RB-1A (Active) Upright Bass Pickup

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The RB series of pickups from Schatten Design are simple, affordable, good-sounding pickups. One can easily see the similarity in design to the Bass Max from K&K sound, but our "A-B" tests have shown that the character of sound is somewhat different.

The tone from the RB-1 bridge-mounted pickup seems, to our ears, to have more of a midrange emphasis to the sound, providing a little more grit than the Bass Max (on the same bass), whereas the Bass Max seems to have a more prominent low end response and warmer, more natural sound.

Includes our exclusive Gollihur Music tipsheet to get the most out of your purchaseWhich is "better" depends entirely on your needs. A player wanting more forward nature in a dense mix of instruments might favor the edgier mids of the Schatten, while a bassist looking for a more natural sounding low end, might prefer to anchor their sound with the K&K Sound Bass Max.

The Schatten pickups are available with or without a built-in preamp module; the passive pickup model may work ok plugged straight into a good bass amp, but that will depend on the amp's input impedance. Some pickups do respond better with more accurate sound when a buffering preamp is used. See our Upright Bass FAQ on PREAMPS: Do You NEED a Preamp with Your URB Pickup? for technical details.

However, this model has that buffering preamp built in, so no external preamp is needed! The active RB models include a tiny onboard preamp, which mounts to the tailpiece and runs on a 9v battery. Easy to install, no drilling required.

The RB sensor element is designed to fit in the wing slot of a bass bridge. Normal placement of the sensor is in the bass side slot. The sensor has a thickness of ¼" (6.35mm) and requires a slot opening of approximately 0.225" (5.7mm). The fit of the sensor in the slot is meant to be snug. The sensor will compress slightly as it is pushed into the wing slot. The output jack has a fairly common string mount clip and is a standard 1/4".

On the Active model (RB-1A), the combination Preamp and Jack Assembly installs quickly and easily to the back side of the tailpiece, and is held in place with some strong industrial strength velcro. It is powered by a single 9v battery.

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