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strummer

Enormous Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2005
Messages
4,506
Location
Safe European Home, Stockholm, Sweden
As the present owner of Heinz, I have to say that "polite" isn't a word that comes to mind. And yeah, I do have a SR5 with alnico, even if it is a bit different.

Both my SR5's are great, as are my Bongos, and I don't think I could pick one favourite if you tried to force me.
 

aphekgreg

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
5
Location
Australia
I certainly wasn't trying to argue whether alnico or ceramic magnets were better, just trying to help answer the original question, about getting a tone closer to a SR4.

I said the ceramic was more polite, not polite. The difference certainly isn't chalk and cheese, but there's no question that they sound different.
 

Musicman Nut

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
1,454
Location
California
Hi all,

Lurked around here for a while but this is my 1st post.

For many years I owned a 1991 SR4 Black Maple which I loved. It got stolen, I had it replaced thru insurance with an SR5 Ash Maple with ceramic Pole pieces. Eventually I got my SR4 back when it was recovered and I sold it to a friend of mine as I had my SR5.

Fast forward 3 years and I have borrowed back my SR4 and am in love with the tone - especially the meatiness when playing Slap/ Pop.

I have restrung my SR5 with Slinky's so it is the same as my SR4 but it still doesn't sound as good. I assume the main difference (besides the Ash body vs Alder) on these 2 basses is the Pickups.

I know the SR5 is now coming out with Alnico again since the release of the Sterling, but I have rung numerous shops to get an SR5 Alnico Pup but I am told Musicman will not supply them.

I am considering the Seymour Duncan Alnico replacement, but I am looking for advice here as to how you all think I should try and mimic the tone of my old SR4.

Help!!!

Cheers

Steve

Hey Steve,
Been down that road a million times and even though Duncan Makes incredible stuff I'd leave your bass Stock, Here's why. The duncan Alnico will not sound right with the stock Music Man Preamp, the Preamp is designed for a Ceramic Pickup, If you change the preamp you'll loose that wonderful Music Man tone.
Music Man made a anniversary Stingray 5 with Alnico, I'd find one of those, I tried one and it was amazing.
Good Luck,
Stay with 100% music Man for it's all tone.
DJ
 

Musicman Nut

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
1,454
Location
California
I certainly wasn't trying to argue whether alnico or ceramic magnets were better, just trying to help answer the original question, about getting a tone closer to a SR4.

I said the ceramic was more polite, not polite. The difference certainly isn't chalk and cheese, but there's no question that they sound different.

I don't think there's a ""BETTER"" tone or sound from Either, it's what your ears like.
Ceramic Sounds Killer in the right bass as does Neo and Alnico, it's all Taste and what the players looking for.
 

Rocksolid

Member
Joined
May 25, 2009
Messages
14
An Update

Wow! i don't visit my own post for 6 months and 2.5 pages of feistiness have been added!! I ended up finding a 94 SR4 and added it to my arsenal! It was terribly set up when I got it (I purchased it off a forum and it was shipped from USA to Oz) but now it is a killer. The SR4 and my P bass became my go to basses for my covers gig.

It was great to have both my SR4 (Alnico) and SR5 (Ceramic) side by side to compare and appreciate. Both truly amazing basses to play. For me - the SR4 will always be (along with a P bass) the ultimate rock bass. The way it can cut thru massive guitars on stage without being massively loud is truly amazing.

One thing I have realised over the last few months is that the biggest contributing factor to making my SR5 sound meatier when slapping and popping is where the volume of the horn is set on my Eden cabs. For the SR4 it needs to be higher to bring out the highs, where as with the SR5 needs it to be rolled off as the SR5 seems to have the glassier highs that the SR4 doesn't.

I just wanted to come back and give you all an update on where I ended up after asked what now seems to have been a rather contentious question!

In looking back - in 97 I borrowed a Ash Maple SR4 for a CD launch I did as a spare for my 91 SR4 I had back then. I used that Ash SR4 for the whole gig and almost cried when I had to return it! Maybe that it my ultimate SR tone for me!

It's good to be back....
 

Rano Bass

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Messages
1,104
Location
Tijuana Mexico
Wow! i don't visit my own post for 6 months and 2.5 pages of feistiness have been added!! I ended up finding a 94 SR4 and added it to my arsenal! The SR4 and my P bass became my go to basses for my covers gig.

