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Pick-up the World Anyone given them a go?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Chasarms, Apr 7, 2004.


  1. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Anyone here tried these? I heard guitarist playing one Sunday and his tone was very good. I did a little web snooping and they do bass as well. There isn't much out there though as far as reviews.
     
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Ok. Since no one had tried them, I figured it was up to me to be the lab rat.

    As mentioned, I heard an acoustic guitar player using one of their pickups and thought that it sounded excellent. So, I was interested in the bass version.

    When I moved to my Shen, I never re-installed the K&K Double Big Twin that I was using on the Engelhardt. I wasn't necessarily displeased with it, but I always thought it was a little too stringy sounding no matter how I tweaked the location. I couldn't get a decent bottom out of it. And, the few times that I tried to bow the ES9 amplified, it was cause for EPA notification.

    So, I wanted to try something new and was looking into options anyway. I wanted to try Full Circle, but they only offer wheels to fit the smaller machine thread. My wheels are the larger, more coarse thread which makes much more sense in wood to me. So, I decided to give Pickup the World a try.

    It is pretty much along the designs of a Realist with the under-the-bass-foot installation idea, but it also includes a small "articulation" PU that can be placed wherever you like on the bridge. The two come wired mono but PUTW uses a stereo jack, so anyone with a little bit of electronic repair knowhow could easily jump one of the PU leads over to the other post on the jack for a stereo/blender application. Even in mono, I have found the two blended pretty well.

    I am very pleased with the sound and performance of it. It has as strong bottomend as well as plenty of color.

    I played three dates this weekend (all pizz) as part of a dinner theater production. The hall is probably 12K sq. ft. or more with maybe 30 ft. ceilings. For the first night of production rehearsals, I borrowed a Bass Max off another bass. When I hooked up using the PUTW the second night, the sound tech immediately asked about my sound. He said the difference was night and day. He gave me the ultimate comment of "sounds like the bass, only louder."

    I had no issues at all with feedback, but the monitor levels were admittedly modest. The ensemble was acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle and piano on some songs along with five vocalists on mic. It was loud, but managable.

    They are comparably affordable as well. Anyone interested in trying something new should give one a listen. The company is very easy to deal with, so I imagine they would work with you should you not be satisfied.


    Here's their link if you are interested.
     
  3. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    There was some very positive buzz over at the MIMF (luthier's) forum awhile back, among the guitar folks.
     
  4. flatback

    flatback

    May 6, 2004
    Bolinas Ca
    Ya know I read this post last week and got kind of interested in the pick up. I have heard some interesting things about film pick ups but I have not heard one. Let me know if there is a used one out there floating around, I'd love to try it. What is the sound like? Is it similar to a piezo or more electric-y? More like a realist or fishman? Or a mic? I emailed the nice folks there looking for a beater to try out, but it was a no go. They did say that if I bought one and didn't dig it they would take it back, which I just might do if I cant find one here used.
    I remember when the realist came out it almost instantly took over a huge percentage of the market because it sounded so much better then everything else, and I kind of suspect that if this sounded good i would already have heard some good reports(besides this one)...but I am still curious...
     
  5. Aleph5

    Aleph5

    Feb 24, 2004
    Tennessee
    All the wing and under foot piezos (that I know of) use piezo film, and most probably all sourced from MSI (here).

    There are non-film piezo accelerometers, but they have bigger drawbacks to using on acoustic instruments.
     
  6. Aleph5

    Aleph5

    Feb 24, 2004
    Tennessee
    P.S. I just realized that the Pick-up the World site claims that the Waybacks use their pickups. I have The Waybacks' "Burger After Church" CD (fine music!!), and IMO the bass tone is excellent. It seems I also have seen Joe Kyle's comments on this forum. If he's around, maybe he'll comment.
     
  7. Thanks for posting your comments on the 'pickup the world' stuff. I'm interested in trying one as well. Did you buy the pickup by itself or the pickup + line driver kit? Which would you recommend?
     
