Krivo Magnetic Upright Bass Pickup (2020 model, includes bonus Jack Mount)
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Krivo Pick-Ups is a small, homegrown company building handmade pickups in the USA (Portland, Oregon).
Always looking to improve these pickups, as of January 2020, Jason has created a new mounting system. The 2020 Krivo pickup for upright bass now mounts on ANY bass with a heavy duty but lightweight brass L-bracket (no modification to bass is required: bracket attaches with included 3M™ Dual-Lock fastener). The new mounting system enables the Krivo to fit even basses with a very thin or even curved "cutaway" style fingerboards. The new mount keeps the pickup securely attached even with very forceful and aggressive playing—great for rockabilly and psychobilly players. Of course, it still includes our bonus items (like our jack mounting kit.)
The Krivo humbucking bass pickup is a very good alternative to piezo-based pickups for players who play in high-volume situations, or who have stage setups that are particularly susceptible to feedback problems. A magnetic pickup is largely unaffected by the sort of vibration that causes "rumbling" or "humming" feedback with piezo pickups, and also doesn't pick up sound out of the air, so it doesn't suffer from the "screeching" feedback that microphones often do.
Krivo has developed (and continued to refine) this pickup over the last several years, and improvements have made it sound "woodier" and less electric, as well as silenced the noise levels and electrical hum. In 2017, the pickup's size and weight was greatly reduced, and in 2016, major improvements to noise specs were introduced. We've carried the Krivo since 2010, and at that time it had been updated with a special combination of ceramic and neodymium magnets for clarity, warmth, and higher output than other magnetic upright bass pickups. It also uses easily adjustable (hex wrench) pole pieces to easily achieve even string response. And the current pickup is virtually noise-free.
Since it's a magnetic pickup, no external preamp is needed, since most (pretty much all) bass amps are designed to accept magnetic pickup input with no additional "buffering" needed. A preamp certainly could be used, if only to provide useful tone-shaping - and a handy volume control on/near the bass - but it certainly isn't required.
The drawback (usually) for magnetic pickups is that they usually sound more "electric" since they are getting their signal directly from the strings; they're not really putting the wood (and resonant cavity) of your upright into the sonic equation. However, Krivo has taken steps to provide a more woody, fat tone from the pickup. It uses wooden casing parts, custom "scatterwound" coils, and what Krivo calls "Optimized Microphonics."
What the heck are "Optimized Microphonics"?
For most magnetic pickups (for electric guitar or bass), "microphonic" isn't usually a good thing. It was more common in the old days - if something inside the pickup was free to vibrate (like windings that are a little loose), and was attached to the magnets in the pickup, it could vibrate in concert with sound waves that hit it. Because of this, on some old basses and guitars, you can shout into a pickup and actually hear your voice faintly through the amp, as if through a microphone - hence the name.
Nowadays, most pickups are fully "potted" (soaked/filled with epoxy, wax, or some other material) to prevent this sort of thing. However, Krivo - based on extensive "trial and error" development - specially hand-winds each coil with a controlled variation of both fused and loose windings. Each individual coil is then hand "sealed" (rather than soaked or potted) in a special mixture. Krivo thereby uses controlled microphonics to actually encourage a certain amount of this electro-acoustic effect, which (I can only assume) is what creates a less "sterile" or "electric" element to the sound.
These features, and the pickup's overall design, all combine to create a tone that is less "electric" and a good bit more "organic" than one would expect from a magnetic pickup.
Side benefit: It also provides a bit more sound from the fingerboard, meaning that rockabilly slap players will even get a bit more of the fingerboard "click" sound that so many of them are after. And if you couple this pickup with a fingerboard transducer, your sound will really begin to click!
The big, round sound from the Krivo pickup can work particularly well for slapstyle, rockabilly, bluegrass, Latin music, and modern jazz. It's not the most natural sound you can get with a pickup, but it could possibly be the most natural sound you can get with a magnetic pickup.
- Entirely hand built
- No preamp needed!
