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Icelander53
06-10-2015, 04:10 PM
Don't be surprised if it's up on the HMS site tomorrow. I'm so curious that I'm going to spring for one after chatting with super salesman Andrew. He's a real mensch but I usually end up with another uke after talking to him. :(:);)

So... I was thinking, a pickup installed? What do you think about that idea? Which pickup do you prefer and why? I'd appreciate some quick feedback so I can order tomorrow. Yipee!

wayfarer75
06-10-2015, 04:13 PM
Get a pickup! Which one? I dunno. Did that help?

Icelander53
06-10-2015, 04:16 PM
I donno, did it?:p

DownUpDave
06-10-2015, 04:20 PM
Yes you should order one. Andrew had "talked me into" a Koaloha Opio concert before they even arrived at the store. I still got it and still love it.

I just had an LR Baggs 5.0 pick up installed in a tenor and it is great. From all reports including Andrew and Luis who builds LfdM ukuleles that pick up is the most natural sounding. You can get cheaper but nothing is better. I figure if your instrument sounds good unplugged spend the money to make sure it sounds good when amplified.

strumsilly
06-10-2015, 04:34 PM
+1 on the baggs

coolkayaker1
06-10-2015, 05:18 PM
A $200 Baggs pickup is being suggested for a $400 uke? Hmmm.

Just adding food for thought.

Do what your heart tells you, Ice; in the end you typically do and you are a happy person. Great stuff.

Hammond
06-10-2015, 06:17 PM
I like the K&K Aloha Twin..

1. passive, never worry about batteries & weight
2. sounds pretty natural to me

l3uffer
06-10-2015, 06:54 PM
If you wanted to capture the acoustic volume by pickup better and you play low G, I would recommend having a local luthier install a Lyric. Instead of piezo, the Lyric is microphone, and better captures the acoustic sound without as much feedback or sensitivity as, say, an actual microphone. It's a bit heftier in weight thanks to the 9V battery (the Lyric is meant for classical guitars but works well with ukuleles) but you get the best sounding acoustic amplification yet. Brad Ranola from USpace gave me the idea and he has one installed in his KoAloha Slimline. The pickup itself is a few ounces and shouldn't hamper your natural acoustic volume at all.
http://www.lrbaggs.com/pickups/lyric-acoustic-guitar-microphone

Booli
06-10-2015, 09:43 PM
I like the Mi-Si pickup. I have installed it in 2 ukes and 1 guilele. No batteries to worry about as it's rechargeable. Blue Star Music, Mainland Ukes and Elderly and Kala (via the Kala Amazon storefront) all sell it for ~$109-~116 if you want to do the install yourself, which involves drilling only 2 tiny 1/8" holes at each edge of the saddle slot for the pickup ribbon and one 1/2" hole in the butt end of the uke for the endpin jack.

Aldrine has a Uke Minute video with Joe Souza from Kanile'a (on YT) showing the install. the only thing I've done differently is that I've never found the need to route out the saddle slot deeper as he shows in that video, as the bridge was tall enough to accommodate both the pickup and the saddle and still maintain the 50/50 rule. - i.e., 50% of saddle BELOW the top edge of bridge and 50% ABOVE the top edge of the bridge.

Kala also sells nubone or tusq saddles in 5mm, 6mm and 7mm heights for a few dollars if you prefer not to sand down an existing saddle, I've found that most stock saddles on the ukes I've bought are either 7mm or 8mm tall, so after installing a pickup, I usually have replaced the saddle with a 6mm one, and save the original in case I ever want to remove the pickup and easily revert everything back to normal sans the holes that were drilled.

Intonation and string height are fine for me with this procedure, requiring no further adjustments. :)

Having said that, if you dont want to, or cant do the install yourself, I'm sure that HMS are probably expert at the install now, and if you think you might want a pickup later on, then it would be a no-brainer to let them install it for you before they send your magical instrument via FedEx. :)

DownUpDave
06-11-2015, 02:11 AM
I went to HMS site clicked on "pick ups" then played the video of Aaron demoing 5 different pick ups. It is very revealing and if you have not done that yet Icelander53 I would highly suggest it. You can always just ask Andrew what he would recommend..........can never go wrong that way.

