The Realist (Copperhead)
The Realist acoustic transducer was designed by Ned Steinberger in collaboration with double bass luthier David Gage, and has quickly become very popular.
Ned Steinberger on the development of The Realist: “(…) The first is finding the right structure within and around the piezo crystal to respond optimally to the acoustic resonance of the instrument itself. (…) Second, placing the transducer under the foot of the bridge puts it exactly were the sound is transferred from the strings to the sound board. This is definitely where the action is, and the rich, powerful response, both pizzicato and bowed, testifies to this simple fact. (…) The copper foil sandwich construction is the third key element in the system. It provides total shielding to eliminate hum from light fixtures and other electrical or radio interference. It is flexible enough to conform to the curve of the top of the instrument, so that the full pressure of the bridge is concentrated evenly onto the piezo surface (…)”
The Realist is endorsed by Christian McBride, George Mraz and Michael Moore.
This pickup can be found factory installed in the Eminence portable upright basses.
The Realist “Wood”
Because it is made of wood, the element will not have any chance of marking the top of the instrument on to which it is installed. Less darker sound than the original Realist, although texture is very slightly compressed.
The Realist LifeLine
Introduced in 2013, this is the latest pickup design of David Gage. A thin U-shaped housing slides between the bridge and adjuster screw.