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Schertler Stat Set - Electrostatic Bridge Pickup with Stat-Pre Preamp

Schertler Stat Set - Electrostatic Bridge Pickup with Stat-Pre Preamp
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I've read your write up about the Schertler Stat Select system. What is the main difference between the Stat Select and the Stat Set?

That's an excellent question. Let's get down to Schertler terminology first. The term "Stat" refers to the miniature "electrostatic microphone" that fits - in the form of a cork capsule - into the eye - sometimes referred to as the "wing-hole" of the bridge. In both the Stat Select and the Stat Set this paramount part of the system (includes a high quality Schertler cable and specially designed clips to attach the connectors to the tailpiece of the instrument) - are virtually identical in every detail. What is different then - is the type of Preamp that comes supplied with the Stat. With the Stat Select you get the latest generation "Pre A-111". With the Stat Set you get the "Stat-Pre".

So what are the main differences between the Pre A-111 and the Stat Pre?

That's a more difficult question. The sophisticated Pre A-111 has so much packed into it that a few words will never do it justice. The best thing to do is to read our Stat Select review or read about the Pre A-111 on its own pages in our section on preamps. For those of you who still just want to get some sort of an overview for now - we would best describe the Pre A-111 as a floor-mounted unit that is mains operated. The unit offers both dry and equalized outputs and has individual Volume, Resonance, Bass, Treble and Gain controls. The Stat-Pre on the other hand is powered by an internal 9-volt battery and has just the one control knob - which is a Gain (The Gain - allows you to adjust the amplification of the input signal.) control. The advantages of this are twofold. Firstly it means that the unit is small and light enough for the player to mount on his belt by means of an optional clip. Secondly it means that the player has no problems with a mains power source restricting his onstage movements.

So let me get this straight. For the player who is performing more or less in situ - the Pre A-111 allows the ultimate performance flexibility and for the player requiring complete on stage portability it is the Stat-Pre that allows the ultimate in ease of use and versatility?

Yes. Obviously there are other things that you should consider - but hopefully this will help point you in the right direction for what you need - Stat Select or Stat Set.

OK - I'm following you so far. Tell me about the actual "Stat". I've heard that it provides a really impressive performance.

Yes that is correct. Double bassists right around the world regard the Shertler Stat pickup system very, very highly. This well deserved reputation is because the system provides a full and realistic string instrument sound with full bass tones and clear, bright trebles. The transducers are also well known for working well with any bass amplifier, for their high feedback resistance, for providing an impressive "bridge-sound" - without the harshness or distortion of a piezo pickup - and for their simplicity of installation.

Will I be interested in this pick-up?

The Shertler Stat works well for all playing styles. For those of you who play rock, fusion and jazz with loud amplified levels - the system's resistance to feedback is particularly attractive. Furthermore - the Stat works very effectively with signal processors and effects courtesy of its strong solid signal.

Tell me what I get when I purchase the Schertler Stat Set.

In comparison to the exclusive packaging of the Dyn B and the handy sized protective black carry case of the Stat Select - The Shertler Stat Set is delivered in a pretty disappointing corrugated card box. No doubt this is to keep cost down to a minimum. Still - the container is reasonably robust and I guess that once you have installed the unit - the box won't receive that much further use. Far better to concentrate on the quality of what is inside. On opening - the main components can be found slotted into cut-outs in a foam strip. Here the method of packaging-protection again seems woefully inadequate. One just has to cross fingers that the delicate electronics aren’t crushed in the post before you receive them. On a more positive note - the good news is that once inside the box - there is everything you need to get you up and running in the minimum amount of time. The contents are as follows;

1) A short - 26.0cm (ave) - high quality "Spiral Shielded Cable" signal lead with the factory fitted electrostatic transducer attached at one end and a female RCA phono plug attached at the other.
The phono plug has a custom-designed tailpiece fixing bracket already factory assembled onto it.
2) A retaining knob with screw for securing the bracket onto the tailpiece.
3) A self-seal plastic pouch containing a tiny fibre wedge to support the transducer when it is fitted inside the eye (wing hole) of the bridge.
4) An acoustic preamplifier - the Stat-Pre.
5) A 1.82m (ave) "Mogami" low noise wire with a factory fitted male RCA phono plug attached to one end and a "Neutrik" professional quality 6mm (1/4in) jack socket attached at the other.
6) Installation instructions for the "Stat" in English, German, French and Italian.
7) Guarantee.

How does the equipment feel when you handle it?

Very nice indeed. You just know as soon as you pick up the various components of the system that everything is made from top quality components and fittings. Take for instance the two RCA plugs - they have a sort of weighty feel to them that just exudes quality and the contacts are plated in gold for the ultimate connection. Take for instance the fact that the cables are shielded from radio interference and just take a look at the custom made fixing bracket and screw.

What does the Stat look like?

The actual Stat looks like a small straight bottle cork (10mm x 8mm x 8mm) with a black PVC lead-cap at one end. Immediately below the black lead cap is an aluminium ring.

