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Piezo only electric guitar build

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Hello I'm going to be doing my first guitar build soon using warmoth parts. I'm not going to have any mag pickups only a graph tech ghost piezo system. I have a number of questions about wiring it and am having trouble finding any information on wiring a system like this. I need to know if I need a volume and tone knib because I'd rather not have either if not necessary. Also do I need to ground the bridge, ferrules and strings (I'm using a strat hardtail setup). 

 

Anything else I should know? 

 

Thanks in advance. I know a little about electronics but am completely new to guitar electronics. 

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The Ghost saddles are designed to be paired up with a preamp of some kind. Doesn't the Ghost come with the Acousti-phonic preamp as a complete kit?

No need to ground the bridge/strings if you're only installing piezo pickups.

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1 hour ago, curtisa said:

The Ghost saddles are designed to be paired up with a preamp of some kind. Doesn't the Ghost come with the Acousti-phonic preamp as a complete kit?

No need to ground the bridge/strings if you're only installing piezo pickups.

@curtisa, the ghost system does not come as saddles and preamp as a kit. They are separate.

That being said, because the Ghost saddles are hex pickups, meaning each saddle is a pickup, a normal preamp will not work with them unless you make a harness to bring them all together as a single. Also balance between them must be thought of.

Therefore the  Graphtech Ghost preamp would be the best route, as this is designed for that setup.

MK

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Sorry I should have specified. I am going to be using their pre-amp. It does come in a kit and looks pretty plug and play. 

 

Not having any potentiometer at all shouldn't effect anything right? 

 

Thanks for the help! 

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You'll probably need to do some jumpering and bypassing in order for the piezo signal to make it through the preamp minus a volume pot, but it should be doable.

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OK thanks! I was pretty sure it would be fairly simple 8 just wasn't sure if the system needed the resistance from the pot to function properly. 

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May I ask why you would want no volume control? I know someone who bought a Fender accoustic that doesn't have one and I thought its a real pain in the neck

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1 hour ago, Crusader said:

May I ask why you would want no volume control?

There appears to be two basic approaches to achieving a desired tone:

1.    passive pickups,  vol and tone controls, cables with cap issues, preamp and/or amp in overdrive.   use of overdrive channel.  - IE the older way of doing it.

2. passive or active pickups.  vol and tone pegged, or not even installed. pedal board for effects, EQ for tone control, clean channel on amp,    wireless cables with no treble loss over distance.  no preamp or amp distortion - all distortion and other effects are created by purpose built circuits - not by pushing gear farther than it can go clean.  IE the newer way of doing things.

In the newer way of doing things, you don't really use volume or tone at all.

My #1 axe for 27 years is an ESP LTD M2 with a single bridge EMG81 hot wired to the jack, no neck pickup at all, and vol and tone controls removed from the guitar entirely.  Its being upgraded to an EMG81x and locking tuners at the moment.

I've recently done a number of builds, both experimental and non-experimental, that have no volume control.

Neither of my two completed non-experimental builds has a volume control (the red guitar and the stained wood piezo).

But i've discovered that on builds with no volume, its desirable to have a kill switch, so you can set the guitar down without feedback, and without turning down the amp.

Also - at least this week - i'm leaning towards "moving controls onboard makes them more convenient for the player".

So i'm starting to put master volumes on my builds. 

And i've decided that a tone control is useless for new school. who wants a lossy treble cut for metal?  (a typical "new school" sound).

If i were going to put onboard tone controls on a guitar,it wouldn't be a lossy treble cut circuit, it would be an EQ.   

been there. done that.   the x-1 build.

And odds are i'll put an EQ on the x-4 while i'm upgrading it with kill switch, master volume, single/parallel, and a coil split pot (yet another experiment).

So you have to consider both the old and new school way of doing things. They are rather different, resulting in different needs in a guitar.     

Not getting the idea of no volume control indicates you're not considering new school methods and player types.   By old school standards only, no volume would be insane.  By new school standards only, tone and volume are useless.

Then you get into the whole "purpose built" vs "general" guitar design thing.  is the guitar a purpose built shreader? (way new school) then you need a nice flat neck, an active bridge pickup with no metal cover, a floyd rose or equivalent,  and a jack.   nothing else.  no tone, no volume, no BS - just you and the strings.  and shape what comes out of the jack as you see fit using the pedal board.  

is it designed for 50's rock and roll?   you need passive single coils, weaker magnets are preferred. volume and tone and a tube amp are a must. metal pickup covers, patch cables, not wireless, so you get that authentic treble bleed. and so on.

is it designed to do it all?

well,  unless you figured out how to do an active bridge humbucker and a tele bridge with single coil in a single guitar - it can't be done.  At this point it doesn't seem possible to build one guitar that can do everything: 50's rock, modern metal, jazz, slide, etc.  and then throw Djent guitars into the mix....

Edited by norm barrows

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Yeah come to think of it I never use tone and hardly ever use the volume control but in that case a kill switch is a must

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