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piezo alternatives?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by tony moore, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. i've been gigging with piezo's a long time. i started with a fishman, went to an underwood, then to a realist and now with a fishman full circle. the best of the bunch on the few laminate basses i've owned has been the realist. but it suffered the common complaint of sounding good at low volumes but much like poo at higher volumes and more dense ensembles.

    the full circle seems to solve much of this but has the really annoying piezo string noise thing. the "pop" of your finger is unnaturally louder than the note itself. i've tried dialing it out with a parametric but it just makes things worse...

    ( i should add i've used an swr blender and now have a d-tar solstice, which i'm not completely sold on... i really like the pre and eq on my baby blue II)

    not including a mic or magnetics, what are the other options to piezo? do the schertler pups really solve this? is there are cheaper and more accessible alternative to the schertler?


  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    The physics is against you. The acoustic coupling between your bass and its surroundings is a two-way street. So is the coupling between the bass and whatever pickup is attached. Pickup placement makes little difference because it is a coupled system.

    One solution is to have bandpass filters that automatically select the note you are playing, and its harmonics, while rejecting everything else. The reason why a magnetic pickup is less prone to feedback is that the strings themselves are the bandpass filters.

    For louder gigs, I threw in the towel and installed a magnetic pickup. Of course it has its characteristic sound, which is probably why you say "not including magnetics."

    One idea is to look elsewhere than the pickup. Choose one that gives you reasonably faithful URB tone at low volumes, then figure out other ways to deal with feedback. I am presently experimenting with using an extension speaker located at some distance away from my bass, so I can have more volume before feedback. I am also trying to find a way to make the magnetic pickup sound more upright-like, which has not produced any results yet.