Krivo Magnetic Pickup Review

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Bungee, May 13, 2012.


  1. Bungee

    Bungee

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    This is a great pickup - it functions exactly as advertised. It fills a tangible void in the acoustic bass transducer market.

    In the past, I have used a Revolution Solo (bridge-wing mounted) piezo, a Fishman Full Circle piezo (housed in a bridge adjuster), and a Schaller Magnetic pickup (attached to the end of the fingerboard).
    All of them worked well, offering various strengths and weaknesses. For non-arco play, the Krivo Humbucking Magnetic pickup is definitely my favorite.

    The main thing with this pickup is that it bridges the gap between the Schaller, which has tons of sustain and a very bright tone, and the piezos, which have better (shorter) sustain characteristics, but can be incredibly tough to EQ effectively and often lack volume when soloing in the upper register.

    What I mean specifically is that the Krivo is just GREAT in the upper midrange. The upper midrange of the Schaller is reminiscent of the bridge pickup of a Fender Jazz bass - it’s great for soloing and offers tons of (sometimes unwanted) sustain. The upper midrange characteristics of the piezos I’ve tried are not useful at higher volumes - there is too much piezo “honk” and excessive “thunk,” especially on the A string. But attenuating these frequencies sucks the life out of my tone, and just makes it difficult to distinguish pitch clearly. Furthermore, there is a tendency to lose “presence” in the upper registers, making it tough for higher notes to cut through as intended. For me, it’s hard to play my best when for all these reasons, it just doesn’t sound “right.” If this is a problem for you, the Krivo may very well be your best solution.

    With the Krivo, I find that I can either boost the upper midrange for enhanced clarity and richness, OR decrease the bass frequencies, thus “unmasking” the rich upper midrange tones WITHOUT THE PIEZO THUNK. The way this pickup sounds, I don’t think I’ll be blending it with a piezo either - that would just re-introduce the negative upper midrange issues inherent with piezos. The description of the proprietary microphonics really is accurate - the Krivo is not like other magnetic pickups. I can’t fully express in words how great this is - but somehow natural sustain characteristics are maintained, and it makes the resulting amplified signal “woody” and “huge,” just as advertised.

    The Krivo does NOT simply make your acoustic bass sound like a giant P-bass. I recently played a concert where I played both my acoustic bass with the Krivo AND my 50s Fender Precision bass. After the show, I specifically asked audience members about my tone and verified that the instruments did NOT sound the same, despite both having humbucking magnetic pickups.

    The Krivo is a great addition to my sonic toolbox. What I will likely do in the future is use the Fishman Full Circle for arco, and for those quiet gigs where I just need a little boost for sound “reinforcement.” But when I’m relying on my amplified signal to carry the day, there is no question that the Krivo Magnetic Humbucking pickup is the right tool for the job, and I will certainly use it.

    The tonal compromise/volume ratio is the best I have found to date. I cannot recommend this pickup highly enough. I understand that older designs of this pickup had some issues, but the newer incarnation that I own is stellar. I never want to be without one again. If you struggle with the upper mid-range and soloing/upper register volume issues I’ve described here, this pickup is a welcome solution. It is WELL WORTH the asking price in terms of ease of use, conceptual design, and construction. GREAT PRODUCT.
     
  2. engedi1

    engedi1

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Very interesting review. Where did you get yours and how much did it run you if you don't mind...
     
  3. Bungee

    Bungee

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH

    I acquired mine from Gollihur music. I believe you can also get them direct from the maker. Gollihur had it for $189.00 with free shipping!
     
  4. engedi1

    engedi1

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Can I ask what strings and amplifier do you use?
     
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  6. Bungee

    Bungee

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Sure I have aged Spirocore orchestra gauge A, D, and G and a stark E. I use a Gallien Krueger MB200 head with various cabinets, or a Fender Bassman 100 (100-watt 1 x 10 tilt back combo). My bass is a Shen SB100 (plywood).
     
  7. bassplayer48

    bassplayer48

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    I completely concur with the above review, i got mine yesterday and have to say i'm very happy, it does fill a void between bass guitar sounding mag pups and transducers.

    It has a nice warm woody kind of tone, i do find mixing in a tiny bit of underwood sounds good too. i run the Krivo at 3/4 gain and the underwood on 1/4 gain through the headway preamp and this sounds great. The best part is zero feedback! this pickup will be staying on the bass.

    If you are looking for an alternative to a trandsducer this adds a lot of flexibility and would suit any music style. A simple elegant solution to an age old problem.
     
