Ideal Pickup For High Volume

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Robot Freak Out, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. Robot Freak Out

    Robot Freak Out

    Oct 20, 2004
    So I've got this old plywood bass that does me pretty well. And about a year ago, I saw a good deal on a realist, so I picked that up. I've played in combos and big bands with this setup, and it's been satisfactory. What I'd like to do is start playing my upright in my rock quartet. The problem is, some of our songs are really dang loud, and when I turn myself up loud enough to match my band, the realist feeds back like crazy. (The amp i'm using is an SWR super redhead with a Goliath III extension cab) Which leads me to my question: what is the ideal pickup for playing very loud pizzicato?
  2. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    The Stringcharger (by Pierre Josephs) or any other magnetic pickup works best for this. I used to have one, and I used it in insanely (stupidly, pointlessly) loud situations. You can eventually get so loud that it will feed back, but the threshold is way way higher than that of the Realist or an Underwood or, god forbid, a microphone. Doesn't sound like a bass, but no pickups do at those volumes.

    The obligatory Arnold Schnitzer public service announcement: Sound pressure levels that high cause hearing damage, so don't even think about not wearing earplugs...
  3. Robot Freak Out

    Robot Freak Out

    Oct 20, 2004
    Man, I can't hear you, we're rockin' too hard!

    Seriously though, thanks for the tip. I'm gonna check this stuff out.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Revolution Solo. I've cranked that puppy up loud hooked to an SWR SM-500 with a 4 x 10" and had nary a feedback problem, even right in front of it. Won't saying it won't feed back, but you'll have to really work at it.
  5. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    Hey there, I've used the Barbera pickup for several years and absolutley love it for louder gigs. I've even run it through an insanely loud rig -- Aguilar DB 680, Crown K1 amp, SWR 4x10 & 2x10. Yes, it will feed back at some point, but not like the clip on or wedge-type piezos. I currently have a Fishman Full Circle which proves itself nicely on quiet-medium volume jazz gigs and am saving the bread for a new bridge and a updated Barbera.

    I did NOT like the Pierre Josephs one bit. Awful sound -- even through decent EQ's and preamps. Yes, it's magnetic...but if I were to add a pickup to the end of the fingerboard again, I'd consider building and mounting some real electric bass pickups -- like EMGs or my favorite, Bartolinis. Good Luck!
  6. schmiffy


    Aug 26, 2004
    I like the Beisele magnetic pickup-- you can turn it up insanely loud before feedback, you can adjust individual string level, and you can blend it with a piezo (if you buy the model wwith the preamp). You can also attach it to any bass ! It definitely sounds "electric", but blending it with a piezo really helps it sound more natural.
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Barbera: for $500 it better work better than two of everything else on their best days, and then some...

    Does it?

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    If you want a natural sound at high volumes, the best on the market IMO is the Schertler Stat B. You can crank it up pretty loud and it sounds wonderful. Lots of bottom and definition.
  9. So, you know just what to get now, right? :D
  10. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    I think the Barbera is certainly worth the $500...Yes, it can sound thin -- like any piezo system. However, it avoids the dreaded mid-range "clack" of the clip-on types. It amplifies extremely well and sounds decent on recordings. I use an Aguilar DB 924 18volt external pre with the Barbera and it sounds righteous through almost any amp. I'd love to try the Besiele...but it looked so frickin' big in the ad I saw (don't like things weighing the end of the fingerboard down). I've also heard good things about the Schertler. Is the Stat B the little guy that attaches to the body or F hole of the bass?
  11. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    Right -- just checked out the web page -- I was thinking of the DYN B...the Stat B looks pretty cool too...anyone else have experience with these?
  12. bassame


    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    I use the DYN-B and have used the STAT-B. At the volumes you are talking about, I don't see any point in getting them. You have to forget about having a natural sound. I would use an Underwood or a magnetic as was already suggested. You can crank up the volume on the Schertler stuff but it will at that point sound like an Underwood.
  13. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    for the cost the Underwood is hard to beat.
  14. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS

    I have both, but I don't think you can definitevely say that. On a PA system with lots of headroom and good eq, I can get unbelievably loud with the Dyn B. The caveat is it needs power. You go through a cheap 200w PA and it will sound horrible at loud volumes.

    The Stat isn't as natural, but I've found it more tolerant of high volumes/ low headroom while still sounding pretty darn clean. I keep it around for the 2-3 times a year I do a loud or big band gig.
  15. I've used a Barbera on one bass, and a Wilson on another, and had good results. A friend had a plywood with an EMG precision pickup on, and he got the loudest I've ever heard an acoustic bass, and it didn't cost half as much (won't work an nylon [or gut strings] though, unles they are wound on a metal centre).
  16. Is a Barbera worth twice as much? I dunno because I dont have another pickup to compare it to, but I am still waiting for Tombowlus to give us his A/B test of Barbera against Revolution Solo. A Barbera has no need of a preamp, in fact it sounds better without one, so that evens up the cost a bit against a pickup that does need a preamp! I guess it would be fair to say it's not twice as good as most others, but it suits me for a broad spectrum of musical genres, it is very resistant to feedback, and as stated above, has a nice midrange, which is where many pickups fall down.
  17. bassame


    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    I agree with you Monte. I guess what I'm saying is that when the band gets that loud, no one can hear your "natural sounding" bass anymore. The only way to be heard, is to have that midrangy honky sound.