In looking back - in 97 I borrowed a Ash Maple SR4 for a CD launch I did as a spare for my 91 SR4 I had back then. I used that Ash SR4 for the whole gig and almost cried when I had to return it! Maybe that it my ultimate SR tone for me!

It's good to be back....

Congrats, now we just need some pics of your new Stingray.
 

Elad_E

Well-known member
Joined
May 13, 2008
Messages
169
I too think that you can't attest about anything you haven't heard for yourself and even if you did your opinion means basically nothing to the next guy who has his own perception of the ever elusive "good tone".

but, after some twiddling with aftermarket electronics and pickups with other bass brands I came to the conclusion that sometimes you should get what you need instead of trying to transform what you got into something else.
I find this hold especially true with EBMM's instruments as I feel the hardware and electronics are of quality which is on par or surpasses everything the aftermarket industry has to offer (as opposed to other mass production brands which skimp on certain departments leaving you with an instrument which is not of a uniform quality level).

another thing to consider is that the basses in the EBMM product line in particular seem to be designed to achieve a certain tone and vibe so parting out the package EBMM has put together is most probably not going to make one bass sound like the other more than less like itself.
this seems even more rational when you see EBMM has decided to source pickups from well known quality aftermarket makers for their guitars which means where they felt an off the wall product already fit the bill they didn't just make their own pickups.
 
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BrancoRJ

Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
14
Series or parallel.....

Hi friends!

Sorry if i`m repetitive, but I've searched at the forum and doesn`t find my answer.

I have read a lot of different informations about how the PUs are wired at StingRay5s HH at position 1.
Some say series at Alnicos and parallel at Ceramics, anybody here has the real information?
Are them wired different at SR4s and SR5s?

The site only provides information about the current models.

Thanks a lot!
 

Bert

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Messages
434
Location
(FenderOli) Hessen Germany
Hi friends!

Sorry if i`m repetitive, but I've searched at the forum and doesn`t find my answer.

I have read a lot of different informations about how the PUs are wired at StingRay5s HH at position 1.
Some say series at Alnicos and parallel at Ceramics, anybody here has the real information?
Are them wired different at SR4s and SR5s?

The site only provides information about the current models.

Thanks a lot!

StingRay 5 HS/HH from 2005-2008 with ceramic pickups are series.
With the change to Alnico in 2008 they switched to the "StingRay = "always parallel" system".

http://forums.ernieball.com/ernie-b...200-bob-birch-music-endorsee.html#post1022933
http://forums.ernieball.com/ernie-ball-music-man-basses/66512-stingray-5-hs-hh-pickup-wiring.html
 
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b-unit

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2006
Messages
526
Great to see a zombie thread get revived! I have a ceramic loaded SR5 and 2 Alnico equipped ones. All three have their own personalities but are definitely not that drastically different from each other. I honestly can't choose one over the others tone wise but feel that the alnico equipped ones are a bit closer in tone to my SR4's. I have a Sterling 4 as well and it sounds very close to the ceramic SR5 which stands to reason as it also has a ceramic pup. My Bongo 5H is different again but equally as pleasing.

different flavours of "win" is what comes to mind when describing the pickups. :)
 

tbonesullivan

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 24, 2012
Messages
2,118
Location
New Jersey
I have a 2007 Stingray 5HS and a 2012 5H, so I've got experience with both. The 5H however does have series mode, which is one of the three positions on the blade switch.

Honestly, it's not that much of a difference from parallel. I think you get a lot more difference from the switch from Ceramic bar magnet with steel pole pieces to alnico magnet pole pieces. The sound really is different.
 

bassmike

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
24
Actually, the SR5 pickups were alnico from 87-92, then ceramic from 92-08, then alnico from 08-present.

My SR5 Piezo S/N# E64977 mfg. Feb 20 '08. Per Joel verbal. "Soapbar" ceramic.
He seemed somewhat perplexed but confirmed. "Transitional" instrument?
I have '76/ '77 SR4 and '88 EBSR4 with the "Holy Grail" tones as well as a spare
'76 black epoxy preamp. Where the SR5 doesn't have that same tone, It does
get the sweetest midrange bridge position; and I can dial in the Piezo if I want the
"scoop". And a cream/ rosewood SBMM SR5ca for a beater- which has yet a different/ great tone.
May try a N________d replacement in that one but I'll not tamper with perfection on the others.

