The Fishman Full Circle has certainly earned its stripes in the URB world. I was never a big fan of the classic Fishman BP-100 (though it was a breath of fresh air in the early 80's when it first came out), but I really like the Full Circle- it delivers a much more natural sound with a nice mix of body and string. It has the warmth of the Realist but with more string detail, and even offers some tonal flexibility. That's why you'll find one on my carved bass.
The photo above shows Bob at a Gospel Bluegrass affair in September 2010, where he amplified his pre-war Juzek bass using a Fishman Full Circle pickup and clipped a LR Baggs GigPro preamp to his belt for easy access to volume and tone controls. You can see the Full Circle pickup adjuster in the photo inset with the Meisel COM-90 tuner.
Installation is easy-- IF you have an adjustable bridge, since the pickup replaces one adjuster, and a matching standard adjuster replaces the other. The Full Circle is available in THREE different thread sizes (NEW 5/16-18 version released June '09), one of which should fit most non-custom bridges - the most common size, by far, is the 1/4"-20, but please check the information below to ensure that you order the correct size. The pickup side is a fully functioning bridge height adjustment wheel, and Fishman wisely uses a quick disconnect plug connector on the string-mounted jack so you can easily turn the wheel to adjust bridge height without removing the jack. The wheels are made of aluminum, a favorite and common choice for bridge adjuster material.
The pickup's unique design also offers a quick change to the response; a small turn of the wheel lets you achieve an open, resonant response or a drier and more focused amplified tone; this is because of the way the pickup elements can align differently with the bridge relative to their their positioning.
Fishman has produced an excellent installation and operations manual that even includes instructions for installing it into a solid bridge. However, cutting and tapping a bridge for bridge wheel installation is not a piece of cake -- it is an operation that requires precision tools and skills -- so you may wish to consider the adjustable bridge/Full Circle package, which includes our own predrilled adjustable bridge. NOTE: When we package the Full Circle with our bridge, it ALWAYS comes as the SAE (not metric) version, because all of the bridges we sell are pre-tapped for SAE threads. Also note that our pre-tapped bridges have the threads in the bridge, not the feet, so you will install the pickup "threads-up" - if you prefer a "threads-down" orientation, you'll need to cut and tap your own bridge.
The Full Circle pickup includes two adjusters to replace your current ones or for installation into your current bridge; one contains the pickup electronics, the second is a matching, regular adjuster. If you already have an adjustable bridge, it can replace your current adjusters.
The Full Circle is available in three sizes: the most common size for UNC 1/4-20 thread height adjustment wheels, and the alternate Metric 6x1mm format and newly available UNC 5/16-18 format. If you're not sure which one you need, visit this article about choosing Full Circle Sizing in our Resources section, for more information. (Where you live -- Europe, USA, etc. -- has no bearing on which size you'll need, so please check your current thread size to ensure that you get the right one!) If you order the Package Deal with a bridge, you will get one of our pre-tapped, quality adjustable bridges -- with the original aluminum adjusters removed, since you don't need them -- and the correct size Full Circle Pickup to install into it.
A preamp is recommended, but not required. Fishman's Platinum Pro-EQ is an excellent choice, but there are lots of other options from several manufacturers, all of which are compatible and will complement this pickup well.
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.
Except as specifically provided in this document, there are no other warranties, expressed or implied, including, but not limited to implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall Fishman be liable for loss of profits or incidental, indirect, special, consequential or other similar damages arising out of any breach of warranty or other obligation contained in this document. The warranty contained herein shall not apply if the serial number is defaced or removed or the product has been damaged by alteration, misuse, accident, neglect or use with unauthorized attachments.
TERMS OF WARRANTY SERVICE: Warranty service and repairs are to be made only at the Fishman factory. Unauthorized repairs will void this warranty. The customer must contact Fishman Service & Support and obtain a Return Merchandise Authorization number (RMA) before delivering the product to Fishman, freight prepaid. Product repaired under warranty at the Fishman factory will be returned to the customer via UPS ground freight, prepaid by Fishman to any location within the continental United States. Product returned to Fishman that is not covered by the terms of this warranty will be serviced only after payment is arranged.
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Mark, the Full Circle arrived this morning about 9:30 my time, I took it and my bass to my luthier and we had it installed by around 11:30, I brought it home, plugged in and....to say I'm pleased is an understatement. The FC sounds so much better than the ********** **** on my bass - it is like night and day. It sounded excellent through my AI Focus I, Series III and EA M-line Wizzy. Thanks so much for your excellent service and the fast shipping.