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basses with piezo's

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by heath_the_great, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. alrighty...how many of you use piezos? ..pros? cons?..some other basses that come piezo equipped?....im rather keen on getting one next, the dean brian bromberg is a major contendor, but the ibanez eda900 is growing on me :D

  2. Rhythmalism


    Sep 25, 2004
    Spector Spectorcore 5 fretless: The piezo's are a little harsh/thin and best used as an accent to the soapbar pup.
  3. im leaning more to the solid body, not real happy with semi hollow or hollow bodies.....i thought the semi hollow g&l asat was horrible compared to the solid body :ninja:
  4. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    I don't really like the piezo's on my EDA905. They seem a bit... touchy. I've always had a hard time keeping the output levels even on them, and with some sets of strings they seem to barely pick up the vibrations at all. I've tried doing all kinds of things to get them to sound right, but it's so much of a pain that I don't even bother using them anymore, I just blend to the magnetic PU. :meh:

    Also, I wouldn't really suggest buying anything from the EDA series. Their construction is rather poor, in my opinion. YMMV of course.
  5. ive played the EDA at the local store...didnt get a change to plug it in though...i thought it felt nice...how does it balance on a strap...ima 4 stringer through and through ;) :p
  6. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I was never really a big fan of piezos until I picked up my two Bongos. I think they are better with fretless than fretted, but I enjoy having the expanded palette on both.

    I've found that they work best when you make sure you have a high enough impedence for your input jack, so I always use mine with my Fishman Pro Bass II EQ.

    The BP review thinks the piezos are too harsh to use alone, but I've found that not to be the case when using the Fishman. I enjoy the sound enough through the EQ to be good enough to use with the piezos soloed.

    I'm a big fan of the funky Ibanez EDA basses. For some reason, I see them, and think they'd make a great piccolo bass. That body style just screams 'hot rod' to me, and if I had unlimited funds, I'd try to find one of the original wooden 5 string versions to set up with piccolo strings tuned EADGC. But, I don't think I'd have a problem settling for one of the luthite versions--especially in that yummy burnt apple finish in the main post....

    As for the Dean, I have been really impressed with the graphite necked Peavy Bromberg basses with their piezos with the wide stereo panning, but I haven't had a chance to check out the Dean version yet.
  7. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Not counting the ABG, I've owned two basses with piezos: a Turner Electroline and a Curbow XT33 fretless. The piezos on the Turner were great, a little on the bright side but very usable if you roll of a bit of the treble. Then again, Rick Turner has put an enormous amount of effort and research into the sound of his piezo pickups.

    The piezos on the Curbow are less usable, and I think Greg was never entrirely happy with the stuff he had available to work with at the time. The string balance is kind of uneven, and they sound very edgy and hollow by themselves. However, they do add kind of a nice bit of "stringyness" when blended with the magnetic pickup.

    I have a fretted Curbow in the works with RMC piezos, and it will be interesting to see what those are like, but I've heard great things. I may think about replacing the piezos in the fretless with RMCs or Turners at some point, but that's down the road.

  8. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    I had an EDA905 that had piezo pu's. As mentioned above they were only meant to be used as an accent to the mag pu. I found them extremely finnicky and punishing on any sloppiness in my physical technique. They also brought out more the clacking of the string hitting the fret. The only good things I found were good B string definition and chords sounded great.

    I think they're better suited for fretless.

    EDIT: Yes, the EDA sucked me in too. But it had MAJOR quality issues. When I first got it the E string monorail had a recurring rattle in it that would show up if the piezos were turned up. The B string monorail eventually stopped working altogether. The neck also had a major dip near the neck joint. With the truss rod maxed out the bass was playabe to about the 10th fret. The action was literally 3/4 of an inch over the 24th fret.

    So I sent the bass off to Ibanez. Got it back in two pieces. The whole neck joint and upper horn had broken off. Seems the tension of the strings had broke the body. Oh yeah. I've heard stories of luthite breaking like glass when dropped. A piece of advice, if you want an EDA, get it off of Ebay. Don't pay $670 at MF for it.
  9. fcoda


    Jan 23, 2002
    I use a fretted SR5 with the a piezo , I liked the tonal options it gave vs a Ray without it . IMO it's a worthwhile option if you play a wide range of music styles.
  10. I have a Sei bass with piezo's and mag pups. On their own teh piezo's are brilliant giving a very realistic urb sound. I have ABM individual bridges with the piezo's and a John East 2 band pre a fantastic combination. Could not recommend them enough on a fretless for an extra usable tone.


