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Shadow SH 965 NFX-B pickup

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by msprong, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. msprong


    Jan 12, 2006
    Shadow SH 965 NFX-B pickup


    I have had this one installed about a week and a half ago. On my previous bass I had a Underwood that I didn’t use very often. I usually play with a microphone. I only used the Underwood on occasions where I had to be loud on stage and had to play with combo amp, which happened three times in ten years ;-) I have had my current bass for about three years and never bothered to have the Underwood installed. I recently got asked to do some big band stuff so I figured I needed a pickup. I never really liked the Underwood so I went to see my luthier to get The Realist. He advised I should try the new Shadow and he installed it on my bass for me to try.

    Very nice! It is sort of an enhanced Realist. It has two piezofilm elements rather than one and a small battery-powered preamp that is mounted on the strings between the bridge and the tailpiece. The control unit features two potmeters, one for volume control and one for tone. I asked the luthier to play my bass (he’s an outstanding jazz bassist) so that I could listen to the sound from some distance. I was really impressed. It produces a very natural warm bass sound, much better even than the Realist which I already thought was pretty good. The two piezofilm elements provide a much more pronounced tone, also in the thumb positions, which is something that the Realist, to my taste, is lacking. The tone control can be used to create either that really dark booming bass sound or a more clear crisp sound. I really dig the clear sound since it does not have the exaggerated string noise you would normally get on other pickups which make the DB sound sort of like a BG. This is, of course, my personal taste.

    Also, I found that these piezofilm elements do not affect the acoustic features of the bass at all.

    Another nice feature, which I haven’t tried yet, would be that you can set the volume control to half open and then, when playing a solo you could open it up completely without having to touch your amp. The rest of the rhythm section could then accompany you at a proper volume level rather than falling silent because nobody can otherwise hear the bass solo. I hate it when that happens :scowl:

    There’s two things you would need to watch out for however. The battery is pretty much open and it started rattling when playing the A string. We solved this by putting a little piece of tape over it. I really feel they should have put some sort of cover over the battery. The other thing is that you need to make sure of is that you mount the control unit exactly in the middle on the A & D string. If you allow one of the sides to come in contact with either the E or G string, you will hear rattling noises again.

    The price seems right. For the Realist I would have to pay 185 euro and the Shadow cost me 215 euro. Considering that the Shadow has two elements and a preamp, it sounds like a fair deal. In the US it would certainly cost much less, even though it’s a German product, but hey; that’s life. I have not found the Shadow on either Bob Gollihur’s or Upton’s websites so I have no idea if it is available on the left side of the pond but you could always order it over the Internet I reckon.

    I warmly recommend this pickup. You should try one out before buying however (unless your very rich ;) ), since pickups are always subject to personal taste. You can easily do so since it does not require any modifications to your bridge.

    Hope this helps.



    PS. For a picture on how it looks mounted on a bass, see: http://www.shadow-electronics.com/img/pro_img/194_2.jpg