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Pickups for Upright BassPickups

K&K Sound Bass Max Upright Bass Pickup

         Manufactured by: K&K Sound


Continental US - larger items may carry a partial shipping charge to AK, HI and PR
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Bass Max
Double Bass Pickup


Package Available:

Add a Preamp and FREE Mounting Kit!

Our special package includes the Bass Max and adds the Pure Preamp, which is a tiny, battery powered unit that is a perfect match to the K&K Pickups. Impedance buffering helps provide a more tonally balanced sound, and its powerful 3-band EQ has bass (120hz) and treble (8kHz) controls, as well as a 2.5 octave midrange control centered at 2500hz. This very clean circuit has an internal input volume (gain) control for 1x to 10x preamplification, and the main volume control is on a big knob for easy access. Just a tiny bit over 8 ounces with battery.

Our mounting kit includes a quality 12" cable with right angle connectors, a piece of vibration-isolating foam, a hook & loop strap, and illustrated instructions for quickly (and NON-PERMANENTLY) mounting the Preamp to the rear surface of your tailpiece, putting the controls right where you can reach them - and making for a very clean, inconspicuous installation. Hundreds of bassists worldwide use this simple, effective setup.
The Bass Max is a compact unit designed to be wedged into the wing in the side of your bridge. K&K advises that they feel that one sandwiched unit is better than a pair, with one in each wing of the bass, to avoid potential out-of-phase problems. It has two piezo elements in this single rubber jacket, sandwiched top and bottom, with material in between, so it senses the activity from both the top and bottom of the bridge.

The Bass Max is my most popular pickup, and rightfully so. It sounds great, with a full range response and is especially good for situations where you'd need to temporarily mount or switch the pickup between basses (a 30 second job). For the many different styles I play, I have come to prefer the Bass Max's versatile character; though the Double Big Twin (also from K&K) is absolutely wonderful for those who specialize in straight-ahead jazz.

Compared to the Double Big Twin, the Bass Max is very clean, with the string sounds not quite as "defined" -- and that's not a bad thing, but a different one -- it is still crystal clear, just not as 'stringy.' This pickup also has the same warmth, and that is generally unusual for piezos. It also has a smoother arco response than the DBT -- more bridge than string sound, since there is more wood between it and where the strings meet the bridge. Electric bassists could draw the comparison of a bridge pickup as opposed one placed at a midpoint (not the neck position). However, unlike some other pickups, it is not muddy or dark, and produces plenty of highs -- you can get some hand, string, and slapping sounds, too, unless you eq them out.

If you lean towards bluegrass or rockabilly, or want a slightly thicker, more mid-rangy sound, I'd go with a Bass Max -- especially if you switch to arco a good deal. The Double Big Twin has a more "scooped", hi-fi style of sound (which I sometimes preferred for jazz on the Juzek), where the Bass Max had more midrange and a little less string.

Will it fit your bridge? Bridges are not uniform, and many require slight alterations to accommodate any pickup. I use a file or piece of sandpaper wrapped around a slim slice of wood to remove just enough wood to make it fit. If the bridge wing is too wide, a small piece of wood can be used as a shim. Instructions are included with the pickups as well as my own tips and hints on installation and use, it's no challenge to fit it.

If you've ever had your hands on Ampeg Baby Bass reissue (and most other Azola made electric upright basses), take note of the Bass Max pickup that is inserted in the side of the bridge -- K&K made it for them.

If your application calls for what this unit has to offer, have more than one bass and don't want to buy a pickup for each one, or you don't want to glue anything to your bridge, I heartily recommend it. Please consider that if your bridge is shorter than the usual style 3/4 size bridge, such as the type that has very long legs and a short top section, the Bass Max may not be the best choice. If there is a very short distance from the top to the bridge wing, there may be insufficient wood for the strings' sound to diffuse, and the sound of the two closest strings may be louder than the other pair.

Do you Want a DOUBLE Bass Max?
You're probably looking at the pickup in the photos above and thinking, "If the pickup is only on one side of the bridge, won't it give me unbalanced sound? Won't the strings on the side where the pickup is installed be louder?"

The good news is, probably not. On most basses, especially if you have a good quality (or better) bridge, the vibrations from all four strings are pretty fairly equal by the time they reach the bridge wing. Very few people complain of unbalanced sound from their strings. So you really probably don't need to spend extra money putting an element in each side of the bridge.

But don't let that stop you if you really want to. After some pickup systems were custom-created from separate components, systems using a pair of Bass Max pickups - with one out of phase from the other - became popular among some users. As a result, occasionally I have special-ordered several "Double Bass Max" systems for users. This system is similar to the Bass Master Pro, but a second out-of-phase Bass Max replaces the Double Big Twin transducer; it is out of phase in order to avoid the phase cancellation that could occur.

The Double Bass Max System Includes two specially built Bass Max transducers wired to a stereo endpin jack, a stereo (TRS) cable, and two channel preamplifier with volume, overall gain, tone controls for each channel, and mixed output. The Pickup Only version has the pair of pickups wired to a single TRS jack. I can also have the pickups wired IN phase, or have both pickups wired to a standard mono connection, at your request. Simply make any special requests in the shopping cart at checkout (there's a comments box on the last page).

Double Bass Max pickups and systems of all configurations are considered Special Order Items. While special orders usually don't take that long, I'll prudently state that you should allow 3-5 weeks for delivery, as they're custom manufactured to order.

This pickup is often compared to the Revolution Solo (RS1 and RS2) as well as Underwood.

This item is made in USA! Click for more


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Check Out the FAQ Resources That Apply to This Product:
   PICKUPS and MICROPHONES: Should I get a Pickup or a Mic?

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Some of our customers have told us what they think about this product.
Check out what they had to say!
Bob, The K&K Bassmax and Dtar Solstice preamp are a great combination. I use them along with a cardioid mic which rounds out the sound perfectly. The preamp balances the pickup and mic (which requires phantom power) very evenly. I can run the mic to the mains and the pickup to both the mains and amp, which eliminates any feedback problems. Thanks for the prompt delivery.
Dan P (January 2014)
I recently purchased the K&K Sounds Bas Max & pre-amp package. I live waaaay out here in Nevada. Your descriptions and comments made my decision making of buying something that I have not seen, or heard, a pretty easy one. The system works quite well, now more people can hear my mistakes. :)

I couldn't be happier with my buying experience from you. You provided me with GREAT service and a GREAT product. I'll be back!
Robin S (February 2014)
I just wanted to say a huge thank you. Just used my new k & k bass max. picked it up today, fitted it, as per your excellent instructions, went to a big band rehearsal, plugged it in, and it blew me and the rest of the band away, can't thank you enough, i bought it based on your reviews of pickups and crossed my fingers. Best $100 I've spent. thanks again
Mike W (February 2014)