Frequently asked Questions:
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 input impedance.
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 last?
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 ordering?
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.