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problems with pickup

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Kran Banger, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Kran Banger

    Kran Banger

    Dec 1, 2006
    i have a solo II bass pickup from upton bass, but it sounds like crap, it sounds super live, and if i touch the wire it makes clicking noises. overall the tone is weak and clicky...did i install it wrong
  2. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    probably not....

    OK, I've got no experiance with the Rev Solo 2. But I bought and paid for not one, but two of the Solo 1's, tried them on 3 different basses and found them very dissapointing. Very low output and they hummed like crazy. Unsuitable for pro use, in my experiance and IMHO. I know there seems to be a lot of folks out there that swear by them, but unless Upton would be willing to send me a free Rev Solo 2 to try for free and it happened to work great for me I must remain an unbeliever.
    I'm not a weekend warrior, Sunday player, wannabe or student, not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm a 50 year old working pro for 30 years who's every dime earned comes from playing the bass. I could never see myself paying again for a product that worked as poorly for me as the Rev Solo 1 did.
  3. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    If you followed the installation instructions from Upton, then you probably installed it right. But installing it for optimal tone does require some experimenting and some patience IME. That thing about touching the wire making a clicking noise is pretty weird. Maybe you got a bum unit. Or maybe your bass just doesn't like it. Dunno. Every bass is different.

    I don't have the same background or credentials as Mike, and no disrespect intended, but I think I get a good sound with it. I also know not everyone has the same experience. Same is true for a lot of different pickups from what I've gathered from this forum for the last several years. YMMV seems to be the only steadfast rule.

    As for me, the RS works better on my bass than three different types of pickups that I tried before it. I am a part-time pro as outlined in my profile. My first paying gig (albeit on electric) was in 1979. I guess I must be doin' somethin' right, 'cuz I keep getting calls.

    If I were you I'd contact Upton and tell them your story. IME their customer service has been quite good.


    P.S. If you can fill out your profile, like what type of amp, preamp or no, other pickups you've used, it helps us all. It might be as simple as an impedance mismatch with your amp.
  4. Danho


    Mar 2, 2005
    Columbus Ohio
    My Rev solo II sound great! Someone posted here: "It is just like my bass, only louder." I have no complaints about the output or tone.
    However I do have feedback problems I didn't have with my underwood. The dampener under the bridge didn't help. I've had it for three moderate volume gigs now and EQ'd all I had time for before switching pickups.
    Thanks for the suggestion to call Upton. I'll do that today!
  5. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    If you're still out there Kran, you might could try flipping the pickup over in the wing slot too. I have tried several RS's both ways.

    With the "R" symbol facing the strings, you get more string sound and less body. Flipped over facing the bass, you get more body, but ample string, for me at least. I have my current RS II facing the table. Sounds more natural to me that way. But every bass is different.

    I did have feedback problems once w/ a previous RS on my bass, but I think it was due to a bad fit in the wing slot (which was all my doing). No feedback issues with the current set up - although I don't have to go "way loud" for my gigs. No EQ either. I run the EQ flat or bypass it entirely. I do use a high pass filter.
  6. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    The design improvements of the Rev2 over the Rev1 are substantial. The output is much greater on the Rev2 and the cabling has been changed. The output was quite low on the Rev1 and that is no longer an issue. Although I never had an issue with hum on the Rev1, the re-design of the cabling makes that a non-issue as well. So, while you are, understandably, a non-believer with regard to the Rev1, that's almost irrelevant to an evaluation of the Rev2. By the way, did you ever ask Upton to send you a Rev2?
  7. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    There probably is something amiss with the installation. You may have damaged the connection in the fitting process and that would be consistent with the clicking sound.
  8. jfv


    May 5, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Sounds to me a lot like just needing to tweak the amp,
    what are you using, have you checked the EQ and gain,
    etc... etc... ??
  9. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003

    I use a RSII installed by the professionals at Upton, and it sounds good.

    I understand it's a little tricky achieving a proper installation of the RSII (or probably any brand of bridge wing piezo for that matter.)
  10. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I've had three RS pickups installed right in Upton's shop. I never had any feedback or hum issues and the sound has been great. I have found that moving the pickup a bit this way or that allows me to identify the "sweet spot." After it's found, I mark it with a pencil.
  11. uptonbass

    uptonbass Proprietor, Upton Bass String Instrument Co.

    Oct 8, 2002
    Mystic CT
    Founder UptonBass.com
    Mike, you're on-- what's your amp and bass setup? All I ask is that you do a super install job (as that is the NUMBER ONE reason for a player to have an issue with response, evenness and possible feedback) email me your address and its in the mail!

