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New Double Bass pickup/preamp combo help

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by jimothythompson, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. I'm kind of in a bind here. My jazz band just demanded a double bass, but I don't have a pickup for mine yet. I want to make sure I sound good, but don't have a ton of money to spend.

    I have a beautiful Quenoil (Q-model) replica and am going to be playing mostly big band stuff.

    At this point, I'm looking at one preamp and pickup especially:

    Pure Preamp (by K&K Sound)

    Double Big Twin (by K&K Sound. The one with the four headed bass transducer)

    Am I just settling for these or are these actually decent products? I don't want to spend more than $200 on the combo, and if I buy these on ebay I can get the whole package for like $180. This seems perfect, but are these good products?
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Don't know about the KK pickup, but their preamp is thought to be less than adequate by some here. Member FDeck makes one that is recommended. If you search, you should be able to find a lot of info.
  3. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri

    Personally, I wouldn't go for a pickup on ebay since you can't get your money back if it's defective. Most of the pickups that professionals use cost about $200.00 The Fishman Full Circle is ideal as long as you bass has adjusters installed. The Realist doesn't require a preamp most of the time and is @$200.00. They would both benifit from a HPF Preamp (google Francis Deck) but you don't absloutely have to have one. The Revolution Solo II is $150.00 but it has to be installed so unless your a luthier then it's going to cost a few bucks to get a repair man to fit it to your bass. Those would be the first three I would recommend. When you get a few extra bucks then you should buy a pre amp. Take a look the TB survey of pickups.


  4. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    A Galaxy Far, Far Away
  5. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    Might want to consider a Realist. I find it a bit more "thumpy" sounding, which works great with a Big Band. And it's not too shabby sounding without a preamp too. Also, it's possibly the easiest pickup to install on your bass.
  6. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    I would search the threads for the Double Big Twin before taking the plunge. I think it's kind of fallen out of favor here. I saw a guy playing at church using the K&K Big Twin + BassMax with the 2-channel preamp. The next time I saw him he had eliminated the Big Twin and was just using the BassMax.

    I'm not an endorser but have had good results with the K&K BassMax. The accompanying preamp (mine is an older version, 2 channel) is adequate at impedance matching but it doesn't have an HPF. It also goes through batteries pretty quickly and requires a screwdriver to change the battery. The newer version (pure preamp) might be better. I started out with a Realist but ended up going to the BassMax because it was better in most situations. The Realist has a woodier sound and did a better job amplifying arco but I had a hard time hearing myself.

    Some people in these forums don't care for K&K products and I think it's great that they've posted their experiences. I have nowhere near the experience or wisdom of most the of the people here but I've had good experiences with my K&K stuff.

    I don't think you can go wrong with the piezo DIY instructions posted here, if you have time for a project.

    Good luck,

    PS: I heard a guy a few weeks ago using an Underwood directly into an MB150, w/out a preamp. It sounded fine from where I was sitting.
  7. brother21


    Dec 26, 2008
    I use a underwood pickup very simple and it gets great sound. For preamp try something cheap like fishman bass pro-eq it will fix most sound issue's.
  8. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    I think this is a good first, relatively inexpensive setup.
  9. 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.

    Mar 5, 2021

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