Pickup/Preamp combinations you've owned

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Limezone, Sep 22, 2001.

  1. What strange combinations of equipment have you ended up with in front of the amp?

    Right now I'm using a Barcus Berry transducer. It's funky because it terminates into an RCA plug. The Pickup comes with a Buffer/Preamp with an RCA input (that makes sense) and a 1/4" output (normal). But the preamp was put together very badly. A microscopic spot of solder holds the inputs and outputs to the little board. After a little while I could no longer repair the preamp. But that didn't seem like a reason to throw out the pickup. So I got an Aguilar DB924 outboard preamp (18V MOSFET) and the appropriate cables and adaptors.

    I'm having a natural attack of G.A.S. and I think I want something like the Golden Trinity/Bass Max. But I don't want to retire the Aguilar.
  2. TvOZ


    Sep 20, 2001
    Melbourne Australia
    I'm set up for Rockabilly/Blues/Country/Voodoo Boogie trio playing a plywood bass fitted with a K&K RB Special pup/preamp system. It's simple and versatile and gives me great sound.
    I also have an Underwood and a SD with the four transducers that stick to the bridge under the strings and a strange looking preamp the size of an input jack. These are currently in the too hard basket.
  3. membluz


    Sep 3, 2001
    Winnipeg Canada
    LimeZone. I have an interesting pick-up combo that works great and sounds amazing for any genre of music. My 3/4 DB hosts a K & K Double Big Twin through a Fishman B II preamp and an EMG Select P-Bass pick-up rigged to the base of the fingerboard. I chose the EMG Select because they use a full width internal blade rather than pole pieces thus eliminating any likelyhood of dead spots. I run these through a Behringer Eurorack MX602A mixer into a Fender BassMan amp. I play with a group that gigs for folks of my generation (45 - 60 y/o) so the mix of tunes is quite eclectic. The DB sounds like the best P-Bass ever built with the EMGs only. The acoustic voice is very accurately amplified with the K & Ks. The pick-up combo mixed for Rockabilly and blues is totally amazing. The EMGs soften the tone and dig in the low end like that wonderful Memphis sound from the 60s while the K & Ks in unison provide the 'traditional' sound. :)
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Right now I'm using a K&K Trinity mic paired with a hybrid K&K pickup I call the "Double Bass Max". The funny part of it is, the DBM terminates into a 1/4" stereo female jack. This wire runs down under one side of my tailpiece. I then have a 2" long stereo to mono 1/4" patch cable which plugs into the mono Trinity input jack. The whole thing comes out the way a normal K&K Bass Max/Trinity combo would - to a stereo jack mounted on the strings by the tailpice - but there's a lot of extra wire involved.

    The preamp mounts with velcro to my stool, which goes wherever my bass does. My old teacher used to comment that my bass looked like a "Borg" from the old STAR TREK series, but after he heard the tone all those wires resulted in, he quit laughing.
  5. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I have a Realist and an Underwood, with a Radio Shack Y-cord (yes, I know, I know, I'll replace it..) thru a Contra. Sounds great, purely by accident, I'm sure.
  6. The strangest thing in front of my amp has been me.
    Hated Fishman, HATED Schertler (I went for the entire system, sent it all back), Realist is acceptable, Barbera very good but expensive and can't be moved from bass to bass.
    BEST of all is custom made K&K (All Hail Bob etc.) similar to Chris's but slightly different. They're both one-of-a-kind. It trounces the competition. I have the Trinity mic, but I haven't needed to use it. Someday I'll try Chris's route.
    Switching from G-K to Acoustic Image was another great idea.
    And I hate, I mean HATE, dorking around with dials and screwdrivers, etc.
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    OK, I started with a Fishman PU and Pro-EQ preamp on my no-name ply bass when I began doing amplified gigs. Then went through this:

    Fishman BP-100, Pro-EQ
    Underwood, Pro_EQ
    Realist, Pro-EQ
    Realist OR String Charger with Pro-EQ
    Realist AND String Charger with K&K Dual Channel Pre

    I bought a Juzek ply as a second bass a few years ago. Started off trying the Realist and Pro-EQ but this didn't work well so I experimented at home before trying to gig with it:

    Realist, Pro-EQ
    String Charger (no preamp)
    Pan Electric mike plus piezo and Pan mixer
    LR Baggs PU, Baggs Para DI (first setup I gigged with)
    K&K Bass Max, Pro-EQ
    Schertler Stat-B system (PU and pre)

    Various amps and cabs along the way:

    AMP BH-420 head, EAW 15" cab (EV speaker)
    AMP head, Peavey 2-10" cab
    SWR Baby Blue combo
    AMP, Epifani 12"
    Walter Woods MI-225-8, Epifani 12"
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY


    Which (if any) of the above is the current configuration? I still have my Baby Blue, but it's a backup now....
  9. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    I come from humble beginnings. My first amplification (1963) consisted of a harmonica contact mike taped to the bridge of a Kay. And if you think THAT was humble, I had an old style phonograph/AM radio in a big wooden tabletop cabinet (I'm sure my fellow old farts know what I mean) from which I removed the record changer to lighten it, and plugged into the phono input (complete with equalization <g>) and put it on its side. Glorious sound from that 6x9 speaker ;) Hey! I was 13 and broke!

    Follow that up with a Polytone (golden cylinder between the bridge legs) with its indefinite thump, through one of the first Ampeg SB-12 Portaflex models (I lived the town next to Linden where Ampeg lived). Had the Polytone repaired twice before I gave up. It got played through all sorts of amps including one of the tall padded Kustom 3x15 amps, Polytone w/15+two 6s, blackface Fender Bassman w/2x12, MusicMan combo w/extra 15, homebuilt pair of 18s.

