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L.R. Baggs X-Bridge v. Fishman PowerBridge?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by amper, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. amper

    amper Member

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    Can anyone offer a comparison between the two? I'm looking for an American Standard style piezo tremelo bridge. Both companies are highly respected, but it might be difficult for me to buy both and compare. If it matters, I'm considering using them in a passive configuration, that is, with no onboard preamp.
     
  2. Rock Johnson

    Rock Johnson Member

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    I have a Fishman in my Slash LP - I love it. I can't speak to a comparison between the two, but FWIW, spend some quality time exploring blended sounds between your acoustic pickup and the magnetic pups. It'll be worth your while.
     
  3. amper

    amper Member

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    bump. Anyone else?
     
  4. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    I can only compare the LR Baggs unit in my Godin with the Fishman in my old Parker that I sold. No comparison, give me the Baggs.
     
  5. DualRectifier

    DualRectifier Silver Supporting Member

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    I have the LR Baggs T-Bridge in my Warrior, and I love it. The sound is killer, like a high-end Taylor. It's on the bright side.

    I'm going to have piezo in all my electrics from now on. For a Strat you should also consider the Graphtech GHOST saddles. I have a G&L Legacy Special, which has its own trem bridge, so I am going to have to buy the individual ghost saddles to get a piezo on it. Luckily Graphtech makes G&L style saddles.

    Also, don't try to do it without also installing the preamp. It's just too weak without it, and you'll hate the sound. LR Baggs and Graphtech say the preamp is optional, but it's not. It's a lot more expense and complex wiring, but it's worth it.

    I can't speak from experience about the Fishman. But I can tell you the LR Baggs, with a T-bridge (X-bridge for strats) preamp and mono-stereo blend controls, is a worthwhile addition, and will give you a bright, Taylor-like sound.
     
  6. gkelm

    gkelm Supporting Member

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    The Suhr I just bought has the Fishman trem...although I have not experimented all that much with it yet, my initial impression is that is sounds as good as other piezo bridges I've had (one was a baggs), with the exception of a Parker, which was on another level for acoustic tones IMHO (but that's a different bird).
    Greg
     
  7. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    Every Anderson I played with a Baggs X-bridge was a lamer. I was surprised after the first two, stunned by about the eighth one. The thing that really made no sense to me was that the magnetic pickup sounds on those guitars were dull and lifeless - not just the piezo. But that is what I experienced. Anderson went through a couple years (2000-2002 or something like that) of putting X-bridges in everything, so you can go see for yourself.

    But it's put me off X-bridges for the foreseeable future. I have played an X-bridge in one non-Anderson, and it wasn't wonderful.

    The Fishman is not awful. I have one in a Parker Fly.

    So you can see I'm not really a piezo saddle kind of guy. But I just cringe at the mention of an X-bridge.
     
  8. DualRectifier

    DualRectifier Silver Supporting Member

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    Sounds like one of those you'll-have-to-try-it-out-yourself things. I'm surprised about the Andersons though....did they have the preamps? I've heard ones without, and it's definitely not worth the trouble.
     
  9. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Very interesting, isn't it, how much of a personal preference thang this is! :)
     
  10. amper

    amper Member

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    I was planning on using an outboard preamp. I've played Parkers with the Fishman system, but I'm not sure if I've ever played a Baggs system (other than a Variax, that is, which doesn't really count). I'm leaning toward the Fishman, with the outboard wah pedal looking preamp.
     
  11. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    I think they were active. As far as I'm concerned (and I LOVE Andersons), they might as well have been radioactive. I was looking for a Hollow Cobra to back up my original one, and so I kept trying them out. I eventually went to Pennsylvania to play an "N.O.S." one which was excellent - I was spooked by all the lamers with X-bridges that I didn't dare buy Anderson without playing it first.

    I still don't have a good idea how Anderson installing the X-bridge made all those guitars sound so dead. It really shouldn't have. But sometimes, things just come out the way the come out. I might be scapegoating the X-bridge when the real problem was something else, but what did Anderson do differently from say, 1998, to 2000? The X-bridge was the obvious difference.
     
  12. IanS

    IanS Member

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    Hi:

    I am trying to decide between a Parker P-36 (Fishman PowerBridge), Godin Solidac (Baggs X-Bridge), Fender Nashville Telecaster (Fishman?) and Line 6 Variax (piezo?).

