Full circle sounds too bassy

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Fat bob, Feb 17, 2014.


  1. Fat bob

    Fat bob

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado mountains
    Hello fellow bassists!

    I have recently upgraded my bass, during my 3 recent gigs it has sounded horrrrrrrrible!

    I use to play a ply (shen 80)- fishman full circle- gk mb 150. Amplified, it sounded great, good mid rangy growl, cut through nice. I upgraded to a hybrid (shen 150). The amplified sound is distorted, bass heavy and caused the speaker to make a weird buzzing sound. I've caulked the amp, so that's not it. I've added the FDeck, which takes the distortion away, and takes the weird buzzing away- probably caused from too much real low requency...But the midrange punch/ growl is not there. The sound is real bassy. It is at least manageable with the FDeck, thank you Francis! When I turn the pickup (to slightly alter the tone) I get little if any difference. The threads are facing up into the bridge.

    I would like to trouble shoot this by trying threads down, but that may involve buying a new bridge, and no garantees still. Is it possible to retro- fit this into my current bridge? <-------?

    Disclaimer: I have spent hours reading similar posts and used the search function extensively.

    I think I may take off the pick up an ensure that the bridge foot is completely flush...again. I will open the pickup and check the piezos, but assuming these two things aren't the issue, where do I go from here?

    The threads up vs threads down thing has me intruiged- but maybe Iam being to cheap in not trying another bridge?

    THANK YOU for any responses!
  2. geoffbassist

    geoffbassist UK Double Bassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    I have tried it with threads up and down and much prefer it threads down. It was a lot less defined and with too much low end with threads up on my bass. Personally I think its worth having it fitted threads down, but its a gamble of a new bridge as there are so many variables it may not help. Tough call, but if your current bass is the same body size as the old one I would get the FC swapped over. If your new bass is bigger and naturally a lot boomier that might be at the root and it wouldn't improve it enough.....
  3. Fat bob

    Fat bob

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado mountains
    Less defined and too much bass is exactly how I'd describe the sound. Same body size. Thanks Geoffbassist, sounds like a very educated suggestion for a new bridge.
  4. geoffbassist

    geoffbassist UK Double Bassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    Honestly I would as I think its worth the expense and am a big fan of the FC, but its always a bit of a gamble with these things.....Good luck!
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  6. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Ventura County
    Which HPF model do you have? Have you tried dialing it up to cut down on the low end rumble? That's what I have to do with my SB 80 (not a FC, but still a piezo).

    BTW, love the user name.
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    Media:
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    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    +1 to what Geoff says above. A retro fit is possible, but would be fairly expensive.
  8. Fat bob

    Fat bob

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado mountains
    Steve, my series 3 has eliminated the distortion and speaker buzz, but I am still not happy. Geoff and Steve, I will take your much appreciated advice and purchase a new bridge to mount threads down, like you both do. I can't thank you guys enough for responding- and responding with lightning speed! This has been the bane of my existence for over a week.

    I noticed the bridges from Golliur are threads up, I wonder if they'll do a threads down for similar price, or if there is a better suggestion where to find one. A trip to the luthier won't be possible for quite some time.
  9. d.Fly

    d.Fly

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Location:
    PACIFIC PALISADES, CA
    You should try it without the FDeck first. I found that Fdeck 3's 10mgOhm impedance was way warmer than going straight into my Aguilar tonehammer 500... with tons of bass. It sounded fantastic when we rehearsed in a well tuned recording studio, but had little definition on a very boomy club stage. I removed the FDeck and all the definition returned! Then I EQ'd out the midrange honk. Its a simple and free solution if it works for you.
  10. jdombrow

    jdombrow

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Have you tried rotating the Full Circle to different positions? Try 45 degrees or 90 degrees from its current position.
  11. Fat bob

    Fat bob

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado mountains
    I have tried my set up through different amps, with and without the FDeck and rotated the wheel. I also have tried many settings on the FDeck. I will try the new bridge as soon as I can find one either online, or perhaps my luthier will let me swap mine out if he has one with threads down. I will post my findings once I can locate a new bridge.
  12. Fat bob

    Fat bob

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado mountains
    I am now a bit confused. I just got off the phone with the luthier have used regularly. He said he really didn't think the bridge was the problem. He asked me if it sounded good before on my other bass, which was also threads up. The full circle worked great on my previous bass, threads up- couldn't argue there. He encouraged me to contact fishman customer support. He told me to wait to open it up to check the piezos, as this may void any warranty. They are closed today for pres. day, I will try tomorrow.

