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pickup comparison

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by gusgroove, Aug 21, 2003.

  1. I'm in the market for a new UB PU.:D

    I'v been playing and amplifying UBs for years. The first PU I had was a Polytone that eventually self destructed due to the design (mechanical tensioning between the feet). Anyone remember the Polytone PU? Then I got a bass with a wire PU embedded in the body of the bridge (no idea who made it). Both PUs sounded pretty good for the early seventies. Then I got an Underwood when they first came out. I think that was the start of the piezo era ('79?). Then a Barcus Berry, not bad. Then a Fishman YUCK!!

    The problem with most UB PUs is that they eventually go bad and after many repairs to the cable (usually where it attaches to the pu) they just stop working.

    I've tried mics but in close proximity to amps and any volume (i.e. club gigs) there's the feed back issue.

    A buddy has a realist and the sound is a fairly accurate reproduction of the actual UB's tone but the cost scares me since I've spent so much over the years.

    I've read some of the testamonials for the K&K
    Bass Max, which for the money seems to be a pretty good deal.

    Soo, after spending mucho dinero :bawl: on PUs I want to get some bang for my buck. Using the Fishman, Barcus Berry, and Realist as a bench mark how does the Bass Max stack up?

    Does any body have A-B comparison opinions between the Realist, Bass Max, Fishman, or any other hot new PUs?
  2. tsolo


    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    I've been researching pickups for about a month now reading the same things over and over and over... you get the picture. I want a pickup for my other bass. I have a fishman and i really can't understand all the negative feedback about them - although i have read some positive feedback. I like mine because i don't have to do anything special to mount it. I can go straight to my amp with it. It doesn't require batteries. and i get a desirable sound from my amp with it. i don't play amplified all that often and when i do it is at a low volume - just enough to hear on stage. If i have to play loud, i use a sansamp di preamp and have only minor problems with feed back until i roll off the right frequency. I think that, unfortunately, you have to turn loose of some bucks to find 'your sound' on your bass. right now i'm leaning toward a clevinger natural presence or a realist. I just don't want to monkey with a battery for the K&K bass max - even though i'd like to try one.

    All that to say this: good luck to us both.
  3. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I've had my Barbera Bridge Transducer System pickup on my old Kay for about five years, and I am still very pleased with it. The nice thing about having the piezo's built into the bridge is that there really isn't any wear and tear. Very feedback resistant, too.

  4. Barbera sounds familiar. Maybe
    that's what I have in my bridge. The pick up is a wire imbeded in the bridge. I'm still using the bridge - on my Kay - but the pickup quit workin over 20 years ago. I would like to hear what it sounds like compared to the underwood, barkus, and fishman. I like the sound of the Realist I heard but am curious about other stuff out there. :confused:
  5. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    But the Bass Max doesn't need a battery...?
  6. I didn't think the K&K needed a pre amp; most piezos don't. I read the new link from Germany that lists over 60 PUs :eek:. I'm more:confused: than ever now!!!
  7. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I didn't think that Barbera bridges were out there 20 years ago, but it does have 8 piezos imbedded in the bridge, with just a wire coming out (of the bottom of the arch) with a 1/4" jack attached to it. Bob McCaskey recommended it to me.

    Later, Tom.
  8. KandK pickups you ask, I currently have a bass set up strictly for slap style, guts with k and k bass max with a transducer under the fingerboard to pick up the slap and cut through the mix. I have found this pickup to be the best on the market for this stlye of play, rockabilly, bluegrass any slap style. I do not personally feel the bass max sounds that great for jazz, pizz, bowing etc. I don't really like the finger noise it picks up, just my opinion though. I prefer
    the realist on a good carved top bass for jazz, it seems to have the best tone, growl and such. Hope this helped some.
  9. Thanks for the input. Maybe I don't have a barbera, I don't know what it is just that it dosn't work any more. I play mostly jazz/latin and jump blues on the UB with occasional slapping.

    I'm looking for a close as possible accoustic sound (arn't we all) especially for the jazz gigs. I tend to play better when the sound is right - amazing huh? I'm really tired of the unreal high frequency, glassy, brittly sound of the underwood & fishmen, especially arco!

    I was talking to anouther UB player that had an underwood and the PU was picking up the conversation; you could hear through his amp. Weird!

    Thanks for the comment on the Realist; I agree.

    Any comments/opinions on the Clevenger?

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