Icelander53
06-11-2015, 03:54 AM
A $200 Baggs pickup is being suggested for a $400 uke? Hmmm.

Just adding food for thought.

Do what your heart tells you, Ice; in the end you typically do and you are a happy person. Great stuff.

That's a good point but I got a great deal on the uke and like to play amped at times. So is it worth it? Sure, I have the money and when I play with my guitar friend he always drowns me out. And I appreciate the input but it's not a $400 uke. The going price is closer to $600. In fact I guessed what the asking price would be and told Andrew they'd be selling at $569. I got within about $10.

Icelander53
06-11-2015, 03:56 AM
I went to HMS site clicked on "pick ups" then played the video of Aaron demoing 5 different pick ups. It is very revealing and if you have not done that yet Icelander53 I would highly suggest it. You can always just ask Andrew what he would recommend..........can never go wrong that way.

I'll ask andrew. I just wanted to go in with a little info from you all.

strumsilly
06-11-2015, 04:46 AM
I'll ask andrew. I just wanted to go in with a little info from you all.
let us know what you end up ordering please.

katysax
06-11-2015, 04:56 AM
There are so many variables I take the sound samples, especially things like pickup comparisons, as only marginally useful.

For me, since I rarely use the pickups but they are nice to have, I prefer passive. Don't need to worry about batteries or charging. No excess stuff on the instrument. And they sound quite good. I do have a couple of external preamps I occasionally use if I feel I need one. I've tried the LR Baggs and the Misi - have each of them on at least one instrument. IMHO, they are both fine but so are the K&K twinspot and the Pono brand pickup.

Icelander53
06-11-2015, 05:13 AM
Thanks, that sounds (pun) like a reasonable assessment. I liked the K&K myself. I like passive too but the pono pickup only goes on ponos. I likely won't use it that often and then not on any stage so my requirements don't need the best pickup out there. I did love the sound of the Bragg however. I can't justify that expense to myself however.

Just listened to a side by side comparison of the Mahogany and Koa versions. I agree with Andrew that the Koa is brighter and more articulate and the hog being a little warmer maybe but I'd call it subdued in comparison but the difference is fairly small. They sound very similar. Oh I wish I could play each in person and then make the decision.

strumsilly
06-11-2015, 10:07 AM
If you do opt for a pickup, watch the HMS comparison test of the pickup models they offer:
https://vimeo.com/63940107
Based on this video, I went with MiSi Uke Trios, though it was a near coin toss with the Pono passive pickup (since I was buying a Pono tenor and bari). I did not like the sound of the K&Ks—not natural enough, and they catch too much picking noise.

I prefer to have a minimum of electronics installed, since modern electronics are notoriously designed to fail in some manner soon after the warranty expires. I also don't like cheap plastic bits (like battery compartments and extraneous controls) showing prominently on the body, nor do I like long cables snaking about the interior, visible through the soundhole and possibly rattling as you play (I have this trouble with one uke). The tone and volume controls properly belong on your amp or DI box; the ones on any built-in system mostly contribute to bad sound. And it's easier to replace, fix or upgrade the pre-amp electronics if the pre-amp is external to the instrument (or unnecessary).

That said, I think the MiSi system is reliable and fine enough that I don't anticipate problems with it, and there are no external controls and only one short cable—the only external evidence of a pickup is the jack, which serves double duty as a strap button, and so is inconspicuous when there's no cable plugged into it. There's also very little extra weight added to the instrument, and it uses a rechargeable capacitor to drive the active pickup instead of batteries (which could leak)—it takes only a minute to charge the pre-amp, and a charge is supposedly good for seven hours of use. I believe the MiSi system uses an L.R. Baggs pickup. Although folks say the L.R. Baggs 5.0 system is better than MiSi, providing the most natural sound, it didn't strike me at all that way in the video—and it's got more junk to it.
One of the reasons I like the baggs is for the volume control. sure you also adjust it at a preamp or amp etc, but I find it very handy and use it all the time. the problem I find with with some of the undersoundboard ones are they pick up a lot of handling noise, which is where a volume control comes in handy. For an inexpensive uke for occasional use, these aren't bad, and are easy to install. The handling noise can be used to percussive effect.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002C741BI/ref=sr_ph?ie=UTF8&qid=1434052821&sr=1&keywords=acoustic+guitar+pickup

