Retrofit Bridge with Piezo setup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Lokire, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. I'm toying around with the idea of adding a piezo setup to one of my basses - but how easy/hard or realistic would this be? Is there some were I could buy a bridge that already has a piezo setup? Or would I have to install a piezo pickup(s) into my existing bridge. I'm a little clueless in this area - just how does a piezo setup work and how much electronics (like with the onboard pre) would it need, or does it need a seperate pre?

    My thought was to have a stacked volume pot, so one level would be the regular volume of the pickups and the other be the volume for the piezo to blend in.

    I dunno. Is this a foolish idea or is there some relatively easy way to go about it?
  2. Just looked around a bit and found this:


    And I searched around talkbass and learned that you need a buffer as well, so would that ABM piezo equipped bridge work with the "Bartolini Buffer and balance/blend" ?

    So that would involve just 1 extra knob, right? And I could use a stacked pot on the volume knob to do that? And the piezo system would be seperate from the existing active preamp in my bass, right?

    With the wiring then, would it go from the piezo pickups to the buffer, to a volume pot and then to the output jack?
  3. Switched


    Apr 19, 2003
    Qld, Australia
    Have you had a chance to play/listen to piezos? I'm not really fond of the sound of mine (Fishman) with steels. Haven't had a chance to try out nylons yet, though.
  4. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I think I came across a simple preamp/buffer design that would make it really easy to add with a blend knob, but I would also like to put this before tone shaping controls, for maximum flexibility
  5. Care to share? ;)
  6. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL

    Here's a good, inexpensive DIY preamp/buffer. Just run the output of this into your current electronics. You could also run this with a trip pot on the output for a level adjust. Or, you could also adapt the input a bit to change it's impdance. That would be quite easy. If you need any schematics, let me know and I'll edit these to show you what I am talking about.
  7. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    If you get one. avoid the one made by Shadow if it's still on the market. I had one and mounted it on a Fender P. It had a buffer preamp included. The first one was defective out of the box. I got it exchanged for another new one. This one worked for a week, then the piezo elements started breaking, string by string. The Canadian distributor reluctantly exchanged it for another one. Same thing, piezos started breaking. And I didn't subject it to any harsh treatment. I finally tossed it into the trash.

    When it worked it wasn't too bad a sound if blended with the P pickup. On it's own it had a midrangey sound I didn't like.

    Hopefully the Fishman and other brands don't have this problem.
  8. this will work fine...I also have a simple design using a TL071 opamp that will do the trick. I use mine to drive my passive PJ bass cable (have it mounted on my strap). It also provides a little bit of boost to get a better signal to the house.

    You know that you can use the same 9V battery to power both circuits, right? I just thought I'd throw that in.

    I'd also suggest playing with different capacitors on the input circuit (where the 1pF cap is)...this will give you some roll-off of the highs and make the piezo a little less brittle sounding...but you really must do this once everything is connected (perhaps with a breadboard and some micro-clip leads)...