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WIRELESS: Going Wireless with Double Bass
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So, you want to go wireless?

We've been asked about this a few times over the years. I've looked into the options every now and again, and here's my conclusion (all of the below assumes that you're using a piezo-based upright bass pickup, like a Bass Max, Realist, Double Big Twin, Full Circle, etc.) Note that AMT does offer a wireless unit that is compatible with their bass microphones.
  1. If you have an impedance-matching preamp on the bass - basically, the pickup is plugged into the preamp, which will then, in turn, plug into the wireless transmitter - then it really only matters that you get a system of quality, with a good frequency range for bass. Most any of the big names can offer a system that will jive with your needs, your budget, etc.
      Note: If you are using a dual-pickup system like the Bass Master Rockabilly Plus or the Bass Master Pro, you MUST use the blending preamp between the pickup and the wireless, so the two channels will be mixed before the one-channel wireless. Otherwise, you'll need a second wireless unit (and some adapter cords or re-wiring) so you can send both pickups separately to the amp. Needlessly complicated, more expensive, more gear... seriously, just mount the mini preamp to the tailpiece and be done with it.

  2. If you need to plug the pickup output directly into the wireless transmitter (no preamp on the bass) then it limits you to a very small number of units. Basically, the impedance for most of those units is designed for electric bass, and they tend to make piezos sound quacky and weak. (Here's why.) You'd ideally like the input impedance to be 1 megohm or higher. One manufacturer who seems to have several options with a 1 megohm input is Line6, which is why we carry the Line 6 Digital Wireless System, which we've tested with upright bass -- we know it works well! I've personally used a Line6 wireless (for electric bass) and they are reliable and sound good. If you want to shop around, there are probably some other options out there as well. A difficulty I ran into is that many manufacturers don't clearly or openly spec their input impedance.

Side note: If you're using a magnetic pickup like a Krivo or Schaller, you can use most any wireless system that is good for bass guitar - the magnetic output is similar to that of an electric bass, so impedance is not really an issue.

Beyond that, if you need help figuring out the best pickup, or want to add the preamp to simplify things, let me know - I can help you figure out what should work best for you.



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The Fine Print:

The information contained herein is based on what's in my brain — and/or my observations and opinions from my personal experiences (and those of Bob, before me) — as of this moment today, and is subject to change. I'm sure that a great deal more information and detail could be added — but the intent of these writings is to present easily understood, quick FAQs, to address common questions and improve the reader's general knowledge.

What's written here is by no means any kind of authoritative absolute answer, for I am not the world's greatest authority on bass (not even close), or on much of anything else, for that matter. So, by all means, get a second opinion, and know that all the information provided here is for general informational purposes only. I am not providing professional advice; be aware that, where applicable, any information acted upon is at your own risk.

I simply and sincerely hope the information and opinions here are helpful to you on your quest for knowledge about the bass and related subjects... that's the point!

I welcome email with dissenting and additional viewpoints/information/updates that help improve my personal awareness and these content pages. If you have a question that you think belongs here, please let me know.
Mark