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Looking for your comments on the Stat-B

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Tbeers, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I have been looking through the forums in my search for a new pickup (to replace my Realist) and the Stat-B caught my eye. There are a few scattered posts about this pickup on the forums, but I feel that it deserves its own thread and I am looking for more recent comments on its effectiveness.

    First, my rig: Fully carved Schnitzer bass --> Realist --> AI Contra. I get a very full sound with this setup, but I don't think that it is really the sound of my bass. It misses out on lots of high register stuff and doesn't capture articulations. It's almost like... my sound, but dumbed down.

    There are a few other problems I have with the Realist. First off, I am afraid of it leaving an indentation on the top of my instrument (perhaps it's already done that, I don't know). Second, I have no way of telling how much tone I am sacrificing by having the pickup on, but the idea of putting a piece of metal in between the bridge and the soundboard worries me. Finally, I decided that I need a pickup that can be removed without having to risk the soundpost collapsing.

    My criteria for a new pickup:
    - Good sound for arco and pizz (evenness in all registers is especially important)
    - Will not harm my instrument or require cutting into my instrument for installation
    - Can be removed/reapplied safely and easily

    Are there any Stat-B users out there who could give me a word or two on this? I understand that every pickup sounds different through every amp and on every bass. One thing I am wondering is whether the Stat-B can be taken off without great hassle, if I want to go play a classical concert, for example.

    Anyway, I'll stop rambling now. Thanks in advance for all the help I'm sure you'll give me!
  2. bassame


    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    The Stat-B has a good sound for pizz, not for arco. It tends to accentuate the midrange and highs, and you get a lot of finger noise (and bow noise) which has to be EQ'd out.
    It will not harm your instrument as it fits into the bridge wing. Getting it to fit securely (but not tightly) can be a test of one's patience but it can be done. Removal is the easiest thing, as is putting it back.
    It can get pretty loud without feedback.
    I no longer use it for a very specific reason, that may only be true in New York City. It occasionally picks up the boosted radio transmissions of "gypsy" [unlicensed] cabs passing nearby. This happens unexpectedly, sometimes during your solo, and everyone things its very funny except you. So I got the DYN-B which has all the benefits of the STAT-B and its good for arco too. No more radio transmissions.
  3. LowNote

    LowNote Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2002
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I play a Hatchez carved bass equipped with a StatB into either an AI New Yorker, or Focus or Walter Woods Ultra. I play almost exclusively pizzicato. The StatB replaced a Realist that I bought first when I got this bass a few years ago. The StatB is a quantum jump better than the Realist in terms of clarily--it has much more of a HiFi sound. I find that it also does a much better job of handling differences in the volume of my playing, i.e., if you change from forte to mezzo piano, the change comes out through the amp. I'm very happy with it, and believe you will like it a lot.

    Erik Hansen
    Los Angeles
  4. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Do you know enough to compare the Stat-B arco sound to the Realist arco sound?

    If the Realist were easier to put on and take off, I might not even bother finding something new. And the Dyn-B is not the right choice for me for a few different reasons. If the stat-b seems like it would be a better sound, then I'm definitely going to go for it.

    Thanks for all your comments so far!
  5. LowNote

    LowNote Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2002
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    My arco playing was quite limited with both of the pickups and is pretty limited in general, so I'm afraid that I'm not able to be of much help here. I do play the occasional arco passage on my bass with the StatB and I don't find it to be a problem at all. It doesn't remotely sound super harsh like the Underwood or the old Fishman BP100 did when you brought out the bow.
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Responses to the original questions:

    Tone lost by having the Realist installed: I didn't notice any after the first couple of weeks, and espcially after the first few days.

    The top is already dented.
  7. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I have a Stat-B and a K & K BassMax on my New Standard Cleveland laminated bass (which originally came with a Realist ). It's definitely the most even-sounding (in terms of frequency response and dynamics) of all 3 pickups. I'm playing mostly jazz and Latin, about 85% pizz. Most of the time I play through a GK 400RB and EA Wizzy 112 cab.

    Being electrostatic it doesn't have any honky piezo weirdness. The Stat-B doesn't sound as true as a mic but I feel that it brings out the qualities of different strings better than many pickups. Both pizz and arco were very smooth with hybrid strings (Obligatos and Innovation Honeys). Growly pizz, really detailed punchy arco with broken-in Spiro Mittels. Arco was a bit too bright with new steel strings (Pirastro Jazzer) so I usually used the BassMax when I had those on. String balance is also better than BassMax and Realist IME.