  11. I have a carvin AC40 hollow body accoustic sounding thing. It has an accoustic style bridge with a piezo as the only pup. I dig the sound very much.

    If you take a piezo and couple this with some magnetic pups and the sound ranges would be quite vast IMO.
  12. Heath, plug in the EDA next time you get a chance...

    if your choosing between these two.. it should be a simple choice.
  13. I have an Ibanez EDA900 and I love the bass. It has the absolute most perfect sound I could ever imagine a bass making. But that's probably because it fits my taste and style and it is the tone I hear in my head. It's not necissarily traditional, but can be such a great tool. As for the problem with the piezo pups on the monorail going out, there is a remedy for this. I had the same problem after putting new E strings on every once in a while, but all you need to do is give your bass a nice setup. Turn the soapbar all the way off and solo the piezos, plug into an amp and balance out that strings height and intonation until the piezo sounds. If you get it just right, you can tune down to like a G without the piezo sound disappearing, otherwise you can have trouble if you're a little off of standard tuning. You are going to want to mess around with the individual string EQ, but the possibilities of tone are near endless. Match this bass with a good hi-fi amp and you'll wet yourself. It forces you to improve your technique. You can use the piezo like training wheels. If things are still a little sloppy, roll em off, as you clean things up more and more, go full boar and see if you can hold your own. But have fun with it, if I could, all of my basses would have piezos.
    MoonBass17 likes this.
  14. slowburnaz

    slowburnaz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    I've got one of the Ibanez Affirma AFR105 basses. Pretty cool bass, really. The piezos are great for an acoustic type sound, and are surprisingly not harsh. They're a bit thin, but the bass boost can take care of that.

    Mine looks like this one, only the 5-string version: http://www.interq.or.jp/bass/tkoyan/sub1-24.htm
  15. natrab


    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I've also got a Turner Electroline with piezos and soapbars. I usually blend in the middle to slightly more piezo. They get a little more finger noise but they get this incredible warm sizzle that I'd never heard before but absolutely love.
  16. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Couldn't agree more - my Eletroline gets a lot of use with Piezos soloed. When combined with Bass Mute, it can sound pretty close to an upright. Rick uses a system with separate preamp for each string which allows him to get a nicely balanced sound.
  17. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I'm torn on my EDA900. The construction seems great. It is the best feeling bass I own, but the tone is just weird for me. It has never been setup, beyond me adjusting the string height from the bridge. It does have a very "closed" tone for me though. Every string gives me a different sound, but in general, the highs are much lower volume than the E and A string. On top of that, it isn't a fat bass tone. It's very dry, especially compared to my older Spector neck through. One thing I like about the bass is that it isn't overly dynamic for me. It just seems that I don't get a lot more volume out when I pluck super hard compared if I don't. The neck is very thin, and very fast. It's balanced perfectly. The chrome looks nice, and it keeps in perfect tune. I just wish I would fix the tone. Open it up, and give it more girth on the bottom. I actually think that the individual pots are only for the piezo pickups, and they didn't help my tone either. Maybe it is just how it is going to sound.
    Regardless, I think the bass is built well. I just wish it sounded different, or I wish my spector played like it does.
  18. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Quality piezos cost more, but are a lot more useable and musical sounding. I have heard nothing but good about RMCs.

    I am not sure what kind of piezos my fretless Zon has in it, but they sound very good. I can get a very woody tone with them soloed, and they add some zing to the magnetic pickups for slapping.
  19. The piezo in my stingray I find is really helpful, esspecially for a punchy beast like mine.
  20. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    I'm going with RMCs in my new Linc bass. My first piezo experience was bad, so I hope these sound okay. Mr. Villex is supposed to wire it up, he wants to try some ideas with passive wiring of the mags and piezos, but everyone I know says that won't work well. Mr. Villex is definitely a genius, so he's gonna be wiring her up anyway. I would like to hear the full range of the RMCs, but don't want it to be overly scratchy or harsh, just natural and acoustic sounding. If the passive thing seems no good, we will use the RMC Hybrid buffer preamp, which Mr. Villex might modify to fit all of the necessary controls. I'm scared, but I have faith that he's gonna pull it off wonderfully. I'll be giving a full report on the outcome. With limited space for knobs and wiring, this will be one interesting job.... I'm want Master Volume, Mag Blend, Piezo/Mag Blend, Villex Mid Control, Master Tone, and a push/pull or mini-toggle for the Villex Output Boosters. And Linc says only four knobs will fit......... Yikes!!! :help: