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View Full Version : Help needed for steel string electric build.



strumsilly
02-16-2015, 01:12 PM
A friend , who builds mandolins, basses , guitars, etc, wants to make a uke for me. he is retired and thinks it will be a fun project. I sent him a pic of that Mann in the marketplace and his response was:

got it / i can make a similar uke / you just need to know all the critical dimensions and find the hardware / i'll get back soon / the pickups / switches / pots and wiring etc all need to be mapped out /should be a fun project .

I'm not out to copy it, if it could even be done, but I would like something like it. what is a good place to get uke sized electronics. Stew Mac? I thought I could just give him one of my tenor ukes for the neck dimensions. advice?
already searche and MF has lots of pickups. recommendations?.

Rob-C
02-16-2015, 01:30 PM
Moongazer music sell bridges with a wider string spacing to suit electric ukes. A 'rails' style humbucker designed for the neck position of a telecaster will give you consistent signal strength from string to string and when bending strings. If you're using a narrower, string spacing as on a guitar, then you could consider using a single pickup coil from a precision bass set, in which case go for a pickup with alnico magnets - they sound much brighter and clearer when used on an electric uke.

strumsilly
02-16-2015, 02:05 PM
Moongazer music sell bridges with a wider string spacing to suit electric ukes. A 'rails' style humbucker designed for the neck position of a telecaster will give you consistent signal strength from string to string and when bending strings. If you're using a narrower, string spacing as on a guitar, then you could consider using a single pickup coil from a precision bass set, in which case go for a pickup with alnico magnets - they sound much brighter and clearer when used on an electric uke.
thanks, what do you think of the dimarzio mini humbucker, and do I need 2 pickups

anthonyg
02-16-2015, 08:44 PM
Different ways to go. Jonathan Mann uses custom fabricated (he makes them himself) bridge/saddles and guitar blade pickups. Rob Dick of Jupiter Creek used to use guitar bridges which he cut down and guitar pickups with poles. The string spacing was as per guitar so narrow for a ukulele.

Using guitar pickups makes sense as you have LOTS of options from cheap to expensive. Risa's Les Paul ukuleles use custom made humbucker pickups that are spaced as per guitar (10.5 mm (at bridge)) and a tenor guitar bridge/saddle which can be bought. Ukulele string spacing is usually between 12 and 13mm (at bridge).

There doesn't appear to be a "standard" for steel string ukuleles so there are pro's and cons for different choices. Ukulele sized pickups are hard to come by (proprietary only so practically unavailable) and options are few. For simplicity and lower cost then choose guitar string spacing and guitar pickups. If you want ukulele string spacing then you will need to custom fabricate your own saddle and use guitar blade pickups. If you want a ukulele sized pickup then you are going right out on a limb at the moment with no guarantee that you will ever be able to source a replacement without making it by hand.

Anthony

resoman
02-17-2015, 06:10 AM
Also, there are some pups made for cigar box instruments that would work. I think C.B. Gitty has some and if you do a search on cigar box nation you'll come up with with a bunch I imagine

anthonyg
02-20-2015, 10:05 AM
Something I forgot to mention. When talking about guitar string spacing to suit guitar pickups and bridges, it only needs to be guitar spacing at the bridge. You can have ukulele string spacing at the nut.

Anthony