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Thread: Sterling USA SUB preamp

  1. #1

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    Sterling USA SUB preamp

    Hello from sunny Spain,
    I have an american Sterling SUB since a few years. I removed the preamp to paint the body and I notice the preamp its a bit different from the others I have had (USA sterlings and SR5s). Also, the pickup poles are alnico. I found some pictures of different preamps in the usual resources but nothing like this one.
    Can someone enlight me about this one? I believe they used the same electronics as the standard USA ones. Cheers!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sterling USA SUB preamp-img_20190910_171421-jpg   Sterling USA SUB preamp-img_20190910_171405-jpg  

  2. #2

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    I have been informed, concerning
    my USA Sterling SUB 4, as follows:

    It is LIKE a regular USA Sterling,
    in having:
    1. That extra fret
    2. The Sterling PG pattern

    OTOH it is LIKE a regular USA SR4,
    in having:
    1. An SR4 alnico PU and 3-band EQ
    2. A normal SR sized body
    3. A normal "square" SR4 neck joint

    Acoarst with SR4 PU and EQ there
    is no coil-controlling blade switch.

    FWIW, it is also like a recent USA
    "Classic" model in having a "slab"
    [not contoured] body.

    IOW, It is mainly a Stingray except
    for the PG shape and one extra fret.

    Add the funky textured paint and
    the poplar wood body to all of the
    above and you get a really unique
    hybrid SR-Classic/Sterling/SUB. I
    don't really think of it as a Sterling
    but I cherish it as a very special SR.

    Mine is a keeper-for-life cuz it was
    built on my birthday. I gave her a
    new PG plus a set of black knobs
    for our birthday present:

    Sterling USA SUB preamp-mm-sterling-sub-jpg
    Last edited by Golem; 09-10-2019 at 08:36 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

    "Too many basses is never enuf"

    Golem is NOT engaging in social networks.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by rebo213 View Post
    Hello from sunny Spain,
    I have an american Sterling SUB since a few years. I removed the preamp to paint the body and I notice the preamp its a bit different from the others I have had (USA sterlings and SR5s). Also, the pickup poles are alnico. I found some pictures of different preamps in the usual resources but nothing like this one.
    Can someone enlight me about this one? I believe they used the same electronics as the standard USA ones. Cheers!
    The USA SUB 4 and SUB 5 (2003-2006) both used regular SR4 2EQ preamps and Alnico pickups. However the USA SUB Sterling (2004-2006) used a preamp found on the regular SR5 some fourteen years earlier (1990- c.1992). These were a green board (which you have pictured) and designated "S/R5 3EQ 1-90". Only the vol, treble & mid controls were located on the circuit board at that time. The bass control was off board but soldered to it with hookup wire. Although the SR5 had a lever switch for different coil combos, the SUB Sterling only used the preamp without the lever switch. The SUB Sterling also used an Alnico pickup in conjunction with this 3EQ preamp. The electronics on your Bass are original.
    Last edited by Rod Trussbroken; 09-11-2019 at 12:26 AM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Golem View Post
    2. A normal SR sized body
    Sterling USA SUB preamp-mm-sterling-sub-jpg
    The body shape (and therefore, size) is the standard Sterling, not a Stingray. It has a slab body though, like Sterling Classic. Unlike Sterling Classic and USA SUB (Stingray model), it does not have a 2 band preamp, but a 3 band standard Stingray preamp, as you guys already mentioned.

    So, in a nutshell - it's a Standard Stingray 3 band tone in a Sterling slab package with the usual USA SUB finish type.

  5. #5

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    Hi, thank you for your answers.
    Yep, I presume it was an early SR5 preamp, as my 1998 one its different. Also the neck its the slimmer Sterling type.
    Mine its also a keeper, much more "dark sounding" that my other MMs with maple fingerboards.
    I got it quite cheap and have done some mods over the years: I removed the paint from the back of the neck; I painted it once and I did some "contouring" in the body. Now Im going to paint it again and replace the preamp with a Sterling USA HH one and install the second pickup. I got those pieces recently from a bass maker, quite cheap also.
    Its the third USA SUB I had, these basses are really nice but I never like the paint and the sticky neck.
    Cheers!

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