Zeroing in on PS

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by rugerpc, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Drew

    Drew New Member

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    I've owned Parker, Music Man, & Ibanez guitars with Piezo systems. In call cases, the system was transparent.
     
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  2. Drew

    Drew New Member

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    I don't see it as a compromise. Most electric guitarists do not do that much acoustic playing....myself included. On a rare occasion that itch needs to be scratched, its nice to be able to do it on the electric, versus going out and buying an expensive Taylor that I may use 4 times a year and will take up valuable space in my office.

    Depending on the system, you can blend your piezo and magnetic pickup sounds which gives you a whole other hybrid territory to explore. Piezo is also great for doing sizzling acoustic style lead work that most people wouldn't be able to perform on a real acoustic. Its just another tool. If I was doing a private stock, piezo wouldn't even be a question. If I'm going to plunk 10k down on a guitar, id want it to do as much as possible.
     
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  3. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A
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    I'm reasonably sure that Les had a hearty breakfast served up by his lovely wife.

    The reality of it is that I have a several lovely Taylors (all purchased long before PRS had acoustic offerings). They are sufficiently different from each other to provide a wide palette of authentic acoustic tones. I just am not able to play them for any extended length of time. I lack both the finger strength for the stiffer strings and the calluses. And given my current obligations between work and family, it is unlikely that I will be able to put the practice time in any time soon to develop either.

    It is the classic acoustic guitar learning block. I have wanted to play guitar since I was in junior high. My brother was in a band and I asked the guitarist about learning. He looked at my fingers and fingernails and said, "You'll never play guitar." I was a snotty-nosed junior high school drummer and he was a high school guitar player in a band actually getting paid to play. I believed him.

    As it turns out, he didn't know what he was talking about. As you all know, having hard fingernails is only important in very limited styles of playing. And not even the styles I was interested in or, get this, the style HE was playing at the time.

    By the time I got to college, I decided to try anyway. On 12/13/79, I bought (and still have) a fairly inexpensive Fender acoustic. That is when I ran into the acoustic/new player conundrum. If you don't play much, you don't develop calluses AND you don't retain the few things you manage to learn. I would play until my fingers hurt and then put the guitar away for days or even weeks. I was in college and the academic path I was on was rigorous. That took the lion's share of my time. And it didn't get any better in graduate school and post-graduate school.

    I continued that way for a long time. But somewhere, I had heard that electric guitars were easier to play than acoustics. On 12/7/02 I went to the GC in Towson Maryland. I told myself that I was going to sit down with an electric guitar and if I could play it for more than 15 minutes without my fingers hurting, I'd buy it. I played for almost an hour before my fingers started getting sore. And a word about GC, I'm not very fond of the chain today, but back then, I was unmolested by staff who, when asked, actually answered the questions I asked. I walked out with a MIM Strat (which I still have today).

    A professional friend told me I should try a set neck guitar a few fears later, he suggested a PRS...

    What does all that mean? It means that despite trying for over 16 years, I'm still just starting. I love guitar, but I'm not 13 without responsibility and able to devote 6-8 waking hours at it. It means that I'm still pissed at the crappy advice I got over 26 years ago. I could have been playing/learning all this time.

    It means I don't make my living playing guitar and never will. The day anyone actually PAYS me to play, the Earth will spin backwards and Les will have a lot more to worry about than a [email protected] sammich or whether or not my PS has a piezo.

    It means that I'm not recording perfect tones for picky clients for national or even regional ads. I have a couple of SM57s. I'll never even hold a ribbon mic in the store, much less purchase or use one.

    It means my 'studio' is acoustically imperfect and probably isn't going to change.

    It means I play for my own enjoyment.

    It means I want to be able to switch from 'acoustic' to electric and back in songs like Aqualung.

    It means that if I want a piezo on my PS, it's gonna have a [email protected] piezo.*

    BTW, if some little kid asks you if he has what it takes to play guitar, don't be a jerk. Be supportive and take him and his parents to the store to pick out a nice 3/4 sized electric to begin his journey.

    *unless Paul Miles or PRSh tells me not to. Even then, I might do it anyway.
     
  4. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A
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    Where are you going with this?
     
  5. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A
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    And this has been my experience with my PRS HBs, I have them with and without and the electric tones are comparable - that is in a blind test I'm pretty sure I would not be able to identify whether one had a piezo or not when playing the electric side.

    And that was my question - has anyond heard or know of any detrimental effects to the electric tone just because a guitar has a piezo bridge instead of a non-piezo bridge?

    Thanks for weighing in, Drew.
     
  6. vchizzle

    vchizzle Birdman.

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    And I wasn't trying to bag on Les here, he knows how much I value his friendship, knowledge and expertise. Point was just that everyone's dream guitar or perfect instrument is different and they should go after the things that are most important to them that will inspire them to play more, be more creative and enjoy playing music. That's what's most important.
     
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  7. aristotle

    aristotle New Member

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    Sounds like Ruger is going to get a Piezo one way or the other, but my P22 sounds stellar in piezo mode, and I can't see why you wouldn't want it in a PS. And as has been mentioned, you get some really neat tonal combinations by mixing piezo with the pickups (at least with the 53/10s I have in the P22.) As Les suggests, I mainly use my P22 live to get acoustic tones, playing the P22 in piezo mode through the clean channel of an Archon with a bit of delay and chorus is enough to make you wet your pants when you are just noodling around by yourself..
     
