Upright Bass Fans? Players? Let's hang

I’ve used a fair few upright pickups, and I’ll say that the one you’re mentioning and the one you have - the pickups that need contact, but are moveable and adjustable - are not that great. They have too much margin of error, and the point of contact is never as tight and secure as you’d want for the best sound.

The pickup I switched to for the majority of my touring - and that I loved, and our sound engineers loved - was the Fishman Full Circle. It requires a bridge surgery to install (since you don’t have bridge adjuster pins installed yet) and I’d recommend finding someone to do that. The Fishman IS a bridge adjustment pin. The transducer goes into the bridge with the threaded screws.

The David Gage realist is also a great pickup, and I have that on my recording bass. I have an old model (the original version - not the lifeline), which is just a giant transducer that goes under the E foot of the bridge. Very dark, mellow, sustainy sound. It didn’t work for live sound because it fed back too easily, and the sound didn’t have enough bite and attack.

I’m supplying links to the two pickups I mentioned here. The links are to a small East Coast store called Gollihur music. They are an upright bass specialty shop. The page they have on string selection (and their detailed information across the entire website) make them a gem and treasure among online retailers. They are experts, and they are very helpful! Check them on out:




Much obliged! Thanks for the information. I shall definitely have a look at those links.

I know what you mean about not enough bite or attack - when mine isn’t doing it right, that’s how it sounds on mine.

More things to invest in haha :slight_smile:


Hm the issue now is that while those pickups look better, they’re more expensive and I’d probably also have to get an adjustable bridge to get the proper setup done.

But I keep thinking that because my double bass is a really basic entry level one, I’m struggling with the idea of spending a considerable amount of money on it

Kinda like polishing a turd.

I’ll keep investigating for the moment I think.


Yes, as a bass teacher of mine once said, you could put a Porsche engine in your Pinto… but you still have a Pinto.
I played on pickup worse than what you’re using now for a solid 4 years before I ventured out on my own.
I never want to hear recordings of those gigs, but I played 'em, dammit!!


Any of you upright players play arco?

I purchased a french bass bow and have been learning to play with it. I signed up for the Jazz Bowing course on Discover Double Bass. I’d love to be able switch between Pizzicato and Arco the way he does in this video.


"but was practically tarred and feathered when I introduced myself as an electric bass player*

Told ya you’d piss them off :joy::+1:


The good news is the owner of the group messaged me and apologized, and has banned those who attacked me. All is well now, and I have also discovered many other EUB players in that group.


Nice! Sounds like a good group. My ears are definitely perked up at this thread, hmm :thinking: (redirects to reverb)

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@PamPurrs - I have a bow, and I studied my ass off with the thing for 4 years. I’ve never been able to do much with my bow, sadly. I love the sound of classical bass, and played in a few community orchestra situations, but the bow has never been my friend.
And, since all of my work and practical application was pizzicato… I just never put the time in to truly understand it, let alone master it.
When I do an upright session or gig, I try and clarify upfront what they’re looking for. If they need perfect, nicely tuned, professional arco parts, I direct them elsewhere.


I’ve tried somewhat, but it’s a different beast than pizzicato. I can gently play simple things, but it limits me to those very simple things. I’ve hit my brick wall with it and would need proper lessons to take it further.


My latest addition;

NS Design Wave electric upright bass


Pam she looks absolutely gorgeous
I just saw she has a holster for the bow, way cool :sunglasses:


Thank you @Jamietashi. She sounds great too.


Very elegant looking instrument @PamPurrs. :+1:


Congrats on the new bass! Looks lovely.


Oooohhh :heart_eyes:





I actually like that a lot more then your other one which is also nice, tell us how they compare. Oh yes, also (I know little about playing uprights) yours seems to stand a lot lower than an acoustic so you are plucking it much higher up the neck and if you wanted to pluck closer to the pickups (is this even usually done on an upright?) it looks down by your ankles. Does this matter at all? Or is this just the camera angle making it look so low.


The difference between my previous Ibanez EUB and the NS Wave are numerous:
(1) The Ibanez was active, this one is passive (which I prefer)
(2) The neck on this one is longer and it has more available tones in the upper range.
(3) This one has a toggle switch, so I can switch between pizzicato mode (more sustained tones like a bass guitar) or arco mode (optimal bowed or percussive plucked sound)
(4) Overall, the NS Wave appears to be much higher quality, and has a nicer finish.

The photo may be deceptive, I don’t know. I pluck right at the lower edge of the black finger board, and bow right below it.
Every double bass lesson I’ve found online says the optimal height is to have the nut right above eyebrow level, which is what I have it at. When I turn and face the neck, I’m looking directly at the “F” on the E string. It’s a very comfortable playing position for me, as I don’t have to stretch my right arm at all to pluck or bow.


I understand a lot of people here don’t particularly care for Rick Beato, but here he is remembering a Danish icon on the upright bass (as well as remembering time spent with his dad listening to jazz records), so…