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Ludwig.
11-15-2015, 07:01 AM
Hey there!

Since I am planning on playing a few "pub gigs" soon, I will need a pickup in one of my ukes. I have a LR Baggs Five.O at hand and would like to upgrade one of my sopranos.

I talked to a guitar shop and asked to install it into my Ken Timms. He said that the he cannot do it without enlarging the bridge since the pickup needs at least 2,4mm of space.

Now I checked my other ukes and all of them, except my Tinguitar Pineapple, have saddles that are way smaller than 2,4mm. Even my KoAloha Opio Concert (which would have been my no. 2 choice) is around 2mm only.

Is that really necessary? I already have a problem with drilling a hole in such a tiny instrument and do not want to change the whole bridge/saddle. ;)

Thanks!

Ludwig.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-15-2015, 09:09 AM
By 2,4mm, do you mean 2.4mm???

By "enlarging the bridge", does he mean widening the saddle slot, not the actual bridge. Widening the slot slightly can only be a good thing as you could correct any slight intonation issues (if any).

Ludwig.
11-15-2015, 09:18 AM
By 2,4mm, do you mean 2.4mm???

By "enlarging the bridge", does he mean widening the saddle slot, not the actual bridge. Widening the slot slightly can only be a good thing as you could correct any slight intonation issues (if any).

Yeah, widening the saddle slot, excuse my English. That was the word I was looking for. :-D

So widening the saddle slot seems like a normal thing to do for you? I am just not sure if I can trust the guitar shop guy with it since he is not a professional luthier or anything but someone who sells guitars. ;)

Michael Smith
11-15-2015, 09:19 AM
It is necessary to have a wide enough saddle for that pickup because of the pickup wire width. In many cases the saddle slot can be widened and fitted with a new saddle but not in all cases and that is a skilled proposition. You might be better off with a microphone style pickup or mic for your ukulele since you don't want to alter your instruments.

Booli
11-16-2015, 12:17 PM
Ken Timms is a member here on UU (timbuck), why dont you see if he would be willing to install the pickup for you. You can send him a PM directly.

I have no idea as to shipping/customs betw Germany and the UK (I am in NJ USA), but if I was in Europe, I would at least contact Ken and talk to him about it before having a dodgy person with limited experience touch and likely hack up my precious instrument.

Whatever he might charge you, I can say that going by his excellent reputation here on the forum, I'd think that you would be getting the work of a master, and thus it would be worth the cost, without residual or unexpected damage to your instrument.

Disclaimer: I've never had hands-on with a Ken Timms uke, nor spoken to Ken in person, but like many on this forum, have drooled over pictures and videos of his fine instruments. :)

warndt
11-16-2015, 01:13 PM
Here is a very comprehensive video by HMS showing step by step installation of the LR Baggs Five.O...that's my Kanile'a he is operating on BTW.

It looks and works great. I couldn't be happier.

https://vimeo.com/91770778

Wm.

sequoia
11-16-2015, 04:45 PM
Yes, that is a very good video by HMS. I'm getting ready to install one of these things for the first time and I can say it is not necessarily for the feint of heart. The instructions are abysmal. Not hard necessarily, but the potential for screw-up lurks. Probably the biggest screw-up is drilling through your lateral fan braces when you drill the holes to feed the pick-up through the bridge and under the saddle. By the way, I measured the pick-up wire and it is exactly 2.5 mm and plenty slim enough to fit into any standard saddle slot.

I'm hopeful as to how it sounds, but skeptical. Personally if you want to capture an uke, put a microphone in front of it.

85404

Plenty of room in this saddle slot. They made it thin so it would fit in any slot.

85405

Kekani
11-16-2015, 08:06 PM
The instruction manual states the hole should be the same size as the saddle, and no less than 3/32", which I believe most ukes are that or greater.



Yes, that is a very good video by HMS. I'm getting ready to install one of these things for the first time and I can say it is not necessarily for the feint of heart. The instructions are abysmal. . .

I'm hopeful as to how it sounds, but skeptical. Personally if you want to capture an uke, put a microphone in front of it.

Not sure which instructions you're reading, but abysmal isn't one of the descriptions I'd use. Basic, sure. It does take into account the rest of the instrument is correct - flat saddle bottom, etc. You could also download the Element instructions which may better suit your needs. http://www.lrbaggs.com/sites/default/files/pdf/element_active_manual.pdf

I do agree its not for the meek, or unskilled. Personally, I don't buy the angle the bottom of the saddle in Element instructions, but that's only because I used the "Advanced Fishman UST" devised by Rick Turner, with the back angled saddle slot. Again, not for the meek, and I start with my saddles cut with a 7 degree back angle, discussed elsewhere in the lounge.

As for pickups vs. microphones, depends on the situation. Recording, absolutely mic it. Live stage, UST definitely. However, I've had a well known local duo take a Five.O equipped tenor into the studio and use it that way. UST's just allow you to do more on stage, like move around.

Unless of course, you're sitting down. Still, staying in one seat for a 2-hour gig is hard enough as it is, but staying in the seat in the same exact position in front of the microphone, unnecessary. You'll appreciate the UST in bar gigs for sure.