talk me out of a dyn-b!

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by PB+J, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    I need a new pickup. I have a revolution solo in my bass, which is a 7/8 solid wood Shen, and and the solo sounds horrible, just horrible. I've been trying it and trying it hoping it'll get better, but it just sounds awful on my bass. I had a full circle on my old bass, a ply engle, and it sounded several 100 times better than the solo does. Maybe it's just my technique, bad installation, I don't know, but I can't stand it. I've also tried the bass max (too boomy) and the K+K mic (fuggedaboutit--too much bleed and feedback)

    The double bass workshop ( has clips of different pickups, and the dyn-b sounds SO much better than anything else. I was thinking of maybe getting a Dyn-p, which is vitrually identical and $100 less, or maybe the dyn B. It's just so expensive

    Maybe a realist?
  2. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Why not try the Full Circle again?

    Also a choice is the Stat-B, although I am fed up with mine and hoping to replace it sometime in 2006.

    I used the realist for over a year and I thought it was a fairly good, hassle free piece of equipment. A bit boomy.
  3. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I've been using The Realist for about 4 years and although I keep looking over the wall, I'm pretty happy with it. It is truely hassle free. Put it on, plug it in and go. No pre-amp, it's consistent.

    At most volumes I think it matches the natural sound of my bass pretty well, but of course the louder you go, the less it sounds like you're not plugged in. A lot of people use these without a lot of fanfare. I always peek at the touring guys' pickups and I see a ton of Realists, including guys like Christian McBride, who play much louder than I do.

    It's not very dynamic, you can't make it sound a billion different ways. It sounds like it sounds, but I like the sound MUCH better than anything that attaches to the bridge. I've been curious about the Full Circle since it's mid-bridge, but haven't tried it. I'm interested in the Dyn-B, but having read several reviews, I wasn't convinced that it was worth the significantly more money over the Realist. I had a Stat-b briefly and am much happier with the Realist, but would probably try it again given the chance. I had some other things going on with my bass back then that have since been resolved.

    As for "talking you out of it" have you read this?

    Also, note that the people who really, really stand by these pickups tended to use a complete Schertler system, pre-amps, pub speakers, etc. Several thousand dollars worth of amplification, which I just can't come around to yet, although I'm sure it's worth it if it's in your budget.

    When I tried the Stat-B, one of my issues was that I was plugging into a lot of different amps back then depending on where I was and it worked dramatically different amp to amp. Whereas the Realist is very consistent. I have more control these days over what I plug into, but I still like the wash and wearability of my set up. I can't totally control my environment all the time.

    All that being said, I was tracking a used Dyn-B on eBay lately and stopped when it got too high, which means that I don't think it's a terrible idea and if you do it, I expect a full review.
  4. Try making one of these:

    I'm convinced that piezos that have downward pressure on them (eg Realist, Full Circle) generally sound better and have higher output than ones that just clip/stick on to the bridge.
  5. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Hey, my Rev. Solo has downward pressure on it! :) The bottom side of my bridge wing pushes right into the hot spot.

    As for the Dyn-B... it's $$$$$$$$. Come on man, it's not the equipment, it's the user! Better tone comes from your fingers and working with what you got!

    With that, just get a Full Circle and call it a day! :D
  6. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    Tone ranger, thanks for that link. I spent some time a few years ago talking to rick turner about his work with piezo cable--he was very high on it. There's another site I found somewhere where you can cut the film to the size you want--I assume what you end up making is basically the same as The Realist, maybe not

    keykendrick, I did read that thread, but I'm still curious. I may just try the realist or the homemade piezo route
  7. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Realists are really consistent bass to bass. There's got to be more than one person in your area (Greater DC) using them. Can you to go a jam session and check it out on someone else's bass?

    The one caution I would give on "trying" a Realist is that both of my friendly neighborhood luthiers say that they leave a little impression on the table at the critical union under the foot. I don't know if we would notice or care, but luthiers do so maybe we should. So, as you can pop the Rev Solo on and off for a trial, The Realist is kind of a commitment. Not totally, but it has a sound and people who are into bridge wing pickups hate them. You seem to hate bridge wing pickups, so you might really like it, but it would be good if you could hear one on another bass first.

    Is there a shop with used basses?
  8. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    There's nothing all that convenient--I'lll look around. I worry that the realist will be too dark, as on my bass with the revolution solo I was always cutting the bass frequencies to prevent boominess.
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I tried two different dyn-b's, and both sounded absolutely awful on the notes they did produce without distortion, and completely unusable on all A's and Bb's on my LaScala. I never did figure out why, but I traded the second one in for an AMT and have never looked back.

