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Piezo What?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Gopher Bob, May 2, 2006.

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  1. Gopher Bob

    Gopher Bob

    Nov 24, 2001
    Ive seen piezos for about 5 years but havn't really cared to wonder about them.

    Now i wonder.

    what are they exactly and how do they operate? Why would someone want them? If i got a carvin would i want them?
  2. 1. Piezoelectricity

    Quite a bit of detail there. Basically they're crystals that create a voltage potential when placed under pressure.

    2. You might want them because of the sound that they produce, which is different to normal magnetic pickups.

    3. Maybe. Would you? Head to a few music stores and see if you can try out a few basses that have them.
  3. I believe Piezos work by taking a "Sound-Print" of the string's vibration at the point where the string meets the bridge...

    ...kinda like an "Aura Photograph"...

    ...these photographs are then duplicated and sold on eBay as the "Warwick Streamer Stage II" for 125 U.S. Dollars..:meh:

    ... Nah, sorry, I got nuthin' :D

  4. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    I think the general idea is to include all available frequencies given off the bass, available for amplifying. In other words. The specific frequencies picked up by standard magnetic pickups is limited to where they happen to be at any given point on a string and depending on what note is being played. Pickup position plays an important part in what it receives from the strings.
    Piezio electronics take the point of contact at the bridge as a reference point where all frequencies have to start and end.
    I use the piezio on my Carvin lb70P sparingly and no more than 50% blend with the mag pups. It adds some brightness which is good for slapping and a modern sound when using finger style.
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    How they work is this:

    There's a thin metal layer (usually brass) with a thin layer of crystal material "painted" onto one side. One wire connects to the brass, another wire to the crystal. When the piezo is vibrated, the brass and the crystal move slightly different amounts, which generates an electrical potential between them. That electrical potential just happens to be a pretty good reproduction of the sound that vibrated the piezo! Any sort of vibration or impact will translate to an audio signal output, so the real art of piezo pickup designing is keeping the sensitivity under control so ideally it only picks up the string/bridge vibrations.
  6. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Seriously, check out the Pickups FAQ!

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