The Realist (Copperhead)

Type: piezoceramic
Mode: passive
Preamp: –

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.

Realist WoodThe 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.

5 thoughts on “Realist

  1. Mag

    The sound of jazz , for me, with all the vintage 50’s and 60’s recordings I have listened to.
    It is on a Christopher hybrid using a Phil Jones Briefcase Amp.

  2. Johannes Schaedlich

    Maybe I have to add, that – again – it of course depends on the bass, if this pickup is a success. But this one certainly (with 1 “t”, this time 🙂 a good chance, in my opinion. I prefer another system on my regular bass but I have it on my “Eminence” and it sounds excellent on that instrument.

  3. steve

    I recently switched from an underwood to the realist and was amazed at the difference. This is the nicest sounding pickup I’ve used. I’m playing a cheap plywood and still manage to get a really good sound.

  4. Tom Lyne

    I am on my second realist and after many years of underwoods and fishmans I was completely thrilled with the sound I got, whether using an old polytone combo, a Gallen Kruger 200mb or a nice new Phil Jones or AER, the sound is so very very good. Perhaps a vektor or a DPA arrangement would give a more detailed fidelity to the sound but if you are looking for a solid, dependable, hard-working bass sound that will come to life in any situation, put a realist on a bass that has some sound and you will find a smile on your face.(you gotta get the sound out of the bass first . . . of course)


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