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Yet another question regarding the Full Circle

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Nivaca, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. Nivaca


    Jan 8, 2005
    I wish to buy a Full Circle for my carved bass (mainly jazz pizzicatto), but I have a few questions which the reviewing of the FC threads left me with:
    1. Is the sound too bright compared to other bridge-mounted pickups' sound? I own both a Fishman BP100 and a Barcus Berry String Bass Transducer, but I really dislike their sound. Is the FC a great improvement with respect to those ones.

    2. In some of the threads some one complains of permanent malfunction of the FC. Is that a common issue, or just an isolated case?

    Thanks for any feedback you can give me.
  2. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti

    Jun 7, 2005
    I didn't really like the full circle. I thought that it was too feedback prone, I thought that there was too much string noise, and it doesn't work with some bridges.

    Granted, the feedback and string noise can be reduced by a preamp, but then your lookin at 300. Why not get a gage realist for under 200? I use that pickup on my Fendt and its crazy cool.

  3. My Full Circle is huge improvement over the Underwood I was using. I get a full, round tone, but with decent definition. I tried a Realist, but found it too muddy (for my bass). I put away the preamp I was using with the Underwood and plug directly into my AI Contra.

    One of the things I like best is its natural arco reproduction.

    I've never played loud enough to experience feedback problems. Nor have I had any quality issues; I installed it and forgot about it.

    I'm sure different pickups sound better on different basses, but the Full Circle seems to do the trick with my hybrid bass.
  4. Kevinlee


    May 15, 2001
    Phx, AZ..USA
    I like the full circle on the bass I have it on (german carved) I've used an underwood and a bassmax on this same bass but get the best sound with the full circle. I have mine with the adjuster threads in the bottom half of the bridge foot which has the pickup elements facing up. This gives you a bit brighter sound than facing down. But it's not to bright it's actually just about right. Feedback is not a problem even at fairly loud volume. I do use a platinum pro eq/pre amp though and that helps fight any feedback.

    On the other hand I tried the full circle on my ply bass and I like the sound of the underwood better for that bass. But overall I think the full circle is a great pickup.

    Oh and as far as the other pickups you mentioned, I've no experience with the barcus barry but as for the bp100 the full circle is a huge improvement over that pickup. But so is just about any pickup. The bp100 is not very highly regarded as a good pickup for upright.

    I did give one of the elements of an old one I had to a banjo player and he attached it to the underside of the banjo head and say's it works better than all the actual banjo pickups he's tried. Maybe they should re-market the bp100 as a banjo pu.

  5. Nivaca


    Jan 8, 2005
    Oh, I'm getting more confused. So many opposed views! :help: There isn't the least unanimity on this one.
    Let's change a bit the question: do you know if any god uses mainly the FC?
    (BTW, Patitucci is endorsed by the Realist, but do you think his sound is mainly a Realist sound? :rollno: )
  6. Nope. His sound is mainly a Pattitucci sound! :smug:

    I think he uses a fairly sophisticated rig, though. He sounds great on Footprints Live, whatever he's using.
  7. Kevinlee


    May 15, 2001
    Phx, AZ..USA
    Choosing a pickup based on the way some phenomenal player sounds can leave you dissapointed I imagine. Nothing wrong with wanting to know what everyone uses though. But the pickup is just a small part of the overall sound. You've got the bass, the amp and above all the individuals skills. It's been said that the great players will generally sound and play great on just about any bass setup.

  8. Nivaca


    Jan 8, 2005
    There is a (dumb?) question I've always made myself: When using pickups (versus mics), how much does the bass itself (the body) contributes on the sound? Isn't it just a matter of strings and bridge (and perhaps some fingerboard).
    I mean: I have a nice fine bass, but all that niceness and fineness seams to vanish when using a pickup. This makes part of the old dispute pickup vs. mic, which I'm not willing to touch on right now. Anyway, my question originally was: does the FC makes good justice to a fine bass, or will it spoil its sound?
  9. larry


    Apr 11, 2004
    Read the threads, I think you'll find that the Full Circle is pretty highly thought of for the most part. I share the opinion that it beats the Realist. Way clearer, less muddy. I don't have feedback problems with it. I had them both on my bass at the same time and the FC won hands down.
  10. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    On my bass the Full Circle sounds best when compared to (in descending order) The Wilson, The Underwood, Barcus Berry, and BP100. The last two are unusable. That oddly is also the order of gain before feedback I can get. The feedback threshold of the Full Circle is the best of the bunch.

    I usually mix the Full Circle with the Wilson. The full circle gives a ton of low end, the Wilson adds definition and clarity. The Full Circle by itself sounds the closest to the AMT mic which I find sounds great but can't get near the volumes I tend to play at.

    On my bass with my style the Full Circle is the best sounding single pickup. It is critical to have it installed properly. The Full Circle can be installed threads up or down. I've tried both. I prefer it threads up, element facing downward. Threads down is to bright, threads up picks up more of the natural top sound. The feet of the bridge must be properly seated on the top. If they are just sitting on the edges or on a middle bulge the pickup sounds hollow and can howl. It takes some time to groom the feet so that they contact the top completely across it's contours. The top of the bridge foot that contacts the pickup must be dead flat and at a perfect 90 degree relationship with the hole it sits it. Any deviation from that sounds hollow, weak and is prone to feedback. The same is true for the leg portion of the bridge for the threads down positioning.

    As always these are experiments on my great sounding but still plywood bass. A more lively instrument may yield other results including much greater feedback problems.
  11. Kevinlee


    May 15, 2001
    Phx, AZ..USA
    I think it will do justice, as far as a pickup can. Nothing will sound as good as a mic or just the bass unamplified is even better if you ask me. But those options aren't realistic in anything but fairly intimate settings. Well maybe the mic is. Anyway if you have a nice bass and play it well, I think you will get good results with the full circle.
    That's my 2 cents.

  12. The first response in this thread was negative. However, you will find an overwhelmingly positive view of the FC if you read through all the threads on it.

    Eddie Gomez uses the Japanese version of the FC. I think there are piezos in both adjusters?

    Patitucci uses the Realist/AMT for his monitor and a Neuman mic to the house.

    Last I knew.

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