What is inside the Stat?

At the heart of the cork "capsule" is a miniature electrostatic microphone that is sealed inside a specially constructed sound chamber.

Tell me about fitting the Stat capsule.

The Stat capsule has to be mounted vertically in the treble (G-string) side eye (wing hole) of the bridge with the black cap (signal-lead cap) facing towards the foot of the bridge. Installation instructions and diagrams are provided and are relatively easy to understand. The good thing about installing the Stat is that it is not necessary to remove to bridge and should only take a few minutes to get up and running. Here is a summary of the fitting procedure;

i) The capsule needs to be fitted right in the middle of the eye of the bridge - i.e. centrally. It is helpful to draw a light pencil line on the upper face of the bridge to indicate this central axis. Check to make sure that you have drawn this line on the G string side of the bridge.
ii) The end of the cork capsule with the black cap needs to be supported by the tiny fibre wedge that can be found in one of the re-sealable plastic pouches. You will see that one side of the wedge is slightly convex and that one surface of the wedge is coloured white. The convex surface needs to be glued to the bass (E-string) side of the lower eye so that the white surface is facing you. The wedge should be positioned central to the thickness of the bridge and - so as not to restrict the vibrations of the wing of the bridge - with a space of 1mm away from the corner of the wing. When fitted - the surface that is to support the capsule should be horizontal.
iii) Before doing any gluing - test fit the position of the wedge to make sure that you are placing it in the correct position. Glue the wedge into position with quick drying super-glue.
iv) Next - the top of the cork capsule needs to be shaped to precisely match the rounded contour of the upper eye. The cork is quite soft and can easily be shaped with a flat rasp or file. Should a few millimetres of cork need to be removed this can be done with a sharp Stanley knife or razor blade before final shaping with the file. The capsule should fit into the eye with a comfortable amount of pressure. If it is fitted in too tightly - the pickup could lose it's "open" sound quality and more importantly - the pickup capsule could sustain damage.

At the other end of the Stat signal lead is a female RCA phono plug. Where do I fit that?

The female RCA connector is secured by means of the factory attached fixing bracket and screw to the bass side of the tailpiece. With the socket pointing downwards - position the rubber cushioning washer that is affixed to the other end of the bracket - behind the round string hole at the base of the E-string slot. Insert the threaded screw through the front of the string hole and into the hole in the centre of the washer and through into the thread in the bracket. Tighten the screw until the bracket is secure.

The fixing bracket and screw look really neat.

Yes - the fixing bracket and screw have been specially designed by Schertler to hold the connector approximately 2cm away from the side of the tailpiece - so that it is easily accessible. The moulded black plastic knob at the top of the screw feels absolutely great in the hand and looks fab on the bass.

Each time I play - do I have to make any other adjustments?

No. Once the Stat has been fitted - there are no further adjustments required other than making the usual connections to the external equipment.

Can I remove the Stat if I need to?

Yes - the entire system can easily be removed at any time. All you need to do is unscrew the tailpiece bracket and carefully push out the Stat from the eye of the bridge. The small wedge affixed to the lower eye of the bridge can be left where it is - ready for the next time that you want to reinstall the system.

What about the Stat Pre. Will I be impressed with that too?

Yes - the high level of performance and sound reproduction that the Stat-Pre enables is very impressive. The fact that the unit is so compact and easy to use is also very, very nice.

Just how compact is the Stat Pre?

The Stat Pre measures only 103x55x25mm and weighs only 160gms.

Where do I place the Stat Pre?

The unit can either be floor mounted or attached to the player's belt with a special clip called - surprise, surprise - the Pre-Clip. By attaching it to the belt in this manner - the player - whilst on stage - has both easy access to the unit and the choice of free movement - subject obviously to the length of his/her output cable.

Is the Pre-Clip included with the Stat Pre?

No. The clip can be purchased quite inexpensively as an optional extra.

What technology is used in the Stat Pre?

The Stat Pre has been designed and engineered especially to derive the best performance from Shertler transducers and active loudspeakers. It boasts the following innovative features;

1) Protection; It has an innovative sub-bass filter that protects the house system or your onstage amplifier from distortion or potentially harmful signals caused by low-frequency spikes.
2) Circuitry; It has Class A (100% of the input signal is used. i.e. the active element works in its linear range all of the time) constant current design. The circuitry generates a signal that reproduces an acoustic instrument's sound with incredible fidelity and response.
3) Power; It is able to deliver nearly 500 hours of playing time from a single onboard 9-volt battery.

Wow - nearly 500 hours of playing time - that's absolutely amazing. Where does the battery go?

The battery goes in the back of the Stat Pre. Simply unscrew the four crosshead-screws from the housing cover and slot the battery in.

What sort of battery is recommended?

An alkaline-battery of good quality is recommended.

How is the Stat Pre turned On and Off?

The Stat Pre is only turned ON when both the INPUT and OUTPUT jack are inserted. A small but intense blue LED "CHECK" light on the top of the unit - indicates that the battery is charged and the system is ready to work. The Stat Pre is distinguished by its minimal battery consumption - however in order to prevent wasting the battery - it is advisable to pull the OUTPUT jack out of the system when not in use.

