View Full Version : Piezo for ES electric guitar?
11-13-2008, 04:02 PM
This is probably such an odd question that TGP is the only place on the Net where any info could be found! I would like to try to pick up some of the acoustic tone of my ES-335 style guitar, perhaps blend it with the mag pickups.
I was looking at ghost and piezo setups. The prob is that this axe has a bigsby! It has a regular bridge, not a roller-type. Theoretically I could use an under-the-saddle type transducer, but I think using the bigsby would be sure to add some sort of sound artifact from the moving strings.
Does anyone here have any insight as to whether this is possible? If so, I would love to here about possible products to achieve this. thanks!
11-13-2008, 07:58 PM
Try contacting the tech support people at Fishman about the Bigsby issue - I agree with your concern that the changing pressure on the saddles at least sounding wierd in terms of fluctuating volume along with the pitch change you'd expect. You probably won't get creaking, though.
11-13-2008, 10:44 PM
graph-tech's ghost saddles are teflon-impregnated, so would be ideal for the bigsby.
the thing is, though, you'll mostly just be hearing the strings directly from any piezo saddle pickup (that's true even for real flat-top acoustic guitars).
if you're trying to get the "wood" into the sound, you're talking about a body contact transducer of some kind. a 335 is going to give very little output acoustically, so gain becomes a problem.
you also would need to have an active blending system to make it happen, both to handle the ultra-high impedance piezo signal and to blend it with the regular pickups (pickups are inductors and piezos are capacitors; you can't just wire them together, electrically it's like oil and water). this will necessarily make your electric pickups "active", changing the tone in a subtle way you might not like.
11-14-2008, 08:13 AM
As far as artifacts any piezo system you risk them on any solid body with them. I can create them on my Parker Fly and also have on the Ibanez I owned with one equiped.
That's why a blender pot or control system is absolutley required.
11-14-2008, 01:26 PM
Also remember that you'll need to mount the preamp (and battery) somewhere. I put a Mike Christian piezo T-O-M on my Electra 335 clone years ago, and without a preamp it sounds horrible - very tinny and brittle and very low output. But I refuse to butcher up the body of the guitar to mount the preamp circuit board and battery box. I'll be removing the piezo bridge and go with a standard T-O-M.
11-14-2008, 02:19 PM
Yeah, this is just about what I expected it would entail. I need to call some manufacturers as was suggested. I don't want to butcher the guitar. I guess with high impedence piezo systems, the pre has to be close to the pickup, ie. mounted on the body, as opposed to on my rack. Another problem I seek to avoid is not being able to fit the guitar back in its case.
I've thought of one of those micro mics that clip on the sound holes, in this case it'd have to be small enough to go on the f hole. I saw one once in a catalog but I don't know who makes them.
I love playing and hearing this guitar in a quiet room although the volume isn't very loud. As soon as it's plugged in the nuances go away. I should probably just abandon the idea and try to find a guitar that was built for a dual sound from the beginning. I love the bigsby though and I can't even think of an off the shelf axe with a bigsby that also has an acoustic type pickup. Any ideas of what to look at would help!
Again, thanks to everyone for responding!
11-14-2008, 09:25 PM
You can have the piezo on a separate output to a stereo jack, use a y-cord, and have a buffer or preamp as soon as possible in your signal chain after you get off the y-cord. For onboard mixing, there's the Fishman Power-chip. It can replace one of the tone pots (the other becomes a master tone for the magnetic pickups).
11-15-2008, 09:15 AM
Something like the LR Bags Gig mix you can belt or strap mount your Piezo preamp.
11-17-2008, 10:27 AM
Just a note of thanks to Bob et al. for getting me lines out on this!
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