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Piezo Pickups OverviewUpdated 9 days ago

FAQ: Understanding Piezo Pickups for Guitar

What are Piezo Pickups?

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 guitar strings into an electrical signal. The piezo element senses small changes in pressure as the string vibrates, generating an alternating current. This electrical charge is then sent through a wire, with the amount of pressure determining the strength of the signal.

What Makes Graph Tech Piezo Pickups Unique?

Graph Tech's piezo pickups are crafted with custom-made piezo crystals designed to operate optimally within the guitar frequency range. This specialized design eliminates the common "piezo quack" sound, providing a more natural and accurate tonal reproduction. Additionally, these pickups are impervious to sweat and corrosion, ensuring durability and consistent performance.

Why are Piezo Pickups Significant?

Piezo pickups were developed in the late 1960s, revolutionizing amplified acoustic music. Before their invention, musicians had to remain stationary on stage to stay within the range of a microphone. Piezo pickups allow greater freedom of movement and enable musicians to modify their instrument's sound using a tone-adjustable pre-amp or amplifier.

Key Benefits:

  • Unique Sound: Piezo pickups offer a different sound from magnetic pickups, making them ideal for acoustic guitar applications. They excel at sensing higher frequency sounds, which are more prominent in acoustic guitars.
  • No Interference: Unlike magnetic pickups, piezos do not pick up other magnetic fields, such as mains hum and feedback from monitoring loops.
  • Versatility: In hybrid guitars, piezo systems allow you to switch between magnetic and piezo sounds or blend them together.
  • Compatibility: Piezos work with non-magnetic strings like bronze or nylon, broadening their application.

The Graph Tech Acousti-Phonic Pre-Amp

The Graph Tech Acousti-Phonic pre-amp is designed to produce rich, acoustic tones, enhancing the natural sound of your guitar. It allows you to blend magnetic pickups with Ghost pickups or switch between them with the flick of a switch. This flexibility lets you easily adjust your sound to suit different playing styles and musical genres.

Smart Features:

  • Stereo/Mono Detection: The Acousti-Phonic pre-amp is a "smart" device that senses if the cable plugged into the jack is stereo or mono.
    • Mono Cable: If a regular guitar cable is used, both the acoustic and magnetic signals are routed down one cable.
    • Stereo Cable: If a stereo cable is used, the acoustic and magnetic signals are routed to separate outputs, providing greater control over your sound.

How Do Piezo Pickups Work with a Pre-Amp?

Piezos are capacitive devices, meaning their sound changes significantly with the input impedance of your amplifier. A pre-amp is often used to buffer the pickup from these variations, ensuring a consistent, full-frequency response. This setup enhances the overall sound quality and performance of your guitar.

Learn More

For more information on piezo pickups and how they integrate with the Graph Tech Ghost system, visit our website here.



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