Jump to content

Piezo Pickup Repair for an Acoustic Guitar


Recommended Posts

Hi All,

I have a vintage Takamine N-10 made by the japanese factory luthiers that I dearly love. The bridge ripped off the soft cedar deck that I had expertly repaire by a local luthier. The N-10 has a 4+2 split bridge.

However, the B-Band UST pickup transducer that I had installed appears to be toast. The very thin and delicate 4+2 split bridge piezo is most likely the culprit. As I reacll, the installation was quite finnicky and it took a lot of fidgeting to stop it buzzing. But once properly installed, it was superb and quiet! Question 1: How can I diagnose a defective transducer?

Of course, B-Band (Norway) appears to no longer exist and the split bridge must have been a special OEM model because I have never seen it listed. So...

I would like to attempt replacing the piezo element. I have found several such elements as this one that looks decent however they are not split bridge: https://www.amazon.ca/Guitar-Pickup-Sensitive-Under-Saddle-Classic/dp/B07J5XV47L/ref=pd_sbs_3/133-5330896-1926130?pd_rd_w=jBZm7&pf_rd_p=5a96e04a-597e-4af0-ad58-9e5ab8749d32&pf_rd_r=Y3H015YQK49EW43PFECV&pd_rd_r=5bf7f08f-339b-4c70-9bca-77d040bb6c6b&pd_rd_wg=GdLla&pd_rd_i=B07J5XV47L&psc=1

Question 2: Is it possible to trim a piezo transducer to length? Will it remain functional?

Question 3: And if this won't work, what would you suggest to me?

Many thanks in advance!

Paul Isabelle, Quebec City, Canada

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just watched a Rosa Stringworks video about repairing an acoustic with an undersaddle piezo. Mr. Rosa being a perfectionist regarding seating the saddle into the bridge said that the transducers under the bone a) eat depth required for proper snug seating and b) weaken the contact between the bottom of the slot in the bridge and the bone. In his opinion a good quality glued transducer inside the body sounds as good and allows for a properly seated saddle in the bridge.

This little article might be an interesting read: https://ehomerecordingstudio.com/best-acoustic-guitar-pickups/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Joensuu,

The ehometrecordingstudio page is most informative. It is a nice resumé of what is out there for acoustic guitars.

I was not able to find the Rosa Stringworks video you are talking about. Could you please give me the link?

After many tests I was able to get some sound out of my B-Band. Quite obviously, the tiny black ribbon connector (flexible pcb) of the piezo at the preamp end is glitchy. The ground plane appears to have an intermittent connection. I may be able to salvage it after all if I can get a more reliable ground connection established.

Thanks again,

Paul.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Bizman62 for the info that I will look at with great attention !

Great News! I was able to get my old B-Band working again. It was the flexible PCB connector ground contact that was faulty after all.

However, the gain on this piezo pickup element is not the greatest and an annoying 60 Hz buzz can be heard when we crank it up. But when I touch the metal of the 1/4" jack, it gets super quiet. Humm... So...

I first made a ground cable that connects the 1/4" jack to me (soldered to a copper penny I tuck in my shorts, behind my belt against my skin, But that is a pain, one wire too many! But it works great.

I then made a ground cable that connects the amp end of the 1/4" jack to terra firma (the ground wire plugs into the wall receptacle no less, with two plastic dummy prongs for the mains. with no chance of electruction  like Marty McFly 😉 What can I say? Hell, it works and the sound is cristal clear with no noise whatsoever.  

Paul.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...