  8. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    How does this pickup sound compared to the Biesele that I have?
    And is this pickup detachable? like the Biesele and Schaller
     
  9. MisterTree

    MisterTree

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    I just received my Krivo in the mail and am evaluating it to decide if I'll keep it. I love the tone, and the fact that it won't feed back on louder gigs is fantastic.

    However, the buzz is driving me to distraction. The pickup is buzzing at a consistent volume whether I'm playing the bass or not. Have you guys encountered this? Where do you set your treble settings?

    Bungee, I'm especially interested to hear where you're setting the treble knob on the GK MB200, as I'm using a GK MB500 through Euphonic Audio speakers.

    Thanks!
     
  10. Bungee

    Bungee

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Sorry I haven't replied sooner -I just saw this. I have no buzz at all with mine. It just sounds great. If you have a tweeter on the bass cabinet, you may want to shut it off. I don't normally turn the treble up past noon on the GK head except in extreme situations. If you are experiencing a buzz from the pickup, I'd request a replacement. Mine is dead quiet. Let us know what you decide.
     
  11. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'd like to hear some recordings of these pickups. The Gollihur site acknowledges what has usually plagued magnetic pickups. Specifically, that they achieve their signal via induction from the strings, thus largely missing the resonant properties of the bass itself[SUP]*[/SUP]. It seems that Krivo has attempted to alleviate this to some extent by "building in" a transfer function and some microphonic properties. In terms of sustain, etc., the best transducer I've experienced in terms of the reproduction of the attack/decay profile of the DB is the Ehrlund. Take a look here and here. I imagine that, in terms of the attack/decay profile, a characteristic fundamental to what makes any instrument identifiable, magnetic pickups, as a class, would not do very well. They may give a player what he/she wants but the question, for me anyway, is whether they end up transducing a signal that sounds like a DB. Granted, that's not always the primary ctriterion for some players. In any event, the proof is in the hearing, so I hope someone will post clips to go along with these.

    [SUP]*[/SUP]Yes, the body of the DB does mechanically "load" the strings and affect their response but this does not result in the pickup capturing the bulk of its resonant properties.
     
  12. Bungee

    Bungee

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    MisterTree, did you get your problem resolved?
     
  13. Dean The Bass

    Dean The Bass

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Monica, Ca.
    How do I get hold of Krivo?
     
  14. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Location:
    NYC, Inwood.
    I have the Krivo on my Merchant Vertical Bass, (Spiro Mittel)and am very pleased with it. No hum or buzz issues.
     
  15. Bungee

    Bungee

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
  16. Bungee

    Bungee

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
     
  17. vas

    vas

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Location:
    Blue Mountains Australia
    I have recently purchased and fitted one of these to my Atelier 3/4. Used to play loud acoustic oz rock covers of ac/dc, cold chisel, angels etc... in my trio. The magnetic pickup allows me to play loud and free of any feedback, but definitely it sounds more like a Pbass and cuts really well through the mix. I have used previous to the Krivo a Realist and a K&K, both of which fed back and were difficult to manage at stage volume. They sounded great at low volume. I am very happy with the Krivo and it requires very little tweaking from venue to venue, indoors or outdoors.
     
  18. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Add my name to a list of satisfied customers. I received mine recently and gigged it last night. It does not sound like I thought a magnetic pickup would. It is very organic and fat sounding. Good definition, and none of the "boom" that you get when playing at higher volume levels with a Piezo pickup. It does get a bit less natural as you move up the fingerboard(starts to sound like a fretless electric as you get into thumb position), however down low its pretty natural. Nice pickup for the money. Should work great for some of the blues gigs I play.
     
  19. Bungee

    Bungee

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I am very pleased to hear this pickup is working out for players. Bandleaders have made very positive comments to me since I switched to the Krivo. They notice the difference in my playing that the Krivo helps to bring out. I've been enjoying it since the first day, as it sounds great in quiet settings and difficult sonic environments alike. It really helps to keep things simple and fun. As a bonus, it works great with The Realist Docking Station.
     
  20. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I've mounted mine to the tailpiece like the Underwood(clear tubing over the jack with a tie).

    I have also had the same experience with comments on the definition I have now. The only negative with the magnetic is playing in more traditional settings where you are really getting away from the natural tone of the bass(although in my case the intent was to use the Magnetic only for louder blues gigs so its just fine). Good pickup though for sure.
     

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