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Rev SOLO Reconditioning & Customer Service Rave

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by bolo, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    I sent my first Rev SOLO (I have two now) back to Upton Bass for their reconditioning service.

    When I got it back, it looked just like new. The grain on the spruce was gorgeous. I was very impressed even before I started sanding and fitting it.

    How does it sound? IMO I get an even better tone this time around. Each time I go through the installation process (3 times on the same bass), I think I get a better fit and as a result a better sound.

    Here’s the link if you want more info on their reconditioning service:


    I paid $40 which included shipping back to me.

    I just shake my head and grin when I think about how well this pickup has performed for me, and how little it’s cost - both the original price and the recon service.

    Again IMO the quality of the product has been excellent, and the customer service has been outstanding.
  2. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Funny ROLLO, I was saying the same thing last night, but have not ever reconditioned my RS. Got a different cab for my setup (Epifani UL110) instead of the Flite 10 I had before. Killer sound. Very accurate. The stuff I was complaining about in the past had more to do with the rig than the pickup. I'm a happy camper now.
  3. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Too funny man. So we're in sync again it seems.

    Hindsight being 20/20 and all that, I can see now that there were some slight deficiencies in my previous two installs. This time, I think I got close to a textbook install, with the p/u perfectly square in the wing slot, "R" symbol facing up. It looks just like the pic included in the instructions. Not just because the pic looks that way, but because that’s how it sounds best on my bass. I think I’ve got more surface to surface contact between the bridge and the pickup now. I get more output now as a result too.

    Glad the Epi is happenin' for you. And the SOLO too of course.
  4. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Don't know what it was for me, maybe installation, but my brief Rev Solo experience was very different. It sounded very much like any other bridge wing pickup. Very trebly and anything by natural. I couldn't reconcile all of the claims about "my bass only louder". I really didn't like it and no one I played with liked it.

    I'm glad it works for some of you. It could have been an installation issue, but I'm pretty handy and patiently followed the instructions to a T. Might be that all bridges are not shaped the same and if your bridgewing happens to match the pickup better, you'll have a better result.
  5. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Hey Troy. I understand what you're saying, and wish I knew why certain pickups do or don't work well with certain basses (don't we all). I think PB+J had an experience similar to yours, and I have a lot of respect for the posts that I've read from both you guys.

    And you're right. I never really expected (nor claimed) "My bass only louder." With the AMT, well ... maybe.

    I think I am the opposite of what you said - I am not handy at all. Maybe that's why it took me three times to get the optimal fit on my bass. I did a lot more sanding of the bridge this time, to make sure the planes of the surfaces of the bridge wing and foot were as close to parallel as possible. Before, they were kind of wedge shaped.

    Anywho, that's what makes the world go 'round, eh? That's why I keep my old pickups in a spare parts bag - They might not sound good on my current DB, but might be just the ticket for my next one (a New Standard Cleveland, if things fall into place ...).
  6. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    It's an interesting phenom. I don't think it's entirely a matter of preference. No one thought that it sounded good on my bass. I'm sure that it's not what it sounds like on yours. I know this can be true with strings too. So, it's a matter of YMMV.

    I don't like to really speak out against equipment here, especially equipment that other people like. But I also know that I purchase things often based on what I read here, so I want to fully disclose my experience.

    When I was reading about EA combos I was very skeptical because I didn't read anything contrary and didn't trust that...until I played one, then I was convinced. Maybe mine will come someday and I'll get to actually put it through the paces.
  7. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    This is an interesting statement. What didn't you trust--the people posting? Of what were you skeptical? Gee, if you don't read anything contrary, I can certainly understand why that is not a gurantee of success for you. I wholeheartedly agree that you just gotta try it yourself-- but trust? Maybe I'm making too much of your choice of words.
  8. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    No, you're not reading too much into my words, but it's not personal, like not trusting people. My opinion is based on two direct experiences and one observed one.

    1) Obligatos. When they came out, they were raved about. A few posts on the rolling phonom were lashed back against. I tried them, loved them, but the E and A strings started rolling on me in a matter of weeks and within a month or so, I thought the windings were loose enough from the core that it was impacting my time because of the lag between my attempt to play the note and the instant when the string actually responded. To this day, people rave about Obligatos and I know they work for some people, but others have serious durability complaints with them. Possible reasons, installation care, over tuning, strength of right hand technique..all possible, but I'm always on the fence about whether to bash on the Obligato love fests just to make sure that someone deciding on what to try next has at least heard about what may very well be their experience with them.

