New pickup in the bass ukulele – Fishman Presys Blend Review

I’ve fitted a new pickup in the bass. The previous pickup was a passive piezo and these suffer with impedance problems driving cables and amplifiers. It worked – it just didn’t sound very nice.

I did look at putting a DIY preamp into the bass, but overall it was much simpler to put an all-in-one solution in. This was the Fishman Presys Blend:

  • It was fairly cheap on EBay;
  • It was a brand name so I’ve got some chance of getting another one for another instrument;
  • The amp frontplate is flat – most are curved to fit into guitars or ukuleles. Obviously this bass is fairly (very) flat.

The downside is that the pickup is permanently attached and is for under-saddle rather than to stick onto the soundboard. The bass has a removable bridge so adding the pickup to the bridge is problematic so I stuck it under the soundboard with a thin wood backing.

Ooop ignore the glue runs…

This is the pickup glued to the inside of the soundboard with a thin strip of larch. On the right is the bassbar and then the through-neck. There are a couple of strips of wood wedging the pickup in place while the glue dries.

The control panel sits on the top where it is easy to access while playing.

Sound: very nice – particularly through the pickup. This system also has a built-in microphone which doesn’t sound so good but the controls adjust the amount of microphone fed into the output signal.

Overall – very happy!

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