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Hollowbody II With Piezo or Without

AragonWingfoot

New Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
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48
Hello everybody, I was wondering if the piezo being installed in a core Hollowbody II affects the tonal quality of the magnetic pickups if the piezo is disengaged. What I’m asking is if there were two identical core Hollowbody II’s with the only difference being one had the piezo installed and the other was just the magnetic pickups, would they sound different plugged into an electric amp based purely on the electric tones?
 
Hello everybody, I was wondering if the piezo being installed in a core Hollowbody II affects the tonal quality of the magnetic pickups if the piezo is disengaged. What I’m asking is if there were two identical core Hollowbody II’s with the only difference being one had the piezo installed and the other was just the magnetic pickups, would they sound different plugged into an electric amp based purely on the electric tones?
My vote would be 'nah', but maybe some purists with golden eardrums could claim to pick up a minuscule difference. I think it's a nice option to have anyway, and although I thought I'd never use that setting on mine, I do drift over to it on occasion for something fresh and it's always gratifying.
 
If you're asking whether the mere presence of the piezo circuitry turned off will affect the mag pickup tone of the guitar, that's a no. Especially if you run it the way it should be run, which is using both separate outputs. I like the piezo, it's a great sounding circuit, and it excels when you run it separately and use thick enough strings, like .011s.
 
Maybe, but I don’t think it matters as the amp and effectors, all with be set for the guitar you’re be using, thus any difference should be absorbed.

I own SE hollowbody II Piezo, and never thought blending mag with piezo will sound this good.
You should try it out at your local guitar shop.
 
I doubt it.

There are some construction differences - I believe the non-piezo uses plastic birds, and plastic binding around the body and the f-holes, whereas the piezo has maple binding and abalone inlays. I doubt that imparts a tonal difference, either, but just worth mentioning that the electronics aren't the only difference between the two guitars.
 
If pushed through the right pedal, piezo-equipped electrics can sound pretty convincing, IMHO.

Although a "lowly" SE customer ... In shopping for the fabulous SE Hollowbody , I heard many YouTube videos where a guitar with a piezo pickup, greatly benefitted for the use of a "pre-amp" pedal, like the ones made by L.R.Baggs (they have a suite of 4) or Fishman. That with the use of these downstream pedals, the piezo really does do a convincing job.

And therein lies the rub. In the case of the SE Piezo at least ... you pay $400 more to start for the pickup. Add an additional $175 for say, the L.R.Baggs pedal (I forget which of the 4 it is) and Voila ... it does sound like an acoustic guitar.

But for the almost $600 spent on this feature, you can buy a decent cheapie acoustic ... and the SOB sounds 100% "acoustic" ;) (just don't be pluggin' it into anything ! )

Furthermore, in realizing I would spend at least 80% of the time in an "electric" mode, (Again considering the not quite a Core SE version) I reasoned using PRS Paul's own biases, that the gnarly big brass saddles on the non-piezo bridge, would probably make for better electric performance, So I went SE Hollowbody II (and I am madly in love) ;)

I did recently get to fondle a SE Piezo at the local GC. Beautiful, with its spalted maple binding & abalone birds,..

But after listening to the naked piezo pickup with my own ears ...I felt vindicated.

Now, to get PRS to put the cooler binding & birds on the HBII when I buy the " Backup" Hollowbody ...
 
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Well, we know that the Piezo does sound "different" than the HB II with the piezo engaged, but to your point, the Piezo with the only Mag vs a HB II would maybe get to what I was "thinking"...

And I do not see a "loser" in such a comparison. ALL THREE Hollowbodies are killer. (not just being a Fanboy here) . They are simply outstanding guitars. I could see myself owning one of all three. In the "flyoff with a Core, the Hollowbody used was a Piezo with Mag only... and like I said before ... it rocked so ...

I am smitten by the Standard in Tobacco, as it can have some very nice grain patterns show up...

