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3 or 4 band preamp that works well with piezos?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Will_White, Dec 24, 2016.


  1. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    I'm starting to build a bass with only a piezo bridge pickup and I'm looking for a good Preamp to go with it. I've seen the 20$ acoustic guitar pres on eBay and I might use one of those if they work well but I'm wanting something under 150$, designed for bass, and preferably has external pots and not the AG type sliders on a plate.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016
  2. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    I'll add that I would prefer it to have a 3 or 4 band EQ, alternately I could pair a straight buffering pre with another EQ.
     
  3. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    That's exactly what I did. Cafe Walter PZP-1 for buffering, John East BTB-01 for EQ. Works great!
     
  4. buy the eq pre first but don't buy one that comes prewired with a blend, vol, passive switch etc. this way you can try your pickup wired directly to its input. use a 10k or 25k volume pot wired to the pre's output. most preamps like aguilar etc have an input z of 1meg and it's a myth that all piezos must see a 10meg z.
     
    Will_White and Passinwind like this.
  5. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    I'm moving this outboard so I can use it with more instruments. I can definitely see some advantages to using a buffer and a seperate pre-amp. Being able to tap into just the pre-amp by itself is the one that jumps out. If I do go that route I'm definitely going to get or build the Cafe Walter but now I'm looking for just a 4 band EQ for under 150$. Something with switchable mids might be nice so I can tame the mid honk of some piezos.
     
  6. delta7fred

    delta7fred

    Jul 3, 2007
    England
    how about this The Passinwind Open Source Preamp
     
  7. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Can you share more about the piezo you will use? I've been looking at some ideas for installing a piezo under the bridge on my Wishbass.

    Otto
     
  8. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    I'm just using two 27mm piezo disks under the bridge kind of like a K&K Pure Bass, I'm going to try them just bare and with a rubber coating. I've had good results using 21mm disks on my CBGs, I prefer their tone compared to the under saddle bars, and the larger Peizos are supposed to have better bass response. I tested one yesterday using a Piezo Tin Microphone pressed against the body of one of my basses direct into my interface and it actually sounded decent but I could tell it needed more buffering for sure.

    Read through that thread it does look kind of interesting but it seems like it's still in the beta/pre production stage, I'll definitely be keeping an eye on it.

    I was looking at the Audere and Aguilar Pre amps, the frequency points of the audere look really weird to me I know they're using a shelving filter so it's not directly comparable but the bass seems really high and the treble seems really low can anyone comment on that? It's made in Oregon so that's a plus for me and it is 4 band, the three band version has a switchable mid frequency, I wonder if you could modify the 4 band similarly.
     
  9. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Let me back up a moment. Is this a solid body or acoustic bass?

    Otto
     
  10. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    Solid body. The build threads over here Winter 2017 Build-Off: Basso-Cello That thread also has a picture of the piezo tin microphone.
     
  11. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Sorry to be slow here. Will the discs be pinned under the feet of the bridge?

    The Wishbass has a solid Corian bridge, and I've been considering a custom made piezo by Pickup The World, which would be made to match the shape of the bottom of that bridge, so I would install it to the body of the bass, exactly under the location where the bridge goes, and the wire would extend from the end toward the control cavity thru a hole I drill from there into the cavity.

    However, it's very pricey, so I may decide I'm OK with the sound I get from the mag pickup plus a lot of bass boost eq from my state-variable filter eq. OTOH, I"m curious to see if there is a good option using more affordable piezo discs.

    Otto
     
  12. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    Yes they will be pinned under the bridge so they'll be visible from the top. With Peizos what separates the good piezo pickup systems and the bad piezo systems is largely the buffering, both physical and electrical. The disks and/or bars aren't really any different. Hopefully I'll be getting to the electronics test phase sometime this week or next. The kicker is the strings from BSO are backordered.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  13. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    Just verifying but the switch to bypass the buffer would just be an active/passive switch wired in front of the buffer to the preamp right?

    Any thoughts on the Audere with Piezos? Any other options for 4 band pre amps?
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
  14. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    Bump, also considering the Aguilar 3 band, looking at the Audere site they say that it shouldn't be used in an outboard box.
     
  15. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    Bump
     
  16. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Well, I tried out a piezo disc under the Wishbass bridge and as limited as my experiement was, it's clear that the piezo route is definitely the way I want to go on that instrument. It's a matter of how and when I can afford it.

    I just put one disc in the middle with .88mm picks on either side to support the bridge all the way across. The sound for the A and D strings was wonderful! Perhaps a tad strong on the high end, but easily corrected with just a little eq and very reflective of the wonderful acoustic tone I've always enjoyed about this bass, but that never came thru the mag pickup fully.

    So, now I just have to decide if I go the cheap route with a pair of discs or the expensive route with the custom PUTW pickup made to fit exactly under the existing bridge. That option will also look great, because the wire will come out right at the lower end on the underside and I can drill a hole from there to the cavity less than an inch away and it will be totally out of sight.

    If I decide on the two disc option, is it OK to just wire the two discs in parallel and run that to a single preamp? It's my impression that that is how the multi sensor pickups generallly work.

    Otto
     
  17. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    There's some debate wether series or parallel is better for peizos but yes it's ok to run two disks to one preamp input.
     
  18. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    How will you wire yours?

    Otto
     
  19. Will_White

    Will_White

    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    I don't know yet I usually try both and see which works better.
     
  20. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    I would be surprised if parallel wiring were not the preferred option.

    However I think I may have found a better choice for the Wishbass: piezo film pickups at an affordable price from pinpegpickups.com.

    Otto
     
    Will_White likes this.

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