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Realist - how does it affect the unamplified sound of the instrument?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by klepto, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. klepto

    klepto Guest

    Nov 10, 2004
    i think i've decided that i want to get a realist , but i would like to continue to play unamplified as much as possible

    how does this pickup affect the natural sound of the instrument?

    does it diminish the volume or alter the tone in an unacceptable manner?

    i realize that this will be different from instrument to instrument... i am just curious to hear opinions

    also... is bob golihur the most inexpensive source for this pickup?
    i have heard so many positive testimonials about this guy that i would love to give him my money
  2. I love my realist. It is the only pickup that I have found that sounds great on my bass. It doesn't affect the sound when you play acousticly that I can tell and I switch back and forth quite a bit. It slides under the E string side of your bridge, feet so it raises just a little bit. But it doesn't raise it enough to really matter. I'm sure Bob would be willing to take your money lol I'm sure all of us would. Good luck
  3. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    No effect on my un-amplified sound at all. Great, and accurate for my bass.
  4. I have not been able to detect any difference in the unamplified sound of any bass with the Gage Realist pickup properly installed. As mentioned earlier, the E string side of the bridge does get raised slightly, but a half turn of the bridge adjuster will take care of that problem. If you are using a solid (non-adjustable) bridge, you may need to have your local bass luthier refit the bridge since it may also lift the center-seam side of the G leg slightly (leaving a slight gap under the G foot).
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I've never been a fan of the Realist, but my teacher has one on his Hachez bass, and to the best of my knowledge he leaves it on during orchestra concerts.
  6. mister_k


    Jul 27, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I've played many gigs since installing the realist and quite a few were totally unamplified. My girl just gets louder and louder.
    And the amplified sound is great too, which i guess was the point of putting her on in the first place.

    I have an Engle ES-9 w/adjustable bridge, by the by.

  7. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I noticed a slight increase in sound/volume/openness after removing the Realist that came with my laminated New Standard Cleveland. Just minor, though, and not as noticeable as the effect that my BassMax has when mounted in the bridge wing, which is why I remove it when playing acoustic gigs.
  8. klepto

    klepto Guest

    Nov 10, 2004
    i also remember reading something about the realist leaving a small dent in the top of the bass... anyone care to elaborate on this?

    i found the realist at

    quinnviolins.com - 170.75 for priority mail

    while bob golihur charges 175.00 for delivery via priority mail

    any comments on quinnviolins.com?
  9. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    There was a bit of a small dimple left on the top of the bass by the Realist, from the circular piezo element inside the copper, but not by the copper rectangle itself.

    Aside from my frustrating first experience with Quinn (they confirmed an order I placed, then cancelled it when they couldn't get the strings--without notifying me--I didn't discover this until after I left them several phone messages), all my dealings with them have been very good. They seem genuinely committed to providing a wide variety of items at very good prices. IME Bob Gollihur's service has always been exemplary.
  10. The older Realist had two ceramic discs which may have caused indentations. The newer ones use a piezo polymer film, which is flat. At least, that is my understanding. I got mine (one of the new ones) from Quinn. It took them a few days to "process" my order, before it actually shipped. Bob is probably faster, if you're in a hurry.
  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Hard to tell, I went from playing with a Fishman BP 100 and a not so good acoustic sound or approach to the Realist and an improving acoustic sound and approach. So I don't feel I lost anything in the acoustic sound - projection, warmth, focus.
  12. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    My bass actually sounds a bit louder and more open in the low end since I installed the Realist. As far as the "plugged in" sound, all I have to do is roll off the mids an treble a little to smooth things out, and it is as close as I can get without using a mic. That's a good thing. I've never been as happy with a pickup as I have been with the Realist.

    OTOH, when I had the K&K Bass Max installed, the tone seemed to suffer a bit, and the amplified sound was not natural. Needless to say, I haven't been using it as much. I still like the Golden Trinity mic, but I can't use it except on duo gigs or extremely quiet trio gigs... the feedback monster comes around too often for my taste in those situations.