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uneven Radio Shack buzzer piezzo response

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by RyanHelms, Jun 14, 2004.


  1. RyanHelms

    RyanHelms

    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    I posted here because a search for "piezzo" only turned up one thread site-wide that had to do with this sort of thing. Also, hope this is isn't taboo in the DB forum, but the instrument in question is an electric fretless.

    So out of curiosity after reading about this as per the cheapo DIY Azola Baby Bass pickup, I grabbed a mini-buzzer from Radio Shack and placed it under my bridge, running the leads into the control cavity through the hole for the string ground. The response is fantastic on the G, great on the D, low E is acceptable, but the A string doesn't even sound like a note for all intents and purposes. Just a percussive ponging sort of thump.

    I'm wondering if the resonant frequency of the piezzo itself is an issue? Placement doesn't seem to affect the overall response, I'm assuming because the bridge is tightened down to the bass body evenly and with that much mass should vibrate evenly too.

    When a DB player uses a piezzo in only one foot of a bridge, is there a noticable difference in output from one side to the other? Are they normally placed on the bass side? Anyone experience this on a DB where three strings are loud and clear and one is a dud?

    This would be a very cool (albiet lo-fi) alternative to a $300 piezzo saddle bridge to blend an acoustic personality into the magnetic pups on an electric fretless.

    Thanks,
    Ryan
     
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    The title of your thread left me in tears for a good couple of minutes. Priceless!

    Anyhow, serious answer now. I used to have one of those Epiphone acoustic bass guitars and ran into similar problems when we tried to lower the bridge. Just a plastic thing that sat on top of the piezo strip. We couldn't seem to get the pressure even on the element which caused uneveness in volume between the strings. What probably happened is that the originally bridge wasn't completely flat on the bottom and damaged the element. We screwed around with it for quite a while and I ended up selling the bass to a guy that had an extra element laying around.

    In short, my guess is that the pickup isn't getting even pressure across the width of the bridge.
     
  3. RyanHelms

    RyanHelms

    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    "The title of your thread left me in tears for a good couple of minutes. Priceless!"

    Yeah, I can imagine why. Just wait until the "homemade particleboard bridge keeps breaking" thread. Anyway...

    I noticed that the A string's break angle from the nut is much less than the others. Maybe that's the problem right there. D and G have plenty'o down pressure from the string tree, and the E is wound down on the post. But try as I may, I have not been able to get hardly any break angle on the A string...

    What about too much pressure on the piezzo disc?

    At any rate, this was just a jerry-rig to see what might happen. For a serious installation, I'ld prolly spring for a McIntyre Acoustic Feather or somehting similar. $3 is better to better to goof with than $110.
     
  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I don't think that the nut end of the string is going to have any effect at all. It's the 'down' pressure on the bridge.
     
  5. RyanHelms

    RyanHelms

    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    You're right, the string angle at the nut shouldn't be an issue. Actually, trying different locations seemed to show that the "dead" spot is over the center of the disc...

    Maybe using two is the answer.
     
  6. RyanHelms

    RyanHelms

    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Plucking with the strings palm muted revealed that my A string just happens to have an extremely resonant thump. Not the piezzo at all really, just a case of the peculiarities of all the zillion and one other physical things going on when you stretch a string across wood and pluck it...

    My appologies to resident DB'ers for all this solidbody fretless nonsense. I'll continue this over in the BG forum. But until I can score an upright, I'm looking for an alternative to a $300 bridge with piezzo saddles. :ninja:

    -Ryan