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Looking for something better than bass max...

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by junglebike, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    So I haven't been able to get a great live sound yet, and I'm thinking of throwing some more money into the fire...

    I play a low-to-mid-range carved German upright. I've currently got a Bass Max and the Golden Trinity upgrade. I love the sound of the mic by itself, and even with a bit of piezo blended in.

    Problem is, the mic feeds back very easily, and it picks up other instruments, vocals, etc. All in all, it's a pain, and I end up using mostly the piezo, which has a very unnatural sounding attack (metallic and... uh... piezo-y).

    Anyone have a recommendation for a good step up? There's a Schertler Stat B for sale in the classifieds section.

    I play jazz, folk, blues, everything. Sometimes somewhat loud, but never ear-shattering. I have a fantastic amp (EA iamp 800 combo) so that's not the problem...

    I live an hour from Lemur music -- I'm thinking of driving back up there and doings some experimenting. Any suggestions on what to look for?

    thanks, guys!
  2. I would say Schertler. I use the Dyn-B and i love it. I have no experience with the Stat-B but I've heard other bassists rave about it. The Dyn-b, IMO, is the ideal compromise between a pickup and a mike.

  3. JonB


    May 27, 2003
    This sounds similar to what I was using...carved german with a golden trinity and bass max, through an EA speaker. Did you start out with the Golden Trinity, or add the mic to Bass Max, hoping to improve the sound?
    My current setup is a Fishman Full Circle through an EA cxl 112. Fishman is (for me) a big improvement over the Bass Max, a more natural sound with less buzz. I thought I'd be needing to blend in some microphone, but it sounds so good I haven't wanted to. The "tonal adjustment" thing really makes for some variations in sounds. Mine was installed with the pickup facing the strings, but it can be used the other way for a darker sound.
    This pickup works very well in loud situations without feedback. Arco sounds good, too.
    Frankly, after the BP100, I was real hesitant to try a Fishman product - I'm glad I did.
    I don't know about Schertler, but would like to try it sometime. Has anyone compared Full Circle with Schertler?
  4. I've had great luck with the Full Circle too. Probably repeating myself, but I played a show that was 90% arco straight from the FC into the board and got raves about the sound.
  5. Robert


    Nov 14, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I have tried both the Bass Max and the Schertler Stat-B on my bass, and I must say prefer the sound of the Bass Max. The Schertler seems to produce more noise and string noise that I dislike. I've tried to EQ the Schertler but with varying results.
    The Schertler looks much better and feels much better, but sounds worse, at least on my bass. Too bad. ;)
  6. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn

    Feb 25, 2004
    I just recently had to purchase a new pickup when my old Underwood died on me. I was luckily able to go to my luthier and try out a number of pickups. I tested the Bass Max, Realist, Full Circle and Stat-B.

    I ended up going with the Full Circle because it seemed to have the most natural sound and also the most clarity at all volume levels. It sounds especially good arco.

    The Stat-B was too bright and brittle sounding on my bass, but I must admit that I was using one that had been fitted to another bass. It fit mine pretty well, but I have heard that the fit of the cork must be very precise to get the best sound.

    The Bass Max and Realist sounded fine to me, but weren't really that different in tone from the Underwood (to my ears).

    I'd recommend trying out the Underwood if you get a chance, too. Many people hate it, but others swear by it. I was happy with it for the last 10 years!
  7. FidgetStone


    Jun 30, 2002
    Allen, TX
    I'm curious if you are using a preamp with tone controls. I have a bassmax that sounds very mid-range-ish when played straight through the board or through my SVT-3 amp. When I engage the graphic equalizer on the SVT I can take out the lowest bass to reduce feedback and then back down on some of the mid-range frequencies to get a nicer tone. I still think I could do better though.

    I've been kicking around the idea of a nice preamp lilke the Fishman Pro EQ or R.L. Baggs Acoustic DI. Any thoughts?
  8. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks for the suggestions, guys! I think I'm going to get the Fishman full circle installed when I go up to Lemur Music this weekend for an action adjustment. Sounds like just what I'm after.

    FidgetStone -- I have more tone controls than I know what to do with, between the K&K blender and the I-amp's 4-band parametric!

    I can get an okay tone out of it, but the attack just doesn't sound right on my bass.

  9. Robert


    Nov 14, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I am using the Bass Max with the Fishman Pro EQ. I sounds pretty much the same with or without but it is always nice to be able to shape the sound with the EQ. The phase shift is also nice, even though the Bass Max is very resistant to feedback so it is hardly needed.
  10. Robert


    Nov 14, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
  11. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn

    Feb 25, 2004
    I don't mean to say that the Realist sounds exactly like the Underwood, just that it wasn't as different as the Full Circle was. I would definitely give the Realist a try if you have a chance, it might work out better for you.

    Even the Full Circle still sounds like a pickup. It not, "my bass, only louder," it's just a good, clean sound that is more like my natural bass sound than the others I tried. The thing I like about it most is that it sounds very clear, unlike the others that I tried that always had some muddiness and/or excess noise.

    In any case, it can't hurt to try as many pickups as possible. At least, if it's free. I was fortunate in that I was able to go to a shop where they installed all the pickups on my bass at once and I was able to try them out side by side.
  12. Robert


    Nov 14, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Why can't there be good shops like that in Sweden? Maybe there is??

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