And I have seen flamey/stripey Piezo's ,that I would buy for the top alone ! ;)

When it comes time to cop the Hollowbody Backup, budget will play a role (Piezo being more expensive)... but it the HB II tops were ho - hum (and sometimes they do get that way) And the $$$ was there and the Piezo was strutting her flame ... Piezo !

If nobody is sufficiently flamed at the time, and the Tobacco is lookin hot ... Tobacco !

But either way , I know I wind up with a helluva guitar... And then next time around... I cop the one I don't have ,to complete the set ! ;)

All with stock 58/15S ... :cool:
 
You definitely pay a premium for the Piezo.

I have a nice acoustic guitar. If I'm playing unplugged, that's what I'm using. The piezo is for looping and other times when I'm playing amplified. A lot of the playing out I do is plugged-in acoustic, and my SE HB2 is just better at that (in addition to being similar/better plugged in sound, I don't have the feedback issues you deal with when playing an amplified acoustic). All the same pedal stuff you have to worry about with the SE HB2P you also have to worry about with most plugged-in acoustic guitars.

If you want an acoustic to play acoustically, yeah, the HB2P is the wrong guitar. Get the non-piezo and get a decent acoustic.

But playing plugged in is kind of a bottomless pit, regardless: you can get better, dual-system pickups and still want a preamp or an imaging pedal. They're getting a more expensive pickup (like the Baggs Anthem or M80, another $300+) and an imaging pedal (Tonedexter or the Baggs imaging pedal, another $300+) and it still doesn't sound quite like their guitar unplugged, but louder. Or they're getting a guitar that has some of that imagine stuff built in, like the Fender Acoustasonics ($450 more than the HB2P, and not half the electric guitar it is).

My feeling about the SE HB2P, as an owner, it's that it's an absolutely fantastic electric guitar that does passable live acoustic tones plugged in (better if you invest in the right pedal), and the simple truth is that "passable" plugged-in-acoustic tone is all you're going to get unless you're spending a ton of money specifically for that.

Although a "lowly" SE customer ... In shopping for the fabulous SE Hollowbody , I heard many YouTube videos where a guitar with a piezo pickup, greatly benefitted for the use of a "pre-amp" pedal, like the ones made by L.R.Baggs (they have a suite of 4) or Fishman. That with the use of these downstream pedals, the piezo really does do a convincing job.

And therein lies the rub. In the case of the SE Piezo at least ... you pay $400 more to start for the pickup. Add an additional $175 for say, the L.R.Baggs pedal (I forget which of the 4 it is) and Voila ... it does sound like an acoustic guitar.

But for the almost $600 spent on this feature, you can buy a decent cheapie acoustic ... and the SOB sounds 100% "acoustic" ;) (just don't be pluggin' it into anything ! )

Furthermore, in realizing I would spend at least 80% of the time in an "electric" mode, (Again considering the not quite a Core SE version) I reasoned using PRS Paul's own biases, that the gnarly big brass saddles on the non-piezo bridge, would probably make for better electric performance, So I went SE Hollowbody II (and I am madly in love) ;)

I did recently get to fondle a SE Piezo at the local GC. Beautiful, with its spalted maple binding & abalone birds,..

But after listening to the naked piezo pickup with my own ears ...I felt vindicated.

Now, to get PRS to put the cooler binding & birds on the HBII when I buy the " Backup" Hollowbody ...
 
I personally wouldn't buy a PRS HB without the Piezo. I own two a single cut and a double cut. I have used them playing live and love them. I run the Piezo through a Fishman Aura and it is a beautiful match. To me the Piezo in these guitars is pretty much the same as the Piezo on my Gibson Hummingbird. I run that through the Aura too so why wouldn't I expect to do the same with the Piezo in my PRS hollow body guitars? As a side note, I also have a P22 and a P22 Trem. I really like having the Piezo in the solid body guitar too. I have used those live as well.

