Graph Tech logo
Graph Tech logo

All articles

PICKUP SYSTEMS

Can I file my ghost saddle to achieve a different dimensions or string spacing?

Do not attempt to file the notches on Ghost saddles!. The piezo crystal is only 0.040" below the notch, and if you expose the pickup, the string will short it out and won't work anymore. Furthermore, the pickup has been positioned optimally in relati

The saddle wires have 2 sides, which is which?

With our insulated Teflon wires (on all electric saddles) the blue side is ground and the silver side is signal. With our black shielded wires (on all acoustic saddles) the bare is ground and the white is signal.

How do I ground my acoustic guitar?

Our acoustic saddles are conductive, yet they do not short the piezo pickup due to the specific internal manufacturing.

Can I replace the saddles on my Line6 Variax with ghost saddles?

You can replace the saddles on your Strat-style Variax bridge with Graph Tech Ghost saddles (PN-8000-00). These are made of String Saver composite material and house Graph Tech's custom-made piezo sensor with your Variax.

Can I plug the pickup saddles from my Variax Line 6 into the ghost preamp?

The Variax saddles are electrically compatible with the Ghost preamp and MIDI interface, but they lack the plug-in-style connectors on our modular system. To overcome this, order the BE-0511-00 extension wiring harness and solder wires from your Vari

Can I run both the Variax and the Hexpander off the same set of saddles?

Some Graph Tech customers have tried this with a simple Y-connection and found that the two electronic circuits interfere with each other if they're both powered on. If either is shut off, the other one works fine, so yes, you can run one or the othe

Piezo Pickups Overview

Piezo pickups are a type of guitar pickup made from crystal or ceramic material. The term "piezo" comes from the Greek word meaning "to squeeze." These pickups produce electricity when they are stressed or squeezed, converting the vibrations of your

How does the ghost Acousti-Phonic sound?

The Acousti-Phonic preamp sounds remarkably like a studio-quality acoustic guitar. It's downright spooky to hear an acoustic guitar, yet see the sound being produced on a solid body electric guitar. Your eyes won't believe your ears!.

Does the Acoust-Phonic "color" my mag sound as it passes through?

The Acousti-Phonic is renowned for its exceptionally good sound quality. Musicians are often surprised to learn that the mag signal passed through a unity-gain preamp, as they swear it sounds like it's going "straight out". If you need to bypass the

How does the Acousti-Phonic change my electric sound when I mix the two signals together?

It's the difference between playing in a garage and playing in a cathedral. The Acousti-Phonic adds a depth to your magnetic sound without altering your tone. People phone Graph Tech and say, "I installed the Acousti-Phonic, and after I got off stage

How big is the Acousti-Phonic?

The PC board measures 1-5/8" x 1-1/8". With the connectors on, it's about 3/8" high. Piggybacked with the Hexpander, they are 1/2" high.

Can I add a tone control to the ghost system?

You can add a tone control to the piezo circuit, as shown in the user's guide. You can't add a master tone pot just before the output jack. The Acousti-Phonic doesn't tolerate having anything between the board and the output jack because it interfere

How do I wire a stacked pot to the ghost system?

There seems to be confusion about stacked pots. A lot of people think they work like the ones on car stereos, where you push in and adjust one pot (bass) and pull out and adjust another pot (treble). These aren't available for guitars. Stacked pots a

Wouldn't it be better to control the mag/acoustic mix with a Blend Pot?

Blend pots for guitars are like crossfadersis, where both pots are full-up when the dial is centered, and each one fades as you turn to each side, leaving the other at full volume. A wider variety of sounds are available when you can control both the

Can I put my mag volume and tone on a blend pot?

This works for two volumes, but not for a volume and a tone. You would have to turn the volume all the way up to roll off your treble. Try a stacked pot instead, which has two independent pots with concentric knobs.

Can I keep the output jack that came with my guitar, instead of using the one that came with the Acousti-Phonic?

There are a lot of functions wrapped up in the Stereo Switched Jack, so you have to have a good understanding of the Acousti-Phonic to make changes in this area.  The main function of the jack is to turn off the battery when no cable is installed.  N

This Acousti-Phonic is described as "18V compatible". Does that mean I need to put two 9v batteries inside my guitar?

The Acousti-Phonic needs a minimum of 7v to operate properly and works fine on anything from 9 to 18 volts. This is a useful feature when you are installing it on an instrument that already has an 18v active pickup system and you want to avoid having

Can I install the Acousti-Phonic without a battery if I'm installing the Hexpander too?

