Fishman's Foolish Instructions?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by cmsnyder, Nov 20, 2000.

  1. cmsnyder


    Feb 15, 2000
    I recently bought a Fishman BP-100 pickup and I followed the instructions for installation as closely as possible, including the first on the list which told me to sand the bridge so that the surface where the pickups make contact is perfectly flat.
    This I did and ever since then the bowed tone coming out of the D and G strings, regardless of where the bridge is placed, is noticably sharper and twangy. It sticks out like a sore thumb in my ensemble playing unless I use a heavy mute.
    Was I a fool to have sanded the bridge? Does anyone else have experience with this kind of problem?
  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Do you use a preamp?
    Unless your amp has a very high input impedance, it's almost a necessity to use a preamp with piezo pickups.
    Otherwise the tone is nasal, thin, with no bottom.

    Also make sure the elements are not too close to the strings, and that the felt inside the brass clips, don't touch the bridge's crown.

    When I had a Fishman, I first managed to find the best location for the elements, and then glued them in place, instead of using the brass clips, with glue sheets and a hair dryer.
    You can contact Fishman on this issue if you wish.

    However, if you play arco a lot, maybe you'd get better results with a Realist pickup. (from David Gage)
  3. bassgeek


    Oct 19, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Cmsnyder, I found out the Fishman's true sonic potential by accident a year or so ago. When I was loading up to go to a gig, I accidentally placed the fishman, in its box, on top of my car. When I backed up to leave, the box fell off and one of my tires ran squarely over it. The sound was punchy with crisp highs and I nice crunch to it. The pickup, completely destroyed, hasn't given me any problems since. I've found that this is the best modification you can do to the BP-100. I'd follow francois' advice and get a Realist or something else. Bassgeek
  4. cmsnyder


    Feb 15, 2000
    Thanks for the replies guys!

    I guess that I need to clarify that the poor tone that concerns me most happens when I don't have the pickup installed at all. I leave the pickups off the bass when I play classical because I found that the clips for the BP-100, when attached to the bridge, colour the non-amplified sound too much for my liking.

    Yes, I do have the B-II preamp to go with it, and the amplified pizz sound is nice enough. My question still remains: is it possible that I ruined my bridge by sanding the one side enough to make a flat surface?

    Bah, maybe just for some personal satisfaction I'll just take bassgeek's advice. It does seem like he finally got some satisfying sounds out of the thing...
  5. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Unless you removed one fourth of an inch of wood from the bridge, it appears impossible to me!
    Why don't you glue the sawdust back? ;)
  6. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    You could try this. On the EUB called the KYDD the BP-100 peizos are under the feet of the bridge. The sound with the pre-amp is great. Don't drop your sound post. Otherwise we know the other pickup choices are great. Bass Player had a comparison test of the famous top models. This is in a back issue.
  7. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    As Clif said, his problem is not with the pickup.
    He thought that his *acoustic* arco tone changed after he filed the bridge to flatten its surface for the installation of the pickup.
    Re-read this:
  8. both you have recieved already.
    The sanding of the bridge would not have caused
    the problem. The clamps holding the the Fishman
    do cause a certain (small) amount of muting.

    I asume your problem is caused by a slight moving of the
    soundpost when all string were of. Was it upright standing
    when you took of the bridge ? Can you see the two marks
    on the post from the F-hole ? If not something has happend.

    Kind regards
    ps, the Realist sound good but will cause marks on your
    top. Not recomendable for valuable basses !!!
  9. Not all piezos need preamps (though the Fishman certainly does!). My Barbera pickup sounds better without, gets too warm otherwise. Bassgeek gave good advice IMO. Fishmans suck. Of course, 100,000 bassplayers out there will no doubt rise up in protest, but that's my practical experience.
  10. cmsnyder


    Feb 15, 2000
    Thanks for the replies.

    The bass was not standing upright when I took off the bridge, but I may have been careless and jostled it or tilted it while the bridge was off. Looking through the F-hole, the soundpost seems to be in its proper place, but I'm not an expert so I'm not completely sure.

    I am a little confused as to what the two marks on the post are that C.Veltman mentioned... Could someone enlighten me?

    Thanks again for all of your help!
  11. The sound post adjuster fits in these marks/holes
  12. Bass boy is correct, the two marks/holes
    are made by the sound post adjuster.

    You may sometimes also find a thin line from a pencil.
    This has on my basses shown to be the grain direction of the
    wood. As you likely know the grain of the soundpost should
    be in the opposit direction to that of the top/table.
    This so the post would not "work" itself into the top.

    Kind regards,
    Christian V