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Easy pickup solution

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by hgrind, Feb 25, 2008.


  1. hgrind

    hgrind

    Dec 16, 2005
    Otta, Norway
    I'm looking for a pickup that's easy to install and can be moved easily between basses. I also want one that sounds good both on a carved bass and on a laminated bass.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. bolo

    bolo

    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    IME the K&K Bass Max pickup would be the easiest to install, uninstall, and move from one bass to the next. The Underwood might be another candidate, but I don't have any experience with it myself.

    The Bass Max won't care much if the bass is carved or ply, again IMO.
     
  3. newfuture

    newfuture

    Jul 13, 2007
    I've had both, and they're both easy to move from one bass to the other, and both sound good. IIRC, the K&K had a mellower sound, and the underwood was a bit edgier. I preferred the K&K because it was a single element (the underwood's 2), and easier to install.
     
  4. hgrind

    hgrind

    Dec 16, 2005
    Otta, Norway
    Thanks! I was kinda hoping the K&K Bass Max would be the answer, because I've looked at that one, and it has gotten good reviews. Good price too.

    Will I be fine with just a direct box with high impedance between the pu and the mixer, or do I need a preamp between the pu and the di?
     
  5. bolo

    bolo

    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    I think the answer to the preamp question varies. I don't think you will need it per se to get an amplified sound or to boost the signal. But will the Bass Max sound "better" w/ a pre? From all that I've read here, it varies. I always used a K&K preamp with mine and never tried it w/out a preamp. But the only sure fire way I know of (unfortunately) is to try one (or more) preamps with your bass and your DI and mixer and see what it does for you tone-wise.
     
  6. philip sirois

    philip sirois

    May 29, 2006
    NYC
    I've had both the bass max and the revolution solo2.
    Same deal with both as far as switching between basses, but I greatly prefer the rev solo on my bass. I'm putting it straight to the amp. The bass max was useless for me without a preamp and even so was never great. Every bass and player is different of course.
     
  7. bolo

    bolo

    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    I have also used a Rev Solo, then a RS II. To fit mine, I sanded both the bridge wing slot and the pickup itself. I agree that for me and my bass the RS gets what I think is a good sound.

    I guess if you are going to move the pickup around on more than one bass, the RS would have to stay constant and you would just file/sand or shim the different bridges. But I guess the same is true for any pickup in this category. So I don't know why I thought the RS would be less suitable for moving around, but for some reason I did, and thus did not mention it in my previous posts. Maybe because I sanded my RS itself in "fine tuning" the p/u to my bridge, and once I got it set, I did not want to mess with it.

    You wouldn't want the plug for the RS attached to the base of the G string though, unless you've got several of those jacks, one for each bass. But there are ways around that too.

    I guess I thought the RS would be more difficult to fit properly on more than one bass, but perhaps not.
     
  8. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    I have a spare RSII in my bag just in case my Realist has issues. I attached one of those velcro cable ties to the side of the jack and just attach it through the string holes much like an Underwood jack.
     
  9. no brainer: planet wing. sounds fabulous and is designed for easy on/easy off.

    jeff.
     
  10. BCAlbin

    BCAlbin

    Dec 7, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    I really like the d-tar Bass Soundspot. I've used one for about 15 years and of all the pick-ups I own, (Fishman BP-100, Underwood, Realist) I like it the best. I believe it looks similar to the K&K Bass Max but, never having used a Bass Max, I don't know how it compares sonically. It's basically like half of an Underwood (which is how, it seems like, most guys use an Underwood anyway) but a smidge thicker so some filing might be required. To my ears, it gets a nice, flat pizz tone with (possibly) a slight bump in the 100 Hz. range but without the box-y 500 Hz. bump that the Underwood seems to have. Arco it still gets that unpleasant 1-2 kHz. "scratchiness" that all pickups of that type get. It sounds equally good on my Kay w/gut as it does on my carved w/Spiros and once you get your wing slots the right width for it, it takes about 15 seconds to switch from one bass to the other.

    Disclaimer: I'm a Seymour Duncan/D-Tar endorsee and despite the fact that I may sound like I'm shilling, it actually is my honest opinion so take it for what it's worth.

    BCA
     
  11. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
  12. kaybass1952

    kaybass1952

    Mar 12, 2004
    Not a lot of info on this pickup online or on TB yet, but it sounds very promising .Any comparison info on this pick-up from users would be appreciated.
     