  8. flatback

    flatback

    May 6, 2004
    Bolinas Ca
    are you saying that the realist is a film piezo????
    That would seem to not jive from what I know...When I first bought one they had these little metal nubs that could actually dent your bass top but then (if you had one of these original versions) Gage would replace them and I remember hem replacing mine and saying that it was ceramic piezo. But I am always interested in pushing back the doors of my own ignorence so....if anyone has any definitive answers on this, it would be nice to know. Somehow I just cant get myself to buy another pick up just to test it (pick up the world)
     
  9. Aleph5

    Aleph5

    Feb 24, 2004
    Tennessee
    I don't absolutely know about pickups such as the Realist, with which I have no personal experience (hence the "that I know of" qualifier). I just based it on my (nonexhaustive) understanding of piezo materials that all are polymer films. I guess I assumed the Realist was a film wrapped in copper foil, which would shield it and change its properties. Some piezo films use mylar backing to change their properties (mostly increase output). If there is a ceramic film piezo, I'd like to hear about it, and especially learn how it could withstand pressure and curvature of being underfoot.
     
  10. Joe Kyle Jr.

    Joe Kyle Jr. Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    94804
    Joe from the Waybacks here. I do use a Pick Up the World on my 60-yr-old German plywood bass. It sounds very natural and responds evenly in all ranges and playing styles. The way I have it mounted (stuck to the top of the bass, parallel to the fingerboard, between the bridge feet) the output is a bit low, but you can compensate for this by using a preamp. I used to have it mounted perpendicular to the fingerboard, under the 'E' side bridge foot, like a longer Realist...the output was far greater but, natuarally, the tone was much more compressed since the element was literally being compressed. I recently read that the new version of this pickup has much more;I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure that I will. On jazz gigs I've been using the PUTW by itself; for louder gigs I'll blend it with a Fishman Full circle or a Schertler Stat-B. I might try it out on my Emimnence EUB for the next Waybacks tour.
    I would highly recommend this pickup, and David is most pleasant to deal with and responsive to all inquiries.
    BTW, thanks for the comments on the bass tones on Burger After Church I don't think we used any pickup tones on that record, only mics. Our producer/engineer, Bruce Kaphan, captured some righteous tones from two of my plywood basses. Bruce wrote a pair of articles for Recording magazine in the summer/fall of 2002 where he describes in detail the mics and techniques he used.
    I did use the PUTW on our Way Live record from last year, using another bass -- a US plywood bass of indetermintate origin (the same bass I played on cuts #3 & 10 from "Burger"). It recorded pretty well though I did accidently overdrive the outboard preamp on the recording truck and could have gotten a much cleaner tone from the pickup had I paid better attention to the signal path at the time!

    By all means give PUTW a try.

    Joe

    www.waybacks.com
     
  11. Aleph5

    Aleph5

    Feb 24, 2004
    Tennessee
    Thanks for your post, Joe! I will definitely get your live CD and will look for the Recording article. URB is a beast to record (duh -- :rolleyes: ), and you and your production crew have done it well--no small feat!

    Say, Joe, what do you find are the differences between the Full Circle and the Stat-B (as well as vs. the PUTW)? I was considering the Stat-B for my new Cleveland New Standard, but opted for the FC mostly based on the comments around here (and it's cheaper! ;)). I should receive the bass this week. :hyper:
     
  12. Joe Kyle Jr.

    Joe Kyle Jr. Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    94804
    Try searching for a thread from a few months back...
    I think it was titled "New Fishman" and I posted some comments comparing the Full Circle w/the Stat-B.
    BTW, at the time of that posting I wasn't using the PUTW as much so, since I find it far too decadent to keep 3 pickups installed on any bass at any given time, I had both the Fishman & Schertler on the same bass for comparison. These days I find the combination of the PUTW and one of the other 2 to be more useful...

    Joe
     
  13. Aleph5

    Aleph5

    Feb 24, 2004
    Tennessee
    Found it. It is indeed under "New Fishman" & was last posted to on Feb. 1. Thanks again.