A review of my Schertler Stat-B

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Basschair, Jan 11, 2008.


  1. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

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    I started another thread about issues I was having with my now month-old Stat-B, and as it turns out the issue was that I had a brain fart. The pickup/preamp are just fine. In the process of getting help, I received a reply request and a pm request to post my thoughts and experiences with this particular pickup, so here's the new thread on it.

    First off, here's some information about me and my setup:

    When I started playing, I'd been playing EB for about 8 years. I made the transition in college, and studied exclusively classical with minimal pizz. This was about 11 years ago. I've recently started to do the jazz books/charts thing, and I do alright. My theory is very good, albeit based on classical and "20th century) type stuff. Anyway, I've worked pretty hard to emulate the predominate pizz techniques I've seen/heard, especially Reid's approach to creating an even, balanced sound from bottom to top. I still bow quite a bit, about 60/40 bow/pizz.

    I'm playing through the following: custom Wilfer 4 with a deeper rib and C extension (wooden, diatonically stopped). Belcanto long E, Evah Pirazzi A, Permanent D/G. I've got a Realist (newer version) under the E foot of the bridge, and the Stat-B tucked into the hole under the G side arm of the bridge. I'm also using the Stat Pre (not the pre AII or AIII). I took a signifigant amount of time shaping the cork of the Stat-B to get the right fit: I cut off some excess and used an emory board to slowly remove the remaining excess cork to fit it just right: nice and snug, won't fall out, but can easily be removed. I'm running directly into an AI Contra 310 BA with no extension cabinet (yet), with the bright knob halfway between a clockface's 12 and 1, the mid knob at about 11...the others are at 12.

    First I should say that I'm still not completely satisfied with my sound just yet. That's because I'm looking to get the signals of the Realist and the Schertler signals blended together before going into the AI. That said, I've been practicing pizz (Paul Chambers bass line) and bowing (straight, slow scales and some Rabbath stuff).

    Pizz: the sound I'm getting is nice and clean, a nice little thud at the attack of the pitch followed by a good sustain. The Schertler picks up the dynamic sounds well (stronger attacks as well as softer). I'm not getting much string noise at all, which isn't what I'd expected. I tried a Stat-B last year at Bruce Sexauer's shop, and it was pretty darn bright with a lot of string sound. At any rate, it's a bit weak in the low E range unless you give it a bit more pull on the string. That could, of course, be due to the Belcanto's character. Other than this, I think the Stat-B does very well: clean and dynamically sensitive, which is what I expect. I'd like to augment the clear character with the EQ rather than try to correct a pickup's undesirable aspects. Hope that makes sense.

    Arco: this was actually a surprise. I forget which website had sound clips of different pickups played both pizz and arco, but the Stat-B arco example was really bad to my ears. After spending some time working through some bowed exercises, I'd have to say that it can work well as a pickup for bowing...you just have to be careful. It picks up and transmits the sound very clearly, and if your technique isn't...well...up to where it should be, you might not want to rely on it as a bowing pickup. If you have a good touch to the bow, without a heavy right arm, and have a good sense for vibrato, it can sound pretty good. It's a bit lacking on the beef, but it's still got a nice bold sound.


    A few points of concern...

    First, the belt clip is optional. That's pretty lame considering the pre is about the size of the K&K Bass Master dual pre (about 2"x3"). To me, it's silly to think this thing could just sit on the floor. I've already pulled out the cable from the pickup to the pre a number of times accidentally.

    Second, the pre shouldn't be overloading the AI, but it seems like it might be. Running it to the low ohm in has a minimal distortion in higher volumes when I really bear down on the string. The high ohm in has a lot of distortion. The effect return (which AI lists as a post-pre in, I believe) has a lot of distortion as well. I've been known to be electrically challenged, so the mistake may be mine, or the AI (bought it used last year) could be needing some servicing. Actually, scratch that...I think it's the amp, as it sounds like the Realist is doing it as well.

    So, for what it's worth, those are my first impressions of the Schertler Stat-B after the first month of use. Let me know if you'd like me to try something specific with it...
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

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    Have you tried it on the E string side? That's where I have mine and get better response overall.
  3. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

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    Not yet, though I figured I'd get around to it this coming week. Do your upper strings end up sounding thinner?
  4. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

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    The G string does seem to be a bit weaker sounding this way on one of my basses, but all in all, it works better on both of my basses on the E side and I'm happy with the sound.

    I had the use of one of their older two element PUs before I bought the Stat B and really liked it. Maybe a Stat B in each side would be ideal.
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  6. Jeremy Darrow

    Jeremy Darrow

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    Thanks for the post Paul.
    Jeremy
  7. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

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    You know, I think Renaud Garcia-Fons might have it set up like that. I've got the DVD and could swear there are two corks, one on each side. Instead of sinking another $320 into it, I'm looking to see if I can borrow a D-Tar Solstice to blend the Stat with a little bit of the Realist.


    No worries, just let me know if you've got any more questions :)
  8. stockbass

    stockbass

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    If I'm correct the schertler was first constructed using two elements, just like an underwood. That design has been replaced by the current choice of one pu. I do not know why the design has changed. Perhaps due to phase issues :meh:
  9. dperrott

    dperrott

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    Schertler did make the first ones with 2 cork elements. I don't know why he ever changed it. Well I know he said there were phase problems but I never experienced it. I use the old 2 element version. I think it sounds better than the 1 element. I had a 2 element one and it died. I replaced it with a new 1 element but wasn't crazy about it. I was fortunate to buy an old 2 element one from a guy here on this site. The Schertler can be tricky. If it’s too tight or too loose it won’t sound great. I like the arco sound but it is a little louder arco than pizz but that’s how a bass works! I also have a Gage but don’t like it. It’s too dark and thuddy. There are a few people who use the stat but not many. Charlie Haden, Greg Cohen and Barry Guy use the old 2 element one. I would like to try a Wilson. I should try to see if someone has a used one.
    David
  10. bolo

    bolo Supporting Member

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    That's exactly what Rick Jones told me. He used one of the older 2 cork models at one time too.

