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.
I am using the Krivo magnet upright bass pickup with Eurosonic Ultralight strings (with the low E swapped out to a Light E to tighten things up) into a Darkglass Microtubes 900 V2 and DG212 with a Digital Audio Wireless U2. With this setup I can knock things of the walls without any feedback. The Krivo and Eurosonic Ultralights are fantastic for Rockabilly Slap style. They also sound pretty good for Pizzicato as well which was a nice surprise. The reviews on this site really helped me make an informed decision. Thanks y'all! Mark was super helpful on the phone confirming my intentions and letting me know that the Ultralights are not really meant for Pizzicato or Bowing but for meant for mostly Slapping which was perfect as this is my "Slapper". As I mentioned before I'm able to get a nice enough pizzicato sound which is just an extra added bonus.
I play in a pretty high volume Chicago style Blues band and I was just about ready to drive over my double bass then throw it off a cliff - everything I tried was failing at controlling feedback. So I turned to Gollihur Music and read Mark's review of this pickup. It sounded like this should do the job and all I can say is WOW! I can crank it up using any EQ setting standing anywhere on stage and it won't feed back. Sure there is a compromise of it not sounding EXACTLY like an acoustic bass but man I'm getting a nice thick, defined tone that suits the music very well. The adjustable individual pole pieces are great to help balance the neck up and down. I use Corelli 370's which Mark mentioned worked well and they certainly do. It's a super easy install. After mounting the 3M strip onto the back of the fingerboard the night before (to let it cure) I had it up and running in just minutes the next day! I'd give it 10 stars if I could. Thanks Mark - your review convinced me to try it and I'm thrilled!
Just received the strings and pickup in Melbourne Australia about a week and half after ordering very quick service. Ok so i was a bit tentative about using a magnetic pickup thinking it may just sound like a big bass guitar. Very pleasantly surprised it has a very natural sound and using eq on the amp i was able get a nice full airy sound with no feedback and plenty of volume on my fully carved bass its the best sound i've ever had would recommend to anyone out there.
I will start out by saying that the arco sound with this pickup is not my favorite--seems anemic. But the pizz sound is as good as it gets. This pickup really sounds fantastic. Honestly, if I only played pizz, this is the only pickup I would ever use. The sound is warm and full, exceptionally clear. This pickup never becomes muddy like so many others do--the integrity of each note is preserved so well. Sliding from one note to another, for example, is very clear, without artifact/noise or dying away. The string to string balance is good (and adjustable thanks to the adjustable pole pieces). Note to note balance going up the neck is good (doesn't die out as you go up like some piezo pickups). It does not sound like an electric bass or even a fretless or EUB to me--still sounds like an acoustic upright, though perhaps moved in the direction of a EUB/fretless slightly. But honestly, even the best piezo will also change your tone--no pickup sounds just like your acoustic tone. This sounds at least as good as any other I've tried. The mounting system is smart, and very adjustable. I was surprised at how light the pickup was when I first held it--I think they've reduced the weight over the years, which is great. One trick I've learned: put it on so that it isn't quite touching the end of the fingerboard--less likely to buzz that way. One thing I don't like is the mounting system for the jack. (Either the way it was initially intended to work or the Gollihur solution). It just doesn't feel secure and is likely to buzz or fall off. I think the best solution is to replace the jack with one that mounts between the strings, like Fishman or K&K jacks. Not hard to do. Output is low, so a preamp might be a good idea depending on your amp. But it may not be necessary, and impedance shouldn't be an issue since most amps are designed to work with magnetic pickups. Just make sure your strings have a steel core!
This is the greatest pickup I have ever used. I have never felt so confident about being able to amplify my bass. If you're worried about it being too "electric" sounding, I think it still sounds pretty upright, and you can always blend it with a piezo. But I am completely blown away by this pickup. Head over heels.