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Which records more easily: Precision or Stingray?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I started thinking about this the other day when my teacher mentioned a country/rock artist for which he recently did session work. My teacher is a Lakland endorser, and LOVES his 44-60, but seems to be using his Precision often in the studio. This got me thinking about Leo Fender’s other single humbucker creation, the Stingray. I want to hear from guys with serious studio time about which is easier to get a good tone out of for recording and why.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  2. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    A good bass player records more easily.
    It's like asking which hammer builds a better house
    Kyuuga, Warpeg, hombass and 48 others like this.
  3. That sounds like you think there's only one kind of "good tone". There are lots of different great electric bass guitar tones on classic records. If what you're after is, say, good Rickenbacker tone, then using a Fender won't do you any good. As for "easy", seriously, who cares? What matters is the end result. If a recording engineer suggests that I switch from a Rickenbacker to a Precision because he doesn't know how to record a Ric well, I'd rather switch to a better engineer.

    With regard specifically to the difference between a Precision and a Stingray (and a G&L L1000, another Leo-designed single-humbucker bass), I doubt it makes much difference. They're in the same ballpark. Your choice of amplifier would probably be more significant.
    Sands, raal, Jools4001 and 6 others like this.
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I don’t understand how you come to the conclusion I only think there is one type of good tone. When it comes to recording, some basses simply work more easily in the studio than others. Both the Stingray and Precision are known as basses that can be recorded with minimal tweaking or none at all. As someone who owned a Rickenbacker for seven plus years, and who loved its tone, I know from personal experience, it is not a easy bass to record.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
    Gaolee, hombass, jaysbass2002 and 6 others like this.
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I disagree. It is not an accident that some basses end up being used on recordings much more often than others.
  6. My only issue with a Stingray in the studio has been the G string, which can notoriously be a bit anemic.

    On those 'Rays where I have found the work-around, no issue recording with one.

    But in general the Precision is a first-time, every-time sure thing.
  7. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    What's your personal thoughts Dr?
    I think it (speaking generally) makes little difference.
    I'm of the opinion that people like James Jamerson did not sound great because of his unadjusted P bass and 10 year old strings. They sounded great in spite of it
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    What I mean is a bass that has no noise or distortion, and gets a clean tone. All sorts of basses can be used if the project demands it. I am talking about basses that sound good in a simple plug and play situation.
    hombass likes this.
  9. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    i have no serious studio time, but it seems to me that so much would depend on the engineer and producer, i.e., how well they know what sound they are after, how well they know the studio's sound and the equipment available, etc.

    that being said, i think the precision would be a more 'forgiving' instrument when recording.
    el_Bajo_Verde and Dr. Cheese like this.
  10. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Early Chic was a P but the biggest hits came on a Stingray, however most people dance to both without giving a damn about which bass was used so they both win.
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    You are right, but time is money is a studio. Recording a jingle or a soundtrack is a situation where a bassist can not afford to lose time for a contractor.
    Rezdog likes this.
  12. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk 音楽は人生だ

    Mar 11, 2013
    In my experience in my little home studio, I've found that a passive P has required less post-EQ than both the Stingray and the Sterling that I used to have. It could come down to the type of music I tend to record though, or the type of recorded bass tone that I like to hear. *shrug*
  13. For me it would be the P.

    Having an active choice, I'd probably start twisting tone knobs in the middle of a take. :atoz:

    I'm a fiddler by nature, so the simplest option is usually the best for me.

    But that's more me than the basses.

    Interesting thread Doc.
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  14. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    Endorsed by K.B. Guitars, Nordstrand Audio Pickups, Von York Strings and Gallien-Krueger Amps.
    Both sound great when recording. I’m a little more partial to EBMM but Fender’s also sound good as well.
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  15. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Aw c'mon Doc!
    You know exactly what all the P-bass guys are going to tell you!
    Jazzfretless and Dr. Cheese like this.
  16. I think you got it right there at the end (where I bolded it). If you want to hear a P-bass tone, then of course anything else will require more adjustments to get there. I think this is really where the whole myth of Precisions being easier to record comes from. There's also a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy aspect to it, in that the P is probably the most common model around, so engineers see them a lot and are used to them, which in turn makes them think that P-basses are easier to work with.
  17. Pirate Captain

    Pirate Captain Elitist Jazz Snob ********

    Dec 22, 2016
    Shelter Island, NY USA

    (...saying this as a P Bass guy)
  18. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I am honestly thinking of generic recording where bass is just a part, but not a feature. I play a P a lot lately, but I would honestly take a five string Jazz if I could only have one bass.
    gebass6 and Pbassmanca like this.
  19. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I have to agree. The Precisions on a lot of those 60s recordings sound not very good to my ears. What makes it work is the playing. I have heard Precisions sound great on record and I have heard Precisions sound awful. The same could be said of Jazzes, Stingrays and any number of other basses.
  20. jamro217

    jamro217 Supporting Member

    I personally think the P bass sound is the default bass tone for most recordings. If the music calls for something other than a generic, well rounded tone, there are thousands of other basses to choose from. Since its inception in the 1950's, the P bass and its tone is what we grew up with and consequently feel most comfortable hearing, not to mention lots of sound engineers have less to screw up with.

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