Yamahiko

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Mike Arnopol, Dec 1, 2013.


  1. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    Disclosures:
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    Anyone tried this? I remember hearing that it sounded better than the FC. (who essentially shall we say----"borrowed" the design)

    I'm getting the pickup itch again and will be trying the Headband. Maybe I should check out the Ehrlund. Talked to Goran a few years ago but never followed up.

    The FC has been my default for years--mainly because it sounds natural on my bass but also because it's the only pickup I've found that sounds good at high volume, which I used to play at a lot. These days I play lots of gigs at lower volume so I'm investigating other options. Maybe the Troll.
  2. Swing Doom

    Swing Doom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Location:
    East Lansing, MI
    All I know about the pickup is that Eddie Gomez uses it and Eddie Gomez, in my opinion, has sounded terrible ever since he started using an amp.

    He's sponsored by Yamahiko and did a video about it; seemed very awkward and like he was struggling to find anything positive to say other than "I really like this pickup." No reasons why he "likes" it or anything.

    So I'm not sure if Eddie Gomez's "meow-ish"tone is because of the pickup or the way he mixes the signal but take this as you will.
  3. dperrott

    dperrott

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    I'm getting the itch since will have to probably get rid of my barbera bridge since I am getting a new fingerboard, and will need bridge adjustments. I have been thinking about the full circle. I was toying with the idea of a Wilson but will go with the full circle. I really doubt Eddie is locked into the Yamahiko. I saw him play a gig, in town, and he didn't use his own bass! He sounded like himself with a realist.
  4. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    Disclosures:
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    As much as I respect Eddie---I've never liked his sound.He never travels with his bass. I know that in Chicago he was paid to do a recording and borrowed a---not-very-good bass. And he'll only record direct. Because he makes a LOT of vocal noises that are very loud. Funny you should mention it---I was a Barbera endorser for years and really liked his pickup---until it would break. Which was often. I changed to the FC and have been using it ever since.

    And one thing worth mentioning---

    The FC is SUPER finicky as far as setup. Any time someone would say that they hated it on their bass I'd check and it was set up incorrectly.

    Even though the Yamahiko is a similar design--- I'm sure it sounds different than the FC.Different piezos inside.
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. dperrott

    dperrott

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    I haven't had any problems with the Barbera, but I highly doubt it will have the same curve as my new board. For me its the full circle or possible a Wilson, leaning to the full circle. A good friend has both on his bass and the full circle sounds pretty close. So many european cats I love play the wilson. For a second I did think about going back to the schertler stat. He started selling the old two cork element, which was my first love! I tried my old one and it sounded good but the output was so low. To me it seems like many of the "non thumpers" are using the full circle, hence my rational.
  7. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    The one thing I never got from the FC was the natural envelope of the note. It does really well in loud environments and it can create a pleasing, clear sound but to my ear it seems to even out the note a bit.

    This is the reason I prefer the EAP and Headway Band. There is that punch up front that makes playing this instrument so much fun.
  8. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    Disclosures:
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    I agree 100%

    Problem is---my experience is that the pickups that have a more natural envelope sound crappy at higher volumes.When I first tried the Gage---with a LOT of eq--at low volumes I thought that while I didn't like the tonal balance as much as the FC I thought that the "thump" was better for walking. But when I'd turn it up--ouch.

    That's what attracted me the the Big E cabs--I felt that I got more "thump" on the beginning of the note and separation between notes.

    Not to pat myself on the back too much, but I've gotten many comments that my live sound with the FC was the most natural that people had heard. But the envelope is really the weakest part. Which is really the most important part. Which they don't notice but I sure do.At high volumes you're not really dealing with the jazz bass aesthetic , but I can get a sound that I'm comfortable with and functions pretty well. That's the reason I'd dismissed many mics and pickups---I knew that at louder volumes their weaknesses would outweigh their strengths.

    Oh---on another thread (I think one about my cabs) Treyser said that trying to get "the sound of my bass only louder" was a fool's errand. Which I also agree with 100%. Even if you could magically have your bass acoustically go really loud the sound would be very different. Guys don't realize that the interaction with the room is a huge factor in all aspects of the sound. So even if you got the exact same sound but louder---it would sound very different. And likely be very problematic. Which is why I always say---we're in the business of sound production---not reproduction. We do what needs to be done to get the proper function and then do out best to get the aesthetic as close to what we consider our bass's sound as we can.

    And for the guys that say that a mic is the only way---
    I agree that a well mic'd bass sounds closer to our ideal---but that's the sound of the mic and our bass. If you want to get an accurate representation of the bass's sound you'd really have to mic it a a listener's distance. With a mic at 12" the tonal balance is VERY different that what we hear acoustically.
    It's still sound production---we eq the recorded sound to approach an idea of our bass's sound. Hell---we don't even really know what our basses sound like---the tonal balance 6 feet away is VERY different than where we hear it--- we actually hear it behind the instrument. Play your bass and then let someone else play it while you listen 6 feet away---the tonal balance is completely different.
  9. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Totally. It seems like there is an unwritten rule of physics that dictates an inverse relationship between fidelity and volume before failure.:meh:

    For now, I've decided that instead of compromising my tone in a way that makes me uncomfortable I'll try to avoid playing in situations that force me to go beyond the limits of my rig.

    My long term plan is to have a backup bass set up for loud gigs.

    Mike, you could attach and remove the EAP or Band for quieter gigs and leave the FC in place for everything else. Damn! maybe I'll do that with the Lifeline! It has similar acoustic properties to the FC but better arco sound and it is a little warmer on my bass.
  10. MR PC

    MR PC

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Really? You can detach the EAP and put it back on the bass without any problem? My understanding has been the EAP was very prone to sounding different when moved even slightly, and once you had found the "sweet spot" it is best to leave it there.
  11. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    I had pretty good luck getting the same tone but I did get tired of the highly "micro-phonic" cable and I was worried about wear & tear so shortened mine and have it permanently mounted.

    The Band would probably be more practical in this scenario. I think the "envelope" is even better on the Band anyway.
  12. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Olivette, Missouri
    Mr. P.C.

    I recently had to switch my Ehrlund out, because my main bass had to be in the shop for seven weeks. As long as I put the Ehrlund in the same relative position, it sounds equally as good on my other instrument. On both my basses, the Ehrlund sounds equally as good. I don't take it on and off frequently though.

    Ric
  13. Chris Symer

    Chris Symer

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle,Wa.
    My Ehrlund shares duty between my good bass and my Kolstein Travel bass. I have had it on and off between the two dozens of times and don't have any issues with that at all. I am quite happy with it, but I do blend it with a pickup ( Wilson, Underwood, or Fishman BP-100) to cover various volume and room issues. Mike, you are right on about the "my bass only louder" esthetic. I like to think of it as "my bass only better" that I am going for whenever I plug in, otherwise why plug in at all?
  14. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    Disclosures:
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    A funny story

    I was playing a fest and we followed Roy Haynes with John Pattituci. He and I know each other. He stayed and heard our set. He was familiar with my recorded sound. Patty Barber's cd's have won numerous awards from audiophiles.

    He said "I've got to check that bass out". I said "sure---here it is". He said "no really---" The bass I recorded with and played on all of my live gigs was a 50's Roth hybrid. The top (before I got it) was regraduated to an eggshell thickness. Sounded like an Italian bass.But not all that loud or deep. He was amazed. I was known to have some very nice basses. Vuillaume, Claudot, X. Jacquet, Tarr, Prescott, Maucotel,and others. The Roth didn't sound nearly as good acoustically but recorded and amplified better.

    Well known recording engineer Jim Anderson was able to get a MUCH better sound out of my bass than I could get acoustically. 50's Roth that sounded like a great Italian bass.

    I'm playing my Golia exclusively these days---the acoustic sound is phenomanal but the thing is that it records and amplifies better than my Roth. When I commisioned the Golia I was much more able to describe the attributes I needed because of that silly Roth.

    Many basses that sound great acoustically don't record or amplify well. My Prescott (which was probably the best one I'd seen) was the hugest, deepest bass I've owned. Terrible amplified or recorded.

    So I'm definitely of the school "my bass only better"
  15. MR PC

    MR PC

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    It's good to hear that Ric!

    Yeah Mike, they borrowed it for sure, but probably improved it in the process by using only one element instead of two. No reason why it wouldn't have the problems that the dual wing elements have intermittently...at least with those you can slide one of the elements out..with this Japanese design you are stuck.
  16. drurb

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

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Connecticut
    You can also leave them on and just "remove" them electrically-- as in don't plug 'em in. :)

    I don't think that's a rule-- even a general one. I think what many are reacting to is the fact that, at high sound-pressure levels, we often want some compression. Any device that reproduces well the temporal envelope of the DB has less effective compression than does a device that doesn't do it so well. I don't play crazy-loud gigs, so there's no such tradeoff for me. I'll take the fidelity because it gets me that much closer to the elusive "my bass, but bigger."
  17. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
  18. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    Disclosures:
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    Actually they offer it both ways.Most guys that use theYamahiko use only one side. I also heard that the piezo elements were better. The nice thing is that there are 4 tiny jacks on each element. The cord is removable.

    They make a piano pickup that uses two individual pickups. Same exact pickup with a unique mounting system. Herbie swears by it and other top name piano players use it. It's more dough than theFC but I've heard that it's better constructed and uses higher quality elements.

    I hate to say it but I hate Eddie's sound. He prefers a midrangey and bright sound. If I worked at it I'm sure I could make my FC sound crappy too.
  19. Treyzer

    Treyzer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Princeville, Kauai
    The eternal quest!! :D:D:D
  20. MR PC

    MR PC

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Interesting! Removable cord is a plus too. Any recordings available?
  21. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    WARNING: Rambling, rant, call to action!

    Until recently I never once considered the idea that the "compression" resulting from using a piezo pickup would be desirable for some. That drastically altering the acoustic presence of one's double bass would allow one to play in really loud situations and enjoy it. I cart this huge beast around because I like the way it sounds acoustically. Why should I be forced to compress it because the drummer has no concept of dynamic contrast.

    I know true, absolute, fidelity is a fairy tale but for me there is a line that once crossed, I stop enjoying myself. When I was gigging to support myself in college I always put up with those situations because, frankly, I needed the money. I'm not judging anyone that does, this is just a realization to me and it has helped clarify some things in my own gigging life. Since gigging isn't my bread and butter anymore I've started to become more selective in calls that I will and will not take.

    Then I started thinking, what if bass players all over the country started doing the same. "Screw you guys! It's too freaking loud!" or just showing up with your slab. Which I actually did the other day. I don't know if it was just the novelty or the fact that I was having fun but everybody seemed to enjoy it.

    I may end up becoming some freak that shows up to a gig with a decibel meter and a fire extinguisher to use on cats that play too loud.:eyebrow:

Share This Page