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PVC EUB: Pickup Recommendation

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by Thunderbroom, Apr 19, 2006.


  1. Thunderbroom

    Thunderbroom

    May 7, 2002
    Illinois
    I'm having a PVC EUB delivered this week:

    [​IMG]

    The guy that built it for me had a problem with the pickup that he handwired (can't get the hum out of it) and is reimbursing me part of the money I owe him as compensation.

    I know nothing about EUB's (or DB's for that matter). The price was right, and I think it will be fun to learn a few songs and play this bass on stage with both my rock and country bands.

    Here's a few more pictures:

    PVC6.

    PVC5.

    PVC7.

    He told me "with this bridge you'll probably want one (pickup) that goes under the feet, as there are no wings or holes on this bridge". I don't know that this means exactly so I am deferring to the experts.

    I appreciate any help that you can provide.
    :)
     
  2. I'm sorry, I have no info for you; do you have a link to the builder?
     
  3. Thunderbroom

    Thunderbroom

    May 7, 2002
    Illinois
    No link. He's not a pro luthier...just a hobbyist.

    He built a prototype for himself and posted about it on another forum. Some of us asked for a sound clip. He provided this one:

    Link

    I was impressed enough to see if he would build me one. He agreed. I should have it on either Friday or Saturday. I don't think that he plans to build these as a business, but I really don't know.
     
  4. Thank you.
     
  5. Thunderbroom

    Thunderbroom

    May 7, 2002
    Illinois
    I don't know as I haven't received it yet but I do think it's a piezo.

    Hillbilly Slap Strings/Weedwhackers...IOW Nylon.

    He never claimed to be the creator of this type of instrument. He just built one for himself. I like the sound of it (per the clip I posted) and am looking forward to getting it.

    I'm just hoping some of you can recommend a decent pickup that will work for this thing as I'm clueless.
    :)
     
  6. Did I miss this?
     
  7. Thunderbroom

    Thunderbroom

    May 7, 2002
    Illinois
    Yep.

    It's in the thread. I'll post it again though:

    PVC EUB Soundclip
     
  8. Piezos need complete shielding to avoid hum - the slightest gap will cause problems.
    Try making your own simple pickup with a piezo buzzer from RadioShack, or one of these:
    www.fittell.id.au/piezo
     
  9. This PVC bass is absolutely cracking me up! :D Compared to conventional EUBs, it's sort of the Ashbory!

    Ingenious that he used larger diameter PVC for the fingerboard.

    I'm also grinning at the "Charlotte Pipe and Foundry" text on the back.. Cosmetics ain't great, but it sure is a fun novelty instrument. One could always paint it periodically.. we all know that regular paint chips off PVC pretty readily. Is there some kind of paint or stain that won't chip off?

    The sound on the clip was pretty nice- it's distinctive.

    What is the scale length? The PVC Instruments book lists a 'cello bass' as one of the plans available.. is this a 34" scale?

    Piezo pickups, properly chosen, placed, and mounted, can provide a good sound out of just about anything that resonates. The EMI Piezo films are perfect to place under bridge feet.

    Speaking on the bridge, I can't tell much about it from the pics- is that a carved wood bridge, Thunderbroom?
     
  10. Thunderbroom

    Thunderbroom

    May 7, 2002
    Illinois
    I'm pretty certain that it's 41".

    It appears to be from the picture though I haven't received mine. He also did a mod to mine that is not in his original design. He put in a piece of aluminum stock down the tube to reinforce it.
     
  11. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    That's both hysterically funny and intriguing at the same time. BTW, anyone thinking of duplicating this should know that sawing PVC pipe lengthwise is a very tricky (and possibly dangerous) operation. It can bind and rotate unless screwed to a wooden form first.
     
  12. Thunderbroom

    Thunderbroom

    May 7, 2002
    Illinois
    I found this website:

    The Online Double Bass Guide

    The link is to the pickup page. Which of these would be a good fit with this bass. I don't want to spend a fortune but do want good sound.
     
  13. Thunderbroom

    Thunderbroom

    May 7, 2002
    Illinois
    Thanks for the tip!

    Since I'll be running it through my GenzBenz GBE-600, I shouldn't need something separate, right?
    :confused:
     
  14. Thunderbroom

    Thunderbroom

    May 7, 2002
    Illinois
    I got it last night.

    The pickup, as is, is useless.
    :(

    It hums loudly and the bass is barely audible through my 425w GenzBenz. I was told this in advance, so I really can't be mad about it. I'm thinking that a piezo may not be the say to go unless the commericial ones are infinitely better than this handmade one.

    Will a place like Guitar Center stock a pickup for this thing?
     
  15. Is the pickup shielded? If not, try completely wrapping it in alfoil (make sure the alfoil is connected to earth).
    Check also that the pickup lead is quality shielded cable and the jack is fully shielded as well.
    Piezos don't generate hum - they just collect it if they're not fully shielded.
    Sounds like you may need some sort of preamp as well. Start by trying any sort of effects pedal as an impedance butter. Use the shortest possible lead from pickup to preamp/buffer.
     
  16. Thunderbroom

    Thunderbroom

    May 7, 2002
    Illinois
    It appears that the pickup is wrapped in black electrical tape. I don't know if it's shielded underneath.

    How would I go about making sure that the aluminum foil is connected to earth?

    I used my Korg Pandora PX4B inbetween the pickup and my amp last night. While it boosted the signal, it seems to boost the noise as well.
    :(
     
  17. Thunderbroom

    Thunderbroom

    May 7, 2002
    Illinois
    I just took pictures of my bass:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. mrpc

    mrpc Guest

    Feb 7, 2005

    That's a tried and true Underwood Pickup in the original photos....... I'd send the bass back and ask the builder to install the Underwood. Make a new bridge if necessary, shouldn't be a big operation in any case.
    Might cost some more $, (retail about $150) but worthwhile if you need something DEPENDABLE. This is asssuming you like the instrument and are serious about using it in public. Interesting bass, BTW!
     
  19. I'd suggest you carefully unwrap the pickup and see what's in there. If there's no shielding over the pickup & wiring, that's your problem. Also open that plastic jack socket and make all the wiring is shielded by metal.

    I've grounded alfoil shielding this way:
    - attach a thin bare wire to the negative/earth lead
    - insulate the positive lead (or whole pickup) with tape
    - wrap the pickup in foil, making sure the drain wire contacts the foil. I suspect you'll need to do something similar at the jack end.

    If all that fails, PM me and I'll happily send you one of my msi piezo film pickups (they cost me about $4 to make so we can work out a sensible deal).
     
  20. Thunderbroom

    Thunderbroom

    May 7, 2002
    Illinois
    Update

    I just got a pickup from the fellow that sold me the bass. He made a new piezo pickup with two piezos (one for each side of the bridge). It's shielded really well and sounds pretty good!
     

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