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Thread: MM Sterling switch acting oddly..?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    MM Sterling switch acting oddly..?

    Hi. I just got a nice used Sterling bass. Love it but am not finding the 3 way switch working as I thought it should...

    Starting from bridge and working towards neck...

    Position 1 sounds great...!
    Position 2 sounds almost exactly the same, maybe just a touch bigger and warmer but not much different from 1
    Position 3 sounds very warm with top end rolled off and much, much quieter...?

    From what I understand position 3 (the series position) should be the one that shoots the dangly bits off a charging rhino at 50 paces...?

    Any ideas..?

    Thanks, Bob

  2. #2
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    Position 2 is the bridge single and
    THAT should sound very different,
    while the diff between 1 and 3 is
    less striking ... full humbugger but
    par vs series.

    How MANY coils are in play is a far
    more obvious difference than how
    the humbugger's 2 coils are wired.

    Wondering if you have a 3rd party
    PU and/or EQ-pre ....
    Last edited by Golem; 07-13-2017 at 07:18 PM.
    S.U.B. SL4 - SR4p FL [x2] - SR4HH FL [Moses neck]
    SL4p FL [x2] - SL4HS FL - SL4HS FL [Moses neck]
    SR5HS alnico - SR5p FL ceramic [x2] - Bongo4Hp FL

    "Too many basses is never enuf"

    Golem is NOT engaged in social networks.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golem View Post
    Position 2 is the bridge single and
    THAT should sound very different,
    while the diff between 1 and 3 is
    less striking ... full humbugger but
    par vs series.

    How MANY coils are in play is a far
    more obvious difference than how
    the humbugger's 2 coils are wired.

    Wondering if you have a 3rd party
    PU and/or EQ-pre ....
    Could be.

    Is there a wiring diagram for the switch available here..?

    Thanks, Bob

  4. #4
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    Plug the sterling to an amp all knobs full open, take a small scerwdriver and tab against the pole pieces.
    In position 1 and 3 you should hear an even loud pop by hitting the pole pieces (position middle - only the coil near the bridge).

    Just to make sure the coils are intact.
    MM Sterling switch acting oddly..?-body-44-jpg
    Last edited by Bert; 07-14-2017 at 12:42 AM.
    1979 StingRay natural maple

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bert View Post
    Plug the sterling to an amp all knobs full open, take a small scerwdriver and tab against the pole pieces.
    In position 1 and 3 you should hear an even loud pop by hitting the pole pieces (position middle - only the coil near the bridge).

    Just to make sure the coils are intact.
    MM Sterling switch acting oddly..?-body-44-jpg
    Interesting....

    On all three settings both sets of poles make a pop, but on all three settings it's the poles nearest the bridge that make the loudest pop.

    On the switch setting nearest the neck the pops are quieter and 'warmer' sounding.

    I think I could be between a rock and a hard place with all this because I really like how the bass sounds with the switch in the bridge position and would hate to loose that..... on the other hand amusing that something is not quite right I wonder maybe how much better it might sound if sorted out... ?

  6. #6
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    That is weird.

    The fact that the supposedly "muted" coil is not really
    silent is normal. The coil not-in-play will "pop" about
    half as loud as the favored coil.

    But you have the bridge coil favored in all three switch
    positions. That is NOT normal. That should happen only
    in the middle position.

    As to the rock-and-hard-place thing, "if it ain't fix don't
    broke it". If you're happy, let it be. My first EBMM bass
    was not the first example I tried. I didn't like most of
    the SRs I tried out in shops. They all played easily, but
    sounded too brittle. Until magically I found "The One" !
    So I bought it and enjoyed it for years without knowing
    that it had Seymour Duncan electronics !
    Last edited by Golem; 07-14-2017 at 02:54 PM.
    S.U.B. SL4 - SR4p FL [x2] - SR4HH FL [Moses neck]
    SL4p FL [x2] - SL4HS FL - SL4HS FL [Moses neck]
    SR5HS alnico - SR5p FL ceramic [x2] - Bongo4Hp FL

    "Too many basses is never enuf"

    Golem is NOT engaged in social networks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Bristol, UK
    Posts
    114
    Mr Golem. I completely agree with you.

    The positions 1 & 2 are quite similar but sufficiently different to make them usable for different numbers.

    The fact that they are next to each other means that I can go from position 2, my preferred one, to position 1 for more solo type stuff mid number is BRILLIANT.

    For a soft blues I can go to position 3 (neck) and mellow out there.

    All in all a very happy bunny.

    It appears that a previous owner has had the bass wired to this configuration and I thank him/her for that!

    I stripped down the bass a bit to see what was going on and was seriously impress with the build quality. The pup cavity was a revelation after years of Fenders. Love the way the pup bolts work compared to the usual screws.
    Last edited by bob atherton; 07-15-2017 at 05:21 AM.

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