Looking for a New Pickup...

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by bigseries, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. K & K

    11 vote(s)
  2. Underwood

    6 vote(s)
  3. Fishman

    6 vote(s)
  4. Realist

    7 vote(s)
  5. Barbera

    3 vote(s)
  6. Other

    5 vote(s)
  1. bigseries


    Sep 23, 2001
    I have had a generic copy an Underwood pickup for like 10 years now that has been suprizingly amazing for the entire time - never any real problems.

    However, I'm in a band now thats playing at really high volume. This pickup is extremely hot - if I turn down the master to about 1/2 of what I play my electric at, I get almost the same volume.

    Alas, I need the upright to be just slightly louder, but I get total feedback when I turn it up that one extra notch. So...

    What pickup is the best for handling very high volumes? I'm fine with not having a truly "realistic" sound, but I dont want the arco to be all tinny.


    PS I use a GK 800 and Aguilar GS212.
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    You can just go ahead and cross Fishman and Underwood off that list - they'll both feed back at high volumes, although the Underwood's got a lot more headroom than the Fishman. I use a K&K Double Bass Max on both of my basses. On my primary (carved) bass, it never feeds back no matter how loud things get. On my backup (plywood) bass, I get low end rumble at times. However, it should be noted that my primary bass has felt wrapped around the afterlength of the strings to dampen feedback, and my backup doesn't. The pickups also fit more snugly on the carved bass, which may be another mitigating factor. I've never owned a Barbera, but I've played one or two and they seemed pretty feedback resistant to me. Good luck.
  3. I ordered my Double Bass Max a week ago. Cant wait to try it out. Bob G. had to order it from K&K. From what I`ve read about it and what DURRL and Don has said I`m sure it will be fine. When shopping I read over and over the reviews of pick-ups on here and went with the DBM. It just seemed like a easy dicision. Less Feedback prone...easy to install and remove...the preamp...sounds good to me. I think I`ll be happy. Between the Pick-up and trying out new Bows this next week I`m all Gased up..:D

  4. bigseries


    Sep 23, 2001
    Thanks for the input.

    Can one of you guys explain exactly how the whole preamp thing works?
  5. tsolo


    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    Everything I have read indicates that KnK is really good at high volume and so far the poll recommends KnK. My question is if i don't want to have to keep up with batteries, what is my alternative (at high volume)? I don't play at a high enough volume to worry about feedback so i can use my either fishman or realist without a preamp. I hate having to worry about battery power and i hate engineering new equipment.
  6. I "seen a guy" at a concert one time checking out the battery life in effects. What he had was a homemade device. It was basically a Ohmmeter with the lead wires cut and soddered{sp?] to a 1/4 inch jack. I assume he was testing the DC voltage but not sure. I can see where it would be a cool thing so you not having to take stuff apart to check batteries. Do any of you know what this guy was doing and how? Interesting..


    P.S. Hey Tsolo, I was born and spent my early childhood in O`L Fort Worth. The Mansfeild Hwy area. Well that was back in the day before you saw 187 spraypainted on anything that wouldent move...:D
  7. tsolo


    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    You mean 287? it's even bigger now.
  8. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    The Schertler Stat-B did the best I've ever seen at staying acoustic-like at a high volume. I can compare it to the Bass Max, Realist, Fishman, and Underwood.

  9. I recently had a Fishman "Full Circle" fitted to one of my basses, and I've been very impressed by the results. I think it to be better than the K & K Bass Max (especially when playing arco), although not as good as the Neumann SKM-184 slung between the legs of the bridge.

    - Wil
  10. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    You can use the K&K without a preamp too. If you should need a preamp you can use one that can be powered by an adapter.
  11. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Played my friends bass with a Wilson
    pickup at concert volume, in front of
    a 4x10 box with no feedback. AND TONE!
    We mixed in just a little of a realist
    for a bit of thumpy boom.
  12. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    Hey ChrisFitz... does the felt wrapped on the afterlength really have a big impact on reducing feedback? Personally, I HATE having to cover/stuff/plug or otherwise 'eliminate' the f-holes, and am interested in other ways to reduce feedback.

    BTW, I just installed a fishman full circle on my bass this afternoon. While I've not yet had a chance to really put it through the wringer to make a proper judgement, the first thing that came to mind was "They (the copywriters at Fishman)weren't just BS-ing me... The sound of MY bass really does come through -- only louder."