Icelander53
06-11-2015, 11:00 AM
Ubulele,

After listening to that video trice I ended up agreeing with you on the Bragg. I liked it for a bit maybe due to everyone telling me it's a gem but when I sat with it and listened several times I liked both the KK twin and the Misi more.

Icelander53
06-11-2015, 12:49 PM
Just ordered it. Got the MiSi pickup and will be strung with Fremont Black Line in low G. Now the wait begins. They have them in but they aren't up on the web site yet. I talked to a friend who has played both koa and mahogany in the concert size and he says they sound very alike. That will work for me.

Booli
06-11-2015, 02:09 PM
Just ordered it. Got the MiSi pickup and will be strung with Fremont Black Line in low G. Now the wait begins. They have them in but they aren't up on the web site yet. I talked to a friend who has played both koa and mahogany in the concert size and he says they sound very alike. That will work for me.

Glad you got one you will like. The Mi-Si is painless to use and sounds great to my ear. Also it shows little evidence of being installed, other than the endpin jack of course, so there's no visual distraction when looking at your instrument.

Icelander53
06-11-2015, 02:23 PM
Andrew felt the K&K was a poor fit for this particular uke. I'll be curious to compare it to my Gretsch with it's active pickup.

Nickie
06-11-2015, 02:36 PM
The Mainland uke I am playing has a pickup without a battery. Does that mean it's passive? Or is it just modest and a bit meek?

Icelander53
06-11-2015, 02:58 PM
Most likely yes. If no electricity is needed within the instrument it's considered passive. The power is provided by the amp. That's my understanding. I've been reading up all day on pickups. I hope I didn't just embarrass myself. :p

Hammond
06-11-2015, 06:08 PM
Andrew felt the K&K was a poor fit for this particular uke. I'll be curious to compare it to my Gretsch with it's active pickup.

Congrats! Follow the suggestion wouldn't go wrong.

One more reason I like passive pickup more is.. a Hi-Fi geek thing, always not like the integration of signal source & pre-amp. Even I knew it is absolutely fine for ukulele pickup.

Congrats again to your new Uke :music:

Photojosh
06-18-2015, 01:32 PM
What's the delivery date? I'm curious to hear some reports on this uke.

Icelander53
06-18-2015, 02:29 PM
What's the delivery date? I'm curious to hear some reports on this uke.

It's still in setup and I don't have a delivery date yet. I suspect at the very earliest it would be late next week. Andrew certainly has very nice things to say about them. I'm very curious but unlike in the past I don't think about it much until it arrives. I have some very wonderful ukes at hand so I'm just focused here until it arrives. Then I'll get excited. Mostly I bought it just so I'd have a reason to chat with Andrew. :nana:

gregmchugh
06-18-2015, 04:13 PM
I was surprised when I saw the price. Seems to be quite a jump from the Opio Soprano and Concert to the Tenor. I expect it is worth the money, I was just expecting it to come in lower in price.

Photojosh
06-18-2015, 04:25 PM
I was surprised when I saw the price. Seems to be quite a jump from the Opio Soprano and Concert to the Tenor. I expect it is worth the money, I was just expecting it to come in lower in price.

I'm not sure what I expected. But I was "hoping" that it would be a lot closer to $500 than $600. But such is life. It is probably still a value at that price, if the other opios are any indication.

Icelander53
06-18-2015, 04:34 PM
I guessed within about 8 bucks when I talked to Andrew before they went on site. Tenors are usually a jump but it's still over $400 less than the Hawaiian. Of course I bumped it up $160 for a pickup.