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Thread: Stingray 5 Alnico vs Ceramic Pup Pole pieces

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Stingray 5 Alnico vs Ceramic Pup Pole pieces

    Hi all,

    Lurked around here for a while but this is my 1st post.

    For many years I owned a 1991 SR4 Black Maple which I loved. It got stolen, I had it replaced thru insurance with an SR5 Ash Maple with ceramic Pole pieces. Eventually I got my SR4 back when it was recovered and I sold it to a friend of mine as I had my SR5.

    Fast forward 3 years and I have borrowed back my SR4 and am in love with the tone - especially the meatiness when playing Slap/ Pop.

    I have restrung my SR5 with Slinky's so it is the same as my SR4 but it still doesn't sound as good. I assume the main difference (besides the Ash body vs Alder) on these 2 basses is the Pickups.

    I know the SR5 is now coming out with Alnico again since the release of the Sterling, but I have rung numerous shops to get an SR5 Alnico Pup but I am told Musicman will not supply them.

    I am considering the Seymour Duncan Alnico replacement, but I am looking for advice here as to how you all think I should try and mimic the tone of my old SR4.

    Help!!!

    Cheers

    Steve

  2. #2
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    sell your old sr5 and buy a new one.. then you can get it in the hh configuration aaaand you get alnico pole pieces

    eb will afair only exchange parts for the exact same thing as you have today. so hand in your ceramic, pay for a new working one and get a new ceramic back...

    MrM
    flats for the bongo!
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    less relief / flatter = lower action
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    do NOT use cheap tools to adjust with. they break and scrape up your bass!

    if you have a 100th namm sr4: the truss works the other way around on those!

    i have no affiliation with eb other than i love their basses

  3. #3
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    I agree with MrM. Get yourself one of the new ones with alnico. Chances are, the seymour duncan one won't sound as good as a proper one, and nobody here is going to recommend you take that option (especially not Poppa)

    Welcome.
    1994 Sterling The INVADER Bass
    My short films can be found on http://www.youtube.com/user/TheEyeballKids - feedback always appreciated!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duarte View Post
    I agree with MrM. Get yourself one of the new ones with alnico. Chances are, the seymour duncan one won't sound as good as a proper one, and nobody here is going to recommend you take that option (especially not Poppa)

    Welcome.
    Yeah but Zak unless you have heard what the SD sounds like you really can't comment on it, can you?

  5. #5
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    It's funny, I was about to write in that post 'Wazoo will tell you otherwise' or something to that effect.

    And you're right, but I'm just guessing now.
    1994 Sterling The INVADER Bass
    My short films can be found on http://www.youtube.com/user/TheEyeballKids - feedback always appreciated!

  6. #6
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    Wazoo you must be down on the meds again.

    First off the funny thing is that the Sterling 5 is outselling the stingray 5 now that the magnet change. Wonder why?
    Two requests, please
    Please contact customer service prior to posting instrument issues
    Please don't PM me
    Thanks

    Please dont add me as a friend on facebook....my life is an open book here as it is.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocksolid View Post
    I have restrung my SR5 with Slinky's so it is the same as my SR4 but it still doesn't sound as good. I assume the main difference (besides the Ash body vs Alder) on these 2 basses is the Pickups.
    Well, there are other differences. Body size, wood density, preamp circuit, 3 way switch....I don't recall having a Stingray 5 that sounded 'exactly' like a Stingray 4, nor do I think you'd get 'exactly' the SR4 tone by switching out the pickups.

    FTR, I have a Stingray 5 with alnico and don't think it sounds 'exactly' like a Stingray 4, either. It sounds like a Stingray5, which is good, because that's what I wanted it to sound like.

    Call me goofy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocksolid View Post
    I am considering the Seymour Duncan Alnico replacement, but I am looking for advice here as to how you all think I should try and mimic the tone of my old SR4.

    Steve
    Regarding the Seymour Duncan replacement, we try to steer clear of any in-depth discussion here because, well, this is the Ernie Ball Forum and Seymour can buy his own bandwidth. I think you can understand that the manufacturer's official forum is a bit different than an open forum. Also, most of us have been around long enough to have done some tinkering and most of us have the original parts on our EBMM basses. That may well mean something in real-world terms.

    I think you might want to examine how different these instruments sound and if that difference is going to be audible to your average audience member during a show. If you're basing your decision on what I call "Critical Wanker Ears" (we all do it, leaning over near the speaker cabinet, only the bass present without a drummer, guitarists, xylophonist or bartenders screaming at patrons), then it's my opinion that nearly every instrument will sound slightly different, even if they're the same model.

    You could, of course, just buy back the SR4 and play them both.

    Jack

    PS: For the record, I've heard/used the SD replacement pickups. The Fender style replacements can be an improvement....but I personally don't want my EB basses to be neutered. YMMV.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bovinehost View Post
    "Critical Wanker Ears" (we all do it, leaning over near the speaker cabinet, only the bass present without a drummer, guitarists, xylophonist or bartenders screaming at patrons), then it's my opinion that nearly every instrument will sound slightly different, even if they're the same model.
    OMG, Freakin' Hysterical...cuz damnit...it do it too!

