If you are not totally sure what a Piezo system is, scroll down below the photo and read the simplified explanation.
The New "Black Saddle" TM Piezo System is the first and only one I have seen that I have been totally impressed with. There are many significant differences between this one and all the others I have seen. If you are looking for a system that works better than anyone else's. I suggest you read below. IT'S ALSO THE BEST SOUNDING ONE I HAVE HEARD BY FAR.
Black Saddle Piezo on Rickenbaker GreenGlo Paintjob
Rickenbacker Greenglo Paintjob with Black Saddle System
1. The "Black Saddle" System is the only one to my knowledge that does not use an "off the shelf" Motorola Piezo Crystal. The new Crystal itself has been designed from the ground up. It has been specifically designed to sound better than the typical "off the shelf" models. This took 18 months of design work.
2. The "Black Saddle" System is the first and only saddle not manufactured from steel or some type of metal alloy. This fact is largely contributory to the better tone of the "Black Saddles". The steel or metal saddles tend to create a harsh 1K spike when the instrument is played. The "Black Saddle" System is made from a brand new Polymer material called Boron Polytrinate.
Much Better Sound Quality
3. Unlike it's competitors The Black Saddles don't rely on string pressure to work. They rely entirely on vibrations. This simply means you can play as hard as you like without experiencing the harsh squanking quack that is associated with other older technology Piezo systems. This system will stand up to any Larrivee, Goodall, Breedlove, Taylor etc. The competition will sound like an Ovation or a good quality import Acoustic Guitar.
4. The inferior metal bridge saddles units can cut out when pressure is decreased. So when you depress the tremolo bar the sound can sometimes skew wildly. The Superior Black Saddle system is the only thing that will effectively work with a Tremolo because it relies entirely on vibrations and is non dependent on pressure.
5. Each saddle in the set of 6 Black Saddles is calibrated especially for the corresponding string. This is another reason that the Black Saddles system sounds superior to any other on the market.
The Black Saddle System is available on these other fine guitars
Piezo Systems are an excellent addition to your guitar tone arsenal.
Surprisingly I talk to at least 4 or 5 people a week who have no idea what they are, how they work and many people don't even know that they exist.
I will try to make this as simple as possible so that a beginner can understand what a Piezo system is.
The usual old run of the mill Piezo System is an Acoustic Transducer (pickup) that makes your solid body electric guitar sound exactly like a decent quality Acoustic Flat Top Guitar!!!The first question that probably pops in your mind is
"Why not just buy an Acoustic Flat Top Guitar?"
1. Because a Piezo system won't feed back.
It is infinitely
2. Because it allows you to mix the existing electric sound that you already have in with acoustic sound.
3. It effectively can turn one guitar player into two (especially if you split the output signal of the guitar)
4. Installed Piezo systems make great MIDI Triggers and out perform the hexaphonic pickups by a mile.
5. Besides in this day & age who wants to see a big fat unwieldy folk guitar on stage.
Surprisingly Piezo systems have been around at least 25 years. The first ones I encountered were built into Ovation's back in the 70's, The sound that you heard when you played an Ovation Guitar through an amp was the Piezo. It didn't matter if the guitar was hollow or if it was solid.
My brother crushed his Ovation 12 string Acoustic back in 1986. He was in a hurry to go somewhere and he forgot it was leaning against the back of his car "Ouch"!! Anyway, I removed the Piezo elements that were in the bridge, I glued them into some little chunks of Delrin that I had left over from making a gun stock. I carved the little chunks into barely acceptable bridge saddles and installed them on my 1985 PRS guitar. I drilled holes in the bridge and body and I achieved an OK sound.
Experimentation with pre amps gave me better and better tone, I even did one with 6 separate volume knobs. That was a nightmare but it proved to be a valuable learning experience.
Ed Roman 1997
come pre drilled for later installation of Black Saddles
The slot is milled under where the bridge goes
Piezo System On a Quicksilver Guitar