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Fishman bp-100 terrible?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Jazzkuma, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    So I bought a Fishman bp-100 cuz my other one stopped working... dunno why. Well I bought the fishman 100 and clipped it to my bridge, I tried it but it sounds simply horrible. It doesnt sound like a DB at all, it gives no round sound at all to me, so it sounds like a cheap electric guitar or smthn like that. Anyways I wanted to know if you guys think the same... I dont know if its either my fishman which is faulty or maybe thats just the way this pickup is supposed to sound.
  2. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    There are people out there who are (were) able to get a great sound with the BP100, but I think that they are in the tiny minority. I'm afraid that my answer to the question "Fishman bp-100 terrible?" is "Yes, and this is something we've all known for 20+ years." Unfortunately for you, it may be such common knowledge that it hasn't been explicitly stated around here in awhile.

    You can vastly improve the sound you get from this pickup by making sure to use a preamp of some kind to match the impedance with whatever amp you're using. Or, use a really nice amp--Acoustic Image amps don't need a preamp with a pickup like this, and I had a teacher who plugged his BP100 straight into his Walter Woods amp and got a really wonderful sound with it.
  3. Rebop


    Jul 9, 2008
    La Honda, CA
  4. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    I've heard of folks getting a better sound by gluing the contacts to the bridge rather than using the clips.
  5. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I had this pickup and on my bass even with a Walter Woods amplifier and the Fishman Bass Blender it never sounded that great. It's fundamental flaw is that the clips that mount the pickup to the bridge act as a mute and it overemphasizes the midrange frequencies and suppresses bass. Personally, I'd put it up for sale and get the Full Circle.

  6. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Which is why people try to glue it.

    I had one years ago and never had any luck no matter what I tried.
  7. Hi, and welcome on Talkbass.

    It's also a good idea to put some info in your profile, particularly your gear, and location.
    This way, other members ca provide more helpful and appropriate information.

    Best regards,
  8. I recommend putting the elements on the other side of the bridge (the side facing the ground), because it's usually more flat. You definitelly need a 10MOhm preamp, then you need to cut the treble and upper mids (on my Markbass combo I use the VLE filter which does the same) and then you might get quite usable sound. Actually, on some basses quite nice actually!
    I remember hearing Ray Brown using the BP-100 and he sounded fabulous (of course)!
  9. I've had 8 basses in my life. On 3 of them, the BP-100 sounded great. In fact, it is still my pickup of choice on two of those basses. On the other 5, it was fingernails-on-a-blackboard bad. Of the 3 that worked, 2 were old Juzeks and one is a Kolstein travel bass. All carved basses. I've never been able to make it work with a plywood or hybrid bass. I run it flat. I don't need to EQ it.

    Four things to try: always use a pre-amp unless you are using a series II Acoustic Image with a high Z input. On the new Series III models (without a high Z input) or any other amp without a high Z input, you have to use a pre-amp. It sounds awful without the pre-amp. Even if you can get it to sound ok without a pre-amp, it will sound much better with one.

    Second, make sure the part of the bridge where the piezos go is flat. I usually sand that part down with some fine grain sandpaper. You don't have to go too crazy. Just go over it lightly and make sure there aren't any bumps or rough spots that could prevent a good contact.

    The third thing is you have to work with the clips. If they are too tight, they choke the sound. Too loose and the piezos rattle. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to gradually open them up. You have to experiment until you get the best sound. Once you find it, they'll be good forever.

    Lastly, you can mount them either on the upper side of the bridge or lower. Usually one side will work better than other.

    I've heard of people supergluing the piezos directly to the bridge. I don't do that. I've been using the BP-100 for about 10 years on my one bass and the jack goes bad every 3-4 years from the weight of the cable on the jack element and I have to replace the whole pickup. I don't want to have to try to scrape superglued piezos off the bridge. If you can't get it to sound good after working with the clips, it ain't gonna work on that bass anyway.

    I've tried mounting them in the bridge wings but in my experience, if it doesn't work on the front of the bridge, it isn't going work in the bridge wings. At least, I've never been able to get it work well enough that I'd use it.

  10. My answer to the title of this thread is YES, it's a horrible piece of crap. I don't understand how they can sell this piece of junk in good conscience. WORST piece of musical equipment i've ever encountered, and I owned a music store for years, and saw lots of crap, and these are the crappiest.

    I sold lots of OTHER fishman products, and they were great. and I love my Fishman platinum pro bass preamp.

  11. Rebop


    Jul 9, 2008
    La Honda, CA
    Yeah, it's a pile of garbage.

    I got it to work, but still, a pile of garbage.

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