    I'm clicking the switch on my RAY4 HH...all the time during sound check...it usually sits in position 2 (coils 1&4)
    once the guitarists toobs are all hot and bothered during the show.
    Last edited by MK Bass Weed; 06-01-2009 at 07:22 AM.

    Michael Kelly
    StingRay 5 HH
    BONGO 6 H

    Bassist for:
    The Femmes of Rock
    Google Dat.

  9. #9
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    I'll just keep my opinions out of this discussion, having already taken a mob style beating over this a few months ago I am not getting into this again.

    It's only life. Enjoy what you play, that's what matters.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bovinehost View Post

    PS: For the record, I've heard/used the SD replacement pickups. The Fender style replacements can be an improvement....but I personally don't want my EB basses to be neutered. YMMV.
    Had a SR with Duncan's and Jack hit it right on the head - neutered. They did sound nice and had a very even tone... but the aggressiveness was gone and not in a good way (and I have Duncan's in a p-bass that rock so I am not anti-Duncan by any means). A Ray with Duncans doesn't sound like a Ray.
    - Ritch
    Bongo 4H - Limited Fritz the Kat Lime Green - Kermit
    Bongo 4H - Dargie Delight
    Bongo 4HH - Sky Blue
    Sterling 4H - Trans Purple


    GK and MarkBass stuff

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocksolid View Post
    Hi all,
    I know the SR5 is now coming out with Alnico again since the release of the Sterling, but I have rung numerous shops to get an SR5 Alnico Pup but I am told Musicman will not supply them.

    I am considering the Seymour Duncan Alnico replacement, but I am looking for advice here as to how you all think I should try and mimic the tone of my old SR4.

    Help!!!

    Cheers

    Steve
    Well... since there is no other way to get a replacement alnico pup you'll have to go with another manufacturer to buy it.
    There are only two that i know of (i'm not naming names but you should know them ). Try them and see if you like it, if not maybe you just need a Stingray 4.
    It's a desicion that only you can make.
    IMO of course.
    Stingray HH 5 natural maple DOB 05-02-06
    Mark Bass LM II

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    14
    Thanks for all the feedback guys.

    Sorry if I have offended anyone (not ideal with your 1st post on a forum!!) with talk of using SD Pups in an SR5 Ė the bottom line is that I want to put a MM Alnico Pup in but canít get one. Plain and simple.

    I have considered the possibility of selling this bass and getting a new one but would prefer not to for a couple of reasons:

    1. I have gigged this bass every week (at least twice) for the last 3 years and the neck is feeling divine, between being played regularly, being lovingly cleaned with scotchbrite, and lemon oiled regularly. I really donít want to lose the hours that have gone into it. I get attached to my basses.
    2. I purchased this bass in 06, but when I researched the serial number it seems to me that it was manufactured in 2001. Getting a 2008 or later out of the Australian distributor might resemble the same challenges as getting blood from a stone.

    I have already offered to buy my old SR4 back Ė but at this stage he wonít come to the party. He knows what a piece he has there. I have put another bass up for sale with the intention of getting another SR4 regardless.

    I just need to confirm, I love this bass and how it sounds 95% of the time. It is really only the richness of the pop when playing slap that disappoints me, and it is just missing a little bit of cut in the really rocky stuff. I suppose I am not looking for my SR5 to sound exactly like the SR4, but I do want the SR5 to improve in the areas I have just mentioned and canít help but think the Alnicos may be the solution Ė hence coming here for opinion on this option.

    I love hearing the subtle differences in tone, but Iím not ear down to the speaker looking for a problem either. The difference between the 2 basses is very noticable Ė I felt like I did a double take when I plugged the SR4 in for the 1st time in 3 years.

    Cheers

    Steve

  13. #13
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    Hearing will evolve thru your lifetime and you will have to find ways to deal with it. Somtimes it will cost way more than you wish it would. But duncans in a musicman-blaspheme!
    Liquid Titanium

  14. #14
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    Ive got a Stingray 5 made in Dec 06, and it has the ceramics, and I LOVE the tone it gets.
    But if Alnico is your thing, just get a new production SR5.

    Just dont put SD's, or any other brand of pickups in a Musicman, the original pickups are what sounds best, if they didnt, Musicman would use the other brands.

    Squiers and sx are basses to mod and change bridges, pickups, pre-amps, ect

    you dont mod Musicman instruments, they have the best in them already.

  15. #15
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    Steve,

    The reality is you can't have two instruments made out of the exact same piece(s) of wood.

    Regardless if you can find an alnico replacement or not, there are many factors that go into what an instrument is going sound like that two instruments will never sound exactly the same.

    Love your SR5.

    Pics, please.

    -Anthony

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