1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

piezos?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by friendlybass, Mar 28, 2015.


  1. friendlybass

    friendlybass

    Jul 19, 2012
    Colorado
    Not a lot of info, went through some old threads on here that said the same.
    I understand the principle and heard some okay demos on YouTube but not sure its what I'm looking for. What I want is a natural top end without the high mid nasal quality. Is a well done piezo bridge system what Im looking for?
    If its not is there something else like it? Or am I looking for an active pre with the treble frequency set the way I want
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Subbed. I'll just comment that a preamp may help, but it can't add signal content that isn't there. Not sure piezos are what you're after. What are the existing magnetic pickups? I think the "high mid nasal quality" rep is due to poorly eq'ed piezos, fwiw.
     
  3. friendlybass

    friendlybass

    Jul 19, 2012
    Colorado
    Thanks man, this is actually part of the planning for a build. I've been think the Lace alumitone bass bars for it, but its not set in stone and part of the inspiration is doing a versatile pickup size (the emg 35 shape to be exact) with a quick connect type connection so that this bass kind of becomes a test mule for different pickups.
    Once I've got at least some of the parts on order ill start a build thread but the idea came on because I'm a church bassist and frequently I dont have an amp, and sometimes they don't even want me to use my pedalboard or even my DI, largely because murphy's law seem to apply more to church sound than anything so they practically bolt it all down in hopes that through militant consistency they can help eliminate some of the issues they have.
    The sound I want for contemporary worship and gospel is crystal clear bright sound, scooped with a lot of bottom and highs. My mij jag bass gets me by cause it can cop a lot of different sounds and has that extreme boost only preamp I can switch on, but since I've wanted to build a bass for a long time now and I'm kind of OCD about tone, I wanted a bass I could essentially hook up to a passive DI in a worst case scenario and still get some shape of that tone.
    Its gonna be a one soapbar in the P position, maybe a little towards the neck, with an active pre, active/passive operation, and coil tapping. I'm hoping a piezo would add some brightness not unlike turning up the tweeter on the cab or playing an acoustic bass since ill get a lot of my bottom from the magnetic pup position and preamp. The free bass lessons guy does some videos with a Spector core Piezo and that's really similar to this idea, just chambered body.
    Sorry for the long post, thanks listening to my hung over rambling :)
     
  4. Grissle

    Grissle

    May 17, 2009
    Proper piezo implementation is all about the the quality of the Buffer/Preamp. Piezo setups with non-existent or poor buffers is the reason they're not thought more highly of.
     
    mech likes this.
  5. friendlybass

    friendlybass

    Jul 19, 2012
    Colorado
    That's what the kind folks at best bass gear said, do you run the buffer/pre before the preamp you use for the regular pickup?
     
  6. You don't chain preamps. It's not good practice. The piezo and magnetic buffers sum to a single output.
     
  7. Grissle

    Grissle

    May 17, 2009
    Well..., going from say an active bass with a preamp to maybe a preamp or amp sim pedal into the front of an amp(with its own preamp) is certainly common practice and there's nothing wrong with that kind of signal chain. A piezo buffer is generally installed in the instrument and buffers the piezo's really high impedance to a normal instrument signal level. Some systems will even allow you to sum or separate magnetic pickups and piezo's to either single or dual output jacks.
     
  8. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    I think Fishman makes one..
     
  9. friendlybass

    friendlybass

    Jul 19, 2012
    Colorado
    That would actually be awesome
    I'll check it out thanks for the input guys!
     
  10. Running a bass into other gear is a different situation. As far as how piezo and magnetic pickups blend together before hitting the output jack, you want them to be buffered separately and summed, not chained together with two signals going into a single buffer stage. The output of a piezo buffer is lower than that of most passive inductive pickups, so running a piezo buffer into a conventional preamp that already has inductive pickups connected to it is going to cause an impedance mismatch. If there is a desire for a conventional preamp for purposes of EQ or filtering, the piezo and magnetic signals would be individually buffered and then summed to the preamp. That isn't the greatest idea, though, because it adds some noise and decreases headroom.
     
    friendlybass likes this.
  11. friendlybass

    friendlybass

    Jul 19, 2012
    Colorado
    So essentially id wire my pickup into the preamp to the output, and then the piezo to a buffer to the output? Is there a device or method that combines them or do I just solder both of them to the jack?
     
  12. friendlybass

    friendlybass

    Jul 19, 2012
    Colorado
    Shameless bump! Come on talkbass gurus I know someone knows something about piezos!
     
  13. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    SEPA
    Actual implementation, not so much...
    But I'll mention that Steinberger has been combining magnetic and piezo pickups for a long time.
    The Synapse basses have an EMG mag pickup and a piezo at the bridge, with a blend.
    Similarly, the CR[4|5]M series of EUB have magnetic and piezo pickups.
    If I wanted to implement something like that, that's where I'd start...
     
  14. friendlybass

    friendlybass

    Jul 19, 2012
    Colorado
    Thanks a bunch man Ill try to get my ear on those!
     
  15. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    Fishman had/has them avail, as does Bartolini, and EMG (not easily found, tho).
     
    friendlybass likes this.
  16. friendlybass

    friendlybass

    Jul 19, 2012
    Colorado
    What would they be called like an output summer or combiner type thing?
     
  17. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I have RMC piezos in my Curbow along with regular Bart magnetic pickups. To be honest, I've never found them to be all that useful. "Natural top end without the high mid nasal quality..." is not really the way I'd describe the tone at all. Generally speaking, piezos tend to sound very compressed, with rather harsh and artificial sounding highs. (In acoustic guitar circles, folks are always trying to get rid of the "piezo quack"...)

    We have become somewhat accustomed to the sound of piezo pickups on amplified acoustic guitars in a stage mix, but if you compare the amplified tone to the un-amplified acoustic sound of a good acoustic equipped with piezos, you can tell that "piezo" tone is rather different from "acoustic" tone.
     
    friendlybass likes this.
  18. friendlybass

    friendlybass

    Jul 19, 2012
    Colorado
    I appreciate the input man! I hate the sound of some recorded piezos, I always describe the sound as greasy like my ear can't pin down the fundamental. They seemed semi-prevalent for electric bass so it got me thinking for this project
     
  19. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Well, the best sounding piezos I've heard on a fretted electric bass are on the Turner Rennaisance bass

    ()

    but that's a chambered body with special nylon-core strings that don't work with magnetic pickups, and even then it has a little of the piezo quack to it.

    I had Greg and Doug include them on my Curbow when they were building it because I thought they might let me get more of the "acoustic" flavor of the bass (it's got a hollow body), but they're too mid-shy and have too little dynamic range to be all that useful in a mix, in my experience. Maybe it would be different if I were using them with different strings, or on a fretless.

    I did have a fretless Curbow that had an under-bridge transducer installed, and the piezo tone was a little more useful there, but there was also some difficulty getting a good balance across all the strings.
     
  20. friendlybass

    friendlybass

    Jul 19, 2012
    Colorado
    Thanks for the video dude I see what you mean. How much, would you say, is a matter of eqing it? If I wired it like my carvin lb50 where both pickups go to the main out and only one to the second, so Id be able to send the piezo to its own preamp essentially, would I be able to shape it or in your experience is it what it is?
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.