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Fishman BP100 v K&K Double Big Twin

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by basss, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    Has anyone compared these two pickups on the same bass? I'm curious about the difference in tone. I've searched but haven't found much in the way of direct comparisons.
  2. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I used a Fishman BP-100 for several years, but at this point I think there
    are much better options. Fishman's Full Circle, Revolution Solo, Underwood, and Realist. IMHO there are several significant problems
    with the BP-100.

    1. It uses brass/steel clips to apply pressure to the piezo elements and affix them to the bridge. They act just like a mute and deaden the vibrations of the bridge, thus altering and diminishing the timber, and volume of the instrument they are installed on.

    2. Once, I had the opportunity to have a lengthy conversation with
    Don Underwood. He informed me that the Fishman BP-100 emphasizes odd order harmonics vs even order which sound more pleasing to the ear.

    3. The pickup must have a buffer pre-amp, to prevent it from
    overdriving the inputs on most amplifiers.

    4. It emphasizes certain midrange frequencies that give it
    a very nasal timbre.

    Ric Vice
  3. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Having used several pickups, I can say with confidence that the Fishman BP-100 is the single worst one you can buy. The Underwood, which is far from great, is much better, in fact I find it to be acceptable. Spring for the Full Circle and you'll get one of the nicest ones on the market, for very little extra cash. Realist is pretty good too, for the right applications. Stat-B is great, costs a little bit more and requires a preamp.

    I can't recommend K&K gear, never having used it. But I can say that the Fishman is awful.
  4. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    I'm actually going to use this on an EUB (Azola Bugbass). I have the fishman BP100 on now. After trying the K&K Bass Max that came with the bass and a Revolution solo I've come to the conclusion that this bass has too much of a bass heavy sound for wing mounted pickups and thus I'm looking at p/u's that mount closer to the strings. The fishman sounds better - more string detail and more present mids but I remember how crappy it sounded on my realbass compared to the Realist that replaced it and I'm wondering if the DBT will sound better. I'm limited in my choices because of the bridge design which would prohibit me from installing a Full Circle or Realist.
  5. Rabb


    Mar 2, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    I've been trying for years to get a good amplified acoustic sound, and haven't been able to find it yet. It seems to always change depending on the environment and instrumentation.

    My first pickup was a Underwood. I also had a BP-100 for years. I'm now using the K&K Double Big Twin. So far it's been good to me. It's very sensitive, with no feedback problems. I've used it with both a preamp and without. Seems to work both ways depending on how you EQ it. I'm not sure how well it would work on a EUB, but I suppose it's worth a try.
  6. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    Hey Rabb

    How would you compare the sound of the two in terms of warmth, amount of piezo "twang", string noise, naturalness of the mids?
  7. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    I've improved the bass-heavy bottom of my BugBass by using lighter strings...currently Helicore Hybrid lights. Spirocores or Corellis are good for that, too. Mine has just the one wing pickup...the original model.
  8. Rabb


    Mar 2, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    I prefer the K&K over the Fishman. The K&K sounds a little more natural with less tweaking. The way that I make it work for me is that I back off the Mids and flat the Highs and Lows.
  9. Ric, This is technically not accurate. The reason that many piezo transducers (not just the BP-100) require a buffer preamp is because, for good frequency response, they need to see a very high input impedance (as high as 10Meg ohms or even higher). Many amplifiers don't have nearly that high of an input impedance (typically 1Meg ohm or less). Actually piezo transducers are not particularly high output devices in general.

    BTW, I'm not particullarly fond of the BP-100 either. However a good friend of mine, who is one of the best jazz double bass players I know, uses a BP-100 on his wonderful Prescott and he gets a great sound, even for arco.
  10. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Rob's the man when it comes to the technical in's and out's. So I stand corrected.

    When you originally posted your thread you for got to mention that you were putting the transducer on a EUB. Now that you've added that demension to the "criteria" I'm at a loss to think of something that would fit your problem.

    I'll still stand by my earlier post that since the BP-100 clamps to the bridge, it dampenes and mutes the sound. I would think that
    it would be even more of a problem on a EUB without a sound chamber. I'd probably post this thread in the EUB section and let them look at it.

  11. Ric, I don't consider myself an expert, since I'm always learning. Actually I've learned quite a bit from the folks on this forum including yourself.

    I defintely have to agree with you here. I didn't like the way the BP-100 muted my bass. However having heard BP-100's in use on friend's Morrelli and Prescott basses, it doesn't seem to be a big problem on some basses.