UNIVERSAL: Works with Upright Bass Pickups from All Manufacturers!*
(* Some pickups with "string mount" jack brackets, like K&K Sound and Fishman, may need to have those brackets removed to fit the input plug.)
This clever jack clip for upright bass pickups is an elegant solution to an issue that has bothered bassists for a long time: where do you mount the jack for your pickup? Many other options have been available for a while, from string-mounted clips, to assorted plastic hardware that mounts through the tailpiece holes. Some pickups use a plastic loop that requires you to remove the string and thread it through - kind of a pain.
Here's a simple option that works! Non-permanent, and requiring no modifications to your instrument, it's a clean and simple way to mount your pickup's output jack to the bass -- finally, there is a pickup jack that doesn't look "hack!"
Featuring a very nicely crafted metal housing, it incorporates a string slot which slips behind (not AROUND) the ball ends of your two low strings -- you just need to loosen them for a moment to install the Docking Station, NOT remove them entirely. Once installed, it unobtrusively sits behind the tailpiece, at the side edge, for easy access -- and a low-profile appearance. It has an integrated "plug" which you plug into the ¼" output jack of your pickup, and its standard ¼" output jack accepts standard instrument (guitar) cables, just like you've always used.
It's not just a "jack holder," though.
Also incorporated onto the Docking Station: A volume control. For those who don't care (or need) to use an external preamp, it's really nice to have a volume control handy on the bass, so you don't have to drag your bass over to the amp to make an on-the-fly adjustment. It's a passive volume control, so no batteries are needed, and its location makes it very easy to reach down and make a quick volume change - whether it be for taking a solo, switching to arco, or taking a short break between sets or songs without unplugging everything.
So, you've got real options with the new Docking Station. It's an elegant method for mounting your output jack, includes a volume control, and features quality construction - ensuring years of trouble-free service.
- This product works with any string-bass pick-up. It is a "Universal Volume Attenuator" and it can be used with products from other manufacturers (as well as with the Realist pickups). Your output jack may need to be modified slightly - for instance, the K&K and Fishman Pickups have the string mount bracket on the jack, which will need to be removed (this is easily done - check out our FAQ with pictures and everything!).
- STRINGS: Your strings MUST have ball or "slug" ends to work with the Docking Station. Strings that have loops (like Velvet strings, Rotosounds, and most plain gut strings) cannot anchor the Docking Station on the tailpiece.
- No batteries required, it's a passive device (it is NOT a preamplifier or buffer).
- MONO Only: This Docking Station will not work with multi-pickup setups like the K&K Bass Master Pro, Bass Master Rockabilly, or Golden Trinity Systems, as they use TRS (Stereo) cables to carry each pickup's signal separately - this will only work with single mono pickups.
The Docking Station previously featured a special volume control (called the “JackPot”) which added a "click-out" feature, taking the pot completely out of the circuit. For parts availability and licensing reasons, the current model does not have this feature. They now use a high-quality, but standard, audio-taper pot for precise volume control.
It is very important to note that – despite the Jackpot being removed as a feature several years ago – the instructions in the package (as well as David Gage's website) still inexplicably reference the Docking Station as including the JackPot functionality. This is NOT the case.
Fair warning: If you overtwist the knob in an attempt to activate the JackPot "click-out" feature (a feature that does not exist), YOU WILL BREAK THE DOCKING STATION.
TL;DR: The Realist Docking Station is a tailpiece-mountable jack solution for those who:
a.) Don't like string-mounted jacks, and
b.) Would like to add a volume control on their bass.
Incredibly easy to install, it's fully compatible out of the box for the David Gage Realist and Lifeline, and can be used with most other pickups using a standard jack (those with string mounts may need to be modified).