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Thread: Pickup Height on Stingray Classic

  1. #1

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    Pickup Height on Stingray Classic

    Hi,

    I've got a 4 string Stingray Classic that is a great bass. The pickup is the most powerful I've ever encountered and it's not a 'normal' pickup.

    The E string is VERY LOUD unless I lower the upper portion of the pickup considerably. I've got the pickup at a fairly radical angle. ("Radical" in that I've never had a bass with a pickup at that angle or even close.)

    The pickup is hot enough so that I've had to adjust my playing style to prevent it from distorting.

    I just lowered the pickup and now it sounds much better. It's very low though. The portion under the E string is about 1/4 under the string.

    Has anyone encountered this?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Try this setup: In the play position (bass on lap while seated), depress the E string at the last fret & measure the distance from the bottom of that string to the top of the pickup magnet for that string. Aim for a distance of 4/32 inches. Do the same with the G string but aim for a distance of 3/32 inches. Finer adjustment may have to be made to the G side so that the volume is even across all strings.

  3. #3

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    I appreciate the advice. It won't work though. 4/32 inches from the E string would cause distortion if I plucked the string in a normal fashion. The pickup is very hot. Now that I've lowered the pickup height it doesn't distort but I'm not sure about the quality of the sound. I think it's fine. I'll take it to a gig this Friday and put it to the test. Thanks...

  4. #4

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    Stingray Classic, or any 2 band Stingray, is not super hot. Not even close to it. Unless you crank the preamp all the way. Then it's has a pretty hot signal I guess. But a standard eq usage (knobs at noon, or bass slightly boosted as a popular choice) does not yield anything super hot. In fact, both my Stingrays (2 band and a 3 band) are very close in output to my passive P basses, if not even slightly less hot.

    Are you sure your battery isn't dying and that's the distortion you're hearing? What are you plugging in? What are you comparing it to? I don't even distort the preamp (or my sound card) when I crank up the preamps all the way.

    Something's not right here man.

  5. #5

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    Hi,

    I'm sure that the pickup is very hot. It's hot with a brand new battery.

    I have another Stingray. (It's an 'HH.) The pickups are perfectly normal. I've not had to adjust them and they've never distorted.

    It's the pickup. Even with the volume knob down and the amp at low volume it distorts when I hit the E string with my usual attack.

    I should point out that I play with the bass knob all the way up. I do that with my other Stingray and, as I said, it doesn't distort.

    I've owned about 15 basses over the years and I currently have 4 basses. I've never had the problem that I have with this pickup. Hopefully it will sound great now that I've lowered the pickup again.

    Thanks for your response.
    Last edited by Dr. Doom; 10-17-2019 at 04:40 AM.

  6. #6

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    Dr. Are you the original owner or second hand? If the latter then the electronics have been messed with.

  7. #7

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    I am the original owner. I'm not, by any stretch, trying to malign the fine basses that Music Man makes. I have 3 Music Man basses (2 Stingrays and a Cutlass) and they are really nice basses. I love my Music Man basses.

    So the pickup on the Stingray Classic isn't supposed to be very hot? This one clearly is.

  8. #8
    Daniel's Avatar
    Daniel is offline Ernie Ball, Inc. Ernie Ball Customer Service

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    The StingRay Classic pickup should measure 6/32's from the bottom of the G and E strings. If you feel like your bass isn't working as it should, feel free to shoot me an email at customerexperience@ernieball.com and I'll help you out.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
    The StingRay Classic pickup should measure 6/32's from the bottom of the G and E strings. If you feel like your bass isn't working as it should, feel free to shoot me an email at customerexperience@ernieball.com and I'll help you out.
    That’s a huge difference compared to the regular setting

    StingRay 4HH. SapphireBlack.2006
    StingRay 4H. Buttercreme. 2005
    StingRay 4H. ”SunBlue”. 2005
    Bongo 4H. Sapphire Black. 2005
    GENZ-BENZ & ORANGE amps...

    https://www.facebook.com/DanSmithBassist/

  10. #10

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    What is the regular setting? Until this situation I've done little with the pickup height on any of the basses I've owned.

  11. #11
    Daniel's Avatar
    Daniel is offline Ernie Ball, Inc. Ernie Ball Customer Service

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    Quote Originally Posted by danny-79 View Post
    That’s a huge difference compared to the regular setting
    That is the factory specification. We don't fret the strings at the last fret. We set the string action to 3/32s above the 12th fret and then measure the pickup height to the bottom of the G and E strings at 6/32s.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Doom View Post
    I am the original owner. I'm not, by any stretch, trying to malign the fine basses that Music Man makes. I have 3 Music Man basses (2 Stingrays and a Cutlass) and they are really nice basses. I love my Music Man basses.

    So the pickup on the Stingray Classic isn't supposed to be very hot? This one clearly is.
    No it should not be that hot. Mine is pretty much on par with my 3 bander, and I've had several 2 band and 3 band Stingrays. None of them distorted. In fact, if you crank everything on the 3 bander and everything on the 2 bander, 3 bander is hotter (due to mids). Perhaps your battery connection from the compartment is faulty, that could cause distortion problems.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
    That is the factory specification. We don't fret the strings at the last fret. We set the string action to 3/32s above the 12th fret and then measure the pickup height to the bottom of the G and E strings at 6/32s.
    That makes sense now

    StingRay 4HH. SapphireBlack.2006
    StingRay 4H. Buttercreme. 2005
    StingRay 4H. ”SunBlue”. 2005
    Bongo 4H. Sapphire Black. 2005
    GENZ-BENZ & ORANGE amps...

    https://www.facebook.com/DanSmithBassist/

  14. #14

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    Thanks for the information.

    The distortion is due to the pickup being too close to the strings. Now that I've lowered the pickup considerably it doesn't distort.

  15. #15

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    Something must be off, the pickup should simply not distort.

    My pickup height is (measured from the pole pieces to the bottom of the string) approx:

    G - 2.5 mm
    D - 3.5 mm
    A - 4.0 mm
    E - 4.0 mm

    This is slightly lower than the factory specs (6/32). My action is also lower than factory specs (3/32) at the 12th fret with it being 1.5 mm E to 1.0 mm G. This is for both my 2 bander and my 3 bander, very similar measurements.

    Zero distortion, and my touch is not light. I really dig in at times. It should not distort, period.

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