    Homebuilt pair of two different condenser mic elements on a bridge clamp, aimed at the f-hole and towards the fingerboard; actually very nice for outdoor and low volume gigs.

    Borrowed a Fishman, threw it back.

    Fell in love with the K&K Double Big Twin, first with an LR Baggs DI, but didn't like its flakey battery box and returned it, and bought a K&K Power Pack.

    Fell in love II with the K&K Bass Max. Recommended K&K stuff to friends, who couldn't find their products. Became a dealer just to pass on stuff to friends. And the rest is history <g>.

    K&K Bass Master Pro replaced Double Big Twin on Juzek.

    Worked with K&K to develop the Golden Mic. Now it supplements both basses in various combinations.

    Now working with the Moses/Lace magnetic double bass pickup, installing it on my EUB and have tried it on both my basses. Very nice.

    Later amps include Eden/Carvin 2x10, Kern/QSC and EA cabs, Contra gets the most use these days. And I'm trying to hold myself back from buying an EA iAMP Combo.
  10. Kevinlee


    May 15, 2001
    Phx, AZ..USA
    I have EMG's on the bottom of the fingerboard mounted on a little removeable box with volume and tone controls for easy access,(although I never touch the tone) once I have a good sound I try not to mess with it. I also have the K&K bass max which I prefer for jazz, a much more natural upright sound, but for loud rock and rockabilly stuff I find the EMG's cut through a bit better. And once your that loud any or the little nuances are kind of lost anyway. And I have half a Fishman up under the fingerboard where it meets the body for slap. This is the only good use I've ever got out of Fishman pickups. I use an ampeg svt-400t with a 4x10 ampeg bottom. I also use a little 10 watt fender with a 6" speaker for the slap pickup. All the bass rolled off on the fender so all you hear is the Click.

  11. Not sure if any of you have heard of this name or not, but i'm using a Biesele pickup system (magnetic pickup / preamp / blender). It's made in Eastern Canada (not sure how far south they get). As far as my searching has told me, this is the closest thing to a real 'acoustic' sound as you can get. Excellent tone.
  12. BassGuyNL


    Jul 20, 2000
    The Netherlands
    Do you use the Underwood and the Realist simultaneously? I own both, but one is mounted on my ply-back bass, and the Realist is on my main bass. I never thought of using them together, since they're both piezo. Then again, they are mounted in different places on/under the bridge, so maybe it does make sense. I use them through a Sadowsky outboard and Eden WT 300 + 210T cab.
  13. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    At the time this was posted, I ran the Underwood into Ch 1 of my 1982 Walter Woods WW-1 and the Realist into Ch 2. Both volumes are at about 10:30 -- 11:00 so I'm hearing a lot more Underwood than Realist. I think it sounds very hi-fi -- until the volume gets out of hand, it sounds like the bass, not an amp. Plus, no preamps, no batteries, emergency redundancy and they're paid for.

    I've used Underwoods for 20+ years. I bought my first one in 1978, when they were the Real Hot Thing -- a giant step up from the Ampeg Groaner-Spike that Bob AH Gollihur mentioned in his post.

    I got the Realist off EBay because I wanted a spare thang. On my bass, the Realist has much less output and the sounds too dark for my taste. EDITED: SO I DITCHED IT.

    Lots of players posting here don't seem to love Underwoods. Sonically, they have an ultra-high-end spike that needs to be addressed for natural tone. They don't like being plugged straight into inexpensive Plank amps. I also suspect that Don Underwood's business is set up more around direct sales than retail.

    I'm sure that the K&K sounds great, but my mind and wallet aren't joining the Great Pickup Quest right now. It ain't broke, so I don't fix it.
  14. I use a similar setup to Samuel. I have an Underwood and a Realist on my bass. I use an EA 208 cab or a 110cab. I find the Realist has less output and a darker sound than the Underwood (as Samuel does). It's strange, most of the guys I know that use a Realist found that it has more output than their Underwood. I like to combine them (when I borrow a mixer) and put them into my iAmp600. I will probably buy a Raven Labs blender soon so I can always combine them. I find this gives me a natural sound that still cuts through without feedback.
  15. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I always use the Realist and the Underwood together, with good results. Individually, neither one works for me. Years ago, I was approached on the bandstand by an INCREDIBLY beautiful girl who asked "Is that an Underwood? How do you like it?" After looking around for Allen Funt, I replied that it was too soon to tell. Turns out it was Larry Underwood's daughter. Thought maybe she was The One, but then her boyfriend appeared about eight seconds later. Gotta love that tech support, though...
  16. BassGuyNL


    Jul 20, 2000
    The Netherlands
    Question to all combined Underwood/Realist users: what are you using as a mixing device? I own both pickups, but do not have a mixer yet, and my Eden WT300 is single channel. I would like to continue using my Sadowsky outboard pre-amp. Would you recommend a special bass mixer like the Bassblender, or would any low cost small 4 channel mixer do?
  17. Raven Labs Blender or mixer.
  18. I'll second BassBoy's comment - I've heard great things about virtually all Raven Labs gear. I've seen Donosaur refer to his Fishman blender as one of his stupidest gear purchases, and my ProEQ doesn't blow me away, either. JMHO.
  19. BassGuyNL


    Jul 20, 2000
    The Netherlands
    Interesting, if you go to www.ravenlabs.com, you can order your own suspension of Bacillus Thuringiensis:confused:
    However, on www.raven-labs.com, I found the PMB 1 blender, but also the MDB 1 mixer/direct box. Which one would you recommend? At $399, is it worth it?
  20. Blaine


    Aug 4, 2001
    new york area
    I use an old polytone pickup mixed with either an LR baggs or the new moses/lace mag. Into a Fishman dual para eq and Hartke Kickback. Very satisfied.