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Clevinger Natural Presence Pickup

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Sherman da bass, Nov 7, 2002.


  1. Sherman da bass

    Sherman da bass

    Nov 7, 2002
    First off Howdy from the new guy.....
    Have any of you ever tried the Clevinger natural presence pickup, and if so what do ya think?

    Thanks.
    Dave.
     
  2. Bruce Calin

    Bruce Calin

    Oct 15, 2002
    Hi,Sherman,
    I've used a clevinger pick-up on a carved bass for a little over a year & am pretty happy with it.I've tried most of the popular pick-ups on this bass & the Clevinger has worked the best.
    The sound is quite "open" & even,& pizz & arco both sound good without changing settings.
    It is putzy to attach the first time.You have to shim it just right in the bridge slot or it will fall out.The wire is also pretty fragile.
    I'd say it's a good product for the price.The instructions are helpful,but it takes some tinkering.
     
  3. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Bruce... What other pickups have
    you used? How does the clevinger
    differ in sound? Is it like the Underwood?
    Tell us please.
     
  4. Bruce Calin

    Bruce Calin

    Oct 15, 2002
    Hi,B String,
    The pick-ups that I have used on this bass that are still available are the Fishman, Underwood, Wilson,&Realist.I like the Clevinger the best.
    I think it sounds more even over the range of the instrument than the others.The Underwood(which I used for several years)is more midrange-heavy,I think.It also gave a much more "amplified" sound to me-not very good for bowing,either.
    In general,I think the Clevinger sounds the most natural of the ones I've tried on this bass.
     
  5. Sherman da bass

    Sherman da bass

    Nov 7, 2002
    Thanks alot Bruce..

    Dave.
     
  6. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Bruce.. I'm about to put a Wilson
    on my new Wilfer bass Is the clevinger
    that much better? Is it more old school
    or more modern sounding than the wilson?
     
  7. It's the age old scenario of what suits his bass wont necessarily suit your bass. Sad but true. It would solve a lot of grief and searching if things were more simple, but "es la vida".
     
  8. Bruce Calin

    Bruce Calin

    Oct 15, 2002
    You're right Marty.There all different.These are strictly my impressions,although I think some of the general characteristics are fairly common experiences.
    B String-
    I think I know what you mean by modern, but an example of a player or CD or something would be helpful.
    My problems with the Wilson were that it seemed to have a pretty significant muting effect on a bass that I do quite a bit of unamplified playing on.It also seemed rather thin sounding to me.The number & positioning of the wires made me nervous.I was afraid I would break one wiping off rosin.The less the bridge is altered,the better I like it, I guess.
     
  9. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    I recieved a Clevinger Natural Presence Pickup a few days ago. I've only had it on my bass a short time and have yet to gig with it but I'll share my first impresions.
    One can only order them direct from Clevinger at this time and he dosn't have many in stock, in fact when I first contacted him about two weeks ago he only had one, and that was one he keeps in the shop as the "tester".
    Nevertheless, I expressed great interest in trying one, and let them know that I would only be in California for a short time, as I begin a gig playing in the Mid-East early December.
    Martin Clevinger asked that I provide him with a rubbing of the E-side slot of my bridge, easily accomplished by placing a sheet of thin paper over my bridge, then rubbing it with the side of a pencil lead. There was no need to remove the bridge to do this. I then faxed the impression off to him.
    My pickup arrived by Fed-X in just a few days and I found that it slipped into my bridge slot perfectly, no shims nessasary!
    It's what appears to be a ceramic piezo, imbedded in a wooden laminate covered with just a little bit of felt-like cloth material. The laminate extends from the inside of the bridge hole all the way to the horn on the outside upper part of the bridge foot. The piezo sits dead center and makes contact with the upper inside part of the slot.
    A very thin wire goes to the jack, which screws into the tail piece with a bolt and a wing nut inserted thru the string holes.
    How's it sound? Damn good! It gives a lot of string sound, like an Underwood but with a lot of the basses body sounds too, like the Realist. What I like about this is that since only one sencing element is used, the out of phase sound that many object to with the Underwood isn't an issue, yet the Clevinger gives lots of string sound, good for lots of "growl". As a former Realist user (and many other products too) I found that on my bass, the Realist was a bit too dark sounding, and was prone to amplifing a lot of the less desirable sounds that sometimes seem to lurk inside my bass, a Schuster plywood, with a carved top. Nice bass, won't get me a gig with the L.A. Phil, but I'm more or less a jazz guy anyway!
    I have owned most of the more moderatly priced pickups, Underwood, Realist, KK Bass Max, KK Bass Max Golden Trinty Combination and have gone the Raven Labs Blender route too, mixing the Underwood and Realist, and using it to mix the Bass Max and Golden Trinity. I've even used the Schertler Stat-B, which comes with one of the noisiest pre-amps I've ever encountered. That stayed on my bass the shortest time of them all!
    The Clevinger gives me reason to be opptimistic and I'm very much looking forward to trying it out on a gig. I havn't been able to try it with a bow yet, both of mine are getting re-hairs right now but I think based on the good sound I'm getting with it so far it should work fine with the bow.
    I've tried it with my Walter Woods and my Claris thru my Raezers Edge 10". Sounds just fine without a pre-amp! I A/B'd it with both input impeadance settings on the Claris and thru a Westwood Music Buffer Pre-Amp and found that it made little difference with or without them. I honestly think that it sounds a bit more "natural" sounding without the pre-amp or the Claris' impedance switch engaged! I know that goes against popular wisdom on this board, but it's just how I hear it.
    This pickup may accualy provide a solution to my needs, I'm someone that rather avoid blenders, mics and pre-amps. It truly at this point offers me the possability of being able just bring my bass, a cord and an amp to a gig, and get a sound that is satisfactory.
    Clevinger offered me a money back guaranty, should I not like it. I'll won't be sending mine back!
    Sorry if this sounds like an ad for Clevinger, it's not, I'm nobody's shill, I'm a working musician, with over twenty five years in the industry, who's sick of spending my hard earned cash on stuff that has dissapointed me.
     