In time I'll follow Jack's lead and pick up a Bongo 5er. Soon as I can cash in on my
life insurance policy.... wait for it... till then it's "Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With".
 

Rowboat

New member
Joined
May 7, 2022
Messages
3
Location
Philadelphia
Hi all,

Lurked around here for a while but this is my 1st post.

For many years I owned a 1991 SR4 Black Maple which I loved. It got stolen, I had it replaced thru insurance with an SR5 Ash Maple with ceramic Pole pieces. Eventually I got my SR4 back when it was recovered and I sold it to a friend of mine as I had my SR5.

Fast forward 3 years and I have borrowed back my SR4 and am in love with the tone - especially the meatiness when playing Slap/ Pop.

I have restrung my SR5 with Slinky's so it is the same as my SR4 but it still doesn't sound as good. I assume the main difference (besides the Ash body vs Alder) on these 2 basses is the Pickups.

I know the SR5 is now coming out with Alnico again since the release of the Sterling, but I have rung numerous shops to get an SR5 Alnico Pup but I am told Musicman will not supply them.

I am considering the Seymour Duncan Alnico replacement, but I am looking for advice here as to how you all think I should try and mimic the tone of my old SR4.

Help!!!

Cheers

Steve
Oh! So much verbiage. And here comes Rohan from faraway Australia [who more lately lurks in Philadelphia], with mud for these clear waters..

Never will or can I replace the Stingray 4 that featured on 24-tk recordings from the past, and that is just something I must live with.

Now it's 2022, not 1982.

I am the unashamed owner of a p.o.s. entitled 'Sterling SUB 5' in weird green with stock bucker and two-knob eq.

It's physically set up to behave nicely, because I do that. I build/demolish/modify according to necessity.

Electromagnetically, I'm not convinced.

[Granted, I don't have an svt or a 'better' Acoustic combo, and have only d.i. or Ampeg wine cooler mini at present]

If (big if) you were blessed/cursed with my horrid greenish Sterling SUB 5 - AND were willing to spend X $ on possible improvements:

Would you steer me toward a ceramic or alnico v pickup? I listened to several videos and thought the SD's sounded like crap.

*I can't slap any more, my right radial nerve got shot along with the rest of me. After extensive surgery and so forth, I can play fingertips again.

** IF it were possible/plausible, I'd ask for an EB replacement p/u (though I'd keep the Sterling SUB5 pre in the meantime until I can build a close approximation of the correct MM pre).

*** without asking anyone to recommend 'the Competition' - would YOU bother slapping a 3rd party alnico or ceramic bucker in the SUB5?

It's pretty good (physically) now I've sorted out action/intonation.

Cheers
Rowboat
 
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[email protected]

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2007
Messages
156
Location
Northern VA
I think the SR5 is a different bass than the SR4. It has its own excellent sound, different than the SR4 but still amazing. There is only one solution, really--you need to have both.
 

Rowboat

New member
Joined
May 7, 2022
Messages
3
Location
Philadelphia
[Gnash of teef] All I have is a SUB 4 and 5. Though I've futzed about researching alternative p/u & pre options, it's just not worth it. Given the price differential (10x more for an EBMM, 20x more for an original), it's more sensible to get the most out of the cheapies as is.

*the SUB 5 is not too awful at all now it's set up.
 

Jim C

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
219
I have a new Ray 4 which is a great bass but actually incredible when you factor in the cost.
Just rewired from series to parallel and like the difference a little better. It also reduces the crazy hot output.
 

Rowboat

New member
Joined
May 7, 2022
Messages
3
Location
Philadelphia
I have nowt but a sub4, a sub5, and a fretless jb built from decent parts. The likelihood of finding three to four thou for a MM is slim, so I keep snooping for possible improvements. Though the 5 could use a dose of fret-end dressing, neither of my subs are utterly horrible (at two-fitty apiece).

One thing I'd give blood for is a MM 5 string through-body bridge assembly *with mute pads*. Due to getting shot a lot, I can't mute the B & E strings with resting fingertips, so mute pads on the bottom end would curtail string resonance/sympathetic harmonic feedback..

[I listened to various examples of the SD Alnico 5 drop-in. Not good.]
 
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