Passive alternative to Graphtech saddles for a Floyd?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by SnoozyWyrm, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. SnoozyWyrm

    SnoozyWyrm SS.org Regular

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    I keep searching the forums and failing to find the one thread someone mentioned a new company making passive piezos. Anyone here remembers?

    I have a yamaha rg1212s equipped with a Graphtech bridge and it keeps draining 9v batteries like there's no tommorow.

    I was thinking that may be replacing the active circuit/piezo preamp would be the best idea, since I can't troubleshoot the effin' thing. I never leave a lead on the guitar, the battery is in the cavity, but seperated with foam. Last month I had a ganglion removed from my wrist so I didn't play at all. I grab the guitar today, no battery :scream:
     
  2. dpm

    dpm Oni Guitars Contributor

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    The graphtech saddles can be used passive, but you'd need to rewire it and use a 5Meg volume pot for the piezos. You'd also lose the ability to blend them with the magnetic pickups. In other words, trouble shooting the battery drainage problem is probably easier than changing to passive piezos. Can you get clear photos of the wiring as is?
     
  3. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    That is wierd. I have 3 guitars with Graphtech's ghost saddles and their batteries last forever. I bet there is some bad soldering inside or some short somewhere. I had a similar problem with another guitar (a different brand of piezos), but found out it was really a problem of bad soldering that lead to battery drain. The wire got loose and it probably shorted the circuit.

    Nevertheless, LR Baggs and Fishman are also on the piezo elements, bridges and preamps game. I don't know of any other brand on this niche...

    True.

    Are you sure? If you're thinking about using the Acoustiphonic preamp as the blender that is correct, but that can be bypassed. There are other options, one can always blend different types of signal, but it requires some deeper knowledge of how the circuits inside a guitar work.

    As I said earlier, I bet there is some problem with the wiring, most likely a loose wire that is shorting the circuit, draining the battery.
     
  4. SnoozyWyrm

    SnoozyWyrm SS.org Regular

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    I'll try to get some (potato-quality) photos tommorow. May be I've been pushed towards thinking about replacing it, because 2 different techs kinda let me down on the subject.

    Also what makes the problem even more annoying, is that the way the guitar is wired, when the battery goes, even the magnetics start to lose output, albeit at a much slower pace. The last battery didn't even have 2 hours of playtime on it before I got my wrist fixed...
     
  5. dpm

    dpm Oni Guitars Contributor

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    It'll either be a simple problem with the wiring of the socket/battery... ie. a short causing the battery to be 'on' all the time; or it's a problem with the preamp.

    Regarding the blend thing, it's true you could passive blend the magnetic and piezo signals but the impedances are drastically different so you're going to be seriously messing with the tone of one or both signals (levels might be different too). For example, assuming you're running a 500k magnetic volume pot and a 5 meg piezo volume pot, when you switch them on together the magnetic will go from a 500k load to a 4.5 meg load. Also, piezo run passive sounds super harsh due the signal impedance, it needs a buffer preamp to bring the impedance down to interface properly with an amp (unless your amp is designed for a passive piezo input).

    TBH, with so much great gear available now I think passive dual outputs and external buffering and processing are a great way to go.
     
  6. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    If they were the ones doing the circuit for you, that's probably where the problem comes from...


    Unfortunately, the Acoustiphonic preamp does colour the mags' tone a little, specially when it is running out of juice...

    ... on the blending passive piezos with mag pickups, I must say I haven't tried it yet as I've been using the Graphtech's and LR Bagg's preamps... and they both manage the mag's signal.

    I know that the guitars in question are totally different in woods and types (the ghost ones are fixed bridge and the LR Bagg are floyd rose), but I think I prefer the tone of the LR Bagg stuff... also, the guitars in question are my "special place to be" in tone and feel...
     

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