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Thread: your experience with K&K Big Spot pickup?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    413 in USA
    Posts
    538

    Default your experience with K&K Big Spot pickup?

    I'm considering having a K&K Big Spot put into a $200, solid cedar top ukulele (Cordoba 24T) and am wondering what to expect.

    I'm not willing to spend more for this; I have or have had Baggs and MiSi pickups, and realize that they are better (and are active ones). It will be either the Big Spot or nothing, unless someone can recommend something (at that price or lower) that I could have a repair guy put in.

    I would be plugging in to my own Bose L1 Compact or Bose S1 -- usually via an Allen & Heath ZED mixer, and maybe into my Fishman Loudbox Mini, as well as whatever is at the occasional open mic. I have a Baggs Para D.I. that I could use if needed to influence things.

    My main concern is the overall sound, and whether I'd be better off just mic-ing the uke. Thanks.
    KoAloha tenor (Baggs 5.0) Godin MultiUke KoAloha Opio concert (Baggs 5.0) Islander laminate tenor (Pono passive) Kala Longneck Soprano laminate 12 Makala Dolphins/Sharks 1 Mahalo soprano Partridge in a Pear Tree

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    over yonder...
    Posts
    6,231

    Default

    A passive piezo pickup requires the use of a preamp for optimal sound.

    This is an electrical problem due to impedance mismatch, and correcting the mismatch will significantly improve the sound. This is done with a proper (external) preamp.

    I have written about this extensively here on UU in several other threads which you can see by clicking on the FAQ link in my signature below.

    Your L.R. Baggs Para DI is handily capable and actually the best possible, and most frequently used option for this. It will be in your best interest to use it, since you already own one, otherwise you will be punishing your audience with a harsh and brittle tone that lacks all bass frequencies below ~400hz, and this cannot be corrected with an equalizer, since the impedance mismatch acts as a high-pass filter, and those frequencies are not able to even be sent to your amplifier, without the use of a proper preamp.

    Short answer - Use the Para DI.

    If you want the science behind all this, read the links from my FAQ page.
    Please click here ->Just the FAQs<- to be taken to the FAQ index so you can learn about:
    - Magic Fluke Company ukes
    - Pickups, Preamps and Impedance Mismatch
    - Home Recording and Mics
    - String Upgrades
    - iPad Microphones
    - Wolfelele Uke Kit
    - How to string a Baritone uke as a piccolo bass
    - Strings I used for GDAE and CGDA fifths tunings

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Blaine, Washington
    Posts
    1,985

    Default

    You get what you pay for. I looked at the the Big Spot at first but decided against it because the twin gave a better definition of the sound. The price of the uke it's going in doesn't really matter for me due to it'll be "colored" by the electric sound. I also used a K&K Volume control wheel to control the volume between playing rhythm and lead.

    I have a 5 dollar ribbon passive pickup in my archtop bass that sounds as good as any 100 dollar pickup. Not sure of the name but was bought off Amazon or Ebay.

    A good suggestion would be to read some of Booli's threads in the JUST the FAQs. He's the man when it comes to electronics.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bowral NSW AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    7,483

    Default

    I've used a few different K & K pickups, they are simple & effective and work best when coupled to a decent preamp. I generally use the twins in Tenor & Baritone and the single spot in Concert & Soprano. If you install them yourself you will save some dollars.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/K-K-Sound-A...EAAOSwXPNaA0uX

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/K-K-Sound-B...oAAOSwH-daA0ue
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    All the best,
    Campbell


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