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double bass pickup

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by dodgy_ian, Mar 13, 2005.


  1. dodgy_ian

    dodgy_ian

    Apr 9, 2001
    Newcastle, UK
    i've just had to replace my double bass and now I need to buy a pickup for it.

    previoulsy I had one of the ones which screw on the bottom of the fingerboard and looked like an electric bass pick up. Sound quality wasnt bad but was a bit buzzy and not amazing.

    SO i want something better but have NO clue about where to even start looking!

    Could people therefore recommend some quality pickups to me? I'm mainly doing jazz and theatre work so i guess looking for a good round sound.

    Thanks

    Dodge
     
  2. dodgy_ian

    dodgy_ian

    Apr 9, 2001
    Newcastle, UK
    yeah i did, but theres a lot of info to trawl thru and i'm still kinda feeel like i dont realy know enuf to make a decent decision!

    dodge
     
  3. Chrix

    Chrix

    Apr 9, 2004
    Brooklyn
    What you'll be looking for will be usually one of three main brands (obviously there are more, but these seem the most popular).

    Fishman
    - Two types here. The older version is the BP-100. It has two elements that clip onto the bridge of the bass. Easiest one to install, but I've personally had sound issues (the clamps are basically mutes). The second type is the Full Circle pickup, which is installed into a bridge adjuster. These sound very good, but are a bit tougher to install.

    Underwood
    - Also very easy to install and usually sound quite good. These go under the wings of the bridge. The only issue I've had with these is that they seem to make all basses sound the same. But good nonetheless.

    Realist
    - This is what I currently use. It's easy to install (goes under the Foot of the bridge on the E string side). Has a big, woody tone, but sometimes lacks in high end.


    Ask anyone and they'll probably give you different opinions on what sounds best, worst, etc...There are others, but these seem to be the ones that are most common. All of these won't set you back more than $140-$200.

    Good luck on your search. My advice is put a pickup on it that does the best job of reproducing the sound of your instrument. Hopefully this helps but I wound recommend checking out the Newbie links. There's a ton of great info there.
     
  4. dodgy_ian

    dodgy_ian

    Apr 9, 2001
    Newcastle, UK
    yeah i have cheked out the links - i guess as always the reality is that you have to try the things out and see what they sound like.

    however since i posted that first post i've managed to sort summat out - borrowing a bp100 fishan pickup (have an eq pedal to go with it) and am going to use that in conjunction with a nice Audio TEchnica mic that i have and mix the two signals and see what happens basically! :)

    fincnically those three options are all about right - the realist i've seen on a few of my fellow orchestra mates basses and so will ask them about it when i see em tomorrow.

    Do all thses three pickups need eq pedals/things in conjunction with them?

    Thanks

    Dodge
     
  5. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    As a general rule, piezo pickups need a very high input impedance to get a flatter tone out of them.
    That means 1 Megohm or higher.
    Most amps or combos (at least those made for bass guitar) have a much lower input impedance.
    Same thing with most basic EQ pedals or effects, which are made for BG.
    The Fishman needs a high input impedance or you'll get a very thin sound with no bottom, very brittle.
    So consider getting a good preamp too.
    There are good inexpensive units available. (Fishman, K&K, etc.)
    Browse this forum and the newbie links for more info.
     
  6. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    As far as piezos go I prefer the K&K BassMax to the Fishman BP-100, the Underwood, and the Realist. Haven't had a chance to try the Full Circle. Many people feel that the BP-100 sounds horrid (scratchy, nasal, thin), and I tend to agree. If you really want to try one, TB'er T-Bal had one for sale for $20 in the classifieds here recently.

    The Underwood gives a detailed sound that can be kinda harsh but definitely cuts through. It's probably the sound that comes to mind when people think of amplified DB in jazz. I didn't like the Realist on my laminated bass--it was impossible to get any high end, even with outboard preamps/EQ. Some people with carved-top basses are very happy with the Realist sound, and I must say I thought it had a good arco tone.

    The BassMax is less expensive than the others (about $90 shipped), and I feel that it gives the most accurate representation of my bass's sound of the piezos I've tried. Works fine with or without a preamp IMO. Just my .02.
     
  7. http://urbbob.com/bmaster.html

    No doubt the best pickup I have heard/used.. Its a bit on the pricier side but well worth it for practically 2 two pickups and a preamp. The sound possibilities are endless with it.

    Highly suggested!