    I always thought maybe they were looking for a way to reduce the cost, and thus kind of put it in a different market niche than their DYN-B. But I could be all wet.
  11. Edinjazz

    Edinjazz

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    You know, they have the Stat Vintage which includes two sensors in both sides of the bridge. I am waiting to get mine. I just got endorsed with them and I went for it because of all the real good things I've heard about it and based on my short experience trying.

    I am really concerned whether it will get me the sound results I am looking for. You see I'd like to get as acoustic as possible and most other pickups always color the sound into being electronic more or less. I also use an actual mic (DPA 4099 B - also a brand I am endorsed with) and its the best, but unfortunately in many live situations, it feedbacks (like supposedly does the Dyn-B). Let me know if you can give me any extra comments on it - I play tons of Jazz, Latin, World music and Classical (mostly chamber) music. Thanks!
  12. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

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    Wow, haven't seen this thread in a while (about five years :)).
    I still have the Schertler stat b on my bass, playing through a Coda R amp. I still like it a lot, but am bummed that since that time Schertler released the Vintage. Think I would have loved it. With mine: pizz is great for d/g strings, not so hot with e/a. The cork has shrunk over time, so I need to put the varnish on it as the company suggests to tighten up the fit.
    I was really surprised by just how much I liked the sound under the bow. Really clear, rich sound that was great, all four strings.

    I actually have the DPA 4099 as well and am still tinkering to get the best sound...gotta keep working on that.

    At any rate, with the stat b, for the moment I'm running signal from it simultaneously with a Realist to my Coda. It fills out the low end really well, so I imagine the stat vintage with its two signals would be great, albeit with a slight deficiency in the lowest freqs.

    Please let us know how things turn out :)
  13. Edinjazz

    Edinjazz

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    I will get the Schertler on Monday so will get to it ASAP. I want to believe (and thats what the guys in Schertler told me) that the two sensor thing will cover the full range of the bass. I do have the Fishman Full Circle (my other endorsers) which is great as a piezo pickup 9but I always prefer the natural sound - hence the search for Schertler) and funny enough, I am also affiliated with the DPA guys. DPA is definitely most amazing bass mic I have tried so far - on big stages I need nothing else but the DPA running into the house console to get the most natural and beautifully organic sound (of course, I do sometimes have y amp on stage, depending what the situation is). Just yesterday night, I only used the DPA with the monitors is a huge theater and the sound was filling the stage and the whole with natural organic bass silk...:)
    SO my hopes for Schertler are to get as much organic a sound to almost match the acoustic mic in order to be able to have a natural sound in my amp on small club gigs and small stages. I use the Acoustic Image Ten2. THanks and I will let you know how it goes. If you have any more tips or suggestions let me know. Thanks so much!
  14. bassfox

    bassfox Supporting Member

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    I have been using the single capsule version for the last couple of months mounted on the E-string side of the bridge. Sound was to thin on when mounted on the treble side. Perhaps because it is 5-string bass strung with a high C.

    It sounds like my bass amplified. When I was first testing it out a member of my bluegrass band who is anti pickups was blown away by how true to the sound of the bass it was.

    Bowing response is absolutely superb. which was my main reason for purchasing.

    I have been using a cork wedge for mounting purposes. You need to experiment with how tight of a fit you have. The tone and sound change dramatically. Mine is fairly tight but could see this being different from bass to bass.

    If you cup you hand around the capsule it will feedback like any microphone.

    Been curious about the double capsule version. So please keep us posted.
  15. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

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    There's another thread that I posted this info in, but briefly, I experimented with two capsules into one preamp and I heard a phasing effect that I wasn't crazy about. Schertler suggested reversing the up/down direction of one of the capsules, but that didn't really eliminate it. I went back to using one capsule and am pretty satisfied. The Stat B gives a pure, natural sound and with good amplification and eq, it's a fine product. I've been using it for 10 years or so and it does the job.
  16. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

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    Is the mic mounted as the company suggests (albeit under the opposite wing), pointed straight at your E, or do you have it angle inward slightly, maybe pointing a bit towards the A?
  17. bassfox

    bassfox Supporting Member

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    Pointed straight up at the E string. Tried it pointing down on both sides. Arco was great however pizz had a lose some definition/volume.
  18. Edinjazz

    Edinjazz

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    Hey guys, so I have tried the Stat-B Vintage road set (that's with two sensors and the Yellow blender) for the first time today - so far it took a bit of adjusting to do but I got a sound very close to that of a mic. The EQ has to be rolled below zero (on the cut side) and there are different settings to all the frequencies. However, I have only tried it pizz - tomorrow will try it with the bow. It seems like it doesn't have that much volume, but the sound is really beautiful. The E string seems to pop just a bit above the other strings. There was a bit of a background sound (like with a mic, when there is wind, and my sizzling heater seemed to have been the cause of it). If the EQ rolled higher, above the "0" (flat) position, it starts to sound a little more forced, compressed and less natural. Again, general output isn't quite as high as of Piezo pickups but the sound is much much more natural. So far, I am mostly happy with it, but won't really tell you till I try it tomorrow, both with Pizz and Bow and until I do a few gigs with it and see it in "real time" action...keep sharing your experiences...more to come from here...

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