#1
I haven't messed around with one, but I like the idea of being able to play and record acoustic songs without having to play an acoustic guitar. Is that a mistake? I'd much prefer to add a piezo to an electric, but I don't want to spend the money if it won't be as good.

If I do this, I would either be buying a cheap MIM strat, routing a swimming pool, and installing a piezo bridge and pickupless pickguard, or making a hardtail strat and doing that.

And could I use it through a regular amp, or do I need an acoustic amp?

Seems like a better option than buying an acoustic that I probably won't like(because I don't like acoustic guitars). I do have a half built acoustic that I could finish, but I can't bring myself to work on it since I would rather build other things
#2
I'd just use the Graph Tech system, drops in to any old Strat you want without having to change much. No routing required.

I like piezo systems, but it's important to bear in mind that even through an acoustic amp they will never sound quite like an acoustic. The 'body' of the sound always has to be fabricated with an EQ or preamp within the guitar. Sticking a very clear active single coil in the bridge or neck position and running it into a basic acoustic simulation pedal will achieve the same quality of sound (this is effectively what Epiphone Ultra guitars have). For me the real benefit of piezos is just to get a very vaguely acoustic-like tone for when I want to use that mid-song, usually blended with the clean magnetic pickup tone I wouldn't use one for recording nor for a whole song. The nifty thing with piezos is blending them in with regular pickups, especially humbuckers. That way you can get all sorts of tones from Tele-like to Rickenbacker-like to a lose approximation of active pickup tones, just by using a blend knob. On their own they sound like a very cheap and poorly-amplified acoustic, at best.

You gotta think about the guitar you're putting it in too. A piezo in a solid ash guitar isn't going to sound anywhere close to an acoustic guitar. Stick the same system in a semi-hollow maple guitar and you're going to get much closer. I wouldn't use one in a hardtail Strat and expect a good acoustic tone from it unless the body is chambered and the vibrato spring rout is still there.

Fender do make Strats and Teles with Fishman piezo bridges in them, and they sound really harsh. Still, might want to see if you can find one in a shop near you, give it a try.
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#3
Thanks for the info. I really am ignorant when it comes to piezos. I was always under the impression that a piezo could sound just like an acoustic, with some tweaking of course.

I didn't know that you could get the same tone with an active single coil. Are there any specific single coils and acoustic pedals that you would recommend?
#4
I really hope an EMG single gets suggested, that would be hilarious to use an EMG for acoustic tones considering the hate EMGs get for cleans. Or are their single coils a different animal to their humbuckers?
Anyways MrFlibble, you obviously know your shit, what would sound better an electro acoustic through an EHX Epitome or an electric with a Piezo through the Epitome? Wanting to get some subtle chorus, flange, delay and or reverb or a mixture of any on a beautiful organic acoustic tone. Just as a sonic exploration really :p.
#5
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
I really hope an EMG single gets suggested, that would be hilarious to use an EMG for acoustic tones considering the hate EMGs get for cleans. Or are their single coils a different animal to their humbuckers?
Anyways MrFlibble, you obviously know your shit, what would sound better an electro acoustic through an EHX Epitome or an electric with a Piezo through the Epitome? Wanting to get some subtle chorus, flange, delay and or reverb or a mixture of any on a beautiful organic acoustic tone. Just as a sonic exploration really :p.

I once had EMG Select pickups - two single coils and one humbucker. They were the worst, flat response, dead, boring pickups I've ever had in a guitar. I ripped those out and blasted them with my rifle . I didn't want anyone to experience the displeasure I received from those things.
Last edited by Dimarzio45 at Apr 14, 2013,
#6
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
I really hope an EMG single gets suggested, that would be hilarious to use an EMG for acoustic tones considering the hate EMGs get for cleans. Or are their single coils a different animal to their humbuckers?
Anyways MrFlibble, you obviously know your shit, what would sound better an electro acoustic through an EHX Epitome or an electric with a Piezo through the Epitome? Wanting to get some subtle chorus, flange, delay and or reverb or a mixture of any on a beautiful organic acoustic tone. Just as a sonic exploration really :p.