- Neodymium magnets for high output and clarity
- Premium Mogami cable inside and out
- High-quality Switchcraft connectors and Mogami cable
- Adjustable polepieces for perfect string balance
- Hand-fed scatterwound coils are fully Humbucking and noise-free
- Proprietary "Optimized Microphonics" winding process picks up Slap fingerboard resonances while maintaining feedback resistance
- Easy non-invasive mounting with included 3M dual lock fastener and quick release jack mount
- Designed to match most ebony or ebonized fingerboards; profiled to match the curvature for an almost "seamless" look
- Includes BONUS Gollihur Music Tailpiece Mount for output jack
- Two year full parts and labor warranty from the manufacturer, based in Portland, OR, USA
Note that these pickups are hand-crafted in Oregon, USA!
EXCLUSIVE 7-Day Trial Period at Gollihur Music
Unsure whether this pickup will be perfect for your needs? You won't get stuck with it. See the "7-Day Trial" tab for details!
IMPORTANT!! Please Note:
Polepiece spacing on the pickup is approximately 15/16" from center to center. This allows for variances for use on 3/4, 4/4 and most 1/2 size basses. If your spacing at the bottom of the fingerboard is wider, you can adjust the depth of the pickup and raise the polepieces to compensate (such as on a 4/4 bass.) For a 1/2 size bass, it is important to measure to ensure that the strings will be adequately captured by the polepieces.
Magnetic pickups require strings with a significant magnetic content in order to provide a good quality signal. Not all metal is magnetic - many strings use nickel or other alloys, which are not magnetic. Double bass strings can contain a number of different non-magnetic materials, unlike bass guitar strings that are intended for use with magnetic pickups. Therefore, it is important that you consider that factor when choosing strings for use with this or any other magnetic pickup.
Many strings are quite suitable, such as Thomastik Spirocores, Corelli 370, etc., but others and mixes of different manufacturer or model strings may result in uneven tone and response. For instance, Pirastro Obligatos may look like metal strings, but they are primarily a nylon core, with only a very thin metallic surface -- as a result their response is not satisfactory due to the lack of metal. You may wish to research the matter or inquire with the manufacturer as to string construction or survey other bassists who are using magnetic pickups to ensure that the strings are suitable.
The recommendations below are from other players using magnetic pickups, not necessarily my personal experiences.
Strings reported to be GOOD for magnetic pickup use:
- Pirastro Original Flexocore
- Thomastik Spirocores, Superflexible
- Corelli 370 (I can vouch for these)
- Innovation Polychrome (work but with lowered output)
- D'Addario Zyex (work but with lowered output)
- Jargar dolce
- D'Addario Helicore-- (Note: though I have my concerns with the E string; seems as if its response is somewhat lower than the other strings, at least the Orchestra and Hybrids I tried seemed that way.)
Strings reported to be NOT GOOD for magnetic pickup use:
- Pirastro Obligatos and Evah Pirazzi (minimal metallic content)
- LaBella Supernils (no metallic content)
- All Innovation Strings (no metallic content)
- Gut strings (insufficent or no metallic content)
7-Day Trial Period
Your purchase of this item is covered by the exclusive Gollihur Music 7-day Trial Period, under the following terms:
You may contact us to return this item, for any reason (or no reason), within the first seven days of ownership. The timer starts on the day that you receive the item, not the order date.
Returns are subject to deductions as follows:
- Any shipping costs you paid are not refunded, and if the item shipped free, the costs we incurred to ship the item to you will be deducted from your refund or credit.
- All shipping costs you incur to return the item are your responsibility.
- A small fee is deducted from your refund to cover credit card/PayPal fees which are not refunded to us even if we refund your charge. Note that if you choose to accept a store credit instead of a refund, this deduction does not apply.
Items must be returned in 100% "as new" condition, with all original packaging, shipping materials, and accessories/manuals/bonus items. Deductions are assessed for missing or damaged items.
IMPORTANT: You must contact us for authorization BEFORE shipping the item back.
Need to figure out some of the more in-depth features of this product? Here's a copy of the manual, in PDF format, here.
You may wish to visit the manufacturer's website to see if a more recent version is available.
