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Pickups for recording?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by Cats On Fire, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. Cats On Fire

    Cats On Fire

    Dec 3, 2006
    I'm a bass guitar player, but I'm looking to build an EUB for my studio projects. With this in mind, what set of pickups would you Masters of the Low End recommend? I'm looking to steer clear of Piezo, as magnetic pickups cut out a lot of the preamp nastiness. With my bass guitar, I'd just plug it straight into my computer (as opposed to plugging the amp into my computer and mastering out the hiss, as I'd do with a guitar) so I'm assuming the same principle applies with an EUB. The sound I'm going for is that of an acoustic double bass, woody and fat but smooth. Am I being naive in a) thinking building an EUB is going to be that simple b) thinking EUB pickups are suited to straight-to-soundcard recording and c) thinking I can get a decent, woody, full tone from an EUB in the first place? Failing ALL that, anyone here reckon Ergo basses are halfway decent for recording, as I'm contemplating chucking it all in and ust buying one anyway?

    Any help, chaps, would be appreciated.
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Bear in mind, most magnetic pickups are not built for the string arrangement of DB. There's a guy on this forum who makes magnetics for DB though, so search for him.

    I don't quite understand what you mean about "preamp nastiness", or BG being different from guitar, etc... Is your BG active? As long as piezo output is buffered, it can be used straight into the soundcard. Check the classifieds, there's a guy selling small homebrew buffers, and there's a link to the DIY.

    As far as EUB's giving decent, woody, full tone.... I think it boils down to how well they are made (and played).
  3. If you want a real DB tone, there's nothing better than the real thing!
    The EUBs that approach that best are semi-acoustic, like the Eminence, Kolstein Travel Bass, Gage Checz-Ease (sp?)
    But with a homemade instrument, and with magnetic pickups, don't expect much more than a big fretless tone, I'm afraid.
    There are stick-like EUBs that have a nice tone; Azolas have a good, solid reputation, and you can't go wrong with them.
    They have several models available.
  4. If you're into DIY, try this: www.fittell.id.au/piezo
    I had bought components for adding a magnetic pickup to the EUB I was building because, like you, I assumed piezos would sound too brittle. But once I put one of these piezos under the bridge foot I had a big, solid sound that was everything I wanted. First time I used it was a recording session direct from the DI of my Eden and it sounded huge. I still usually roll off the highs a little to remove string noise and 'clack' but the low end is great.
    Like Francis said, if you want a 'real URB' sound you'll need a real URB. But an EUB can give excellent, useable sounds that have their own character. My solid-body actually works better in the blues/jazz band I use it for than a 'real' bass - I find it easier to punch through the mix. Just don't expect it to be something it's not.
    Here's my EUB, a prototype by Bill Paulin: www.fittell.id.au/eub
    Bill has since made several more and refined the design somewhat since this one.

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