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Dearman
12-25-2014, 01:33 PM
I recieved a stagg solid body electric uke for Christmas. Really like the instrument but I am having problems with the pickup. with headphones on (no amp yet), the G string isn't amplified. The others work perfectly. I can hear and tune the G string unamplified so I know it isn't the string itself. Does anyone know how a piezo pickup (assuming it's a piezo) can only pickup three of four strings?

Inksplosive AL
12-25-2014, 08:20 PM
After looking at one online if these are the nylon stringed ukuleles I have a theory of an improperly placed, short or broken pickup under the saddle. Might be able to tell by pulling the saddle off. Likely get a replacement if its new.

~AL~

kissing
12-25-2014, 09:05 PM
Those Stagg electrics are really bad quality. I bought one, played around with it and immediately got rid of it.

If the only issue you have is the pickup not picking up all the strings, you *can* fix it.

Either the undersaddle piezo itself is poor quality or the saddle/bridge surface touching the piezo is uneven.

More likely it is the second reason.

If you don't mind putting in a few dollars and doing a bit of DIY, purchase an ARTEC UNDERSADDLE PIEZO for UKULELE either on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Piezo-Pickup-ARTEC-PP404U-for-Ukulele-PREMIUM-QUALITY-/331379789493?pt=Guitar_Accessories&hash=item4d27c64eb5

These are high quality (but cheap) pickups. A lot lot lot better than what you get on most acoustic-electrics that don't have a brand-name pickup system.
You will have to remove the old unit and replace it with this new unit by undoing the strings and lifting the saddle and unscrewing the electronics at the back of the instrument. It may require a bit of patience since you have to thread the wire through and connect the plug into the pre-amp.

Tootler
12-25-2014, 10:58 PM
Those Stagg electrics are really bad quality. I bought one, played around with it and immediately got rid of it.

If the only issue you have is the pickup not picking up all the strings, you *can* fix it.


I strongly recommend you do nothing of the sort or you will invalidate the warranty. Take it back to the dealer and insist on a replacement. It's faulty and that's not acceptable and if the dealer is any good, they will replace without quibble. I don't know how things work in the US (I'm assuming you are in the US), but here in the UK, the dealer has to replace or refund faulty goods by law.

kissing
12-25-2014, 11:44 PM
I strongly recommend you do nothing of the sort or you will invalidate the warranty. Take it back to the dealer and insist on a replacement. It's faulty and that's not acceptable and if the dealer is any good, they will replace without quibble. I don't know how things work in the US (I'm assuming you are in the US), but here in the UK, the dealer has to replace or refund faulty goods by law.

And who is going to void your warranty? The warranty police? Are they going to hire forensic scientists to open the uke up and dust for the buyer's fingerprints?

In my experience with instruments of such quality, a replacement won't be an improvement. With a company that mass produces cheap instruments like Stagg, the warranty is kinda pointless. You could go through 50 of the same model and they will all have the same problem. I have been down the warranty road and it has almost always resulted in further frustration. This is because it's a problem with the production quality itself.

I have since fixed many ukes and guitars by replacing the cheap stock piezo that it came with. I have managed to improve instruments like the cheap Stagg by investing the $7-10 into a new piezo unit and a little bit of my time. To me, it has always been a worthy investment, and very educational too. The core problem with crappy electronics is often the bad quality piezo that they use. If you replace it for the same model, you will end up with the same piezo, just as bad. If you put in your own, better piezo, you will end up with a customised and higher quality instrument. Changing pickups on electric guitars is a very common practice.

Besides, it won't even void your warranty. Unless you run into the Federal Bureau of Warranty (which doesn't exist by the way), I have always found that dealers are happy to offer you a replacement or refund with no questions asked. Instruments stores have no interest on what is actually wrong inside the unit because faults such as this are so darn common.




Of course, the biggest lesson learnt is to save money for better quality instruments in the first place ;)
If you can get a full refund, then go ahead. Save that money and get a quality electric ukulele, such as a Godin or a Pono!

Dearman
12-26-2014, 03:05 AM
Thanks for the feedback. I'll start with the dealer since it is right out of the box. I couldn't think of reasons it could fail only one string so I was a little concerned it might complicate getting it replaced.

