Upgrade Day! Anyone Else Upgrading?

I see you have already given it some thought!
Yeah you’d be able to pimp a sub4 out for not that much outlay ,but you can also spend a little more and get some high end components to bring it up a level from where the manufacturer had to save money.
I get the argument that people often have- should have just bought a…insert whatever brand…but I think that starting with a solid base/bass and adding quality on top still sort of pays of.

As for the vinyl ,my equipment and the computer that had the software are long gone. But any vector file extension can be made readable to a cutter/plotters. CAD would work as would many others. The beauty of an exact file though would be putting in the little bits,like the holes for screws and such that would sit perfectly.

Any small outfit that makes custom car vinyl or a small printing shop could do this for you.
I’m playing with the idea of getting a cutter/printer all in one unit…but atm it’s just an idea.
There are two main ways of getting your designs on vinyl - old school layering of vinyl, where every colour is a separate piece laid on top of each other- this makes the design feel very present and it pops,for the lack of better vernacular and then there is printing ,that can look amazing ,but lacks a but of presence.
The advantage of print is limitless complexity of design and colour where with old school you can run into problems even past three colours.

I had a quick butcher’s at what is available and the prices are crazy for what it actually is.
But on the other hand a good plotter/printer/cutter is the same price as pretty every money of my dream basses!

Wish my fridge/freezer didn’t commit harakiri over night…cos that has pretty much killed my pimp up budget !

1 Like

damn fridge / freezer.
I moved last October into an apartment and needed a fridge. I found a company that advertises on Offer Up, not to far away and they refurb them and sell them for between $200 and $350 depending on age, brand, size, etc… I got a 21cf Idk what without looking, but it was a name brand for $275. works like a dream
Just a thought, unless you have need for a large, new fridge for a family home, there are decent refurbs for a slice of the price.

1 Like

Had to get a new one ine in the end. Got a repair man out first ,but he couldn’t save her…so I’ll have to be happy with the Sub4 as it is for now,but hey- at least I can have a cold one while playing :grinning:

Should have just bought the real thing from the start :slight_smile:

The PGA-58 has been good but I am hoping the actual SM-58 will work better in my apartment conditions. It is slightly more sensitive.


I had several mics, and the SM58 is one of the only two I finally kept (the other one being a Senheiser e906)

1 Like

I just changed the pickguard on my Ray4. Swapped the standard black one for a parchment pearl. I first considered a white pearl, but with the maple neck and cream strap it wouldn’t look right.
So now I have absolutely no improvement in my bass sound, but I just like it better. Good enough reason to change I would say.

I am considering a John East preamp and maybe a Bartolini pickup. With all those upgrades it would still be cheaper that a Ray24CA (if only just…)


Het oog wil ook wat :wink:

For non-Dutch speakers: “the eye wants something as well”

1 Like

My Zero Fret arrived. I plan to install it on the Hofner as soon as my LaBella flats arrive so I can do both at once.


looking forward to how it turns out


I really like that, that looks fantastic. I think that blue Ray4 should come with white, or reversible pick guard at least, so you could choose white or black.
White would be better then black in this set up, but the fancy parchment pearl you did, looks really good.

I have been waiting for my new pickguard so I can change it on my Ray 4 too. (I have that blue one as well, and just by seeing yours, I know it is the right thing to do, it looks alot better with just adding white.

I am adding this, but it is already 3 days past the guaranteed delivery on Ebay. Sure, I get a $5 credit, but I don’t buy a bunch on ebay anyway.

I do want another pickg uard for my white EBMM Stingray Slo Special, and I might go with a bright red pearl, or just solid red, or red mirror, of another custom order, there are some I I really like, but cost is kind fo silly. But I want to make the bass pop.

your white guard to the dark blue really makes it pop, and I think the Diamond plate will help it to pop too.

but for a white bass, I want eirher solid red to pop like fire, or a type of red like

or from a great movie

or even just shock value is fun too…


and I actually like this one, for either bass, but for $65, that is 1/5 the cost of the Ray4, and while it is not alot compared to the Ray is is still more then I. wanna dump into a pickguard

For now, or when it arrives, I am putting the Faux Diamond Plate (first one that I showed, that I have ordered and am waiting for) on my blue ray 4, and putting the black one on the SBMM SLO, cuz I can’t stand that tortoise one it came with. black on white is boring still, but IMO better then tortoise.

I put in an agiular pick up and no pre-amp, and the pick up alone sounds so much better then the stock one, I am fine with it like that.
I don’t really want or need the added band and having stacked control knobs, and the sound of the pick up with the stock pre-amp worked for me and made me happy with the huge sound quality improvement it gave me.

Are you following the LowEnd Lobster videos? He has done a bunch of Ray4 upgrades to Ray4’s with combo pick up, like EMG pick up and EMG pre-amp, to mixes like you are talking, bertolini with Nick East

Tone Monster is a good solid affordable pre-amp that some of the guys on Youtube that Lobster pals around with, like Bully the Kid and Johnny Lee something, and those other guys.

