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TheRev

Blending magnetic and piezo pickups

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Does anyone blend a magnetic and piezo pickup for live amplification? What do you use to mix/blend the signals? Are there any problems with the different impedance from each pickup?

Ta

Dave

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[b]Hi Dave, you need a dedicated twin channel preamp, I ues a Raven labs PMB2 Preamp/di. (Discontinued). Theres actually one up for sale on Fleabay for £200 at the minute, I paid £300 for mine used ten years ago! That has three blendable inputs. Failing that, pretty sure Seymour Duncan do a similiar preamp called a D-Tar or Solstice.....
Good luck[/b]

Edited by mart3442

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Hi Dave,

I use a Radial Engineering PZ-Pre - The thing is unbelievable!

[url="http://www.tonebone.com/pzpre.php"]http://www.tonebone.com/pzpre.php[/url]

Built like it's bomb proof, does an incredible job, you can either blend or switch between two pickups/instruments in a foot stomp, there's a dedicated separate channel for a pedal tuner (I use a Boss TU-3), and there's of course a mute stomp switch too which is really handy. I rarely use the Boost switch, but it's there if need be.

They're around £300.00 brand new. Would recommend them to anyone.

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Good timing, I was thinking about building something similar (to balance wing and clicky piezo pickups) and had asked in DIY Effects for designs.

£300 is more than I'd want to spend on this (my bass and pickup combined are probaby worth less than £300 !) and I'd want it to fit onto the bass so I can use a single-channel wireless rather than 2 cables.

Schatten Mini Pre 2 https://www.thomann.de/gb/schatten_design_mini_pre_2_acoustic_preamp.htm is designed to do this, and can cope with Piezo or Magnetic pickups.

I think you could do this with an LS-2 in A+B mode, you'd need a jack plug in the input to switch it on. The input impedance of the LS-2 is listed as 1 Mhz which is OK for piezo pickups. But once again too unwieldy to fix to the bass.

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[quote name='TPJ' timestamp='1489144585' post='3254692']
Would a Boss LS2 work?
[/quote]

Hmm - probably not, unless one of the inputs is high impedance. I have a little passive two channel mixer, but the impedance mismatch between the piezo and the magnetic pickups make it unuseable

[quote name='mart3442' timestamp='1489142115' post='3254663']
[b]Hi Dave, you need a dedicated twin channel preamp, I ues a Raven labs PMB2 Preamp/di. (Discontinued). Theres actually one up for sale on Fleabay for £200 at the minute, I paid £300 for mine used ten years ago! That has three blendable inputs. Failing that, pretty sure Seymour Duncan do a similiar preamp called a D-Tar or Solstice.....
Good luck[/b]
[/quote]

I've seen the Raven labs stuff, then looked at the price and then closed my browser..... Thing is, I already have three preamps and was hoping to find something (i.e cheaper...) that would just mix without preamping. Having done some more reading, I suspect that you're right - it's a two channel double bass pre or nothing. I used to have a Headway EDB-1 which would have done the job, but I sold it on because it had too many knobs


[quote name='henrywillard' timestamp='1489151762' post='3254772']
Hi Dave,

I use a Radial Engineering PZ-Pre - The thing is unbelievable!

[url="http://www.tonebone.com/pzpre.php"]http://www.tonebone.com/pzpre.php[/url]

Built like it's bomb proof, does an incredible job, you can either blend or switch between two pickups/instruments in a foot stomp, there's a dedicated separate channel for a pedal tuner (I use a Boss TU-3), and there's of course a mute stomp switch too which is really handy. I rarely use the Boost switch, but it's there if need be.

They're around £300.00 brand new. Would recommend them to anyone.
[/quote]

Lots of love over on Talk Bass for these, but it's too big and expensive for my tastes. As I said above, I was hoping for something small and cheap that I could mount behind my tail piece and then run into my Plat Pro. What I really want is a two channel version of the Fishman Plat Pro analogue....

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[quote name='pete.young' timestamp='1489154307' post='3254789']
Good timing, I was thinking about building something similar (to balance wing and clicky piezo pickups) and had asked in DIY Effects for designs.

