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Really Cheap Pickup

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by robobass, Jan 31, 2006.


  1. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I decided to get this just for the heck of it:

    http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item
    =7385606235&ssPageName=MERC_VIC_ReBay_Pr2_PcN_BIN_IT

    It was 10 euros (12 bucks) and he'll ship it to the U.S. for another €7

    I wouldn't use it alone. It has this bright piezo midrange sorta like old Barcus Berry's, but it complements my Schertler nicely. I think it would work well for people who get a good bottom but want more woody mids, as was my situation.

    There is some english on the site. It seems to be intended for making short tracks for your cellphone or something. There is also a mono version. I actually pulled the stereo version apart and have one piece stuck on my bridge just above the heart, and the other on my wife's viola. I stuck it on my fender just in front of the neck pickup and liked what I heard too.

    The thing is very delicate. You have to be careful how you position the wire, and it is not hum-free, but does have a lot of gain. It likes to be plugged into a Fishman preamp.

    If I get really ambitious I'lll put up some mp3s.

    I don't know the guy, and have no personal stake, just thought I'd pass along a tip! (not responsible for misuse, abuse....!)

    Robobass
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Looks like he's using the disks from Radio Shack piezo buzzers. If there's hum, he's not shielding them properly.

    I tried making bass pickups from these metal disk piezos - the sound was OK but I had trouble making reliable solder connections.
     
  3. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Yes. These things aren't shielded well. The ground wire doesn't actually wrap around the hot wire, it just runs along side. The solder connections are very sloppy, and you have to fuss with it to get good signal. I added a string ground, which gets rid of a lot of the hum. Since I'm only blending this signal to the schertler, adding maybe 30%, the S/N is acceptable.
     
  4. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
  5. jflojazz

    jflojazz

    Jan 2, 2004
    Portland Or
    Hi TherE
    I have also been making my own pickups.
    You can easily get rid of the hum by shielding these with
    conductive copper foil from www.stewmac.com
    Just cover the hot lead with electrical tape the fold the copper tape over the whole thing making sure it contacts the ground lead.Also make sure you use shielded cable too
    You can get a great sound by putting one under the bridge foot also. Part of the problem is also with 2 elements you get phase cancellation. try just one.
    also it makes a difference if they are wired in series ( bad)or parallel (Better)
    JFlo
     
  6. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    How do you wrap the piezo element without shorting the sides together?
     
  7. jflojazz

    jflojazz

    Jan 2, 2004
    Portland Or
    First insulate and cover the hot lead or side with electrical tape or some insulation, clear nail polish, whatever to isolate it .then wrap the whole thing the copper tape
    the object is to have the hot pin surrounded by the ground so all noise picked up is shunted to ground and you dont hear it.
    hope this helps