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Review of Gismobucks Pickup

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by wilsonn, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. wilsonn


    Sep 26, 2005
    New York
    I had seen a pickup on eBay advertised a few times and hadn't seen it reviewed here. It looked to be of the type for which there are DIY plans around on the internet. I looked into the cost of making my own and the time/learning curve involved in making my own, and decided I would try just buying this one.

    The buy it now price was about $30 with shipping, but I took a chance and wound up getting it for about $25 with shipping included.

    Shipping was fast and packing was fine.

    Pickup comes with installation instructions which are pretty much unnecessary for anyone that has ever installed any pickup, but good to have for total novices.

    As you can see on the pic, it's a simple round disc about an inch and a quarter across, with a threaded bolt to go through the bridge's wing slot or sweetheart, and a cork-covered washer and wing-nut to secure it. 188c_1. The wire coming from the pickup is not quite as thick on my unit, but don't think it really matters.

    I tried every possible attachment point, including just slipping it into the wing slot. I finally settled on the round part of the wing slot, a little closer to the slot than directly on center. Even slight movement of the pickup had dramatic effect on the sound. And, the degree to which the wing-nut is turned to tighten also has a huge impact on volume and sound quality. Also, the entire wire coming from the pickup and all the way down to the 1/4" jack is microphonic, so these have to be not touching anything OR have to be tied tightly to what they are touching. I used the included cable ties to attach the jack to my G string after length.

    I tried it sans pre-amp and didn't care for the sound (this is before playing with multiple positions) so immediately put my Fishman Pro-EQ II into the chain. This was such an obvious improvement that I stopped experimenting without it.

    I found the best sound I could get with this set up was pretty good but the sound was slightly bright. I then put a piece of soft foam (like window a/c insulation) through the afterlength of the strings. This improved things a bit. Then I grabbed one of my kids' Webkinz...a little stuffed animal and put that behind the tailpiece. That dramatically improved the sound for me, cutting some of the brightness.

    So, for about $25 I got a pickup that I'm pleased with. I would compare it favorably to the Rev Solo II that I tried on a bass in the Upton showroom, and to the Realist I tried at Gage. My teacher has a Schertler Dyn-B, and I've heard him play out with it, and I think this pickup is about as good.

    I will continue playing with the position and may try combining it with a mic to see if I can continue to improve the sound. If the sound is missing anything, perhaps it doesn't have all the bottom I would hope for, but that could be my rig...I was just using an old 100w practice amp.

    I would recommend it, especially for the money. eBay seller handle is "gismobucks". He also sells a version that fits into both the wingslots, but I opted for this one. No affiliation, whatsoever.

  2. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Neal, thanks for sharing.

    P.S. The Webkinz thing cracked me up.

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