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Underwood Revisited

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Roger Davis, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    My Martin has was set up with a Full Circle but I always felt it had a somewhat choked sound. As I was getting the bass up to sell I took the pickup off and refitted the original bridge. But after a few weeks curiosity got the better of me and I fitted one of the Underwoods that I’ve got in my parts bin. I’ve always enjoyed that pickup, it gives a good lively sound with just the right amount of sustain and cuts through a loud band with aplomb.
    I had a gig with such a band last week and took the Martin to try out. But as soon as I turned the gain up it was as though there was a second bass playing behind me. It was the dreaded phasing issue. Now, I’ve been playing with an Underwood on and off for thirty years and I’ve been aware of discussions on this forum that advocate using one wing only. I’ve been sceptical about this because I’ve never had an out of phase with both wings. Until now. So I now get a great sound with the pickup in the E wing only.
    You could say after thirty years I’m a believer. Here’s a pic of a quick fix that has survived its first gig.

    Attached Files:

    Fat bob and Don Kasper like this.
  2. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I used the Underwood for nearly 10 years, with a Walter Woods MI-100-8 or MI-400-8. Both of those amps had a Phase switch. Using it in conjunction
    with the Underwood opened up the sound. I know for a fact, that Walter matched the Input impedance of his amps to the Underwood pickup because Don Underwood revealed that to me once in a phone conversation. So, if memory serves me, I don’t recall ever having a phasing issue, with the either of the Underwood’s I once owned. I guess the combination of input impedance buffering and phase reverse Walter built into his amps, corrected that issue. Just my take though.
    Fat bob likes this.
  3. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    It is a great pick up for when you need to cut through. Countless great bassists used them with good results. It pretty drastically chokes the acoustic sound, so a mix of amp and acoustic sound is tougher to do.
    I really wish I had one for loud gigs. My back up for that situation is an old BP 100 - not as good as the Underwood, IMO.
    Fat bob and Ric Vice like this.
  4. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Yes, agreed. My bass is much softer with the Underwood on.

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