HB Spruce - Should I have PTC Install a Piezo?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by CVS, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. CVS

    CVS Not so new member

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    It is that time yet again. My 2008 HB Spruce needs a set up and a fret dress, so I am now thinking about some additional work if I send it to the PTC. Can I and should I have a piezo put in? On the electric side I play mostly smooth jazz and maybe some Larry Carlton type music with it. Should I have the Archtop pick ups replaced, and if so, with what? I live in Southern California, so I would only send the guitar to the PTC if I was going to have additional work done.

    Your thoughts are appreciated.
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    The PTC does beautiful work, in my experience.

    Can’t comment on the piezo thing, since I’m not fond of the sound of them, but as to pickups, what would you like to be different, in terms of tone?
     
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  3. ViperDoc

    ViperDoc Plugged In.

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    The piezo adds killer texture. It's a nice option. I'd do it.
     
  4. veinbuster

    veinbuster Coming of age

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    I really like the extra range you get with a piezo on a hollow body.
     
  5. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    I love the piezo in my HB, and the spruce top should be a great match. If you like the pickups, I'd be loathe to change them. Though you might consider the 58/15 or 58/15LT, as they are quite popular. You can try the 58/15 on a variety of current PRS models to see if you like them.
     
  6. CVS

    CVS Not so new member

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    Since I use this guitar primarily on the bass pick up and I play clean (ok maybe a bit of clean boost occasionally) , I was thinking that perhaps there is some other pick ups that I should put in to get a deeper jazz like sound. I would think about putting flat wound strings on but if I go the piezo route, this option is out (or at least I think it is)

    I have 57-08's on my HB II and at least to my ears, this guitar sounds more rounded / refined and mellower than my HB Spruce. Just want to see what others think. I do not want 2 HB's that sound alike, so I really do not want to put 57-08's on HB Spruce.
     
  7. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Silver pants make me wanna dance.

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    I’m with Les on the piezo thing, not a fan, and I didn’t want one when I was shopping for a HB Spruce. It’s probably not a big deal but I didn’t want extra holes and more stuff to rattle around (potentially) in my guitar. I love my HB I just the way it is most days.

    There are times I’d like my neck pup to be a little clearer or less big sounding, and these are the arch top pups.. but then there are times they’re perfect. IDK.. if you can find a set of 53/10s maybe those would get the sound you’re after?
     
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  8. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    I think a lot of the difference in tone between the spruce and HB2 is likely to be more about the maple than the pickups. All the more reason to have both!
     
  9. CVS

    CVS Not so new member

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    You make a good point about the wood. Maybe I should put 57-08's in. If nothing else, it would be an interesting experiment :)
     
  10. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    CVS, I’m with Serg, I’d think about a 53/10 neck pickup. The roundness of the attack, and the mellow tone are pretty jazz-oriented things, and I loved that pickup on my SC58 (admittedly, a different type of guitar).

    The 57/08 definitely has a sharper attack. If it’s my choice, it’s 53/10 for that kind of music, or for fusion stuff.
     
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  11. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Silver pants make me wanna dance.

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    I have a covered 53/10 bass pickup if you can’t find one and think you might be leaning that way.
     
  12. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

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    Here's my take:

    The Archtop pups in the Spruce HB are very, very good, for that guitar. I have not heard 53/10s, but I suppose they are good pups for the low-gain mellow tone.

    I like piezo pickups in my electric guitars. Do they sound like an acoustic guitar with a great microphone near the sound hole? No, of course not. But do they sound fairly close to an acoustic with a piezo pickup, plugged in? Yep! Even more so if you use an acoustic image/modeler pedal like a Fishman Aura.

    On top of that, just used as a part-mix with the electric mag pups, you get a really rich tone out of the guitar.

    But, if like Sergio or Les, you simply won't use it because it doesn't sound like a miked acoustic guitar, then skip it.
     
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  13. walrus

    walrus New Member

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    I know this is no help, but it's a chance to say that I love my HB Spruce as is - Archtop pups and without a piezo.
     
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  14. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    Piezos are cool for gigging, I really wouldn't use them at home.
     
  15. watelessness

    watelessness New Member

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    What I like about these threads is that no one agrees yet everyone is right.

    I have had the PTC work on my guitars and i highly recommend their work. I strongly suggest you have them change the guitar color to blue because everyone loves blue guitars.

    If you do send it to the PTC for any work you should have them put in a coil tap mini toggle so that you can switch pickups with impunity.

    Good luck!
     
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  16. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    I disagree...
     
  17. Callan

    Callan New Member

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    and I disagree with your disagreement
     
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  18. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    And I agree to disagree with your disagreement.
     
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  19. toothace

    toothace At least I'm good at dentistry

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    ^ This might be the most important message in the innerwebs today...:cool:
     
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  20. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Silver pants make me wanna dance.

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    I'm gonna burn this whole place down now.
     

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