Do you use piezo saddles on electric?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by ari, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. ari

    ari Member

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    If so --

    -- What exactly is your setup? (manufacturer, model, signal chain)
    -- In what musical context do you use the piezo/faux-acoustic sound? (as a straight acoustic, or blending/parallel w/ electric signal path?)

    I have LR Baggs X-Bridge on my Strat that broke a long time ago but I still use it as a regular bridge -- thinking about replacing that and having a second go. Looking for ideas on what people do with these things.

    Thanks!

    ari
     
  2. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    Epiphone 5102TE with a Fishman archtop floating bridge into a LR Baggs CTRLX circuit. This is split in stereo to the board but I don't use it without the magnetic pickups to the amp.

    On two other guitars I have piezo bridges wired to the ring contact of a stereo jack without an anboard preamp. Both of these need a high impedance preamp or they sound like a tweeter with no woofer.

    One is a Schaller tuneomatic. The other is a Peavey version of a Fender vintage vibrato that I modified. I took an undersaddle piezo element made for a flat top acoustic and glued it to the bridge plate so it is wedged under the saddles.
     
  3. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Member

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    I installed a Graph Tech Ghost system on a G&L Legend I used to have, and wasn't terribly impressed with it, either on its own or blended with the magnetic pickups. I currently have an Epiphone 339 Ultra that has a Nanomag "acoustic" pickup system, and I'm not terribly impressed with its ability to sound like an acoustic guitar either. I actually find it more useful to get a single coil tele-like tone.

    If I want to sound like an acoustic it's worth it for me to bring along an acoustic.
     
  4. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Armchair Rocket Scientist Graffiti Existentialist Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a pair of PRS's with piezo bridges. One's a hollowbody with soapbars, the other a P24. I like em a lot, they're super useful for recording.
     
  5. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

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    Godin with an L.R. Braggs piezo bridge run through a Fishman Aura pedal in to the P.A. I use it alone on some songs, but a lot of the time I am also using the guitar's standard output through my usual amp rig. I use the tuner switch on the Aura and the tuner on my pedal board to mute/enable either of the signals to mix and match.
     
  6. p.j.

    p.j. Member

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    My Parkers have Fishmans. I tend to blend them with the the magnetic pickups rather than use them on their own.
     
  7. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    I've used GraphTech Ghost systems on quite a few guitars, but have abandoned them as IMHO the graphite saddles affect the guitar tone too much (dulls the highs). The piezo tone was what one could expect from a piezo on a solidbody, which is to say it sounded like a terrible acoustic but could give the impression of an acoustic when in a mix.

    I stopped using the piezo outs on the Ghost equipped guitars when I acquired a Roland GR-55 guitar synth, as the acoustic emulation from the GR-55 was far better sounding than the Ghost piezo tone.

    I am now using a Brian Moore i21.13 with a RMC system, and its piezo out is comparable to the Ghost. However the RMC bridge does not seem to change the guitar tone as much as the GraphTech did, the Brian Moore is an amazing sounding guitar on its own.

    I tended to use the piezo tone only on parts that demanded an acoustic guitar tone, never did much blending with the magnetic pickups.
     
  8. ari

    ari Member

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    Using a stereo jack, do you have issues with cross-talk? Meaning, the sound of piezo bleeding into the magnetic signal, and vice versa? What kind of cable are you using?
     
  9. 8len8

    8len8 Member

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    Read about Alex Lifeson (Rush). He added piezos to most of his Les Pauls a few years ago.
     
  10. Imiss85

    Imiss85 Member

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    Wouldn't those be the ideal setup with something like the Boss acoustic pedal split to the PA??
     
  11. ari

    ari Member

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    I have experience with the GraphTech bridges, but not piezo -- I had problem with strings breaking, which is no longer an issue as I adapted lighter touch, so I've been using X-Bridge now for years.

    What I'm wondering is if blending or having a separate acoustic signal chain simultaneously with electric may give me a bit of percussive attack of acoustic. Strumming is one of my strengths but I feel like it comes across better on acoustics because it's busy and I use dense chords.

    ari
     
  12. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    Do you mean internally in the guitar, or what kind of cable between the guitar and the board?
     
  13. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    I got a PRS P22 that allows you to either split the piezo and mag outputs to separate amps, or to blend them together to one amp.

    Blending in a bit of acoustic attack in your magnetic pickup signal can sound great. There's little piezo sustain - that's what your mags are for.

    Start with a clean tone and then experiment with blending:

    - Dial in more and more piezo to the clean mag output. You'll find the happy point.
    - Or dial in more pickup distortion, and keep the leading-edge clean attack from the piezo. Excellent clarity.

    You can also experiment with splitting the signals.

    - Put the clean acoustic tone from the piezo into a clean amp or channel; then dial up a huge high-gain distortion tone from the mag pickups into another amp or channel. I've used two PODs to do this when recording.

    - Put a chorus and reverb on the clean piezo signal, then run the mag pickup into distortion. Very intriguing sound.

    My one comment is that I think the mids and fatness that humbuckers produce are a better blend with the piezo acoustic signal than single-coils, which are already thin and bright.

    YMMV, and I know you have a good ear and good taste.

    Kiwi / K-wey
     
  14. jrjones

    jrjones Member

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    I used to. PRS Hollowbody II. Each had its own output jack. No bleed issues.
     
  15. custom53

    custom53 Member

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    I run the piezo straight thru the Sound Board and the Humbuckers thru my Amp.. Works great..


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. ari

    ari Member

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    Not internally -- maybe the cable I was using wasn't good. It's a Y-cable. There was a cross-talk so I could hear the piezo sound through the magnetic signal chain.

    ari
     
  17. ari

    ari Member

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    George! Long time no see! So good to hear from you. How have you been?

    Thanks for good suggestions, I am now interested in exploring this. Seems like Fishman makes a preamp that can do a mono/stereo split -- I wonder if it works with non-Fishman pickups. I do like my Baggs bridge in terms of being a good bridge.

    ari
     
  18. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    I use a regular TRS to TRS stereo cable, which I think I got at Radio Shack of all places. I made a breakout box that splits it to two mono jacks. I haven't checked in any careful manner whether or not the signals induce ghost signals into the other channel. If there is, it hasn't been to the point that it it's obvious or annoying.

    The breakout box is actually a relay switcher I made to allow me to leave three guitars plugged in and switch between them, but I doubt it's relevant to having or not having crosstalk.
     
  19. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    Every guitar I've owned for about 10 years has had a piezo.

    I've used them all. Fishman, X-Bridge, Godin, Ghost.

    My Crowdster Plus 2 is the best, but it's an acoustic at heart.

    I like the Fishman PowerBridge, because I split my signal all the time (never combine them into one place) and don't need a battery.

    The article in my sig talks about how I do this with my HD 500 and how I used to with amps.

    https://pietrosquared.wordpress.com/two-voice-stereo-guitar-a-primer/
     
  20. mcknigs

    mcknigs Supporting Member

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    Not to hijack the thread but one of the guitarists in my band just got one of those. I have the bass version. We're doing a gig soon where we're going to play with matching instruments. You should come down to DC and play the gig with us, just so we can have three matching instruments. There's $50 in it for you.




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