CeeJay
12-26-2014, 03:35 AM
And who is going to void your warranty? The warranty police? Are they going to hire forensic scientists to open the uke up and dust for the buyer's fingerprints?

In my experience with instruments of such quality, a replacement won't be an improvement. With a company that mass produces cheap instruments like Stagg, the warranty is kinda pointless. You could go through 50 of the same model and they will all have the same problem. I have been down the warranty road and it has almost always resulted in further frustration. This is because it's a problem with the production quality itself.

I have since fixed many ukes and guitars by replacing the cheap stock piezo that it came with. I have managed to improve instruments like the cheap Stagg by investing the $7-10 into a new piezo unit and a little bit of my time. To me, it has always been a worthy investment, and very educational too. The core problem with crappy electronics is often the bad quality piezo that they use. If you replace it for the same model, you will end up with the same piezo, just as bad. If you put in your own, better piezo, you will end up with a customised and higher quality instrument. Changing pickups on electric guitars is a very common practice.

Besides, it won't even void your warranty. Unless you run into the Federal Bureau of Warranty (which doesn't exist by the way), I have always found that dealers are happy to offer you a replacement or refund with no questions asked. Instruments stores have no interest on what is actually wrong inside the unit because faults such as this are so darn common.




Of course, the biggest lesson learnt is to save money for better quality instruments in the first place ;)
If you can get a full refund, then go ahead. Save that money and get a quality electric ukulele, such as a Godin or a Pono!


How Rude ?

Bob-in-Alberta
12-26-2014, 06:03 AM
How Rude ?

Exactly what I was thinking. The original poster receives a gift and is told to basically say thanks for the piece of crap, I'm taking it back for a refund and will buy something better? I think that the best thing to do would be to exchange it for an identical one that works properly or take advantage of the warranty and have it repaired.

kissing
12-26-2014, 06:48 AM
Rude?

I was merely providing my rebuttal to another member who strongly recommended against my advice.


Are we all really that naive? These Staggs and other cheap electric ukes are usually junk. I've owned one myself and countless others electrics, cheap and expensive.

As far as I can see, there are two options:


Option 1:
Be a naive, goody-two-shoes and avoid anything that may void the sacred covenant of the warranty. You never know, they may have forensics who can tell you have opened the screws to take a look inside. Maybe they'll even have a lie detector and ask you whether you have tampered with the uke! Then you'll be in trouble! Good thing you didn't take any risk at all and took no initiative to find out what the problem with the uke is for yourself! That would be anarchy!

Take it back to be "repaired"? Ha! The labor involved to even get a "certified technician" who will under warranty have a look at it would already cost them to produce 3 or 4 of those ukes in their factory overseas.

The best they will do is replace it without even touching it or taking a look at it. The people who sold it to you will have no idea what the problem is. They will take the faulty one in and replace it with one which is just as likely to be faulty.
Even if it doesn't have the same faults, I guarantee that it will still be a poor instrument in another way.



Option 2:
Don't be naive. Be a shrewd consumer and try to improve upon the product which is faulty by nature.
The most you can lose is $7 on an Artec piezo unit and about half an hour to an hour of your time, depending on how good you are at unscrewing a few screws and plugging a jack into a port.

If my experience serves me right, this usually resolves the problem with these "faulty" instruments.
If not, you can put the screws back in the way it was and then proceed to Option 1, or just get an outright refund (and then never buy a Stagg again).





Which is the smarter option here? Am I missing something?



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MjcTVWDNR0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MjcTVWDNR0

Bob-in-Alberta
12-26-2014, 07:00 AM
As the problem is with one of the outer strings I would hazard a guess that the pickup is just likely slightly out of proper alignment. i would assume that the replacement instrument would be checked before leaving the store. I'm sure the original poster realizes that the ukulele isn't a K brand and there are many ways to say that. Your way of being assertive did come of to some, myself included, as being rude though.

kissing
12-26-2014, 07:13 AM
As the problem is with one of the outer strings I would hazard a guess that the pickup is just likely slightly out of proper alignment. i would assume that the replacement instrument would be checked before leaving the store. I'm sure the original poster realizes that the ukulele isn't a K brand and there are many ways to say that. Your way of being assertive did come of to some, myself included, as being rude though.