    I feel the Stat-B responds better to EQ than the other pickups I've used. I get a wide variety of tones from the Stat-B into a Fishman Platinum Bass EQ both recording and live, and it also sounds very good straight into an amp. I've gotten considerably more compliments about my tone with the Stat-B than I have with the Realist or BassMax.

    On the downside it's a bit expensive (about $265 new), and you've got to use the Schertler preamp. I traded my Realist for a used one and got a super-good deal. It's easy to install/remove (once you fit the cork) and on my bass it sounds best wedged in loosely.

    Often for smaller gigs I'll just use the BassMax right into the amp for simplicity's sake. The Stat-B is very useful in bigger/louder situations, especially in conjunction with the Fishman EQ's low-cut filter and phase switch.
  8. For the past few years I've been using a Realist on my Spiro-strung 3/4 flatback but I've been enjoying my Stat-B lately. Compared to the Realist, I find the Stat to be much more clear and articulate, which I feel is a more accurate translation of my bass' acoustic sound.

    My bass doesn't have a particularly big, loose, or diffuse acoustic tone - if anything, I find it to be pretty focused and a bit slanted towards the upper mids. The Realist didn't seem to do a good job of reproducing this; everything seemed to get a bit blurry, articulation-wise. The Stat seems to do a better job of resolving the natural articulation and definition of my bass. Also, my bass has a resonant frequency range (from around A through C on the G string) that the Realist exaggerated to the point of sounding and behaving like feedback. Thankfully the Stat does not seem to exhibit the same tendency, which was the one main deal-maker for me to use this pickup.

    I do agree with Winston on the EQ-ability of the Stat. Combining the Stat with the ridiculous amount of EQ options afforded by my iAmp 800 presents a ton of very distinct tonal options. EQ'ing the Realist seemed only to correct or exacerbate EQ problems, whereas EQ'ing the Stat seems to offer different useable tonal options. I always favor the most natural- and acoustic-sounding setting, but it's nice to know there are other viable options in there.

    It also seems to be pretty feedback-resistant, which is a real benefit in the loud band and settings I often play.

    It's certainly not perfect - I don't like needing a preamp at all. I guess I just don't trust myself not to lose it or forget it, and changing the battery doesn't appear to be a quick on-stage affair. I find that it does need some EQ to address a pretty forward high-midrange region - it's too nasal otherwise.

    All in all, I really like it so far. I'm still kinda in an extended re-audition phase - I've still got the Realist on there and I would like to find a way for the two to co-exist going forward, since having a non-preamp-dependent backup is very compelling to me. Like others mentioned, it's not the cheapest option around, but it's worth a shot if it can be had at a good used price.
  9. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Well I ordered a stat-b from LNR Music in NH. It should arrive in a week or so.

    I'll post more once I've given it a nice test!
  10. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    My Stat-B arrived today. It is actually a little bit small for my bridge (uh oh). This weekend maybe I'll take my bass to Arnold for a checkup anyway, and while I'm there I can pay him to install this thing without ruining it, lol.

    More to come in the next couple weeks....
  11. bluegreenturtle


    Mar 15, 2003
    on it being too small - you know you don't *have* to install it the way that they indicate in the photo. I found mine sounded best at an angle - 45 degrees across the bridge hole, not up and down in it. The issue with the stat is that it is somewhat difficult I think to get positioned correctly - I find I have to mess with it every time I play. Every bass is different in terms of the way it will sound so I find the guide that they issue to not be of much use.
  12. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I finally just took matters into my own hands and shimmed the damn thing with a tiny wedge of wood.

    All I can say is... this pickup is a BEAST. The drummer I play with was sitting in the room when I finally got it installed and turned on my amp. "How does it sound?" I asked him. And then he said, "What do you mean? You aren't amplifying it, are you?" Mission accomplished, for the first time since I started playing bass. This thing sounds enough like my bass, only louder, to make people wonder whether I'm using an amp. I find that I need to use less and less volume, since I'm not getting any of the extraneous garbage noise that used to come from the realist. Also, I am running the EQ on my AI Contra flat, and what comes out is my bass' sound.. nothing more.

    PS: Dealing with Lou Roten of LNR Music was a pleasure. He answers emails more quickly than any vendor I've ever encountered.