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Realist affecting acoustic tone of bass?

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by MDEbass, Mar 31, 2009.


  1. MDEbass

    MDEbass

    Dec 15, 2008
    Houston
    I have a realist pickup on my bass. I have been having problems with having a consistent tone with all my strings. A noticable difference in tone can be heard when switching from E and A strings to D and G strings. Assuming the problem is not the strings, then could it be possible that the pickup is affecting the acoustics of my bass? Of course, all my orchestral playing is done acoustically and not plugged in, but the pickup stays on my bass. Since the realist is under the foot of the bridge on the E string side, maybe it keeps the bridge from having total contact with the bass? I dont know....just an idea. Anyone have any thoughts?
     
  2. I've had this problem too and on multiple basses. I'm primarily a pizz player but even with pizz I notice it. The character of the acoustic sound changes and not for the better. It is as if the E side foot isn't making as good a contact with the body (which is probably what is happening). Every time I try the Realist, and I've tried it on 4 different basses, I end up taking it off within a week or two.

    mark
     
  3. thedbassist

    thedbassist

    Sep 10, 2006
    Almost anything you put on your bass(like a quiver, pickup etc.) will affect the sound on your bass. The strings vibrations are transported from the strings to the bridge(and down the tailpiece I believe) to the bass so anything that would hinder that contact/vibration is going to have some effect on your sound.

    Also, if your pickup raises your bridge significantly you might want to raise the other foot of your bass proportionately to have the "correct" mensure-I think I'm using the correct terminology here :)- if you have not already done so.
     
  4. joel kelsey

    joel kelsey

    Aug 1, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I had a realist on my Juzek and I noticed that it seemed to make certain notes sound sound quieter and have less sustain (C and Db on the A string). When I had Nick Lloyd set up my bass we tried playing it with and without the realist. The realist definately made a BIG difference! Nick seemed suprised...He said it was rare that the realist would affect the tone that much. So, yeah the realist can hurt your bass tone. The funny thing is, when I put a full circle on, it seemed to make my tone sound BETTER. Basses are weird.
     
  5. MDEbass

    MDEbass

    Dec 15, 2008
    Houston
    Ok, so after my original post and reading a your posts, I decided to try my bass without the pickup and took the pickup off. After a few days, after the wood started to settle, I could tell a HUGE difference. Not only is the problem gone, but everything else just sounds better. Better tone, still comfortable to play, consistent string feel, etc. Even with pizz i could start to tell a difference. Just a more deep and articulate fundamental bass tone. Thanks for the advice guys. And to anyone with a realist and has never taken it off, i encourage you to try it. Not take it off for good, of course, but what I'm going to do is just slip the pickup back on whenever i need my bass plugged in.
     
  6. AlanBartram

    AlanBartram Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    Nashville,TN
    D’Addario endorser
    I'm with you, I've recently tried the realist for the second time and I can't get past the fact that I paid a luthier to make a bridge that fits perfectly to the top and I'm putting a hunk of foil with piezos under it. Have you noticed how easy it is to move that foot with full tension on the strings? I don't care for the lack of tone and presence on the G string either.
     
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I sometimes feel like we could just post this and close the entire basses forum. :)

    Seriously, I also felt that the Realist negatively impacted my acoustic tone. After discovering that it was negatively impacting my amplified tone even more, I took it off and replaced it with something that didn't. I have an extremely gifted student with a Realist on his bass who is having a horrible time getting a good amplified sound. Two days ago, he borrowed my (FC equipped)office bass for a concert. The next morning, i got an email that read something like this: "Thanks so much for letting me use your bass on the concert. Everything felt great. I'll be getting a pickup like yours and raising my strings (as you have been advising me to do for the past 6 months) as soon as I can."

    I understand that many people like the Realist, and I have no beef with that. I've just never been able to find a balanced sound on one, and my bass sounds better acoustically without anything between the bass foot and the top, so...
     

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