£300 is more than I'd want to spend on this (my bass and pickup combined are probaby worth less than £300 !) and I'd want it to fit onto the bass so I can use a single-channel wireless rather than 2 cables.

Schatten Mini Pre 2 [url="https://www.thomann.de/gb/schatten_design_mini_pre_2_acoustic_preamp.htm"]https://www.thomann....stic_preamp.htm[/url] is designed to do this, and can cope with Piezo or Magnetic pickups.

I think you could do this with an LS-2 in A+B mode, you'd need a jack plug in the input to switch it on. The input impedance of the LS-2 is listed as 1 Mhz which is OK for piezo pickups. But once again too unwieldy to fix to the bass.
[/quote]

Yarp - The Sachatten came up in my searches and I think it's the simplest useable solution available. I'd rather not have any extra pre-amping going on as I'd still be using my Fishman for its DI, HPF and tuner/mute functions, but maybe it's not possible to have the high impedance input without some sort of op-amp or whatever being involved? Does having two preamps in a row (three if you count the amp head input) matter? If the gain is kept just high enough for a clean signal, does it matter how many preamps are involved? I have no idea....

I've been told that the bloke behind SFX will do custom designs/builds so I might give him a shout to see what's possible, but I can't imagine he'll be able to produce something bespoke for less than the cost of that Schatten unit.

I'll probably give the Schatten a whirl - right after I've dealt with some recurring feedback problems.......

Edited by TheRev

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I'd forgotten about Max. The SFX sound custom page does list a double bass interface which seems to do exactly what we both want - one piezo, one switchable piezo/mag, individual level controls and a phase selection switch. Max's stuff is of the very highest quality (I also have a microthumpinator) but I'd guess that we'd be back somewhere round the 300 quid mark! Be quite a challenge to shoehorn it into a 1590 enclosure.

I have an LS-2 and a Shadow piezo pickup, so I'll give it a go and see if it's useable.

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Hi. Not long ago i had to get a pre to blend piezo and condenser. After checking this I bought it immediately:
Headway EBD-2
http://www.headwaymusicaudio.com/product/edb-2/
Extremely versatile, lots of options, silent, not too expensive.
Check it and tell me.

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I'm not sure if this helps but the A/E Precision is prone to an imbalance between the passive pickup and active piezo. There is a buffer circuit you can install which levels them out.

Best Google if that would deal with the problem you are trying to overcome. Must fit one to mine!!!!

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I used to use the K&K Dual preamp to blend both (which does the job well) but to be honest, without loud drums piezo (Bass max) sounds better on its own, with loud drums mag pickup on its own better so it almost is too much effort. I think I am the only one who can tell the difference. Certainly the band don't and I am sure the punters don't either...

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I'm coming round to this way of thinking.
The desire to blend two pickups is for my own vanity, not because anyone in the band or the audience had said my bass sound is poor - quite the opposite in fact.
Ultimately, I think I'd spend too much time fiddling with separate preamps or blend controls, trying to get some 'perfect' live sound that only exists in my head instead of sticking with the perfectly fine and useable sound that I already have and concentrating on playing and doing a good gig, which is what it's all about.

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Chanced on this thread which, I think, is pertinent to my current build with Andyjr1515 which will have a piezo and magnetic p/up. We may have to pick your heads in the future..

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Just spitballin' , but if it's cheap you're after could the offending signal not be sent into a cheap DI box and use the BAL OUT into your mixer?

Probably just waved a flag over my stupidity, mind!

Edited by Vinny

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My ten bobs worth........I'm presuming that you don't want loads of gubbins hanging from your Tail-piece, everything back at the amp. Have you thought about buying a cheap small mixing desk? I have used mine to blend Microphone, Piezo, and Clicky to good effect. You just have to listen out for overloading the amps input (Gain staging) It gives you a lot more scope EQ wise than most blenders and you can pick a second hand one up for next to nowt. And before I use the dreaded B word let me tell you that this works. ..........Behringer Xenyx 1202 Mixer. There!

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John East makes a circuit for this, and I'm sure he could put one in a box. My Clifton EUB has a small Bartolini circuit for this inside..and it worked very well with just a blend knob on the bass and a small trim control inside to set the mag pickup level. That could also be put in a box.

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