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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Musician »

Permalink A new drip tip!

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Squid wrote:

The photo is below. When I first finished it I painted the outside black. I added the L-pad (with knob) later, and I then refinished it with glorious duct tape that has a checkerboard pattern. The black paint had become scuffed and at the time I wasn't in the mood to paint, so duct tape it was. For corner protection I dabbed on glops of silicone glue. It is too small for audiences to care about its appearance.

The box itself is 7" long and 4"x4" in cross-section. The crossover network and piezo tweeter fit inside nicely. The cables shown are wired to conduct power as speaker cables not as patch cables.

I expect there are other tweeters with greater dispersion, but this one does the job well. It didn't cost more than five dollars. The crossover network and L-pad cost more. In my first try I skipped the L-pad, but it was too loud, and its loudness varied greatly compared to the speakers I paired it with.

What about sending full frequency signal to the regular guitar speaker vs lower range crossover network output? The crossover network I have offers 2 kHz, 2.5 kHz, and 4 kHz crossover frequencies, and these are gradual (rather than sharp). I suggest you compare cross-over frequencies using your own guitar speaker and tweeter.

image

Awesome thanks so much for sharing! In fact, I realize that all surf amps need this... I will be following your path. Thanks for the info on the crossover freqs. It's surprising that that little speaker can take all the stuff above 2.5kHz! On that little thing?! That's wild. I would have guessed more like 6kHz or 8kHz, shows how much I know! This is great stuff!

Daniel Deathtide

DeathTide wrote:

Awesome thanks so much for sharing! In fact, I realize that all surf amps need this... I will be following your path. Thanks for the info on the crossover freqs. It's surprising that that little speaker can take all the stuff above 2.5kHz! On that little thing?! That's wild. I would have guessed more like 6kHz or 8kHz, shows how much I know! This is great stuff!

Thanks so much for asking, it is fun to share this information. Yes I am surprised with what that little speaker puts out. The system gives a listenable reproduction of recorded music (e.g., MP3s) and useful full-range reproductions of drum kits through my Beat Buddy percussion pedal. Audiences repeatedly gave compliments on the authentic sound of the percussion.

The way I set up the tweeter box, it takes less than a minute to remove the crossover network and tweeter--or to reinstall it. So, I can easily compare my tones with and without the tweeter box. The difference is easy to hear. I can get much lovelier tones with the tweeter box.

I suppose that connecting multiple piezo tweeters would be better than a single tweeter. Why not? It wouldn't be worse, except for adding bulk to transport. One crossover network, one L-pad, and an array of tweeters spread in mildly different directions. I imagine a set of four tweeters to preserve speaker impedance (2 parallel groupings of 2 serial tweeters), or multiples of four.

The Insanitizers! http://www.insanitizers.com

Last edited: Jul 17, 2021 12:23:23

synchro wrote:

If I have time tomorrow, I’ll plug into my bass amp with a guitar and my reverb unit, crank up the piezo tweeter in that, and see what the drip sounds like.

Here is one more relevant detail about the bass amp I showed only the rear photo of above. To the inside of the speaker grille cloth I attached a 5" (on a side) square metal plate, located over the center of the 15" speaker. This plate prevents high frequency sound beaming from the 15" speaker, thereby leaving high frequencies to the tweeter. It accomplishes this, and I also installed a similar plate on a couple of my combo amps. I figured that for live performances it is better to adjust tone without high frequency beaming, even if I don't connect a tweeter.

The Insanitizers! http://www.insanitizers.com

Last edited: Jul 17, 2021 12:40:12

Squid wrote:

synchro wrote:

If I have time tomorrow, I’ll plug into my bass amp with a guitar and my reverb unit, crank up the piezo tweeter in that, and see what the drip sounds like.

Here is one more relevant detail about the bass amp I showed only the rear photo of above. To the inside of the speaker grille cloth I attached a 5" (on a side) square metal plate, located over the center of the 15" speaker. This plate prevents high frequency sound beaming from the 15" speaker, thereby leaving high frequencies to the tweeter. It accomplishes this, and I also installed a similar plate on a couple of my combo amps. I figured that for live performances it is better to adjust tone without high frequency beaming, even if I don't connect a tweeter.

