How are Barbera Pickups different
from other pickups?
Barbera Bridges collect a mirror image of the instruments voice directly
from the vibrating strings. All the unique tonal information of the instruments
voice is reflected in the way that the strings vibrate in response to
the instruments resonant properties. By collecting this information directly,
a clear image of the instruments sound is available for amplification.
Barbera Bridges have a high baseline of functionality and collect string
energies very efficiently. They will transform even an elemental stick
type electric instrument into a rich sounding amplified instrument. When
put on an acoustic instrument, there is all the more tonal information
present, and the unique tonal personality of the instrument is transmitted
with striking clarity and depth.
Please read the article "Concepts Behind
Barbera Multi Transducer Bridges" for a more in depth discussion
of the subject.
Do I need a pre amp?
That depends on what you are plugging into. A passive piezo type pickup
requires a high impedance input in order to function optimally and to
maximize tonal potential. A simple pre amp will optimize the tonal potential
of whatever you are plugging into by providing an optimized electronic
interface between the instrument and amplification system. Some acoustic
instrument amplifiers are designed with an optimized pre amp stage built
in. Electric guitar amps have a relatively high impedance input stage
but they are generally optimized for magnetic pickups which employ a lower
Generally speaking you can plug straight into a guitar/bass/combo type
amp. If plugging into a mixing board or a keyboard amp a preamp is a must.
Mixing boards do not have high enough input impedances to obtain the full
tonal potential from a passive pickup.
A pre amp is not for boosting gain, it is for maximizing tonal potential
by optimizing the electronic interface between instrument and amplifier.
A pre amp will also help buffer (protect) your sound from being degraded
by effects pedals and signal processing devices.
Does the Barbera Bridge affect the acoustic sound
of an acoustic instrument?
For Upright Bass the maple multi transducer graft allows the Bass Bridge
to function normally without any impediment.
For Cello, the bridge will be slightly less bright sounding acoustically
than a normal acoustic bridge. The amplified signal is full range.
For Violin, the acoustic sound will be darker and softer than a traditional
acoustic bridge. The amplified signal is full range.
Can the tops of the bridges
be carved or shaped like a traditional bridge?
The string notches may be tweaked with a file but the tops can not be
carved like a traditional bridge. The bridges are set up on the instrument
from the feet. Bass and Cello bridges are made custom to match each instrument,
so the top arc is custom made to match, for each instrument. Due to their
smaller size, violin bridge arcs are much more standardized and do not
vary as much as Bass and cello. The tweaking of string notch depths allows
sufficient latitude for adjusting the arc for violin when needed.
What about feedback and playing in high volume
situations with acoustic instruments?
Because Barbera Bridges sense string energies directly without microphonic
sensitization of any instrument surfaces, they are highly feedback resistant.
This enables effective use of acoustic instruments in all but quite extreme
high volume situations.
On the Barbera Violin Bridges, do the interchangeable
self adjusting feet adversely affect the sound?
The interchangeable feet actually allow the instrument top to vibrate
more freely because they are a more flexible coupling of the bridge to
the inst. top than the more rigid, carved feet models. They are a great
option for retrofitting an acoustic violin and allow for quick easy setup
as well as movement of the bridge to any another instrument.
How long will a Barbera Bridge
Indefinitely, Barbera Bridges with their multi transducer cartridge grafts
are designed to be serviceable. Individual transducers can be replaced,
as long as there is no structural damage to the bridge or multi transducer
cartridge the system can be serviced if it should be required.
How long does it take when
Barbera Bridges are made to order for each customer. Usually lead time
for an order is 2 to 3 weeks depending on the number of existing orders
already in the works at the time of ordering.