#1
I played a Godin guitar with a piezo bridge at the store today, and I was rather impressed with the sound. The guitar had 3 inputs: one is a regular 1/4" electric guitar input, one was 13-pin connector for synth access, and a third was marked "acoustic".

Does this mean that in order to switch from electric to acoustic tones onstage I have to pull out the plug from one input and stick it in the other input? Is this on all piezo equipped guitars?

I should also mention that there was a HUGE volume difference from the acoustic input and electric input, a difference that would certainly be a problem when playing live, and there are no seperate volume controls! What's that all about?

Can someone please explain how this piezo wizardry works, or provide me a link to something that does? Thanks
#2
It depends on the guitar. On most guitars you just have the one jack and the piezo is added in to the electric signal either by having its own volume control (so you can roll it in to add to the normal signal, or roll down the normal pickups' volume controls and put up the piezo's olume to have only the piezo) or by using a 3-way mini switch (piezo/both/regular pickups). Some use a push-pull pot instead of a lever switch.

Others do use two jacks. The idea there is that you have the normal pickups going to one jack, which goes to a regular amp; the piezo goes to another jack which then goes to either an acoustic amp or a mixing board/PA system. You use an A/B box to switch between the two.

Some guitars have both. For example the Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-II has an acoustic pickup (not technically a piezo, but it's used in the same way), a volume control for it and two jacks. You can either plug in two cables so you have each pickup type going off to different amps or you can plug in just one cable and both pickups go through to the same amp, with the three volume controls (neck/bridge/acoustic) controlling the mix.

As for the volume, piezo systems usually have much more output than regular pickups. It may be that on the particular guitar you tried, the second (piezo) jack was modified to lower the output of the piezo.
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#3
I don't know about Godins, but I put a set of Graphtec Ghost piezo saddles on one of my strats, and it just had one stereo jack so you could output into two different amps. If you were just using a single amp, you just used a mono cable. It had it's own preamp and volume control, and I could mix the piezo with the regular pickups, and they balanced quite nicely.
#4
Mine has 1 stereo output that splits to 2 inputs, i run this into an electric and an acoustic amp.
It should work in a similar way but would need 2 leads instead of 1 stereo one.
The volume thing shouldn't be an issue as you can adjust the volume on each amp individualy.
#5
Quote by ThtGuyOvrThere
I played a Godin guitar with a piezo bridge at the store today, and I was rather impressed with the sound. The guitar had 3 inputs: one is a regular 1/4" electric guitar input, one was 13-pin connector for synth access, and a third was marked "acoustic".

Does this mean that in order to switch from electric to acoustic tones onstage I have to pull out the plug from one input and stick it in the other input? Is this on all piezo equipped guitars?

I should also mention that there was a HUGE volume difference from the acoustic input and electric input, a difference that would certainly be a problem when playing live, and there are no seperate volume controls! What's that all about?

Can someone please explain how this piezo wizardry works, or provide me a link to something that does? Thanks

I will answer for the Godin xtSA (since I use one) which I believe is pretty standard for all Godins.

http://godinguitars.com/xtsa.pdf

This is a link to the owners manual, page 4 shows using the different voices.

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You will notice there is a volume control and a three band EQ for the piezo or "Acoustic" output. The sliver "three-way selector" and "S1/S2 Momentary" switches control your Guitar Synth.

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This shows you output options.

Also, if you are running through a Roland GR-55 (or the older GR-20, maybe others but I haven't used any other) and are only using the 13 pin, either the regular pick ups or the piezos are on the Synth's "Guitar Out".

By the way, I would recommend the "3 output - 3 cord" method (or electric to amp, acoustic to PA method if you are not using the 13-Pin Output) because the "acoustic" through a regular guitar amp does sound like crap in some cases, especially amps without a really clean channel.



This is the signal path of my stage rig (plus a few pedals prior to the Twin Reverb) and I do sometimes route the "acoustic" to the Fender, but normally the acoustic is run dry to the Mackie and cleaned up with the EC-660 wihich is MIDI controlable. I only use the 13 pin cable out of the Godin and control my signal paths through the GR=55 Guitar Synth. I can also route output from the Mackie to a house PA either pre or post my EQs.

Hopefully this answers some of your questions. As you can see, fully utilizing a Synth Access guitar is gear intensive and way more complex than your usual rig. Sometimes I just skip the whole thing and just take the Les Paul and Twin Reverb with some pedals and call it a show.
If I miss one day of practice, I notice it.
If I miss two days, the critics notice it.
If I miss three days, the audience notices it.

Ingacy Jan Paderewski (1860 - 1941)
Last edited by Quintex at Mar 4, 2012,
#7
Quote by Quintex
I will answer for the Godin xtSA (since I use one) which I believe is pretty standard for all Godins.

http://godinguitars.com/xtsa.pdf

This is a link to the owners manual, page 4 shows using the different voices.

(Invalid img)

You will notice there is a volume control and a three band EQ for the piezo or "Acoustic" output. The sliver "three-way selector" and "S1/S2 Momentary" switches control your Guitar Synth.

(Invalid img)

This shows you output options.

Also, if you are running through a Roland GR-55 (or the older GR-20, maybe others but I haven't used any other) and are only using the 13 pin, either the regular pick ups or the piezos are on the Synth's "Guitar Out".

By the way, I would recommend the "3 output - 3 cord" method (or electric to amp, acoustic to PA method if you are not using the 13-Pin Output) because the "acoustic" through a regular guitar amp does sound like crap in some cases, especially amps without a really clean channel.



This is the signal path of my stage rig (plus a few pedals prior to the Twin Reverb) and I do sometimes route the "acoustic" to the Fender, but normally the acoustic is run dry to the Mackie and cleaned up with the EC-660 wihich is MIDI controlable. I only use the 13 pin cable out of the Godin and control my signal paths through the GR=55 Guitar Synth. I can also route output from the Mackie to a house PA either pre or post my EQs.

Hopefully this answers some of your questions. As you can see, fully utilizing a Synth Access guitar is gear intensive and way more complex than your usual rig. Sometimes I just skip the whole thing and just take the Les Paul and Twin Reverb with some pedals and call it a show.


Holy shit that is complicated, it must suck carrying a TR and two 2x12s to a gig, along with guitars, mixing equpment, and a big-ass synth machine to a gig! Is it possible to just take the TR and another amp, perhaps an acoustic amp, and switch accordingly?
#8
Quote by ThtGuyOvrThere
Holy shit that is complicated, it must suck carrying a TR and two 2x12s to a gig, along with guitars, mixing equpment, and a big-ass synth machine to a gig! Is it possible to just take the TR and another amp, perhaps an acoustic amp, and switch accordingly?

You can easily run with:

For electric just any guitar amp like the Twin Reverb or something smaller/lighter.

For the "acoustic"/piezo any acoustic guitar amp like the Traynor AM Studio
http://www.traynoramps.com/products.asp?type=8&cat=17&id=420

To amplify a Guitar synth, pretty much any keyboard amp will work such as the Traynor 50KW. Obviously if you aren't using a guitar synth you don't need this.
http://www.traynoramps.com/products.asp?type=9&cat=57&id=374

Yah, I live in Canada so I see a lot of Traynor gear but there are lots of equivalent options on the market.

My rig is obviously overkill, I just like big noise. Also, I don't gig anymore so it really doesn't go out more than a couple times a year for shows.
If I miss one day of practice, I notice it.
If I miss two days, the critics notice it.
If I miss three days, the audience notices it.

Ingacy Jan Paderewski (1860 - 1941)