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Very basic Pickup for a Jazz Beginner

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by anonymous12251111, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. anonymous12251111

    anonymous12251111 Banned

    Apr 6, 2007
    Hey, So I'm a classical guy, but I've been wanting to take some lessons in Jazz. I'm currently in a Folk/Klezmer kind of ensemble and the director wants me to get a pickup. I use Belcanto strings and as I said I almost always use a bow...My main use for this pick up will be for pizz ONLY playing.

    Can anyone recommend a good, fairly inexpensive simple pickup system? I have one of those Cable tailpieces, a "Marvin", perhaps that could influence the style of pickup I require?

    I'd also like something that I can take off my bass very easily because I play in the symphony several days a week and I don't really want the pickup to be on my bass for that.

    Thanks a lot!
  2. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    An old BP-100 (gasp!) since it's one of the few pickups that mount to the afterlengths. Can be removed very easily. Sound is not so great but I'm sure you can find it cheap.
  3. David Wiener

    David Wiener Banned

    Sep 30, 2005
    Huntington, NY
    Hi- The Planet Pickup is great for jazz and is very easy to install and de-install. The pickup is a single piezo that shims into the bass bridge and the jack straps onto the tailpiece. It is very easy to remove and put on another bass.

    In my opinion, this pickup sounds better than all the rest.

    Kolstein Music is the only authorized dealer. The list price is $185.

    Good luck, Dave
  4. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    And old BP-100 will run you less than $100 if you're being a miser.

    Otherwise, yes a Planet Wing is great and can be easily removed, if money were not a issue.
  5. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    The Realist and Full circle pickups have no effect on the sound whatsoever, if that's your issue with removability. If it's a cosmetic issue, I just say to the person with the problem, "Close your eyes, listen, and see if you can tell there's a pickup on my bass".
  6. charlespf


    Oct 21, 2007
    Ann Arbor, MI
    My experiences in hearing the Planet wing have all been very positive, and it may be just what you're looking for. The BP100 will give you a tough time with removal because of your Marvin tailpiece, as you'll have a tough time mounting the jack to the angled afterlengths, whereas the Planet's jack mounts directly to the tailpiece and is easily removable.
  7. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    The Realist for sure changes the acoustic sound. I use an old Polytone since I almost always play acoustic and I also do not want a pick up on the bass. An underwood could work too, the sound is not great but it is strong.
  8. foilracer

    foilracer Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I'm not familiar with "Marvin", but I use the simplest "bass Max" by K&K....look into it as a possible "just right for you pick-up".

    I have been happy with pizz AND arco....it is easy to put on and take off. Good luck...Foilracer
  9. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    The Rev. Solo is my favorite easily removable piezo pickup. It does, however, require much more careful fitting and adjustment than the Planet Wing (which I have not used) and the K&K Bassmax (which I have used and find completely unacceptable). The more careful fitting required has, for me anyway, been well worth it.
  10. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    I have a Rev Solo and an Underwood. I generally use the Underwood.

    They both dampen the bridge for acoustic play and change the acoustic tone/volume, so I just slide the pickup out of the wing slots and hang it out of the way when I am not using it, or take it off. The fussing is a little bit of a hassle and I always fret a little over snapping off a bridge wing every time I do it...

    Calvin, as you know, I have the Marvin tailpiece too. No big deal there...a little velcro and ingenuity to rig up the jack on either pickup.

    I know that there are other pickups that don't dampen the bridge; ones that fit under the bridge foot (a la Gage) or are amounted in the aluminum adjuster wheel itself (a la Fishman full circle). These would be a much sweeter setup, I would think. I have heard both sounding really nice. Threads on them abound here...

    I stick with what I have cause I am used to it (the Underwood) and have it dialed in with my amp, EQ, etc. I would check out those other options if I was buying a new pickup, just to avoid the fuss-factor.

    With any pickup I have seen, you can fit the jack on your Marvin tailpiece easily enough. I would check out something that you won't have to hassle with, switching between orchestral and amplified play. I notice no change to the sound of my bass with the pickup jack mounted on the Marvin, or with the whole pickup, when not in use, just hanging there.
  11. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Almost any pickup will effect the sound of the instrument. The Realist puts a thin layer of piezo film between the bridge and the top. The BP-100 acts like a mute because of the two clips that hold the pickup in place. The Full Circle might be the least invasive since it's inside a bridge adjuster. The tonal difference is fairly suttle, but it's there. It's a trade off to get a louder sound from the instrument.

  12. pdbass


    Jan 2, 2007
    I was reading this post and thinking that in about 10 or 20 years, somebody will post that they found an "old Realist" or FC pickup, and everybody will jump on them. Technology seemed to really change how everyone felt about the BP-100. I assume it's going to happen with the Realist and the FC, too.

    You have to find what works for you. It might be a Realist, it might be the BP-100. Some of us use the Underwood, some of us detest it. Some of us love the FC, but I'm sure you'll find people that don't dig it. Just take what you read here with a grain of salt, and remember that YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).

    That being said, the Underwood, Fishman BP-100, Shadow, Bassmax, Rev Solo--these are all easy to remove and install, and are the most inexpensive to buy (to answer your original question) :p
  13. Gearhead43


    Nov 25, 2007
    I have had very good results with my Underwood. It sounds best (to me) used with only one transducer used on the E side of the bridge. This is a common way players have been using it for decades. Little to no feedback and a big full sound with the right EQing. It is very easy to take on and off and doesn't require alot of pressure in the bridge wing like some other piezos do.

    Invest in a good preamp (fishman pro platinum is my fave) for best results with any piezo pickup.

    Underwood pickups can be found used in the classifieds quite often, which is where I got mine.
  14. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    FWIW I gotta agree with ya Doc. Except I actually have used the Planet Wing. It does make a good sound, and it's a close second for me. Smoother in a good way but just not as 3-D and not as formidable in the low-mids as the RS w/ my setup. The RS also captures the pizz pluck, blossom and bloom better on my bass. Like you said, it does require a LOT more patience and experimenting with fitting it for optimal tone IME. The PW seems almost plug and play in comparison. And the Bass Max served me well I thought for the period of time I used it, but it's been so long I kind of forgot what it sounded like.

    Hey Calvin, with almost 500 posts on TB alone, you might could fill in your profile pal. We'd love to know more about you and your gear and gigs and such!
  15. anonymous12251111

    anonymous12251111 Banned

    Apr 6, 2007
    Good idea. :). Updated.
  16. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    IME, any wing pickup mutes the bass acoustically like mad. Acoustically, I'll take the BP-100 over an RS or Planet wing any day of the week. Plugged in is another story altogether.

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