I had a Fishman V-200 and sold it to buy the David Gage Realist, after getting advice from a professional musician that the Realist is far better. I had a huge problem with the Fishman trying to reduce the harsh bawdy sound. No matter what I did, the fiddle sounded harsh and scratchy, and totally lacked bass. When I turned up the bass, the bowing sound would be too loud, and there was a thud every time I tapped the body of the fiddle, even doing roll's would create a boom when I tapped the fingerboard of the fiddle. When I went wireless, it was worse again, if I plugged straight into the wireless, so I had to route the wireless box through a DI. The fiddle I use for gigging isn't a good fiddle, and it's very nasaly and scratchy comparing to my good fiddle; to be fair, the Fishman was a lot better when used on my good fiddle. I used the David Gage for the first time last night. This pickup is by far, the best pickup I have ever used. I'm using wireless, and I have the pickup routed through the DI. I have a friend who just plugs it straight into the wireless and he says it's perfect, but I use the DI just to sweeten it at the fact that I have one. This pickup picks up zero feedback in comparison to the Fishman, and gives a rich deep mellow sound. My gigging fiddle now sounds far better plugged in than it does acoustically. Not even that, but when plugged in, my gigging fiddle sounds far better with the David Gage pickup, than my good fiddle sounds with the Fishman! I couldn't recommend this pickup enough. On a slight down side; the jack socket is at the bottom, which is far better for me because I'm using wireless, but this may be slightly more awkward for someone who is using the pickup with a jack lead, but it'd still be fine because the socket is very easy to clamp anywhere on the fiddle! The little plastic strip just slips under the bridge, and it only takes a few minutes to install. Surprisingly, I didn't notice any difference in acoustic sound between the fiddle with the pickup on or off! I also read a review where someone said the action is slightly higher when this pickup is installed because of the strip under the bridge; This is miniscule, and I didn't notice any change in the action whatsoever! This is my 3rd fiddle pickup in the last year, and gets a definite 5 stars from me! Unreservedly recommended!!
I'm quite satisfied with this product - it does it's job, it's got a good sound, not lifechanging but better than a piezo flake in my opinion... Not sure it's better than a bridge implant. It's extremely light on the violin and I don't even notice the weight, and it's pretty much idiot-proof to use. I've given it a 3 for quality as to be honest the flimsiness does worry me a bit, as does how you plug a jack into it (I use lots of tape to make sure it doesn't move.) But overall, great thinking by the company.
I haven't been overly troubled by the bridge bright but then I am used to high action. I'm getting a new bridge soon so I'll have it cut with this in mind.
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