Dead easy to set up, no holes to drill. Delivers a nice fat growl and defined bottom end, using D'Addario Helicore mediums. A little tweaking of the pole pieces (Allen key supplied) balanced up the sound nicely. Nothing fancy in the setup, straight into a Behringer DI-100 and roll a bit of middle out on the mixer. Don't be put off by the mounting surface that looks in the photos a bit like Velcro. It isn't Velcro, it's a high-tech 3M product that really hangs on tight. It won't move.
I discovered thru recording that this pickup was very good at pizzicato and rather anemic recording arco. It is excellent for feedback elimination during live gigs (yes, I played socially distanced gigs throughout 2020). I give it 4.5 stars.
I'll tell you my first impressions of the new purchase. The Krivo magnetic pu arrived in Italy 4 days earlier than expected. It was installed on my handcrafted EUB, a very well resonant instrument that had not found the right match with other tested amplification systems (piezo, contact microphone, magnetic pu from other brands) in the last ten years. The first impression, just unpacked, was that it is a very well built pu. I carefully followed your instructions included in the box. confirm the assembly was simple and intuitive. And now let's talk about the sound: I hooked up the Krivo with my trusty K&K Pure Pack preamp (purchased from your father several years ago, and still fine working. This preamp is probably the ancestor of the K&K Pure Pack, I don’t know), then I’ve sent the signal to an active DI BSS AR 133. This allows me to send the signal both to a PA and to my personal amp. This micro system is what I usually use with my acoustic doublebass . In my opinion the Krivo on my EUB is amazing: the sound is rich, balanced and with character. I did’t make any correction with the equalizer. However, I believe it is essential to finely adjust the magnetic poles under the individual strings. To maintain the acoustic sound of my instrument, I did not immediately follow the rule of bringing the poles as close as possible to the vibrating string, but I've tried to left a variable distance from the poles of the magnets from 10 to 7 mm., starting from the E string and going towards the G string. That' works fine for me. I noticed that with the simple variation of the pickup set-up (possible in height, depth and alignment with respect to the poles) it’s possible to obtain a ton of timbral variations. In short, so far the impression has been excellent and certainly exceeded my expectations. I look forward to trying it out during a gig with the whole group as soon as possible. So thanks again Mark for all the advice received and for the valuable technical support.
Dirk Shumaker of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy recommended this upright pickup to me. Man, I was NOT disappointed! Installation is simple & straightforward and the distance between the pickup and strings is easily adjustable. I've played several gigs with this pickup through my Acoustic Image Coda bass amplifier and it's simple to make the walls breathe! Strongly recommended!
I purchased the earlier model from 2018, and have been quite happy with the device. I've not the feedback issues I experienced with my older, piezo PU. Plus, I get a much more "defined" lower-end growl with the Krivo. The Arco sound is acceptable, in my opinion.
Tried one bought Two... very Good surprise and excellent tone With corelli 370m
I just got the Krivo magnetic pickup installed on my bass, and I must say, that it is the best amplified sound I have ever had. I had grown tired of the inevitable thump sound that I was hearing from piezo style pickups I had been using. That is gone now and I have much more control over the sound because I no longer have to work around the thump. Thanks again...
Mark and Chris are both very experienced and very helpful. I recently started using the krivo pickup exclusively after trying pretty much every pick up. They both took time to answer all of my questions and did so happily! let me assure you the Krivo gets the job done with great tone and yes it sounds just like an upright bass because it is an upright bass, just an upright bass that you can actually hear!
It is the best thing that I have purchased for my Upright in years. No more fighting feedback. I finally get a big round, well balanced tone. The poles were easy to adjust to get even loudness across the strings. Even tho it sounds a bit more electric, it sounds way better. I was having to dial out all the tones I wanted with my other piezo pick ups and my bass just sounded thin. And I play with a four piece and a drummer. I can easily hang in the mix now. And I can take my bass, cables, volume pedal, and amp to the gig and that is all I need. soo much easier. This pick up is just awesome! Thank you again for recommendation and the service as always. Cheers!