wait a sec!- I'm a raw beginner and trying to understand the difference with piezos. From what I understand, regular electromagnetic pickups only pick up vibrations from metal strings. That's why you can make an electric guitar from a solid piece of wood. Then, for the most part, in CBGs, the cigar box itself and the license plate would basically be decorative/structural. (unless maybe you also have a microphone or you are playing low volumes and/or solo, then maybe that lets the natural resonances come into play? This is where my lack of experience makes me unable to comment definitively)
It is the piezos that pick up the vibrations of wood/cardboard and/or metallic resonators, and you are specifically amplifying the "natural" sound electrically. The fact that that you can use the same plugs, cords and amps is a matter of convenience. In a sense, they are two different instruments. I mean, I know "there are no rules" but, you can't escape the laws of physics.
The inclusion of "reso" in the title of your question makes me think you'd want a rod piezo (like those on CBGitty), or an expensive pro piezo pickup made for acoustics. There are piezo pickups that specifically make semi-hollow electric guitars sound more like acoustics. This also explains why CBGitty has only a few (cheaper) electric pickups, and why the 2 string bass kit is so much more expensive than the guitars, banjos, ukes and diddly-bos.
On the other hand, if you're CBG isn't particularly loud, and/or you're used to playing electric, electromagnetic pickups with metal strings would be the way to go. But, for one thing, I have no idea to how the regular pickup reacts to the metal plate. Darryls' solution might actually be a significant improvement, rather than a matter of convenience.
wow, sorry to reply to my own question, but I packed a lot in there, I really should start my own question, but to explain parts where I got a little fuzzy:
1. By "two different instruments"- I mean CBGs with electromagnetic pickups and CBGs with piezos are almost two different instruments, maybe I should say 2 classes or 2 different types of instruments. The possibility for a combo CBG blows my mind!
2. The bass is different because it needs electromagnetic pickups unless you wanted to build with a suitcase or something much larger than a cigar box body. I hope CBGitty or MGB starts selling washtubs for a 1 string washtub bass. I saw a Shane Speal video where he shows off a washtub bass with a rod piezo. With a weed-wacker string, too. Awesome!
3. I call the electromagnetic pickups "regular" in the next to last sentence, because that's how I think of them. I never knew what piezos were until recently, or that I could get them for just a couple of cents each. It's actually pretty exciting! I'm still trying to figure out how a steel plate would effect an electromagnetic pickup. Maybe I'll mount a plate on my Les Paul to find out! that might drive my guitar repair shop guy nuts. ;P
Great thoughts! After all, it is the sound that we personally like that we are all looking for. Some different than others. Mounting the magnetic pup under the plate sounds less intrusive on the plate but much more intrusive on the neck cutout for the pup.
Robbie, you (& Korrigan) may remember I was installing a dual rail humbucker into the steel plate guitar. For your info I have had all sorts of unwanted buzzing, poor output etc from it which I didn't get when installing a humbucker into the Aluminium plate one. However based on info on another post I wrapped the sides and bottom of the pick up with Aluminium cooking foil, then over-wrapped that with electrical insulation tape. Bingo! no buzz, no feedback nothing but pure volume & tone. I still wish I'd NOT cut the plate, but basically after much head scratching it's sorted & I've learned something. I'm now convinced surface mounted pickups are best for LPG's. Keep building man :))
that's great news and I am looking forward to a few builds in that direction! Thanks again.
Thanks! Cooking foil is sooo... CBG. I'm still stuck in the mode of: how do I set this thing up with a digital preamp?
I'm not even sure if "tinfoil" was ever made of anything but aluminum- and why don't we in the States spell and pronounce it like al-u-min-ee-um, like everyone else? Deep mysteries within the cigar box world. lol!
You in the US carry on doing your own thing Christopher, we in the UK eventually follow suit anyway don't we? After all, it's only taken us about 100 yrs to cotton on to CBG's lol :D