If you have not checked out LowEndLobster on YouTube, I would highly suggest watching his upgrades, and his complete reviews on each, and then a head to head shoot out on all the rays he modded.

If you have been watching his channel, then listen to me no more. LOL

oh yeah, but I would ask that you check out he video where he only puts in the Aguilar pick up

and then a later video he puts in a pre-amp so that the Aguilar has a pre-amp driving it. Listen to each video, I forget what he said, but my own years, I couldn’t hear how that pre-amp made the pick up sound any better then the stock pre-amp did.
Granted, you had the greater frequency control with the hi-miss one low

You might find the pick up sound you like and the stock pick up might be good enough, and you save $150 on average.

But if you do swap the pre-amp, you will be electronically superior to Ray24, cuz although they have an upgraded pick up from the Ray4 (not much) the pre-amp is identical, so any time you swap it ot, you will have more.

but, unless you swap it with another 2 band pre-amp (why???) your bass control plate will need more modification, and sometimes drilling a jack hole for instrument cable.
Also, the body is nicer on the Ray4, the Ray24 is a thin flat slab body

I just love the Toluca Lake Blue on the Ray24

1 Like

time to upgrade my DAI




yeah, way more powerful than my antique Line 6 UX1 !


Nice one @terb.

Me, it is my turn to upgrade my DAI as well.
My Zoom started acting out and would start getting weirs static distortion out of the headphone monitor port. I would re-set it and it woud be normal for a little bit, then start all over. I checked batteries, I checked wires, I unplugged it, I charged everytthing that needed charging, and still it kept happening.
I have wanted to swap out the Zoom U-22 for a while now anyway. It is a great little unit, but ergonomically for me, it doesn’t fit me well. And I have had conversations with others that like the fit and feel and placement of the features just fine, but It just isn’t for me, I like what I replaced it with, it is about as perfect as I could get (for my liking). The Presonus and Focusrite and Behringer all look similar and have similar inputs and buttons and knobs, but this one is a little different, and I am really attracted to the layout andsize of the box and overall fit in my space.
I can sort of anchor this one in place, so to plug in or out, or make adjustmets, I don’t need a 2nd hand all the time to keep the think in place, one of the gripes I had with the Zoom (and I did not want to velcro it)




sitting in its new home.

I am liking it so far with set up and preleminary checks.

It comes with an instruction manual, and a waranty card, and there is a free 3 month trial to most of the DAW’s. Just like everybody else does, but this one does not have one that you get full access to for free like some of them do.

I bet you could log onto the sites they are directing me to and get a free 3 months weather I bought this item or not, but oh well, I like the little unit and small price tag of $68 on amazon after some check box discounts are applied at check out.

1 Like

I have one other upgrade to do tonight, if I can decide which one.

I got a new pick guard. Well, I got two, but one is 5 days late, and I have asked the eBay seller to send a new one.
The first one I ordered for my Blur Ray4,
it was this one

It has not arrived.

I also ordered a black pearl one the other day from Amazon when I got the DAI. It came on time (thanks Amazon, you never do me wrong - Ebay, WTF wrong with you --jk, I know it is smaller people and weather and covid have been playing a big part getting stuff thru Texas, and the seller is on the other side of Texas from me, but still, WHERE IS MY SHIT)

So, I couldn’t decide for the pickguard for the White bass, it has tortoise and I can’t stand it. I wanted something that poped, but most of the flashy colors or designs are a pit pricey and I only had a little bit to put towards this next pick guard.
So, I found the nicest Pick Guard I could get on Amazon PRIME with 2 day shipping and pay only $10

Now that it is hear, IDK if I should use it on the white EBMM SLO special, or use it on the Sterling Ray4, and put the diamond plate on the EBMM white SLO Special???

What you think.
I think I will put it on the white and wait for the diamond plate and put it on the blue one. If when the diamond plate comes, if it is so cool, and looks way better on the white one as well, I will get another. it was very reasonable price considering plain colors run around $35-$45 and it was $27
and this Black Pearl that I got from Amazon, they run as hhigh as $65 elsewhere and this one was $10. looks as good as any other I have seen, and is made good, has protective film, has nice holes with no burrs or plastic flash on them. it is chamfered nicely, and it comes with screws.
Plus, I fet check both basses, and it fits.
So, yeah, anybody that has seen black pearl pick guards and wants to swap their plain black one with black pearl to add some pizazz to your bass, look on amazon, they are there, you just have to find the right seller that has them for Prime shipping. I will try to link it later.

Here is the pictures for comparison, which do you like


Yeah, I think black pearl on the White, and the diamond plate on the Blue.
What do you all think?

Course if I never get that diamond plate, I may go black pearl or parchment, or red pearl of something like that here.


