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Posted by mike o on June 11, 2001 at 11:38:06:
After mucho research I ordered a K+K "Golden Trinity" Bass az/golden mic pickup system from the invaluable Bob Gollihur. I'm using it with an englehardt plywood bass, strung with helicore pizz light, playing "real book" jazz in trio settings and original alt.rock with some bowing in a second band. I had been using a tiny gooseneck mic with built in preamp which was only adequate
Bob was great--he has a much raspier voice than you would expect from his pictures. I though maybe some guy from the sopranos had come to collect some debts--that, or Bob had a cold. Anyway, the pickup was here the day after I ordered it. Fantastic. I've been able to play it in a rehearsal, a rowdy jam session, and a bar gig since then, enough to have a good sense of it
Installation of the Bass Max required a bit of sanding, but not much, and the instructions were very clear. The mic mount is a bit Rube Goldberg-ish, but I couldn't think if anythng better, and it does work. The two channel preamp is small and seems solidly made. It has eq trim pots inside, which were set just about perfectly when I got it.
Balancing the mic and the bass max produces the best and most natural sound I've heard, ever, from an upright. The bass max alone, on this bass, is a little thumpy, but cutting the mids some took care of that. Blending it with the mic opens up the tone and make sit more 'organic" sounding, while the bass max has lots of "authority" and volume. The combination seemed to respond really well to the bow--to be honest, I think the bass max coverd up some of my deficiencies, in that I seemed to be getting a very slightly more compressed sound--or maybe just more fundamental came through. I mounted the preamp on my bass quiver. In rehearsal and jams the set up was convenient, flexible and effective, I was able to solo with WAY more subtlety and nuance, and it was mcuh much easier to keep a good swing--the whole note came through, and it really breathed. The drummer and guitarist in the trio both remarked on how much better it sounded
The best evidence of the pickup came at the gig. when I stepped on the stage i figured I was screwed--tiny, crowded, no place to put the bass except exactly between my amp (swr redhead) and the monitor, angled right up at the bass. I turned the pickup up very cautiously, expecting massive feedback--nothing. Turned it up more, played a few notes--no feedback. Turned it up as loud as I needed, no feedback. The band started playing, and I loved the tone--big, warm, deep but also clear. There were four bass players in the crowd, and they all complimented me on the tone.
In short this is an excellent setup--flexible, very effective, convenient, natural sounding--I can't wait to use it again. Thanks Bob!
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