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!