Model 411 Magnetic Upright Bass Pickup
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Note: The Schaller magnetic pickup has been discontinued, but I still have stock. I've dropped the price, so now is your chance to get one - brand new, in perfect condition - at a discount!
Schaller Kontrabass-Pickup 411, Modell 10/70
If this isn't the classic magnetic upright bass pickup I don't know what is! This chrome plated upright bass magnetic pickup is designed to screw to your fingerboard, at the end. Note the brackets in the photo; they are adjustable to accommodate the width of your fingerboard. It is mounted by screwing small pilot holes into both sides of the end of the fingerboard, and secured in place using the screws provided.
Single Coil magnetic pickup
- four independently adjustable pole pieces, height up to approx. 3/8 inch
- passive volume control built into pickup
- standard ¼ inch phone plug output
- attractive bright chrome finish
- standard 7/8 inch string spacing
- adjustable fingerboard mounting bracket ranges from 3 to 4 1/8 inches (approx.)
- Pickup, when mounted, is roughly even with the surface of the fingerboard (pickup is not adjustable for height - but polepieces can be raised)
Keep in mind that the Schaller is a single coil magnetic pickup, not a humbucker. Single coil pickups have clarity at the expense of hum resistance -- this pickup can be sensitive to its environment, and its orientation can affect the level of hum in the signal.
Please note that not all double bass strings have enough metallic content to be used with a magnetic pickup; see my notes with string suggestions and further details below.
IMPORTANT!! Please Note:
Magnetic pickups require strings with a significant metallic content in order to provide a good quality signal. 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)
Just wanted to let you know that I received the Schaller magnetic pickup and am completely thrilled with it. I have a ’64 Ampeg Baby Bass that sounds good when bowed, but not very useful when played finger-style in a classic rock setting. After installing the Schaller, the Baby Bass now thumps through my Portaflex B-15! A lot of folks had told me the Schaller would make the BB4 sound like a P-bass, however I think the Schaller sounds more like a Gibson humbucker, even though it’s a single coil. The pickup itself has some heft to it, and it looks very well made. The chrome is spotless! I originally planned to install a tone pot to be able to roll the highs off, but it wasn’t necessary – the pickup on its own is very warm and dark with a lot of buttery vintage character. I can see why it might not suit everyone’s tastes, especially true double bassists, but on the Baby Bass, it’s perfect.