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Pickup suggestions

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by MBASSTT, Jan 12, 2021.


  1. MBASSTT

    MBASSTT

    Mar 4, 2017
    Orchard Park NY
    I just picked up this 42' Kay S-9, ot plays and sounds amazing. I would like to start incorporating into live shows, and use it o
    n some Rockabilly, oldies, country, and some arco on some ballads. I am in a quandary as far as pickup choices for fairly high volume settings.
    My amp is an Ampeg Portaflex 500 w a 210 & 115 cabinets.
    Our show is fairly high energy, with a lot of variety, so we keep things moving with little to no time between songs.
    In order of importance, I am looking for:
    1) Sound: A decent reproduction of the actual sound, with maybe a bit of low mid punch . Will be mainly playing pizz and slap, with a bit of arco.

    2) no feedback issues. Some of our jobs require a bit of stage volume, especially outdoor beach clubs.

    3) Ease of changeover: I will need to switch from electric to upright with very little time between songs. Basically putting down my electric, hitting a button on an a/b box, grabbing the upright and being good to go and vice versa, with no tweaking.

    4) Budget: I would like to keep things in the $200 range for now. Being in NY, with everything closed down, things have been less than great gig wise. I do not mind starting with something decent and building on it.

    My thoughts: I like the Rev Solo, and Krivo magnetic and would go with either of those, preferably both with a blender. I could do the Rev Solo, and make up something for a set of p-bass pickups off of the fingerboard. I am pretty handy at wood working, and have at least half a dozen sets of pickups in the parts drawer. At least until my budget allows for a better quality magnetic pickup. 20210107_202552.jpg 20210107_202552.jpg
     
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
  2. 9Thumbs

    9Thumbs

    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    I abandoned piezos quickly in my journey, there may be systems that can crank, I don't know. But I bought a Krivo magnetic pickup from Gollihur Music. Through my Ampeg stack, you can tell it's an upright, but it sounds about halfway to a P bass. Through the PA, it sounds a lot more like a bass. I bet you'd like it.
    The Krivo doesn't like all brands of steel strings. I had D'addario helicore orchestrals on the bass and the pickup couldn't see the E string. Mark at Gollihur suggested a Jargar E, which worked well. I would suggest calling them and asking for a recommendation for strings, they may tell you that what you are using now will work.

    Either way, I can stand right in front of my amp and get good and loud without worrying too much about feed back, although if I run a single 15 on the floor, the bass body will howl quicker than with a pair of 2 15s, no idea why.

    I have had great luck with a Line-6 G-10 wireless system to avoid tripping on the cord or winding it around the peg when I spin the bass

    Good luck getting it all to work together
     
  3. 9Thumbs

    9Thumbs

    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    For quick switches, the G-10 is great, it goes in and out silently, so changing instruments is a snap. You just have to lower the volume knob on the electric to match the upright
     
  4. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011

    For max volume you will want to use one of the magnetic pickups and F hole plugs: Doug's Plugs - Before and After - custom f-hole covers eliminate feedback in your guitar Doug's Plugs - Before and After - custom f-hole covers eliminate feedback in your guitar
    Wedging a rolled towel under the tail piece also will help improve gain before feedback.

    This approach will not give you the most natural sound though.

    I have had pretty good luck using various piezo pickups and very aggressive corrective EQ. The EQ strategy is pretty much the same as an audio tech would use to tune a PA for feedback. Turn up the gain and then dip the frequencies that are most prone to feedback. I have used both 31-band graphic EQs and parametric EQs. The louder you need to play, the more corrective EQ is required. Eventually you reach a point where the EQ is no longer effective.

    Typically you are far better off with a dual channel preamp with mute switched or channel switching than an AB box. The reason is because the upright bass needs drastically different EQ than your bass guitar. Also it's useful to have seperate gain controls and the ability to quickly mute each channel independently so you can switch back and forth between instruments quickly.

    Years ago I used an AB box with an SWR Redhead. I inserted a graphic EQ in the Redheads effects loop. When I played bass guitar the graphic was bypassed. When I picked up the upright I toggled the AB switch and hit the engage switch on the graphic.
     
  5. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I had a Tonnenges 4 Magnet Pickup attached to the underside of my fingerboard. While it was definitely feedback resistant, the tone wasn't ideal at least for me.

    My Clevenger EUB has a pair of custom made Bartolini Pickups specifically for that instrument. They sound way better than the Tonnenges did. Unfortunately, your budget is at the low end of the piezo pickup

    prices. The Krivo is one of the easiest to mount and remove from your instrument, and is shielded from AC line interference as the older Schaller is not. 9Thumbs is right on track with being careful about your string

    choices. Eva Parazzi's don't work with Magnetic Pickups. Generally Thomastick Spirocores will work fine with magnetic pickups, so will Zyex, With the Bartolini's so do Heliocore Jazz strings. Good Luck.
     
    Wasnex likes this.
  6. MBASSTT

    MBASSTT

    Mar 4, 2017
    Orchard Park NY
    How does the Krivo sound with a bow? I've heard mixed reviews.
    Also does it pick up fingerboard noise halfway decent when playing slap?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  7. MBASSTT

    MBASSTT

    Mar 4, 2017
    Orchard Park NY
    Thanks, very useful info. I do have a multi effects pedal with a bunch of eq and preamp options, I suppose I could just run the upright through that and adjust it accordingly.
     