    With SOOOO many players including myself that LOVE the sound of the pickup even the Series 1 it sounds like something might have been up with your rig/setup, that hindered the effectiveness of the pickup. I am not at all taking a stab at you or the setup but if you still have problems with your new Series 2, please do give me a call.
  12. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Maybe. But I run the EQ flat and get good results. All the "tweaking" I did involved how the p/u was fit into the wing slot. Includes the position of the p/u, orientation ("R" brand symbol up or down), and how "snug" the fit was. There is a sweet spot on my bass just like drurb said. And I marked it with a color pencil. Orange-ish. Matches the bass (kind of). ;)
  13. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    Wow, Gary Upton, I'm stunned by your response, quite impressed by your willingness to stand behind your product and it's improved version. I'll PM, e-mail or call you regarding the shipping details.
    For the record I installed both of the previous pickups as per your instuctions, resulting in a good fit in both cases. The basses were a David Gage Czech-Ease and a Shen Willow3/4, both of which are very well set-up, Spirocore Strings. My amps are a Walter Woods M 100-8 and an Acoustic Image Clarus. Speakers tried were Razers Edge 10, AI Contra EX and an SWR 2-10. A Raven Labs PMB 2 was sometimes used with the WW Amp.
    The pickups which I had measured the Rev Solo 1's performance against were The Realist and an Underwood, both which of course are industry standards and while both compleatly different animals, are both highly regarded by many top bassists, from the great ones down to humble working jazz pros like myself. After giving up on and selling my Rev 1's, for less the half of what they cost me my next move was to buy a Wilson Pickup for the Czech-Ease, which cost me over $600, plus the cost of it's installation. You see Gary, I'm not shy about spending whatever is nessasary to get a sound that works for me, but must be prudent all the while. That's why when the news broke of your new improved Rev Solo 2, I opted not to try again.
    At the moment both a Realist and the Wilson are installed on my road bass, the Czech-Ease. The Wilson is my "go to" for most general applications, yes it's stringy and sometimes a bit electric sounding and that's a drag sometimes when I'm trying for a pure acoustic tone, "only louder". The Realist gets that sought after tone, but only after a lot of EQ and can feedback fast if one lets the volume get away, easy in a loud club with the drummer bashing! I had hoped the Rev 1's I tried would replace the Realist for those applications but found the hum and lack of available gain unacceptable, too bad because minus the hum, the pickup sounds pretty good inspite of the low gain.
    So...l'll look forward to seeing and hearing the improved version.
  14. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    Back to the OP.
    The issue of clicking noises when you touch the wire puzzles me.
    In my experience (on my second RSII) it does have a bit of string noise due to its location. Maybe that's what you're referring to.
    FWIW, I've been blending mine with the Full Circle by tying them into a Y cable. The Full Circle sounds much better by itself on this bass, but adding the RSII on the gig adds a bit of presence.
  15. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    I've always liked the RS I and II on my bass. The solo'ed p/u sound is very warm, full and solid, but a just a tad harsh sometimes in the upper register, if I'm not careful w/ my RH technique. (Maybe it's the Spiro mittels). Heck, I don't spend that much time up in TP anyway.

    But now I'm blending mine with a nice dynamic mic and I really like what I'm hearing. Blending it w/ a mic creates more of a natural, organic and open sound w/ a little more 3-D shape to it as the notes blossom. This setup really works well for me.
  16. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    On my bass, Hybrid Hawkes from Upton, the RSII sound is good but without much bottom. The upper register is a bit harsh and may be similar to your experience. The Full Circle has a better low end and more punch. I recently tried a Realist and was surprised that it sounded similar to the Full Circle at low volumes. The RSII may be the best pickup for another bass, but I don't prefer it on my bass by itself.

    I'm using mittels on the bottom and Obligatos on top btw.
  17. larry


    Apr 11, 2004
    I've had a Rev Solo 1 on two different basses and tried it through no less than five different amps. It always sounded good.

    I've also been through at least 6 different pickups. I've sold them all except for the Solo.

    Maybe Upton will chime in on how wise this is, but I did not sand the pickup. Call me crazy, but I sanded the wing slot. I wrapped sand paper around a flat file, then added wraps of paper around the file under the sand paper as the slot widened. This pretty much guaranteed an even, flat slot for the pickup.

    I noticed the sound can change drastically depending on how much pressure is on the pickup. Perhaps too much wood was sanded off the Solo? Have you tried shimming it (maybe with clarinet or sax reeds?).
  18. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    My first one developed some nasty distortion on the low end. It almost sounded like the speaker was at fault. Installed in the bridge by Upton. it was thinned to exactly 4mm, which is the minimum per the pickup instructions. The second, thankfully replaced by Eric, I thinned to just over 5mm and filed the bridge wing. The fit is nice and tight and I believe it sounds better than the first one ever did.
  19. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    That's kind of how my latest RS install sounds w/ the "R" symbol facing the strings.
    And that's how it sounds flipped over to me, w/ the brand symbol facing the table.

    I'd agree, the fit and pressure in the slot are key. I have installed several RS's on the same bass, each time getting a slightly better fit and improved tone. But I agree, every bass is different, people's ears and tastes are different, YMMV, etc.
  20. This PU seems to be one of the trickiest on the market to get the right fit. I got the RS 1 and spent some hours looking for that sweet spot. The best sound that I got was not unusable, but I clearly preferred the sound of my current pu:s (wilson and realists).

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