He certainly does know his shit. So does W4rp1g.
#7
Quote by W4RP1G

I didn't know that you could get the same tone with an active single coil. Are there any specific single coils and acoustic pedals that you would recommend?
The very best pickup for it is the Shadow NanoMag, since it was designed specifically for replicating an acoustic tone. They're hard to get hold of, though. The cheap option is an EMG SX, with the ceramic magnet and more headroom. I've heard of people using the SAV too, not tried it myself in this way, though. Stick them lower from the strings than you usually would to get maximum clarity and minimum output. Basically the goal is to have a very flat and accurate—sterile, if you will—tone coming from the guitar so an acoustic modeller can work its magic to the best of its ability. Acoustic pedals can work okay with regular pickups, but the more boring your pickups sound, the better they will work.

For pedals, the ones I've tried which have sounded most convincing to me have been the Boss AC-2 and the DigiTech Crossroads (Clapton multi-effect). DigiTech have scrapped their physical acoustic sim pedals though, only making it for their iStomp interface, and I've heard bad things about the Boss AC-3 (though not tried it myself yet). If you can find a second hand AC-2 in good condition, that's what I'd try. Whatever your amp is, run it with the EQ as even and clean as possible.

The very best sound I've heard for use with a piezo is the POD HD500, but obviously that's quite a hefty unit to buy just for the sake of one sound.

Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
I really hope an EMG single gets suggested, that would be hilarious to use an EMG for acoustic tones considering the hate EMGs get for cleans. Or are their single coils a different animal to their humbuckers?
I firmly believe that people who say active pickups "can't do cleans" or some other such nonsense either haven't tried or have atrocious taste in clean tones. Given the active design was originally intended for jazz, then for Fender guitars aimed at the country and surf markets and only wound up being used in hard rock and metal quite late in the design process, it's quite ridiculous to write them off like that. One of these days I'll get off my lazy arse and record some samples of the 60AX doing some blues...

But yes, as far as EMG goes the single coils and humbuckers are very different, just as different as any passive single coil and humbucker is. Hence why EMG's Tele pickups are so popular in country music.


what would sound better an electro acoustic through an EHX Epitome or an electric with a Piezo through the Epitome? Wanting to get some subtle chorus, flange, delay and or reverb or a mixture of any on a beautiful organic acoustic tone. Just as a sonic exploration really :p.
Electro-acoustic. The piezo technology is perfectly capable of capturing a full acoustic sound; the problem is when you're installing it in a solid body electric guitar, you're never going to get that initial full tone for it to amplify. As I said before, the body of the sound has to be made up by an EQ after the fact. With an electro-acoustic you don't have to make the tone up, it's just there inherently.

Basically, if you want a 'real' acoustic sound you need to aim to be as close to an acoustic guitar as possible. The further you stray, the less convincing the tone will be. So, for example, an electro-acoustic does a better job of it than an ES-345 with a piezo which in turn does a better job than a Tele with a piezo.

When I still had my LP Ultra (Shadow NanoMag active pickup and a heavily chambered body) I'd run that into an EHX Micro POG then some very light chorus and reverb, it was a pretty good approximation of a 12-string, at least for full chords. Add in a volume pedal for swells and you can make it sound like a church organ.
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#8
I would really like to hear that 60 blues sample, my next guitar has an 81-60 setup and I was wondering how cleans would sound, especially through a 6505 rythm channel with zero gain. Do you know of any valve combos that could be huggable with a decent clean and distortion channel? Only ones I could find were Mesas and they are waaaay out of my budget haha.

Right I'm definitely going to go with an electro acoustic then, I want the acoustic tone to be as organic as possible. That cathedral organ sound was something I was hoping to be able to achieve with the epitome, then maybe add some twist with the chorus and flange. Holy grail, electric mistress and a pog/hog (cant remember which) all in one pedal. Can't wait to get my hands on this thing!
#9
http://www.lrbaggs.com/pickups/electric-guitar you want that.

running a piezo to an acoustic amp or PA while running your magnetic pups to a tube amp and blending them like flibble says is like nothing else. by far the best clean tones i've ever had out of an electric guitar. it's probably the best stereo set up you could have.

using a piezo through a tube amp works and can be made to sound decent imo, but it's meant for an acoustic amp or PA.

i used the predecessor to the LR Baggs bridge i linked above, and it was very good. they make the piezo system that PRS uses exclusively.
#10
I think we're all missing one really big point about Piezos:


They're rad as hell.
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#11
They are an amazing piece of kit. If you're just looking for just an acoustic sound on its own, I wouldn't bother converting an electric. They're more use when using electric and the acoustic at the same time. I use overdrive on my electric and the piezo at the same time and it fills the sound out so much better than just an electric.