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If you have an acoustic instrument like an upright bass, there are a handful of ways that you can amplify the sound you get. The realist pickup for acoustic upright Bass it’s one such instrument.

But what does this instrument have in store for you, how does it work, how do you install it?

These are some of the common questions that people have when deciding whether or not to invest in a pickup especially the realist pickup.

To help you with that we’ve put together some information to answer some of these questions and more so that you can decide in which situations the realist pickup will work best for you.

What is pickup and how is it useful with an acoustic upright bass?

The pickup functions as a transducer which means it simply captures all of the vibrations from your acoustic upright bass strings whenever you play and it does so using a magnetic field.

All of the vibrations from your music are amplified and then they can be projected through whatever speaker system you want.

In effect, a pickup is a great way to improve the sound from your acoustic upright bass especially if you are performing with other musicians and you need your instrument to be heard with its lower frequencies over the much louder and easily heard higher frequencies of smaller stringed instruments like violins.

What to consider when choosing a pickup

When you go about picking out your pickup, the right manufacturer comes down to personal preference.

Different manufacturers highlight different features so, for example, you need to determine how loud you need your sound to be.

Maybe you just need a small bit of reinforcement so that you can be heard to the same degree as the other instruments or so that you can be heard in a larger setting where you play a solo set.

Maybe you need to use your pick up as the primary output during a larger performance with a group.

Primary or secondary source of sound

Bearing this in mind, the realist pickup is meant to function as your primary output. 

If you are going to use a combo amp or an acoustic amp with your upright Bass, the sound produced by the realist pickup might make it too much.

It shouldn’t be what you choose if you just need a small bit of reinforcement.

Instead, it should be what you choose if you want your pickup to function as the main source of volume.

Music genre

Other considerations aside from purpose are the types of music you’re playing.

If you need specific character from your strings because you are playing Bluegrass only, this pickup might not work for you.

But if you want a natural, open tone that is suitable across multiple genres in different situations, it might work quite well.

Solo or group

You also need to consider whether you are playing as a soloist. If you are a soloist and you don’t need any other components, you might not even need the pickup or the pickup might be, instead, all that you need.

Similarly, if you are part of a group and you need your instrument to cut through the mixture of dozens of other instruments and be heard just as evenly as the other groups, this particular pick up is going to work perfectly.

Realist pickup design

The realist pickup for acoustic upright bass instruments was designed by Ned Steinberger and David Gage.

The reason behind it to design was the fact that microphones and transducers traditionally had limitations especially when it came to recreating the acoustic sound produced through Arco and Pizzicato playing techniques.

These two gentlemen work together with professional musicians and recording engineers to make sure that the sound and responsiveness captured would be well received by anyone in the audience regardless of what playing style was being used on the instrument.

Structurally you affix the realist pickup to your instrument through self-installation or professional installation and then you don’t have to do anything after.

It uses a copper foil sandwich to give you total shielding without any interference.

It’s quite flexible as well which means it will fit the curve along the top of your acoustic upright bass and then concentrate all of its pressure from the bridge very evenly across your instrument’s surface.


Right now there are two models available the first of which relies upon that original copper foil design.

The second however addresses the very specific needs of professional Orchestra members by using a slice of wood veneer which is compressed on the pickup.

You will notice that the only differences between these two versions are quite subtle and otherwise they have no difference in terms of the level of response, the volume, the thickness, or the differences when playing Arco vs. Pizzicato Styles.

The only real difference is that of Aesthetics.

Realist pickup for acoustic upright bass

Now that you have a better understanding of not just how to pick up works but what type of sound the realist pickup for acoustic upright bass instruments provides, it’s time to compare the different versions they have on the market.

To help you decide which instrument is best suited for your situation, we’ve highlighted some of the key features for your comparison.

The Realist Double Bass Transducer Pickup For Bass

Designed by Ned Steinberger and David Gage, this is the transducer pickup that is meant to function without any preamp.

It is a pickup that should work all on its own with no additional tools necessary.

The design has a flexible element that you put underneath your foot Bridge so that the sounds are picked up from the bridge and the top plate and then converted into a powerful response for the audience to hear.

By design you should be able to play your upright Bass with Pizzicato style or Arco style and not have to make any adjustments to the controls for your pickup.

It comes with a free mount kit and directions on how to mount the pick up to the tailpiece on your instrument.

It’s quite easy and once it’s installed you get a lot of responsiveness regardless of frequency with a clean sound for your audience.

It should serve as your one amplification source across multiple playing styles and musical genres.

View at Amazon to learn more about how this product might work for you.


  • It will make your upright bass sound exactly the same just louder which means you’re acoustic tones won’t be hindered and you can still get all the amplification you need from one device
  • It uses passive power so you don’t need an outside power source
  • No preamp is needed, just this pickup 


  • Even though the installation is said to be easy it can be tricky for some people which is why you might consider using a professional to install it on your instrument

The Realist RLSTSWB1Orchestral Bass Transducer w/ Wood Element

This realist design, also crafted by Ned Steinberger and David Gage, is very similar to the other realist pickup. It also fits under your foot bridge.

Once you install it on your instrument you have a very powerful response that amplifies the same natural Acoustic sound your instrument produces regardless of the playing style you use.

There is no compromise on quality or sound and instead you simply get a high signal-to-noise ratio.

It is designed to stand alone without the need for a preamp or any other amplification hardware.

This design is better suited to members of an orchestra who want to be able to play multiple Styles and go back and forth without having to change the controls and who also need the ability to maximize the sound on the lower frequencies so that the upright bass can be heard over a range of higher frequencies produced by stringed instruments like violins.

While the original realest was designed with copper, this version is made of wood which is meant for players who want to use the realest pick up on their acoustic instrument but they don’t want to put something metallic between the bridge in the instrument.

Again, this is better suited for orchestra members who want that natural, woody sound from purely wood components.

View at Amazon for more information on how this product could potentially work for you.


  • Loud amplification without compromising acoustic quality
  • Suitable for Pizzicato and Arco style, and you won’t have to change the controls
  • You don’t need a preamp or any other amplification
  • This design features wood instead of copper, which can be better for orchestra members who only want wood designs on their instrument


  • Installation can be tricky, which is why some people turn to a professional to make sure it is done correctly the first time

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