#1
In many of the songs I write, I change styles quickly, too quickly to change guitars. Like in the song Aqualung by Jethro Tull, I have a need to change from a helter skelter Electric soloing sound, to a mellower acoustic sound very abruptly....

So I came across this thing, called a Piezo Pickup. Supposedly you can use it to make ur electric guitar sound like an acoustic. Which would be great, but I'm having trouble finding out exactly what it is....
So is it just a pickup? Or do you need a control box to go with it?

I found this video on youtube and it sounded to good to be true...\
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6IOacWi10s
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#2
it has its own switch, normally. idk about control boxes. I played a john petrucci model (7 and 6 string) and the piezo's made it almost exactly like an acoustic, it was crazy.

Edit: if i'm not mistakened, they're built into the bridge of the guitar?
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Last edited by randomhero93 at Jul 29, 2009,
#3
I'm not totally sure what a Piezo pickup is, but it's on most acoustic electric guitars on or by the bridge. You can't see it.

It's very clean. And I think you can only put it in a semi-hollow...
#4
Quote by r0ckth3d34n
I'm not totally sure what a Piezo pickup is, but it's on most acoustic electric guitars on or by the bridge. You can't see it.

It's very clean. And I think you can only put it in a semi-hollow...

false, it's in a lot of solid body guitars as well, i just mentioned the john petrucci models, and i've seen them in gibson les pauls, PRS's, and some Parker Fly's.
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#5
look at something called a ghost pickup system
www.myspace.com/decognition

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#6
It can be a pickup or you can get a piezo bridge.

You need active electronics. search ' Rush Hope PRS ' on youtube shows how good it can sound with a hollowbodied solid guitar with thick strings...more reminiscant to an auditorium guitar. On super strats like Ibanez S series etc they sound like a cheaper Yamaha electro acoustic through a PA. Very strange feel. Try before you buy.
#7
Quote by r0ckth3d34n
I'm not totally sure what a Piezo pickup is, but it's on most acoustic electric guitars on or by the bridge. You can't see it.

It's very clean. And I think you can only put it in a semi-hollow...


Not true. You could put a piezo pickup on anything and have it work. Not that it would sound good, but it'd work. You could, theoretically, make an electric trumpet by putting a piezo on the bell of the trumpet.

If I remember correctly, piezo pickups simply pick up and amplify vibrations from solid materials. I could be wrong though.
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#8
Piezo pickups work by the materials in the pickup creating electric potential by pressure- kind of like a fire alarm. The different properties of the vibration of, for example, the strings at the bridge, where many piezo pickups are mounted, create different amounts of pressure on the pickup, giving different electric potentials. Since the output is so high (I've read somewhere in the region f several million ohms), they require a biffering preamp in order to stop the sound being brittle.

I think that covers a little bit of it anyways.

EDIT: You also have transducers, which are technically piezo pickups, but whenver I hear piezo, I generally relate to undersaddle pickups, and "top mounted" piezo pickups as transducer
#9
A piezo pickup is an active (requires a battery) pickup with expanded frequency response range. This means it captures a more 'natural' sound, which many people use as a quick substitute for an acoustic, though originally they were used exclusively for amplifying acoustic guitars themselves, then they moved to hollow body electrics, then semi-hollows, then finally they made their way to solid body electric guitars.

There are tons of different types of piezo pickup: some are placed int he guitar like any other pickup is, most are mounted under the bridge, some are mounted in the bridge, some are mounted at the end of the fretboard. They will usually have their own controls on the guitar to switch them in and out, and some better piezo systems may even have their own on-board EQ controls.

Installing a piezo pickup into a guitar that is not initially meant to have one is hard, can be fairly expensive, and it's very easy to make a small but critical error that winds up either A) shorting everything and getting no sound or B) blowing your amp entirely. It is also effectively permanent, as it requires all the existing electronics to be swapped out and often requires some new routing too. It's not something to consider casually. If you're thinking of getting one installed, consider whether you really need it - it's often better to simply use an acoustic simulator pedal, or keep an actual acoustic separately on a stand for quick use.
If you decide you really can't live without a piezo, first consider guying a guitar that already has one built in. A cheap and decent option is the Epiphone Ultra-II, it's a semi-hollow Les Paul with a pretty good fretboard-mounted piezo pickup with it's own three band EQ and independent volume control, as well as twin jacks so you can have both electric and acoustic tones going through the same line/amp or you can split them to different lines/amps. Fender also make a MIM Deluxe Power HSS Stratocaster that has a piezo pickup, however I've given a couple of these a go myself and I have to say the sound quality of theirs was well below standard and the controls for it weren't great.
If you can't find a guitar you like that already has a piezo system and you're still sure you absolutely must have one in your existing guitar, take your guitar to a local good luthier (not just whatever goons are working at your local Guitar Centre) and ask them to take a look at your guitar and explain what you intend to do - they should be able to give you a good idea of just how much work will be needed to do to fit your guitar with a piezo pickup and how much doing so will cost. Absolutely do not try to just buy a piezo and jam it in yourself. You are guaranteed to **** it up.

