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Tell me more about Piezos?


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I can't find anything that real helps me learn more about piezos.

My primary questions are - what are the parts of it, and where are they located? Some seem to have an EQ, some don't - and some are larger than others. Where is the pickup portion of it?

Also, can someone provide an audio sample of how one sounds? I am building an electric solid with an entire space-out for pickups to be filled in, (the whole region will be open for easy position change, and for multiple pickups and a midi selector etc..) and I am considering this as an option - but I really don't know how they sound, and if it's a unique enough sound to need one?

Thanks!

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Check out the Graph Tech GHOST system, or the Fishman Powerbridge. both are piezo bridges/saddles. Essentially you have a little crystal with the unique property of generating a tiny signal when encountering a vibration. This signal has to be "juiced" up to an audible level, hence almost all piezo systems require an on-board pre-amp.

In terms of how they sound, well the point of using them on an electric guitar is to generate an "acoustic" sound. Having used them on my most recent guitar for the first time - I was VERY impressed with them.

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Check out the Graph Tech GHOST system, or the Fishman Powerbridge. both are piezo bridges/saddles. Essentially you have a little crystal with the unique property of generating a tiny signal when encountering a vibration. This signal has to be "juiced" up to an audible level, hence almost all piezo systems require an on-board pre-amp.

In terms of how they sound, well the point of using them on an electric guitar is to generate an "acoustic" sound. Having used them on my most recent guitar for the first time - I was VERY impressed with them.

Hey that's exactly what I needed to hear. I am quite sure I want to put one. It's on the list - basically my pickup slot is a giant opening so pickups can be dropped in at will, and can "slide" around to switch positions for testing.

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Please note.....

Piezos are NOT pickups!

They don't go in the regular pickup positions.

They go in the bridge.

If you already have something like a standard "Fender" flatmount bridge, the "Ghost" system comes with replacement saddles.

If you have a Floyd, it's not going to be as easy...

:D

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essentially piezos are piezo-electric crystals, that produce a tiny current when compressed, thus a vibration produces an alternating current signal at a corresponding frquency - thus their usefulness in this application. They do require direct contact with the string to create the deisred effect - thus the bridge is the appropriate location. The signal produced is very small, thus is usually boosted by an onboard amplifier, and many of those have some form of eq

Acoustically an electric guitar sounds - similar - to a steel string acoustic, well moreso than it does a tuba. This form of pickup amplifies the acoustic response of the string and guitar - so the result is a passable acoustic guitar sound

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The pre-amplifiers used on piezo systems are more for equalization and impedance matching than amplifying the piezo output. A piezo has plenty of output but has a high impedance, around 1 meg, so it doesn't match very well with most standard amplifier setups, the cable used can also make things more problematic if you don't impedance match properly. A preamplifier with a gain of around 1 or 2 is plenty.

This should probably be moved to the elctronics section.

Keith

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