    I think I'm really going to like this pickup. Can't yet speak on the feedback resistance.
  13. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    The felt on the afterlength helps a lot with feedback on my pickup format on both basses, even moreso on the plywood. I can't say how it will help with the full circle, though. Post a detailed review when you've put it through its paces, willya?
  14. I used a fishman full cirlce without a preamp while playing Voodoo Chile very loudly and did not have a problem, even standing directly in front of the amp. Although it did slowly start to feed back if I took my hands off the strings, when I was playing I had no problem. It is also a just a good pickup, it sounds almost as good as if the bass were unamplified. I also tried the K&K combo pickup and I wasnt satisfied, I personally thought they still sounded fake, only slightly better than the BP-100, I could definately hear that I'm being amplified. But with the full circle I sometimes think that my amp isnt working, until I switch it off and realize I am much quieter. Once the amp starts to totally drown out the sound of the bass you can hear its more pickupy tones, but even then it sounds much better than anything else I've tried.
  15. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have a Barbera bridge on my Kay, and it really has served me well, especially in the high volume settings. I double on electric, and with my primary band, we play a wide range of rock, so I am only playing URB about 15% of the time. Given that the rest of the band is stupid loud, I have to bring a fairly large rig and play at fairly loud volumes. With a simple tweak on a parametric EQ, my rig will handle the Kay quite well without feeding back. As a rather extreme example, we had a outdoor gig last August, and somewhat on a lark (and to keep our rhythm guitar player in line), I brought the following rig:
    And believe it or not, I did not have any feedback problems (again, with a tweak on the parametric to dial out the most feedback prone frequencies). Not what I'd call the most ideal (or portable) upright rig, but the fact that I was able to use it effectively is a tribute to the Barbera, I think.

    Hope this helps, Tom.
  16. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    A belated reply: I tsuspect he was using a compact battery tester, which tests voltage under a small load. They're cheap. To make a tester like you describe, get a battery tester and a three-circuit 1/4" stereo plug- the tip/ring/ground type. Solder the black lead to ground, and the red lead to ring.

    This will work for all effects that turn on by having the input plug ground the negative side of the battery. I think I'll make one myself.
  17. Thanks Mje,
    I think I`ll make one to.

  18. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    Fitz-o-matic 9000:
    Here's that lil' review on the Full Circle you asked about. Mind you, I originally posted this on Rockabillybass.com, hence the blurb on slap clicks -- and I just KNOW that wouldn't really interest any of YOU now, would it...;)

    "Fishman Full Circle. Reasonable price, quite surprising tone and performance, good feedback resistance. But you just may need a pre...

    Installation: A snap if you already have 1/4-20 thread adjusters in your bridge. If not, you'll need to factor a luthier's bill into the equation.

    Setup: Simple, simple, simple. One adjuster contains the pickup, the other is a matching dummy for consistent look. One wire, one string-mount jack. That's it. No cables, preamps, extra pickups attached to my bass. Check it: http://www.rockabillybass.com/discus/messages/3/1203.html?1068235596

    Sound quality: Impressive. Very natural-sounding acoustic bass reproduction. Some tout this PU as offering 'microphone quality' sound. Honestly, they're pretty damn close. NO coloring of the sound, NO unwanted overtones, NO 'mushy' response. Like the marketing doods at Fishman say, it's "your bass. only louder." There is a simple tone adjustment you can make by turning the "live" adjuster wheel about 1/8th of a turn. You choose from a more resonant, fuller body tone, or a dryer, more focused sound with less of the body's natural overtones.

    So where does slap fit in? I'm running this pickup solo -- no FB transducer -- and when you're careful about how you tweak your amp EQ, compressor and the horn on your cab (if so equipped), you have a natural, full-bodied upright sound with clear and natural clicks coming through perfectly.

    Tone and volume are nice and even across the strings. Only drawback I can see is that, like most URB pickups, a preamp does fill out the signal. It sounds great without one, but sounds even better with, solving your impedance mismatch.

    Overall: For $169 (or so), it's priced like, well, an upright pickup. But I can tell you I'm happier than a con on his release date with it. Fantastic tone, but almost more importantly, what I call "forget-ability." If I'm hearing something I don't like, I'll tweak something on the amp rig, because I'm confident that the pickup's not at fault. It's simple, and requires virtually no user attention or input. Just the way I like it..."