View Full Version : Does Installing a Pickup Reduce the Resale Value?

08-24-2015, 05:29 AM
I was curious if installing a good quality pickup (e.g., Baggs 5.0, MiSi, etc) necessarily reduce the resale value of an ukulele? I'm sure it can cut both ways depending on whether the buyer is, say, a purist or on the other extreme, someone that gigs or busks.

I know in the grander scheme of things, its not that special, but I always saw my Kamaka HF3 as the crown jewel to passed down to future generations. But recently, I got lucky on a KoAloha tenor which I installed a MiSi on and I *LOVE IT*. I keep looking at the Kamaka wondering wow how would that guy sound. I am very comfortable with this tech that did my KoAloha so no worries there.

Thanks for any feedback.

08-24-2015, 05:49 AM
I wouldn't think twice about installing a pickup in a modern production uke. It would not reduce the resale, and it might or might not increase it. Even though pickups are a valuable add-on, some people simply don't want them, or are unwilling to pay extra for a used uke that has one. I think it's rare for a buyer to turn down a uke that has a pickup installed, especially a popular brand like MiSi.

I wouldn't do it on a vintage uke unless I planned to own that uke a long time. People who buy vintage instruments tend to value originality.

08-24-2015, 05:54 AM
Thank you RichM. Great point on vintage. Yes, this is modern production. I've got a MiSi on one I think I'll go with the Baggs on this one then. :D

08-24-2015, 06:16 AM
Agree with keeping vintage instruments "pure." Electronics change every few years (sometimes sooner), so the hot setup today can become technologically obsolete after a while.

08-24-2015, 07:29 AM
Rich really did hit all the main points. Two things I ask myself, will I enjoy it and am I going to play it. I have gone through the same trepidation over strap buttons. I have strap buttons on all my ukes and pick ups in two of my most expensive ukes.

Both items make playing easier and more enjoyable. I never worry about resale if I bought them to play them.

08-24-2015, 07:32 AM
I would be less inclined to buy a uke with an aftermarket pickup unless I could play it myself and verify it had a good sound. I don't get why you need a pickup in both tenors. The one with a pickup is for gigs, the other one for acoustic situations or for home use.

08-24-2015, 04:51 PM
If you sell to a shop they will offer less if you modify the instruments in anyway. I ran across this with a mid-90's Kamaka soprano on which I had upgraded the tuners. Person to person sales might be easier to retain most of the value.