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The Realist ?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by C.Veltman, Jun 11, 2000.

  1. Hello bassfriends !

    I have been hearing good things about the rather new "Realist Acoustic Transducer"
    have you tryed it ?
    How much does it cost ?
    Any online store selling it ?

    Kind regards,
    Christian Veltman
    Stockholm Sweden

  2. I have been using a Realist pickup for about a year and a half. I also use an Underwood. In comparison to the Underwood I find the Gage to be more "natural" sounding at lower to medium volumes. When I use the Gage in smaller groups I have told it sounds as though I am not using an amp. I find that on my bass the pickup has too much punch and boominess at louder volumes such as with a big band or an insensitive drummer! This may be bass related as I know some other players who do not find this to be true with their bass using the Gage. The bowed sound with the Gage (at least on my bass ) is fairly decent- much better than with my Underwood ( Is that a chainsaw I hear...?) I have also found that the amplifier/speaker cab I am using makes more of a difference with the Gage than with the Underwood. I can get a decent sound on most amps with the Underwood but the Gage requires some serious eq-ing on some amps, particularly with speakers larger than 12 inches. This is also not the pickups fault, I just find the Gage's extra punch and boom can get out of control on larger speakers.
    I purchased my pickup from Gage and I believe it cost me about $275 Can.
    All basses are different when it comes to pickups. What sounds good on my bass may not work for you and vice versa. I do believe the Gage is the closest sounding pickup (at least that I have heard ) to a mic in this price range and does not come with most of the feedback problems encountered with a mic. Good Luck!
  3. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I hope your memory is just playing tricks with you. On the David Gage web page, he sells the Realist for $180.00.
  4. Don, unfortunately $180 US is about $280 Can (Canadian) right now frown.

    [This message has been edited by Bass Boy (edited June 12, 2000).]
  5. Thanks Bassboy and Don !
    The Realist sells for 180 US Dollars and I just ordered one. It seems the price is most reasonable for what you get and of course it´s taking a chance to buy one prior to testing or hearing how it actually sounds.

    This is the second time I am buying an
    instrument over the Internet...
    The first time was a year ago when buying an
    Alembic series I short scale bass !
    I know, buying without trying seems maybe
    even stupid but I took the risk and am very pleased with the bassguitar !
    (Yes, I have tryed Alembic basses before).

    I will tell you about the Realist once installed on my double bass. The result might be interesting as there a Dr.Tomastik
    solo strings fitted on my bass and these are tuned as the regular EADG.

    Kind regards and thanks for your help !
    Christian Veltman

    [This message has been edited by C.Veltman (edited June 12, 2000).]
  6. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Well, Christian?

    Waiting for that report...
  7. Sorry that still no good report has appeared from me..yet.

    I did try the Realist a few times on my Hartke combo
    but IMHO the outputlevel from the pickup is to low.
    When using a compressor this clearly showed as the level
    of noice was to high.

    One detail I did not like was the fact that the Realist
    did leave marks on the top (table) to me a very scary
    detail. No, I do not own a Amati but marks...:-((

    Have to find something that can adjust the output level
    before any more detailscan be given.

    Kind regards,
    Christian Veltman
    Stockholm Sweden
  8. Hello Ed !
    Thanks for your reply.
    The copper element itself or it´s surface is not causing the marks on the top
    but something between the coppersheets. Please have a look at my scan :

    You will find two round "things" in the copperarea and it´s these that have caused the marks on top of my bass as they are simular in size and shape. It´s interesting to note that my bass was fitted with solostrings tuned
    as orchestra (eadg). This likely meens the preasure from the strings on the table is less in comparisson to a set of simular orchestra strings.

    Have you checked the top of your bass ?

    I have not compared the output from the Realist with an Underwood
    it´s just that the level of my amp has to be set much higher than
    with an electric bass guitar. If my amp (Hartke Kickback combo) had
    a gain control the problem would likely not have arrised.
    Imagine a PA without gaincontroll on the tracks :)

    Kind regards,
    Christian V
    Stockholm Sweden
    BTW, what does "BUDDHIST" meen ?
  9. SteveS

    SteveS Guest


    >>Always practice without your amp, whenever possible rehearse without your amp
    and if there is anyway to do it, play gigs without your amp (of course you need to be
    in a situation, both with musicians and a room, that will support a good acoustic
    sound). The only way to get an open warm centered sound out of your amp is to be
    able to get one out of the bass acoustically. >>>
    Can't disagree with this, but I don't seem to end up playing in places which permit not using an amp.
    I've found that (for me) using an amp requires a slightly different technique than playing acoustically. ie, acoustically, I don't need to damp the strings I'm not playing, and the natural resonance of the unplayed open strings is an attractive ambient effect. Amplified, I need to dampen the unplayed strings with the side/palm of my right hand to keep the sympathetic ringing from muddying the waters. I haven't seen anyone else mention this technique, so I'd be interested in confirmation/denial from others. I gig as a horn player also, and when (in drumless settings) the bass player doesn't damp his amplified strings, I have to slog through the undifferentiated bottom noise. So for me, practicing with the amp is valuable too.
  10. SteveS

    SteveS Guest

    >>So no, I don't have to worry about damping strings, and nobody (let me stress again NOBODY) I know here has to even think about doing that. >>

    Now you know someone here who does need to think about doing that.

    A more sensitive person than I would realize he is in a rarified atmosphere, above his station, but ,calloused, as any musician must be, I will remain,unscarred.