    While searching the web, I came across this post of yours, and was wondering if you ever had a chance to compare them, or had experiences with either style that you could share?

    Thank you,

    Ian
    Vancouver, B.C.
     
  13. Dan Desy

    Dan Desy Supporting Member

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    I haven't compared them, but my Soloway Swan has a Fishman powerbridge in it, so I can comment on that...

    I think it's a great piece of hardware. As a trem it performs better than the typical American Strat trem. Very solid and stays in tune nicely - combined with locking tuners of course.

    On the piezo side, it sounds as good as the Graphtech GHOST I had or the Baggs I have heard. However, I got mine wired exactly the way I like it - piezo and mag completely independent (separate jacks). This contributes to my satisfaction.

    But do not discount the GHOST. It's a great syystem that lets you keep your hardware and just swap the saddles.
     
  14. DigitalTube

    DigitalTube Member

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    My understanding is that they don't make the Fishman bridge anymore, I wanted it on a SUHR guitar recently and was told they weren't available anymore as an option.
     
  15. Dan Desy

    Dan Desy Supporting Member

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    Suhr might not offer them as an option anymore, but they're still available from Fishman.
     
  16. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    Lemme preface this by saying that from my experience, the quality of the install makes a huge difference... That said, I have a Bridge-X and Control-X preamp in one of my Strats. It ain't gonna fool anybody into thinking your playing a Collings, but it does sound decent, especially if run separately into a PA or acoustic amp. It sounds better than the Ovation thinline that a former bandmate uses as his main guitar (admittedly, that ain't sayin' a whole lot). I run it through a Ravens Lab PMB, then to an Ultrasound acoustic amp with good results. A couple weeks ago I was listening to a guy in a local music store playing a Tele with Powerbridge through a Reissue Twin Reverb w/15 inch speaker. That didn't sound bad at all; best install of one I've heard.

    Peace,

    jb
     
  17. DualRectifier

    DualRectifier Silver Supporting Member

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    Wow...I replied on this thread six months ago...well anyway I've had a couple more piezo-equipped guitars since then, as follows:

    1. Warrior Isabella with LR Baggs T Bridge + Ctrl X preamp

    2. Music Man Axis Super Sport with piezo (Fishman, I think) + preamp

    3. Brian Moore i2p with RMC piezo bridge + preamp

    My current acoustic is a Taylor 514CE, with Expression System. I would call this the benchmark--great plugged in tone, very natural, no harshness or quack.

    The Warrior with LR Baggs was the best electric guitar piezo sound. Very warm and natural, no quack. Second best is the Axis with Fishman piezo. The Axis piezo sound is great, but not at the level of the LR Baggs in the Warrior.

    But then again, that's comparing a $1,500 guitar to a $4,800 guitar.

    The RMC piezo setup in the Brain Moore just plain sucked. Harsh, brittle. Sounds like those early 90's MTV Unplugged piezos...you know, very "piezo-sounding"

    My two cents.

    One more thing: it's all about EQ. Most piezo signals can be made to sound great with proper eq'ing. Also a preamp or DI box somewhere in the chain is a must.
     
  18. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    +1 on the PowerBridge. I wired mine in asimilar manner (seperate jacks) on a Carvin 135T with the optional volume knob. It definitely needs the high input impedence to fill out the tone. It sounds best with the old Fishman Pro EQ, Baggs Para Acoustic DI, and the Fishman LoudBox. In fact it sounded best in the Fishman Performer and the LoudBox out of all the amps I tried it in (most likely voiced for their pickups I guess). It's a solid trem. If I were to install it again, I'd install the powerchip and route out a cavity for the 9v battery.

    Once I get a good Dremel and the routing jig for it, I will probably do that and order a Carvin battery compartment to make the volume control more than just an on/off knob.

    Brett
     
  19. Dan Desy

    Dan Desy Supporting Member

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    I have a Control X preamp in mine as well as a piezo volume control. Works really, really nice.
     
  20. IanS

    IanS Member

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    Do you have any idea why they are being discontinued? Not enough demand for an 'acoustic' pickup? Coming up with a better version ? Competition?

    I'm torn between a Parker P-36 or a Godin Solidac. They are identically priced (the Line 6 Variax 600 and the Fender Power Nashville are the same price too). But I cannot find any local demoes to try out, so I may have to order sight unseen.

    Do you think the end of the PowerBridge lifecycle should affect my decision?

    Thank you.
     

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