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Double Bass Pickups

“When I started, there were no amplifiers, and hardly any microphones. I mean, you just stood in the back of the band, and you never got to play over the microphone. The microphone was for the vocalist usually, or announcements—and once in a while a saxophone or a trumpet would go down there and play. So you had to be heard; you had to play with a lot of strength and dexterity.”
– Ray Brown**

pickup testbass Today, pickups and amplifier are widely available to double bass players. It's no problem anymore to compete with the band's volume level anymore. However, it's still a challenge to get a natural sound reproduction of your double bass.

Some double bass pickups are easy to test on your own bass - e. g. pickups that get mounted under the bridge foot. But other pickup models need alterations to the bridge or pickup to get mounted. In order to give our customers an idea of these pickup’s sound and character, we’ve installed them to our pickup testing bass, which is availble to our customers at our showroom.

For soundclips we've made with our pickup testing bass, please visit www.soundcloud.com/landomusic

Preamps: please see our Amps page
Cable: please see Accessories page

Read my article on the evolution of double bass amlification, from the early days in the 1940ies until today, at my website www.doublebassguide.com.

The Realist™ “Copperhead”

Realist pickup The Realist acoustic transducer was designed by Ned Steinberger in collaboration with double bass luthier David Gage. It is endorsed by bassists like Christian McBride, George Mraz, John Patitucci, Peter Washington, Harvie S, Michael Moore and Ron Carter.
Ned Steinberger on the development of The Realist: “(...) The first is finding the right structure within and around the piezo crystal to respond optimally to the acoustic resonance of the instrument itself. This involves endless comparisons that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, and we have David's sensitivity and patience to thank for the excellent result. We owe a debt also to the many fine players who were corralled into helping evaluate the various options. Second, placing the transducer under the foot of the bridge puts it exactly were the sound is transferred from the strings to the sound board. This is definitely where the action is, and the rich, powerful response, both pizzicato and bowed, testifies to this simple fact. The copper foil sandwich construction is the third key element in the system. It provides total shielding to eliminate hum from light fixtures and other electrical or radio interference. It is flexible enough to conform to the curve of the top of the instrument, so that the full pressure of the bridge is concentrated evenly onto the piezo surface (...)“

  • easy to install
  • for both arco and pizzicato
  • high output level

209 €* (incl. LANDO pickup clamp) realist double basspickup

 

The Realist™ “Wood”

Realist Wood pickup Because it is made of wood, the element will not have any chance of marking the top of the instrument on to which it is installed. Simple installation. No change to the instrument required.
Very transparent sound color, although texture is very slightly compressed. Less darker sound than the original Realist.

209 €* (incl. LANDO pickup clamp)

The Realist™ “LifeLine”

realist-lifeline The newest member of the Realist family of pickups. The piezos are built into a U-shaped metal housing that slides between bridge and height adjuster screw. Very easy to install, if you already have adjusters on your bridge.

NEW: XL version for bridge adjusters that need a 10 mm slot (Moser MPM, wood adjuster screws)

219 €* (incl. LANDO pickup clamp)

lifeline

Wilson

Wilson_K4 This danish pickup was introduced by Jørgen Wilson in 1983. The sound is picked up by small cylinder shaped piezo elements with the size of 5 x 15 mm installed in holes (drilled into the bridge). The Wilson K4 was designed to be installed directly underneath the strings. The volume and sound of each string can be regulated individually by turning the elements.

The Wilson pickup is also available as single element (K1), which can be installed into the bridge's leg. Depending on its position, the element capture more of the strings' or the body's vibrations (see picture), and less of the string noise.

  • rigid, small sized
  • clear powerful sound
  • sound and volume can be adjusted by turning the element(s)
  • drilling into bridge needed for installation
  • incl. LANDO pickup clamp

K1 model, price for single element, incl. mounting to existing bridge
290,– €*
K4 (4 sensors), incl. mounting tools
775,– €*
K5 (5 sensors; 910,-€ / incl. mounting tools) also available.

Fishman Full Circle

full circle The Full Circle pickups combines bridge height adjusters and pickup: four small piezo ceramics are built into a aluminium height adjuster wheel. Turning the screw not only adjusts the height of the bridge, but also gives you different sound colours.
We also carry two different SAE (inch) thread type models, which fit our Christopher/Eminence or Gasparo bridges.

