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fishman sounds like a flock of geese when bowed

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Jon Stefaniak, Sep 3, 2000.

  1. Jon Stefaniak

    Jon Stefaniak Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2000
    Tokyo, Japan
    fishman sounds like a flock of geese when bowed.

    What pickups work great bowed as well as pizz. The fishman sounds great otherwise. any combination suggestions. I've heard good things about the ones that sit under the bridge. any suggestions?
  2. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Experiment with less rosin if you're going thru an amp. I got my best bowed sound when playing thru an amp with black bow hair and very little rosin. The rougher black hair gave me the bite to get the sound started; rosin causes the scratchiness and shrillness.
  3. Are you using the fishman preamp? I've found if you don't use some sort of EQ device with the fishman, they sound like..Well, a flock of geese! I am currently using a Barcus Berry on my Juzek and a K&K pro pak on my Fendt bass. The K&K has a lot of tone options, but you need to tweak it a bit to get the sound you want.
  4. Jon Stefaniak

    Jon Stefaniak Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2000
    Tokyo, Japan
    I'm using a little 7-band graphic eq peddle that I bought for $40. I'm a little confused about the use of eq's. would what I'm using work, or should I invest in something that will actually cost me money? my bass sounds pretty good pizz using just the eq on my amp. I suppose switching the eq on and off between arco and pizz would do. again, i'm a little confused
  5. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    See if you can find the input impedance of the EQ pedal you're using. It should be around 1 megohm or more to get the best results. The Fishman and other piezo-based pickups may need a buffering preamp depending on the amp you're using, which may not get along well with their ultra-high impedance. Details at the bottom of my Preamps page at

    Also, the location of the transducers, sometimes combined with the type of string, will result in various arco 'interpretations'.
  6. Jon Stefaniak

    Jon Stefaniak Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2000
    Tokyo, Japan
    Ed - how much did the realist cost you, and (how/how well) does it work?
  7. Billd


    Sep 6, 2000
    I need to know what there is for humbuckers on a bass cuz i only seen a few out there?
  8. What, Like Electric Bass Humbuckers on an Upright? I recommend you try something else.
  9. Billd


    Sep 6, 2000
    i have played a 5 string that has those black long humbuckers they are awesome (it was a dean edge Q5 i think)
    and what do you think then there isn't much else that has that kinda power
  10. I'm still not sure if you are talking about a Double Bass or an Acoustic Bass Guitar:confused:
  11. Billd


    Sep 6, 2000
    i mean electric bass (i gotta 4 string)
  12. That's what I thought. (sigh)This is the Double Bass side of the Board. (hence the DB)You will get a better answer to your question on the Bass Guitar side (BG) You're not the first one, but if you read some of the other posts you should be able to tell( Have you ever tried bowing your electric?)
  13. Billd


    Sep 6, 2000
    oops i thought that what that db meant i didn't think much of it the 1st time i saw it sorry and i did it was kinda cool it sounds really wierd
  14. bob


    Jan 27, 2000

    Piezo-electric pickups (Fishman, Underwood, K&K, Realist, etc.) have a characteristically uneven frequency response, but are easier to use and less prone to feedback than microphones. I have used the Fishman and Underwood in the past, and am currently using the Realist. The Fishman (or, at least, my Fishman) tends to accentuate tones in the 1kHz-2.5kHz range, resulting in the ruptured-goose sound that you have noted (pun pun) when playing arco. This characteristic phenonemon is exacerbated when using pre-amps with less that the manufacturer's specified 1-megohm impedance. Since you have an EQ pedal, you might try to attenuate the frequency bands in the 1kHz-2.5kHz range (depending on your EQ unit).* But here's the caveat--the very frequency response anomaly which gives the goose its squak when playing arco also lends some brightness to pizz. notes that help the sound of your bass "cut through" and be more easily heard in live settings, especicially when playing with large ensembles. Therefore, if your pedal can be switched in and out, you can try to adjust the tone controls on your amp for the best pizz sound with the pedal switched out, and then switch the EQ pedal in and adjust its graphic EQ controls to obtain the best arco sound.

    *Graphic EQ suggestion: Begin with all controls set to 0. Find the control(s) whose frequency falls into the 1kHz-2.5kHz range and have someone else play some scales on your bass while you adjust the controls to your liking--you will likely have to cut(-) those frequencies by several dB. Once you have achieved an acceptable result, you can try adjusting some of the other frequency bands JUDICIOUSLY to fine-tune the sound. My experience suggests that a small boost at approx. 80Hz, small cut about 120HZ, and again some boost in 4kHz-8kHz range can help the sound of the Fishman. Have fun.

    Unfortunately for me, I'm a gear-head and have wasted far too much time screwing around with gadgets (including building my own), when I really should have been learning to play the instrument. While it may be too late for me, jonn_, there is still hope for you. Just do the best you can to get an acceptable sound with what you can afford, and focus on playing music.

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