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View Full Version : Choice of pickup, relatively inexpensive, simple.



Mistrhanky
12-07-2016, 09:16 AM
I am looking at having a pickup installed in a Pono I own. I have another Tenor Mahogoany Pono with a factory installed pickup(I admit I don;t know what kind it is). It has no external controls, just a jack down where the strap button would be.

I really want the same thing for this other Pono. I don't want to cut away anything or have any external sliders, just a good pickup installed that I can plug into, with little maintenance. I play open mics and such and don't like having my movement restricted by having to stay in mic range. Also makes it easier for my home recording. I have seen varying opinion of Baggs, Fishman, mi-si, etc. Does anyone have any thoughts on a reasonably priced one? It looked to me like the Fishman had the extra sliders and such that I am not interested in. I would have it installed by a professional luthier.

spookelele
12-07-2016, 09:58 AM
HMS used to have a generic-y looking pickup that was the pono factory installed one.
It looked to me like a generic jack and what's probably a decent under saddle piezo.

As long as you have a way to di/preamp/control it, that's really all you need and if you're comfortable with that on your other uke.. you can just get the piezo, and a jack. Even a better piezo isn't that expensive on e-bay.

chainyanker
12-07-2016, 11:05 AM
I had a k&k aloha put into my tk1. Really like. Just looked 79.00. I got mine less than that and shop charged me 50. Couldn't have done it, just wanted to make sure it stayed.

Croaky Keith
12-07-2016, 11:26 AM
Maybe a MiSi Trio. :)

Brad Bordessa
12-07-2016, 12:33 PM
MISI Trio would be the best reasonably priced and low-maintenance option, IMO. Best-best for the money I feel is the LR Baggs Five-0.

With passive pickups, yes they are "simple," but almost always you will want a preamp to pair them with. That's one extra piece of gear to lug around. For me, it makes more sense to suck it up and get the active pickup with a battery so I'm plug-and-play ready.

Install makes a huge difference. Make sure you're working with someone who's competent or a nice pickup might only sound mediocre.

kohanmike
12-07-2016, 03:17 PM
I also prefer to have an onboard preamp, which also will include a digital tuner, almost all my ukes have that. Plus I use a Sony wireless transceiver so I'm completely wireless.

lfoo6952
12-08-2016, 03:48 PM
MISI Trio would be the best reasonably priced and low-maintenance option, IMO. Best-best for the money I feel is the LR Baggs Five-0.

With passive pickups, yes they are "simple," but almost always you will want a preamp to pair them with. That's one extra piece of gear to lug around. For me, it makes more sense to suck it up and get the active pickup with a battery so I'm plug-and-play ready.

Install makes a huge difference. Make sure you're working with someone who's competent or a nice pickup might only sound mediocre.

In my case, the k&k Aloha Twin passive pickup works fine, despite the lack of a pre-amp. Yes, it lacks tone control but for me I don't find this to be a big issue because I can control the tone from my Fishman Loudbox amp. Simple install, reasonably priced, and sounds pretty decent despite the lack of pre-amp. And another plus is I don't have to worry about a battery going dead.

Booli
12-08-2016, 05:32 PM
+1 for the Mi-Si acoustic trio for uke. Volume/Tone controls are an option, but Mainland is the only vendor I know of that sells the Trio with the volume/tone controls attached/included, which fit at the edge of the sound hole, similar to the LR Baggs Five.0.

The Mi-Si uses a rechargeable super-capacitor and does NOT use batteries, a charging cable is included.

See here:

http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/category.sc?categoryId=2

and scroll down and click on the item titled:

MI-SI ACOUSTIC TRIO WITH VOLUME & TONE CONTROL MODULE

Mike, the owner of Mainland Ukulele is a well regarded and active member here on UU under the username 'hoosierhiver'.

Installation requires only 3 holes, one for the endpin jack, and 2 at each edge of the saddle slot for the pickup ribbon to enter the saddle slot from the body at one end, and then to be tucked in to the body about 2-3mm to keep it in place.

One variant of installation is seen in this video with Aldrine (co-founder of UU) and Joe Souza (Owner/President of Kanile'a Ukulele):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ypj_mhXhss
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ypj_mhXhss

I have self-installed the Mi-Si into 4 instruments now and been very happy with it.

Brad Bordessa
12-08-2016, 06:11 PM
In my case, the k&k Aloha Twin passive pickup works fine, despite the lack of a pre-amp. Yes, it lacks tone control but for me I don't find this to be a big issue because I can control the tone from my Fishman Loudbox amp. Simple install, reasonably priced, and sounds pretty decent despite the lack of pre-amp. And another plus is I don't have to worry about a battery going dead.

Yes. I was generalizing. An acoustic-specific amp is usually going to polish up a passive pickup nicely - it acts as a preamp and knows how to talk to the pickup. The Loudbox line is fantastic. I was referring more to PA situations where plugging directly into the board often results in terrible (or, at least, an unpredictable) sound with a passive pickup - because they don't know how to talk to each other. Booli could give you the deets about impedance, which is the "conversation" between the gear, but it's not super important if you know what works and what doesn't. A preamp - either outboard or with an active pickup - creates a signal that talks with the PA better.

sculptor
12-09-2016, 03:46 PM
Just a thought, but it seems that if you get a factory installed pickup it's cheaper... so maybe it's trade in time.

Briangriffinukuleles
12-09-2016, 06:31 PM
I have installed probably 15 Mi-Si s in ukes and they have all been successful. You don't need three holes. Just one at the bottom for the strap button/jack, one in the groove of the bridge for the piezo. It lays under the saddle and will not go anywhere. I even put a Mi-Si in a big bass I built, larger than a cello, It works for that instrument splendidly. No battery, just plug a Mi-Si in for 60 seconds and start playing. It will power it with quality sound for many hours, They claim 16, I have never played for 16 hours but I believe them. Great product.
Brian