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Realist Failure

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Chris Fitzgerald, Jan 25, 2001.


  1. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Hi everyone...I've been really happy with my pickup situation since I got my new bass and the new K&K Trinity mic. I was mixing the mic and the Realist pickup, and getting a great sound. A couple of days ago I noticed a loud buzzing coming from the amp every time I turned the Realist on, and now I can't record with the combination any more because of the noise. I believe it's a ground problem of some sort. Anybody else had a similar problem with this pickup? I love the pickup, but I've only had it a little over a year, and if they don't last any longer than that, this could get expensive!

    I'd like to contact David Gage if possible to find out if it could be repaired. Does anybody know how to reach him or his shop by email? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Hey Chris, You can Contact Gage via E-mail at this address : davidgage@davidgage.com Check out his website for Phone and Fax info. http://www.davidgage.com/index.htm
    And yes, it sounds like either a ground problem or a damaged wire to me (or both). Hope you can work it out.
     
  3. bassgeek

    bassgeek

    Oct 19, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Chris, I have problems with my Realist, too. It just stopped working one day-no signal, no sound, no warning. I love the sound it did have, and I'll probably go into David's shop and ask if he can do anything about it (replace or repair). When I bought my bass there 7 years ago, he spent the majority of the afternoon helping me choose a bass and then setting it up perfectly. Good to hear the K & K Trinity is happening- I plan on adding one to my Bass Max soon. Hope your problem is resolved. Bassgeek
     
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Bassgeek - the Trinity works well with the Bass Max. When my Realist went out, I had to bust out my soldering iron and remove the Bass Max part from my Bass Master Pro. Although I never cared too much for the sound of it alone, I have to admit that it complements the mic really nicely. Thanks for the positive thoughts. (Hope they don't make Don get all barfy...)

    CHEETOcanteatjust35 - thanks for the link! (I just messed with your name to help Don settle his stomach.)
     
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Well, it's been over 2 weeks since I emailed Gage's shop describing my Realist ground problem and asking for advice about whether it could be fixed/where I might send it if it could. Not a single reply. Nada! Since the first one only lasted 14 months and he (they) can't be bothered to even comment about the problem, I'm not real inclined to buy another one with that kind of track record. Does anybody know anything about Gage's reputation for helpfulness/product support?

    Don - A student in one of my classes recently bought a Schertler pickup, and he says that it sounds wonderful. I haven't seen it yet, but I hope to get together with him before too long. I remember you saying that you had tried the Schertler in the past before settling on the Barbera (sp?). What was your take on it, other than liking the Barbera better?
     
  6. There's enough going on at Gage's that he has to have clerical assistance to help his wife, who's on the ball. I'd guess that a clerk screwed up; a clerk took my order for a wheel and sent the wheel with no shaft. Try a follow up e-mail, saying you got no answer to the first.
    I don't go there often, but I always see a Realist in for repair. I don't know the percentage.

    Schertler was a $1,900 package - pickup, pre-amp, speaker allegedly designed to match. I sent everything back. Nothing lived up to the hype for me. I went to a friendly music store, went through a mixing board, tried everything. A bust. Yet, I know people how say it's the best. Moral: nobody can tell you how it will work on your bass.

    Arnold Schnitzer just gave me an Acoustic Image to try on a gig tonight. We did an A-B in his shop and the AI just killed a G-K for tone quality.

    The Barbera is remarkably fast. When I play a Realist, I feel like I'm in time-delay. Barbera seems a bit "hot" with the AI. One of these days, I'll be driving down to see Bob Gollihur's stuff.
     
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Thanks for the info. The student who has the Schertler says that it's a wing-mount pickup w/preamp, and came in at about $300. Couldn't be the same thing, could it? Anyway one of the things I liked about the Realist was that it wasn't too "hot" sounding. I'll try another email, and if that gets no response, I'll probably just not use a Realist again. BTW, let me know what you think of Bob's stuff if you go down. Right now, I'm using a "double" Bass Max which Bob kindly talked me through soldering together right after the Realist went out. It's paired with the Trinity mic, and I kinda like it. Funny thing was, I absolutely HATED the bass Max on my old bass, but on the new one it sounds really good.
     
  8. Your student has the earlier version; different. Michael Moore was using one but couldn't get it repaired when it went bad.
    The system I tried was alleged to accurately reproduce the sound of the bass, unlike being processed by a bass amp. Not even close.
     
  9. bassgeek

    bassgeek

    Oct 19, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Not to stray from the original thread, but I saw an interesting set-up recently at Sweet Basil. Eddie Gomez was using an Acoustic Image amp (the combo) and a pickup that seemed to be built into the bridge adjusters. Have you guys seen/heard of such a pickup? It sounded nice and clear from top to bottom and volume-wise, stood up to Lenny White's powerful playing. It also didn't sound as "Eddie Gomezy" as his recorded sound on some albums.
     
  10. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    >One of these days, I'll be driving down to see Bob Gollihur's stuff.

    You're always welcome, Don.
     
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Okay...Five weeks and two very friendly emails inquiring about the possibility of repairing my pickup have passed, and not a single peep from Gage or anyone in his shop. Looks like I won't be ordering anything else made by him if that's the kind of support I can expect...:rolleyes:
     
  12. Unfortunately Gage does not reply.
    I have sent them 3 emails and have waited
    several months......nothing.

    A rather strange behavoir as today the world of bassist are communicating global and within seconds !

    Very sad...need I say not recommended ?

    Kind regards,
    Christian V
     
  13. alavakian

    alavakian Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2002
    SF Bay area
    I use a realist on each of my two basses. About three years ago one of them failed. I mailed it to David Gage and asked if it could be fixed. He replied that it looks like it's been abused
    and he mailed me a brand new one with his compilents. Can't ask for anything better than that. No problems since.
     
  14. alavakian

    alavakian Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2002
    SF Bay area
    I use a realist on each of my two basses. About three years ago one of them failed. I mailed it to David gage asking if it could be fixed. He replied that "it looks as if it's been abused, here is a new one with my compliments." Can't ask for better service.
     
  15. musicman5string

    musicman5string Banned

    Jan 17, 2006
    The only problem with the realist pickup is that it sucks....


    Hope that helps.
     
  16. mrpc

    mrpc Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Well, do you think you abused it?

    I think if there is a flaw in one of the production runs of The Realist, that is a term (abused) he could use safely, without being dishonest.

    Curious about the customer service at Gage's enterprise, since I have been considering an instrument purchase from him, and I live thousands of miles from his shop.
     
  17. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Although I chose not to have my Realist serviced, they responded quickly and courteously when I inquired about refurbishment.
     
  18. bribass

    bribass

    Jan 25, 2006
    Northern NJ
    Endorsing Artist; Arnold Schnitzer/ Wil DeSola New Standard RN DB
    I wouldn't say that. It depends on the bass.

    It's the best piezo pu for arco out there.
    Piz is great too on my Prescott. Best pu for that bass that I've tried.
    On my German I don't like it alone. I need to blend it w/ a Bass Max or old Fishman clip on. I've never had any failure problems w/ either one. One bought in '99, the other in '03.

    I think you'd get much better cust. service calling the shop. David himself is a very nice guy and Mike W. and Sprocket are the main repair guys there and know their stuff.

    BG
     
  19. Steve Bassman

    Steve Bassman Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I couldn't disagree with you more.

    BTW Your profile says you still use one.

    - Steve
     
  20. mrpc

    mrpc Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    That's what I wanted to hear. I did speak with a guy who had purchased an old German from Gage through the net. and he seemed pleased with the experience. Nice sounding bass too.