Realist Lifeline vs. Full Circle, Output

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by LowB-ing, Jul 14, 2013.


  1. LowB-ing

    LowB-ing

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Hi all,

    I know there are few people here that have used both the new Gage Realist Lifeline and the Fishman Full Circle pickups. I have found some useful comparisons of their tone, but I would also very much like to know how they compare in terms of raw output when used passively, without a buffer.

    I'm not talking about useful volume before feedback. Just passive output.
  2. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Location:
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Chief Low-Frequency Facilitator, Gollihur Music LLC
    Kind of hard to say, actually. I'd say they're roughly even, at least on the bass here at the shop. Both pickups are under direct pressure, which normally results in more output compared to a pickup that is "stuck" or clamped on. So in that way, they are in the same ballpark.

    But it's kind of like apples and oranges, since the character of the tone is rather different. The FC, IME, has more mid presence, while the LL has more low end girth with a less midd-y character. So the differences in ACTUAL volume (measured on a sound meter) might not necessarily correlate to the PERCEIVED volume, especially once you put it in context with a band and start tweaking EQs to get the tone you like.
  3. LowB-ing

    LowB-ing

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Thanks Mark!
  4. Nuggulux

    Nuggulux

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    I didn't quantitatively measure it when I tried out the LifeLine for the first time, but to my ears, through the same rig that I've been using for years (a Full Circle into an SWR Baby Blue), the LifeLine had a noticeably louder output into the amp.
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  6. bskts247

    bskts247

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Location:
    New Orleans
    This is a really old thread but I was hoping someone could help me with an issue I have. I had the realist and (like I just found out is common) it crapped out on me yesterday. I was hoping someone could let me know the pros and cons of the Full Circle and the LifeLine. I really just want something reliable, the spirocore of pickups if you will.
  7. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Location:
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Chief Low-Frequency Facilitator, Gollihur Music LLC
    My read on it is this - both pickups sound good, but they have different characters, despite being in almost the exact same position on the bass bridge. In my experience (but not universally) the Full Circle has a bit more midrange clarity, which can help cut through a dense mix; the Lifeline has a more "open" mid/high range sound on most basses, with a thicker bottom end, like the original Realist (but with more detail than the original Realist.) But these are subjective points, and they can vary depending on the bridge (quality, threads-up vs threads-down, etc.) - so take them with a grain of salt.
  8. bskts247

    bskts247

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Location:
    New Orleans
    I'm assuming you can't go wrong with either of them then? I'm mainly wondering if there are any quality issues with either of them, or if (XYZ) never breaks and I'll never have to think about pickups again.
  9. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Location:
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Chief Low-Frequency Facilitator, Gollihur Music LLC
    There's no such thing as a pickup that never breaks - but the newer Full Circles have been improved, and the Lifeline looks sturdy (the one on my bass is one of the first ones made and I'm still loving it!)
  10. bskts247

    bskts247

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Location:
    New Orleans
    I think I'll go with the Full Circle mainly because I like the idea of a little more midrange clarity that you were mentioning (something I wish I had more with the realist) and I like where it's placed on the bass (in between the strings). Mark keep an eye out for a shipment to New Orleans

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