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Old 10-02-2019, 02:33 PM   #7
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,552

Originally Posted by foxAsteria View Post
I've always despised those things. They sound tinny and fake and gross.
Not completely arguing, but I think it’s usually exacerbated by severe misuse of the onboard active EQ that usually comes with them. You can get decent sounds out of the things if you’re a lot more thoughtful about the EQ curve.

As far as raw piezo elements, a couple things to keep in mind:

1) They generally want to see an extremely large load impedance. Like usually more than a magnetic guitar pickup would even want. The 1M typical “Instrument” input is sometimes a bit low. It’s like the opposite of a magnetic pickup in that a too low impedance causes low end loss rather than the magnetic’s high frequency “tone suck”. There are DI boxes out there with ultra high impedance specifically for these things, but you can buy those exact preamp modules that come in those acoustic-electric guitars for pretty cheap nowadays.

B - These things work by squishing. The harder you squish them, the louder they are. If you just stick it on a surface, it kind of doesn’t have anything to squish against except it’s own inertia. They work much better when they’re squished between two things - like between the bridge saddle and bridge plate. I’ve heard of people putting them in the neck pocket with interesting results. When you stick it on a body or headstock or other surface like that, it can make a real difference both in volume and tone (low end especially) if you add some weight to the back side. From what I’ve heard, even a coin or two can help quite a bit.

Either way I cant imagine you’ll end up with anything much like what you hear pressing your ear to it, but these are a couple things that might help you get the best possible results. I’d imagine you’re going to get sick of having a cable hanging off the wrong end of your guitar, but it’s worth a shot.
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