  10. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I think this would be a check in the 'yes' column.
     
  11. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Hey Mike!! How much did this
    puppy set you back?
     
  12. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    Hey Bruce!

    Only $199 + $14.50 for Fedex.
    Like my old Jewish mother says, "try it, you'll like it!"
    Well she's really a Mexican Catholic! Turns 74 in about a week and loves to push food!
     
  13. Hey Bruce, that's a good review. I know where you're coming from with the distaste for extras. Like you, I've tried out a huge list of stuff over the years, and been disappointed with most. I currently use a Barberra bridge, a cable, and a GK combo. I found that preamping is totally unnecessary with the Barberra, in fact it's detrimental, which also runs against the current wisdom here. However, I have to say that the biggest factor in my current sound, is not pickups or amps, but my change to Velvet Garbo strings (OK, I dont do arco). I struggled for years trying to get that sound in my head out into the world (somewhere between Paul Chambers and Dave Holland) and with that simple change I suddenly had it.
     
  14. atunbridge

    atunbridge

    Apr 23, 2002
    Devon UK
    Mike, I would be very interested to hear how the Clevinger performs in a live playing situation.

    I think you got a good deal with yours, Clevinger have just quoted me $229 + $32 to ship to the UK.
     
  15. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    Gee, I can't comment on the difference in price..
    It does work well with the bow though.
    I found that moving it slightly in the bridge slot can give slight changes in the pickups response, resulting in slight tone changes, if you want it to be a bit darker or brighter sounding it's just a matter of finding the spot that sounds best too you. It's simaliar to other bridge wing mounted pickups in that respect.
    I havn't been able to gig test it yet and probably won't be able to for a while. Found the cost to ship my double bass out of the U.S to my next gig to be prohibitive, the client won't pay, so I'll be playing my Carruthers E.U.B for the next few months. Real glad I own one, flies as regular baggage in an anvil style case because of it's removable neck.
     
  16. atunbridge

    atunbridge

    Apr 23, 2002
    Devon UK
    Thanks Mike

    I was also interested in your comments regarding the Schertler Stat-B. Apart from the noisy preamp, how was the sound?
     
  17. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    The sensing element of the Stat-B does what it does pretty well. It's very close to the sound one would get with a mic. But it is a system that requires phantom power, supplied by the pre-amp.
    The noise floor generated by the pre-amp was just too high to be acceptable, it's a kind of "whooshing" sound, not hum, but more like "white noise". The sound one get if all an amps volume and tone controls are maxed out. I tried every possable ratio of amp volume vs. Stat-B pre-amp volume, yet still was unable to achive a satisfactory result. At the time, early 2002, I also owned a Raven Labs Blender, which also offers Phantom power. It worked with the Raven, but only if it's input level and master volume controls almost maxed out. All this to get a stage level that would compare to an Underwood or Bass Max, even without a pre-amp. I tried the Stat-B on a gig with piano and bass only, backing a jazz vocalist. Had my Walter Woods and Raezer's Edge. Sounded bad, finished the gig with my Bass Max. Tried the Stat-B with a loud group too, electric keyboards and loud drummer. Figured that a those levels the pre-amp noise wouldn'd show so much. Finished the gig with my Bass Max.
    Others may think the Stat-B is great, but I absolutely hate the thing!
     
  18. sean p

    sean p

    Mar 7, 2002
    eugene, oregon
    coulda been 'cause the pup mike got was the shop 'tester.' i don't know about 'testers', but a lot of shops will discount floor/display models.

    sean p
     
  19. olivier

    olivier

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    I had the opportunity to test the Stat-B against my Bass Max on a Contra last friday. I was visiting luthier François Bonnier to switch the Bmax from the E to the G wing and François had ordered a Stat-B for a customer who had not show up... Med volume shop test, not stage test. We heard a clearer sound with the Stat-B than with the BMax, and no noticeable noise. however, IMHO the difference in sound is not big enough to justify such a huge difference in price.
     
  20. atunbridge

    atunbridge

    Apr 23, 2002
    Devon UK
    Olivier - are you using the K&K preamp with your Bass Max, or are you going straight into your Contra? I ask because I have tried a Bass Max into my Contra (via a Fishman Platinum Pro preamp) and found the sound somewhat "choked" at stage volumes. I have a second Bass Max on order to set up a "double Bass Max", but I do wonder how much the Bass Max depends on using the K&K preamp.