The Vault
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: STERLING PLAYERS: Phantom Coil/Single Pickup, a fad or a staple?

  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Cool STERLING PLAYERS: Phantom Coil/Single Pickup, a fad or a staple?

    Ok, have read many comments about the Sterling side of things. I've been with wide spacing (P or MM) for some time now, for nuance playing as well as slap. But as I "age", a Sterling might be something to move into ,,,,,IF,,,,,,,, the fantom coil could produce a convincing jazz-bridge-jaco tone. So my question is: Is the fantom/single coil position really important to your sound? Or is it a seldom used novelty? The discontinued SB14 has a 3 position switch.

    I already have a Stingray HH with a 5 position switch but, as you know, no single coil option.

  2. #2

    User Info Menu

    Depends on your version of Jaco. Do you mean FL ? Then it may be
    a staple. I play mainly FL and use the bridge SC a lot. But I'm not
    really after Jaco's tone. I just happen to dislike frets, thaz all :-)

    I'm also luvvin a Thumb bass with both PUs set hard against the
    bridge, and the tone is equally as extreme as the Sterling bridge
    SC ... but differently extreme. If you meant FL bass, I can't say it's
    gonna be Jaco's tone but I expect you'll find it very useful. I've got
    no real frame of reference for Jaco tone, but I know he epoxied his
    FB and I know first hand the effect of that, so I expect you'll dig a
    Sterling HSC FL, but Jaco ? If you just want that generic jazzy mid
    heavy tone, I've heard that from P-bass, Carvin JJ, Corvettes, and
    various basses. It clearly derives from the player, no specific bass.
    S.U.B. SL4 - SR4p FL [x3] - SR4HH FL [Moses neck]
    SL4p FL [x2] - SL4HS FL - SL4HS FL [Moses neck]
    SR5HS alnico - SR5p FL ceramic [x2] - Bongo4Hp FL [x2]

    "Too many basses is never enuf"

    Golem is NOT engaging in social networks.

  3. #3

    User Info Menu

    So Valid then?

    Quote Originally Posted by Golem View Post
    Depends on your version of Jaco. Do you mean FL ? Then it may be
    a staple. I play mainly FL and use the bridge SC a lot. But I'm not
    really after Jaco's tone. I just happen to dislike frets, thaz all :-)

    I'm also luvvin a Thumb bass with both PUs set hard against the
    bridge, and the tone is equally as extreme as the Sterling bridge
    SC ... but differently extreme. If you meant FL bass, I can't say it's
    gonna be Jaco's tone but I expect you'll find it very useful. I've got
    no real frame of reference for Jaco tone, but I know he epoxied his
    FB and I know first hand the effect of that, so I expect you'll dig a
    Sterling HSC FL, but Jaco ? If you just want that generic jazzy mid
    heavy tone, I've heard that from P-bass, Carvin JJ, Corvettes, and
    various basses. It clearly derives from the player, no specific bass.
    Thanks Golem,
    I'm not talking specifically fretless, although that was a major part in Jaco's sound, more just the general way that a bridge jazz pickup can "bark" and maybe be a bit more dynamically expressive. But, in general, I think you are saying that the extra SC is worth it.

  4. #4

    User Info Menu

    You need to know that the HSC PU config never
    plays the wide-space "J-J" pair of SC's. You can
    play the front or rear SC, the front rear PAIR of
    coils, or all three coils, but never the outermost
    two coils minus the center coil.

    Plus these are single large-slug poles, not pairs
    of small pole slugs. They're ceramic, not alnico
    like J-bass magnets. But as I said, it's all about
    the players.

    Here's what's weird. Always someone wants to
    know about some bass "will it do J-bass tone ?"
    or "will it do P-bass tone ?". Now, clearly, those
    doing the asking do not have a 'J' or a 'P', else
    they'd be playing the tone they're after, rather
    than asking what bass to buy. That means that
    these players have heard the sound of 'P' or 'J'
    basses being played, but they have no idea if
    the basses they heard will produce that sound
    in their own two hands, when the players that
    they heard are not playing those basses.

    I can only answer your original question. The
    solo bridge coil on a Sterling is not a novelty.
    It sound extreme played for home practice or
    in a shop, but in some ensembles it's perfect.
    I play with Latin percussionists and it's just
    what it takes ... and I never thumb hammer,
    and I'm playing FL.

    You can solo the bridge coil on an HSC or 1H,
    but not on an HH. The reason I recommend
    the HSC is the ability to play the middle plus
    neck coil WITHOUT the bridge coil. It's very
    different from playing either the bridge SC or
    the whole bridge humbugger. It's kinda like
    a P-bass. It's always a handy option. But if
    you absolutely don't care about that you can
    just go for the original 1H. You can still solo
    the bridge SC.

    On a StingRay the 1H cannot solo the bridge
    SC but if you opt for the HSC that is the only
    StingRay that can solo its bridge SC. Not the
    1H and not the HH. So, a StingRay HSC is a
    way to solo the bridge SC if you want alnico
    PUs ... if ceramic is too hot for your needs on
    a soloed bridge coil. I've never heard anyone
    say the SR's alnico bridge SC is too hot. OK,
    so the SR's neck is fatter. Just man up :-)
    Last edited by Golem; 09-16-2016 at 09:04 PM.
    S.U.B. SL4 - SR4p FL [x3] - SR4HH FL [Moses neck]
    SL4p FL [x2] - SL4HS FL - SL4HS FL [Moses neck]
    SR5HS alnico - SR5p FL ceramic [x2] - Bongo4Hp FL [x2]

    "Too many basses is never enuf"

    Golem is NOT engaging in social networks.