Basically a beam blocker. If I get a chance, I’ll test it today.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

Squid wrote:

synchro wrote:

If I have time tomorrow, I’ll plug into my bass amp with a guitar and my reverb unit, crank up the piezo tweeter in that, and see what the drip sounds like.

Here is one more relevant detail about the bass amp I showed only the rear photo of above. To the inside of the speaker grille cloth I attached a 5" (on a side) square metal plate, located over the center of the 15" speaker. This plate prevents high frequency sound beaming from the 15" speaker, thereby leaving high frequencies to the tweeter. It accomplishes this, and I also installed a similar plate on a couple of my combo amps. I figured that for live performances it is better to adjust tone without high frequency beaming, even if I don't connect a tweeter.

Would the crossover be taking out those freqs anyway? What’s left to beam?

Daniel Deathtide

DeathTide wrote:

Would the crossover be taking out those freqs anyway? What’s left to beam?

Good question, thanks. The crossover introduces a gradual roll-off of power above the specified frequency, and is far from a surgical removal. The crossover attenuated beaming but it was still audible.

The Insanitizers! http://www.insanitizers.com

Wow, does that work! My bass amp has several preprogrammed EQs, so I selected the one that boosted treble slightly, in order to come as close to sounding like a guitar amp as possible. My reverb was a TC Electronic Hall of Fame set to the spring reverb emulation with the pre-delay set to high. This is a fairly decent spring emulation and has a pleasant drip.

I plugged in my guitar and took my place in front of the bass cab’. Even with the piezo tweeter set quite low, the drip just jumped out. I turned the tweeter control up as far as it would go, and the drip became louder, but I wouldn’t say that it sounded better. I went back to the setting I usually use for bass and I found it to be more than adequate. Going back to my earlier post, I could imagine that if you mic’d the main speaker with one mic’ and the piezo with another, you could really control the amount of drip coming through the PA or into two separate tracks of a recording console.

I may look into adapting an L-pad and piezo tweeter for my guitar amps, but I would have to have one for the 8 ohm amps and another for the 4 ohm amps. I would love to try this on a gig. My question would be how well this would project in a gig where the amp is not mic’d through a PA.

This is a great idea for delivering drip in a way which offers more control than simply cranking up your tank and hoping for the best. Coupled with a beam blocker and some thought regarding the placement of the piezo tweeter, I would imagine that this could make the process of projecting drip much easier. Besides that, it’s more satisfying to hear your desired sound when you are playing a gig, rehearsing or just practicing alone.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

Last edited: Jul 17, 2021 22:58:17

synchro wrote:

I would have to have one for the 8 ohm amps and another for the 4 ohm amps. I would love to try this on a gig. My question would be how well this would project in a gig where the amp is not mic’d through a PA.

Because the power to the tweeter is much less than to the regular guitar speaker, I expect the tweeter impedance will not matter and you can use the same tweeter with both 4 ohm and 8 ohm amp setups.

Tweeter projection in a live performance exceeds my expectations. As an example, cymbals and other high frequencies from the Beat Buddy percussion pedal are easily heard in the audience area. I know this first hand by using a wireless guitar connection and walking among the audience (with a grin) while performing. Cymbals are very high frequency and so most predisposed to speaker beaming.

The Insanitizers! http://www.insanitizers.com

Last edited: Jul 18, 2021 12:46:44

Squid wrote:

synchro wrote:

I would have to have one for the 8 ohm amps and another for the 4 ohm amps. I would love to try this on a gig. My question would be how well this would project in a gig where the amp is not mic’d through a PA.

Because the power to the tweeter is much less than to the regular guitar speaker, I expect the tweeter impedance will not matter and you can use the same tweeter with both 4 ohm and 8 ohm amp setups.

Tweeter projection in a live performance exceeds my expectations. As an example, cymbals and other high frequencies from the Beat Buddy percussion pedal are easily heard in the audience area. I know this first hand by using a wireless guitar connection and walking among the audience (with a grin) while performing. Cymbals are very high frequency and so most predisposed to speaker beaming.

