piezo alone?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Milothicus, Apr 17, 2002.

  1. i just emailed a local shop/repair shop/luthier and found out they have a brand new chrome Gotoh bridge WITH PIEZOS AND PREAMP, 19 mm string
    spacing for cheap; was $ 790.00 now for $ 295.00

    is this the kind of piezo that could be used on its own? or should it still be mixed with magenetics? i think it would be great to have just the piezo, but it seems like no one is willing to have only the piezo.

    i hope to play a bass with a piezo before i do anything, but i also want some opinions.
  2. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    There are some basses that do use only a piezo pickup (ie Rob Allen, F bass Alain Caron 7,etc). I personally feel that with only a piezo you would lack versatility. As you are building the bass yourself, you could try just the piezo and if you don't like it, upgrade the body to have magnitic pickups as well. Just a thought.

  3. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    coming from my experience w/ piezo's on my stingray 5, its possible, although difficult, to get a usable sound out of piezo's alone. Your tonal options would be greatly increased if you were to put a pickup in the neck positon.

    EDIT: But basses without visble pickups do look pretty rad.
  4. Don't listen... I have 0 magnetic p/u's on my bass... but then again I do have a lightwave system... the piezo onboard is great for adding "snap" and "sparkle"
    but I get most of the meat from the lasers... If the preamp has good low end eq (or you have an external box) I'd be willing to say it's worth a shot... if you don't like you can always add routes for Mag p/u's later...

    Hope I helped to confuse the issue...
    -Prof X ;)
  5. is conklin the only company that makes lightwaves?

    oh and I understand how they sense you're playing but is the sound stored inside the bass to be sent out according to what the bass thinks you are playing? In otherwords where does teh noise comefrom
  6. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    The piezo-only four-string basses that I've tried (Godin and Rob Allen) sounded great.

    The five-string Rob Allen, OTOH, wasn't so hot.
  7. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    You were entirely successful. Lightwaves and piezos don't (from what I've heard, and I would think) sound very much alike. The Lightwave system allows you to mix in the piezos, but how it mixes them, is unknown (you can't select only the piezos, for instance).

    You yourself said most of the "meat" comes from the opticals (I don't think they really use lasers. . . :) ) - it's kind of that way with a mag/piezo blend too.

    IME piezos alone have lots of low low end, lots of treble. Not much midrange and especially not low-mids. Great for a snazzy hi-fi or "acoustic" sound, doesn't cut through much though.

    If you can stand my crappy slapping, here's a sample of me using various pickup combinations on my bass. All are mags except the last one, pure piezos. No EQ on any, direct to sound card. It's hugely different. (the order is: bridge, neck, both full, "P+J", "reverse-P +J", piezo)

  8. ZON baby! Sonus Lightwave Frettless 5 string (that's a mouth full)here's a pic of me and the bass... to answer your question... there are light sensors on each string that detect string vibrations... the sound then exits the bass in a similar manner as with mag p/u's... the cool part is NO 60hz HUM!!!! I can play 2 inches from a 21" CRT computer monitor and 0 noise... (that's great for me since I also engineer and sit in front of a protools rig while playing bass most times...
  9. Yeah but say lasers in ref to by bass'es p/u's just sounds cool :D

    -Prof X
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