New Fishman

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by JAS, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. JAS


    Jul 3, 2001
    Has any one checked out the new fishman pickup yet? The one that is part of the bridge adjusters. I tried it yesterday on a student's bass and it was really nice.
  2. Check out this thread.

    What I'm wondering about is their new amplifier, the "Loud Box." Anyone tried it?
  3. I've had one of the new Fishman "Full Circle: pickups insalled on my 60 year old Kay Bass for some time now.

    Much better than the older Fishman BP-100 pickups, in my view, and has a nice "even sound" across the bass frequency spectrum. Seems to be less prone to feedback problems too!
  4. The full circle (in my experience) seems to be a very one-to-one pickup, it doesnt change the sound of your bass. Of course it does not have the same full resonance, but the tone and fingerboard noise are still there, although it does dampen the fingerboard noise somewhat. I put the pickup into my tape recorder and it sounded almost as good as the bass miced and it actually had a bit of a rounder fuller tone than with the mic. People also have not been able to tell whether or not my bass is being amplified. The sound quality is similar to the Realist, except it is not as overly boomy.
  5. I'm seriously considering buying one of these puppies, after nearly buying a Golden Trinity/Bass Max system. The testimonials citing the FC's microphone-like tone are intriguing me. Plus, I'm plain lazy and don't want too many wires and knobs and doodads to concern myself with.

    I do a fair amount of arco, so the pickup's ability to reproduce a pleasing sound with the bow is important. I use an ancient Underwood right now, and bow-friendly it ain't.

    Seems to me that the Full Circle would be a happy medium between the Realist, which I've tried and found a bit too muddy, and the wing-mounted devices like the Underwood or Bass Max.

    Any luthiers inspected these? Are the adjusters good ones, or cheapo two-piece Chinese jobs?

  6. Joe Kyle Jr.

    Joe Kyle Jr. Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    SF, CA
    I'm a big fan of this new pickup! Like some others I never did care for the standard Fishman BP 100 (although, to be fair, I rarely heard one that had been installed properly) and I've tried many of the other usual suspects...Underwood, Realist, Bass Max, Barcus Berry, ETC. The Full Circle is now my pickup of choice on 3 of my 4 basses, especially for louder gigs (1 other bass really loves the Schertler Stat-B). My Eminence EUB sports both a Full Circle and a Realist which I blend with a D-Tar Solstice blender. My '39 Kay likes the combination of a Full Circle and a K&K condenser mic. Same combo sounds lovely on my 60-year-old German bass. The Full Circle by itself sounds very natural and gives an even response across all strings. The arco tone is quite good and the slap tone is manageable. You can dial in different tones by rotating the wheel slightly off center for more mids and less bottom.
  7. Joe Kyle Jr. (or anyone else?!),

    How would you compare the Full Circle with the Schertler Stat-B, sound wise? I'm very interested in these two pick-ups, and haven't yet seen anyone compare these two.

  8. Joe Kyle Jr.

    Joe Kyle Jr. Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    SF, CA
    Hey there Swingfingers. I've got a slew of local dates this week and I'll be playing the German bass with both the Stat-B and Full Circle installed, using the Solstice box as a blender. This set-up will give me a perfect chance to compare the 2 and I'll report back to you early next week.
  9. Fantastic. I look forward to your report!
  10. Was really hoping to hear a report from Joe Kyle Jr. on the Fishman Full Circle vs. Schertler Stat B. Joe are you out there?

    Anyone else able to offer a comparison??
  11. Joe Kyle Jr.

    Joe Kyle Jr. Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    SF, CA
    Hey Swingfingers. I've been able to test both these pickups on the same bass (older German Plywood with Velvet Animas) thru the same amp (older model AI Contra) on a least a dozen recent gigs, everything from quiet jazz duos in small rooms to full-on jump blues gigs competing with a loud drummer and even louder (!?) electric pianist.

    Both pickups offer clean natural tones, even response, and can accurately represent the true sound of my bass for both pizz and arco. With both pickups always installed on my bass I find that I can dial in a variety of great tones at any volume by altering the mix between pickups rather than tweaking the EQ.

    To summarize as briefly as possible, I'd say that the Schertler sounds better at lower volumes and the Fishman is more friendly at higher volumes.

    In fact, for a jazz or any sort of "acoustic" gig where volume isn't really an issue I'll use only the Schertler with its own preamp directly into the Contra. It sounds just like my bass unplugged...full bottom end without boom, nice articulation in the higher registers, all the upper harmonics are there, and quick and even response for arco. Can handle slap pretty well too. In a couple of gigs where another bassist came by to sit I was able to listen the the rig from across the room and the tone was just as good from 30 feet away, much to my delight. As with most any pickup, proper installation of the Stat-B is essential for good tone. You'll have to shape the cork end of the unit to make it fit snuggly into the bridge wing. I always keep a few extra homemade cork and balsa wood shims handy. You can install the Schertler in either wing of your bridge to find the sweet spot for your bass...on the German bass which has a big blooming low end I put the pickup in the 'G' side wing. On another bass which had less character in the low end I had it in the 'E' side.

    When I need to move more air and a greater intrusion of electronics is unavoidable, I've found that the Schertler can be prone to a typical nasal-y midrange bump much like a traditional piezo pickup, and that its clarity in the higher registers can be too much. I'd say that the Fishman is the better pickup if most of your playing is in loud situatiuons. It too sounds very natural and even for pizz and arco and slap bass, though it lacks some of the upper end articulation and sensitivity of the Schertler. I'd characterize its sound as being "rounder" with more thump.

    Being able to switch between the two pickups is most valuable anytime I'm on a big stage having to compete with a full band or hear myself through a huge PA system...sometimes the high end of the Schertler is overbearing so I just dial it out a bit...sometimes I need that high end to cut through a mix so I just dial it back in. Onstage with the jump blues band and need more old-school tone? Dial in more Fishman.

    So, as you can tell I like both of these devices very much and I'm able to deal more comfortably with the very inexact science of URB amplification.
    Feel free to contact me if you've got any more specific questions.


    jokeisle at earthlink dot net
  12. Joe, thank you for that very informative review. Unfortunately, it sounds like I may have a difficult time choosing between the two! Fortunately, both sound like better alternatives to most of the other stuff out there.
  13. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Bay Area
    I think I might pick up a full circle once I can swing it under the wife's radar ;-) Just kidding, I would never do that! She's the boss...
  14. I absolutely love the Full Circle. I put one on my La Scala and one on my 66 Kay and they both sound awesome! Almost exactly like a microphone--it even does a decent job with slap bass. It picks up the strings evenly and you can switch from pizz to arco and back with no problem. As far as feedback goes--I haven't had any yet! I have to try to make it feed back--- I play in some loud situations too. I have tried lots of different pickups trying to find the right one or combination and there was always at least one technique or string or something that would get left out or sound bad. I just love being able to plug it in and leave it alone- and just worry about playing - not tweaking knobs or moving some pickup around to make it work right. I use it with the fishman preamp and i set it almost flat-just bump the highs and lows a bit. One thing you have to know is that the surface on the bridge leg that the face of the wheel touches has to be
    ABSOLUTELY flat and smooth-it will cut out otherwise-even the littlest groove or gap can goof it up. It is so cool to hear the same sound coming out of your speakers that you have from your bass..... Enough of my gushing
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