G4 w/ Piezo?



I'm ordering a swamp ash G4 with a bubinga neck / wenge fretboard, and was wanting to set up the electronics like a Stingray H/P. Single MM pickup in the sweet spot and a piezo bridge. Problem is, I've never worked with piezo systems before. I've done a lot of upgrading on my JBass, but never put anything together from scratch.

I was looking at the SeymourDuncan MM pickup, alinco-flavored. What would I need to look into for electronics? Can I wire any bridge up to a piezo? I'm pretty fond of the BADASS II and if possible I'd like to stick with that.

Never could decide between the Stingray or the Warwick Corvette, so I figured I'd just build my own.

:sad: Suggestions?  :help:
Hey, you stole my idea…

Just kidding, I’m working on a similar project MM pickup with a piezo bridge in a Z Body. 

If you really want to keep the BadAss II, you might be able to use Graphtec saddles.  But it will be expensive.  Check out Graphtec.com

If you’re on a budget,  there’s an Ebay store Choppers, check out the Diesel BASS BRIDGE/w  BUILT IN PIEZO PICKUP ACOUSTIC.  These are under 50 bucks but you have the option to upgrade to a Graphtec GHOST HIPSHOT later if the Diesel doesn’t work out.  The mounting holes are suppose to be the same.  If the mounting specs are the same for the BadAII, you’re in luck.

Check out (Product #: PN-8370-G4)  Graphtec’s piezo bridge pickup is around $200. 

As far as the electronics, knobs, and switches, I was thinking of three possible options but I would like to keep it down to 2 holes in the body. 

I’ll work something out in the next week or so…
Ok, I’m still considering a few options here but here’s what I’m thinkin’ of so far…

From what I’ve learned, mostly from this board, a piezo won’t play nice with your bass amp without some help from a preamp or other active electronics.  One might be able to get it working by using a 5Meg or higher pot or hardwired directly to the output.  But most likely you won’t be happy with it that way.  Graphtech, Fishman and several others have onboard preamps designed specifically for use with piezo and magnetic pickup combinations. 

However, in my case, I really want to keep this base as simple as possible.  I want it to be elegant and simple in design and functionality.  Basically, I don’t want active pickups or onboard electronics.  I don’t have anything against active PU’s, it’s just that I have a very specific idea of how I want to build this one.  I’ll be willing to give up on the Piezo Bridge if this doesn’t work out. 

So the plan is, I’ll probably use a Gotoh bridge and Graphtech saddles, (Product #: PN-8304-00 or  #: PN-8314-00) and build my own off board pre amp/mixer.  (project box)
I plan on using a stereo output jack.  The normal tip and ground ring for the MM and the middle and ground ring for the Piezo.  This way, using a normal MONO instrument cable, the Piezo would shunt to ground and not be used.  When using a Stereo cable, I’ll plug into a project box.  I’ll build this box later if the prototype works well.  I have a schematic that I think will work well for this.  Basically, it’s a high/low impedance mixer with switch able separate/summed outputs.  If it works out, I’ll make the box out of wood or cover it with veneer.  I’ll be lookin’ around at Woodworkers Source and try to find some pau ferro wood to match the finger board.

And that’s it for now…  :guitaristgif: