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Re: Getting more volume a Realist pickup

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Posted by Nathan Morris ( on October 08, 2002 at 19:17:45:

In Reply to: Re: Getting more volume a Realist pickup posted by Bob Gollihur on August 26, 2002 at 18:51:56:

: : I recently added an acoustic upright bass to my instrument collection. I got
: : a good deal on a third hand no name carved bass. I put a realist pickup on it
: : thinking this would be a good versatile pickup. I like the realist sound.
: : The problem I have is when I'm playing rockabilly, I have a hard time playing
: : loud enough to compete with the drums and guitar without feeding back. By the
: : way I play jazz as well, hence the carved top bass and the realist pickup
: : instead of the K&K Rockabilly pickup system (although I would consider adding
: : a fingerboard transducer for rockabilly if K&K offered it as an add on like
: : they do with the golden bullet mic from the golden trinity system [anyone from
: : K&K listening?]).

: : I am using a GK 700RB head with a Hartke 4x10 and a Peavey 2x10 cabnet. This
: : setup is usually more than loud enough with my Warwick Streamer LX electric
: : bass. I can turn it up to 9 or 10 when the guitar players really start to
: : crank it and thump right along with them until our eardrums start to bleed.
: : I can only crank my upright to about 7. If I try to go any louder, I go into
: : a nasty feedback loop that rattles the windows. Unfortunately a 7 on my
: : upright isn't quite as loud as a 7 on my electric, and it often gets lost in
: : the mix at our normal jamming levels.

: : Any recommendations on how to get a little more volume out of this system
: : without breaking the bank? I'm willing to try another pickup or a preamp or an
: : equilizer. I'm just not sure what is going to get me the most bang
: : (or decibels) for the buck.

: The fingerboard transducer for the K&K Rockabilly system has always been available separately. I always have a few in stock available for immediate delivery; click on the link below, you'll find the individual components for custom Rockabilly systems shown towards the bottom of the page.

: The Realist is a very nice pickup for low to medium volume jazz, but it is not the right choice for rockabilly IMHO. Its location on the bass body is just too indirect of a pickup point for louder volumes and distinct response. This is not a criticism of the pickup, it is very good for what it does, but I don't think anyone would recommend it for rockabilly or other styles that require punch and high volume before feedback.

I play upright bass in a loud, 50's style/traditional blues band, so I have had to figure out how to get a good stage volume without feedback. First, I have filled the F-holes with 2-inch thick styrofoam (cut with an exacto knife into F-hole shapes and duct-taped so that they don't crumble). Then I use a parametric equalizer (basically a more sophisticated, precise version of the tone controls on your amp) to filter out the frequencies that are feeding back. Finally, for severe feedback situations, like small clubs with loud PA's, I use a Sabine
Feedback Eliminator, a small electronic box that detects and kills feedback for any instrument.

Good luck!

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