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Hybrids. Do they work for you?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by LGOberean, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm referring to guitars that are supposedly the best of both worlds: electric guitar tones and acoustic guitar tones in one instrument.

    I'm not thinking exclusively of one make and model, since there are a number of them that have been made. Seeing a post by @Fergyuk in the “Hollow, how are you” thread of his Crafter SAT QMOS hybrid guitar made me think of this subject.

    BTW, to me the Crafter looks a little like the South Korean company's take on a Taylor T5, and so I thought of that instrument as well.

    Of course, FMIC has their recent Acoustasonic American series, in Tele and Strat body styles. But more than a decade ago they made an Acoustasonic Tele Deluxe, if I remember the name correctly.

    And I’m sure there are makes and models of hybrid guitars out there that I’m not aware of. My question isn’t about what all is available in this market. My question for those that have them is this: Do they work for you? Do you get realistic electric guitar tones out of it AND good acoustic tones?

    If so, how do you make it work? How do you amplify one guitar to get it to sound realistically like both? What kind of strings do you use that allow for realistic tones on both sides of the spectrum? Or do they work for you as in, a “close enough” approximation of having an acoustic/electric and a tele on stage with you?
     
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  2. Lucius Paisley

    Lucius Paisley Tele-Holic

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    Why would anybody want that?
     
  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Amen!
    I cannot bear the sound of blended acoustic/electric pickups.
    I have tried to like it, and have decided the twain shall never meet, for me.
    I had a Parker Fly at my disposal for years and I learned to carefully use only the electric sounds.
    Amplified acoustic sounds are challenging to dial in.
    Magnetic pickups accentuate mid-range, piezo accentuate highs and lows.
    Fish and fowl.
    I know some guys make it work.
    I just ain't one of em'.
     
  4. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    My uncle used to have a mule that was a nice-riding animal. Sure-footed like a donkey and stronger than a horse. We’d ride it bareback—it was too much work to put the saddle on.

    EDIT:
    I stand corrected.

    Hybrid guitars...

    No, not really, I don’t like them—especially a solid body with a piezo in the bridge. Those usually sound like a duck being dragged up and down a giant zipper.

    The only one that has ever half-way-worked for me is my Dean Chrome G Acoustic-Electric Resonator.

    The neck lipstick pickup sounds pretty good on the chrome-covered brass body...the piezo in the biscuit is kinda Meh, but gets the job done, especially when the crowd is a few pints in.
     
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  5. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    My avatar guitar that I posted in that thread has a stereo jack with the pickups on one side and 2 round piezo under the bridge area wired to the other side.
    The result was too much treble. If I had acoustic strings on it, it might sound better. Of course that would ruin the sound of the pickups.

    The only guitar I've heard with steel strings and has great electric/acoustic sound is the Taylor T5Z.
     
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  6. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I've got a Dean Colt with a piezo in the bridge, and while the piezo doesn't sound like an electric guitar, it doesn't really sound like an acoustic, either. I bought it to use in a band where I had a pretty good amount of acoustic parts to play, but I could never get it to sound like a 'real' acoustic and ended up dragging my Martin to gigs anyway.

    - D
     
  7. Chester P Squier

    Chester P Squier Tele-Meister

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    Exactly! What about the guitar players' philosophy?
    Q. How many guitars do you need?
    A. One more.

    My brother once had a Gibson J-160e. Looked like a J-45 with a pickup near the end of the neck.

    Sounded like an electric. Not exactly sure what it did for the Beatles when they played them onstage in the early days.
     
  8. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    When I made my Strat-O-Rez: DSCF0767.JPG The piezo is on the bottom side of the aluminum skillet right under the bridge block area and offers more of a woody tone than steel string tone. Which is something to consider when building one/buying one of the electric/acoustic type guitars.
    Rod piezo's with a preamp sound so much better because the preamp has an EQ and the rod piezo isn't as sensitive as the round single types.
     
  9. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    To answer the header question - no. I build acoustic guitars and I spend way too much time trying to make the best sounding acoustic guitar I can. I have had several of the hybrids (the second gen Acousticsonic, the Gibson Chet nylon, a Roland synth guitar, one that I put together for my son) - simply put none of them sounded as good as a true acoustic guitar. I can see the appeal for certain gigging musicians, but not for me.
     
  10. johnnylaw

    johnnylaw Tele-Afflicted

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    When it comes to my typical gig, I bring a Tele. The main objective is to occupy a different tonal array than the bassist and other (acoustic) guitar player. The middle switch position with volume and tone knobs dialed in gives me a similar response to an acoustic. With this, I can blend well with the other one to the point that only other guitar players might be able to tell them apart while listening.
    I don’t need to bring another guitar along.
    In my admittedly small world, the hybrid is the solution lookin for the problem.
    Maybe their great for GB guys, or the beat box looper solo act.
    T5s are really cool, but the necks don’t work for me at all.
    I am doomed to play the Tele.
    But, it has a B bender anyway.
     
