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Best Place to put a Piezo pickup

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Lincoln, Mar 19, 2010.


  1. Lincoln

    Lincoln Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    Akron
    What are your thoughts on placing a piezo under the bridge vs placing a piezo on the center block of a semi-hollow bass?

    Differences?
     
  2. Well, you'll get the most harmonic content if you place the piezos at the end of the string length, and with the bridge you'll get a good energy transfer from the strings to the pickups, but it depends on what you're aiming for.

    A piezo on the centre block might take a lot of amplification, but you might get quite a big and boomy/hollow tone from that placement. For the most versatile approach, you could combine those two sources so you can adjust to suit your needs.

    What is the Bass you're thinking of applying piezo pickups to?
     
  3. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Inactive

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Best Place to put a Piezo pickup? Anywhere there is vibration.
     
  4. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Underneath the bridge, possibly routed a little to fit nice and tight. I have experimented with under the neck, in the neck pocket (on a bolt on), worked fine, although there were slight notes from behind my finger placements, higher up on the neck, barely noticeable and even less on the lower frets. Sort of like when you tap, without a scrunchee, those notes (can't think of the the proper name for those notes)
     
  5. Lincoln

    Lincoln Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    Akron
    Thanks gang,
    Right now the bass in question is still in my brain. Though I'm considering frankensteining a Douglass fretless violin bass to experiment. I cheap investment just to see.

    Tom Clement made me a beautiful fretless with a Fishman under an Adamovic bridge. So I've got great experience with the piezo placement there. However, after stumbling onto Hotwire Bass's Double Bass Jazz Guitar and reading (and listening) that they have a piezo placed on the spruce soundblock inside of the body I was highly intrigued... Especially, since it's the one of the closest upright sounds on an electric bass that I've heard.

    http://www.hotwire-bass.de/praxis/reviews/reviews_en/double5_en.htm

    http://www.hotwire-bass.de/index_en.htm

    Apparently, the piezo is on the soundblock....

    I think a combo of the bridge and body for blend purposes could be interesting...
    And I'd remove the magnetic pickups altogether and make it entirely piezo driven...
     
  6. HogieWan

    HogieWan

    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    ceramic piezos have a brittle high end that could stand to be muted by burying it under some wood. However, piezo films work great right under a bridge
     
  7. Lincoln

    Lincoln Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    Akron
    interesting...

    Do upright basses use ceramic piezos?
     
  8. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Yes.......there are ceramic ones out there too...but also there are many different ways that they're housed (clips, under bridge, etc..) best thing to do is research all the different upright elements out there, there's alot of 'em.

    But here's another sugestion: Try Piezo cable. This stuff works really well either on a saddle or under a bridge (I've used quite a bit of it) it's about $1 per inch.

    http://windworld.com/products-page/electronic-hardware/piezo-cable/
     
  9. Lincoln

    Lincoln Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    Akron

    Even more interesting...!
     
  10. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    I've built 2 pvc basses and a 5 string EUB using it, Direct pressure from the strings will give you a helluva signal, one of them, I didn't even need to use a preamp. the other 2, just used a L.R. Baggs gig pro.
    Good sound, less the "Tinnyness", compared to regular piezo elements. Although you may need to toy with the placement, to get the best results....YMMV
     
  11. Lincoln

    Lincoln Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    Akron

    PVC bass?
     
  12. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Yessir. Before I started building wooden instruments, i built 3 PVC basses, one of which was scrapped. IIRC, about 2007.

    2008BASS3022.jpg
    2008BASS3023.jpg
    2008BASS3008.jpg

    Bridge w/ elements

    Flatpvcbridge001.jpg

    another one (bridge)

    Flatpvcbridge2001.jpg
    00001.jpg
    00004.jpg



    Used Steel for the center on the second one.

    Bass8004.jpg
    Bridgeandstand001.jpg

    Bridge:

    00003-1.jpg
    00006-1.jpg


    Just didn't get any of the later shots, where I change them all over to piezo cable.

    Sorry for the jack.......sometimes I embellish too much.....:bag:
     
  13. Lincoln

    Lincoln Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    Akron

    Now that's COOL!!! how did they sound?
     
  14. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Well, not exactly like an acoustic upright, but nothing like a solid bodied, magnetic electric either. Generally, much like an EUB.
     
  15. thats frickin cool man props
     
  16. HogieWan

    HogieWan

    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    That pvc bass is the reason I started hanging out on TB. I saw one somewhere else and my googling brought me here.

    Anything that is a disc or cable is a ceramic - because of the thickness, the resonant frequency is in the audible range, where thin film piezos have a resonance well above what you can hear, but they are much more fragile.
     
  17. Thanks for the idea on the piezo cable Jason! I've recently acquired a cheap 6-string fretless, so I'm thinking of mounting something like that under the bridge.
     
  18. abarson

    abarson

    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
  19. HogieWan

    HogieWan

    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
  20. mordechai

    mordechai

    Dec 8, 2007
    Blaine, WA
    subscribed!
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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