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Questions and considerations regarding the Rev. Solo

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by bob denard, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. bob denard

    bob denard

    Jul 11, 2003
    Paris, France
    Hi everyone,
    Just wanted to share some thoughts about the Solo i bought a few months ago, and have some of your opinions. The big thread seems to have been sleeping for a while, don't want to disturb it.

    1. The luthier that installed it on my bass had a fit i believe was way too snug and the sound was horrible. I sanded down the wing slot, now i'm beginning to have a hint of that natural sound everyone raves for, but is still sounds like your old piezo. The sound is more balanced and maybe richer with the R facing the body, but it's a bit more acoustic the other way round. Still the big old dilemma : should i sand it more ? When does it start to be too loose ?

    2. I realised today the guy installed it on the G side of the bridge ! Do you believe that has any effect on the sound ?

    3. How about people here posting some samples of the Solo ? As "my bass but louder" can probably be felt and heard differently from one player to another that could be of some help for people trying to get the best out of their p/u.

    Thanks for your thoughts and advice !
  2. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    I'll bite.

    I would say now that mine's pretty loose. Sanding a little bit more and it'll probably come flying out of the wing slot more than I'd like it to. It popped out once on me last weekend during a jam session. A light tap and the pup will definitely fly out. But I think when I was sanding it, the looser it got the better it sounded. But sand too much and it won't fit anymore.

    Had a big effect for me. G-string side doesn't sound good at all. There's only one way to find out. I tried it out with the PUP R-side up and down and it just plain sucked. E-string side R side down is what worked for me.

    Maybe onna dese days when I'm feeling brave enough to recording my hacking at away at the strings. When I test at home, A-B test my bass with and without the pup. If the RS can come close to what i'm hearing as the acoustic sound then I'm happy. OTOH, if I plug in and it sounds better than my bass acoustically (not neccessarily accurate) then I've won the sweepstakes. I think the RS comes close in this category simply cuz the bass is louder. But the big disclaimer is that this is TOTALLY SUBJECTIVE.

    One more big note, my RS doesn't fit square into the wing slot. I have it at a 45 degree angle. My thoughts are that you need to find the best spot within the wing that will put most of the pressure right on the center of the R-side since the hot pickup sits right there. Turn it a couple degrees this way or that and it doesn't sound as good.

    Also, putting it in at an angle also helps the RS stay in place while putting the pressure right in the right places. So IMO, fitting is kinda tricky for optimum sound and is dependent exactly on how it sits just right in the slot. I think this is why I'm not surprised that there are some basses (or bridges?) that the RS simply doesnt' work because the wing slot isn't shaped just right. Food for thought.

    Please note too that I installed in myself. I didn't get a Luthier to shape the wings or anything like that.

    EDIT: One more thing I forgot too.... now that the pickup works right and i'm very happy with it I can admit that I didn't follow the install directions word for word. I got lazy the second time around with the sanding and pulled out a sheet of 100-grit (or was it 180-grit?) sand paper and went to town. Instead of taking me 45 minutes to sand it down to 4.5mm with the sandpaper Upton gives you, it took me 5 minutes but I tried to be as cautious as possible. In the end, the grain didn't have a nice soft feel to it. it was just a touch coarser. Maybe this gives it a little bit of grip and better contract on the wing? Maybe? I dunno.
  3. bob denard

    bob denard

    Jul 11, 2003
    Paris, France
    Cheers man, thanks a lot for your answer.
    Reading that i think i'll probably do some more sanding on the wing slot. I did notice a huge difference in changing the PUP position by a 1 or 2 millimeters or a few degrees.
    I guess i'll try to achieve the best results on the G-side and then if i'm still not happy switch to the E-side.
  4. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Yup, the differences are big even if you move the pick up a mm here or there. You have to fiddle with it til it sits just right. You have to put it just right for your wing in terms of planar position and angle. Keep trying til you get it. I think I posted in the monster RS thread that I would strike on of the strings to let it ring out and keep moving the pickup til it sounds good. Good luck.
  5. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    I've been through this exercise three times. I have fit a Rev SOLO on the same bass 3 times.

    Each time, I get a better fit, and I think a better tone.

    [ I only tried it on the G string side once, and didn't stick with it. Went right back to the E side. ]

    First time, p/u was only snug in one area because the surface planes of the bridge wing and foot were not parallel - they were kinda wedge shaped. It sounded best with the "R" symbol facing down, installed off center (but not rotated) in the wing slot, kinda like what hdiddy said.

    Then I sanded it down too far. But I liked the sound so much, I bought another one, and sent the first one back to be reconditioned. The second one sounded better with the "R" symbol facing up [ due to a better fit, not due to inconsistencies in the p/u ]. Again, I worked on getting the surface planes of the bridge wing & foot parallel as best I could. But still the pickup would kinda swivel as it was snug on one side but looser on the other.

    Then I got my reconditioned pickup back. So I had to try a third time. Now I have close to a textbook install. The p/u is centered in the slot, "R" symbol facing up. Very, very lively tone.

    Given that we're talking about pickups (and for $99!), I get what I think is a real convincing pizz sound now. The better fit has led to a better tone and a stronger output signal, again all IMO of course. The hits on the initial attacks are convincing, and I think for a wing mounted p/u it does a real nice job conveying the bloom that follows. Sometimes even a little too much so - I find it more prone to feedback on my bass this time.

    As an anecdote, I packed up my AMT mic early the last two gigs and just ran with the SOLO for the final sets, and quite frankly, I didn't feel like I was giving up that much in terms of tone. Sure, I noticed a difference, but with the latest RS install I was definitely thinking "mic-like" as I was listening, even after the AMT was packed up. It's a tighter tone than before with more focus to my ears - undoubtedly because that bugger fits real snug and centered this time.

    So ... If you ask me, the moral of the story is IME fitting a SOLO does take time, and some experimenting, at least for me. I should point out I'm not very handy - maybe that's why it took me so long (sigh). I had to do it in little steps, one at a time, write down notes, make marks on the p/u in colored pencils, almost like a laboratory mentality. But as dreadful as all that sounds, I think it has paid off for me in terms of more output and improved tone in my case. Said another way, I think I'm getting the most now from this pickup on my current bass.

    Like hdiddy and others have said, small changes in position and "snugness" with this p/u can make a really big difference. Keep experimenting Bob! And on some basses the p/u may never work as good as I think it does on mine. I dunno.

    And keep sanding if you dare ... If you sand it down too far, the reconditioning service is only $40.

    Can you guess where my second pickup is now? I sent it back for reconditioning too.

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