  13. BCAlbin

    BCAlbin

    Dec 7, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Seems like the the D-Tar Bass Soundspot, K&K Bass Max, the Planet Wing, the Underwood using only one side, (and possibly even the Red Hot drum trigger) would all get pretty similar results as they're all pretty similar designs...doesn't anybody file patents anymore? (LOL)

    Seamonkey, I would think the "5-layer rubber coating" on the Red Hot would add a lot of thickness to the capsule as well as possibly rolling-off a lot of the highs. Has that not been your experience? The purpose of a drum trigger being nothing more than to provide an electronic "pulse" to trigger a sample, I would think that even frequency response over a broad spectrum would not be a high priority in the design. If that is not the case and the tone is comparable to the others, the price sure is right!

    BCA

    edit: oh yeah, now that I've checked the Upton site, apparently the Revolution Solo II is also a similar design to the above listed pickups too... a lot more aesthetically pleasing though!
     
  14. bolo

    bolo

    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    You're right there are similarities, but some differences include the casing (wood vs. rubber v. metal). I could be all wet, but I think this creates differences in tone.

    The Bass Max also has two piezos in it if I am not mistaken, so it contacts the bridge on both sides of the wing slot.

    Even when Upton changed the RS to the RS II, the casing was the same, but the piezo inside was different. The new piezo had a different impedance, produced less infrasonics, and a hotter signal.

    So yeah they all get somewhat similar results, but each has it's own (identifiable?) character IME.
     
  15. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    No problem with the high end. It actually needs good response for fast and accurate triggering. The triggering circuit in the drum brain handles this. It really is nothing more than a Piezo "bender", same as many bass pickups.

    Benders do change response based on pressure applied to them (i.e. they can be used for pressure sensors) You can try this with any piezo pickup. Applying more or less pressure gives you a different response.

    I have a second one I attach with velcro for a neck pickup (with use with wackers when slapping). It sounds fine with essentially no pressure on it. I also once plugged it into a drum brain and got it to trigger cymbals, snare, etc. It was fun with a high-hat chick for light taps, and a crash for a big wack! It sure added some new dimensions, but I'm too lazy to practice it to really make it work out well.
     
  16. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    You are not mistaken. The BassMax contains a pair of elements wired in parallel.
     
  17. bribass

    bribass

    Jan 25, 2006
    Northern NJ
    Endorsing Artist; Arnold Schnitzer/ Wil DeSola New Standard RN DB
    When play gigs out of town on hired or borrowed basses, I always take along a Bass Max and a Fishman BP100.

    I take along 1 or 2 alto sax reeds to use as shims incase the wing slot is too large for the Bass Max.

    If all else fails or the BM doesn't sound good on that particular bass I can always put on the BP 100. Say what you will about this PU, but it DOES fit easily on ANY bass and even sounds pretty decent on some, although the clamps for the piezo elements DO mute the bridge to an extent (not necessarily a bad thing for high volume situations). Some players glue them onto the flat underside of the bridge to avoid the muting, but I believe they need to be under pressure of the clamps for proper response and then it's movable.

    Neither one of these are my favorite, but they both can be easily moved from one bass to another w/ minimal refitting if any. No tools or sand paper required.

    Also I bring some kind of pre amp/ eq or eq /DI to match impedence as well as tweak a good sound from whatever backline amp is supplied.

    I once dropped in on the Upton crew in Mystic, CT w/ my Prescott. They were hot to try a RevSolo on it. I remember not being too impressed w/ the sound thru the amp at the time.

    In a pinch shimming w/ an alto sax reed is alot easier and less permanent than filing, sanding and reshaping a squre little wooden element.

    IMHO a Realist or probably a Full Circle (I haven't tried one) are much better PU's, but they are not as easily transferable from bass to bass w/o some fairly major (read; luthier performed) bridge procedures.

    BG
     
  18. bolo

    bolo

    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    I think the latest version of the PlanetWing has an element on each side of the p/u too. I know that when I flip over my RS w/ its single element, I get a very different tone. Maybe the idea of having two elements, one up and one down, would help capture the best of both worlds (string and body).
     
  19. bolo

    bolo

    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    I ordered a PlanetWing this morning. Stay tuned.

    I believe peterpalmieri, jrlynch and Jaromir use this p/u too if you can't wait and want to PM them.
     
  20. bolo

    bolo

    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    And back to the OP (whew) - like jrlynch said it looks like the PlanetWing is very easy to take on and off and use on more than one bass. Probably needs different shims for each bass and bridge, but still, looks real easy.
     

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