Krivo Pick-Ups is a small, homegrown company building handmade pickups in the USA (Portland, Oregon).
NEW FOR 2020
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.
If you purchase the Krivo Pickup at Gollihur Music, you have a seven day trial period, starting on the day you receive the pickup, during which you may return the pickup, in new condition, for a full refund, minus our outgoing shipping costs and a small transaction fee to cover credit card processing, if applicable. Returns must be preauthorized; a restocking fee applies if the unit is not returned in new condition (you are permitted to use the 3M Dual Lock fastener tape to mount the pickup, it will be replaced with a new piece).
IMPORTANT!! Please Note:
Magnetic pickups require strings with a significant metallic content in order to provide a good quality signal. 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)