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Best bridge for a piezo pickup?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by crompton, May 1, 2006.

  1. crompton


    May 1, 2006
    I was getting a great sound with my Fishman BP-100 pickups mounted on my old Bausch bridge. However, now I've replaced the bridge with a new one, the sound is horrible - thin and tinny. It sounds fine acoustically but the amplified sound is awful. Any ideas why?

    I checked that the BP-100 was properly installed, and I'm using a Platinum Pro preamp - everything else is set up just the same as it was before. The only clue I have is that the new bridge is quite a bit thicker than the old one - perhaps not passing on its sound to the pickup as effectivelyl? If that's what it is, I'm surprised that it makes such a HUGE difference, and maybe there's an ideal kind of bridge to use for these pickups?
  2. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    I would check the pick-ups with your old bridge again just to make sure it is not the pick-ups, assuming you still have your old bridge.

    Otherwise, it may be the fact that you new maple bridge may be softer due to lack of any aging. Your pick-ups may have been benefiting from "aged wood" on your old bridge.

    There have been some threads on this site regarding using older bridges vs. newer ones and how if affects the sound.
  3. I'd bet its an issue of the fit, actual contact of pu to bridge, thicker bridge, different fit/contact varibles involving the metal clamps, pu, and bridge surface.
    I'd have someone play your bass while you move pu placements around on bridge holding them securely in place w/fingers, till you find the best spot, then superglue them in place and get rid of those metal clamps as soon as you find the sweet spots.
  4. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Some players who use the BP-100 sand the surface of the bridge a little bit, so that the piezo elements make 100% contact with the wood. You could do that, and then superglue the elements in the right place. It should get a pretty good sound.
  5. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    TBeers has it right. The BP-100 requires flat spots for proper sound transmission. Your bridge surface is likely arched. Are you serious that you actually like the sound of that pickup?
  6. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    There's a recent thread in the Amps & pickups forum discussing the Fishman and how much installation affects the sound of peizos. Click here.

    I have found that installation (tight and even pressure across the whole piezo) makes all the difference to the sound, whatever the brand of pickup.

  7. vejesse


    Apr 8, 2006
    Madison, Wi
    Double Bass Workshop
    Friends don't let friends use the BP-100. Check out the Fishman Full Circle.
  8. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I've heard the BP-100 on probably 30 different basses, and it sounded good on 2 of them. Both were professional players, and I don't know what they were doing for a setup but it produced a really warm tone.

    Still, more than 90% of the time it sounded bad.
  9. Lucerne


    Jan 13, 2005
  10. snowdan


    Feb 27, 2006
    a) sand the bridge flat
    b) glue the piezos on. the thin layer of glue later also makes for warmer sound, imho.

    my fishman indeed sounds good now!

    not the fishman is crap, the clamping concept is. actually, the problem is hardly anyone believes the manual, which clearly demands for flat sanding. later everyone complains. used to be the same with me...

    but now it's just fine.
  11. crompton


    May 1, 2006
    Hey, thanks everyone for your help. I didn't get the notifications by email so I only just checked back now. Meanwhile, I've got a Full circle installed and it sounds really good, more natural; however, too much color and boominess on some notes. I've only just started to fine-tune it though.

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