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Yamahiko pickup

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Refonbass, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Refonbass

    Refonbass Supporting Member

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    Hey all, I've searched quite extensively but haven't found much info on this pickup.
    I'm really just trying to find a US distributor for them.
    Anyone know of any, or am I going to have to get one straight from Japan?

    Thanks
  2. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

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    As I understand it, the Yamahiko is essentially the same as two Full Circle pickups, or vice versa. If you really want to try the concept, get two FCs, and wire the outputs to one jack-you might have to reverse polarity on one to avoid phase problems. For me, one FC is just fine.
  3. Refonbass

    Refonbass Supporting Member

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    I've been using the FC for about 6 six years, and before that experimenting with the many other mics and pickups on the market.
    What I really like about yamahiko pickup in addition to the two elements is the removable/replaceable (black!) cables. The way the jack mounts to the bass. A more robust construction. And have heard that it even has a superior tone to the FC.
  4. Les Fret

    Les Fret

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    Looks very interesting. I also like the idea that you can detach the cables. Also their adjusters seems to be more user friendly. The adjusters on the FC are very hard to move sometimes and also the cable is in the way when adjusting the bridge height.

    But this pickup is VERY expensive: 752$!

    But I am going to follow this topic and I am curious what you think of this pickup.
  5. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member

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    Just because it looks like the same technology as the FC (the Yamahiko did it 10 years earlier) doesn't mean it sounds the same. I'm sure it uses different piezo elements. I want to try one. Tried to get an endorsement with no luck. That price is for the 2 units, right? You can buy just one to compare it with the FC. The second one is optional although it looks pretty enticing to use with the Doubler where you can adjust the phase relationship.
  6. Roger Mouton

    Roger Mouton Supporting Member

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    I can't believe more poeple aren't clamoring to try this p/u but it's apparently not that accessible here in the US. A local shop said one of the Japanese reps "dropped by" a few years ago, didn't seem interested in selling pick ups, and was more interested in a tour guide for Southern California.

    A friend in Japan says she knows of the company and the origin of the pick up. The company makes very senstvie instruments to detect minute vibrations in certain manufacturing equipment. How this device got onto a bass I have no idea.
  7. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Gold Supporting Member

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    I did a quick price check and you can buy the Dual Element Yamahiko directly from the manufacturer. It costs $730.00 at the current exchange rate and they offer free shipping.


    Ric
  8. Norre

    Norre

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    I know a Dutch luthier who sells them (Rogier Dieges, Rotterdam). I haven't tried them before but he claims they are build better than FCs and the removable cable is a big plus. He sold FC's before but now switched to Yamahikos.
  9. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member

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    I've heard that they were better, too. Might have to pop for one
  10. TroyK

    TroyK Supporting Member

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    Has this YouTube link been posted?



    Doesn't really feature the playing with it all the much and I don't speak Japanese, but it looks great. Wish they were here and affordable.

    If I could unscrew and detach the wire on the Full Circle like that, I'd be using it.

    EDIT: There is also a YouTube video of Eddie Gomez endorsing the pickup, but he doesn't play in it or actually show the pickup at all. It's just him talking for a minute about how much he likes it. He does say that he's used it for all of his recordings this decade, so I suppose we could listen through them for a taste.

    Yamahiko's website is only in Japanese, so they're not marketing to us.
  11. Roger Mouton

    Roger Mouton Supporting Member

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    Troy -

    The last time I looked Yamahiko had an "English" button somewhere on the site. Check it out. At one time I grabbed a bunch of the photos. You can use one or both elements. That detachable wire idea is the best when you consider that you might need more latitude moving the wheel without compromising the lead coming off the FC.

    The David Gage Eddie Gomez DVD shows the pick up but alas, he confesses that he has both pick ups on his bass. It's probably in deference to David for the sake of the DVD being made in his shop. It looks like Mike Arnopol is on it!!!
  12. TroyK

    TroyK Supporting Member

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    You're right, there is an English button. Sorry about that.

    And you can order with PayPal direct. About $420 USD for the single element unit with today's exchange and $730 for the double.

