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Old 24th September 2011, 04:27 AM   #51
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Location: Columbus, Oh
I got my piezos and wire stripper in the mail. I did a test. I put the piezo right on the treble side of my guitar bridge. IT WAS SUPER LOUD!!! I had to keep my amp on two. Honestly, I couldn't get a bad sound. I EQ'd it 7 different ways. I ran it flat, treble, bassy, middy, etc., and it sounded good.

I ran it straight into my Line 6 amp, and I don't think there is any need for a preamp. I will try to get some audio posted up or something.
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Old 1st March 2013, 09:32 PM   #52
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Location: Salem, Oregon
Originally Posted by Nigel Goodwin View Post
No you can't , you MUST use a very high input impedance preamp, guitar amps etc. aren't usually high impedance enough. It's not gain that's the problem, it's the impedance.

But to be honest, just going from what you've said, the entire thing sounds a bit of a scam.
You need a buffer.
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Old 5th March 2013, 05:58 PM   #53
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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It depends on the Piezo capacitance.
If you use some factory made tiny piezo, with a crystal 1/4 the size of your pinky nail, yes, you *will* need a high impedance preamp, and as close as possible to avoid cable capacitance losses, but for a homemade piezo pickup made out of a 1 inch diameter buzzer or tweeter crystal, requirements are much lower.
FWIW I have measured such disks and found between 0.082 and .125uF capacitance, which into a very low input impedance about 100K gives me a low frequency cutoff of around 20Hz, way below what any Guitar or Bass can put out.
Of course a buffer (gain is usually not needed, they are *hot*) lowers output impedance even more and allows for real long cables without trouble.
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Old 25th November 2015, 06:01 PM   #54
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Here's a balanced & buffered, phantom powered preamp circuit, based on Alex Rice's hydrophone.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 26th November 2015, 08:02 AM   #55
JohnDH is offline JohnDH  Australia
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Here's my piezo project:

Adding a Piezo pickup | GuitarNutz 2

Its a buzzer type element, built into a Strat type of guitar. The trem springs are removed and the force of the strings presses the trem block against the back of the cavity, squeezing the piezo. Theres a buffer based on jfets, which can pan between piezo and magnetic sounds.

With this large piezo, I also found it needed to run into quite a low input impedance (150k in my case), just to roll off spurious sub-bass thumps and almost dc pulses tha would block sound for a second or two.

The final version works quite well. A mixed sound with some magnetic is its best tone.
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Old 26th November 2015, 06:12 PM   #56
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Default the science of piezo pickups

Hi tinitus,
Actually, use of piezo pickups is very OLD Skool. I worked with Les Barcus (half of the Barcus-Berry genius partnership) for a couple of years in the 80's. Les and John (Berry) released records on their own label, Repeat Records, in the 50's, where every instrument, and I'm talking guitar, banjo, fiddle, flute, sax, you name it, were recorded exclusively with piezo contact pickups. And I can tell you that Les used some very odd and original techniques to make piezo pickups produce a lifelike recording, like making a pickup for a drum head where the piezo element was mounted inside a little slot-loaded box!

Here's why piezos are such a challenge as sound pickups: they are not voltage generators, like magnetic guitar pickups, they are called charge generators. They need to be treated differently from what we're used to dealing with if you want decent frequency response.

I found a cool site that explains all this.
check out this site: Home Page

These little beasties can sound amazing in a guitar! I still have a Barcus Berry thinline (AKA Martin thinline back in the day) in my big Guild acoustic, and it still sounds great 30 years after it was installed...
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