I saw some threads on this, but nothing specifically geared toward what I am doing, and/or the specific questions I have here.
I bought one of the piezo-equipped bridges on Flea-Bay recently. It's a nice, high-mass bridge, very sturdy and seems great for the money. ($50 shipped for a gold bridge with piezos!) Of course, many people say 50 bucks is too good to be true for a high-mass, gold, piezo-equipped bridge. I beg to differ, but I also understand I have some work to do if I intend to make it work properly, or at all. And perhaps I can benefit others that have made this purchase, by fleshing out, as best I can, what I am doing (or trying to do)...and I don't think it's all that unusual or different from what others may want to do, as well.
First off, the two wires hanging off the bridge: You guys think (or those with experience, know) that these are for the input jack? Or one to input, and the other to ground perhaps? Would it make sense to drill another separate hole for the piezo input jack, separating the two systems completely? (I am about finished with my project fretless bass, so I can do a bit of drilling as part of the finishing touches.) Or, do you folks prefer it integrated with the other components (typical "magnetic" pickups)? I don't mind it separated and isolated from the regular pups system, as I want that "upright" sound that piezo may provide. (I have, and love, my upright...I know there is no other way to get an "upright" sound, but electric with piezo is a decent stand-in for it!) Or at the very least, an acoustic bass guitar sound.
OK, I know it says it needs a preamp to operate, makes perfect sense. (BTW, I am planning to utilize this preamp: BEQ12-34PTAP (Bass mods). Some quick searching of threads and Googling, found some other information as well (and perhaps some other needed components to make piezo work on an electric bass): For instance, the notion of a buffer amp, whether on-board or external.
For instance, this one: http://www.scotthelmke.com/Mint-box-buffer.html
Is this (or similar) absolutely necessary for the piezo to work? Should this, along with the preamp drive the piezo bridge, or one or the other? I read that the biggest need is the change in impedance, i.e. I need an input of 10ohms, instead of the lower impedance of nearly all bass amps. I have an Fdeck High Pass Filter for this, love it for upright. Seems like the piezo bridge pup holds the same principal as my piezo in the upright world, except the upright has more volume, as it's an acoustic instrument, vs. a slab in the electric bass world.
So, to sum-up (and thanks for reading to this point!):
With my half-assed knowledge of this stuff thus far, I am thinking it's an either/or:
EITHER: (Option #1):
Wired to the preamp and existing input jack (Note: Where to solder the (2) wires?)
OR: (Option #2):
Put in separate input jack. wire-in the buffer amp. FDeck (external) HPF (10 ohm input). External preamp made for acoustic instruments. (Fishman, etc.). So this time: (Internal): Buffer Amp to Input Jack (External): Fdeck HPF, acoustic instrument preamp, to amp. (Note; where to put the (2) wires from bridge?
Thanks in advance! I know this is quite a bit, and I was confusing the heck out of myself here, I likely did same to you. My apologies if this is the case.
And the likely best solution may be different than what I have above, or some culmination of all the above, I do realize this too.