Can I check that the battery power is OK without playing?

Yes. Battery power can be checked simply by inserting the mono jack from the amplifier or house system into the OUTPUT. When this is done a small but intense blue LED "CHECK" light will come on - on the top of the unit. The light indicates a charged battery. By inserting the jack from the Stat into the INPUT - the system is ready to work.

Does the Stat Pre provide power to the Stat?

Yes - the Stat transducer has to be supplied with 10V phantom power to operate.

Remind me briefly what phantom power is.

Condenser mics, also known as capacitor or electrostatic microphones must have a source of direct electrical power in order to operate. Some models are powered by an internal battery, but most condenser microphones receive their power through the microphone cable from the input of the device to which they are connected, such as a mixer or microphone preamp. This method of sending a DC electrical voltage through the microphone cables is called "phantom power". In addition to powering the circuitry of the microphone the phantom powering directly or indirectly supplies the voltage used for polarizing (cause something to acquire polarity) the microphone's transducer element ("capsule"). Phantom powering consists of direct current applied equally through the two signal lines of a balanced audio connector (usually an XLR connector). The supply voltage is referenced to the ground pin of the connector (pin 1 of an XLR), which normally is connected to the cable shield or a ground wire in the cable or both.

What does the Stat Pre feature?

i) GAIN; Allows you to adjust the sensitivity (amplification level) of the input signal.
ii) OUTPUT; The OUTPUT gives you the signal after the sub-bass filter.
iii) INPUT;
iv) CHECK; The CHECK light indicates that the unit is powered and ready to operate.

What type of output sockets does the Stat Pre accept?

There is only one output socket on the Stat Pre. It accepts a standard 6mm (1/4in) jack. The input socket is also designed to accept a 6mm (1/4in) jack.

What else will I like about the Stat Pre?

You'll just love the user friendly GAIN control on the side of the unit and the clear labelling and Schertler logos on the top of the unit. You'll also love the rugged good looks of the cast aluminium housing. It is certainly well up to the job of protecting the internal circuitry from careless stage hands - should you decide to position the unit on the floor.

Anything else to appreciate?

Yes. In the middle of a gig you'll find it incredibly reassuring to see the small but intense blue - unit is receiving power - LED CHECK light glowing away at the top middle of the unit.

How about a final summary on the Stat Pre?

High Quality components and Class A circuitry ensure a top class sound reproduction.

That's a pretty complete review. How about a final summary?

The Stat pickup system was first introduced in 1988. Today it is used by thousands of musicians worldwide. We like the fact that both the pickup and the preamp are made to an extremely high quality and standard of workmanship and that in combination as the Stat Set - the system offers the following;

a) It is simple to fit and use.
b) It delivers a fast signal response.
c) It provides wide tone and dynamic settings.
d) It is ideal where high amplifier levels must not present a handicap.
e) It provides high feedback resistance.
f) It provides an impressive "bridge sound".
g) There is NO piezo harshness or distortion.
h) The Stat Pre is compact, versatile, and easy to use and enables a faithful sound reproduction.

Final, final summary.

The Schertler Stat Set is a system that just works.

Stats:

Stat Transducer
Pickup type: Bridge-mounted electrostatic microphone.
Length (cork capsule unfitted): 27.7mm (average - inc end cap).
Diameter: 10.0mm (average - across cork).
Nominal Impedance: 1.6kohm
Frequency response: 20Hz to 12 KHz +/- 3dBu
Dynamic range: 75dB
Sens. On instrument: ca. -25dBu
Temperature range: -10°C to +50°C
Contacts: gold plated
Connection: Chinch (RCA) to mono Jack (phono plug)
0dBu < = > 0.775V

Stat Pre
Dimensions: 103 x 55 x 25mm
Weight: 0.16kg
Power Supply: 9V Alkaline battery
Frequency response: 20 to 20 kHz
Max output: +8 dBu
Nominal output level: 0 dBu
Max gain: +18 dB
Max input: 0 dBU
Signal to noise ratio: 93dB
THD: < 0.06%, -10 dBu
Input impedance: 25 kΩ
Output impedance: 190 Ω
0dBu < = > 0.775V

Price : UK£440.00

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Contrabass Shoppe footer Click here to review some of the instruments previously sold by The Contrabass Shoppe Click here for our range of Budget Double Basses up to UK £5000 Click here for our quality Double Basses up to UK£20,000 Click here for our highest quality Double Basses over UK£20,000 Click here for our quality Double Bass Bows Click here for our quality Double Bass Accessories Click here for our range of Double Bass specialist Books Click here for the web site introduction Click here to discover more about The Contrabass Shoppe Click here for the outstanding Double Bass Gallery Click here to discover our articles in relation to the Double Bass Click here for videos, audio, photos and articles from the Shoppe Click here to make contact with us Click here to make contact with us Click here to email us.