Piezo bridge equipped electrics

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Larry Esposito, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Larry Esposito

    Larry Esposito Supporting Member

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    Wondering if anyone has any experience with electric solid body guitars that are equipped with a Piezo.

    I don't know how much importance the Piezo plays in the style below, but his sig guitar is big $$.
    I realize his talent is through the roof and the sounds are the result of many years of practice, but it looks fun and I've thought about messing around with it from time to time.

    Anyone ever go down this path or can recommend a comparable guitar?



    Thanks,

    Larry
     
  2. PatriotBadger

    PatriotBadger Member

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    I have, and have gigged extensively with, a piezo equipped guitar. Here's the short of it: A piezo out to FOH or your own FRFR monitor sounds lousy (much less a guitar amp which is even worse). It just does, I would be wary of anyone who tells you differently. So, if you opt for a piezo guitar, also get something like this.

    [​IMG]

    That's most important. So understand you're in for a couple hundred bucks more right off the bat. You can make it sound outright good with one of these, like an actual mic'd acoustic. Secondly make sure you do in fact run it through a FRFR and not a guitar amp. With a para eq, you can make it sound OK through a guitar amp, but it will never sound good. Most piezo electrics have two outputs, or the outputs can be split with a Y-cable.

    Aside from that, they are a lot of fun. Doing 'acoustic' passages and blending things with your electric signal keeps things interesting. I have a three voice guitar, so can do acoustic tones, a string section, and electric all at the same time from one instrument. Fun, fun, stuff.

    Oh, and about guitars. There are a lot of choices out there. In the video he's playing a Brian Moore. This is what I use.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  3. Benz2112

    Benz2112 Supporting Member

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    Agree with above, if you are intending on going for a full clean acoustic sound, plan on an alternative signal path for the piezo signal. A preamp and a flat response speaker or an acoustic amp would be the ticket here. For me, I typically prefer a blended sound, like a clean electric sound with a little hair, and then the piezo to add a little depth. It is a nice sound to have, but it isn't something I can't live without.
     
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  4. dirk_benedict

    dirk_benedict Supporting Member

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    I have a Hamer Duotone...separate signal split to an acoustic DI out to FOH. Sounds wonderful, very very useful if you have to do the double duty thing.
     
  5. sub rosa

    sub rosa Member

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    I have two guitars with aftermarket installed systems, my Nighthawk has the saddles guts of a Fishman Powerbridge put in about 15 years ago. I put an LR Baggs X-Bridge in my Strat a couple of years ago.

    A luthier did the Nighthawk for me, I did the Strat myself.

    They work great, but it really depends what you're going for. I'm not interested in blending the sounds into one and sending to an amp so mine are simply just wired in stereo. I run the piezo signal through a LR Baggs Session DI to the FOH, and the magnetic signal through my pedalboard to amp (or Sansamp).

    This way I can dial in an acoustic sound when I need it, without changing out guitars. In essence I get parallel signals. On the strat for example, some really nice clean tones from the piezo signal running alongside position 4 on the Strat.

    If you're interested in going down this road, I wouldn't limit the search to factory guitars with systems installed. Most guitars can be retrofit with these things.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. doublescale1

    doublescale1 Suhr S-Classic Gold Supporting Member

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    Here's my partscaster T-style with a Graphtech Ghose Piezo System installed. This may be less expensive than an entire new guitar, if you have a suitable donor guitar you like. You do need a steady hand on the soldering iron, if you're a big DYI person, cool, if not get a good guitar tech to do the install. My guitar has a stereo output jack for a Y cord but you can use a mono cord into an ABY box too. You do need to send the piezo to a dedicated acoustic amp for it to sound it's acoustic best (maybe a Katana "acoustic" setting would be acceptable? I use either a Roland AC90 or for outside gigs in the summer a Rivera Sedona 55 and send eitehr of them to FOH) The guitar will need a battery box installed as well. The middle dual-concentric control is for the Piezo tone and vol. the outside dual concentric controls are vol/tone for the magnetic tele pickups, the metal tipped mini switch is a trad 3 position selector for tele pickups, the little plastic tipped mini switch is the pickup system selector - Mag only, Piezo only or Both, blending in some Piezo with the magnetic pickups gives you some real interesting tones (my tech also made the control panel from a blank one to add the additional holes and keep it the traditional Tele control panel size). You can get a guitar from a factory with this built in (I do not know if any built-in factory guitars give you all the tone choices), or do the Graphtech install. It sounds great through an acoustic amp and on stage live, delivers a more than credible acoustic tone. Hope this helps.
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. rambleon

    rambleon Supporting Member

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    I've built a few partscasters but never this configuration - I have a question about the neck HB placement. Do you have the body and PG routed for a normal size HB and then just screw the pickup ring through the PG and body? I assume the PG would also need to be routed for the HB 'ears'?
     
