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Ibanez George Benson GB10 piezo conversion


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This was a very interesting project. A really nice guitar, although I do have some objection to the quality of the pickup switch and output jack on this quality instrument. Oh well. I replcaced the output jack with a switchcraft...


If you're not familiar with the GB10, it's a small body CARVED top jazz guitar( a VERY thick top), with two floating "Johnny Smith" style Hoshino magnetic pickups in the traditional Gibson configuration. A three way pickup selector, with a volume/tone knob for each pickup.


Basically it's a conversion thru adding a piezo equipped bridge, using my MagPi design as the basis. The height adjustable ebony bridge is set aside, and a new, SOLID bridge cut from quarter sawn maple is substituted. Buried in the bridge is a standard piezo disc. Any height adjustment is accomplished just as you would on a flattop acoustic, by either shortening the saddle, or raising it via shims or making a new one. As this guitar is at least 10 years old, it has stabilized and shouldn't require any action adjustment for years.


The control conversion includes removing a volume and tone pot, and replacing them with a mini switch and "bias" control, to allow for blending in the piezo sound with the magnetics. A photo is attached.


The mp3 starts with the guitar using the neck humbucker by itself, tone pot wide open, and the volume control on about 8. The second half is the "MagPi" system, with the piezo mixed in at about 60% piezo, 40% mag...tone pot wide open. Quite a marked contrast...I think you'll notice not only increased treble response, but a "cleaner" bass tone, and richer harmonics.


Ibanez George Benson GB10 mp3



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Sweet installation, Dave- that's some top-shelf workmanship on that bridge and saddle. The guitar probably even sounds better unplugged, I'd bet! Am I right?


Nice tone on the recording, too. Are both magnetic pickups available, with all three usual selections intact, as well as blending or substituting the piezo with whatever combination of the mags is selected?


How hard would it be for that sort of an arrangement on, saaay, a Les Paul, f'rinstance??

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?


~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Nice work, Dave! Sounds really nice with the piezo! I've got a GB10 that looks very similar to the one on your picture (that's it on my avatar). On mine, the lower register can tend to sound muddy with just the neck pickup. With your setup, how do you control the individual magnetics with the remaining tone & volume pots? Ballpark, around how much would this cost to have done?





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Originally posted by pauldil:

With your setup, how do you control the individual magnetics with the remaining tone & volume pots? Ballpark, around how much would this cost to have done?

You have just a master tone and volume...much like a typical Tele....The piezo has the in/out mini switch, and then the bias pot for blending. But it can be done several different ways, assuming you'd like to be able to return the guitar to original condition.


For example, you could have individual volumes for each mag, a pull/switch pot for a master tone/piezo in/out, and then the bias pot. I haven't been able to find a pull pot of the right value for the bias pot.


Depending on how much added hardware is needed(this one was a mini switch, bias pot, and piezo bridge..and a bit of wire) you'd be looking at about $250...this includes the making of the bridge, pulling the wiring harness, fitting the bridge(a major pain), and wiring it all back up. Plus shipping both ways. It's about a 4 to 6 hour project from start to finish.


I'm really itching to do an ES175....


And I've been trying to figure out if I can do a "mass production" bridge, ie, one based on the Gibson standard for dimensions that could be installed by your local luthier. BUT,(a big BUTT), it takes very special, experienced skill to correctly fit an archtop bridge. Most electric guitars techs would be hard pressed to do it "right"...and that's crucial for good tonal response.


And Caveman...yes, the pi can be used with all the standard pickup combos.

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I'm not quite as experienced about the jazz guitars as the others who have posted, but you did great work. Good tonal response, nice playing, looks classy too.

"I look for whatever will cut the deepest... whammy bars and wah wah pedals can't be used as just gimmicks. They have to reflect and express your feelings." - Jeff Beck
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