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Super Thick Bridge No Like Pick-Up!

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by lowphatbass, Feb 25, 2005.


  1. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I am looking for a pick-up in the $150 range..I need it to come on and off easily, that rules-out drilling or mounting below the feet of the bridge..The bass is a 4/4 with a really thick bridge..the flat tranducer type will not clip-on. I have attempted many times to adapt and overcome, with frustrating results...what ever happened to the "underwood" style that you could shim into either wing of the bridge w/ a piece of sax reed or balsa shim??Perhaps I need to spend more money!!
    I'll take any and all suggestions!!!
     
  2. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    There is actually frequent discussion about Underwoods on TB--be sure to check the Newbie/FAQ links at the top of the forum or do a keyword search.

    If you're looking for an inexpensive piezo that goes in a bridge wing you'll have a hard time beating the K & K Bass Max. You can get them new for about $90 from www.urbbob.com, among other places. I believe Lemur Music still carries the Underwood. I prefer the Bass Max to the Realist ($170 new, mounts under bridge foot) piezo pickup that came with my bass.

    Lots of people have good things to say about the Fishman Full Circle, also about $170, which replaces a bridge adjustment wheel (if your bass has them). I'm also quite fond of the Schertler Stat-B electrostatic pickup which fits in the bridge hole under the D & G strings, but it costs about $270.
     
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I believe the FC is more in the mid-$200 range as well, but I recommend it highly.
     
  4. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    With a 4/4 size bass, you may need a pickup with good
    articulation. I think the Underwood is actually a good idea.
    Easy to put on. Works on thicker bridges. You can control
    the amount of articulation verses boom with how tight you
    install the pickup in the wing.
     
  5. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Thanks folks!!
    I appreciate the info, I've been out of the UB scene for a while..does the Underwood still have 2 mags, one for each wing on the bridge, or have they gone to 1??
     
  6. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    Vice President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    I tried to write you private, but you have it turned off and your eMail is not listed. Do a quick search on the Revolution Solo pickup, I think it is right up your alley.
     
  7. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Bob Gollihur's got them for $170, but if you don't have an adjustable bridge the cost of installation could easily bring it up into that range.
     
  8. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    The Underwood still has two piezo contacts.
     
  9. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Thanks for all the comments!!
    I got the Underwood and it fit perfectly, no shimming required.
    I am getting terrible mid response. I've tried it on all my amps (none of which are perfect for UB, but I've gotten decent tone out of 'em before) but I can't get a smooth accurate mid sound! I don't think it's my bass, and my expectations are not that high anyway!!
    Is there something I can do to modify the pick-up mounting, shim it with some fairy dust or something, before I have to go and spend some real money.
     
  10. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Hey lowphatbass--when you say terrible mid response are you talking too much, too little, or what? What kind of amps are you using--does EQ-ing the mids make any difference? Be sure to use a short cable to minimize capacitance between the PU and amp. Mids (and other frequencies) can get messed up if you run a piezo pickup straight into an amp input with less than 1MegOhm impedance. If you don't know the specs of your amp the impedance can easily be checked with an inexpensive volt/amp meter. If input impedance is a problem this can be rectified with an external preamp.

    I actually played an Underwood-equipped bass for the first time yesterday when fellow TB'er Bryan Caldwell brought over his carved Paesold. Compared to my BassMax-equipped laminated New Standard Cleveland, the Underwood through my GK400RB/EA Wizzy cab had a definite mid-emphasis that brought out finger noise. The sound was very similar to the tone on countless jazz albums (especially from the '70's)--not particularly warm, but detailed and cutting. I believe Dave Holland has said he uses an Underwood (along with a mic) not because it sounds fabulous, but because it has a tone that cuts through so he can hear himself.

    One thing you can try is using just one element--pull the other one out from the bridge wing and let it hang. This will reduce the phase cancellation between the elements, possibly eliminating some midrange weirdness. I preferred this sound on Bryan's bass--it offered a deeper fundamental with just the E-side element inserted. HTH.
     
  11. Ike Harris

    Ike Harris

    May 16, 2001
    Nashville TN
    Another variation of this trick is leaving the E side element in and rigging the other in the heart of the bridge where it won't dangle and vibrate against the bass, and makes a little more alteration in the sound. Might work for you.

    Ike
     
  12. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Sweet! Thanks for the ideas!
    The problem is that the mids are basically not there! I have to dial up so much to compensate that it no longer sounds like my bass. When set flat it sounds like nothing but 40hz and 9Khz. The amps I've tried are: The old Eden VT.25 into VL208; Demeter tube pre into a Crown into VL208; even tried my SWR because of the fully parametric mid EQ into the VL208. I didn't try my other cabs because nothing I own is as flat as the VL208. Everything I have is in good working order, they all sound great with all my EBs, the cable I was using was a Mogami Gold 10', the speaker cable is a monster 2'.
    I know none of these amplifiers are great for UB but I've had great luck in the past with the VT.25, and once again my expectations are not that high.
    I'll give you progress reports on the pick-up "tricks" that were posted as soon as I try them!!
     
  13. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    This may be irrelevant by now, but your too-thick bridge doesn't have to be that way. When it was set up, the bridge should have been thinned somewhat with a plane. A few minutes with a plane and scraper and you can use clip-on pickups if you want.
     
  14. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    i was gonna say what Demon Fondue just wrote. I set up an old kay last night and tapered the bridge -but then i thought that was s.o.p...


    just remember : planes and guinness do not mix...
     
  15. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Guinness doesn't really mix with anything, which is good, 'cause I love a good black and tan. Beck's pale is a nice compliment IMO.
     
  16. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I hardly even classify Guinness as a variety of beer. To me it's more like a kind of sandwich.

    Having had more than enough alcohol for one lifetime, I hardly drink at all anymore. I can't live without Guinness and good port, though.
     
  17. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Guinness=liquid bread...


    Now don't get me started on port....
     
  18. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Crullers and Molson XXX?
     
  19. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    In addition to thinning the bridge, you can glue your pickup- assuming we're talking Fishman- to the bridge. Fishman remmends hot melt glue, which is easily removable should you change your mind. I tried it and it works better than the clips.

    Dan O'Brian- who worked for Larry Fishman when he was a one man shop building pickups- suggested using superglue. I tried that, and the old Fishman pickup sounds better than ever.

    mike
     
  20. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Nothing "Molson's" has passed these lips in a long, long time. I'm happy other people think they make good beer (now co-owned by Coors, by the way) but I can't think of a Molson's beer right now that isn't revolting. (All things relative: beer can only get so revolting...)

    If I'm going to have a classic Canuckistani beer, I'll make it a Moosehead.

    In my world, a "cruller" is a doughnut. Doughnuts and beer??

    Nah. Pour me a pint of the black stuff and I'll chew on that for a while.

    How long before Monte chimes in? Or should I say "chimays" in?