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Sound Quality Differences between Electret Film (EMFIT) and Piezoelectric Under-saddle Guitar Pickups

Two different types of under-saddle guitar pickups, piezoelectric and electret film (EMFIT) were measured and compared. The measurements included comparisons of magnitude, time, and phase responses, and distortion characteristics. The measurements were conducted with a custom rig that allowed accurate control of the environment. For excitation both frequency sweeps and impulsive stimuli were used. As for the magnitude response, the piezoelectric pickup has a boosted bass response and a slightly pronounced high frequency response. The results imply nonlinear behaviour as a function of both the excitation type (sweep vs. impulsive) and the amount of excitation force (small vs. large). In addition, the piezoelectric microphone is fairly immune to tension changes, whereas EMFIT microphone's sensitivity increases as the tension decreases. For time responses excited impulsively the only differences were found at the beginning of the responses. No significant difference in the distortion behaviour was found. A linear filter model is also proposed for making either microphone sound like the other.

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