  5. #5

    User Info Menu

    Thanks again Golem. To clarify, I am completely happy with the MM humbucker sound. I actually have a Stingray HH and, yes, there is no phantom/SC. I now think the additional SC sound would be worth it.

  6. #6

    User Info Menu

    I have had all three of Sterling 5 models (HS, HH, and H) and now ended up with the H Model, because it gives me in the default mode exactly the one Stingray-Sound I am looking for (Ceramic, Parallel just like the "old" SR5s) but also offers the powerful serial sound of the bridge humbucker (like my recently sold Sterling 5 HH).

    Coming to the Single Coil + Phantom Coil option of the H-Sterling: To me it is a great addition to the sound spectrum of the bass. It works perfectly at home while practising scales and it does a great job while playing more jazzier type of sounds at seesions or if there is a solo-spot for me.

    Since the Sterling is lacking a passive tone pot, I would not compare it with the sound you'd typically expected when speaking about Jaco. However, you will find that it does a great job doing the more Jacoish stuff.

    I have once seen a video from an Italian user of this forum who offered his Sterling 5 HS for sale. It showcased him playing the bass with the bridge-coil + phantom coil soloed for a whole song and I was very impressed how Jacoish it sounded (I actually wrote him a private message and he confirmed the PU setting).

    So in summary I would encourage you to give it a try. I think it could be a great addition to your SR5 HH.
    2015 Bongo 5 HH, Sterling Silver, Rosewood Neck
    2015 Bongo 5 H, Neptune Blue, Birdseye Maple
    2017 StingRay 5, 30th Anniversary, Flammed Maple
    Xotic XJ 1T5, Natural, Maple
    Sandberg TT5p passive, Maple

  7. #7

    User Info Menu

    I have a Sterling 5H and a 5HS. Both are capable to switch to the "single coil" setting. To my ears it does not sound like a Jazz bass bridge pickup soloed nor would I want it to. While tone, pickups, switching and all that is personal taste, I myself am not looking for my Music Man to sound like a Fender. Why would I, as I prefer the MM sound?

    I do use the SC setting on my 5H regularly, and to my ears it sounds closer to a P bass tone. My 5HS I run with the two outside coil setting almost exclusively.

  8. #8

    User Info Menu

    Great info and personal stories. So my last issue will be switching back to a thinner neck. I have played the wider necks MM,P for some time now and liked the extra real estate while playing up near the nut. Wonder if any of you were ever in the same boat with that. ( I want to add SC, but I'll never sell my Stingray HH. The extra H is obviously nice, and the center position gives a slap that leaves a mark!) However, I will look for a Sterling or even their discontinued SB14.

  9. #9

    User Info Menu

    In case you missed this thread,

    Bass Central is having a monster sale...

    now is the time to pick up a Sterling from Bass Central.

  10. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by 1954bassman View Post
    I have a Sterling 5H and a 5HS................
    ..............My 5HS I run with the two outside coil
    setting almost exclusively.
    OKaaaaaayy .... whazzup whiddat ? HS is my fave
    dual-PU config, and, AFAIK, your "two outside coil
    setting"
    is the singularly unavailable arrangement
    on the 5-way switch.

    Did you mod the wiring ? Also it seems to me that
    should anyone rewire to play the "two outside coil
    setting" the pair in play are NOT humbugging, and
    so are vulnerable to RF and other airborn pollution.
    Last edited by Golem; 10-02-2016 at 02:45 PM.
    S.U.B. SL4 - SR4p FL [x3] - SR4HH FL [Moses neck]
    SL4p FL [x2] - SL4HS FL - SL4HS FL [Moses neck]
    SR5HS alnico - SR5p FL ceramic [x2] - Bongo4Hp FL [x2]

    "Too many basses is never enuf"

    Golem is NOT engaging in social networks.

  11. #11

    User Info Menu

    I guess I am wrong then. I thought the second position was the two outside coils. My bad.

  12. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by 1954bassman View Post
    ............
    I thought the second position was the two outside coils.
    .........
    Nevertheless, that is my fave setting, assuming you
    mean "2nd from the neck" .... which is quite likely, as
    the "2nd from the bridge" is a very distinctive SC tone
    that I really doubt anyone can ever mistake for a pair
    of coils.

    The coils in play as per above are the neck and middle
    and it's my default choice, an all-purpose tone but not
    muddy, yet if in the rare instance that one needs a bit
    more cut, you just tip the switch one click over to the
    middle, which brings in the bridge coil for extra punch.

    The two unavailable "choices" on a HSC are central SC
    and the two outer coils. If one should rewire to obtain
    either of those, the PUs would NOT be humbucking.
    S.U.B. SL4 - SR4p FL [x3] - SR4HH FL [Moses neck]
    SL4p FL [x2] - SL4HS FL - SL4HS FL [Moses neck]
    SR5HS alnico - SR5p FL ceramic [x2] - Bongo4Hp FL [x2]

    "Too many basses is never enuf"

    Golem is NOT engaging in social networks.

  13. #13

    User Info Menu

    Second from neck.

    Do I still get my Seniors discount?

  14. #14

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by 1954bassman View Post
    Second from neck.

    Do I still get my Seniors discount?
    Acoast. Did you want fries with that ?
    S.U.B. SL4 - SR4p FL [x3] - SR4HH FL [Moses neck]
    SL4p FL [x2] - SL4HS FL - SL4HS FL [Moses neck]
    SR5HS alnico - SR5p FL ceramic [x2] - Bongo4Hp FL [x2]

    "Too many basses is never enuf"

    Golem is NOT engaging in social networks.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ernie Ball Forums