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Facsimile Fretless Piezo Tone

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Llewellen, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. Llewellen

    Llewellen Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2016
    Vancouver Island
    I would dearly love to have, but won't be able to afford anytime soon, a Rob Allen Mouse 30-5 or a Veillette Minotaur 5. In the meantime, I could begin experimenting in that realm of the 5 string melodic with this guitar strung E A D G B C:

    Brice HXB2-405 3/4 Nat Bubinga Short Scale - RondoMusic.com

    At that price point ($299USD) I don't expect that the PUs would be much so they would be an obvious early upgrade. I realize that a great many factors go into producing the tone that comes out of the speaker but, with that said, it remains true that the PUs are perhaps the most important link in that chain.

    In your experience, which PU (active or passive) has a chance of doing a passable job of simulating the sound of a fretless with piezo PU? Note from the link that the Rondo/Brice is set up for a standard 4" x 1.5" soapbar PU.

    Thanks for your thoughts and input.
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    It doesn't work that way. You can't make a fretted bass sound like a fretless. And you can't make a magnetic pickup sound like a piezo.

    And you really can't tune anything with 5 strings to EADGBC.
  3. Llewellen

    Llewellen Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2016
    Vancouver Island
    Please ignore my typo. I meant EADGC. I'll ignore the rest of your reply since you didn't catch the word "facsimile". Perhaps I should have said "approximate" or "reminiscent of"?
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    You can ignore it all you want, that doesn't make it not true.
  5. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    IMHO you can overcome the frequency response differences with EQ (between piezo and magnetic pickups). An inherent problem with using EQ this way is most people don't own an EQ that is powerful or precise enough to get the desired results. A 31 band graphic EQ or true parametric EQ, ideally with 5 or more bands, is required. The other problem is effectively applying EQ in this way is extremely challenging.

    What you can't overcome is the pickup placement issue. Since the piezo pickup in the coveted basses is located under the bridge saddle, it will produce a unique vibration pattern that cannot be achieved with a magnetic pickup. Using a bridge pickup and a lot of EQ should get the OP closer to the desired sound, but it won't get all the way there.

    IMHO, the location where the strings are plucked is also a significant factor to consider.

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