Help with Realist

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by bassbuddy, Sep 18, 2004.

  1. I installed a Realist on my Engleghardt recently. It sounds terrible! Very hollow and boxy, with a kind of honking low-mid emphasis that I can't get rid of with any kind of eq. Very little full bottom end either. I know an Engle may not be the greatest bass, but it sounds fine in the room. Certainly, the pickup doesn't reflect the sound of the bass.

    I know the Realist is notoriously dark, but this sound is all but unusable. Maybe there are installation subtleties I'm not aware of. Any ideas?
  2. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Do you know if the realist ~1k ohms output matches your amp's input? Are you runnig a preamp to dodge that problem? Some amps need a preamp to impedance match, some don't...
  3. The Realist is designed not to need a pre. Nonetheless, I tried a SABDDI between bass & amp, which didn't help the problem. It IS better when I use the SABDDI alone, bypassing the preamp of my combo altogether (an old GK 200MB), but it doesn't solve the problem completely. Still boomy/boxy/woofy.
  4. Dennis Kong

    Dennis Kong Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    San Mateo CA
    I got rid my Realists because they were too boomy, and didn't
    sound like my basses. And they also feedback very easily when you try to turn the volume up. (low output too)

    I currently use the B-Band pick-ups which sound more like my basses and they don't feedback as much at a higher volume. But they're not cheap either. (with Mesa Walkabout & EA VL208 cab.)

    Anyways; I live in the Bay Area and had to rent some gear for a gig in Chatham, New Jersey. which included a 5 string Musicanman, an Chinese upright with Realist, GK 800rb, a 4-10 Harke cab and 1- 15 spkr cab. (I did not know this beforehand). I borrowed my friend's K&k preamp as a back-up ' cause I did not know what the pickup would be on the upright bass either. I kinda guessed it would be a Realist.
    During soundcheck, I plugged the bass into K & K preamp
    and then into the GK. Surprisingly it sounded very passable!!
    Some boom, mids, little highs, okay but not great. I also
    did not have time to adjust the internal pots for treble & bass
    in the K& K, but it worked.
    The combination was loud enuff with the band so no one
    complained. (I had to use the mid-button slope to cut mids
    to decrease the feedback threshold).
    You may want try the K&K preamp and it has internal
    pots for treble & bass volumes along with a master volume.
    Available from Gollihur's web site.
  5. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Just cause it's been negative so far, I've been using a Realist almost since they came out (mine's the original configuration)
    with absolutely no problems, with extreme happiness with my sound, with a natural sounding arco (the small bit I do) etc, etc.
  6. I'm not a Realist user, but I think the consensus around these parts is that in general it works better on carved or carved-top basses than on laminated basses.
  7. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    the BEST advice I've gotten on here about the Realist is to wedge some foam between the strings between the bridge and the tailpiece. It's amazing what a difference it made. Try it and see if it works for you. Good luck

  8. mister_k


    Jul 27, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I use an Englehardt (ES-9) with a Realist and a GK 800 head through an Ampeg 4x10 and my sound is clean, with very few feedback problems. And I play in a LOUD 9 piece rock band as my main gig. Are you still using the factory bridge? If you are, you need to ditch it, Engle sends some soft bridges out.

    I am a Realist fan.
  9. Nope, I had a good adjustable bridge fitted for it when I first got it. I went ahead and ordered a Bass Max so I can have something to compare it to; I'm hoping that'll bring out more "string" in the sound. I'm reluctant to try the foam idea because it sounds fairly dead and tubby as is; instinct tells me that would only make the problem worse.

    I'll report in after I try the K&K; hopefully, it's waiting for me at home right now.
  10. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    I have a ply bass and realist. Usually with some EQ'ing on the amp I get a sound I am happy with (both Arco/Pizz).

  11. Well, I picked up a Bass Max and on this bass at least it was a big improvement - that honking low-mid woof is gone, and I've got a fairly usable signal now. Even my wife noticed the difference!

    Now I've just got to get the hang of eq'ing the thing. Any suggestions? Right now I'm just using an old GK 200MB combo.
  12. Dennis Kong

    Dennis Kong Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    San Mateo CA
    Suggest the K&K preamp with the 3 internal controls for
    for your Bass Max.
    Before I switched to the B-B pu's, I used to own the B Max and the preamp. And it really helps with output of the pu, and tonal qualities of bass -- the source.
    It also acts as a volume control (like the electric bass) too
    if you have get louder or softer. Rather running back to the
    amp every so often.
    I used to have to compete with bandmates every so often especially on solos!!
    And that's great that your wife notices a difference too.
    Women tend have better ears than us guys.
    My bass repair "person" is a woman and she makes some
    basses too. Hannah /
  13. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    I also play an old Kay with a Realist. I've always been very happy with the sound, especially when I use the Clarus head.