Fishman BP-100 Easy on and off?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Eric Hochberg, Dec 5, 2012.


  1. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

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    Wondering if this pickup can be easily switched among a few basses and if it would hold up over time?
     
  2. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

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    Eric,
    Well, in a word no. I had a BP-100 for several years, and then went back using the Underwood, because it sounded so much better. Another thing you have to consider, is that the BP-100 has a copper ground wire running from the 1/4" jack that is wound around the ball ends of all four strings to eliminate 60 cycle hum, so it's very inconvenient to undo that ground every time you change the pickup out. Finally, when you move it from bass to bass you're going to eventually encounter an instrument that doesn't have a flat enough mounting surface to accept the installation clips that Fishman provides. So, IME you can move it but it's a PITA.
    When you add the possibility of cracking one of the elements by forcing the clip on to hard, (I've seen other players do this) pulling one of the wires out of the piezo elements, of breaking the copper ground wire ( I had this happen under normal conditions when I had to take the BP-100 of my bass) it's not worth it to me.
    Personally, I think it's easier to shim an Underwood, if it's to loose, or widen the gap, if it's to tight. The Ehrlund is perfect for this provided, it works on all the basses you are using it on. I've been using it for two years now without a hitch. Unfortunately, you run the possibility that it won't work on a particular bass.

    Ric
     
  3. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

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    Thanks, Ric. I won't recommend the BP for this purpose then. I suggested the Ehrlund, Vector, and Dyn B. Any others? No bridge work allowed.
     
  4. Michael Case

    Michael Case

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    I have a Bass Max, I only have the one bass, but it is pretty easy to remove and install.
     
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  6. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

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    I had a BP-100 in college. It's pretty delicate pickup and sounds thin.
    I also have a Bass Max pickup and love it. Great price, great sound - even sounds decent arco. I did have to file the bridge wing / kidney area to get the right fit. After that, it's simple to put on / take off.
     
  7. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

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    Eric,
    The Barcus Berry B3150 is easily removed from the bridge. Ray Drummond used to swear by them. He sounded great to me using one, of course he's Ray Drummond!:)

    http://barcusberry.com/product.cfm?ProductID=22
     
  8. robgrow

    robgrow

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    The relative merits of the sound of the BP-100 aside, the real issue is getting the clips that hold the two pickup elements in place to fit properly. They need to be snug without being too tight. Also the pickup elements need to be in intimate contact with the bridge. If the mating surface isn't perfectly flat or there is a significant buildup of rosin, the pickup won't work as best it can.

    The ground wire is not an issue. I would recommend cutting it off, as it really isn't necessary.

    Other than that, the BP-100 is easy to install and uninstall (and relatively easy to move between various basses). I believe some players like George Mraz carry a BP-100 for this purpose when traveling.

    As far as longevity, I know players who have used a BP-100 for many years (20, 30 or more) without any problems.
     
  9. GrowlerBox

    GrowlerBox

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    The Realist SoundClip is designed for this very purpose. Not everyone is thrilled by its tone, although I have no issue with it that can't be fixed by EQ.
     
  10. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

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    I could not get a usable sound on a gig with it, which is why I didn't mention it. Didn't work well on either of my basses or on Mike Arnopol's bass. Glad it works for you.
     
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

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    I usually recommend the Underwood for this. Because it's thin, it can almost always be fitted with some folded paper if the bridge wing is too wide. The Bass Max is also a good option, but because it's thicker, it's sometimes thicker than the gap in the bridge wing, in which case you'd have to file out the wing to make it fit. If you're in a hurry, you're SOL.
     
  12. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

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    +1
    The Underwood is a really durable pickup, and as long as you're careful with the leads connecting the two elements, and the connecting lead, it can
    be easily switched out. It's only drawback is the tone it produces with a bow. Using it for Arco passages, requires a dual EQ section on the amp or a EQ Pedal. For this reason, it's not an ideal pickup for musicals and shows, where you have to switch back and forth between Arco and Pizzicato.

    Ric
     
  13. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

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    I've also had positive experiences with the Barcus Berry. I have a couple at school we use on violin and viola.... The violinist in my band has one and it sounds great.
     
  14. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

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    I was a long time Underwood user, but with any wing pickup, the slot would have to be widened if it is too narrow, and there are also those strange bridges with curvy upper wing tops that have little surface for a wing pickup to meet. I need something that can work on any bass without any alteration.

    Now that I think of it, my second pickup, a Barcus Berry that was just a bar that stuck to the bridge with putty could be a good way to go. Haven't seen that old design offered though and I sure don't remember how it sounded.
     
  15. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

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    I would go with the Barcus Berry. Easy on / off. No mods required and sounds great.
     

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