For reference, one of the easier piezo systems to install are the Fishman Power Bridge series. They retro fit most standard guitars (Strats, Telecasters, Les Pauls and SGs, or other guitars that use the same bridges as those) and the quality of their sound and hardware is pretty good. However, though they don't usually require any extra routing, Fishman bridges do require more electrical know-how as they need to make use of a couple of special systems or they won't work correctly with the other pickups in your guitar.
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#10
Quote by MrFlibble
A piezo pickup is an active (requires a battery) pickup with expanded frequency response range. This means it captures a more 'natural' sound, which many people use as a quick substitute for an acoustic, though originally they were used exclusively for amplifying acoustic guitars themselves, then they moved to hollow body electrics, then semi-hollows, then finally they made their way to solid body electric guitars.

There are tons of different types of piezo pickup: some are placed int he guitar like any other pickup is, most are mounted under the bridge, some are mounted in the bridge, some are mounted at the end of the fretboard. They will usually have their own controls on the guitar to switch them in and out, and some better piezo systems may even have their own on-board EQ controls.

Installing a piezo pickup into a guitar that is not initially meant to have one is hard, can be fairly expensive, and it's very easy to make a small but critical error that winds up either A) shorting everything and getting no sound or B) blowing your amp entirely. It is also effectively permanent, as it requires all the existing electronics to be swapped out and often requires some new routing too. It's not something to consider casually. If you're thinking of getting one installed, consider whether you really need it - it's often better to simply use an acoustic simulator pedal, or keep an actual acoustic separately on a stand for quick use.
If you decide you really can't live without a piezo, first consider guying a guitar that already has one built in. A cheap and decent option is the Epiphone Ultra-II, it's a semi-hollow Les Paul with a pretty good fretboard-mounted piezo pickup with it's own three band EQ and independent volume control, as well as twin jacks so you can have both electric and acoustic tones going through the same line/amp or you can split them to different lines/amps. Fender also make a MIM Deluxe Power HSS Stratocaster that has a piezo pickup, however I've given a couple of these a go myself and I have to say the sound quality of theirs was well below standard and the controls for it weren't great.
If you can't find a guitar you like that already has a piezo system and you're still sure you absolutely must have one in your existing guitar, take your guitar to a local good luthier (not just whatever goons are working at your local Guitar Centre) and ask them to take a look at your guitar and explain what you intend to do - they should be able to give you a good idea of just how much work will be needed to do to fit your guitar with a piezo pickup and how much doing so will cost. Absolutely do not try to just buy a piezo and jam it in yourself. You are guaranteed to **** it up.

For reference, one of the easier piezo systems to install are the Fishman Power Bridge series. They retro fit most standard guitars (Strats, Telecasters, Les Pauls and SGs, or other guitars that use the same bridges as those) and the quality of their sound and hardware is pretty good. However, though they don't usually require any extra routing, Fishman bridges do require more electrical know-how as they need to make use of a couple of special systems or they won't work correctly with the other pickups in your guitar.



lol, that just about sums it up . Personally, I would find it really convenient to have a piezo in my own guitar
#11
Mr. Fibble,
thanx :]

http://cgi.ebay.com/Fishman-PowerBridge-Tune-o-Matic-Piezo-Bridge-Chrome_W0QQitemZ170353705753QQcmdZViewItemQQptZGuitar_Accessories?hash=item27a9df4319&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

Something like that ^ would seem to be an easy thing to use. Y can't it be wired into the guitars existing harness?
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make the bass more bassy

Quote by grohl1987
You really like input jacks, don't you?

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Last edited by Shaggy Shadric at Jul 29, 2009,
#12
Personally, i find piezo's sound like crap. Doesnt sound acoustic at all, and it doesnt sound beautiful either.
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#13
It's basically a system built into the bridge saddles of the instrument that directly pick up the vibrations of the string as opposed to using a magnetic field for the job, and transmit the "acoustic" vibrations of the instrument through to the amp. Usually the guitar will have a separate output to send the piezo signal to a PA or acoustic amp to emphasize the acoustic tone.
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#15
It's not gonna sound like a good acoustic, just a sad representation. It'll still sound "like" and acoustic though.
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#16
Quote by LP_CL
Personally, i find piezo's sound like crap. Doesnt sound acoustic at all, and it doesnt sound beautiful either.



I couldnt agree more. Ironically a split coil configuration using both neck and bridge pickups sound closer to an acoustic. Thats something you may want to try.
#17
It really depends on WHAT guitar you have the Piezo installed in. The factory LR Baggs that's installed in my PRS Hollowbody comes as close to sounding like an electric acoustic that I've ever heard. I can't see (or hear) a solid body piezo setup providing the same response due to the limitations of solid vs. hollow. I tried a few out and none of them cut it IMO.

Here's a link to the Rush Hope PRS Hollowbody video mentioned above. This video is what sold me on this guitar:

Rush Hope by Jo


Quote by MrFlibble

A cheap and decent option is the Epiphone Ultra-II, it's a semi-hollow Les Paul with a pretty good fretboard-mounted piezo pickup with it's own three band EQ and independent volume control, as well as twin jacks so you can have both electric and acoustic tones going through the same line/amp or you can split them to different lines/amps.

I tried this one and found it to be a total let down on many levels. It's chambered rather than semi-hollow, which had a big part of the limitations. Your mileage may vary.
Last edited by thehikingdude at Aug 4, 2009,
#18
having played them in Loadsa Parkers and having one in my own parker, i can say they are awesome, very close to acoustic sound through an amp with a decent clean channel.

adds an easy dimension to your live playing....well did mine anyway.
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