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Thread: Some switching mods for Stingray5s and Ray35s

  1. #1
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    Some switching mods for Stingray5s and Ray35s

    Hi! This is Andrés, from Madrid (Spain), longtime lurker here, longtime Musicman owner too, currently owning 2 Stingray5s (from 1997 and 2003), owned a Sterling5 HS last year and currently also own a SBMM Ray35.

    A couple years ago I ran into a MM "inspired" bass from Thomann and after having to rewire it properly (was a gift for the wife and came terribly miswired) I discovered I digged the neckside coil solo tone so decided to try do something to have that as an option in my Stingray5s. Mine have both the 3 coil ceramic pickup, and the center position of the switch is for single+dummy coils. But the coil that makes the sound is the bridgeside coil. So what I did basically is add 2 more wires to the pickup, unlink some stuff there and, by means of a 4PDT switch, swap the sound making coils with each other. Here's a video with some brief instructions and sound samples.



    Now, just a month ago I got this SBMM Ray35 (BTW, amazing quality, feels and sounds SO close to the real thing) for an unrelated Frankenstein I wouldn't dare attempt on my EBMM Ray 5ers. I had already tried many modern 2coil humbucker equipped SR5s and I didn't dig the "filtered series" setting at all (not different enough, sort of a more hi-fi series really). This Ray35 suffered equally so I decided to do something about that too. This was simpler and less invasive, I simply added a DP3T switch so that I can turn off either coil (or none, for the stock parallel setting and for the other 2 settings -series- to work).

    Link to video with brief instructions and samples (EB forums won't let me post more than 1 video per post)

    There's also this TalkBass thread where I discuss all mods (including the one I did to the Sterling5 HS I had, to swap coils with one another too). I'm dropping this all here just in case it's of interest to anybody. Might sound real touchy but if you're a real Stingray5 freak like me you'll get the tone varieties. For me these mods added some extra nice and usable tones to mine.
    Last edited by bigoldnoob; 05-10-2018 at 06:47 AM.

  2. #2
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    One further mod to my Ray35...


  3. #3
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    `


    I can readily understand hot rodding the Ray35
    especially as they are always built as single PU
    basses. OTOH hot rodding an EBMM just creeps
    me out, not cuz I'm a purist or a fanboi, many
    of whom consider a factory stock EBMM to be
    some sorta sacred, untouchable totem. It just
    creeps me out cuz it's such a needless exercise
    in rampant tweakerism.

    How so be it needless ? Gig audiences can't tell
    any difference, not likely bandmates neither. If
    for studio recording, EBMM has already provided
    it with all possible noise canceling combinations
    of PU coils. So, all I see is rampant tweakerism.

    Thaz my take on it, but I'm sure there will be a
    few of your fellow tweakers amongst us, and so
    it's good of you to share your work with them.
    Last edited by Golem; 06-03-2018 at 05:44 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.

  4. #4
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    I used to be one of the "full pickup options" guys. I loved Carvin guitars, because they gave you all kinds of switching options with coil taps, phase switches, etc. I liked them, IN THEORY.

    In practice, the split sound was just never as good as a real single coil. The phase switch never got used. I have never had trouble getting the sound I like out of my Stingray 5, even though it just has the Parallel, Series + Filter, and Series switch.

    Especially with the switching logic built into the preamp itself, it really isn't worth it IMHO to do mods like this.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple fretboard / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood Fretboard/ 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Signature Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golem View Post
    EBMM has already provided it with all possible noise canceling combinations of PU coils
    Not really, there's the neckside coil+dummy missing (I'm talking 3-coil pickups exclusively), and that's exactly what I did to my 3-coil SR5s. Most people don't know 'cause they've never heard that coil soloed, but it's the perfect P meets Ray tone IME, a really usable one. The mods to my 3-coil SR5s are still humcancelling, just 4 sounds instead of 3.

    Now, on the Ray35 and modern SR5s (2 coil alnico, "filtered series" instead of single+dummy coil) I find it more necessary, even if it gets a little noisy (which it doesn't noticeably). I don't dig the filteres series tone at all, doesn't get anywhere close the old single (+dummy) tone, which I happen to use the most in my 3-coil Rays. I know not many even use that middle position in their 3 pos switches, but for me it's very necessary and this being a Ray35 which was about to be modded in a very invassive way it was a no brainer really.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golem View Post
    `
    ......... EBMM has already provided it with all possible
    noise canceling combinations of PU coils. ..............

    Quote Originally Posted by bigoldnoob View Post
    Not really, there's the neckside coil+dummy missing
    (I'm talking 3-coil pickups exclusively).......

    The main coils, the ones that play, are mutually noise canceling.
    Therefore, they're opposites of each other. The bridge coil is also
    noise cancelling to the dummy coil. Therefore the bridge coil and
    the dummy are also opposites of each other.

    Do the math. It's plain impossible for a group of any three items
    to contain within it three pairs of opposites. Not in any universe.

    If you follow the logic here, the neck-side main coil is therefore
    alike ... not opposite ... to the dummy. Thus, no noise canceling.

    IOW, both of the main coils CANNOT individually be humbucking
    in concert with the dummy, cuz then they would be alike to each
    other, and so they'd not be a humbucking pair ... but, they ARE
    a humbucking pair.

    If you hear "P-bass tone" from the solo neck coil and you play in
    an environment that does not provoke noise, then ENJOY ! Such
    an environment is, sadly, not too common. Frankly, I'm just not
    buying the idea of P-bass tone from any SR. No matter how you
    rewire it, it's still a MusicMan and not a Fender. DNA is so much
    more than just a few wires.
    Last edited by Golem; 06-09-2018 at 05:08 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.

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