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Pickup problems

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by JAS, Apr 10, 2006.


  1. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    The Revolution Solo just is not working for me at all. I have installed 2 of them and I am sure they were installed properly. The first one was distorting badly, so I sent it back. I just can not get a decent sound with the thing. I thought I had found the sweet spot, but then when I went and played with a band, it just had zero ability to cut through.

    So I am back to square one with my carved bass. I used my old Underwood today which was fine and my magnetic pickup last night as an emergency and that was fine too.

    I am looking for something that is natural sounding, and can cut through a louder band. What should I get? Even the Underwood seems to be boomy when at louder volumes.

    I have a Full Circle on my Kay, and that is pretty good I guess, I just thought I would try and get something for this bass that is less intrusive.

    Any recomendations?
     
  2. Hmm. There is almost always problems when you need to be loud on double bass. It is an aucostic instrument :rolleyes:

    I have never found the underwood to be boomy. I would say that in worst case it can be a little narrow, nasal and stringy. Maybe you should concider some other amp (bigger/better) or try to dial out some of the low freq?
     
  3. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    That could have been more a function of your amplification and EQ settings. What's heard over the sound of the other amplified instruments is the harmonics, not the fundamental. You might have had an accurate sound, but one that got lost in the mix, as it were.

    The best amplified DB sound I ever heard from a bass was the AMT microphone/AI Coda combination. But a guitarist friend says when he played with a particular bassist who uses that rig, he couldn't hear him.

    I think one reason for the continued popularity of the original Fihman pickup combined with a GK combo was that it had a very peaky midrange- and that allowed bassists to hear themselves.
     
  4. Some people just never gets any volume or sound out of their equipment regardless of what they use. For instance, if you tend to play heavy/behind the beat you get much more buried by the sound of the other instruments.
     
  5. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    JAS

    The problem is that "Natural Sounding" and "Louder Band" are probably mutually exclusive. In my own personal experience the Fishman Full Circle, Bass Max and Realist all sound good at reasonable levels, but when you try to "push the levels" things get dicey. When this happens it's time to run a line to the mains and go througn the board, if you have that ability. making sure that you're DI will handle at least a 1 meg ohm load.
    I think you're idea of using a Full Circle is probably you're best bet.

    Ric
     
  6. mesmithnm

    mesmithnm

    Dec 10, 2005
    Layton, UT
    I'll concur that the FC may be your best bet - I tried the RS and got a reasonable sound in my living room, but when I took it to the gig (jazz trio, unamplified grand piano and a drummer who really knows how not to play too loud) it just got buried - I think it's mostly the room noise. I used a Realist on that gig for a long time, and it sounded great when the room was quiet, not as good when trying to cut through a lot of background noise. My Underwood would cut through, but it never had a really good bottom end. The FC seems to be the best compromise for both my basses (carved german factory bass and 52' Kay, both w/spirocore orchestras). Good bottom end, some mid-range boost without being obnoxious, and it just works - it has worked at high and low volume and sounded pretty good at both. I really appreciate the fact that when I set up and plug straight into my amp (EA iAmp600/VL110) I get really consistent, usable results. And I seldom find it necessary to do much knob-twiddling:)
     
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I'm very happy with the FC mixed with the AMT mic for all situations including loud ones. It doesn't take a lot of AMT signal to add that "air and wood" to the sound of the FC, and the FC is a pickup that can cut very well depending on how you EQ it.
     
  8. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    Yeah,
    The FC sounds good on my Kay, I guess I am just being anal about installing something that is not easilly removable on this carved bass. How much is the FC running these days? I guess I will go for another one.
     
  9. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    The Revolution Solo is a fabulous pickup on my bass. I've used Fishman, Underwood, Realist, String Charger, K&K BassMax, and a microphone. This weekend, I played an extremely loud gig with vibist Emil Richards, and the RS through an iAmp 800 (thank you, Mr. Moderator) and an Acme 2x10 was the best live sound I've ever had, and very loud.
    I did notice that the Revolution took a long time to sound good on my bass. I found that I have to have it fitted very tightly, which for me means shimming it with some cardboard on the side away from the element, or else it sounds like the worst pickup ever. And also, this may be crazy, but I feel like it's settled into the instrument and has become a part of the wooden vibrating body (it is encased in wood, after all); this has taken some time, but the sound has noticeably improved over time. I had been taking it off and putting it back on for awhile, and now there's no way I would take it off for fear of losing that sweet spot. Superstition? Maybe...

    I also had a plywood Shen in my possession this weekend which was fitted with a Full Circle. The bass sounds very nice acoustically and is not terribly loud; I played it at a rehearsal and the Full Circle sounded really really good (probably better than the Revolution, especially with the bow). I wouldn't hesitate to try one out, and will probably do so next time a couple of hundred bucks demands to be released from my wallet.
     
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I like the FC because I basically forget it's there - my only complaint is that the wire should be black instead of white. I think they cost the same as they always did. :)
     
  11. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Oh, didn't I mention that I only carry hundred-dollar bills in my wallet? :smug: And I can't count higher than eight, so making change isn't really my bag...

    The thing I forgot to mention about the Shen/FC: I tried cranking it stupidly loud, and it performed very very well. No feedback, no real deterioration of sound quality; it seemed like a good "loud situation" pickup.
     
  12. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    No problem - eight works just fine for me. :hyper:
     
  13. As an alternative to buying another pickup, you could run the Underwood through a preamp with good EQ to optimize the tone. I've had good results running the Underwood through the Fishman Platinum ProEQ preamp, and also running the Underwood through a mic preamp (an ART tube preamp). Both achieved a better tone than the Underwood by itself. The preamps go into my GK MB 150E combo amp.
     

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