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  8. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A
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    ...might have to buy myself some diapers. Depends.
     
  9. alantig

    alantig SSBMA

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    Salute, sir. I'd post a picture of the Hee Haw gang saluting if I wasn't on my phone!
     
  10. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I'm sorry you couldn't tell I was mostly teasing Bill, Vaughn. I'm 100% sure Bill knows where I'm coming from.

    You know the problem with the internet is that tone of voice can't really be heard, so it's definitely possible to misunderstand someone's intentions.

    Incidentally, my very own PS Tonare does have one of those worthless pieces of junk in it. So there's that...and yes, for me it is worthless, but I still love my guitar.
     
    #70 LSchefman, Feb 3, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  11. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I'm really close to needing some anyway, given my age.
     
  12. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    True enough. I was mostly just teasing Bill, and I think he knows that.

    As a guy who loves playing real acoustic guitar, and who has had (and has) very good ones, I don't care for the piezo sounds. But I do realize that others feel differently, and are certainly entitled to make their own choices.
     
  13. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I knew you weren't bagging on me. No worries! I think maybe I wasn't being as funny as I thought I was. Though I think Bill knew I was trying to be humorous in the way I presented my bias against these things.

    And yes, it's true, I don't care for them. But I do realize that everyone's different.
     
  14. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A
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    I knew Les wasn't serious for two reasons.

    1. It was only a level 2 hissy fit. I've seen him at level 10.

    2. I could see he was eating a sammich as he typed "hunger strike" due to my special mod powers that let me see into all member's homes, places of business and souls.

    On top of that, it was a spam sammich.
     
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  15. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Nope, I, wearing my Ghandi diaper and blanket, got up from my spinning wheel where I am still starving, meekly served her breakfast so she'd be strong enough to handle my imminent death from starvation.

    She fully understands and agrees with the need to do away with these quacking devices. ;)

    That said, based on my experience with my Tonare PS, I notice absolutely no difference in acoustic tone caused by the piezo system, though this particular piezo sits under the top, which is between the piezo and the bridge, so the saddle of the guitar doesn't make contact with it. I base this on the tones I got with my Cocobolo Tonare, and granted, the woods on back and sides differed.

    I think in theory - theory that is possibly divorced from any audible reality - in theory, a piezo transducer coming into contact with a bridge saddle could change the tone. But in practice, I haven't heard it. They seem to make no difference to the electric tone in the guitars I've played that have them. However, who the heck knows what the same guitar would sound like without the piezo? I haven't tried that swap.

    Then again, the small changes Paul Smith made to his new Version III PS Tremolo have given me the best electric tones I've ever gotten, and those changes are pretty darn small things - bigger screws, saddles that stay in place better, and locking threads to lock the string into place. So it's entirely possible that a piezo transducer could change some of that in some minor way.

    One thing about this bridge that I absolutely love - well, I'll have to start by saying this - I rarely play a trem guitar with the trem arm. I learned to play on guitars with fixed bridges, and have been a big advocate of the 2 piece bridge on the SC245 models. So I'm not a trem player, per se.

    However, I like the sound of a trem-equipped guitar, something about that trem cavity and hardware and the springs give a guitar a nice tone. So I have examples of both types.

    Anyway, this bridge is without a doubt part of the most amazing sounding instrument I've ever owned, the 20th Anni PS. If you have a chance to try one, or hear one in person, it's pretty incredible.

    And the wrap bridge with the brass inserts that came on my McCarty WL is also a better sounding thing (to my ears) than the older wrap bridges. The sound is definitely less plinky, sustains more, and is warmer.

    So I believe bridges matter. A lot.

    I'd really want to talk to Paul about whether or not he thinks there are tradeoffs. But then again, if you don't like playing acoustic guitars, but want that acoustic tone, who is anyone to say you shouldn't have it?

    Don't feel guilty at all about me, starving to death on the way to my One Man March... :)

    I prefer to think of my hissy fits as DEFCON 1-5.
     
    #75 LSchefman, Feb 3, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
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  16. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A
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    Ok, I think we've squeezed all the air out of both sides of the piezo argument and we haven't even gotten to the electronics yet. (Les, your protest would carry more weight if you didn't have bagel crumbs on your shirt and had washed the butter, lox and cream cheese off of your fingers... )

    I'm still interested in hearing what members' experiences are with different woods.

    I'd also like to hear how a shorter scale length effects tone and playability.
     
  17. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Sigh.....now I'm going to have to start wearing pants. Thanks for ruining a good thing :confused:
     
  18. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A
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    I've been meaning to speak to you about this, along with several other members...
     
  19. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    As for your question on the piezo bridge effecting tone, I don't really notice it. I think my P245 SH sounds awesome on mag. I can't really tell a difference. I should add, I don't have an SC245 to compare it to. Although, I did have two Ernie Ball Petrucci's at the same time. One was piezo equipped, and the other wasn't. I noticed no discernible difference between the two. I'll add that our playing histories are very similar.
     
  20. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Oh geez, if only I was allowed to eat bagels and cream cheese following my heart surgery. I'm not. Too many carbs, too much cholesterol. I've lost 38 pounds, not going back to bagels and cream cheese. And um...my landsmen don't put butter on a cream cheese and lox sandwich, brother. That's SFG.
    ;)

    But I really hate lox. Seriously. I've never liked smoked fish of any kind. I'm not big on that whole Eastern/Central European cooking thing.

    So you need to clean the screen of your crystal ball.
     

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