What effect does the L-pad have on impedance? As far as the tweeter is concerned, I would probably look into cutting a hole in the baffle and permanently mounting it, although there is also a significant advantage to having a more ad-hoc unit, such as yours.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

synchro wrote:

What effect does the L-pad have on impedance?

The reason for the existence of the L-pad is that it is a means to maintain a constant impedance regardless of the output volume level.

The Insanitizers! http://www.insanitizers.com

Last edited: Jul 19, 2021 17:58:30

Squid wrote:

synchro wrote:

What effect does the L-pad have on impedance?

The reason for the existence of the L-pad is that it is a means to msintain a constant impedance regardless of the output volume level.

So the L-Pad has to be impedance matched to the needs of the amp, and then it takes care of the output to both the main speaker and the tweeter?

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

synchro wrote:

So the L-Pad has to be impedance matched to the needs of the amp, and then it takes care of the output to both the main speaker and the tweeter?

The L-pad is connected only to the tweeter output from the crossover network. The operational intent is to adjust tweeter output relative to the main guitar speaker. The output of the main guitar speaker is adjusted by your guitar amp head. To my limited knowledge L-pad vendors state the impedance. Because the L-pad is only on the tweeter output it seems reasonable to use an 8 ohm L-pad. This corrects my previous post of about an hour ago.

Crossover networks have power limitations which need to be considered in view of your amplifier output. Higher power crossover networks generally cost more.

The Insanitizers! http://www.insanitizers.com

Last edited: Jul 19, 2021 14:37:53

Squid wrote:

synchro wrote:

So the L-Pad has to be impedance matched to the needs of the amp, and then it takes care of the output to both the main speaker and the tweeter?

The L-pad is connected only to the tweeter output from the crossover network. The operational intent is to adjust tweeter output relative to the main guitar speaker. The output of the main guitar speaker is adjusted by your guitar amp head. To my limited knowledge L-pad vendors state the impedance. Because the L-pad is only on the tweeter output it seems reasonable to use an 8 ohm L-pad. This corrects my previous post of about an hour ago.

Crossover networks have power limitations which need to be considered in view of your amplifier output. Higher power crossover networks generally cost more.

Ok, now it makes sense.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

So get an 8 ohm 85-watt L-pad, copy that. Full signal split in crossover, piezo doesn't mess with impedance.

The crossover seems to be a key component. I'm used to passive crossovers like for car stereos that harshly divide the freqs. I like how yours lets some through and is not a surgical slicing. Just going to say how shocked I am again that the piezo can handle 2.5kHz and above. But it needs its own power? Batteries or a hard line?

I was thinking this could fit into a 215 cab I've got, it's off-brand and I'm happy to "mutilate" it for this. Actually I should use the main cab because that's where it's gonna go.

A 15" tone ring would have a nice amount of room to throw one or even two piezos. I'll make it in a box first and see how it works before cutting into a cab!

Thanks so much for this. I always lament not hearing the drips live.

Daniel Deathtide

The L-pad does not need to have nearly as much power capacity as your amp puts out because the L-pad handles only the tweeter power. In contrast, the crossover network power capacity should be similar to your amplifier's maximum. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit it but the L-pad I use is rated 15 watts, and the amp head I most often use it with is rated 300 watts RMS. Of course I don't play near the amp's capacity, I would have gone deaf.

The piezo tweeter I use is a passive speaker, i.e., no external power.

To summarize, the tweeter and circuit I added were on my on notion, and I collected the components and assembled them according to my own impressions. The basis for my impressions came from reading about stereo components, stereo speaker dispersion, crossover networks, and guitar speaker frequency responses. The component costs were very small and the result far exceeded my expectations. The real cost was in my time putting it together using hand tools. The tweeter circuit has made an enormous improvement my tones.

If your amp beams high frequencies I expect the tweeter addition will make an improvement. If it does not beam high frequencies and your setup does not already include a tweeter, it seems likely that the electronics attenuate the high frequencies that regular guitar speakers beam.

The Insanitizers! http://www.insanitizers.com

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