  11. 39martind18

    39martind18 Friend of Leo's

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    After owning and using a Deluxe Nashville power Tele that comes with a Fishman piezo bridge installed at the factory, I modded almost all of my electrics to include a piezo bridge. The way they are set up, I can use a Y cable with a TRS jack at the single end to split the piezo sound out from the magnetic pickup signal, running the "acoustic" signal into the PA or an acoustic amp, and the magnetics into my regular amp. The result is pretty damn good, very dynamic and getting the best sounds out of each pickup system. Using the piezo this way produces a useable acoustic sound on demand, and the magnetic pickups are available as well.
    Going the other route, blending the signals, gives me the girth/fullness of the minihums I prefer with the sheen of the piezos. Usually, I set the magnetic levels and tone to desired sound, then dial in the piezo signal to taste. Like any good condiment in cooking, a little bit goes a long way, but it, IMHO, makes things sound sooo good. Since I play a solo act and almost all clean, the piezo sounds with the magnetics serve "my sound" well. YMMV
     
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  12. rickthescot

    rickthescot Tele-Afflicted

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    upload_2021-2-22_20-5-54.png

    This is my T5X, it's an older one so the body is larger than the current ones. About the size of a 335 but much lighter. Does it sound like an acoustic? No, but it does sound sweet unplugged. Plugged in there are a multitude of options with the active controls and the 5 position switch. Strings of choice are the recommended Elixir electrics. If I could only keep one guitar, this would be it.
     
  13. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    The two sounds are so different, I've yet to hear a mechanical simulation of one, with the other. Even with all the advancements in modelling and IR, I've yet to hear a solid body that could come even close to flattop. I might could say I've almost heard a flattop sound like a [mediocre] solid body with an emag pickup, and plenty of intentional feedback. That's not to say that hybrids don't sound good, because they do. But I don't think we are anywhere close to producing a dreadnaught and a humbucker sound out of one guitar.
     
  14. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are a couple of guys at the DIY subforum who have built hybrids, one currently in progress. I keep asking what they are trying to achieve, I'm not sure they know
     
  15. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    Probably not a hybrid per se, but I put a piezo bridge on my Gretsch 5120. For the longest time I wasn't thrilled with it, but I recently invested in a proper acoustic amp and that really brought out the sound.
    It's pretty remarkable how much of our "guitar" tone really comes from the amp. Using the acoustic amp with the piezo doesn't make it sound like a D-28 but it does get me a lot closer, close enough that I wouldn't worry about taking a separate acoustic to most gigs. If I do combine channels and run it into the same amp, it adds a nice fatness to the bottom of those glassy 'Trons that's good for a lot of things.
    I'm planning out a build that I want to use mainly for slide and I'll be putting a Graphtec Ghost system on it. I like the sound of slide on an acoustic and I think that might be a great way of adding the string "grind" of slide of an acoustic to the P-90 I'm pondering for it.
     
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  16. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Well, yes - they get you in the ballpark of tone without your needing a roadie to go back and forth between the two. But no - they don’t sound as good. But acoustic guitars generally don’t amplify well anyhow, so I dunno - maybe? But one of the worst tones I’ve ever dad was a piezo bridge in a strat, so, no?

    I will soon put a pickup in my resonator, so that will be another trade off. It’s always a compromise.
     
  17. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    I dunno. I bought a Lawrence sound hole pickup for my acoustic in the ‘70s. In ‘84, I bought a Takamine E/A. Was I trying to have an electric and an acoustic in one guitar? No, I just didn’t want to be bothered with trying to rig a mic setup for my acoustic when I needed to be louder. I have a monkey-on-a-stick for my archtop, but there I’m just trying to sound like an archtop with a monkey-on-a-stick. I’m not sure I’ve ever even tried to have it both ways. Oh, and I have never for a minute thought of my Danelectro Convertible as a “hybrid” even though that’s how it was marketed back when. It’s just a weird, plunky-sounding electric.
     
  18. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I almost always bring an acoustic to "electric" gigs, I have always found the hybrids to fail when it comes to sound. I can actually get a more realistic sound from my Tele with an emulator if needed.
     
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  19. Dano-caster

    Dano-caster Tele-Meister

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    No. You need at least two guitars.One electric, preferably a Fender and one acoustic, preferably a Martin.
     
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  20. tubejockey

    tubejockey Tele-Holic

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    Did you have a preamp in that one? Any kind of buffer? I found that i needed a preamp with a high input impedance in mine. I used a piezo disc under the bridge of an aluminum topped Ibanez. It sounds rather faux resonator like.
     
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