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Realist vs Full Circle

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Renaud Labelle, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. Renaud Labelle

    Renaud Labelle

    Dec 29, 2013
  2. deste


    Sep 14, 2009
    Bologna, Italy, Europe
    Endorsing Artist: GullanskyLab pickups
    A pickup positioned in the bridge makes arco playing absolutely horrible.
    I'd say Realist, even if I had it and didn't like it (too thin unless you preamp it). I sold mine when I discovered the GullanskyLab that I use in most "acoustic" gigs (even with arco - although you only get the real sound with a microphone), but I know that my advice must be taken with the due care, being an endorser (see disclosure).
  3. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    Hyperbole?? :meh:

    I've tried both pickups on 3-4 basses over the last few years. On each bass, the Full Circle had more clarity and the Realist sounded warmer. On an old German plywood, the Realist was quite boomy and the Full Circle worked well. I think the Realist is better for arco and may be the better choice on a nice carved bass. The achilles heel of the Full Circle may be a midrange peak that can sound objectionable. It has sounded that way on my basses. Also, I think the Realist is less affected by input impedance at the amp than other pickups, although >1K is better.

    I'm very happy with a wood Realist.
  4. Basshilde


    May 10, 2013
    Greg, thanks a lot for the info. So far I'm using this for a "pizz." (Singer-songwriter) I'll check out the Gullanskylab. You are the first and only person to mention this one. I may try to borrow one for the gig, and scour around the NAMM show in January, before I lay down the $. So many choices!!
  5. Barcza


    May 1, 2005
    I made a comparison record, here it is:
  6. funkythumb

    funkythumb Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2005
    I agree with what everyone's said so far. My findings as well though I haven't used the Full Circle in 10 years or on my current bass. 100% I'd agree that the Realist is better for arco. The Realist on my Upton Brescian bass sounds very, very nice. Warm articulate tone but not a lot of highs. It's not a boomy pickup, just warm and natural and good against feedback.
    The final piece of advice to give which was given to me when searching is this: Every pickup will sound differently on different basses. You have to try them all, or at least the top 2-3 you're considering. Send back what you don't like. That's what I did and got a refund. Just remember, when comparing pickups, make sure that you have at least two of them at the same time for comparison. You want to be able to switch back and forth at the same sitting so you can hear the difference between them. It's a must!!!! Then send back the one you don't want.
  7. funkythumb

    funkythumb Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2005

    A couple things to share. Realist pickups do have issues over time and need to be replaced. If yours is new, new, then there could be something wrong with it, as in defect. If it's just old and worn from use, then it might need replacing.
    1. Trying putting electrical tape over the sensor. In other words, creating another layer between the pickup and bottom of the foot. Only do this if your Realist is an old, used one. I was given this advice by a well known university jazz prof. It sometimes helps bring back the sound. You can only do this so many times over ten years before they give out.
    2. If that does very little, get a new one.
  8. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    +1 for the realist. Got rid of my FC on my DB several years ago and never looked back. That said,it also depends on the bass. Best to buy both and choose the best sound you get.

    If you have a lesser quality bass I'd def try the FC first.
  9. While others may feel differently, I personally believe the Realist is second to none.
  10. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    As has been said, it depends on your bass and the sound you want to hear. No pickup is the best for all basses and bassists.
  11. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    The Gullansky bridge-mounted version looks like a Rev Solo knockoff. I don't suppose it could be sold in the USA without violating Upton's patent.