    2) Rev Solo. Man there was some GAS on this pickup when it came out. Still is, I think the thread is up to something like 9 pages now. I read detailed A/B comparisons to other pickups and read "my bass only louder" about 100 times. For me, it sounded a kin to an Underwood, Bassmax or anything of the bridgewing variety. Nothing wrong with that, if it's what you're into, but a typical bridge wing pickup sound doesn't usually get confused with the acoustic sound of a bass. Possible reasons: Installation, choice and amount of pre-amp influence, ear preference, shape of the bridge, I don't know. I know that a few other people have been underwhelmed with them too, although you won't find much of that in the archeives. I remember one going in the for sale section and the person got confronted for selling the best pickup ever made by people including Mr. Upton. If we don't have balanced reports in our forums, then it won't be a good source of research for us all. By the way, I paid $100 for it and sold it for around $75. Could have and maybe should have as an emergency backup, but didn’t. It’s a good value and might work for you, it didn’t for me, it doesn’t for everyone.

    3) The AI combos. Initial reports were that they were the final solution for DB amplifaction. That's not the popular opinion anymore and most people are using AI heads with front firing cabinets. I think that's a matter of time testing and I know that they still have their users. I also know that some people still use them for some situations, but not others.

    So, when I was really wanting a new amp, I was doing my research here and read overwhelming praise for the Wizzy combos and wanted to believe, but was concerned. I wouldn't have spent that kind of money based on reviews (which I don't think anyone would have recommended I do anyway). Another TB'er offered to let me demo his and I liked it enough to order one. I still don't have it, so I still can’t really say if it’s a good amp to gig with, which is starting to bum and concern me a bit, but the main point of this hijack of someone else's unrelated point, is that I'm not always certain that contrary views on gear are as freely expressed here and positive views. Not that I think anyone is being dishonest. I believe that Bolo is having a great experience using the Rev Solo. His opinion on the EA definitely checked out for me, but I didn't know if his ear and mine were listening for the same thing until I tried one because we come down opposite on this pickup. In knew in this case, the Bolo would be cool enough that I could offer my experience up on his thread without getting called a troll.
  9. Troy - I felt the same way about my Solo for awhile. All I got was scratchy high end, nasal mids, and no bottom. Had it professionally installed to boot. I then spent some serious time working with it, and found that the "sweet spot" was actually a bit off center. Just readjusting the PU in the wing slot completely changed the sound. Now I'm pretty happy, although to be fair I've only had one gig under my belt after the fix. It certainly sounds a lot better than any other wing PU I've tried.

    Just something to think about if you ever want to give it another shot.
  10. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I'll admit that I didn't give it that long because it just wasn't working for me and I had a bunch of gigs that month. I asked my luthier about it and she had not seen one yet. I tried it "R" up and "R" down, moved it around, carefully sanded it to fit with fine sandpaper and a little piece of granite as a sanding block. I just couldn't get it to work. Maybe someone else could have, but it just fell so far below my expectations that I had to move on.

    Hadn't parted with my old pickup yet, so I went back to it.
  11. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I've definitely been burned a few times after reading reviews here.... But now I'm close to my final setup. Schnitzer S&D bass, Dominant strings, Fishman FC pickup, and as for amp/cabinet... the jury is still out. I play through WW MI-100 and LDS 2x8 3-way cabinet (4ohm). The amp stuff will change again. At this point the pickup and the bass will not. I've been through so much change in the past 2 years, spent a lot of money and bought a lot of stuff; some was good, some was not. In the end I think no matter who you are, if you care about your sound both amplified and acoustically, you just have to keep buying and trying until you get to a point where it all feels right. Hopefully I'll have all my gear issues cleared up within the next year, and then I won't have any obstacles to my playing except my own ears and hands.
  12. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Tbeers, I think I kinda agree and disagree wid ya at the same time dude.

    Please don't get me wrong. I think I understand what you're saying, and for the most part definitely agree with what you're saying. And I respect all of your posts that I've read very much. No BS.

    But I think gear is changing so fast nowadays, compared to say 10 or 15 years ago. There are so many choices now in amps and cabs, mics, and even pickups, many of them excellent. It's kinda like your choices in automobiles in the U.S. in say 1966 versus the multitude of choices we have today. (Okay, you probably weren't around in '66).

