View Full Version : Reinstalling pickup

11-23-2015, 02:40 AM
I searched this and this was asked once before but only got one response, so I'm wondering if there are any more folks out there who have done this. I have a uke that goes unplayed that has a MiSi pickup in it. I'd like to move the pickup to a much better uke. I know I could sell the first uke but it's a no-name and pretty worn. I'd get nothing for it. I'd rather keep it for a beater and reuse that pickup. The one response that someone got who asked this previously, was NO. Any other people with a positive experience doing this? It would be going into the same size ukulele btw.

11-23-2015, 10:57 AM
It might be worth posting this question in the Luthier's Lounge, I'm sure those guys will have the answer.

11-23-2015, 12:04 PM
Mods, could you move thread to LL? I'd love to get some opinions on this, before I bite the bullet and buy another pickup. Thanks! PS, if this is not something u do, I'll just post.

11-23-2015, 12:06 PM
Can do, I've done that before, just be sure to not damage the braided wire in any way ie. don't cut it or crimp it with hemostats.

11-25-2015, 07:41 AM
Thanks hh, I'm gonna give it a go. The cheapskate in me hates to have the MiSi sitting in a uke that's no longer played much.

11-25-2015, 08:22 PM
It will be no problem bunnyf. Just be careful of the piezo cable when you slip it out from under the saddle. Take the saddle off and you should be able to just push the cable down the hole. Then unscrew the threaded lock screw under that screw off strap button. The pickup should then push into the uke and you can fish it out of the sound hole and install in your better uke. Good luck, they are great and sturdy pickups. When you re-install be sure to coil the excess cable and tape the coil to keep it that way.

11-26-2015, 02:37 AM
I've installed pickups, including MiSi in 6 or 7 ukes so far for myself and friends. It's not that difficult especially with the MiSi which has no separate preamp box mounted on the uke body. There's a really good UU video that shows the process so you can visualize how to do it in reverse. I used very basic woodworking tools and found that the most useful tool is the 1/4" dowel stick. Good luck and let us know how it goes!


11-26-2015, 02:52 AM
Thanks, I'm gonna uninstall today and try reinstall tomorrow after I get to the Depot for that dowel. I did watch that very video and does not look too difficult. Of course I don't have that taper bit but I bet my local shop doesn't either. I don't really have a luthier or any real guitar tech by me. Just a guy who primarily gives lessons and runs a little recording studio. He keeps a few guitars there to sell , mostly consignment or eBay finds but does really seem like repair is his thing. Otherwise I'd consider bringing it into a shop instead of trying it myself. I'm gonna check out a video or two today looking for more tips. My main concern is when the installer shows how he is deepening the saddle slot to compensate for the thickness of the element. He made a guide. I'd have to wing it. It seems like it would be easier to take a little off the bottom of the saddle, a least for an amateur. I wonder if the action would be crazy high if I do nothing? We shall see. I'll post how I make out.

11-26-2015, 03:42 AM
Home Depot does have a taper bit but if I remember correctly it's on the pricey side. I used a Forstner bit which they also carry at HD. It makes a clean hole especially if you go slowly and don't push on the drill.
As far as the saddle, they're not hard to file down. Worst case scenario I'd bet you could get a nice UU member to grind one down for you :)
Good luck!

edit to add: if you have a Harbor Freight store nearby they also have the stepped drill bits for a lot less money than HD.

11-26-2015, 04:24 AM
Hey photo shooter, in the posted vid, he routs out the bridge, instead of filing the saddle, but he built himself a nice little jig to keep a smooth surface and consistent depth, but he's a pro doing it over and over. For a first-time installer, I thought I'd be better off taking down the saddle. I think I can sand off the bottom of the saddle fairly evenly and be careful not to overdo. I'll measure the action before I start playing around with it. If I screw up I figure it's easier to get a new saddle.

11-26-2015, 05:22 AM
When Koaloha installed my pickup, they just sanded the saddle. It probably would look a little better if they deepened the slot as the ends of the saddle are angled, but it works fine.

11-27-2015, 02:13 PM
Mission accomplished! Misi is out of old uke and sittin pretty in my new used Pono. Not as hard as
I thought. Drilling hole for jack was the only scary part. Works fine, saved $150. Yay!

11-27-2015, 05:15 PM
Woo hoo! Congrats.
Did you grind down the saddle or did you transfer the saddle from the old uke?

11-28-2015, 02:02 AM
Doh, I didn't think of that. I ground it down. Now that you mention it, I need to check the action on the old uke to see if it's too low now. I think it was a little high before so I'm hoping it's ok. I still want to use that one as my beater. Just need to fix the hole and replace the strap button. I thought of a Nojak end pin from stewmac, but again the cheap in me said "just fill the hole and reuse the other strap button".

11-28-2015, 05:45 AM
Mission accomplished! Misi is out of old uke and sittin pretty in my new used Pono. Not as hard as I thought. Drilling hole for jack was the only scary part. Works fine, saved $150. Yay!

Sweet! Nice work! :shaka: