Prior to this, on my '50s Kay I have used a David Gage Realist for 10 years, then a Fishman Full Circle for 10 years. I briefly tried a K&K Bass Max and didn't care for it, so I thought I'd combine the two concepts that had served me so well in decades past: a David Gage designed element that fits by the adjuster like the Fishman.
This pickup achieves all of my tone goals: some percussive attack, a subtle sense of presence, even response over all strings and registers and not least of all, good balance between pizz and arco. It doesn't necessarily replicate what a condenser mic would do - it does work very well in an ensemble with a nice "acoustic" vibe that doesn't get immediately lost in the mix.
Compared to the old Full Circle, I'd say this is a little more even and a little less raspy but nut surprisingly pretty similar in overall character.
I suggest a good buffer preamp with some high pass filtering for best results.
Great Upright Tone
- 4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Oct 12, 2015
- + Easy to install, good string to string balance, no string touch / string rub noise, does not require a preamp (with a GK MB150e), great tone.
- - Nothing I've encountered so far, unless it doesn't have enough high end for jazz players.
I've had a BP 100 upright bass pickup for several years, and I could never get a consistent tone from it. I sent an email to Gollihur Music and listed all my gear, music style I played, amps I use, and then asked for advice on a pickup. The reply was that a lot of folks were happy with the Realist Lifeline, including one of the Gollihur owners. I promptly ordered one, and it showed up in about four days. I installed the unit outdoors while at a festival, and it took all of 10 minutes or less. The tone of the pickup is the high point of this review. It's thick and full with good string balance. I've only had it on my bass a few days and so far I'm very pleased.
- Other Specs:
- Fits between the bridge height adjusting wheel and the bridge leg or bridge foot, depending on which is not threaded (goes on the non-threaded side).