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Unread 02-15-2007, 12:11 PM   #1
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Cheapest piezo solution for electric guitar?

Ok...I really want versatility to the max out of my charvel.

My question is, what is the cheapest (and best sounding) piezo solution? I know there is the Graphtech GHOST system and the LRBaggs X-Bridge, but they are kind of pricey, plus the X-Bridge is a direct drop strat trem...My charvel is a tele. The GHOST system is available with just the saddles.

So, the actual GHOST piezo saddles run around 100-120 on ebay. The preamp/wiring/output jack runs around 90-100...Thats almost 200 bucks...

Does anybody know of another possible system (perhaps some cheap 'new' system about to take the country by storm?)

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Unread 02-15-2007, 12:19 PM   #2
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Beware that an old adage may apply:

You get what you pay for.

Also known as "Cheap is as cheap does".

If you want a good system, I'd suggest saving up for it or saving up for another guitar that already has it included.
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Unread 02-15-2007, 12:23 PM   #3
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There is an X-bridge setup for a fixed bridge, though I'm not sure what style of Telecaster bridge you have...and this bridge is still $120:
http://wdmusic.com/x_bridge_fixed_chrome_29900_prd1.htm
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Unread 02-15-2007, 12:28 PM   #4
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I usually keep an eye on this type of product. Unless something brand new is out, there isn't anything that cheap available. Whatever you choose, you can expect to need a decent preamp or EQ or both to get it to sound its best. So if you don't put something onboard, you'll have to find a way to split the signal with a stereo setup or something.

You could do what Jon did and embed a home-made piezo under the bridge. That's got to be the cheapest solution there is. Still, that will need help to sound good.

Personally, I think it's possible to get close enough to a plugged in acoustic sound with the right EQ (I like the Danelectro Fish-n-Chips 7 band).
The only electric guitar I got a decent plugged in acoustic tone with was the semi-hollow tele I had, but it had an actual acoustic bridge and pickup on it as well as acoustic strings. Then again, I tried that with my last guitar too and didn't get satisfactory results. It's usually just not the same or even close enough to bother with. I ended up getting better sounds with the right EQ on mag pickups. That's my opinion, after much experimentation.
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Last edited by gg7; 02-15-2007 at 12:38 PM. Reason: the voices...ooh the voices....stop.....
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Unread 02-15-2007, 12:33 PM   #5
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it just dawned on me that the fixed-bridge I linked wouldn't fit as a replacement for a traditional Telecaster bridge where the pickup is mounted in the bridge plate...what was I thinking?
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Unread 02-15-2007, 12:38 PM   #6
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Fishman also has their AST Powerbridge. It seems to be a bit more though.

But I'm worse than Cheap...Im CHEEEP

Dave, I think my days of "saving up" are over. Moving from a big metro area to a very small town means my wife gets paid less...WAAY less. Plus, (in case you guys didn't know) I am going to school full time starting in the summer...PLUS the baby on the way.

Wow...many replies.

I did think of going the John route...

Or even getting a cheaper acoustic pickup system on ebay, but then I have the problem of not having the preamp. If I could find a good sort of preamp for a standard (undersaddle) piezo pickup, then I would be 'in tall cotton' as we say in TX
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Unread 02-15-2007, 12:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RipVanWinkle View Post
Fishman also has their AST Powerbridge. It seems to be a bit more though.

But I'm worse than Cheap...Im CHEEEP

Dave, I think my days of "saving up" are over. Moving from a big metro area to a very small town means my wife gets paid less...WAAY less. Plus, (in case you guys didn't know) I am going to school full time starting in the summer...PLUS the baby on the way.
Knowing all of this begs the question; do you NEED to fit a transducer on your Charvel right now?
If not then why not be satisfied with what you have, tend to your important life business and then get your transducer jollies at a later date?

If it's something you NEED then I'd look into selling the Charvel or trading it and getting a transducer-equipped axe.
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Unread 02-15-2007, 01:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrdave View Post
Knowing all of this begs the question; do you NEED to fit a transducer on your Charvel right now?
If not then why not be satisfied with what you have, tend to your important life business and then get your transducer jollies at a later date?

If it's something you NEED then I'd look into selling the Charvel or trading it and getting a transducer-equipped axe.
No, It's not something I need, but it is something I've been thinking on for the past year or two.
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Unread 02-15-2007, 02:06 PM   #9
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The cheapest solution is GG7's. Here is a clip I made with the neck humbucker of my Godin played through an acoustic patch in my Digitech RP250. I think its as good as the sound I got out of my acoustic with a mag pickup. You ought to be able to get something as good or better out of your XTL.

Edit: I was just comparing my recording to ones I made with my acoustic w/mag pickup and I think this one with my electric actually sounds more acoustic.
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Unread 02-15-2007, 03:40 PM   #10
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cheap huh?

OK lets start from scratch.

take out the six adjustable saddles and the screws & springs that hold them. keep them safe to rebuild if this daft idea doesn't work.......

get a piece of hardwood the width of a lollystick by 1/4" deep

rout a slot in it

fit a cheap acoustic under saddle piezo (the last I bought was £8 ($16) inc post)

put in a bone saddle

slip it in where the 6 string trees were. use two screws through the back of the bridge into the hardwood to adjust your intonation.

This will look rough but it WILL work (trust me I'm a luthier!!!)

and cost what? $30 inc the bone & a jack socket.

if you like it, run the cable through the body & get a stereo jack instead.

and before someone whines, the earth for the mag pups will still be there through the bridge assuming they're not thru body.
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Unread 02-15-2007, 07:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
I did think of going the John route...
Which really makes me wonder what my piezo in my Strat (my $2 piezo, mind you ) sounds like direct, with the piezo ptach on the PODxt... experiment time!
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Unread 02-15-2007, 09:22 PM   #12
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I realized I spelled your name wrong...sorry...I know its just "Jon". That's how my wife's brother spells his name...(Its actually Jonathan)..I'd love to hear your findings!
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Unread 02-17-2007, 11:17 PM   #13
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cheap huh?

OK lets start from scratch.

take out the six adjustable saddles and the screws & springs that hold them. keep them safe to rebuild if this daft idea doesn't work . . . .
My vote's for Martin's system. I'm actually tempted to try that on my Utah. I can do that, being that it's in the experimental stages for the moment.
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Unread 02-17-2007, 11:21 PM   #14
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My vote's for Martin's system. I'm actually tempted to try that on my Utah. I can do that, being that it's in the experimental stages for the moment.
Um, when is it not in the experimental stage?
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Unread 02-17-2007, 11:23 PM   #15
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Um, when is it not in the experimental stage?
In about one month when the fret job is done. At that point everything is going to happen offline, seperate from the guitar.

Incidentally, my Utah was never intended to be an experimental guitar. It's just that when I started upgrading it, it took on a life of it's own. Once it's done evolving on a conceptual level, then that's it. Done will be done.

That said, every useful idea I come up with will no doubt be going into it.

BTW, Martin, where do you find those cheap piezos?
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