Special Package Pricing on the Realist Bass Pickup PLUS Docking Station!
Save 10% over the price of purchasing them separately!
|David Gage Bass REALISTTM
Double Bass Pickup
The RealistTM has rapidly become a popular choice of bass pickup, and it is now used by a number of top bassists. It consists of a thin, flexible piezo film that fits between a bridge foot and the top of your instrument, and is carefully and specifically designed so it won't alter the acoustic sound of your bass.
Its sound is very natural and woody, with less focus and more body, due to its location on the body of the instrument. There are many different "natural bass sounds", all of which depend on the vantage point; what's your preference? Do you want the sound from one foot away, with more detail and string artifacts? If so, that's not the sound of The Realist. It has less detail - not necessarily a bad thing - due to the location of the transducer in relation to the strings. It provides more of the sound of the instrument "from a distance," where the body sound takes over from that upfront detail, but it is still sensitive to string sounds. Because of the nature of its sound, the Realist is an excellent choice for bowed response - as well as for the classic pizzicato sound. By comparison, pickups with "more detail" can sound scratchy or overly trebly, particularly when bowed.
The pickup seems to perform best on carved basses and quality laminated instruments with a nicely responsive top. As with all transducers, the bass and its characteristics dictate the results. Note that if your volume needs are high, The Realist may not be the best choice... as it seems to feed back more readily than some other pickups. I would suggest the K&K Bass Max as an alternative choice for players with higher volume needs, or the Fishman Full Circle (requires an adjustable bridge), which has a similar character but a bit more feedback resistance and string detail.
The photograph to the right is a close-up of a Realist installed on Bob's Eminence electric upright bass. The Eminence uses a unique, specially-designed version of the Realist, but the installation method is the same. You can see that the pickup has a low-profile appearance and easy installation.
The Bass Realist is now available in two types: the original copper foil design (top, in photo to left), and the newer wood veneer version (bottom). The two by one inch slice of wood veneer has a highly compressible black silicone-like material on the side that should face up, which retains your bridge foot/bass top fit. Only the wood shows beyond the foot.
What's the difference? In a word, very, very subtle. Trusted Gage sources tell us that if you played one on Friday night and the other on Saturday's gig, you wouldn't notice any difference. They have the same volume, the same wonderful arco and pizz response, and each installs in the same easy way.
Thickness? We measured two of the pickups with our electronic caliper and they are nearly the same thickness. The copper foil unit was approximately .060 inches thick, the wood one about .075 inches — that difference of only .015 inches is about the thickness of four sheets of copy paper. The new wood version has been described as being slightly compressed and tighter sounding, with perhaps with a tiny bit more midrange. But again, we're talking subtle, very, very subtle. If one is Vanilla, the other is French Vanilla.
David Gage Bass REALISTTMDocking Station|
Add Volume Control and Convenient Jack Mounting
This new (May 2012) jack clip for upright bass pickups is an elegant solution to an issue that has bothered bassists for a long time: where do you mount the jack for your pickup? Many other options have been available for a while, from string-mounted clips, to assorted plastic hardware that mounts through the tailpiece holes. Some pickups use a plastic loop that requires you to remove the string and thread it through - kind of a pain.
I first saw a prototype of this nifty new gadget at NAMM in January; they spent some time refining and perfecting it, and now it's finally available!
Non-permanent, and requiring no modifications to your instrument, it's a clean and simple way to mount your pickup's output to the bass -- finally, a pickup jack that doesn't look "hack!" Featuring a very nicely crafted metal housing, it incorporates a string slot which slips behind (not AROUND) the ball ends of your low strings -- you just need to loosen them, NOT remove them -- and it unobtrusively sits behind the tailpiece. It has an integrated "plug" which you plug into the ¼" output jack of your pickup, and its standard ¼" output jack accepts standard instrument (guitar) cables, just like you've always used.
It's not just a "jack holder," though.
Also incorporated onto the Docking Station: A special volume control. For those who don't care (or need) to use an external preamp, it's really nice to have a volume control handy on the bass, so you don't have to drag your bass over to the amp to make an on-the-fly adjustment. But if you don't want or need to use it, it is a "Jack-PotTM" (developed by NS Design, and also incorporated into the latest NXT basses). Turning the knob "to eleven" clicks the volume control completely out of the circuit, meaning that the volume pot is no longer creating an impedance load on the output! Clever.
So, you've got real options with the new Docking Station. It's an elegant method for mounting your output jack, includes a "smart" volume control with true bypass, and features quality construction - ensuring years of trouble-free service.
Notes: This product works with any string-bass pick-up. It is a "Universal Volume Attenuator" and it can be used with products from other manufacturers (as well as with the Realist pickups). Your output jack may need to be modified slightly - for instance, the K&K Pickups have the string mount widgets on the jack, which will need to be removed (this is easily done - check out our FAQ with pictures and everything!). No batteries required, it's a passive device (it is NOT a preamplifier).
IMPORTANT: This Docking Station will not work with multi-pickup setups like the K&K Bass Master Pro, Bass Master Rockabilly, or Golden Trinity Systems, as they use TRS (Stereo) cables to carry each pickup's signal separately - this will only work with individual pickups.
More information and photos for the Realist Pickup and Realist Docking Station can be found at their respective product pages; click the related items links, below.