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Which pre for a MM Stingray copy? SD, East or SGD?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by leftyjay, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Hi folks!
    So, before anyone asks i just spent the last few hours reading the various MM megathreads for advice, but can't find anything that answers my question specifically, so here goes...

    I got my Maestro mega cheapy MM SR copy back from the luthier last week - he sorted the fret ends, general setup, installed a Warman pickup (cheap but recommended by a fellow TBer) and a super cheap Chinese pre.

    His thoughts were that it was a really nice bass, and he thought the Warman pup was really nice and suggested that the weak link was the pre i had bought for it (i expected at least 1 weak link as initially only wanted to spend a small amount on it until it was set up and i had lived with it for a while).

    He recommended the Duncan STC3 pre for it, he has one in one of his custom built jobs that he swears by. Anyway, i've been looking around and it seems to boil down to a choice between the following 3 pre's and i wondered specifically if anyone has had experience with all 3 or even any of them just to give me an idea of their inherant tonal properties:

    - Seymour Duncan STC-3M3
    - John East MMSR 3 band 3 knob
    - SGD 2 band pre

    Once i got the bass back i was almost literally knocked over when i plugged it into my Trace stack and it clipped the pre (made a scary sound out of the 18" cab!!). The pre was set for my Yammy TRB1005 - which is a prime piece of kit with a monster preamp in itself, but this beast seems so much louder!!! The luthier wired the Warman pup in parallel cos he tried it in series and was too powerful and kept breaking up!?!

    Anyway he still reckons the pup is great!

    I have a Vintage MMSR copy with a Duncan alnico pup in it which i REALLY like the sound of, the Warman in my new bass is a bit more aggressive sounding, and because the pre is not great i can't really dial in any more bass that's useable.

    So i guess what i'm looking for is a pre that will "tame" the pup somewhat and impart a bit more warmth whilst giving me the flexibility that i'm used to from the Yammy. I'm not looking for the same sound as the Yammy (that's why i wanted a Stingray-type bass!), but the ability to boost and cut treb and bass is something i've gotten used to!

    BTW i think the Warman is a ceramic magnet, well, it has that 'harshness' to it to some degree...

    Any advice on these 3 pre's would be awesome, as would and alternatives if you think they are appropriate!

    Cheers peoples!

  2. Nordstrand 2 band MM pre?

    I'm curious to hear people's preferences myself, as I'm considering buying a Ray4 and would want to swap in the truest-to-vintage 2 band MM style pre available.
  3. MaGrass


    Apr 14, 2013
    London, UK
    Got a stingray from 98 with stock pup and john east mmsr preamp....BANG!

    Love the growl to bits. Oh it will sound pretty close to a pre ernie just to Let you know
  4. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    I can't speak to SGD's Pre's. Actually, I can't speak to the quality of the pickups either, as mine are a few months late. Some of SGD's orders take years to fill
  5. racecar5

    racecar5 Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    Myersville, Maryland
    I replaced the 3 band in my 89 Stingray 5 with a 2 band from SGD. Made my bass sound just like the old MusicMan's only quieter. I guess I was lucky got the preamp in 3 days. My advice is get a 2 band that is a copy of the original. Had the Duncan with the slap contour, not the sound I had in my head.
  6. thanks everyone for your advice on this. looks like i'm gonna go for the SD or the Nordy pre then. I've had a chance to use the new bass in anger at serious volumes and i think i'm gonna have to swap the warman pup out for something a little higher end. it's almost too powerful, causes some clipping and speaker flapping, although tonally it sounds good. also starts to feedback like a guitar in some of the higher end frequencies!!

    think i'm gonna go for the Nordy pup, the vintage voiced one, i would get a SD alnico MM pup but looks like the 5 string model is soapbar style only, doesn't have the 'ears' of the 4-string MM pup, so won't fit in my pickguard...
  7. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I'd probably go with a John East or the Nordstrand.

    I have an SGD in my SR4 and I think it sounds killer. It's a great preamp. With said, I wouldn't want to deal with the current state of affairs going on over there. Take a look at the mega thread and make the choice for yourself.

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