    Wasnex likes this.
  8. MBASSTT

    MBASSTT

    Mar 4, 2017
    Orchard Park NY
    I was thinking about a wireless for mobility reasons, I will look into the G10. How is battery life?
     
  9. D_Bag

    D_Bag

    Feb 8, 2013
    Lawrence, KS
    All piezos pretty much sound the same. Get a vic’s pickup at uprightbasspickups.com. The dude from Koffin Kat’s makes them and they are solid, cheap, and sound exactly like a piezo pickup. Use the money you save to get a good preamp and don’t plug your f holes. That poopie’s dumb.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  10. 9Thumbs

    9Thumbs

    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    The first battery would be good for about a week an hour or two per day and a three hour practice. The new one is a little less, but it'll do any gig
    , and you can stick it in the receiver to recharge it during breaks easily if you want

    I had mine for three years and it started acting screwy. I called them to ask if I needed to buy a new receiver, or a new transmitter. The guy said " send us the whole thing and we'll send you a brand new updated one" I was impressed
     
    MBASSTT likes this.
  11. 9Thumbs

    9Thumbs

    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    I use a PF350 and two SVT15Es with my Krivo on a plywood Thompson and it sounds great! Cord or wireless it sounds close enough for RocknRoll. I had a 410 on top of one of the 15s and it sounded great, but the 410 was too heavy for me. I've played through a 15E and 210He. If I could find a 210 I could afford, I'd buy it. With all the knobs at noon and the master wherever, you'll be smiling.
     
    MBASSTT likes this.
  12. 9Thumbs

    9Thumbs

    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    I'm not that fussy about tone, but I use my fretless P and an SCPB with the same rig. With the tone knobs backed off some. all I have to do is back off the volumes a bit on the Fenders and I can switch with no hassles at all.
     
    Keith Rawlings and MBASSTT like this.
  13. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    FYI, slap players often use a second pickup for the fingerboard. The magnetic pickup only senses the vibrations of the strings.
     
  14. Keith Rawlings

    Keith Rawlings

    Aug 3, 2019
    This ⬆️. Vic’s pickups are about $50 each and sound amazing. Zac “Vic” Victor has just about the best customer service for any of the pickup makers. He actually called me before a gig when I emailed him about how best to mount the pickup and he provided me with some tips on how to get the best sound out of it. He was driving to Las Vegas for a gig at the time and I thought that was pretty awesome that he took the time to call me while on tour to help me out.

    I agree about not plugging your F-holes - you lose everything you want in the sound of an upright bass. Also try getting a high pass filter — you will have no feedback issues using one of those. There are DIs and stomp boxes that are HPFs you can get. There are many forums on this on here.

    I double with my Thunderbird and I just remember my settings; unplug the DB and plug in to play the EB songs. I always try and set up the set list to where there is a nice block of electric bass songs in a row so I can minimize switching. Usually I’ll end the first set with it so I can switch back to my Kay during the break. I do need to work on finding a good A/B switch once gigs come back though as that would be ideal for doubling.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
    dhergert, MBASSTT and D_Bag like this.
  15. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011

    :rollno:

    I wouldn't normally plug my F-holes either, but there are situations where it makes sense for some players. It really depends on how loud you need to play and how far you are willing to go. If it came down to it, I would rather use custom plugs than gaff tape the F-holes, which is what some people resort too. I have actually seen it first hand with a very loud rock-a-billy band. The bass sounded great and was unbelievably loud.

    I have never plugged the F-holes on an upright, but I have worked with sound hole plugs on acoustic guitars and ABGs and it made huge difference for the better. The instrument sounded more like it should with the plugs than without.

    A magnetic pickup is not going to sound much like an acoustic bass anyway.

    A high pass filter is not going to deal with the same frequency range that plugging the F-Holes will.
     
    Keith Rawlings and MBASSTT like this.
  16. The bridge seems to be displaced, too much towards the bass side.
    The strings are not centered over the fingerboard.
    At least that's what I see on the picture.
     
    BobDeRosa likes this.
  17. MBASSTT

    MBASSTT

    Mar 4, 2017
    Orchard Park NY
    Yeah, I did notice that. I have only had this a week, prior to that it sat in a room unplayed for over 25 years. As soon as I can part with it long enough, I will be taking it in for a once over. You will hate me if you find out what I paid for it.
     
  18. MBASSTT

    MBASSTT

    Mar 4, 2017
    Orchard Park NY
    I think that's going to be the direction I am going to go, with maybe a magnetic in the future. Any suggestions for a blendable stereo preamp/buffer/eq?
     
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
  19. MBASSTT

    MBASSTT

    Mar 4, 2017
    Orchard Park NY
    I have a multi effects/modeling pedal, will one of the preamp and eq options on that work with a piezo?
     
  20. 9Thumbs

    9Thumbs

    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    Oh, that is a beautiful Kay. I have two questions: What's with the chunk of wood wedged under the tailpiece?....And more importantly, how the heck did you get the bass to balance there in the middle of the room?
     
    Povl Carstensen likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jan 25, 2021

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