    I dig my current setup (could you tell?!) ... But I still wonder:

    1) What would I sound like with a NS Cleveland?
    2) Are the new Bergantino IPs better than my EA gear?
    3) Should I try the Schertler DYN-B pickup?
    4) What would an Avalon U5 do for my sound?

    And kinda like the rapid technology changes in computers and cell phones, for me anyway it is difficult to foresee what lies ahead in the future. The next advance in amps, or mics, or pickups I mean. Or even the next round of remarkable DBs, akin to the New Standards? I mean who really knows ...

    I guess I'm reconciled to the fact that I'm never really done in the quest for tone. To say "I really dig my current gear!" is totally cool. But if I were to say "I'm confident I will never come across anything better," would be ... shall we say ... not completely open-minded on my part.

    I can also claim that I have experienced the dreaded “honeymoon period” with new gear, only to become disenchanted later. Like what Troy said about the AI combos. Summarizes my experience to a T.

    Anyway, I won't give up, and I suspect you really won't either. ‘Cuz we're all basically after the same thing, and will sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to get it. I am thankful I can get great comments and ideas from guys like you right here pal.
  13. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    bassbuddy, I agree very much. I think like most other wing mounted pickups, a good fit is very important for the RS. I found that minute adjustments (and I mean minute) with the SOLO do make a big difference, IME that is. And the first two times I installed one, I got the best sound w/ the p/u off center, like you said.

    But I absolutely understand what Troy said too, and I believe what he said. I never expected (nor claimed) that the SOLO was the be all and end all for everyone's bass and everyone's taste.

    Thanks for adding those remarks about experimenting with fit though. You'z right 'bout dat, fo' shur now.

    But ... if you sand it down too far, I don't think shims are necessarily the best choice. The reconditioning service was way cool if you ask me. I got to start all over again, with the benefit of the knowledge I gained the first time around, which led to further improvements IMO.

    Like I said, for $40, I think it's a bargain ... fo' shur now.
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    No, unless you can try it before you buy it. That was the most overhyped piece of gear I've ever seen since automatic transmissions came out. IMHO, of course. :)
  15. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    4 on the floor, baby!
  16. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Understood-- and there is not one word of what you wrote with which I disagree. Thank you for clarifying. For the record, Obligatos sound great on my bass and I have not had any longevity issues. I do, however, change them every year. That being said, I plan to try the Dominants next because I want a string with which I feel more comfortable "digging in." I find that the Obli's "give up" a bit too soon for my tastes.

    As far as the Rev Solo goes, I would never presume to assert how it would sound on someone else's bass. For me, it is completely unlike the BassMax. I'll say this-- on my bass, the Rev. Solo through my EA rig works just great. The sound I prefer is the sound of a string bass (prefereably mine). I do not like the "electrified" sound at all. I would not question your experience at all and I suspect that it is not so much based on our having different preferences. I'd guess it's related to the potential physical differences you cited.

    For me, the Wizzy also works quite well.

    I agree that there are many reasons for YMMV and that we MUST hear of negative experiences! Part of the problem is that sometimes negative opinions garner defensive posts from dealer/brand apologists. I would hope that folks here would always disclose any conflicts of interest.

    Time and again I hear rumblings of TB being populated by shills for dealers. At least on the DB side, I do not believe that to be the case. While I'm on the subject and rambling, I was highly insulted to learn a while back that a specific dealer figured I just had to be a shill for Upton Bass, given my positive comments. I guess the guy just couldn't fathom that a customer could be that happy. Well, I am and, for the record, I have NO financial arrangement with or financial interest in Upton Bass.
  17. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I have often suspected you were a shill for NASA or The Center for Acoustic Sound Analysis and Discovery, but not for a vendor.

    Your posts are facinating and I wish I was smart enough to follow them more completely.
  18. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004

    Ah, you found me out!!! Thank you for your kind words about my posts. To the extent there is difficulty following them, I will endeavor to make them clearer.
  19. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Don't talk down for my sake. Bolo, gets it. I just need to sit alone in a quiet room and read more carefully.

    Bolo, sorry for the hidious hijack of your Rev Solo thread. Mea Cupla.
  20. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Remeber Maxwell Smart and CONTROL? Napolean Solo and UNCLE? DRURB is actually a secret agent for ARO.

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