Been there, done that.
Replacement uke comes, you test it in store to find that it's an "improvement" upon the previously faulty one.
You come home and after some playing, you realise that the problem is still there. After much frustration, you return it again to the store, feeling a bit "guilty" that somehow you are responsible for all these ukes being faulty.

This process repeats over and over again. Depending on your level of intelligence, you begin to wonder whether this is just how these ukes are.
Faulty by nature due to poor design and indecent quality control.

Even if you got one, which by some miracle has balanced piezo output, there are other problems. The action is set ridiculously high. There is fret buzz.
The tuners get jammed. A knob breaks off. Frets are sharp at the edges. The signal is too weak. The C string overpowers all the other strings, etc etc.

The pickup is just "slightly out of proper alignment"? Have you ever tried to fix an ukulele like the one the OP has described?
I have spent countless hours on dozens of them. It is never just "slightly out of proper alignment" that simply moving it a few millimetres across would magically fix all the problems. Oh how I hoped so many times! After countless trial and error, experimentation and research*, I have discovered that replacing the piezo unit to an inexpensive but good quality "Artec" pickup is the quickest, cheapest and most efficient way to get a malfunctioning electric instrument to play decently.

Anyway, it has been brought to my attention that my enthusiasm in this specific subject has offended people. Clearly people with more experience and knowledge than me believe that it's just better to give up and return the product, and repeat.
This is just my 2 cents.



*I have filed, I have sanded, I have shimmed, replaced saddles, tried x number of string sets, changed tunings and read just about every article I could find on pickup balance issues, which are pretty common on cheap electrics. I have even tried relying on Warranty like all these experts are advising. But after years of doing this, I have discovered that changing the pickup (and perhaps a bit of sanding) fixes pretty much most of these issues.

CeeJay
12-26-2014, 07:57 AM
Been there, done that.
Replacement uke comes, you test it in store to find that it's an "improvement" upon the previously faulty one.
You come home and after some playing, you realise that the problem is still there. After much frustration, you return it again to the store, feeling a bit "guilty" that somehow you are responsible for all these ukes being faulty.

This process repeats over and over again. Depending on your level of intelligence, you begin to wonder whether this is just how these ukes are.
Faulty by nature due to poor design and indecent quality control.

Even if you got one, which by some miracle has balanced piezo output, there are other problems. The action is set ridiculously high. There is fret buzz.
The tuners get jammed. A knob breaks off. Frets are sharp at the edges. The signal is too weak. The C string overpowers all the other strings, etc etc.

The pickup is just "slightly out of proper alignment"? Have you ever tried to fix an ukulele like the one the OP has described?
I have spent countless hours on dozens of them. It is never just "slightly out of proper alignment" that simply moving it a few millimetres across would magically fix all the problems. Oh how I hoped so many times! After countless trial and error, experimentation and research*, I have discovered that replacing the piezo unit to an inexpensive but good quality "Artec" pickup is the quickest, cheapest and most efficient way to get a malfunctioning electric instrument to play decently.

Anyway, it has been brought to my attention that my enthusiasm in this specific subject has offended people. Clearly people with more experience and knowledge than me believe that it's just better to give up and return the product, and repeat.
This is just my 2 cents.



*I have filed, I have sanded, I have shimmed, replaced saddles, tried x number of string sets, changed tunings and read just about every article I could find on pickup balance issues, which are pretty common on cheap electrics. I have even tried relying on Warranty like all these experts are advising. But after years of doing this, I have discovered that changing the pickup (and perhaps a bit of sanding) fixes pretty much most of these issues.

Kissing .

The tone of your post is what was rude.

Your uke skills and knowledge and experience are incontestable, we take your word for them. Your people skills are sadly lacking .

You dismiss the people in the shops as unintelligent and too stupid to notice if the uke has been tampered with.

You rubbished Tootlers advice .

You make an assumption that the OP is technically able to do what you personall find to be an "easy peasy " string removal saddleout and piezo replacement ......

