A message from the Underwood
Underwood Pickups is a family business and has been for over 35 years. We hand
assemble and test every Underwood Bass Pickup to assure the highest quality
The Underwood pickup was designed
by Don Underwood in the early 'seventies, to prove theories he developed about
the operation of the viol bridge. His first prototypes worked so well that he
decided to market the device and applied for and obtained patents.
Major bassists throughout the
world use the Underwood, some for as many as twenty nine years. It has become
the standard by which other bass pickups are judged.
Proper Fitting of the Underwood
Underwood Bass Pickups are occasionally returned for repair or warranty
replacement displaying indications of improper installation or maintenance.
The installation instructions supplied with the pickups discuss the proper way
to avoid applying too much pressure on the transducer cases.
Final fit should be checked
with FULL STRING PRESSURE ON THE BRIDGE! I have been told that some installers
are fitting the transducers with the bridge removed from the instrument. While
this is a professional and expedient way to achieve a "true" slot,
the added pressure of the strings will cause some collapse in the bridge height
and thus close the slots slightly. If the transducers are in place when the
string tension is brought up, damage can occur to the pickup. And worse, a wing
could pop off, ruining the bridge. If the bridge is removed for fitting, please
allow plenty of room for the transducers and use shims for the final fit.
If the pickup was installed
with the proper amount of pressure in the beginning, it is possible for
the bridge to take on moisture (especially a new bridge) and pinch the transducers
to the point of damage. The transducer units should be
installed with just enough pressure to insure that they will stay in place when
the bass is played or moved. I call it "finger tight", meaning that
the units can be easily moved about with the fingers. It is often necessary
to file or sand the wings of the bridge to open the slot enough to accomplish
the correct fit.
If the fit is too loose,
paper or card shims can be used to obtain the correct pressure. Be certain that
the shims are installed under the transducer case, between the case and the
leg of the bridge.
If the transducer case has been under too much pressure, the black filler material
around three sides of the case will protrude, sometimes showing black edges
of the internal damper pad protruding. Once the pickup has reached this
state, there is no recovery. If you then lighten the pressure, the internal
pressure contacts will become intermittent, causing pops and static sounds.
Additional pressure will sometimes stop the noise but the fact is that replacement
is the nly real choice.
If you experience loss of
frequency response, intermittent noise, too much sensitivity (leading to
feedback) or dropout of signal from either side, check the fit for too much
pressure. We try very hard to build a solid, dependable pickup. If there is
a failure we want to correct it, so please let us know.