    I will definitely want to make sure the pickup is ok before I spring for a new bridge. It did work great threads up before... I am not convinced the pickup is 100% because I don't hear any difference in tone when I rotate the adjuster. Hmmmmmm...
  13. Fat bob

    Fat bob

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado mountains
    So, I have fixed the problem I guess, for the time being.

    Still the bass plugged straight in sounds too bassy, unfocused. The real low frequencies are so bad that the speaker on the mb150 get a funny metallic like sizzle buzz that seems to come from the speaker rim. I can get a functional sound by either:
    A) using the low frequency cut function on the mb 150 + cutting bass to 9 o'clock or
    B) adding the FDeck series 3

    I did b) at a drummerless jazz gig this week, I got a couple of comments that my bAss sounded better than ever. I was happy with the tone.

    Do others find that the FDeck is essential to their rig to eliminate the real low frequencies??
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

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    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    A high pass filter helps make my amplified sound more like my acoustic sound, yes.
  15. Stereo Joe

    Stereo Joe

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    I have the same bass and pickup as you, Fat bob, only my Full Circle is installed threads up. However, when I first got the bass, it had a lesser quality bridge with adjusters installed threads down. I was using the Full Circle pickup with the older bridge as well so I've experienced it both with threads up and threads down on the same bass. Honestly, I didn't hear a huge difference in the sound. Any variation in tone could be attributed to the new bridge or the sound post adjustment I had done at the same time.

    I do get quite a lot of bass response from the Full Circle on my Shen SB150. I roll off a lot of low end using the high pass filter on my amp (same thing you're doing with the Fdeck). I often cut mids in the 600 - 700hz range and might boost the high end as well. One thing I've also noticed is that reversing the phase (an option on my amp and I believe on the Fdeck units) can help the sound at louder volume levels. At each gig, I always flip the phase switch a few times when sound checking and leave it where it sounds best - sometimes that can help a lot with getting rid of a peaky, uneven sound. When I can, I also like to get the amp farther away from me - it seems to sound better that way.

    I guess what I'm saying is that unless you need a new bridge, I wouldn't bother with the expensive modification. Flipping the Full Circle upside down probably won't change it's general sound that much. It has it's own tone and it's own advantages and disadvantages. I like it because it sounds very natural at low volumes and even when pushed louder, though less natural, it has a sound that tends to work reasonably well in most situations (with a bit of help from an EQ). If your bass is anything like mine, it's a little on the dark side tonally and can push a good bit of bottom - maybe more than your previous bass.

    Just for reference, I play mostly jazz with my upright - a lot of society/business function wallpaper stuff in weird sounding rooms of all sizes, concerts in theatre/soft-seater/listening venues, and also late-night, loud, progressive jazz in noisy bars.
  16. Fat bob

    Fat bob

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado mountains
    Thanks Stereo Joe,
    You having the same bass and pickup gives me a better idea of what's happening. There is a lot more low end coming from this bass than my older ply. I still wonder if my pickup is 100%, the low end actually distorts both through my mb150 and 700rb. It causes strange sizzle buzz still through the mb 150, but +FDeck and all is cured. The only other way I can fix it is to eq bass way down and use the low end filter. It sounds ok-ish this way but not as good as + FDeck. I'd like to open the pickup and see if all the crystals are intact, but now that everything sounds ok- good even- I'll let it be. I guess a 9v every couple gigs is not a big deal.
  17. Stereo Joe

    Stereo Joe

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    Yeah, I had a bum Full Circle before so it's a possibility. The other thing is that the Full Circle is quite a hot pickup and it could be overdriving the input of your amp. My Full Circle will clip my Acoustic Image amp's input if I play aggressively (even after I had the input gain modified lower on the amp). I often use a separate preamp in front to help tame the signal.

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