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Yet another PU comparison (FC, Realist, Ehrlund, Schatten & mics)

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Adagio, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Adagio


    Jul 21, 2011
    Quebec City
    Hi! It seems like a long time since the last "guess which pickup I recorded" kind of thread, and since I've been wanting to do a benchmark of my pickups for a long time, I figured now would a good time to contribute. I found these threads to be one of the most valuable resources when it comes to choosing my gear so let's add so more samples to the mix.

    I've mounted all of my pickups on my bass and set up a minimal but decent recording environment on a small room. Each take was recorded separately, playing a two octaves G major scale pizzicato (I wanted to keep it as short and neutral as possible). I did some very minimal EQing and gain adjustments in order to normalize the tracks before recording, but just slightly and there is no postprod at all. Please forgive my sloppy timing, I recorded those clips quick and dirty, without a metronome. There is also a rattle from time to time, coming from a loose screw on a PU jack I think. Perhaps I should have double checked the setup more carefully before pressing the REC button. Anyways, I hope this will still be useful to some of you.

    Recording Gear:
    1. Garage Band on iPad (with iRig inteface)
    2. Headway EDB-1 preamp (Flat EQ, 5Mohms input for piezos)
    3. Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer for mics

    Shen SB-200 willow (3/4 flatback)

    Thomastik Spirocore Weich (E&A), Pirastro Oliv (D&G)

    Pickups & Mics:
    1. Fishman Full Circle (threads up)
    2. David Gage Realist Wood
    3. DIY Schatten EP-01 soundboard transducer mounted on a cedar wood piece
    4. Ehrlund Contact Mic with its preamp
    5. Ehrlund Contact Mic with the EDB1
    6. Geoff004 RS Mic, treble side (modded so it's mounted on the bridge with a tuner clip)
    7. CAD GLX-1200 Cardiod Mic - Less than 2 feet away from the treble side
    8. My usual sound, which is a blend of #1,#5 and #7.
    The audio clips can be found on my Soundcloud. They are unlabeled for now: I'll let you guess which is which first and then I'll reveal the results in about a week or so.

    Are you able to list them all, and which one is your favorite?

    Attached Files:

  2. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    Dunno what the clips are but I like 2 and hate 3. 6 and 7 aren't so great, either. 1 and 8 are pretty good sounding. 4 and 5 are OK at best. I'll be very interested to see what's what.
  3. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    Thanks so much for going through all the trouble and sharing!

    I liked 1,4,6 and 8 for the most part...I would say 1 and 8 were my favorites, though 4 was pretty good, I think

    Least favorites were 3 (something was wrong there) and 7
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Thanks for doing this again - these are always interesting. The only one I really couldn't stand was 2. Didn't much care for 4 either.
  5. Adagio


    Jul 21, 2011
    Quebec City
    Sorry, yes something went wrong during the export of #3 (glitch at the beginning of the jazz lick). The source file was okay so I uploaded it again, it should be fixed on Soundcloud by now.

    Thanks for pointing it out!
  6. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    I went quickly through the first few seconds of each clip and my favs were 4 and 6.
  7. Clarkybass

    Clarkybass Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    Most sounded pretty good to my ears and really usable. I didn't like 2,3 and 7 much. Gonna take a guess and say 1 is Ehrlund and 8 the mix of all your faves
  8. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    I like 5, 6, 8, and 4 in that order. 5 has a nice balance and punchy tone, less puff but when amped in a setting it works well.

    As to guessing what I'm hearing:
    5 - Realist (I use copper version).
    4 or 7 - Ehrlund/EDB1
    3 - Full Circle

    I'm probably way off.
  9. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    I don't like 3 and 7.

    1, 4, 5 seem nice and I have a preference for 4.
  10. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    I liked 4, 8, 1, in that order. But I wouldn't guess as to what type of pickups you used.
  11. Ryanpet42

    Ryanpet42 Guest

    Aug 1, 2012
    Really thought all of those would be useable on a gig. Number two was the one that was sort of tinny and thin sounding. Five and six were my favorites though with my bass I would've liked all except two as I noted before.
  12. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Plug it in an amp and everything is usable really. At this point you're choosing what you'd like to hear. The choices made by posters here is probably based off of what they want in their sound. It's the only way to explain why there are opposites in tastes.
  13. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    I like 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8
  14. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Actually I like number six
  15. gack


    Sep 28, 2007
    Russia, Chelyabinsk
    I like 1, 4, 5 and 8.
  16. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    After listening to the full clips again #6 is my favorite but I think that all of them could be used in a real life situation. Then other factors as amplification, feedback, bow tone, etc. would come into the equation.
  17. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    I like 5,1,4 most and perhaps in that order. 6 & 8 are ok, somewhere in the middle. I'm not too keen on 2,3,7.
  18. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn

    Feb 25, 2004
    Cool. Always fun to play this game. I like 5 best, but 1 is also very good. 4 has a good sound at its heart but it is quite noisy to the extent that it might not usable.

    Well, since I subjected people to this before, I suppose I'd better jump in and embarass myself with my guesses.

    1. Ehrlund (w/ ehrlund pre?)
    2. Schatten
    3. Realist
    4. Geoff004 mic
    5. CAD
    6. mix
    7. Full Circle
    8. Ehrlund (w/ Headway?)
  19. I am familiar with all the strings you used.
    Sample 4 was the only one that I liked.
    3 and 7 did not sound very good.
    The rest were mediocre.
    4 days to go before we find out which is which ....the suspense is killing me.:hyper:
  20. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Well, "usable" doesn't quite cut it for me.

    Well, of course! What I want in my sound is that it be as close to the acoustic sound of the instrument as possible

    There are other explanations. We're listening to these clips on a variety of systems. While some of the sonic characteristics are relatively stable across them, others are likely not to be. Played on different systems, I suspect that many people's preferences would change.

    Keep in mind that the sound of the transducers, the positions of which can be changed (e.g., Ehrlund and mics), depends heavily on where Adagio chose to place them. The Ehrlund, for example, can sound spectacular in one position and like dog doo in another. We're getting only a sample of one position and our different preferences would likely have many of us placing them at different locations.

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