That diamond plate is gonna be hard to beat on any color but yeah blue would be especially good.

1 Like

I know it is Faux Diamond Plate, and, printed on vinyl, but it would be cool to get it printed in colored diamond plate, like Red, Blue, Some Greens, Orange, idk, anything and everything, it would be cool.

I wish I could have gotten the Real Diamond Pate one that was cut on a CNC that @terb linked me to on Reverb, but it was sold.
I could at least color that one, with pens, or paints, nail polish, whatever. I cold find dome punk rock chick that likes to color shit and have her go to town
If you do it on this one, it will just cover up the diamond plate graphic

Its not that it is that important, it is just so hard to find pick guards for such an iconic bass, you think they would sell more and more, especially to the Ray4 users, but when the average price for a cool one is 1/5 the cost of the bass, and you might want to drop in a new pick up, screw the pick guard or find a cheap copy like I did. LOL. Its like that for so many basses and guitars tho, if I could market it properly, I would get a small table sized cnc high speed router and make custom pick guards, cover plates, whatever could be made out of simple pickguard material to customize peoples guitar / bass for cheap.
It woldn’t be too expensive to get set up, would just need to advertise some how.
Probably make a youtube channel and make a couple pickguards on the site, but not show what machine you are using, just look at this pick guard material, won’t this. make a cool pick guard or electronics cover, and then show it assembled on a bass, and then say now click like and follow the link to the order form for you own custom pickguards and if you have any style or text or lettering, etc… we can do it.
Yeah, I don’t have the machine, just the knowhow. the machine won’t cost crazy much, but cost enough to get a high speed one. (high speed in machining means high spindle rotation, so High Speed =. Fast RPM spindles
High speed as in fast moving machines equals. High Feed machines
and then there is High Precision which is very accurate (high accuracy) machines machines and put them all together and it is High Performance machining

All we need for this one is a high speed (fast rmp) so we can cut the plastic fast with super sharp cutters and compressed cool air so it doesn’t melt.

could write the program to cut that in about 10 min or less (start to posted code) and cut it in 5 min or less if done right, but if you had a big enough table, you could gang them up, but you don’t need that if you are doing one off’s for customers custom designs.

Hey, then we could make cool Bass Buzz pick guards and thumb rests and block inlays, and other cool stuff. Hey Josh, wanna get a little high speed cmc table router for me?


I’m having the same thoughts since I spoke to you on here.

A smallish cnc router and a vinyl cutter/printer and it’s off to the races.

I mentioned the car graphics places to you last time and I contacted three in my town…none of them even got back to me! I just wanted my control plate and pickguard wrapping…5 minute job.

Worst thing- I have found some funky vinyl( colour change stuff,depending on angle of light) from when I had a little shop that did that sort of stuff,but the pieces that are perfect are from a sample swatch and a few centimetres too small!


I bought a Sterling SUB Sterling. (not a Stingray from Sterling, a Sterling from Sterling, they made them for a few years, but the quality was pretty poor)
I paid $90 for it on Offer Up, and I liked it, but it was not the best of the basses I had at the time, but I threw it in the mix with the Ibanez SR 300 and SR 400, and LTD B-4E.

It was black with white pick guard. about as boring as you can get. I really like some flair.

I thought getting an Orange pick guard would be as simple as typing in Orange Stingray Pickguard in a Amazon search, and there would be plenty to choose from. (I didn’t even know I had a SBMM Sterling at the time, I thought it was a Stingray, little did I know back then)
This was my first experience with looking for pick guards.

So, I got some Orange Vinyl sticker, 12" x 12", and I applied it to the pick guard, and trimmed it down with a razor blade (it would have been better with an x-acto knife, but I didn’t have one.
I didn’t get it perfect, I am not really good with things like that, but it was not terrible, just a few smaller bubbles, that I poked and pressed down.

From a distance it looked great, and I know there are pictures posted of it here somewhere.

When no other option presents itself, and it is a $90 bass, stickers work. :rofl:

But when I want to pimp something out, I need to find a better source.

1 Like

You’d think that there would be all the pickguards, full and vinyl only, one could imagine…but while you can find some cool ones for sure,the prices are a bit off.

I mean upwards of sixty squid for 2mm bit of wood?!
I don’t mind when it is a proper piece of art that someone put hours into…then sure ,there’s no limit to what one could cost.

Have you looked at Etsy? There are a few vynil kits for many guitars and some bass ones too…but you’ve guessed it…no stingrays to be found.
I was going to contact a seller to make me one,but I’d have to join up,get an account…

I’m going to focus on getting the pickups and preamp first. Leaning towards creating a mutant out of my sub4. Alnico5 at the neck, neodymium at the bridge and a preamp made by basslab.
Have no idea how it will all work,but it will be a one of a kind Sub4…that could have been a ray34 by the time all is said and done( and spent):man_facepalming::man_shrugging::grin:

1 Like