    Re: bridge wing pickups - I had a Bass Max that sounded great on my old bass but god awful on the LaScala. I think that wing pickups in general are prone to different behaviors on different basses. The Full Circle works great as a pickup signal to mix with the AMT, and seems very consistent on both basses. YMMV, of course.
  10. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I have a realist and a dyn-b, and if you are looking for a slightly used dyn-b maybe we should talk. I haven't priced it yet, but it will probably be in the classifieds soon.

    I had a realist, sold it, tried everything reasonably good, bought another realist.
  11. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I just bought and fitted a Realist, and so far I'm liking it a lot - although it's not exactly "my bass only louder" it's a lot more usable by itself than the K&K BassMax it replaced. I had intended to mix the K&K in to provide the definition that the Realist was reputed to lack, but I may not need to bother (I'll likely give it a try, nonetheless).

    The BassMax was horribly clanky and boomy, but the realist is more middy, with more tonal character, and on my Clarus I just have turn down the mid control to get a good sound. So I would characterise the Realist as more middy than dark (at least on my bass).

    One caveat, though - when I first fitted it and plugged it into my K&K pre-amp it sounded awful...all trebly and thin. Plugged directly into the Clarus, though, it sounds great - as long a I push in the "High Impedance" button on the input. So it seems that the Realist needs a high impedance input after all, despite the claim on the paperwork to the contrary. (I'll be building one of fdeck's cool high-impedance buffer-amps as soon as I get the chance, which should solve the problem for good.)

    So +1 on the Realist from me.
  12. I concur. I always bring my own preamp on gigs. On some systems the pre doesn't do that much, but on others its really necessary. The difference is also more obvious at louder volumes.

    BTW the realist is a very nice pu.


    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    If you get a big sound acoustically, the Dyn B may work for you. I think it depends a lot on the bass though. I have tried it on a few, and have found that it sounds great on some basses, and not so great on others. If you are going to go for a Schertler, I would suggest a Stat-B. Great sounding pickup.
  14. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    I have a 3/4 Shen Willow with a Realist and it sounds great. That bass is pretty bright so the Realist sings with still having good attack.

    My other bass is a German Ply bass. I have the Realist on there too. It is a pretty dark sounding instrument. The Realist is a bit boomy there but still very good.

    I've tried about every pickup and ther Realist has a great sound with no hassel.
  15. Rick Turner

    Rick Turner

    Jul 14, 2004
    I'm not wild about film and cable for URB pickups. I do some custom and frankly very invasive piezo crystal pickup installs on URB bridges, and they sound great. It's a strictly custom...must be done on a fitted bridge thing. I developed it with Brian Bromberg and Bunny Brunel, and Larry Taylor also uses it.
  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Hi Rick, and welcome aboard. I would love to hear more about this process. If you have the time and inclination, I would love to see a dedicated thread about this. If not, I understand - but I'm sure I'm not the only one here whose curiosity has been lit by your statement about "invasive piezo crystal installs". :)
  17. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I used to use a Dyn-B and am now using the Vektor. It's an invasive installation however although less obtrusive than the Turner, Wilson, or Barbera. Personally I find the Vektor better than the Dyn-B.
  18. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    Well I ordered a realist--the dyn-b sounds like it's too fussy and pricey, and the realist seems like a reasonable workable option. We'll see
  19. I did listen to the sound clips that you refer to. I also found that the dyn-b is by far the best sounding. It's an interesting example of the line direct character of the pick-ups. However you simply cannot rule out a pu based on these clips.

    /TD - who has played on several basses with underwood or old fisherman pu:s with fantastic sound.
  20. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I think you're going to be pretty happy with it coming from bridge wing pickups. Is the Dyn-B better? Who knows? We've read people who have said yes, we've read people who have said no, we've read people who have said, "yes, but it's not worth the extra money". I think you'll be happy.

    I'm getting close to resigning from the amp/pickup pursuit. What I'm realizing is that every set up sounds great in some situations and is challenged in others. I just don't know if there is an ultimate solution. Some are certainly better than others, but I think that amplifying the double bass, dragging it around town and playing with different groups in different rooms at different volumes is just going to be a bit problematic.

    I feel like I'm pretty close with my Realist/GK MB150. I'm not out of the game yet, but my motive to throw down more and more money in search of "the sound" is waning.

    Let us know how you like it.