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Full circle killing my acoustic tone?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by JtheJazzMan, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    Ive never been that critical of bridge adjusters, Ive never noticed them to affect the acoustic tone too much, but yesterday I took off my full circle and other fishman bridge adjuster and replaced them with some smaller plain aluminium ones.

    And today when I picked up the bass WOW I couldnt believe how much more bright and resonant it was ??

    I was even having a lot of fun bowing on spiro mittels, they sounded great

    What the hell? should the fishman adjusters kill the brightness that much? or could it be an installation problem? they were sitting flat and the pickup tone was very deep so I had no reason to think it wasnt sitting properly

    Ive been pulling my hair out trying to find a natural pickup sound over the past few months. Tried the magnetic route, changed my acoustic tone too much, didnt care for underwoods, now feeling disappointed with a full circle :(
  2. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    It's not the FC. Couldn't be. Possibly another parameter changed like the bridge being tipped too far forward or back.
  3. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    Well, the distance between the nut and bridge is about 1041.5mm on the G string and 1041mm on the E string if that helps.

    Is this a matter of fine tuning too?
  4. I don't know, I've heard that the adjusters Fishman uses are not the best quality. I've also come to believe that basses are finnicky and small changes can make or break the tone/response.
  5. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    it's probably the added mass on your bass (specifically where the jack is on the FC) that was killing a bit of your tone... I use the FC and love it and get a good sound out of my bass but I know after I added my quiver or if I take the jack off for any reason for a minute my sound seems to open a tad more.

    might not be much but it's something
  6. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    I don't know how long this effect has been obvious on your bass, but every time I had to detune and retune (for bridge removal, whatever) it made my bass sound fuller, deeper, brighter- for about four days. Might not be what's going on here, but it's something to think about if you haven't done anything to your bass recently.
  7. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I've noticed the same thing. I set up basses with regular adjusters to avoid the wire hassles and then switch them over. You can really hear the sound go away when I install the Full Circle. :(

    Bear in mind that a finished bridge weighs in the neighbourhood of 75 - 85 grams. The Full Circle is pretty heavy at 37.5 grams whereas the Metropolitan Music aluminium adjusters are 25.9 grams and the Upton bass golds are 25.1 grams. I drill them out until they are ~19 - 20 grams. At that weight there isn't a noticeable loss when I add adjusters to a bridge - sometimes it sounds even better but that's off-topic...

    If you do most of your playing plugged in then the FC might still be the right pickup. If you play a lot acoustically you might opt for lighter adjusters and a wing pickup when necessary. :)
  8. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    Well its got me in a real dilemma now. Im picking up a new instrument in the morning too, and I have to decide whether to put the FC on :meh: I dont want to ruin the tone just as Ive bought it.

    I spose Ill need the adjusters on anyways, its just the nerves of cutting into a virgin bridge
  9. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    I don't know whether this is significant but when I fitted a Full Circle on my Upton I found that the diameter of the 'unthreaded' part of the FS was noticeably smaller than that of the Underwood adjuster. This meant that it, and its dummy, were loose in the bridge feet and, while they provided some location, I was relying very much on stacking of the adjuster on the foot. I found this somewhat unnerving.
  10. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    I'd guess that at least part of the sound difference comes from letting the strings go slack while changing out the adjusters. Strings always get a bit brighter and more lively when they've been loose and then retensioned.

    I'd also agree with the suggestion of going with the wing pickup if you're going acoustic sometimes. My Revolution Solo II has the earlier style of connection with the RCA jack on one end for removing all but the 1/4" jack from the bass. I'm doing a pit gig now without an amp and have pulled off the pickup. The BassMax jack mounts on the afterlength of the strings and should be easily removable as well.
  11. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    I won't say that there isn't a difference in tone between some adjusters and the full circle however I think this conversation has the possibility of internet overthink and I want to caution that if there are differences between them they are subtle, not profound. If you play regularly with the pickup they are irrelevant.

    I have personally noticed more of a change in tone when using wing pickups like the Bassmax, the Rev Solo, and the Underwood than I have with the Full Circle.
  12. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I have ebony adjusters and although they look pretty and that's why I have them, the tonal difference may all be in my head. David Gage wrote an article in Bass Player where he stated that the folks in his shop pretty much debunked the whole adjuster vs solid bridge thing. Since I don't have a Full Circle I can't speak to the differences with and without one.
    I've had the same experience with wing pickups (Underwood) that you have. I really disliked the BP-100 cause it effectively mutes the bridge with those metal clips. I'm sure that the Realist I use definitely changes the tone because it has to interfere with the transmission of sound between the foot of the bridge along the bass bar. It's never really bothered me though, microphones really do the best job. I've had really good results with the AMT I got last summer.

  13. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    Some of the difference could also be attributed to a very slight difference in bridge position or fit. I think sometimes just moving the bridge 1/8" or even less can have a drastic difference in the sound.
  14. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    I'll " +1 " all those who have suggested a slight change in bridge position. Also, consider mounting the 1/4" jack at the tailpiece instead of at the underlength of the strings.
  15. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    Bass hasnt lost the tone 2 days after changing the adjusters.

    Another interesting thing, with the full circle adjusters on, if you bowed a note and stopped the string would be muted very quickly, however now when you bow it the strings resonate more afterwards.

    Ill have a chat with some luthiers today about bridge positioning
  16. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    I'd give it a week for things to settle down with changes/alterations to components.
  17. arseniotall


    Dec 24, 2005
    I just started playing with the full circle after coming from the realist. Sounds like your issue is with the afterlength mounting of the full circle. I bet if you take the full circle off the afterlengths you will get your sustain/resonance back. I can hear it with my bass.
  18. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    It's hard to know, my bass had so much work done to it when I switched pickups, it's not apples to apples. But I play primarily acooustically and I don't have any of teh problems you describe- lack of sustain of bowed note, muted notes, lack of edge etc.

    A question, did you have the FC installed on the bridge when you pulled other adjusters out? Maybe there are some fit issues.
  19. emilio g

    emilio g

    Jul 16, 2008
    Jersey City, NJ
    I have yet to find a pickup that doesn't mess with the acoustic sound to some extent. I also haven't heard a pickup that sounds acoustic to me.

    However, most of them can provide a very usable sound, with minimal impact on acoustic sound. The Full Circle is one of them, and if it was really making that much of a difference, I feel like it was more of a setup issue related to bridge position/angle.

    Personally, I use a condensor mic whenever possible and if that's not working out, I keep a K&K bassmax nearby that I can put on in between tunes.
  20. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    Ill have an update on this thread hopefully in the not too distant future.

    I now use a new bass and im waiting for a despiau bridge which has been on backorder for many many weeks now. Ill have that bridge cut fresh with adjusters and put the FC in that.

    Im thinking it must be a fitment issue on the old bass. Ive heard basses with FC that had the full tone and brightness.

    Well we shall see.

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