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Sep 14, 2018 - 12:34:50 PM
19 posts since 5/1/2010

Decades ago I used one of those Fishman pickups that you slide into the gap on the side of the bridge. Spring tension held it in place.
I suppose those Fishmans were okay for their time, but I'm wondering if there's newer, better pickups out there nowadays.
I'm currently looking for a new pickup and I'm open to suggestions.
First of all, I guess I should state what I want and don't want.
I don't want to alter the instrument in any way by drilling holes, installing jacks, volume controls, etc.
I also don't want to deal with pre-amp batteries and such.
I want it to be sensitive, but not so sensitive as to pick up a lot of bow noise and thumping.
I'd like it to sound as natural as possible. My fiddle has a pleasing tone which I simply want to make louder. I don't want it to sound "electric", just loud "acoustic."
It should be easy to put on and take off. I'll only need it for gigs.
I'll be watching this thread closely, and the pickup that seems the most popular will be looked into further.
Thanks.

Sep 14, 2018 - 9:59:12 PM
likes this

463 posts since 1/25/2012

I think what you are looking for may be mutually exclusive of each other. A removable pickup, like the Fishman, is notorious for inconsistent sound, as well as a very tinny and shrill sound when amplified. I owned the Fishman V200 and hated every minute of it, it had such an unnatural amplified sound. A Realist pickup might do what you want, but it does have to be put under the bridge foot (not permanently), and a side jack clamped to the ribs. For my uses I much prefer the L.R. Baggs violin bridge pickup, but it must be expertly trimmed and fitted by a luthier to the particular violin it is being mounted on. In addition, a Carpenter jack is usually clamped to the side. It can, however, be removed, and the original bridge put back, if desired. I have found this pickup to have the highest output and lowest feedback of any I have used while retaining a fairly natural sound. You do, however, need to use a separate preamp or preamp/DI combo such as the Baggs ParaDI or the FireEye Redeye preamp.

Sep 15, 2018 - 7:25:04 AM

RobBob

USA

2545 posts since 6/26/2007

We don't use a pickup. We use a Barlett Audio mic. The mic is real hot but the sound is true to your instrument.  So you don't need much gain on the PA.

Sep 15, 2018 - 7:49:03 AM

1287 posts since 7/18/2011

I have used both the Bartlett mic mentioned above as well as an earlier version of the Schertler DYN-V to good effect, even with floor monitors. The Schertler is slightly more resistant to feedback IME. Not sure that either would be easy to use if it's a loud rock ensemble in which you're playing, as opposed to all-acoustic. Both are actually mics (though Schertler is a contact mic), so sound is way better than what you would have experienced with the Fishman (assuming you have a soundperson who has had experience working with folk instruments in general and fiddle in particular).

https://www.schertler.com/en-US/shop/pickups/dyn-v-p48

Edited by - DeamhanFola on 09/15/2018 07:53:03

Sep 15, 2018 - 4:26:29 PM

19 posts since 5/1/2010

Hey, thanks everyone!
I'm learning a lot. I've never heard of these items before.
Keep 'em coming!

Sep 15, 2018 - 4:27:08 PM

Fiddler

USA

3806 posts since 6/22/2007

I use the Bartlett mic. I like it very much. The sound is true to the instrument and does not sound artificial. I also like that it is small and hides under the tail piece. Unless folks know what to look for, it is nearly invisible.

Sep 16, 2018 - 1:13:59 AM

463 posts since 1/25/2012

I think we should mention at this point, your choice of pickup or mic will depend on what kind of group you want to play with. My experience is that a mic only works in quieter ensembles, typically with no drums or electric guitars, or even other amplified instruments period. I spent years trying to get a good mic work and it never did, plus with most mics you must stand directly under it. For most modern groups including drums, electric guitars, keyboards, etc. I think a good pickup is a must. With a wireless you also don't have to be rooted to one spot, a plus.

Sep 16, 2018 - 2:37:37 PM

1287 posts since 7/18/2011

quote:
Originally posted by illinoisfiddler

I think we should mention at this point, your choice of pickup or mic will depend on what kind of group you want to play with. My experience is that a mic only works in quieter ensembles, typically with no drums or electric guitars, or even other amplified instruments period. I spent years trying to get a good mic work and it never did, plus with most mics you must stand directly under it. For most modern groups including drums, electric guitars, keyboards, etc. I think a good pickup is a must. With a wireless you also don't have to be rooted to one spot, a plus.


I don’t disagree that it’s harder to use mic-based options with an electric band (as I said in my first post above), but I’ve regularly used both the Schertler and the Bartlett in group settings to play all-acoustic Irish music without issues, even when floor monitors are involved. (Again, having a soundperson experienced with mixing fiddles and in dealing with acoustic instruments in general is extremely useful for this/to achieve a good amplified acoustic sound.) As you’ll see if you click on the links that posters have provided, both Schertler and Bartlett have addressed the issue of mobility in a way that compares with a pickup such as the Fishman.

Sep 16, 2018 - 2:49:49 PM

1287 posts since 7/18/2011

I’ve never tried the Remic personally, but I know a couple players who love it. Definitely on the expensive side at $700 USD plus, but they do have versions that are specifically made for use with wireless systems. Supposedly, the ‘live’ versions are feedback-resistant 

https://www.remic.dk/shop/violinviola/remic-v5200-lb-wlm-multi-live-wireless-microphone-for-violin-viola/

Sep 16, 2018 - 9:46:10 PM

463 posts since 1/25/2012

There is basically no way in the bands I have been in to play with a mic, period. Believe me, I have tried. In addition, I tend to use some floor pedals, like delay, somewhat like a lead guitarist. A mic would certainly not lend itself to this use.

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