DB-1 Wood-Encased Upright Bass Pickup for Bridge Wing
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Like many other upright bass pickups, the DB-1 is a compact unit designed to be wedged into the wing in the side of your bridge. Most of those pickups require that you custom-fit the pickup into the slot, using sanding/filing to open up that slot for optimal fitment. There's nothing inherently wrong with that approach; there's no effect on the bass tone or volume, etc. There are also pickups that are made of a material that allows you to instead shape the pickup to fit, which is also a good alternative.
But if you're really concerned about making destructive changes of any kind, this new (May 2016) pickup option from KNA is going to make you smile.
The vibration-sensing transducer is encased in a tonewood housing that is very thin (.085 in thick) -- and the pickup includes several tonewood shims which you can use to provide just the right level of pressure on the element. This flexible mounting option allows you to experiment with various levels of pressure and placement - non-destructively - as well as switch the pickup between several basses as often as you wish.
Now, granted - bridges are not uniform, and some may require slight alterations to accommodate any pickup properly. Flat, even contact is key to get the best sound, and if your bridge wing is particularly "curvy" you may still wish to provide a flatter surface. I use a file or piece of sandpaper wrapped around a slim slice of wood to fit pickups to the wing. But on most bridges, this very well may not be necessary.
The DB-1 is crafted in the European Union by KNA, and the pickup was created with the help of my own input and insight; I tested several prototypes for them and made lots of suggestions while it was being developed. You'll find that it even includes a jack mount arrangement almost identical to the way we mount the jacks for Ehrlund and David Gage pickups we sell.
The manufacturer suggests mounting in the "G" string side of the bridge, but I certainly encourage you to try in both sides to see what you prefer; every bass is different! This pickup is often compared to the Revolution Solo (RS1 and RS2) as well as Underwood. KNA is aka Kremona, who made our Bulgarian carved bass.
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.
A friend asked me to install a KNA DB-1 on his Shen bass whose twelve year-old piezo pickup was starting to falter. I flattened the G-string side wing slot with sandpaper wrapped around a ruler to give the DB-1 the best contact. That took about two minutes. The DB-1 slipped into the wing slot with two shims in another minute. The jack mounted in the tailpiece in about another two minutes. Five minutes later, we plugged the DB-1 and the K&K into the two channels of his Euphonic Audio Micro to compare tones. No contest! The KNA DB-1 sounded full and round, especially on arco in thumb position. The old pickup, by comparison, sounded “thin” and “reedy”. This is the pickup I will be recommending. Ease of installation, great tone, and low price, what’s not to love?
My wife gave this pickup to me for Christmas on the recommendation of Mark and what a great gift it has been! Plenty of output, so I don't have to run through an external preamp and it offers a very true-to-my-bass sound. I would highly recommend this pickup!
Got this last week based on Mark's recommendation. As usual, he was spot on. Incredibly easy to set up and my 1950s Kay Bass sounds great using my Fender Rumble 40. Played a weekly gig today and got many compliments on how it sounded just like my bass, but a bit louder. Thanks Mark!
I agree with other positive review comments. These have worked great straight out of the box and running directly into a Hartke Kickback 12 bass amp. There were some comments regarding the product and possible need for a preamp of some sort to improve sound. Possibly that would improve sound (sound always being subjective of course) but it has not been necessary in my experience. I have installed this item on 2 Kay Double Basses and a solid top/laminated sides and back Samuel Shen Double Bass. Works well on all 3. Very happy with the results.
This is a very natural sounding pickup, one of the more natural and woody sounding piezos I have tried. Not too trebly or harsh but not tubby or muddy either. It is not as compressed or “rubbery” sounding as my Underwood pickup. It’s also by far the easiest pickup to install I’ve seen yet. Feedback response seems comparable to most other pickups I have used. Very impressed with the tone and quality for the price.