    As I tried to express, it is not just my problem when playing bass, but my problem when playing with a bass player other than myself.

    >>I can't tell from your profile where you are at>>

    Understandable, I often don't know where I'm at.

    >> or what kinda music you play>>

    Jazz, standards, "swing"

    >> and at what level >>

    the highest level I can, ie professionally, but in places where sometimes a portion of the audience would rather eat or talk than pay me the rapt attention I crave. Often this is in a drumless trio (saxaphone, Korg/yamaha/kurzweil/roland synthetic ersatz piano, and bass) So tone, unconcealed by drums is very important.
    >>(and I can't seem to fill my in, either)>>

    >>but I gotta say that the problem seems to be more indicative of playing with too much amp volume, a more "electric" approach to EQ>>

    I'm not sure there is a problem. You could be right about amp volume, but my ideal amplified tone, I suspect, is the same as yours, ie just like the unamplified bass, well played. For whatever its worth, I'm playing an old German Flatback with Thomastic Weichs, a Realist, thru a Polytone MiniBrute lV. Accoustically, the bass is not loud, but it does have a gorgeous, dynamic tone.

    >>>and (admittedly on little other info) some inexperience on the part of the player.>>
    Got me.
    >>Now as I said in an earlier post, all this info is aimed at someone playing straight ahead,>>

    I do.

    >>not jump swing or rockabilly,>>

    I don't.

    Particularly on extreme uptempo pieces, volume in the amp helps let a light touch (with correspondingly poor tone) happen, so my right hand can cope with the physical requirements. Maybe I will develop the speed chops with time, but frankly, I don't ever remember hearing a truely good tone out of any bass I've heard playing above around mm=220.

    Hoping not to have offended, and eager to learn,


  11. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Christian- You can e-mail that scan to David Gage. His web site is davidgage.com
  12. .
  13. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    C.V.- I just removed a Realist from a bass I was restringing for orchestra use. It has the same small circular shapes that you have. I don't believe they're significant enough to damage your instrument. If the varnish is new and not thoroughly cured it could be less durable, but I don't see it as a major issue. You're going to get more nicks and dings the longer you own the bass.
  14. Hello Don !

    Maybe you and Ed are right, I am picky...
    But to me it feels unnecessary with these marks as the "problem" could easily be cured by using a stronger material to surround the "round objects".

    The marks were on my Tjeckoslovakian bass wich I sold yesterday.
    My "new" bass is a most charming and fine 150 year old Tyrolian. I would like to have the "problem" solved before fitting it on this vintage beauty.

    If my brother had fitted the pickup on his instrument and found these marks he would go absolutely nutts.........
    he plays a Gagliano. (Cello)

    I have sent three emails to David Gage and no reply yet, still waiting ! This message has been edited today the 1st of September 2000. I therefor do not recommend anyone with a valuable bass/cello to fit the realist unless you do not mind marks on the top !
    Still no reply from David Gage regarding the Realist
    as of today the 15th of September.
    Kind regards from your bassfriend in Sweden !
    Christian V

    [Edited by C.Veltman on 09-15-2000 at 03:06 PM]
  15. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I knew that.
  16. hgrind


    Dec 16, 2005
    Otta, Norway
    Taking up an old thread. I bought a new upright bass right before Christmas. The luthier fitted it with the realist, and as he said it was the most popular one and I read somewhere that Barry Bales used it, I thought it had to be good for me to. But I was disappointed with the sound. And when I read here about the marks it could leave, I got so scared of my new upright, that I unistalled it, taking of the strings and bridge for the first time in my life. It did leave to round marks. You don't see them very good on my bass, but you sure can feel them.

    So, is there anything to do about this? Is it just to put the bridge and strings back on and kinda forget they are there? I guess the marks will be there forever now? But will it affect it in any negative way, other than leave those irritating marks?

    I guess I will try a Revolution Solo II now, and just use my AKG C419 where the volume allows that.
  17. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    I think you are stuck with the marks. From what you describe, they will hardly be noticable once everything is put back in place. I am not a luthier but I cannot imagine how or why the marks will have any functional ill effect.
  18. bassistms


    Jun 14, 2007
    I also installed a Realist under a bridge that my Luthier perfectly fit to the top of my bass. When I took my bass back to him for some other work he saw the indentations on the top and got angry with what the Realist had done to the top of my bass and said to never use it again.

    The damage can not be repaired and the bridge foot will never again make 100% contact with the top; I know this must effect the tone of the bass as complete bridge foot contact to the bass top is critical.

    I did get a response from Gauge (but not as easily or quickly as I hoped). He sent me a new pickup (before I returned my original one, which I thought was very good customer service).

    The thing about this new Realist is that it is nicely seated in a thin maple (I think) strip; the maple sits between the copper foil and the Bass Top (this should prevent further damage to the bass), the coper foil does make contact with the bridge foot but that is not a problem as the bridge foot is a harder wood than the Bass Top.

    I dont know if this was just a prototype or if all Realists are now shipped with a wood base. I only tried it once and it seemed to have a higher output and it distorted my preamp (I should probably try it again to see if I can make it work).

    Has anybody else ever seen one of these and if so what has your experience been?
  19. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    It is my understanding that ALL the Realists that are shipping now are the higher output/foil variety.

    I have the Realist on both of my basses and LOVE it.
  20. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    If it is distorting your preamp, try shifting the position of the pickup. When i was fitting mine, there was an astouding difference. In one position it was distorted & sounded really bad, one position it was thin sounding, and then i found the sweet spot. Sounds like my bass, except louder.

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