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Ischell Contact Microphone

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Eric Hochberg, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Let us know how it works for you.
  2. flatback


    May 6, 2004
    I had it cranked last night and did notice that during a drum solo while the drummer was pounding on his 22 inch bass drum (he left his small one somewhere) that there was a big weird feedback thump coming thru the speaker, basically his bass drum coming thru the mic. I just adjusted the mix between the two pickups to favor the other one for half a song and then when it got quieter, dialed the Ischell back up. Reminds you that it really is a mic.
    rickwolff and Darxter like this.
  3. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I'm really fortunate that all the guys I regularly gig with have small bass drums. It makes a huge difference when the group is working on a small stage.

    BassJuju likes this.
  4. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Ordered. Thanks for all of the input, folks.
  5. I'm glad you guys are jumping into "another" pickup, but haven't we all learned yet that it's the speaker, that might get you closest to what your looking for?

    Ever noticed when you play into theater sound speakers, then your amp, then a PA speaker, and etc..?

    Using the same pickup, (dare I say even realist,) the difference is in the speaker..

    The way the engineers designs PA and theater speaker/ house systems are unreal compared to bass speakers..

    Perhaps see my video where I play an electric upright bass with a full circle and also schertler vintage B pickup... And play them through a hartke 4x10 and then a QSC 12" PA speaker..

    The difference was monumental.. When using a PA speaker which was meant for vocals and more, all the sudden the sound was clear and the right kind of non-colored bass tone I was looking for... I never got that kind of clarity and EQ out of any bass amp..

    (Well maybe my Walterwoods but I had to play it through a $1300 cabinet to finally get to where the QSC PA speaker was)

    I have my videos if I didn't upload them, but I'm in Singapore right now and it will take me a day to upload then if I didn't but I thought I did already.. (Haven't been on talk bass for a few weeks..)

    I am also capable of making another video using a house system and showing you all just how using a hartke 4x10 and then switching to a Meyers speaker house system using a full circle or schertler or realist or lifeline..

    Then you can see and hear the difference that it's not so much the pickups but the way the speaker is pre-EQ'd and quality of the cone/magnet/material of speaker.

    Sorry if I'm ranting but this is where I've finally come to a stop with buying pickups after $10,000s of dollars disappearing trying to get a "Sound"

    Just ranting sorry.. Enjoy the mic pickup
    coldtrain likes this.
  6. BassJuju


    Jul 9, 2016
    Mine arrived last week and I installed it on Sunday-- first day with any time. As others have stated it does take a little fiddling and trial and error to get it just right. However, it is fairly simple to to do and took only a few minutes to get the technique of rolling the putty correct. One time with wicked feedback and a second with a fairly flat sound, plus a little buzzing noise on the E. Third time was a charm. I followed the instructions from the website, Google translate in Chrome is your friend. I used the #3 template, if you will, to push it on. I liked the tone of position #1 the bet. I could use a significant amount of gain and more volume with the cab facing the big girl and setting about 6 feet away-- no feedback. Once I moved it to the side, or behind even, great tone and nice amplification. I set my EQ to fairly flat to start and played around with those settings just a wee bit. One day and no gigs down, but so far, I'm a fan.
  7. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Well my good friend, that depends on who you're talking about.:) Mike Arnopol, Duke LeJune, and Jim Bergantino all build
    stellar DB cabinets, that sound IMHO far better as backline cabinets than a QSC. That may be an unfair comparison, because
    the design goals for the QSC's are quite different.

    That makes perfect sense to me, a Hartke 4x10 is voiced as a EB cabinet, where the QSC K12 is designed for full range FOH support. They can sound remarkable. Personally,
    I think my Audiokinesis TC-112 sounds better than the QSC, but that's a matter of individual preference. I use a QSC K8 for casual gigs, and it's fine for those performances.
    When the QSC K series speakers first came out TB DB players were lining up to use them, with the DPA 4099B and Headway EDB-1, Incidentially, the QSC series power section
    is identical for all three of the different speakers, K8,K10, and K12.

    While it would be very interesting to hear the comparisons, I would think you should just enjoy Singapore while you're there.

    Hey, I don't think you can argue with that assesment, we didn't start to see bass cabinet designs that were anything out of the ordinary until. Euphonic Audio's John Dong, Jim Bergantino,
    Duke LeJune, and Mike Arnopol started building bass cabinets that had Hi Fi design goals. I've owned a Walter Woods amp for so long that I can definitely remember not being able to
    buy a speaker cabinet that could reproduce the nuances that the Woods is capable of. Pickups had the same problem. Fortunately we have a lot better pickups, amps, and speakers now.
    IMHO it's a chain and all three of the components have to be compatible to produce a great sound. APparently the Ischell is part of that equasion for a growing number of Double Bassists.:D

    rickwolff and MR PC like this.
  8. @Ric Vice

    I do agree what your saying, a hartke 4x10 is definitely not the best amp/cab to use for comparison, but it's what I had in front of me at the time..

    Unfortunately for my next video, I only have have a fender 12, hartke 4x10, a Yamaha or maybe it's a fender monitor -(100 watts). and the "house system" - which I think is Meyers speakers? I also could use maybe a Eon? Or JBL PA speaker.. (It's not in front of me right this moment.) but I'm sure those wouldn't sound so great anyway..

