Piezo Bridges.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by OrioN_2k, Dec 13, 2001.

  1. I'm a new Bass Player just learning and am Probably going to pickup a MusicMan StingRay 5. Question is, what are piezo bridges/pickups. What do they do? (Sound wise) Why should I spend the extra $$$$? Thanks for you help.
  2. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Piezos are not bridges. They're crystal pickups that are either placed in or under the bridge. They are designed to pick up only the vibrations of the string and body at the contact point between them: the bridge. The result is generally perceived as more natural and occasionally acoustic-like tone.

    It's important to remember that many people have bought bass guitars with Piezo bridges expecting that they'd have an option to sound like an upright bass. In almost every case, you'll never be able to duplicate an upright's sound just because you have a piezo pickup.

    The ultimate reason to get one is for sonic versatility and depth. If you like the way it sounds and believe it'll produce useful tones, get it.;)
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Mostly squat. As RAM notes, people expect them to give them a somewhat acoustic sound (if not a double-bass sound). In my experience, the vast majority of piezos on solidbody instruments actually sound as electric and synthetic as magnetic pickups.

    Mixing a piezo signal with a magnetic signal may help bring out high end frequencies for better note definition, esp. when playing harmonies or chords. But they also pick up a fair amount of string squeak/finger noise. If you're a beginner, it's easier to keep your sound clean on a mag-only bass.
  4. Thanks for the help. That will save me money since I have no ambition for a bass to sound like that. :D
  5. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Well, try one out! You may like it. I don't agree with "mostly squat". Mine mostly sound completely different from the magnetics, and while I use the mags 75% of the time, I still like having the option around.
  6. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I, for one, also appreciate the versatility. I'll admit they're not for everybody, but I went to great lengths to try to get one put on my Spector.

    Stuart won't do it, now that the paint has settled into the wood...
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    They sound great on a fretless, but on fretteds, unless you have exemplary technique, they will pickup up tons of fret noise.
  8. That sounds like very useful information. I'm kinda GASsing for an SR5, piezo, fretless, lined, vintage sunburst and plain headstock.

    The only thing that makes me cringe is the one comment here about the piezo being delicate and going back for service a couple times. That is kind of scary. Any other piezo owners have similar problems with the piezo crapping out?
  9. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    i've only had my SR5 for a few months, but no problems yet.

    I love the piezo's on it though. I don't have amazing technique, but running 50/50 with the mag/piezo's isn't that noticable as far as finger and fret noise.

    tapping w/ piezo's is awesome. Straight piezo's w/ a little bass boost is really fun too.

    If you plan on having the bass forever, at least try one out w/ the piezo's... it's worth a try.

    Listen to "a show of hands" by victor wooten if you want to know what piezo's sound like... the SR5 won't sound exactly like that, but it's closer than anything else i can think of..
  10. Yeah definitely get one if is a fretless bass. I have a Fender A/E deluxe P-bass fretless. It sounds great blended with the p-style pups.:cool:

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