Why piezo pickup picks up so much noise from, e.g., the left hand sliding up/down the neck? The sound is picked up from balalaika-prima.

I am using the simplest piezo pickup which is placed on the body. I moved it to some different places but the best sound is at the closest position to the bridge.

What is possible solution to pickup more string vibration than noises? To use a pickup which is built into the bridge? Or is the problem in the quality of the pickup?

UPDATE: did experiments as @Unknown said. Placing pickup right under the bridge works fine. Signal to noise ratio has definitely increased, sound has become more clean.

  • You start with a subjective claim, not quantified. That makes answering problematic. Quite possibly your piezo pickup is most sensitive in the frequency range matching finger-slide. But it doesn't really matter: once the signal is electronic, filter it as desired with follower electronics. Nov 27, 2017 at 14:35
  • @CarlWitthoft , you said "not quantified" but how can I measure noices vs string sound? Nov 27, 2017 at 14:38
  • You could start with an FFT, and look at the ratio of amplitudes for the plucked note (and its overtones) vs. all other frequencies. Nov 27, 2017 at 16:26
  • @CarlWitthoft, I don't think that's a reasonable bar to hold questions to. If the statement is wrong, offer a correction. At any rate, I think it's reasonable to read this question as saying "what physical placement will reduce the noise from piezo pickups?"
    – jdjazz
    Nov 28, 2017 at 0:14

1 Answer 1


Piezo pickups amplify sound in this way. When the piezo material creates electrical impulses when it has vibration. These electrical impulses are an AC wave in a shape very similar to the sound wave that would come out of your guitar. These electrical impulses are then boosted to make them stronger and are played through a speaker.

Fingers sliding up and down the strings cause vibrations which are picked up by the pickup and then amplified. Here are some solutions to eliminate noise.

  • Buy flat wound instrument strings.

  • Install magnetic pickups or under bridge piezo pickups.

  • Place piezo pickup on instrument head.

  • Turn gain low and volume high on the amplifier.

  • "place clip on pickup on guitar head" Do you mean simply "place pickup on guitar head"? Nov 30, 2017 at 7:07
  • 1
    I was assuming that it was a clip on piezo pickup, I may have been mistaken, is it a different type of guitar pickup? If you aren't worried about how it looks, you could place the pickup on the head, this is usually the spot where the most string vibration happens. In my experience, it is slightly better than the guitar bridge position for the pickup. Try and see if it works for you. I just realised that you weren't talking about a guitar lol... this should still work though.
    – user30646
    Nov 30, 2017 at 10:10

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