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adding piëzo's

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by wiro, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. The operation has begun: Adding piëzo's.
    This bass made by Jelínek lacks some on the low end (listen to the sound sample with the bass on the left channel).
    There's isn't room for a second pu because of the three octave neck. I guess these RMC piëzo's will do the job.
    This is new territory for me, so very exciting. Drilling and milling time is knocking on my door. Has anyone any suggestions or warnings?

    Here are some pictures of the bass as is and some with the parts what needs to be done: Adding two pots, a pre-amp and a batteryholder. And offcourse removing the bridge and adding the new saddles with piëzo's.

  2. Today I made the drawing for exact positioning of the slots to mill and the holes to drill in order to lead the wiring to the pre-amp.
    I just bought a router and now I'm reading the manual. Dzjee I never knew there would be so many buttons on such a machine. Then I need to drill the holes in an extremely sharp angle from the saddles to the pre-amp for the wires. How to determine the right angle and how to hold the drill steady? Perhaps it's wise to buy also a drill collumn?

  3. I like how your bass sounds. Just enough low end for me :). Of course, piezo will expand the possibilitires of your instrument, so don't stop (if you know what you're doing)
    BTW, what's the use of 4 pots?
  4. For the magnetic pu: volume and tone (passive)
    For the piëzo: volume and tone (active)
  5. Do you ever cut highs on a magnetic pickup? Treble cut is a good option for a piezo on a fretted bass, but I'm not shure it's as useful on a fretless. Piezo/magnetic blend gives lots of tone variation without any tone control.
    I just can't see so many holes on such a beautiful bass :/
  6. I see what you mean. On the other hand the tone pot is included in the RMC package together with the pre-amp. And these guys know what they're doing. These piëzo's with pre-amp are build in the F-bass Alain Caron, the Ken Lawrence Chamberbass and C-Brase II and in the Jerzy Drozd Legend. So I will follow their instructions.
    And I bought four beautifull and small wooden knobs. I guess this bass will be even more beautifull when the job's done. :bassist:
  7. Hey
    It used to be my bass. I bought it directly from luthier and sold it cca 4 years ago... How do you like it and whom did you buy it from? How the heck the bass came from Czech Republic to Norway?!
    Anyway, hope you'll be happy with result.
  8. Hey, Ogar, what a surprise!
    I have been searching for the luthier but couldn't find him. Do you know if still makes instruments and if he has a site on the internet?

    This bass was on Ebay in march 2006, sold by Kregor from east Germany (near the Czech border) to Neurich1 from Graz in Austria. He had a hard time trying to play fretless and sold it to me in june 2006. The neck was damaged and I had it repaired by a local luthier here in the Netherlands. All the electronics were a mess and the strings where very old, so I replaced all with good parts.
    I like the looks, it's light-weight and the 3 octave neck very much. Thanks to the new electronis and strings it's sound has lots of upper harmonics.
    Did you make up the specs for Michal or did you buy this one after it was finished? How long did you play on it, why did you sell this one and to whom?

    Regards from Wiro.
  9. Hi
    I am not sure, if Michal (the luthiers name) even made more basses than this one. Probably yes, but most likely only for friends or so. Making guitars/basses is/was only his hobby. He never have web pages and I bought his bass accidentaly as I saw add in local newspapers.
    I played this particular bass cca 2 years, it was my first step into the fretless world. I kinda liked it, it was cheap, had good passive tone, very woody with some growl to it, which sat in the mix nicely, especially on recordings (did not make many though). However, it had neck issues back then too. There was bubble on the fretboard, so I brought it to a local luthier. He also really improved the action and playability Sold it to some Czech guy, because of G.A.S attack, bought another custom bass (fretted), then missed fretless so bought another from another local luthier (http://www.avbasses.cz), which I have already more then 3 years (my record so far!) and which I am very happy to have. It is variation on Rob Allen design (you can see it here: http://www.avbasses.cz/5boah.htm ).
    Once again, hope you'll be happy with yours.
  10. Yesterday I tried the new router for the first time. No, not in the bass, just in a spare part of wood. The holder fits precisely. However you can see on the pictures :eek: why it's nessecary to make contourplates. :meh: Now I need to make four of them in order to make the different shapes in different depths. The next step is to figure out how to get these four plates one after the other exactly on the same spot. Does anyone have suggestions?

  11. Hé Ogar,
    Thanks for the extra bit of history. I'm kind a attached to my instruments and always wanna know more about them.
    Regards from Wiro.
  12. What are piezo's? :bag:
  13. --------------------------------------
    Piezoelectricity (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
    Piezoelectricity is the ability of some materials (notably crystals and certain ceramics) to generate an electric charge in response to applied mechanical stress. If the material is not short-circuited, the applied charge induces a voltage across the material. The word is derived from the Greek piezein, which means to squeeze or press.

    The piezoelectric effect is reversible in that materials exhibiting the direct piezoelectric effect (the production of electricity when stress is applied) also exhibit the converse piezoelectric effect (the production of stress and/or strain when an electric field is applied). For example, lead zirconate titanate crystals will exhibit a maximum shape change of about 0.1% of the original dimension. The effect finds useful applications such as the production and detection of sound, generation of high voltages, electronic frequency generation, microbalances, and ultra fine focusing of optical assemblies.
    End of quote.

    While magnetic pu's are triggered only by the vibration of metal, piëzo's are mechanicaly triggered by any kind of vibration. So these pu's are influenced by the movement of the body as well as the strings.
    This is the reason why most acoustic instruments have piëzo's build in.
    You can see some examples at:
  14. so what benefits do they have over normal PUs?
  15. In my case the main benefit is that they're build in the bridge. Besides this the better quality, read more expensive, ones give a much broader frequency-range.
    The disadvantage is that they lack the aggressive attack that magnetic pu's can generate.
    So you got the most ideal situation, especially for fretless, when you can blend these two together.
  16. ok, thanks for the info.
  17. m.oreilly


    Jul 5, 2006
    Ukiah, CA
  18. This could be a beautifull solution for lots of difficulty's! The funny thing is that I once made a 9 V phantom adaptor for another bass (because that one with EMG's was eating my battery's alive). But I never thought about it in relation to this one. Typically me. :meh:

    And it even doesn't need to be that expensive. For less then $20 I can make one that doesn't need any battery.

    The disadvantage is that this bass wouldn't be compatible any more: I need to bring this extra box everywhere I wanna play plus the stereo cable. When everything works fine this isn't a big deal. But on the long run when there's something wrong, eg. forgot to bring my own cable or a broken one, just before a gig, then there's no-one who could help me out.....

    I need some time to think about it. But it's a nice thought. Thanks again. :)

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