Graphtech Ghost (FAAS)

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by dpm, May 3, 2005.

  1. dpm

    dpm Oni Guitars Contributor

    Messages:
    3,611
    Likes Received:
    440
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    I'll keep this as short as possible.

    I installed the Ghost system into a heavily modified 7620 (ie. converted to fixed bridge). Firstly, the piezo saddles are 10.5mm, not the 10.7mm that most 7 bridges are (RG***1's etc.). There might be saddle movement issues if you use particularly light strings, I don't so they are quite stable as is. Another thing to keep in mind with Graphtech saddles is the string leaves the saddle from the very front edge. This is an important part of their design to prevent string breakage but it can be a problem when you can't pull the saddles back far enough to intonate the low strings. That said Graphtech stuff is easy to grind shorter from both ends. Be careful on the front though - that's where the piezo is :eek: I didn't need to modify the saddles because I positioned the bridge with Graphtech saddles in mind :idea:

    I ran it through a couple of amps, particularly a GenzBenz Shenandoah

    I tried a couple of alternate installations at the same time to check whether the preamp interfered or modified the magnetic signal at all. The magnetic pickup I have on this is an EMG 707. Installed as per the instructions really is the best way, otherwise the two signals won't blend. However I did notice a very slight loss of very high freqs with the magnetic signal buffered through the Ghost pre. This could be a deliberate thing designed to stop passive pickups from losing their tone, by building a slight amount of capacitance into a device like this you can emulate the high end loss that passives get through guitar cables. Buffered signals, like that from EMG's or the Ghost pre, are low impedance so don't lose highs like that. I'm only making an assumption here... :scratch:

    Installation - I installed the saddles, preamp and optional mid/dark switch.
    As this installation may be temporary I left the wires full length. It's damn cluttered in there now, and that's without a pickup selector switch, and the battery is in a seperate cavity. Although the Ghost uses modular plug-in components I strongly recommend having it installed by an experienced tech. To do it cleanly requires de-soldering and trimming wires and tidy wire routing.
    The manual is very well written and everything is color coded :yesway:
    I opted for the mono only installation. Stereo requires either a switching jack or two sockets. This is a slight bummer as the barrel sockets used on Ibanez and similar guitars are not switching (if anyone knows of any switching barrels let me know), and a dual output wiring isn't in the booklet.

    Sounds - :yesway: Very good! Both standard and mid/dark are really useable tones. This is by far the most natural of all the electric piezo systems.
    It reminded me a little of the B-Band gear which is very nice indeed.
    No pickup system yet nails a perfect acoustic sound, this is for sure one of the better ones. It's important to know that piezo pickups on electric guitar amplify the vibration of the strings, which can be very different to an acoustic guitars. Using heavier strings helps, if you use 9-42's don't expect a great acoustic sound, firstly the strings sound different, secondly they force you to play unlike how an acoustic is generally played.
    I'm getting some cool Opeth-y type things happening with the Ghost :agreed:

    Distorted the sounds are also pretty cool, I'll need a bit more time with it to see if they're useful. It's a bit of a shit to palm mute with because the saddles pick up the physical contact of the hand, and you do have to use a different position to get it to sense the strings. I really think Line6 have gone the wrong way using piezos for their modelling guitars, small magnetic pickups would work better but Roland probably has the patents to that.

    This RG has no shielding currently but the Ghost's noise level is very low, on par with the EMG. Very good considering the massive amount of wire squashed in there.
     
  2. darren

    darren Decibel Guitars Forum MVP

    Messages:
    13,115
    Likes Received:
    1,383
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Greater Toronto Area, Canada
    I'm sure there are switching/stereo barrel jacks available... that's what Parker has on all their piezo-equipped Fly models.

    Thanks for the review! Good to know it's a great-sounding system. I wonder how it would sound running through a Yamaha MagicStomp Acoustic, which models the sound of a mic'd acoustic guitar using the piezo signal as the source.
     
  3. eleven59

    eleven59 None shall pass. Contributor

    Messages:
    9,267
    Likes Received:
    888
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Ug...GAS...ow...must...get...money...
     

Share This Page