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Thread: Useful even round sounds on StingRay 3band eq

  1. #1

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    Useful even round sounds on StingRay 3band eq

    Hi guys. It's always pain in the a... to setup a good bass sound on my Ernie Ball/Musicman StingRay 2005 (H/maple/3band eq). In most live and studio scenario people want that even, round, good bass tone with good useful lows, nice fat and round mids (not harsh but this special mid freq which made bass ballsy) and not harsh but mild highs. Many people says that StingRay is versatile but I see that it's kind a one trick pony instead. Great lows and highs for slap but when it comes to play bass parts in rythm section it seems like the bass lost in the mix or it's too harsh. In one word: useless. How yous setup your eq to get that good round sound to play pop/rock/r&b and all those genres where round, punchy and warm bass is needed? I really think that StingRay could be not the bass I looked for... Thanks in advance for any ideas.

  2. #2

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    What strings are you using? That's where I would start. If you're using something super zingy - steel roundwounds come to mind - then I would think about using something with a bit less "bite". Strings are such a big part of the entire equation. If you haven't tried a set of flatwounds, do yourself a favor and try some. I mostly play rockabilly, country and some rock and I string all my basses with flats because I want that big, deep fundamental and thump.

    I left the Slinkys on my Stingray 5 for a few weeks and it was fun for a bit because I never play rounds these days - I even did a quiet trio gig with them - but I couldn't live, really, with rounds for any length of time. Flats are "my" sound, or at least a big part of my sound.

    EQ matters, too, of course. Turn the treble knob on the bass down. Bump up the bass a little. Same with the mids. See if that works for you.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by bovinehost View Post
    What strings are you using?

    EQ matters, too, of course. Turn the treble knob on the bass down. Bump up the bass a little. Same with the mids. See if that works for you.
    I noticed this many years ago and I exclussively play on flatwounds since 8 years now. I bought the most expensive flats I can get (Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats) and used them since then. Helps a lot but it still is hard to get proper sounds. The biggest problem is the midrange I guess. When I listen good pop, rock, etc. songs I hear a good fat kind of low mid/ mid mid midrange which break through the mix all the time. Sometimes growly, sometimes warm but still there's a special freq range where bass sings in the mix. Really try to find this range on my StingRay but can't find it.
    Maby I should buy other Musicman bass or even other company/manufacture bass? Which Musicman have more warm and punchy mids and less treble? Maby I should use bigger strings like medium Slinky Flats to get more bottom, big sound instead light-mid Thomastiks?

  4. #4

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    That is why I do not prefer 3 band Stingrays, 2 band Stingrays are the way to go and you will get what you are looking for with a 2 band. 3 bands are just too Hi-Fi sounding to my ears.

  5. #5

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    I have flats on my 2 bander - EB Group III flats. Fantastic flats, and they'll only sound better with age. Really nice, round, warm, thumpy tone, but still plenty of definition and highs. My favorite flats for Stingrays. I've tried TIs on it too, and I dug the tone, it was more mid focused though and had a bit less thump and definition. Too light and floppy for me though.

    My 3 bander wears rounds (Super Slinky) because I want it to for that aggressive 90s type of thing, and I have it setup so that it has a bit of fret buzz when I dig in (not much though, juuuust a bit). It's all about what you want from the bass. That said, I can definitely get a balanced, rounded tone out of it. I usually have the EQ flat, but I play around with mids and bass boosted a bit. I tend not to overdo the preamp EQ though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    That is why I do not prefer 3 band Stingrays, 2 band Stingrays are the way to go and you will get what you are looking for with a 2 band. 3 bands are just too Hi-Fi sounding to my ears.
    I don't really hear 3 banders as hi-fi to be honest. 2 banders have always had a more open, clear tone to me. 3 banders have that inherit lo-fi mids and treble. A bit more compressed tone for sure. More clank, dirtier tone if you will. They really encompass the 90s punk/funk/rock thing to me. Hi-fi though? Nah, I wouldn't play Stingrays if they were hi-fi lol.

  6. #6

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    Although I don't own a 3 band, just a 2 band I have tried different Flats on my Stingray TI's Cobalts and Chromes and they sound great, but I now only use the stock Roundwound Slinky's on my 2 band which I have just recently put back on. Flats are great but Slinky Rounds give my Stingray more of its characteristic voice and I have tried other Rounds but the stock Slinky's are the best. Why did I try to fix something that was not broken in the first place.

  7. #7

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    Ed Friedland had something to say about the versatility of the Stingray and I think this is still valid: Music Man Classic Stingrays - YouTube

    However, a lot of players forget to use the EQ of their amp - I always make the basic sound setup with the amp's EQ and use the controls of the instrument to get different flavors of that sound when needed.

    SBMM Silhouette HSS
    You can tune a bass but you can't tuna fish.

  8. #8

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    all great stuff here for sure. having spent years on an SR5 I would recommend(some of what's been said already):
    -set the eq flat, bass/mid/treb at 12 o'clock/centre detent
    -3way switch in position
    -go to your amp/pre-amp have it at noon and roll a little top off, boost the mids a tiny bit

    if that doesn't work, dial the treble on the StingRay back a hair and push the mids there a hair and also try plucking closer to the neck rather than directly over the p/up if you can.

    Single H SR5's are pretty versatile but at the same time it just might not be the bass that best suits you and the tone you're searching for.
    "Top pros 15 - Talkbass 0"

  9. #9

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    One of the reasons why I ended up not keeping a Ray in my arsenal is the typical bass VS amp EQ "struggle" when looking for a balanced but present tone. Nothing wrong with Rays at all, it just doesn't work for me and the music I play. 2 band EQ worked definitely better for me, though.
    I love Red Paint.

  10. #10

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    I've found this a useful tool to coax some new tones out of a ray. Helps you get your tone in to some hard to reach places that the onboard preamp can't quite nail. Also has great output options with a parallel 1/4" out, a balanced xlr at either mic or line level, and another unbalanced 1/4" at either instrument or line level. I ditched my bass head and go Stingray>preamp pedal>FX>Tech 21 Q strip>power amp/FOH/Phones/etc and have never looked back. Cleared my tone up substantially and has allowed me to quickly pick which frequencies to use to cut through the mix in any situation.

    Access to this page has been denied.

    Edit: not sure if we are allowed to post links to other brands stuff but it is a Tech 21 Q strip. If thats not allowed shoot me a message and I'll delete the comment.
    Last edited by MaxKlein40; 07-26-2019 at 10:52 AM.
    EBMM Stingray 4 HH Stealth Pearl
    SBMM SUB 4 Custom: Space Bass Refinish Aguilar OBP 3TK PP pre, Nordstrand pup, and GK3B Divided pup
    Oscar Schmidt Acoustic

    4 string bass>Roland GR 55 synth>EHX 95000 Performance Looper = endless entertainment

  11. #11

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    All aspects of the StingRay voices, both
    2 band AND 3 band, have proven perfect
    for playing flats on a fretless. Add round
    wound strings and metal frets and then
    the headaches begin :-(

    If your health insurance includes mental
    hygiene coverage, then it might pay for
    removal of frets and for new strings !
    EB SUB SL4 - SR4p FL [x3]
    Early EB SR4 defretted
    SR4HH FL [Moses neck]
    SL4p FL [x2] - SL4HS FL
    SL4HS FL [Moses neck]
    SR5HS alnico - SR5p FL [x2]
    Bongo4Hp FL [x2]

    "Too many basses is never enuf"

    Golem is NOT engaging in social networks.

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