  8. dconeill

    dconeill Member

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    Depends how you want to do it.

    The cleanest way is to get a pickguard that is configured to hold the humbucking pickup - that is, it's routed to size for the pickup and has holes for the screws. You don't use the HB pickup ring - the pickguard takes the place of the pickup ring. Of course the body has to be routed for the humbucker as well. You can see examples of this sort of pickguard on the Warmoth website.
     
  9. guitararmy

    guitararmy Member

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    I think a piezo bridge on an electric is a neat addition. Honestly, I don't use mine that often but when I do I run it through a Fishman Aura pedal to beef up the acoustic tone...
     
  10. Baba

    Baba Member

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    I use a Godin LGX and have been since around 1997. Sounds really good, and I don't add any post processing to it.
     
  11. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

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    I tried a Fishman piezo strat type bridge, combined with magnetics, and found it too hard and bright, even with the recommended preamp/mixer. It might have worked better with a good external preamp, and the bridges might be better now than they were back then. I liked the combination in acoustics, again with a good preamp/mixer, but didn't think that a solidbody steel string was a good platform for piezo transducers, so I never pursued it.
     
  12. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    It's fairly important. I have his course on TrueFire, took a few lessons from it, and practiced out of them for a while - not long enough to be good at it, but enough to have a better understanding of why he feels he needs a piezo pickup.

    For example, I played his "Rosanna drums" on a couple of regular (no piezo) electric guitars. There's a bit extra crispness in the percussive tones that is missing without the piezo.

    If I ever revisit this stuff again I'm thinking of getting an Acoustasonic Tele or Kiesel Zeus electro-acoustic, since I also like the approaches of Preston Reed and Andy McKee. I do have an acoustic guitar already but the action is for regular acoustic guitar playing - too high to work well with the Ben Lacy approach.
     
  13. Yamaha 350

    Yamaha 350 Member

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    Yes 2 jacks. Hidden peizo under the bridge. Battery compartment. Can run 2 amps at the same time. Sounds amazing but like the 1960's supro's. Sort of sounds like a acoustic electric. Their own voice.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Member

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    I have it in my EBMM Petrucci and Mayones Regius 7. The only thing it doesnt have is the percussiveness of true acoustics IMO. But it does a great job for clean electric "acoustic" tones as well as sounds surprisingly cool with low gain dirt.
     
  15. jalmer

    jalmer Member

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    A Morley Twin Mix is helpful for a Godin with two outputs; each output going to a separate amp. You click between the 2 amps and also there's a volume for each on the pedal. An ABY doesn't cut it.
    Sound wise, a nice EQ device will be helpful in my limited experience.
     
  16. Ejay

    Ejay Supporting Member

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    I got a godin solidac in a trade couple of weeks ago.
    Those are excellent guitars by any standard...but crazy for the price, should go between 300 and 400 used.

    Sold it cause it wasnt better then what I got....but that one is almost 10x the value.
    Was kinda a hard decision to sell it tbh.

    Anyway...baggs electronics, rosewood fingerboard, good trem, nice h/s/h config, lock tuners, 2 outputs.
    Highly recommended.
     
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  17. CanuckChris

    CanuckChris Supporting Member

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    Couldn't agree more and wish I had read this before going down that path. There's a lot more to getting the acoustic sound than simply installing a piezo system into your guitar. Once you get the sound though, they are fun to have on hand. I have the Ghost piezo saddles installed in this strat:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. doublescale1

    doublescale1 Suhr S-Classic Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes, I had a pickup ring and the tech routed the opening to accept the full sized Vanzandt Truebucker, the height adjustment screws are attached to the pickup ring.
     
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  19. jalmer

    jalmer Member

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    I recently sold mine. Serious value for your dollar. Couldn't bond with the neck. I just didn't pick it up, so it went.
     
  20. sahhas

    sahhas Supporting Member

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    Had a Parker nitefly with a piezo,?it worked fine and sounded good I thought
     

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