    I will eventually (after Singapore) make a video and post it up on talkbass so you all can hear that in my opinion, I've found you just need a crazy expensive speaker.. :thumbsup:

    For example, there is no bass amp when I plug into the house speakers.. It just goes direct DI box.. ( Of course with whatever power amp the house uses..)
  9. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    That's the ideal situation from my standpoint. If the house has separate monitor sends for each instrument, I'm good to go, no amp needed. The Grace Felix, Headway EDB-2, or 3Leaf Audio Enabler

    is all I bring to those gigs.

  10. Michael Drost

    Michael Drost Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Grand Haven, MI
    For what it is worth, I have been using the Ischell since April 2016. I still prefer it over the Lifeline, Full Circle, and DPA 4099 all of which I own. I run an AI head with MAS 26 on a stick. For low to medium volume gigs, gigs in tight spaces this is the one for me(so far). Never have feedback, and it always delivers a somewhat natural sound.
    rickwolff, Ischell and Ric Vice like this.
  11. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Received and installed the Ischell mic today. Very simple, took 10 minutes. First placement was a winner and sounds awesome! Now to practice blending it with my FC.
  12. hhalt

    hhalt Hans Halt

    Nov 26, 2010
    Reno, Nv
    After seeing some video's and reading up, I went with the Ischell. Just played a big band rehearsal and then a quintet jazz gig. Couldn't believe the sound and volume level.

    Here's a clip (iphone recording) at home with an AI head through a Bergantino 12 with volume up fairly high. I still might try some different placements, but pretty satisfied. bass is an old Bohemian with Animas.

    hdiddy, Ric Vice, Lee Moses and 6 others like this.
  13. Michael Drost

    Michael Drost Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Grand Haven, MI
    I did a video shoot with the my Ischell and D2. Here are a few clips. I don't usually use the D2 live. I had it on the bass as an option. I think it is a good representation of the sound I get live. I hope it helps people(like all of the other great videos in this thread) make the process of selecting a pick up, or mic much simpler. The rabbit hole can become very deep. Very quickly : ).

    Slim Pickins, d.Fly, Ric Vice and 6 others like this.
  14. rickwolff

    rickwolff SOLD For Sale: Headway EDB-2 HE $260 Supporting Member

    That sounds fabulous! Thanks for the great clips.
    Ischell likes this.
  15. flatback


    May 6, 2004
    I just love having this mic on my bass. It is NOT an air mic exactly but kind of plays one on TV. I cannot help but to wonder what would happen if Fisher put a nice large diaphragm condenser into a similar package. I'd be really curious to know if it is the specific combination of this mic element and the putty mounting that makes it work so well or if a larger diaphram mic could work too. I can imagine a bigger warmer fuller tone with all the feedback rejection and lack of bleed...prolly be more bleed...
  16. flatback


    May 6, 2004
    I just went back to playing with placement of this mic after being really really satisfied with how it sounds (there must be something wrong with me) ...But I reread everything Fisher has in the directions with an eye toward gleaning any insights I might have missed.
    I missed a cuppla too tree tings: The other positions (2,3) can be really excellent it pays to expirement, and it makes a really BIG difference how far away from the bass the mic actually sits. Farther away (mic minimally squished into the putty) gets you a bigger wider more mic like tone (and I find a better tone to mix with a piezo) whereas squished in will get you less feedback and a much more direct and edgier tone (can be good if you are only using the Ischell and not blending it)
    The punchier more tenor emphasized Contrabassetto sounds much better in the more open Position 2 with the mic pulled back as far as it can sit on the putty ring. Like that (with a piezo mixed under it) it sounds like a much bigger instrument with a deeper less bell like speaking voice, where as on my big bass, which has a less focused but way fatter fundamental, position one pressed in a bit sounds better.
    It is amazing about this mic that if there is even a little air leak in the putty, crazy howling feedback, but just press it around the edges and make sure it is sealed (easy to do with this excellent putty) and suddenly you have tone and way more volume then any other mic.
    Sometimes I have it cranked and it just feels weird to have a nice mic sound that loud in my ear, I am so used to getting that hollow roar working its way up at a much lower volume with other mics.
  17. rickwolff

    rickwolff SOLD For Sale: Headway EDB-2 HE $260 Supporting Member

    I had this same experience (only once). Perhaps from moving the mic I had what must have been not much more than a pin-hole size air leak which caused immediate very high freq feedback. I just pressed the putty against the bass a little and it disappeared immediately.

    I also agree that this is fabulous putty. It holds up beautifully and doesn't seem to harden or decay with age.

    I haven't got another gig for a few days so I think I'll follow your example and mess around with placement a little bit more. It could be very useful to know how different placements lend themselves to different rooms and different volume levels. The mic is so easy to reposition that it's no problem to do it on a gig (especially if you know ahead of time what effect you will have by moving to a different position.
    MDrost1 likes this.
  18. flatback


    May 6, 2004
    Just acquired an old plywood bass...put the Ischell on there....I dont know who said it doesn't work with plywood basses but it sure works with this one. Sounds just killing.
    Mark Gollihur, Earl and Kristian like this.
  19. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I think just depends on the way a particular piece of plywood vibrates. My Mirecourt Bass actually has a laminate back, and it sounds amazing.

  20. flatback


    May 6, 2004
    Yeah...THe Ischell can emphasize some wrong frequencies on my little Contrabassetto (not the Ischell's fault) The little bass needs a nice bassy pickup to give it body, but last night I threw some strings on this giant old American Standard I just got (the bridge is bent like a taco...but it works) put the Ischell on there and wowza that is a smokin freight train of a sound. THe AS has huge action (about an inch and a half of archery bow) which I am going to temper with a new shorter bridge, but all the bigness of the sound the airy roundness comes out beautifully. Stoked.
    Ric Vice likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 17, 2021

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