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Barbera Pickup

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Aarongermain, Jun 2, 2005.


  1. Aarongermain

    Aarongermain

    Apr 27, 2005
    Being someone who often plays unamplified and has used a realist pickup for 6 years, Ive become quite a stickler for "natural" tone. Ive played momentarily with schertlers, underwoods, and fishmans and im not feeling any of them. Ive heard good things about the barbera but have never heard anyone play with it live. Being as expensive as it is, its hard to commit to something I havent heard. Im suspecting through the setup that it clearer but less natural sounding than the realist, but warmer than the underwood and fishman. Anyone got a got a good chance to compare? Your feedback would be much appreciated.
    peace, Aaron
     
  2. flatback

    flatback

    May 6, 2004
    Bolinas Ca
    The Barbera is one of the best sounding pick ups out there with a lot of gain a great sound (for a Pup) and no feedback in sight....but as many of us have experienced it locks your bass into one unalterable bridge...and things change on a bass. If you can afford it and can afford to have 2 of them so that if a piezo fails you can swap it out for repair...it is a great Pup. But i know of a lot of bassists who have used the Barbera and are now using something else.
    all the best,
    piro
     
  3. greg garrison

    greg garrison

    Apr 12, 2005
    Colorado
    more gain, darker tone than realist or underwood. not as natural sounding as realist. kind of an electric bass or baby bass sounding tone. have had one on my bass for about 7 years, going to go back to my original bridge and use a realist and mic setup. have had problems with "g" string being too loud and sounding extremely compressed with barbera- maybe i just need a repair for this or something. does have really nice low end warmth, actually sounded great blended with underwood (to bring back out the compressed "g" string) on my bass. doesn't sound so great blended with realist. never felt like it was worth the hefty price tag, but could be worthwhile if you need lots o' volume.
     
  4. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    There are some other posts discussing pros and cons on this pickup. I am currently having a second bridge made and plan on sending it to Rich Barbera for installation as soon as possible.

    I had one one my bass for several years, but because I'm a klutz, I must have whacked my bridge while transporting my bass a coupla times. The result? Had to send the bridge back - twice - for repairs.

    That's why I plan on having a backup bridge at the ready.

    I have a Full Circle on right now which sounds great -- but can't get the volume I could get with the Barbera. Normally, for jazz gigs, I don't need much volume. But for outdoor jazz concerts and some trad rock-n-roll jobs, the Barbera is worth its weight in gold IMHO.
     
  5. Aleph5

    Aleph5

    Feb 24, 2004
    Tennessee
    What happens when you turn it up? Not enough gain? Tone goes bad? Feedback? A good preamp would get you the gain and might kill feedback too.
     
  6. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    Don't get me wrong -- you can crank the Fishman pickup to acceptable levels. It just gets a little "microphonic" and starts to howl -- especially in the midrange frequencies. I use a Boss Bass EQ to boost the level and dial out any muddy midrange that may develop. Overall, I set the EQ flat and boost the gain a little for straight-ahead jazz gigs.

    I just had much better luck with the Barbera remaining consitent at higher volumes -- like loud club gigs, etc. Can't wait to get another one -- and blend it with the Full Circle!
     
  7. Aleph5

    Aleph5

    Feb 24, 2004
    Tennessee
    The things I notice when that happens is that the tone seems to be toward either howling or deadening my sound/robbing the sustain. Also, my speaker (or worse--the house monitor :spit: ) is putting out a high level near my bass. So I'm led to believe at least part of the problem is feedback, either positive (which would produce howling) or negative via out of phase waves (which would explain the deadening). After all, how else would the pickup know you're playing loud? I usually don't amplify so loud and I try to limit the stage level (and banish my signal from the evil house monitors!), but I'm interested in hearing opinions about the phasing theory. I don't have a phase switch, but this effect may vary too much over frequency and slight positional shifts anyway to hinder trying to fix it.

    Of course, if another pickup like the Barbera doesn't have this problem, my phase theory is suspect.
     
  8. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    The Barbera seems much less prone to the standard types of feedback that "clip on" or "wedged in" piezo pickups have. It spoiled me big time.

    Can't say much about the phase issue. I have a phase switch on my Raven PMB -- but I rarely use it. Like you said, position has much to do with it. Try moving away from your amp or monitor about a foot or so if you're getting weird sounds from the Full Circle. I can stand fairly close to my amp and not have problems...even at a moderately loud volume...mostly due to my EQ pedal.

    But the point of this thread was to give a thumbs up for the Barbera -- that it sounds very natural (not near as much "clack" as a regular piezo) and can get quite loud through an amp -- or sound system without feedback. If you're happy with your bridge the way it is...make a tracing and send it off to NYC. $500 later, you'll be a happy camper!
     
  9. Yep , couldn't agree more - I've got Barbera's in both of my basses and nothing I'd used in the previous God knows how many years can touch them ! :)
     
  10. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2005
    NYC
    The Barberas are an amazing pup. Enouh Said. If you don't gig in high volume areas, I dont think it would be worth the 500, but thats just my opinion. I have a Barbera on my Kolstein, and a realist on my Shen. I dig them both, and they are both amazing. The Barbera is as close as I have noticed to a true accoustic sound. My .02

    Pete
     
  11. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2005
    NYC
    The Barberas are an amazing pup. Enough Said. If you don't gig in high volume areas, I dont think it would be worth the 500, but thats just my opinion. I have a Barbera on my Kolstein, and a realist on my Shen. I dig them both, and they are both amazing. The Barbera is as close as I have noticed to a true accoustic sound. My .02

    Pete