  • combines bridge height adjusters and pickup
  • very easy to mount, if you already have adjusters in your bridge
  • sound can be adjusted by turning the wheel
  • incl. LANDO pickup clamp

199,- €* metric 6 x 1 mm

279,- €* inch UNC 1/4-20

309,- €* inch UNC 5/16-18

full circleAlso available: Christopher bridge blank (3/4), fits the inch-threaded Full Circle.

Bassbalsereit / ANS

Balsereit This pickup consists of a conical brass pin which is 4 cm long and as thick as a pencil. This pin is put into a conical hole drilled into the top end of the foot of the bridge. If you turn this brass pin in the bridge, you can adapt the sound to your instrument.

  • rigid
  • powerful and balanced sound
  • sound and volume can be adjusted by turning the brass cone housing
  • drilling into bridge needed for installation (must be done by qualified luthier)

For installing the Bassbalsereit pickup, a special tool is needed (a conical reamer for cello pegs). The installation can be easily done by every luthier, or you can either bring in or send us the bridge, so we can install the pickup for you.

Bassbalsereit Standard – passive; works with most bassamps/preamps, no phantom power needed. Incl. LANDO pickup clamp

239,- €*

Bassbalsereit AKTIV – active; phantom powered (e. g. from DI-Box, mixing console) needed

339,- €* (incl. LANDO pickup clamp)

Bassbalsereit STUDIO – active; phantom powered and balanced input (e. g. DI-Box, mixing console) needed

439,- €* (incl. LANDO pickup clamp)

Vektor Kontramike

Vektor Pickup The Vektor Kontramike pickup is a contact microphone. It gets installed between bridge and top, with the microphone capsule facing the top. By means of a screw, you can adjust the pickup to different instrument sizes, or reduce or increase the pressure on the microphone in order to adjust the sound.
The Vektor pickup runs on 9V phantom power. For use with 48V phantom power supplies, an adapter is available to protect the pickup from damage.

  • easy to install and remove
  • microphone-like sound, but feedback-resistant
  • operates with 9V phantom power (phantom power supply needed; not included)

260,- €*

Shadow

SH950-bwThe design of the Shadow pickups is already popular for decades. The transducers get mounted to the bridge wing slots. Every transducer element has two inversed piezo sensors, picking up the vibrations from the strings and the top. Compared to pickups that mounts under the bridge feet, bridge wing pickups sound more mid-rangy.
Shadow offers two models: the SH950 has two transducer elements (one for each bridge wing slot), the SH951 has just one transducer element that usually gets mounted to the bass side bridge wing.
LANDO UPGRADE: we replace the plastic jack + velcro fastener that the Shadow pickups come with by a high-quality Switchcraft jack plus Lando pickup clamp.

  • rigid design
  • usually no alterations to the bridge necessary (thickness of the sensor: approx. 5 mm)
  • inclusive UPGRADE: original jack replaced by Switchcraft jack + Lando pickup clamp

SH950-aw SH 951 (one transducer)
92,- €*

SH 950 (two transducer)
142,- €*

Shadow offers the SH951 bundled with the RB-Pro two-channel-preamp. See Preamp category!

Sh951_lando_600

LANDO pickup mounting clamp

Tonabnehmer-Schelle

With our pickup mounting clamp, the pickup’s jack is mounted (and detached) to the tailpiece in seconds. The clamp is made of black plastic and has virtually no weight. The washers of soft, rubber-like pastic prevent the clamp from buzzing and dampen the transmission of tailpice resonances to the pickup. Two versions available: besides the standard version for all 1/2" jacks (like used for Fishman, Wilson, Shadow, Underwood etc.), we also offer a larger size for XLR (ANS/Bassbalsereit, dpa).

5,- €*

Tonabnehmer-Schelle

Switchcraft ¼" jack (replacement part)

SWI121-schelle

This Switchcraft jack is used by the most double bass pickups manufacturers. It's very reliable and doesn't have any parts that may rattle or buzz. We bundle this jack with a piece of shrinking tube and our Lando pickup clamp for mounting to the double bass tailpiece.

17,– €*

* All prices incl. 19% VAT, excl. shipping.
** Ray Brown quote: Copyright © 1980, Les Tomkins. All Rights Reserved.