And now you snidely refer to all those who proffered advice in the opposite direction of dealing with this as "experts".... whilst regarding yourself as one....it does not matter how much hands on wood choppery ,alteration, filing ,sanding ,rubbing, pushing and cementing you have done ...bottom line is that if a person does not have the confidence or ability to do that then the best thing is take it back ...and take it back untampered with ...because the Law of the Land says ..tamper with and warranty is void....and buddy these guys in the shop are not that stupid that they can't tell a restrung uke.

Anyhow . If I could have found a moderator at the bottom of the page I would have mentioned this to them. Unlike me I know.

I hope the OP gets a satisfactory outcome . I hope he enjoys his uke of choice, be it a Stagg or whatever and I hope that you do not find this little hectoring and a bit tongue in cheek slap on the bottom too offensive or lecturing .( Oh ...if it helps ...I am from the UK so we tend to be a bit blunt with no malice...)

Your advice would be sound for someone who is a lot more into tinkering and the first thing I thought of was a broken piezo strip ......

Peace and Goodwill Season Still with Us.

Inksplosive AL
12-26-2014, 09:55 AM
I find it rude to try to force your opinion on someone by playing the victim through sympathy. The bullying that goes by the sympathetic victim I find an assault to everyone's intelligence. I know I could easily feel assaulted having to tenderfoot my words around a group of adults on the internet, if I allowed myself.

Ah there's the key.

Nothing wrong with a small upgrade to any ukulele if needed. I thought of the uneven saddle after posting. I have two Risa sticks up for mods I have planned and possibly a vorson (http://www.amazon.com/Vorson-FSUK1BK-Style-Electric-Ukulele/dp/B00GXMYYF6/ref=pd_cp_MI_1) in my sights.

Last year I bought a couple lava lamps from amazon. Due to poor packaging one came slightly damaged. The replacement also sent by amazon made the first packing look professional and it came more damaged than the first. Luckily it was the opposite end that took damage so I was able to salvage what I needed from the second damaged lamp. If there is nothing else wrong with your ukulele and your handy or work well with your hands its not rocket science.

~AL~

kissing
12-26-2014, 11:05 AM
Kissing .

The tone of your post is what was rude.

Your uke skills and knowledge and experience are incontestable, we take your word for them. Your people skills are sadly lacking .

You dismiss the people in the shops as unintelligent and too stupid to notice if the uke has been tampered with.

You rubbished Tootlers advice .

You make an assumption that the OP is technically able to do what you personall find to be an "easy peasy " string removal saddleout and piezo replacement ......

And now you snidely refer to all those who proffered advice in the opposite direction of dealing with this as "experts".... whilst regarding yourself as one....it does not matter how much hands on wood choppery ,alteration, filing ,sanding ,rubbing, pushing and cementing you have done ...bottom line is that if a person does not have the confidence or ability to do that then the best thing is take it back ...and take it back untampered with ...because the Law of the Land says ..tamper with and warranty is void....and buddy these guys in the shop are not that stupid that they can't tell a restrung uke.

Anyhow . If I could have found a moderator at the bottom of the page I would have mentioned this to them. Unlike me I know.

I hope the OP gets a satisfactory outcome . I hope he enjoys his uke of choice, be it a Stagg or whatever and I hope that you do not find this little hectoring and a bit tongue in cheek slap on the bottom too offensive or lecturing .( Oh ...if it helps ...I am from the UK so we tend to be a bit blunt with no malice...)

Your advice would be sound for someone who is a lot more into tinkering and the first thing I thought of was a broken piezo strip ......

Peace and Goodwill Season Still with Us.


I strongly recommend against doing such a thing.
First off, rubbishing someone's post? This is a forum.
Claims are made, people have opposing views and discussion ensues. The only rubbush that does not contribute to this process is backseat moderating by those whose skin is a wee bit more sensitive to the condition known as butthurt. Sure, my expression was a bit assertive and perhaps to some came across as provocative. But i made no personal attacks. I may have implied some points in a rhetorical or sarcastic manner, but like you have your English ways, maybe that's just how some of us talk in down under. Straight to the point, and cutting the formalities, so to speak. If you have an opposing view, explain your views using critical argument relevant to the topic. Offense taken by written text is highly subjective. Is it fundamentally rude? To which culture? Which age group?

