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SR5 without a Phantom Coil?

This is a discussion on SR5 without a Phantom Coil? within the Music Man Basses forums, part of the Gear Talk category; Hey guys. Just recieved a 92/93 Stingray 5 fretless. I peered under the pickup and spied that it didnt appear ...

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    Asomodai's Avatar
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    SR5 without a Phantom Coil?

    Hey guys.

    Just recieved a 92/93 Stingray 5 fretless. I peered under the pickup and spied that it didnt appear to have a third coil. I had a later SR5 before and it had a very obvious route for a third coil. Did SR5's always have Phantom coils? There appears to be no extra routing in this SR for it!


    Heres a picture without the pup cover on.




    Underside of pickup


    Routing


    Cheers!

    Rob.
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    mynan's Avatar
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    Is it under the pickguard, closer to the neck?
    ...Bryan

    194-59-21-01 Sterling Silver Sterling5 HH Rosewood MHS F28514 3/14/11

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    Asomodai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mynan View Post
    Is it under the pickguard, closer to the neck?
    What? Sorry i dont understand, its a standard single H model.
    Pedulla Pentabuzz AAAAA 5 String Fretless.
    Musicman Stingray 5 with Fretless Ebony fingerboard.
    HK 7 String Marleux constat alike fretless.

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    Thornton Davis's Avatar
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    My understanding is that the phantom coil was added in 1991. Any SR5's made prior to then would not have one installed. But then there are always exceptions.

    TD
    Exclusively playing EBMM 5 String Basses

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    Rod Trussbroken's Avatar
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    The earlier SR5 pickups had no dummy coil. Around 1992 the pole pieces changed from Alnico to Ceramic. At the same time a dummy coil was added along with a new pre-amp. I think it was last year that the pole pieces went back to Alnico.
    Gav.
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    The phantom coil is under the pickguard, but I thought only HS models had it?

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    5Stringer's Avatar
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    That is correct, the current SR5 H models do not have the phantom coil, because there is no need. They are never in single-coil mode. The SC mode that was on the earlier SR5s was replaced by an Enhanced Parallel setting.

    Dan
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    5Stringer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thornton Davis View Post
    My understanding is that the phantom coil was added in 1991. Any SR5's made prior to then would not have one installed. But then there are always exceptions.

    TD
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Trussbroken View Post
    The earlier SR5 pickups had no dummy coil. Around 1992 the pole pieces changed from Alnico to Ceramic. At the same time a dummy coil was added along with a new pre-amp. I think it was last year that the pole pieces went back to Alnico.
    Gav is correct. The phantom coil/ceramic magnet configuration started in 1992, though you will find both types made that year, as evidenced with this thread. My belief is it was in late 1992 that the change occurred.

    Dan
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    5Stringer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asomodai View Post
    Hey guys.

    Just recieved a 92/93 Stingray 5 fretless. I peered under the pickup and spied that it didnt appear to have a third coil. I had a later SR5 before and it had a very obvious route for a third coil. Did SR5's always have Phantom coils? There appears to be no extra routing in this SR for it!

    Rob.
    Apparently that is true. This is the latest one I have seen without the phantom coil. As mentioned earlier, the original SR5 did not have a phantom coil, which was added later.

    Dan
    About halfway between SF and LA lies the sleepy hamlet of SLOville -

    "I love the smell of polyester clearcoat in the morning!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5Stringer View Post
    Apparently that is true. This is the latest one I have seen without the phantom coil. As mentioned earlier, the original SR5 did not have a phantom coil, which was added later.

    Dan
    Intersting. I never knew that.

    Just out of curiosity:
    What did the 3 way switch do on those early modells if there was no dummy coil. Series, parallel and what else? Pure Singlecoil with the hum?
    '99 Stingray5
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    Switch positions:
    1) Both coils in series
    2) Single coil
    3) Both coils in parallel
    Gav.
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    5Stringer's Avatar
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    History of the StingRay 5

    The SR5 was originally to be similar to the StingRay 4 in that it had essentially the same alnico pickup and preamp combo. At this same time, we had just finished development of the 3-band EQ system. We didn't want it to be simply a replica of a StingRay, simply having an extra string. Remember, we were still kind of new at this Music Man thing and this was the first EBMM bass we were making from the ground up. We wanted it to have something extra, so we thought having a 3-way switch to go from parallel (the original SR sound) , single-coil, and series would be a cool thing. And it was so, and the first SR5s started shipping in late 1987.

    However, after a while it was apparent there was a noise issue in the single-coil mode and that was not what we wanted. So after a few years of experiments, trials and tribulations, it was decided to go to ceramic /ferrite pole pieces. That smoothed out the sound, and helped quiet that single coil a bit, though not enough. At the same time, the Sterling bass was being R&D'd and there was some experimentation with something called a Phantom Coil. So it was added to the StingRay 5 sometime in late 1992 (don't have the exact dates) although we see some w/o the phantom as late as early 1993. So the phantom coil was added, and it remained that way until March 2008, at least on the original H version. Even though in Oct. 2006 the look of the pickup and pickguard changed slightly, the essence of the electronics remained unchanged until March 2008.

    In January 2008, the long-anticipated Sterling 5 was introduced. Until that point, for the prior 15 years, the Sterling and the StingRay 5 essentially had the same electronics. It made sense to us that the Sterling 4/5 and the StingRay 4/5 should match each other. So ... we essentially moved the electronics that were in the StingRay 5 into the Sterling 5. We then started putting alnico magnets back into the StingRay 5 as in the beginning, coming full circle, so to speak - with one difference. The single-coil setting, which had proved so bothersome in the beginning, was replaced by a more ballsy Enhanced Parallel setting, eliminating the need for a phantom coil, at least on the single H version.

    Meanwhile, at Summer NAMM 2006, we came out with dual-pickup versions of StingRay, StingRay 5, and Sterling models. At this point, all StingRay 5s still had ceramic magnets. All StingRay 5's - in H, HH, and HS pickup configurations - made the jump from ceramic to alnico magnets and corresponding preamp in the aforementioned March 2008.

    Out of the 3 pickup configurations, the HS (hum/single coil) version is the only one that still uses the phantom coil - because it is the only one of the three that employs a pickup in the single-coil position. However, instead of gluing it to the pickup, it is now directly under the pickguard in between the two live pickups, eliminating any need to rout out deeper into the body to accommadate the phantom coil.

    Hope that explains most if not all!

    Dan
    Last edited by 5Stringer; 08-18-2009 at 10:23 AM.
    About halfway between SF and LA lies the sleepy hamlet of SLOville -

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    Thumbs up

    Very illuminating! Thank you!
    '99 Stingray5
    '83 Stingray

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    Wow!
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    Petebass is offline Registered User Newbie
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    Sorry to rehash an old thread, but I've been caught out by this difference recently. I bought a 1990 SR5 recently as a backup to my 1991 SR5. I didn't realise at the time that the SR5 had a 2 coil alnico pickup as opposed to the 3 coil ceramic pickup on my 1991 bass. My fault, I didn't research it properly.

    The basses sound very different to each other. So different in fact that I was convinced my 3 position slider on the 1990 bass has a different control function than the 1991 bass. Apparently not according to a previous post in this thread.

    But the position nearest the neck on the 1990 SR5 seems about half the volume of the other positions. Is this normal or does my bass have a fault?

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