Yes, but you will have no acoustic or mag output unless the Hexpander is plugged into a MIDI converter. This is only a practical option if you are always using the guitar with a MIDI converter, such as in studio or some stage setups. An on-board batt

Can I use the Mid/Dark switch also to blend?

Yes, the Piezo pot with Mid/Dark Switch is an acoustic pot to blend piezo sound with your magnetic sound, and the push/pull switch toggles two equalization options, a “mid-boost” and a “bassy dark" setting. It provides two-tone options on the acousti

Are the switches available in a different finish?

We only stock our switches in chrome finish, but the switch is a regular on/off/on SPDT mini toggle, available at most guitar parts retailers. You can special-order the QuickSwitch harness-only by phone (for half the price), but you may find it easie

If I plug a mono cable into the stereo jack does the guitar still function normally as it would prior to installing the Acousti-Phonic preamp?

Yes. If you turn the acoustic volume down to zero or set the QuickSwitch to Mag, your guitar will play like a regular electric guitar. The only difference is that you need the battery to be good even to run on mag only, as this signal does pass throu

How long does the battery last? Can I just play my magnetic pickups if the Acousti-Phonic battery dies?

If your battery dies, you get no sound, not even your magnetic pickups. When using an alkaline battery, 500 hours of battery life can be expected (350 hours more than any other acoustic system). This means you will have to change your battery twice a

Can I wire the Acousti-Phonic with two output jacks instead of one stereo jack?

Yes, but you have to decide how you wil use it, and what's most important to you, because there are at least three ways of wiring dual jacks, and each has advantages and disadvantages. Check out the wiring diagrams page for more information.

Can I install the ghost Acousti-Phonic on a guitar that is string-thru-body?

There is a quirk when installing the Acousti-Phonic in a guitar with this style of string loading and a Tune-O-Matic style bridge because the strings load through metal ferrules embedded in the wood of the body. The ghost saddles are non-conductive,

Will the Acousti-Phonic work with more than six strings?

The ghost Acousti-Phonic offers 7 string compatibility right out of the box for acoustic sound.  If you would like to use more than seven, you would need to purchase an additional summing board (PE-5017-00) and dual connector cable (PE-5021-00).  Thi

What if I am installing the ghost system into an instrument that does not have any magnetic pickups?

If you have an instrument with a metal bridge plate, it would be good practice to ground that plate rather than leave it floating because the bridge is a big chunk of metal near the pickups and their wires, which are high-impedance and thus prone to

Where do I connect my magnetic pickups to the Acousti-Phonic?

All of our wiring diagrams depict mag connections at the wiper of a volume pot as this is most common place where connection is usually made, however, this is not always the case. In some case this can be at a switch instead. Just think of it this wa

How is the tracking/latency of the Hexpander?

The ghost Hexpander is the fastest tracking MIDI system on the market and is renowned for being very accurate. It offers the Traktion tracking adjustment to match it perfectly to Axon or Roland MIDI converters.

How should I set the Traktion switch to optimize tracking?

The Traktion switch is a tiny slider switch that has two positions, left and right.  Left is for Roland converters, and right is for Axon converters. If you have a brand other than these two, try both settings and use the one that tracks best.

Are the switches available in a different finish?

We only stock our switches in chrome finish, but the switch is a regular on/off/on SPDT mini toggle, available at most guitar parts retailers. You can special-order the QuickSwitch harness only by phone (for half the price), but you may find it easie

How big is the Hexpander?

The PC board measures 1-5/8" x 1-1/8". With the connectors on, it's about 3/8" high. Piggybacked with the Acousti-Phonic, they are 1/2" high.

What is the value of the Hexpander Volume Pot? Can I use a regular guitar volume pot?

Our Hexpander Volume Pot is a 250K linear (type-B) pot. A 250K audio-taper pot will also work, but mid-volume will not be at mid-scale. You may choose to do this, especially if you are putting the MIDI volume on a stacked pot because mixed linear/aud

Can I install just the Hexpander without the Acousti-Phonic? Will I still have the option of a direct acoustic sound?

Yes, you can install only the Hexpander, and you will get MIDI out on a 13-pin jack (hex output, a filtered analog signal). With the addition of the BE-0182-G0 Mag to Pin-7 harness, your mag signal gets delivered to pin 7 of the 13-pin connector. Mos

How does my magnetic signal get to pin 7 if there's no connection between the mags and the Hexpander?

You will need a little accessory, the Mag to Pin-7 Harness, to connect the mags to the Hexpander. (you do not need this if you are also installing the Acousti-Phonic; it delivers the mag signal to the Hexpander) Solder the green wire on the Mag to Pi

Can the Hexpander be installed in a guitar with more than six strings?