Anyway, I stand by my point that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to do a bit of minor tinkering. It's not rude to point out that my opinion of certain instruments as "junk" and I certainly don't think it's rude to point out obvious things, such as the fallacies in taking el-cheapo instrument warranties seriously.

Laouik
12-26-2014, 12:27 PM
I'll just share what I would do.

If I purchase something new, it is with the understanding that it will function as designed if operated as designed.

In this case, I would return to the point of purchase. If I enjoyed the instrument I'd ask for a replacement instrument. If after having it and realizing that it's not for me, I'd ask for a refund.

I don't trust myself with tinkering with instruments. I don't know what glue's being used, if I'd be putting it back together properly, etc. I'd likely mess up, leave a mark, break something... I'm just not sufficiently skilled - or confident - to do that.

But that's me.

Hope it works out for you.

CeeJay
12-26-2014, 12:54 PM
I strongly recommend against doing such a thing.
First off, rubbishing someone's post? This is a forum.
Claims are made, people have opposing views and discussion ensues. The only rubbush that does not contribute to this process is backseat moderating by those whose skin is a wee bit more sensitive to the condition known as butthurt. Sure, my expression was a bit assertive and perhaps to some came across as provocative. But i made no personal attacks. I may have implied some points in a rhetorical or sarcastic manner, but like you have your English ways, maybe that's just how some of us talk in down under. Straight to the point, and cutting the formalities, so to speak. If you have an opposing view, explain your views using critical argument relevant to the topic. Offense taken by written text is highly subjective. Is it fundamentally rude? To which culture? Which age group?

Anyway, I stand by my point that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to do a bit of minor tinkering. It's not rude to point out that my opinion of certain instruments as "junk" and I certainly don't think it's rude to point out obvious things, such as the fallacies in taking el-cheapo instrument warranties seriously.


Mate ...I take it you are a 'strine then...well okay good for you...from the land of the whingeing pom and in words you might understand....

You might not think it rude to slag off someone elses choice of instrument, fair dinkum.

It is a forum ,fair enough.....
Therefore as to "it aint Rocket science to tinker a bit" ...well it is if you ain't tinkered with a rocket before" ...so by way of illustration, If I gave you a sheet of paper and a pen and said draw me a yacht ...you might be able to do a 2Dchild like sail boat....or you could draw a 3D ocean going 60 footer fully rigged cruising under Sydney Harbour Bridge with the sun going down behind ....it's just a matter of skill level...that 's all I was saying .....I was not condemning your advice to tinker if you felt competent ...but advised against if you were not, or did not feel competent competent ...you're the one having a bluey mate...I'm chilled .......


I did not at any one point say YOU were rude , but I think that your post IS....


Mate if you think that I suffer from Thin Skin or any condition known as Butt Hurt, well ...we aint traded posts before now, but as the moderators say to do yeah continue this with a private message.......

Dearman
12-26-2014, 03:13 PM
I'm building a house so expensive needs to hold off until contractor bills are paid. I haven't had much time to post as I'm doing some of the work myself to counter overruns. A low cost electric for playing with the kids that can be quiet when the kids are asleep fits the bill for now. My tenor stays in it's case too often because the kids. I'm sure the retailer will help with an instrument my wife purchased only a week ago. If they or the manufacturer don't, i'll perform the repair. As my first uke with a pickup I didn't completely understand how the piezo pickup works. I thought it measured overall soundboard or saddle vibration like a clipon. I didn't expect it to read vibration local enough to lose signal on a string. I appreciate the responses as you explained potential causes. The Internet search strings i used didn't. Other than the issue I started the thread on, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I like the uke. It's a great gift whatever the cost.

Thanks again to all the replies troubleshooting for me. And thanks for the link to an inexpensive quality piezo. I don't expect to need it now but I'll be hanging onto it for when I do.

Ramart
01-06-2015, 02:35 PM
... A low cost electric for playing with the kids that can be quiet when the kids are asleep fits the bill for now...

If you manage to get a full refund, consider a Vorson steel-string solidbody electric tenor with magnetic single-coil pickups plus fine specs and build quality. I got mine for only $127. Recommended.