piezo too bright

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Number27, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. a quick question this:

    the piezo on my italia is ridiculously bright, to the point where it sounds like its under water (everytime you tap the body, touch a string, breathe, it sounds like sonar or something), even when i turn the treble all the way down.

    so. i was thinking, can i wire in a tone capacitor? i literally know nothing about peizo pickups or active circuitry in general, so if this is a little stupid then forgive me. but i was thinking maybe a dpdt switch with two tone caps wired in so i can switch between kinda bright and not bright.
  2. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I'm not familiar with the Italia specifically, but generally with unbuffered piezos, your amp needs an input with a fairly high impedence to match up with the impedence of the piezo signal. Otherwise, the sound can be very bright and thin. If your bass has a buffer preamp that might not be an issue, though.

    Remember also that if this bass is hollow or semi-hollow, the piezo is going to pick up all the "acoustic" sounds of the body every time you tap, bump, rub, etc. That's somewhat the nature of the beast.

  3. well my amp has separate inputs for passive and active if that's what you mean.... otherwise i have no idea..

    it's a solid body bass btw.
  4. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    No, that's not what I mean. With most amps, the difference between the "active" and "passive" inputs is just the passive input having more gain. Amps that are designed specifically for acoustic instruments often have special high-impedence inputs to handle unbuffered piezo signals.

    If your bass has a preamp, the piezo signal should be buffered to work with regular lower-impedence inputs, though. But I've still seen reviews indicating that the sound of the piezo is very bright unless you use flatwound strings.

    You might be able to wire some capacitor into the circuit to ground some of the highs, though.

  5. hmm... i'm using flatwounds already..

    i have a cheap acoustic and that thing isn't nearly as "bad" through the same amps. so maybe the italia just has a crappy preamp?

    that's what i was originally asking
  6. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    You probably should go all the way and get a preamp with a proper buffered circuit for the piezo. The difference is quite noticeable.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have had solid basses with piezos - but only as an addition to the magnetic pickups.

    So the idea was to blend in a small amount of the piezo to add detail and acoustic sound.

    Solo'd the piezo sounded horrible - but when mixed in with a strong magnetic tone, it was an interesting additional sound...?
  8. yea i've seen those before. this one has two seperate outputs one for the piezo and one for the magnetic.

    buying a whole new preamp would be nice, but that's not going to happen for a while. thems expensive! ideally i would like to replace all the electronics, but probably later on down the line.