.
  12. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    I think you have a good point there!
    fermata likes this.
  13. monkeyland


    Jul 1, 2008
    Ft Myers, Florida
    Endorsing artist: Curt Mangan Strings, JH Audio
    Again I say this is wrong thinking.

    Scientifically because the preamp does not know what string you are playing. There are notes that exist on that string that exist on others. Empirically because I ran my stingray with the stock pickup and no preamp and I still had the weak G. It was not until I switched to a pickup with a balanced response that the weak G went away.
    Garret Graves likes this.
  14. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Good point. I'm glad the pup swap solved your problem..
  15. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    So, with this in mind, you'd think EB Musicman would do something about it instead of the constant denial.
    songwriter21 and joebar like this.
  16. monkeyland


    Jul 1, 2008
    Ft Myers, Florida
    Endorsing artist: Curt Mangan Strings, JH Audio
    Well that's the perpetually frustrating thing about it isn't it. They will claim that it doesn't exist or that you need to use their strings or adjust your bass to factory specs. Their followers aren't much better, especially the purists that act like you are breaking some universal law by modifying your bass. Meanwhile I'm over here with my Delano pickup and 2 band EBMM preamp blissfully enjoying all 4 strings on my bass.
    CentralCoastBass, joebar and SJan3 like this.
  17. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    ..and that's the way it should be.
    EB is starting to feel like a "cult".
    CentralCoastBass and joebar like this.
  18. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS

    You are listening to the typical few that are very vocal and either promote or deny the things that get brought up. Cults don’t involve very cool basses.

    Lots of guys say they don’t have G string problem, lots of guys say they fixed it with a replacement preamp or replacement pup, others have sold their Stingrays in frustration.

    I gotta say, I play SR5s and none of them had the weak G string, which is usually heard about the 5-strings. But I don’t doubt for a second that there’s something amiss on those problem G string basses. And why an otherwise great company that listens to the customers well on everything else won’t address this issue.
    SJan3 and joebar like this.
  19. delta7fred


    Jul 3, 2007
    This ^, except it isn't a bar magnet, it is individual pole piece magnets for each string.

    EB put weaker magnets in the G position (on some models*) but don't admit it.

    (They also use weaker magnets on the B on a SR5 but because it is a thicker string with more excursion it balances out.)

    *My SR5 has weaker G magnets, by about 20% IIRC, my SUB4 has all the same strength.
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  20. I set the pickup height to 3mm bass side and 2mm treble side from bottom of string to the top of the pole piece while fretting the highest note. Seems to balance it enough for me. Mine’s a 91.
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