    Seems very expensive compared to the Full Circle, but the single element version is not really out of line with something like the Ehrlund or Gage SoundClip or good mics, all of which can be removed from the bass when not in use. Though you couldn't remove the element, you could get the jack off your tailpiece when you were playing acoustic.

    Not in the cards for me at this price sight unseen and I have to think that if they're selling it with two elements, it's because it's better that way, so basically not in the cards for me, but I wish that Fishman would modify the Full Circle thusly.
  13. flatback

    flatback

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    My friend Kintaro is a bassist who I went to school with. He lives in Japan near the Yamahiko shop. He has one on his bass and here is what he has to say about it.

    I think Yamahiko is really good. I have been using them for the last 5 years. Mr. Yamaya who makes them lives pretty close to where I live. My realist broke and I had to have some pick-up right away so, I phoned him and he installed mine.However it worked he installed them wrong way. He makes a great pick-up but not a professional repairman. So I had other guy re-installed them along with a purchase of a new bridge. It has very natural sound not in the way that realist makes it sounds like wood bass. That means it has almost no color to the original sound at all without airy feel realist adds. So it sounds good if there is nothing wrong with the bass. Easy to adjust the sound with eqs. And this is important that Yamahiko is pretty durable. Its coaxial cable is almost unbreakable unless you abuse it. The cable is also very easy to replace.

    Sounds like a pricey fishing trip. Maybe I can get hold of one to try....
  14. Thumpie

    Thumpie

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    This is VERY interesting. I might give this pickup a go.

    One of my basses has a 1/4-20, and I was wondering if I could retrofit the Yamahiko pickup (which is 6x1mm) on this bridge.

    Maybe I'll post this question in another post...
  15. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member

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    You can have the hole plugged and re-drilled and tapped
  16. arseniotall

    arseniotall

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    I've played on a couple basses with these on it overseas. If i'm not mistaken a lot of, if not all of, the rental basses at the Northsea Jazz festival in Rotterdam, have these pickups on them. I remember them sounding pretty much the same as a full circle. If you had a gun to my head, I would say the Yamahiko was a little brighter and not as focused as the FC.
  17. 3ddi3

    3ddi3

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    Indeed als the basses in the North Sea Jazz festival use the Yamahiko. That's because Rogier Dieges, a Rotterdam based luthier all rental basses for this festival. He also sells the yamahiko pick-up in his shop. I orderd one straight from japan for my bass and had Diego install it. I use just one. Two is way to expensive and acording tot Rogier it does not offer a big difference in sound.

    For what it's worth I am verry verry happy with this pick-up. It has never let me down. It works well on both my amp (hevos) and straight in to a D.I. It does not need a pre-amp and it hardly ads colour to your sound. It's verry sturdy and the cable is eassily replaced. It is a nice product but indeed expensive.
  18. Les Fret

    Les Fret

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    So did you also compare the one pickup version with the Full Circle? How much did the installation cost? I am from the Netherlands too.
    And how does it hold feedback wise (in fusion or loud settings)?
  19. 3ddi3

    3ddi3

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    I use it in a loud setting as well. I play with an 11 man band with a maniacly loud drummer. It goes pretty far but in the and it will feedback as will any pick-up I guess. I have not compared it with the full circle. Before I had a scherlter stat-B.
    Also nice but not as full and realistic. And al lot of feedback.
    The price for the pick-up at Rogier Dieges in Rotterdam is € 395,-- I don't no if this includes fitting it. I think I paid € 50,-- for it. If you allready have an ajustable bridge it's a piece of cake. So you'd probbably pay less. Here's a link to his website.

    http://www.diegesdoublebass.com/index.php?page=pick-ups-amplifiers

    He's a really nice guy. If you want to hear it in real live drop by in Rotterdam. I'd be happy to let you have a go on my bass.
    In the and me ordering it directly from Japan saved me € 10,-- so if you are intrested I would just go straigt to Rogier.
  20. Les Fret

    Les Fret

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    ok, thanks for the info and offer. Right now I have a Full Circle. For really loud situations I use a Biesele magnetic pickup. It sounds more electric of course but that's still better than fighting feedback continuously on stage and especially at rehearsals. Somehow I have much more trouble with feedback at rehearsal rooms than at gigs.

    Btw, did you ever try the Dieges electric upright?

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