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Best piezo system for Les Paul (TOM)?

Donbecker

Member
Messages
291
I've previously used the Fishman powerbridge.

Anyone have an opinion about the Ghost system?

A comparison between the two?

Any other piezo systems that I should know about (that are compatible with a TOM).

I don't mind replacing either just the saddles or the whole bridge.

No plans to use midi so that isn't a consideration for me.
 

Badside

Member
Messages
1,552
My Les Paul CAME with the Ghost, can only say good things about it!
Plus you can expand and add MIDI out if you want

Had a Godin with LR Baggs system and that was just horrible.

No first hand experience with the Fishman.
 

Donbecker

Member
Messages
291
Cool, what model Les Paul was it?

Does it work both stereo and mono? How do you switch between pickups?
 

MKB

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,768
I have a ES-333 with a Ghost system in it, the Hexpander for midi use. I have used the acoustic tone from the pickup, but to be honest the modeled acoustic tones from my GR-55 are FAR better. The Ghost system I used was the Hexpander preamp with the Acoustiphonic preamp plugged in.

I don't have any experience with the Fishman system, but the Ghost system sounds passable in a band context. Like most all piezo bridge systems for an electric guitar, they really do not sound very much like a mic'd acoustic.

I am not aware of the Ghost piezo system having any sort of stereo output, at least the standard system of theirs.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,448
The Ghost is cool, but is SO invasive and I think the wiring is sloppy in its design.

I've had a Ghost in a guitar at the same time as a PowerBridge equipped LP (Heritage H150 actually) and I'd rather have the PowerBridge and an external preamp myself.

And the Ghost can, in fact be wired with a stereo output. Mine was that way.
 

Donbecker

Member
Messages
291
I have heard more than once that people have had poor results running the peizo thru their guitar rig.

Were you running it thru an amp and/or effects that might have colored the sound?
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,448
I have heard more than once that people have had poor results running the peizo thru their guitar rig.

Were you running it thru an amp and/or effects that might have colored the sound?
This is so true.

The piezo, to work right, NEEDS to be in its own signal chain, through FRFR, direct to the board, something like that.

Running a piezo through an electric guitar amp (or suitable emulation) will not yield optimal results.
 

ke3ee

Member
Messages
98
I have the Fishman and running thru its own amp or DI it sounds great. I installed the Fishman Powerchip to have the ability to blend with the Mag PU's and it does that well. The other thing to consider is what other items need installed to support the piezo. I think the Ghost requires at least 2 or two circuit boards where the Fishman Powerchip replaced 1 tone pot for me. So depending on how much routing you want to do or rewiring could affect your decision.
 

Donbecker

Member
Messages
291
I've previously used the Fishman in a TOM with (I think) the powerchip, one circuit board and a 9v (see my link above).

Everying fit in my LP control cavity, but with 4 push pulls it was all a tight fit.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,448
Is there a way to have the best of both worlds, separate with a stereo but summed when running mono?
you can with the Fishman with the powerchip and you can with the Ghost as well.
 

Badside

Member
Messages
1,552
Cool, what model Les Paul was it?

Does it work both stereo and mono? How do you switch between pickups?
Les Paul Blackwater

The installation is invisible, save for the black saddles. It's wired with master tone so that the 4th knob is the piezo volume. There is a battery box on the cover on the back. And the mono jack is replaced with a stereo one.
There is no switch for it, instead I run a stereo cable that I "Y" into my pedal board, mag goes to my regular chain while piezo goes to a DI. Then I use a stereo A/B box to switch between the two (effectively what you want is to selectively mute one or the other since they are two separate signal chains).

I often get weird looks from guitarists wondering where the acoustic guitar is coming from.
 

Rock Johnson

Member
Messages
4,744
I have the Slash Les Paul signature with the Fishman powerbridge.

It has the powerbridge / powerchip / 9v setup and it works great. I use a RP1000 straight into the board, and it sounds awesome with the piezo.

If you have the option for a magnetic / both / piezo switch, here's a little tip: Put the switch into the middle position, and use the piezo as a "sparkle" knob. I can make my LP sound exactly like a Tele, spank and all, by adding a little piezo top end onto the bridge pickup.
 

Doug Pinder

Member
Messages
3
Les Paul Blackwater

The installation is invisible, save for the black saddles. It's wired with master tone so that the 4th knob is the piezo volume. There is a battery box on the cover on the back. And the mono jack is replaced with a stereo one.
There is no switch for it, instead I run a stereo cable that I "Y" into my pedal board, mag goes to my regular chain while piezo goes to a DI. Then I use a stereo A/B box to switch between the two (effectively what you want is to selectively mute one or the other since they are two separate signal chains).

I often get weird looks from guitarists wondering where the acoustic guitar is coming from.
Just wondering if still have the Blackwater. I have a line on one for the piezo ability but wondering if you're stilling digging it after 8 years or so.
 

Jeb

Member
Messages
65
Ghost user here for so many years!!
I used the kit in many guitars, Gibson LP included.
Never tried any of the other brands.

For me the best result is to send the piezo signal to an aphex acoustic xciter pedal
then in the second input on an helix or axe fx and work the tone with a tube preamp/ compressor
then blend in a acoustic ir.

In live situation, my cleans patches are panned left with the mag clean tone and panned right with the piezo tone.
I'm really happy with this setup!

Jeb
 

Badside

Member
Messages
1,552
Just wondering if still have the Blackwater. I have a line on one for the piezo ability but wondering if you're stilling digging it after 8 years or so.
I sold it 4 years ago for totally unrelated reasons. I do miss its piezo abilities.
 

Whiskeyrebel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,802
My last attempt at this, I had the piezo running active and wired straight into the jack (mono) with an ON-ON setup.

This time around I'm thinking of running stereo cable out to keep the signals separate.

Is there a way to have the best of both worlds, separate with a stereo but summed when running mono?

Here is my last attempt:
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/701600
LR Baggs CTRL-X preamp. I installed one on an Epiphone 5102TE and it works exactly as designed.
 

Mikhael

Member
Messages
3,541
Graphtech Ghost system. I've tried Fishman and Baggs, and Ghost outstrips them all. Less crinkle, more tone. Then I run those into a Fishman Aura preamp, then into the PA. Absolutely the closest I've got to a real acoustic sound. Plus, you can use them to drive a synth too, if you so desire.
 




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