almost finished my cbg. and i am in the process of tring to get it electrified. i have had two go's at making a piezo pick up, and both times i have failed. does any one buy them premade off of ebay? is there mutch diffrence between spending £5 or £20 on one?

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What's going wrong? Soldering? Something else? I followed the instructions on this page:

http://www.guitar-list.com/howtos/how-to-make-guitars-and-guitar-ge...

Some time back and they've all worked fine. I remove the little skinny wires and replace them with a piece of audio cable, as it says. As long as you solder the other end to the right leads on the jack, should work fine.
i brought a couple of them from an electroics shop. they were difficult to get out of the near bomb proof plastic, so i bent the first one. also they have a green circuit board attached to the element?
Sounds like you're getting some extra circuitry there.... The ones I've been using are from Radio shack, and are labled "Piezo Transducer Element". They are about 1" in diameter, and come in an easy-to-break-apart plastic case. I just use a pair of needle-nose pliers and sort of "nibble" at the case till it falls apart.
1.99 cents currently.
If you use the ones from Radio Shack, get Part #273-0073. They are in the plastic housing, cost $1.99, and have no extra stuff in them. I don't see alot of use in replacing the existing wiring...some do, some don't. I've simply extended the included wires to suit my needs. There have been lots of discussions about wiring them backwards and such, wire the red lead to the "tip" connection, black to ground and call it good.
My first piezo I left in the original housing and used silicone to stick it underneath the lid. I cant tell much difference between it and the ones I removed...there are folks on here that know better but it will work and I guarantee your face will hurt from grinnin....
You're getting good advice. If you go with the Radio Shack plastic enclosed piezo, use the "nibble" technique to free it. I have a lot of builds and never put on heavier wire, only extend the wire as needed... no need to use shielded wire either. Beyond that just experiment a bit. I've settled into enclosing mine is a bridge/pickup unit or just CA gluing it to the underside of the top around the bridge location and adding silicone on the ceramic side to dampen feedback. works like a charm....

the best,

Wichita Sam
I've been using the Radio Shack #273-0073 model also. I have been wondering about the wires though, because I've seen so many builders replacing them, so thanks to Jkevn and WSam for clearing that up.

I've been using double sided tape to stick it to the lid. Serves to mute it a bit and also allows for easy re-positioning if needed. I've also used some of those self stick round felt pads on the exposed side to help dampen it a bit. The ones I have are the exact same diameter as the piezo and seem to do a pretty good job. I think I'll try Wichita Sam's silicone technique on the next one though to see if I like that any better.
Tom, I think the prevailing theory behind replacing the leads with shielded audio cable was to reduce feedback. True enough for active electronic components of other guitars. Since I don't know cr@p about "real" guitars, I'm not burdened with all that....the feedback problems comes from the piezo "hearing" itself and amplifying it over and over again.
Piezo picks up string vibration>converts to electrical energy>amplified by amp/speaker>sound from amp/speaker picked up by piezo>on and on,

The dampening methods used by some here and conceived by your imagination in effect prevent the sounds from amp/speaker from gettin back on the bus for another ride. A well known member's well known transducer pup uses two small wires for connections while being "dampened" by some very exotic woods....they say he even knows what he's doing...
I've always tried to keep my leads as short as possible because I read somewhere that this will improve sound for some reason. But, I just thought of something-does the actual wire vibrating back to the disk have any effect on sound? Hmmmmmmm.....

Wade

Jkevn said:
Tom, I think the prevailing theory behind replacing the leads with shielded audio cable was to reduce feedback. True enough for active electronic components of other guitars. Since I don't know cr@p about "real" guitars, I'm not burdened with all that....the feedback problems comes from the piezo "hearing" itself and amplifying it over and over again.
Piezo picks up string vibration>converts to electrical energy>amplified by amp/speaker>sound from amp/speaker picked up by piezo>on and on,

The dampening methods used by some here and conceived by your imagination in effect prevent the sounds from amp/speaker from gettin back on the bus for another ride. A well known member's well known transducer pup uses two small wires for connections while being "dampened" by some very exotic woods....they say he even knows what he's doing...
Don't buy the sounder (in a plastic enclosure), just buy the piezo disc. Solder the leads to a jack and Bob's your proverbial. If you are having problems, I can supply you with all the necessary stuff direct from my own stock here in the UK. I've used these on loads of my cigar box guitars & ukes (over 150 of them now!!)...you need to take a bit of care how you amplify them, but they do work pretty well (if you check my vids you'll hear them in action). I can also supply them prewired to a volume control and jack ready to drop right in.
I use Artec piezo pickups - which are purpose made guitar pickups. I found I could get a 4-2 split pickup for 8 pounds in the UK (which is about 13 US dollars at current exchange rates). What I mean by a 4-2 split is that it has two separate sections, one wide enough to cover four strings on a conventional guitar and one wide enough to cover two. Because I don't need a 6-string pickup I cut the two sections apart and used them as two separate pickups (actually the two-string section is fine for a three or four string CBG if mounted between neck and soundboard). That gives me two good pickups at about 7 dollars each. The sound I get from them seems pretty good to my ear - neither excessively trebly nor bass heavy. I don't use any on-board pre-amps or stuff like that - just run them straight into my amp. Of course there is some difference compared to a magnetic pickup in terms of how they behave when I'm going for a distorted sound, but nevertheless I can still get good sounds.

I wonder if the fact that they were designed from the start as guitar pickups (rather than being modified from other piezo devices) means they have better frequency response characteristics. Or are all piezos pretty much the same?

Anyway, here is the first instrument I put one into (if you look down the page there is a pic of the pickup as it arrived):
http://www.airburst.co.uk/junkboxinstruments/banjo/index.htm

And here is the other half used in a primitive two-stringer:
http://www.airburst.co.uk/junkboxinstruments/cbg2/index.htm

And this is Artec's page with info on their piezos:
http://artecsound.com/acou/piezo.htm
I go to a place called Skycraft in Orlando
It is an electronics surplus mega store

Piezo with two leads and no plastic housing are 50 cents

You can place an order online
I swear I love it(& I'm serious) when someone explains using the technical jargon which I understand, like "gettin' back on the bus for another ride"... a fella can follow that "path."

Jkevn said:
Tom, I think the prevailing theory behind replacing the leads with shielded audio cable was to reduce feedback. True enough for active electronic components of other guitars. Since I don't know cr@p about "real" guitars, I'm not burdened with all that....the feedback problems comes from the piezo "hearing" itself and amplifying it over and over again.
Piezo picks up string vibration>converts to electrical energy>amplified by amp/speaker>sound from amp/speaker picked up by piezo>on and on,

The dampening methods used by some here and conceived by your imagination in effect prevent the sounds from amp/speaker from gettin back on the bus for another ride. A well known member's well known transducer pup uses two small wires for connections while being "dampened" by some very exotic woods....they say he even knows what he's doing...

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