Fretless w/Piezo - Good or Bad?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SamHD, May 5, 2005.

  1. SamHD


    Nov 22, 2004
    Would choosing a Fretless w/Piezo be a wise decision or is it non-relevant to have it on a fretless...

    Sorry, may be a dumb question, but I have no experience on Fretless nor have ever used a bass with a Piezo pickup.

    Basically, I'm trying to determine if I'd be better off getting a Fretless Stingray w/2EQ, 3EQ, or 3EQ w/Piezo.

    Confused :confused:

    Any suggestions?
  2. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    The piezo will add a bunch of tonal options, especially when blended with the mag p'ups. Most people Ive read say to spend the extra cash, that its worth it in tonal variety and a very DB like tone when soloed.

    So if thats what your after, Id say go for it!
  3. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    IMHO, piezos sound better with fretless than with fretted basses. I've got fretted and fretless Bongos with piezos, and I find the piezos add more to the fretless'ssssss sound. :D
  4. I had an SR-5 w/piezo- although I didn't really care for the piezo at the time, I think now I could use the option(particularly on fretless). You can always turn it down, or off. One thing I don't like about the SR-5 is no active bypass- oh, & you need a screwdriver to change batteries. Not a huge deal, but a real groove-killer if you lose the battery mid-song.
  5. djcruse


    Jun 3, 2002
    Norwood, MA
    I have a piezo pickup only on my Rob Allen MB2 fretless. Great sound. Of course, this thing was created to sound more like a double bass. And it succeeds. Great sound, as I said.

    The only way to really know if it's for you is for you to try it. Get thee to a store!

    Good luck!
  6. Starwind


    Mar 26, 2005
    I tried a stingray4 with piezo, the sound is great!
  7. All you have to do is listen to Alain Caron and you'll find that it's very good! :eek:
  8. djcruse


    Jun 3, 2002
    Norwood, MA
    Or Steve Swallow.
  9. SamHD


    Nov 22, 2004
    Ok, so far 100% of the replies give the Piezo a thumbs-up! Well, that kind of says something about the Piezo on a Fretless...

    I asked a similar question a week or so ago, but I was just inquiring about the 2EQ versus the 3EQ.... I remember a few mentioning the Piezo option, so that's what got me wondering.

    You guys do realize that you'll be making me spend more cash to get the Piezo, right?... bad, bad people! :crying:


    Thanks again.
  10. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    I like the addition of piezo blended with mags. My Hoyt and my Turner both have them, and both have 2 magnetic pickups and passive tone control. The piezo adds the kind of detail and "air" that most active EQs can't. The raw sound of piezos varied so widely that it is impossible to generalize about them, but in general they are not great on their own. The Rob Allen MB and the Turner Ren are two conspicuous examples of basses that are piezo only and sound great.
  11. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I'd go with it, unless it added a great amount to the cost. It's much easier to get an option up front and maybe not use it all the time than it is to have to take a loss and sell your baby to upgrade later.

    Piezos add lots of tonal options. Who doesn't want more options???
  12. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I agree that there is a wide variety of piezo systems and some sound more natural than others.

    I also think a lot of problems with the squawky reputation piezos have is that people don't use a buffer before sending the signal to their amp. I use a Fishman Pro Bass II EQ between my bass and my Walkabout since it has a 10M Ohm input--plenty of headroom for the piezos. Without it, the piezos have a bit too much sizzle to be used alone.

    With it, I have no problem using the piezos soloed on either of my Bongos. Both basses produce a full, warm sound using only the piezos.
  13. I say go 3 band on the EQ- mids have often helped me cut through where bass-boost made mud & treble magnified mistakes & hurt my ears. I think Roger Sadowsky is kind of anti-(onboard)mid, but I have to have a mid knob at my fingertips. My graphic curve tends to be upside-down.