piezo bridge make electric sound acoustic?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by kringle77, Jan 13, 2012.


  1. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

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    I LOVE the sound of my acoustic bass plugged into an amp. It is probably a combination of the piezo pickup and bronze strings. How much of that sound would I get if I used a graphtech piezo bridge and bronze strings on my electric? How about the graphtech and regular electric stings?
  2. PilbaraBass

    PilbaraBass

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    Answer Quite a bit

    Opinion. Try nylon taped with piezo bridge, This will allow the magnetic pickups to function nicely, as well
  3. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

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    Im actually looking to get the same type of midrange bite and snarl that acoustics have. A ghost piezo bridge and bronze strings would have to get me pretty close.
  4. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

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    so you like that wide-band, piano-y, almost "too big" piezo bridge sound? yeah, you should get that with a piezo bridge and a preamp on your electric bass, even with regular electric rounds.
  5. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

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    I just ordered a graphtech piezo equiped hipshot A style bridge and a bartolini mpb2-918 buffer. This should buffer both the magnetic pickup (dimarzio will power p) and piezo bridge. I will be using a 3-way selector switch instead of the blend knob. I've got high hopes for it. Im looking for a sound thats brighter and more growly than the p-pup.

    When you blend a p and j in parallel a mid-scoop happens. Will this happen with a p and piezo in parallel as well?
  6. Inconnu

    Inconnu

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    If it helps, I own a fretted Spector Spectorcore which is equipped with a passive humbucker in P-Bass land and a Fishman bridge with piezo. Blending both pickups, I found that turning down the piezo at around 75% and cutting a bit of highs gives me a huge sound, without the having too much of the zing provided by the piezo, but still gain some clarity, and without mid scoop. Keep in mind that the Spectorcore is a semi-hollow, which might not give the same results as a solid body...
  7. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

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    That partly happens because they are passive pickups being blended passively. So they interfere with each other. One pickup loads the other pickup down. The other reason is a notch filtering from overlapping frequencies.

    If you buffer both pickups before you mix them, you minimize a lot of that. Another way to minimize that is by reducing frequency overlap. So if you roll off the high end from the magnetic pickup, that would help.

    But listen to them mixed first. I'd also use a blend instead of a switch to get more control.
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

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    yeah, the P pickup and the piezo won't be really "parallel" as much as "mixed", like having two channels up on a mixing board.

    as such, one won't change the sound of the other, you'll just hear both at the same time.
  9. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

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    Cool. Thats what I want!
  10. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

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    My tech has my stambaugh bass and is installing the ghost bridge and bartolini mpb2-918 buffer. I'll have it by thursday and have to say, Im really excited. Im really curious to see what bronz strings will sound like on a solid body. I don't plan on using them regularly but, you never know.
  11. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

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    If you're using bronze strings, your magnetic pickups will be worthless. Bronze is not ferrous and wont interact with the magnets. Only your piezo bridge will have any output.
  12. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I know. It may sound good though, especially at an acoustic gig. I plan to only use my regular steel strings and try bronze "just because" I had a dimarzio J in bridge position that is being removed and the hole covered, and wanted to try the piezo bridge as an experiment. That dimarzio will power p that I use is super loud and I think that the piezo may be able to keep up with it where the J couldn't volume wise. The J in bridge position had no bottom and just wasn't my tone. The piezo should be bright and have bottom. Just a much different tone than the p. While the tech has my bass Im having him coat every cavity with graphite paint to get things really quiet.
  13. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

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    Another thing to mention is that I've been using a redeemer circuit on my pickups. It really brightens up the souind and is more consistant from rig to rig. I'll be switching to the bartolini mpb2-918 buffer/preamp and hope that I like it just as much.
  14. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

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    I don't think that's entirely true. After all, you can use magnetic soundhole pickups on acoustic guitars strung with bronze strings, because the strings (usually?) still have a steel core. Also, nickel isn't ferrous, either, and there are a lot of nickel-wrapped electric strings.

    So, you should still get a signal with hte magnetic pickups when using bronze acoustic-type strings. I don't know if the output is the same as with electric strings, though.
  15. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

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    Right. I did consider that, but I still think that the output would be low enough to render any magnetic pickup effectively "worthless." Maybe I should clarify my post.

    Also, few strings are made with true nickel. Most are a nickel/steel hybrid or nickel-plated steel.
  16. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp Supporting Member

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    Correct, pure nickel contains no iron and is not ferrous. It is, however, ferromagnetic. Pure nickel strings would work fine with a magnetic pickup. At various times in their history Canadian nickel coins were minted from nearly pure nickel metal and were quite magnetic.

    Ken
  17. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

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    Interesting--I was wondering about that, since there are at least a few strings (like DR's Hellborg set) that actually do have pure nickel wrappings, and I didn't notice them to be especially low output. Thanks for clarifying the distinction, Ken!
  18. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

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    Interestingly, the difference between magnetic stainless steel, and non magnetic stainless steel, is the non magnetic stuff contains nickel! Must be an alloy thing.

    The other ferromagnetic (at room temperature) materials are iron, cobalt and gadolinium. What ever the heck that is!
  19. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

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    Well, I had the ghost bridge and bartolini dual buffer installed on my bass. It worked well and sounded good but, it didn't sound like my acoustic bass as much as I wanted so I removed them both and went back to the old bridge and redeemer circuit. I really like that redeemer the more that I compare it to other circuits. It just feels more natural under my fingers than the others. Anyway, I'll probably be selling the piezo ghost bridge and bartolini buffer now. Oh yeah, I put bronze strings on my bass and the magnetic pickup actually picked up the sound pretty well. Not as loud as the steel strings but loud enough to be used.
  20. fokof

    fokof Gold Supporting Member

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    Mar 16, 2007
    FWIW

    I have two piezo only bass , no mag pickups and experimented quit a bit with that and found that the pre is of utmost importance. World of difference in Tone between units. I tried the Graphtech , a Fishman and a Barto.

    I ended with the Carvin preamp , best "acoustic/piezo" sounding of the 4.

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