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  #1  
Old 01-08-2017, 09:53 AM
Wooly Wooly is offline
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Default Piezo disc pickups

Has anyone ever built their own pickup put of piezo discs (like K&K or JJB) that are cheaply available?
Were you successful and how did it sound?
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Old 01-08-2017, 10:21 AM
TOCS TOCS is offline
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I swapped the Nanoflex UST in my Epiphone for a system I created using two 12 mm piezo transducers. It works great, and sounds a whole lot better than before.

You could, theoretically, build a pickup extremely similar to what K&K and JJB offers at a minimal cost. Even with high quality bulk cables like Mogami and nice Switchcraft or Neutrik hardware you won't even get near the price of retail pickups, and the result should be more or less the same, given things are done properly.
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:09 PM
Wooly Wooly is offline
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I have an old but very playable Ibanez Concord that I acquired from a yard sale this summer. $40.00. I'm tempted to try and build and install a peizo disc pick up for it. What have I got to lose besides a few bucks?
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:20 PM
H165 H165 is offline
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If you're planning to try that, you might want to get on eBay and try 2 or three complete systems first:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/172368267678...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.com/itm/381448555134...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:28 PM
Wooly Wooly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H165 View Post
If you're planning to try that, you might want to get on eBay and try 2 or three complete systems first:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/172368267678...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.com/itm/381448555134...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
Thanks. For that price, I'll order a couple instead trying to make.
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Old 01-08-2017, 10:48 PM
dogdog49 dogdog49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wooly View Post
Thanks. For that price, I'll order a couple instead trying to make.
I ordered a similar Chinese set a while back and the discs were much larger in diameter than the K&K's - unusable for mounting under a guitar bridge as per K&K. These may be different, but try to make sure you know the disc size before you order.
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Old 01-09-2017, 12:42 AM
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Assuming the components are ok and the discs fit, is there anything more to a K&K mini than this? Or are you paying for the assurance that some decent QA and build quality has been done. Another way of asking I guess is there any secret mojo to what K&K does or are they just good at building a solid 3 piezo/jack rig?
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:30 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdq View Post
Assuming the components are ok and the discs fit, is there anything more to a K&K mini than this? Or are you paying for the assurance that some decent QA and build quality has been done. Another way of asking I guess is there any secret mojo to what K&K does or are they just good at building a solid 3 piezo/jack rig?
If you search the catalogs of the major electronics distributors, high quality piezo disks are very cheap. For the short run of cable in the guitar, I doubt you could save money and screw that up. A decent soldering job and encapsulation is not hard or expensive. The output jack is a place where you could save money and get something of poor quality. I suspect after a little experimentation on which disks to buy, you too could be in the pickup biz. Here are some links to get you started!

https://www.americanpiezo.com/quick-...-elements.html

http://www.newark.com/piezo-transduc...earchLookAhead
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Old 01-09-2017, 05:39 PM
tdq tdq is offline
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jonfields45 - I might just do that! Not go into business, but some experimentation, for sure. Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:27 PM
Vancebo Vancebo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdq View Post
Assuming the components are ok and the discs fit, is there anything more to a K&K mini than this? Or are you paying for the assurance that some decent QA and build quality has been done. Another way of asking I guess is there any secret mojo to what K&K does or are they just good at building a solid 3 piezo/jack rig?
I am going to guess that there is more to it than just solder and the disc. Teddy Randazzo of Dazzo Pickup fame had gone through every possible brand, style, and type of piezo material. In short, they don't all sound the same. I will also guess that the material adhered to the back of the K and K piezo discs are there for more than just holding the wires securely in place. They probably have an effect on the tonal character of the piezo. The wire does as well. This might be a "You get what you pay for" type of deal. When you pay $100 for a K and K, you are paying for the R and D as well.
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  #11  
Old 01-09-2017, 07:57 PM
Wooly Wooly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vancebo View Post
I am going to guess that there is more to it than just solder and the disc. Teddy Randazzo of Dazzo Pickup fame had gone through every possible brand, style, and type of piezo material. In short, they don't all sound the same. I will also guess that the material adhered to the back of the K and K piezo discs are there for more than just holding the wires securely in place. They probably have an effect on the tonal character of the piezo. The wire does as well. This might be a "You get what you pay for" type of deal. When you pay $100 for a K and K, you are paying for the R and D as well.
You could very well be correct. Seems to me I read somewhere that JJB pickups have a softer material on the back of the discs to reduce feed back.

I'll do some experimenting when the pickup arrives and I install it.
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Old 01-12-2017, 02:42 PM
JLS JLS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wooly View Post
Has anyone ever built their own pickup put of piezo discs (like K&K or JJB) that are cheaply available?
Were you successful and how did it sound?
Yes, great! Been rolling my own for years, now.
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