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  • Writer's pictureLiza

Piezo vs. Magnetic Pickups for Cigar Box Guitars

Cigar Box Guitar enthusiasts have been debating the merits of piezo vs. magnetic pickups for a long time. I obviously have a preference between the two, but there really isn't a right or wrong opinion in this debate. People choose one or the other for their CBGs depending on what they want out of their instrument. Here's a little bit of information that, I hope, will bring some clarity to the issue, and help you make a pickup or instrument choice that is right for you:


Magnetic Pickups =

*Provide a clean electric guitar sound

*No preamp required to plug into amp or FX pedals

*Body of instrument gives little to no character to the instrument *Conductive metal strings required

*Pickup and strings need to be grounded

Piezo Pickups =

*Captures vibrations from cigar box, neck and hardware; resulting audio is unique to the instrument and usually has a gritty/dirty character.

*Requires a piezo preamp to fix impedance issues of piezo pickup: You will not get the true sound captured by piezo without a piezo pre. You will need a piezo preamp to sound good through FX pedals and amps. Without a piezo pre, your sound will lack bass and you will have level issues.


Hope this was helpful - Cheers!



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