Currently, the Hexpander and all MIDI converters are limited to six strings. There are two popular workarounds for more than six strings:.

What is the correct order for plugging in the saddle pickups for a four string bass?

G D A E = 2 3 4 5 and adjust the instrument input setting in your MIDI converter.

What is the correct order for plugging in the saddle pickups for a five string bass?

B G D A E = 1 2 3 4 5  or  G D A E B =  2 3 4 5 6 and adjust the instrument input setting in your MIDI converter.

What is the correct order for plugging in the saddle pickups for a six string bass?

B G D A E B = 1 2 3 4 5 6 or  E B G D A E =  1 2 3 4 5 6 and adjust the instrument input setting in your MIDI converter.

Can I use my active pickups with the Hexpander?

Yes. In the standard Hexpander-only installation, the magnetic and acoustic/MIDI systems exist parallel to each other, but are not connected, so there's no interaction between them.

If there's no connection between the magnetic pickups and the Hexpander, how does the QuickSwitch mute the mag signal?

Add the Mag-to-Pin-7 harness, and connect the green wire to the tip lug of your 1/4" jack. This is where the mag and MIDI systems interface.

Do you make a MIDI bridge for 7 string guitars?

Many of our saddles that are made for 6-string bridges will also fit on 7-string bridges. If you do not find a 7-saddle set on our Web site, but see a saddle that looks like it would fit your guitar, contact us and we will put together a custom set o

What if I am installing the ghost system into an instrument that does not have any magnetic pickups?

If you have an instrument with a metal bridge plate, it would be good practice to ground that plate rather than leave it floating because the bridge is a big chunk of metal near the pickups and their wires, which are high-impedance and thus prone to

Can the ghost system be used with other manufacturer's components?

Yes, many piezo technologies are similar enough that they will interface successfully. Often the biggest difficulty is getting parts from different manufacturers physically hooked up together. Other companies don't use the nifty plug-in connectors li

Can you install the ghost saddles without a pre-amp?

You can connect our saddle leads directly to an output jack (passively), however, the signal will not be very “acoustic-like” in the absence of the buffering & equalization of our pre-amp. In fact we even offer a passive volume kit for this very reas

LB63 Ghost Installation Instructions

Battery Box Measurement

LB63 Slot Dimensions

Stock Wiring/Acousti-Phonic Comparison

Hexpander Kit

Complete Kit

Complete Ghost Kit with 8-String Guitar

Ghost Acousti-Phonic - What does it sound like?

If you've ever wondered about the sound of the ghost Acousti-phonic, which allows your electric guitar to sound like an natural, authentic acoustic guitar (not MIDI), here's a Brandauer band www.brandauer.es from Spain, using only the Acousti-phonic

Acousti-Phonic with Quickswitch

The standard way of wiring the Acousti-Phonic, same as in the manual with the addition of the optional QuickSwitch for mag/both/acoustic.

Acousti-Phonic Kit

The standard way of wiring the Acousti-Phonic, same as in the manual, with the Acoustic Pot with Mid/Dark Switch and a QuickSwitch (PK-0240-00 or PK-0340-00).

Powering Active Pickups

The standard installation for active pickups like EMG's.  Shows how both the Acousti-Phonic and active pickups can run off the same battery source, from 9v ot 18v.

Hexpander First Row

These connections are on the Hexpander's pass-through connector to the Acousti-phonic when they're piggybacked together, so they're the same as the standard installations for the Acousti-phonic.

Hexpander Second Row

The standard connections for the Hexpander pickups, optional switches, and volume pot.

Pin 7 Harness

Connect the Pin 7 harness in Hexpander-only installations so that mag and acoustic are available on the 13-pin connector. Note this requires the addition of an acoustic volume pot, or you can omit the pot and get acoustic out at full volume all the t

Passive Volume Kit

This is how you install the Passive Volume Kit (PE-0400-00) when only using a set of ghost loaded saddles or a ghost loaded bridge without a preamp.

TRS Jack

This operates the Acousti-Phonic in Mono mode only with power switched by the Ring and Sleeve contacts of a standard, stereo, TRS jack.  This may be a useful option for guitars that can't use the Stereo Switched Jack, such a those with a deep barrel

Switched Barrel Jack

This is a solution for guitars with deep barrel jacks.  The Switchcraft Switchjack has four lugs like the Stereo Switched Jack that comes with the Acousti-Phonic, but the switch works in the opposite way, so it can't be wired the same.  This wiring d

Mag Bypass Stereo Jack

The mags go straight to the ring of the Stereo Switched jack, instead of going through the Acousti-Phonic (true bypass).  There is no blended (mono) mode available in this configuration.  When you insert a stereo 1/4" plug you get mags on the Ring an

Acousti-Phonic with Tone Control

Add a tone pot to the ghost acoustic volume. Note that players sometimes add this thinking they will need it, and never use it because they love the Acousti-phonic sound the way it is. Try the Acousti-phonic first without a tone pot, and add it only

Push Pull as a QuickSwitch

Use the switch in push/pull pot as the QuickSwitch but the push/pull has only 2 positions so you get mag/acoustic instead of mag/both/acoustic.

