Amplifier, pre-amp, etc Piezo pickup on musical instrument

ColinWB's picture

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Joined: Dec 21, 2020

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Amplifier, pre-amp, etc Piezo pickup on musical instrument
December 21, 2020 - 8:09pm

Feel free to redirect to an appropriate page.    I have tried to find an answer to my query on the home-build / DIY musical instrument sites without success so am taking the liberty of asking advice on this august site ......... 

I enjoy building three and four string guitars and dulcimers and although they do not need amplifying I would like to experiement to see where it leads me (there is a pun there).  To this end I have made a guitar with a pair of piezo pickups (having taking advice about where to position them, etc).  The result is disappointing to say the least.  If I crank up my stereo unit's volume then I can hear strumming through the speakers but extremely faintly and with distortion and hummmming.   I have inserted a cheap Chinese on-line pruchased pre-amp with no further improvemtnt (this pre-amp has no indication on it of its watts or amps).

Should I know what the output of the piezo is and what the input characteristics of the pre-amp is, in order to get anywhere?  There seems to be widespread satisfaction with piezos that I'm not at all sure what I'm not doing and what I should do.  Your comments welcomed and valued, thank you.

Sourav Gupta's picture

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Joined: Feb 12, 2018

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Specifically about guitars,

There are two types of guitars, hollow body where the sound is produced by the hollow guitar body specially the accoustic one. It would produce sound via piezo pickups which converts vibration to electricity.

Another one is solid body, the electric guitar that uses magnetic coil pickup that produce voltage by changes on the magnetic field.

 

You can use both interchangely but the result will be different.

 

A preamp is not an amplifier that produce sound directly when you connect a loud speaker, you need a power amplifier. Preamp is good for headphone only.

Leonard Jeffrey's picture

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Joined: Oct 22, 2021

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I am suspecting that you may have destroyed the piezos by applying too much heat when soldering the piezo mics to their wires.

Sourav Gupta's picture

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This can be a problem as well.