I have noticed no difference in the sound of the magnetic pickups in my solid body guitars with the Piezo in them so I would venture to say that I doubt that there is any difference in sound with the Hollow Body guitars with it. The only thing I could even come up with that may make a difference is that the piezo system takes up some air space in the body of the Hollow Body guitar which may make a slight difference in tone or sustain. I have zero complaints in that department with the guitars I have.
 
Hello everyone.

I bought the SE Hollowbody II after trying and LOVING the HB II piezo. I bought the piezo model from a seller on reverb and got a lemon, so I had to return the guitar. I got a great deal on a brand new SE HBII without the piezo, so I jumped on it. After playing with that guitar for a while, I decided that the piezo was not worth the extra 400.00 in MSRP.

After looking back, I am still happy with the decision I made, however when I look at how the piezo models look... the binding, tops, and the bird inlays really make the guitar look great. It would be really nice if my HB II came with those cosmetic improvements but not the piezo pickup

Long story short, sure it is an extra 400 or so for the piezo model, but there are some other nice cosmetic details with the piezo model.
 
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I own both the HBII 594 and HBII/Piezo core. I really like both guitars and both have 58/15LT TCI pups. I love the sound of those pups in the HBII594 but not as much in the HBII/Piezo. They sounded a bit weaker in the HBII/Piezo, not as sweet.... I'm having a hard time describing it. I tried adjusting pup hieght on both pups and still wasn't satisfied. I ended up changing the pups out to Lindy Fralin Pure PAF's which seem to give the sound I was looking for. When comparing the two guitars side by side acoustically NOT plugged in the HNII594 has a brighter sound, maybe that made all the difference. Could the difference in composition of materials between the wraparound piezo bridge and bridge saddles vs the two-piece set on the 594 make a difference... I really don't know maybe it's all in my head. BTW I didn't change the pups until way after the"honeymoon phase" was well over.

Regarding the Piezo. I love it and find it very useful for amplified acoustic playing through my T C Electronics multi-effects and Bose PA. When playing the guitar electrically the piezo blends nicely with magnetic pups for unique jazzy clean sounds.

If it's possible to try before you buy but I highly recommend the HB2P.
 
I own both the HBII 594 and HBII/Piezo core. I really like both guitars and both have 58/15LT TCI pups. I love the sound of those pups in the HBII594 but not as much in the HBII/Piezo. They sounded a bit weaker in the HBII/Piezo, not as sweet.... I'm having a hard time describing it. I tried adjusting pup hieght on both pups and still wasn't satisfied. I ended up changing the pups out to Lindy Fralin Pure PAF's which seem to give the sound I was looking for. When comparing the two guitars side by side acoustically NOT plugged in the HNII594 has a brighter sound, maybe that made all the difference. Could the difference in composition of materials between the wraparound piezo bridge and bridge saddles vs the two-piece set on the 594 make a difference...
I wonder how much (if at all), the different scale length between the two also affects the tone? I understand that scale length is more about the feel, but under the idea that "everything affects the tone", I have to think it contributes at least in a small degree. Then again, I've never been accused of having the most discerning ear, so what do I know?... :D
 
I wonder how much (if at all), the different scale length between the two also affects the tone? I understand that scale length is more about the feel, but under the idea that "everything affects the tone", I have to think it contributes at least in a small degree. Then again, I've never been accused of having the most discerning ear, so what do I know?... :D
I’m not sure either, but there are always subtle differences from Guitar to Guitar and tone depending upon what equipment you play through the tone you’re looking for and how loud you play. Core PRS GUITAR’s are probably the most consistent off-the-rack Guitars out there. I’m happy with the choices I made. ;)
 
...however when I look at how the piezo models look... the binding, tops, and the bird inlays really make the guitar look great. It would be really nice if my HB II came with those cosmetic improvements but not the piezo pickup

Long story short, sure it is an extra 400 or so for the piezo model, but there are some other nice cosmetic details with the piezo model.
That's exactly why i bought the SE HBII piezzo version not so long ago!
I didn't really want the "acoustic" option... but those paua MOP birds and flamed mapple bindings got me... :rolleyes:
 
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