Mag Bypass Push/Pull - Scheme 1

This bypass switch can be installed if you would like connect your magnetic pickups directly to the output (bypassing the Acousti-Phonic) and simultaneously forcing the board to stop consuming battery power. This can be used in the case that the batt

Mag Bypass Push/Pull - Scheme 2

This bypass switch can be installed if you would like connect your magnetic pickups directly to the output (bypassing the Acousti-Phonic) but will keep the battery connected when in the bypass mode. This will more applicable for live performance. The

Blend Pot

Wire a blend pot to an Acousti-Phonic.  It's the same as a regular Acousti-Phonic installation, only the mag pot is reverse-wired to work in the opposite direction.  Note that you actually get more control over your sound with separate pots because i

Guitar Potentionmeters (Part 1)

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the pots used in an electric guitar. Why are there different types? What do their values mean? How does all this vary the tone of the instrument?. A guitar sounds the way it does due to many factors, and the

Guitars Potentionmeters (Part 2)

Guitar pots are a crucial variable volume control used on almost every guitar and bass on the market. The way a pot increases or decreases a signal can be important to many players. There are 2 main types of pots used in electric guitars. Audio and l

Dual Jack Magnetic

This clever circuit requires a second Stereo Switched Jack.  When you plug into the second jack, you get your magnetic pickups straight out (true bypass).  Acoustic sound in available on the first jack but the second jack empty, the first jack has bo

Dual Jack Mag Bypass

Mags go straight out to one 1/4" jack (true bypass) and acoustic goes to another 1/4" jack, the Stereo Switched Jack that comes with the Acousti-Phonic.  The Acousti-Phonic is help in mono mode by grounding the ring contact permanently, but the only

Dual Jack Blend

Dual jacks with blended signals are available when a mono plug is inserted in the Stereo Switched Jack only.  When a mono 1/4" plug is inserted the second jack (also a Stereo Switched Jack), mag is on the first.

Ghost Troubleshooting Guide

Hexpander is not tracking well. QuickSwitch doesn't work properly. When the 1/4” & 13 pin cables are connected, there is only volume to my synth if the MIDI volume pot is set at about halfway. If turned up full, it drops out. Plugging the ¼” jack in

Magnetic Pickups

A magnetic pickup consists of a permanent magnet with a core of material like alnico or ceramic, wrapped with a coil of several thousand turns of fine enameled copper wire. The vibration of the nearby lightly magnetic strings modulates the flux linki

Thinking of Modifying Your Parker Fly with The Ghost System?

Graph Tech's products are all created to be as easy as possible to install. Which means it is the ideal do-it-yourself project. As a DIY project, installing the ghost System is possible to achieve. Although it takes a little more work than our legacy

Ghost - Different Schematics for Different Folks

Here at Graph Tech we pride ourselves in coming up with products that do what we say they will do, and offer a real improvement to our customers instruments. Like when we take our already very popular String Saver material and encapsulate our own (cu

Graph Tech Ghost Review

Here is a great older article from the UK about the ghost system. It is a great overview of ghost, and specifically addresses the questions many people have about the benefit of using piezo (Graph Tech) pickups versus magnetic pickups. Graphtech Ghos

Ghost Full Kit Review

Here is an old but great review of our ghost system. It covers both the Acousti-Phonic pre-amp and the Hexpander. It is a great overview of the features, benefits, sounds, etc. Enjoy!. You’ve undoubtedly seen and heard piezo pickup-equipped electric

Graph Tech Ghost Review

Here is a great older article from the UK about the ghost system. It is a great overview of ghost, and specifically addresses the questions many people have about the benefit of using piezo (Graph Tech) pickups versus magnetic pickups. Graphtech Ghos

Ghost Hexpander Review

Here's a short (but good) ghost Hexpander review. Enjoy!. When you play a note or adjust a knob on a MIDI keyboard, it transmits MIDI data. A guitar pickup, however, produces an analog electrical current that must be converted to MIDI data before it

Ghost Acoustic/ MIDI System Installation Instruction

Ghost Hexpander MIDI Interface Acousti-Phonic Pre-amp Installation Instruction