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Yup, another new upright player with pu questions.

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by bassturtle, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    Okay, I'm a new upright player and the bass I purchased does not have a pickup. I'm starting the 'research' for a good pickup for it now. I know that different pus sound different from bass to bass, but I'm just looking for a good starting point. I need some advice. I'm very into Chris Wood...if that helps. Thanks in advance.
  2. One things for Sure Bassturtle, These guys are going to want all the facts in the question. They need to know the following:
    What kind of strings are you using? [gut strings and coil pickups wont work]. What kind of Amp do you have? or Want?

    Some Amps provide Phantom power for condenser mikes and pickups and others require a pre-amp for the job.

    The Most important thing is YOUR taste in tone, Do you want a Resonent top endy Modern Jazz tone or Do you like the more Old School tone of Gut strings? List some players and songs you like that can help. Mic pickups , Condenser Pickups and Coil Pickups all behave different and some systems intergrate both for the Rich Pocketbooks out there with fussy ears. I just Built a cheap pickup for 10 bucks but I was desperate and Live out in the Boonies :p
  3. LHbassist


    Apr 4, 2003
    Reno, Nevada
    There are so many pickups out there, it's hard to know what to recommend. Application, and the type of bass you own are critical. Is it laminated, or carved? I work on a lot of local players basses, so I get to hear a number of pickups, on many different basses. Rockabilly players have been using the K&K bass max, or the rockabilly version with the additional fingerboard transducer with really good results. I have installed the String Charger pickup for those players- that need to play really loud, as well. They use mostly Kays, and Engelhardts. I've installed these K&K's on a few American Standards and King's. For jazz players, I have installed a number of Realists with varying results. On my carved bass, which is dark sounding, I don't care for it. I like the Underwood on that bass. There is one Kay C-1 played in a Jazz setting here in Reno that sounds great with a Realist on it. The Fishman full circle is a very good sounding pickup, and is a vast improvement over the BP-100. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Rich Barbera, who makes a fine transducer bridge. I have not as yet heard a Wilson, or Schertler, although I understand both are high quality products. I have made experimental piezo pickups, and have had mixed results with them, some good, some not so. I have an old Polytone pickup, and it seems to sound 'distant' as if my bass was being miked in another room as I played it...If you know a local bass repair person, have them relate their experience to you on the subject. Good luck!
  4. yesdot


    Mar 8, 2004
    Sydney Australia
    A question in relation to the last couple of threads- I'm looking at getting a Kay M1, for jazz use. As i've read in previous posts, the bass max seems to be a popular match for the kay, yet produces a rockabilly sound.
    What are some of the differences between jazz and rockabilly tone, and how can I recreate a distinctive jazz sound on my kay?
  5. I think this guy plays gut strings.
    If I remember well, there were some Pirastro Olivs in the set. Not sure about the mix though.
    This may be the first step to emulate his sound.
    About pickups, there are many threads in the archives that you should search.
  6. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    I really like the more modern articulate jazz tone...almost electric fretless sounding...hope that makes sense. Right now I have no amp, but I imagine I'll be going with something with 10's. SWR or Eden maybe?

    The bass I have is a couple year old Lindl with a laminate top. I've been looking at the Full Circle pickup. This is a transducer no? I probably won't be going with gut strings just because I'm used to the steels on my electric basses. Will the full circle give that midrange finger funk tone that I'm so in love with? Should I go with the gut strings to help with this kind of sound? In my experience, mic pus tend to be a bit woofy...correct?

    Like I said, I really enjoy the tone of Chris Wood, from Medeski, Martin, and Wood, but I can't find a website that tells what gear he is using. If I had to pick one tone that I'd love to have it would be Wood's. I know he's using a carved bass that is much nicer than what I have, but I'd like to get as close as I can.

    Thanks again for all the great posts...keep 'em coming!
  7. I don't know from Chris Wood, but if you're going for an electric sound, you might want to try a magnetic pickup rather than a transducer. I think Moses makes one, and I'm sure there are others. With magnetic pickups, be sure to use steel strings, not gut.

    Edit: Just found out Moses has discontinued it mag. pu.
  8. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Chris from MMW uses an Underwood on stage and a Realist for recording. Live he runs the Underwood into an old Ampeg B15.
  9. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    Thanks Sam. *sheepish grin* I didn't see that section of the forum...don't flame the new guy!
    *ducks and covers* :bag:
  10. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    Is this a fair assesment of the Realist?

    "Its sound is very natural and woody, with less focus and more body"

    "Do you want the sound from one foot away, with more detail and string artifacts? That's not the sound of The Realist. It has less detail, due to the location of the transducer in relation to the strings"

    I took these from a review on http://www.gollihur.com/kkbass/realist.html

    If so, then I guess this will not be a good choice for me. I know it's hard to say because it depends on the instrument, but I'm thinking I'd like something a little more articulate.
  11. LHbassist


    Apr 4, 2003
    Reno, Nevada
    The Bass Max works a lot like an Underwood, albeit with one element instead of two- it is inserted into the wing of one side of the bridge. It is reasonably priced, and does not necessarily produce a rockabilly tone....it will work fine for jazz, if that is what you'll be playing. All the Bass Max pickups I've heard sound very good on Kays' and Engelhardt's.....I've been thinking of getting one for my own use.