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Thread: X-Bridge Distorted

  1. #1

    X-Bridge Distorted

    Hi
    I have an x-bridge installed in my strat and it is working, so no problems there.
    However, I find it is very toppy in frequency and distorts very easily; I need to be very careful with my playing style.
    Two questions:
    1. Is there anything you could recommend to me to reduce the sensitivity of the piezos...just a little even? Would I need to change the bridge or the string saddles to a different type? or would adding the ctrl-X or other JFET based buffer circuit work?
    2. what would you recommend for me to get volume and tone control onto the piezo signal? would the CTRL-X be required or is there something else I could try/get?

    I do not necessarily have a requirement to use a mix of magnetic and acoustic (my strat is a fat strat style with a Dimarzio Super distortion in the bridge, a Wilkinson single in the mid and a Seymour Duncan hot rails in the neck) but I would like to be able to quickly switch between the magnetic and the piezo options easily.... I could remove one of the traditional tone controls, say the rear one (I always end up rewiring my guitars to use a single tone) to add in something like the CRTL-X or whatever, but I have no idea whether this would solve my distortion, volume and tone issues..

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Regards
    F.E.M.

  2. #2
    Hey F.E.M.
    Can you tell me how you have the X-Bridge wired? and what your playing it through?

    The X-Bridge comes with a stereo jack and a volume control that can replace on of the tone pots on the Strat.

    If you can tell how it's all wired and what you're playing through, I should be able to help.

  3. #3

    x-bridge distorted

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb_Elling View Post
    Hey F.E.M.
    Can you tell me how you have the X-Bridge wired? and what your playing it through?

    The X-Bridge comes with a stereo jack and a volume control that can replace on of the tone pots on the Strat.

    If you can tell how it's all wired and what you're playing through, I should be able to help.
    Hi Caleb
    I may be wrong in calling the bridge an X-Bridge... it just has a single coax cable coming from it that I have wired in several different ways.
    I'm trying to upload an image of the bridge for you to see but for some reason the uploader isn't working. Is there another way to get an image/pic of the bridge to you?

    There have been basically three different ways I have wired the bridge...
    1. Straight out to the jack-socket via an SPDT switch, where the SPDT selected either magnetic PU's or the Piezo PU.
    2. As for 1 but with the Piezo hot wired to the outer lug of a 250k pot and the center lug taken to the SPDT switch. The other lug I grounded thereby using the 250k pot as a potential divider.
    3. Different combinations of 1 & 2 but using a JFET buffer amplifier I designed to buffer the Piezo signal. I'll have to run the sims again to try to remember the gain/attenuation I was getting, but in general without the addition of the volume control this worked pretty well...but not ideal.

    I run the guitar into a series of pedals connected with a switcheable patchbay... but for the piezo I usually just include a Chorus and a touch of Reverb. However, even without the effects, and running straight into a Line6 Spider II combo, the result is tinny and distorted.
    Having said all that I would have to say that the best of the above was #1... I control volume using the FBV (the line6 system pedal) swell pedal and play really really softly.

    Regards
    F.E.M.

  4. #4
    Ok,
    If you want to email me pictures, I can get those at [email protected].

    Is the bridge that you have not an X-Bridge? Or is a Piezo bridge from another company?

    I think that using a 250K pot is probably not the best idea. That is likely the reason why you have such a bright (toppy) signal. The LR Baggs X-Bridge comes with a 5 Meg Ohm pot that is designed specifically to give you passive volume control without altering the tone in a major way.

  5. #5

    x-bridge distort

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb_Elling View Post
    Ok,
    If you want to email me pictures, I can get those at [email protected].

    Is the bridge that you have not an X-Bridge? Or is a Piezo bridge from another company?

    I think that using a 250K pot is probably not the best idea. That is likely the reason why you have such a bright (toppy) signal. The LR Baggs X-Bridge comes with a 5 Meg Ohm pot that is designed specifically to give you passive volume control without altering the tone in a major way.
    Hi Caleb
    Its definitely an LRBaggs...LRBaggs is stamped on the side of the bridge plate and some years ago Bryan McManus helped me with the replacement of a faulty piezo element under what i recall was the 4th string saddle. An easy fix from what i remember.
    I do agree... adding such a LoZ load (the 250k pot) across the HiZ piezo element was not likely the best idea but it was a worthwhile experiment and had to be tried ... this us why i added the Fet buffer.

    I'll forward the picture when i get back on my desktop.

    Thanks for the replies... really appreciated.

    Regards
    FEM

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