Realist Lifeline vs. Full Circle, Output

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by LowB-ing, Jul 14, 2013.


  1. LowB-ing

    LowB-ing

    Aug 3, 2005
    Hi all,

    I know there are few people here that have used both the new Gage Realist Lifeline and the Fishman Full Circle pickups. I have found some useful comparisons of their tone, but I would also very much like to know how they compare in terms of raw output when used passively, without a buffer.

    I'm not talking about useful volume before feedback. Just passive output.
     
  2. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Kind of hard to say, actually. I'd say they're roughly even, at least on the bass here at the shop. Both pickups are under direct pressure, which normally results in more output compared to a pickup that is "stuck" or clamped on. So in that way, they are in the same ballpark.

    But it's kind of like apples and oranges, since the character of the tone is rather different. The FC, IME, has more mid presence, while the LL has more low end girth with a less midd-y character. So the differences in ACTUAL volume (measured on a sound meter) might not necessarily correlate to the PERCEIVED volume, especially once you put it in context with a band and start tweaking EQs to get the tone you like.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
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  4. LowB-ing

    LowB-ing

    Aug 3, 2005
  5. Nuggulux

    Nuggulux

    Oct 24, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I didn't quantitatively measure it when I tried out the LifeLine for the first time, but to my ears, through the same rig that I've been using for years (a Full Circle into an SWR Baby Blue), the LifeLine had a noticeably louder output into the amp.
     
  6. bskts247

    bskts247

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    This is a really old thread but I was hoping someone could help me with an issue I have. I had the realist and (like I just found out is common) it crapped out on me yesterday. I was hoping someone could let me know the pros and cons of the Full Circle and the LifeLine. I really just want something reliable, the spirocore of pickups if you will.
     
  7. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    My read on it is this - both pickups sound good, but they have different characters, despite being in almost the exact same position on the bass bridge. In my experience (but not universally) the Full Circle has a bit more midrange clarity, which can help cut through a dense mix; the Lifeline has a more "open" mid/high range sound on most basses, with a thicker bottom end, like the original Realist (but with more detail than the original Realist.) But these are subjective points, and they can vary depending on the bridge (quality, threads-up vs threads-down, etc.) - so take them with a grain of salt.
     
  8. bskts247

    bskts247

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    I'm assuming you can't go wrong with either of them then? I'm mainly wondering if there are any quality issues with either of them, or if (XYZ) never breaks and I'll never have to think about pickups again.
     
  9. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    There's no such thing as a pickup that never breaks - but the newer Full Circles have been improved, and the Lifeline looks sturdy (the one on my bass is one of the first ones made and I'm still loving it!)
     
  10. bskts247

    bskts247

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    I think I'll go with the Full Circle mainly because I like the idea of a little more midrange clarity that you were mentioning (something I wish I had more with the realist) and I like where it's placed on the bass (in between the strings). Mark keep an eye out for a shipment to New Orleans
     
  11. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I was using the LifeLine and Full Circle at the same time. Mark is right about the numerous variables. My FC had just a little less output. My bridge dictates that I have my FC Piezo's down, aimed at the top of the bass. This installation gives a little less of the bridge and more of the low end, sorta kinda somewhat like a Realist. (sorta, kinda)
    I found the LifeLine had a more usable sound than most of the other pickups I've tried. With the right eq you can get a wide
    tonal pallet. However, I still like the FC more. A wider, more musical tone right out of the box. Both great pickups, and Gollihur has about as good a price as you'll find on either.
     
  12. xyloeye

    xyloeye

    Sep 30, 2005
    Anacortes, WA
    Mark,

    Have you noticed any feedback problems in loud playing situations with the Lifeline vs the FC? I just upgraded my bass from a Chinese ply to a German New Standard and switched the Lifeline to the new bass. I'm having a heck of a time with feedback. I suspect it might be just the difference in quality of the bass. Thanks, Ken
     
  13. jdombrow

    jdombrow Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Another point:
    The tone (or output) of the Full Circle can be manipulated to some extent by rotating the adjuster.
    Is the same true for the Lifeline?
     
  14. xyloeye

    xyloeye

    Sep 30, 2005
    Anacortes, WA
    That's a really good question. I don't know but I'll have to try it.
     
  15. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Mark's comments are spot on. IME the Lifeline has a darker, old school thump and can sound mid-range honky, the FC has a cleaner, more detailed midrange and more modern sound. They are both nice pickups, however I went back to my Stat B after two weeks on each.
     
  16. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Not that I am aware of. It has one designed position, don't know how rotating it would change anything. I have doubts, but haven't tried it.
     
  17. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    It's probably the bass. With a more resonant top, it's far more affected by the sounds of the amplifier and excited into feedback then a laminated bass is. That would be my guess, anyway.
     
  18. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Haven't played the Lifeline but IME the Full Circle is the most feedback resistant pickup I've ever played, hands down. I've even played festivals where I play it through an Ampeg SVT with an 8x10 cabinet where I'm sitting right in front of the amp and not had feedback. As always, EEMMV.