Azola Meets Realist?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by vanderbrook, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. vanderbrook

    vanderbrook Heretic

    Aug 21, 2001
    Denver, CO, USA
    I'm considering picking up a used BugBass as an outdoor-gig-and-backup bass. (Having owned one for about 10 months some years back, I know the original BugBass is no replacement for the real thing. It was, however, an affordable way to see if I really wanted to start playing again after a 10-year hiatus.)

    My question is this: has anyone tried putting one of David Gage's pickups on one of these basses? I know I never got a very satisfying sound, particularly on the G string, out of my first original Bug, and I'm thinking about approaches one might take to improve the sound. If anyone knows of any simple modifications I might try to even the sound out and make the G string less twangy, I'd be interested to hear.

  2. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    I've played an original Bugbass for about 5 years. The Realist probably wouldn't be a good choice, partly because that pickup senses the body as well as the bridge...with a solid body, the sound could get strange. There's also screws under the bridge feet to keep them in least on mine (with little holes in the bridge feet to match the screw heads).

    The best thing I found to cure the twangy G string was to ditch the original string set. I currently use Helicore Hybridg lights and there's little twang from the G and the balance is fairly good overall. Still a bit big on the E string, but adding some mid or low-mid helps out.

    BTW, mine has the single BassMax pickup.

    Best bet...ask the Azolas about pickup recommendations.
  3. The pickup is under under the bridge of my EUB and there's definitely no problem with the sound. I expected it to sound too bright on account of the solid body, but I get a big warm sound from my home-made piezo (
    That screw could be a problem, although if you were making your own piezo you could punch a hole in the middle. Or remove the screw - I'm sure the one on the other foot would be enough to locate the bridge.
  4. vanderbrook

    vanderbrook Heretic

    Aug 21, 2001
    Denver, CO, USA
    Thanks for your thoughts. Jill Azola also thought the Realist might not give very desirable results, and suggested attacking the problem via string choice.

    Again, thanks.
  5. brandonwong


    Dec 16, 2003
    Obligatos might be a good choice if your current pickup is not magnetic. It gives a warm sound without the twang. The other one might be flexocor... mainly used for orchestra but and i find them very warm for pizz.
  6. jsbarber


    Jun 7, 2005
    San Diego
    You might want to consider the Azola Acoustic Bug Bass. It is a hollow body design with ash back and sides and a carved spruce top. I have heard it alongside the standard (solid body) bug bass and to my ears it is significantly closer to a double bass (albeit, still not the real thing).


  7. vanderbrook

    vanderbrook Heretic

    Aug 21, 2001
    Denver, CO, USA
    Thanks for the reply. If I could afford one, I'd consider it. As it is, I've ordered an Ergo and am eagerly awaiting delivery.

    Thanks again,
  8. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    I went through the same thing with my bugbass. I have the single bass max version. I tried several different sets of strings - spirocores, corelli nickle, obligatos, & flexocor 92's and several different pickups - fisman bp 100, revolution solo, double big twin.

    I've found that the bugbass is not hugely resposive to changes in strings/pickups. A warm string such as the obligato and flexocor sound very similar to one another. They sound different than a bright string such as the spirocore but basically you can get a 'warm' string or a 'bright' string and beyond that a lot of the small differences will be barely noticable. I notice a much bigger difference in strings on my DB.

    One thing that I found that helped was using a pickup that attaches to the top of the bridge rather than under the wing. Both the original bass max and the revolution solo give a very bassy sound with wierd, sucked out mids. I've found this sound works well for latin and pop but I can't stand it for jazz because there is not enough definition when I'm soloing. The RS was a bit better but the differences were very small. Both the fishman (which I hate on DB) and the DBT worked much better, with a more pleasant midrange that works well for jazz. Again the difference between these two pickups was very subtle and overall you get either a 'bridge wing' pickup sound or a 'bridge top' sound.

    In the end I realized that the bug will never sound close to a DB. It has a unique sound that works well for certain styles - latin, acousic pop. For jazz it's passable unless I'm working in a very exposed setting or soloing a lot. All of the above is IMHO of course.
  9. Thanks a lot for the info, basss!
    I am a previous Bugbass owner (now own a Carruthers), and I also did a lot of experiments, and still do.
    I think I'm going to try a BP100 on my Carruthers, as I'm not fully satisfied with the stock pickup.

    Best regards,