Anybody install Graphtech Ghost saddles for adding acoustic?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by coralreefer, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. coralreefer

    coralreefer Senior Member

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    Looking at modding my Strat to add acoustic to the mix. Fairly inexpensive upgrade it looks like, if only adding acoustic set-up.
    1) I have a Lite Ash Korean strat, so I'm assuming I have to go with Ghost import saddles?
    2) Anybody just connect to output jack without opting for acoustic pre-amp?
    3) Experiences? Simple enough to DIY?
     
  2. lonetone483

    lonetone483 Member

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    i did it to my PRS Custom22 a few years ago. It sounds great and really authentic. I even use it for just straight acoustic gigs and it kills. Definitely worth the money.
     
  3. coralreefer

    coralreefer Senior Member

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    DIY? Full package or just acoustic?
     
  4. doublescale1

    doublescale1 FSR Tele Silver Supporting Member

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    Added a Ghost System to my parts-tele several years ago - use a stereo Y cord and send the piezo out to an acoustic amp. In a club it covers the acoustic part very well. It's also nice to mix the acoustic with the reg. pickups for much fuller rhythm sound. Had a tech do the install - Used Bartolini stacked concentric pots to have vol/tone in one place and keep the clutter on the guitar down.
     
  5. southpaw pete

    southpaw pete Member

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    I may be in the minority here, but last year I had the ghost system professionally installed in my guitar, and was not pleased.
    The acoustic tones were decent (of course, it didn't sound like my Guild jumbo - but it had some acoustic flavour), but I found that it TOTALLY changed my electric tone! I had not previously known that it is designed for the electric pickups to be routed through their system as well, in order to allow for the blending of the signals (acoustic and electric tones). The guys from Graphtech said there should not be much noticeable change in the electric tone of the guitar, but mine sounded like a completely different guitar.

    I usually play through my passive neck/middle pickups, and it gives a really nice warm tone. After the install (which I and the techs did double check, and it was routed correctly) - it sounded like I was playing through a really bright, thin active bridge pickup. Pushed all of my overdrives way differently. I could not get it uninstalled fast enough. Thankfully the tech didn't charge me for the uninstall and re-setup of my guitar, and Graphtech refunded the $$ for the system, but I was out quite a bit from the initial install. I didn't mind too much, I was just happy to my old tone back!

    I know quite a few guys on here have had great results with the Graphech system, but from now on, if I want acoustic tone, I'm bringing my acoustic.
     
  6. southpaw pete

    southpaw pete Member

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    Wow. Did I just kill this thread. Sorry guys. :)
    I am curious about others experience with the Graphtech system... so, bump...
     
  7. stratrat2000

    stratrat2000 Member

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    I have three out of four of my gigging guitars fitted with Ghost system. Nice in that it's modular, so you only fit the bits you need. Definitely the best sounding and least "quacky" system available for electrics (you do get a bit more realism out of something like a Godin Multiac with the dual system). The saddles also take a lot of punishment (I've only had one saddle fail in the last ten years, as opposed to three or four Fishmans a year).

    Wired up normally they do change your magnetic pup tone, because they must by necessity buffer the signal to mix with the piezos for mono operation. But if you don't need the blending, you can wire 'em up so the magnetic pups are always passive. Means you must always run stereo, but it's a small price to pay if you're serious about your tone (and if you're serious about your tone you'll be running through different amplification systems anyway).

    Also, like a piezo'd acoustic, a good DI box like the Baggs Para-DI can make all the difference to the acoustic tone. If you want something with a more realistic pure acoustic vibe, the Fishman Aura DI and 16 does a good job of simulating the body sound of a real miked up acoustic. The downside to the Aura is that your blended electric/acoustic tones tend to compete with each other in the midrange - the straight piezo tones tend to naturally blend better with magnetic pickups, with just a little low midrange cut to clear up some mud.
     
  8. v6samurai86

    v6samurai86 Member

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    Boy am I glad I found this thread! I have a custom guitar I had made and I've never really liked the sound of it. It has maple top and back with a mahogany center, Lace Hemis both bridge and neck and the Ghost tune-o-matic bridge. The builder normally does not use Hemis or Ghost, but I had to be special. It has always sounded very tinny and thin to me, but all the reviews I've read on the Hemis are spectacular and everyone really likes the Ghost too. I've been considering changing parts and it sounds like removing the Ghost is the place to start.

    Southpaw, did you notice a big difference in sound unplugged? Mine is quite bright sounding and also tinny while unplugged. The builder did mention that this bridge sounded much different than what he normally uses.

    Also, when using the piezos, I definitely hear the pick and clunk of the string if I pick normally. It does sound nice when being careful with my attack, but I don't know if I could use it like that live. Anyone else have this issue?

    Thanks!
     
  9. stratrat2000

    stratrat2000 Member

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    I do a lot of percussive stuff, so it's more of a "feature" than an "issue". Still, when I don't need/want the low end "thump", a hipass filter at about 100 Hz works wonders. The higher frequency "click" is still there, but I find that helps differentiate between the piezos and magnetics and helps the piezo sound cut through.
     
  10. southpaw pete

    southpaw pete Member

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    Sorry, V6, I just found this thread, so thought I'd respond. No I didn't notice much tonal difference unplugged, though it is possible since the saddles are made of a different material than normal.

    I also didn't notice much of the string noises you mentioned when playing through the piezos, but then again, I didn't spend as much time on the acoustic settings since I was so distracted by trying to get my electric tone back.

    I would be curious as to how your tone changes if you remove the Ghost system.
     
  11. ThugNoMoe

    ThugNoMoe Member

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    I've put it in 3 of my guitars.. two strats and a tele.. love it.. it works exactly for my needs.. if its good enough for KWS its good enough for me.. though I did it before I knew he had it done.
     
  12. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    I have no experience with the Ghost system but I have used Graphtech saddles ocassionally and I think saddles using that material can pretty substantially change the tone of an electric guitar -- they seem to favor the fundamental and reduce high harmonic content making a guitar sound warmer (or duller depending on your POV), and, for want of a better description, "simpler" sounding.

    Personally I'd only use 'em on a guitar that's a problem -- like I have a weird 80s custom strat tele hybrid with a Floyd Rose. It's a cool and unique guitar that was a house ax at a NYC recording studio but it was always clangy and noisy which mechanical noise related to the bridge and a little bright and zingin. Graphtechs cleaned that up dramatically.

    Does anyone have any experience comparing Ghost equpped Graphtechs and regular Graphtechs on the straight electric guitar sound? I'm guessing they're sonically identical in that regard but maybe not.
     
  13. v6samurai86

    v6samurai86 Member

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    UPDATE: I removed the Ghost bridge and replaced it with a Graphtech Resomax NVS. At the same time, I also changed the Lace Hemis out for a Seymour Duncan Custom Custom and a Jazz. Major tone upgrade! I like playing the guitar now and it really bothered me before. It still isn't the best sounding guitar, but I do like it now. Much fuller and warmer sounding. If I was to do it again, I would probably use a standard TonePros bridge though because I've heard there is more adjustment for intonation and I need it on this custom job.
     

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