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View Full Version : I need some amplification and/or pickup suggestions



Trader Todd
03-21-2017, 03:33 AM
Recently I've been playing out and jamming guitar with a group of friends and music nerds at a few local pubs and events. I'd love to add some uke to the mix, but the problem is I don't have anything with a pickup.

After reading DownUpDown Dave's review of the iRig, I think that is out of the running...

I have a Pono PC that is a great uke, but I've never been impressed by the volume and projection. I'm thinking about having a pick up installed and making this my gigging uke. What would you recommend for a pickup system? I'd love to have some kind of on-board volume controls.

Or...

I'm thinking about picking up a Kala Travel Tenor with the B-Band pickup or some other affordable (max $300) uke with a pickup.

If I buy another uke, the Pono hits the auction block, so none of your "Oh, just buy another uke..." I know how you hording UAS degenerates are. One comes in, one goes out. That's where I'm at.

REPEAT: I am not buying another uke, I just need help getting amplification into my current stable.

Thanks!

DownUpDave
03-21-2017, 03:45 AM
You said the "Pono is a great uke", sounds like you want to keep it???? If you really really like it spend $200.00 (installed) on a LR Baggs 5.0 and you will never second guess your choice. It is active so your just plug into any sound system and play, no worring about pre amps, which adds another $100.00.

Or you spend $300 on a new uke that you may or may not like........and it just cost you $100 more than having a pick up installed. It really depends how much you like your Pono. Do you own an amplifier or is this for just playing out

Trader Todd
03-21-2017, 03:59 AM
Oddly enough I was just checking out the LR Baggs 5.0. Thinking this is my best option, I do like the Pono.

I'll mostly be playing plugged into a PA, I do have an Behringer Ultracoustic amp.

bariukish
03-21-2017, 05:02 AM
I have a nearly new Kala KA-GATE-C for sale for $250 shipped. PM me if you are interested.

kohanmike
03-21-2017, 05:49 AM
I buy good preamps with controls, tuner and piezo under saddle pickup direct from China for around $25, then either install it myself or by a luthier for about $80-$90. Done it to half a dozen ukes.

Brad Bordessa
03-21-2017, 07:45 AM
Ditto on the Baggs.

Ivan M
03-21-2017, 05:39 PM
LR BAGGS, and don't bother looking back!

anthonyg
03-21-2017, 05:50 PM
Hey. I'm using a microphone and I'm not looking back. Seriously.

Anyway, there are a number of threads on this board talking about ukulele amplification so I suggest you do a search for "ukulele amplification".

Anthony

uku0729
03-23-2017, 03:17 PM
Hey. I'm using a microphone and I'm not looking back. Seriously.

Anyway, there are a number of threads on this board talking about ukulele amplification so I suggest you do a search for "ukulele amplification".

Anthony

For the best, always use a mic - even a cheap one will out-perform any pickup.

Ukulelerick9255
03-23-2017, 08:30 PM
Ditto on Baggs but for ease at gigs you might also consider mi-si, it works on a rechargeable battery with power cord....60 second charge gives 8 hour of playing time and you never have to worry about changing a dead battery mid gig.

Trader Todd
03-24-2017, 04:54 AM
Hey. I'm using a microphone and I'm not looking back. Seriously.

Anyway, there are a number of threads on this board talking about ukulele amplification so I suggest you do a search for "ukulele amplification".

Anthony

Tried playing through a Shure SM57 and didn't have much luck. I had a hard time finding the sweet spot and feedback issues because I had to have the volume so high. I also had issues keeping my strumming hand from hitting the mic, since I had to get so close.

Looks like I'm going to add the Baggs to the Pono.

Bill Sheehan
03-24-2017, 09:11 AM
I've recently caught some video clips of a very pleasant gentleman known as "Ukulele Uff", who is a mind-bogglingly good uke player, and I've noticed that (at least for the most part) he just "mics up" his Martin soprano and lets 'er rip. There is something neat about doing it that way, just the simplicity of it is so awesome, but I must confess, I too don't seem to get a very good result when I try to do it that way! But in virtually every video I've found of him, there's one mic on his voice, and a second mic sitting in front of his uke, and he seems to get by really well with that approach.

DownUpDave
03-24-2017, 11:11 AM
I've recently caught some video clips of a very pleasant gentleman known as "Ukulele Uff", who is a mind-bogglingly good uke player, and I've noticed that (at least for the most part) he just "mics up" his Martin soprano and lets 'er rip. There is something neat about doing it that way, just the simplicity of it is so awesome, but I must confess, I too don't seem to get a very good result when I try to do it that way! But in virtually every video I've found of him, there's one mic on his voice, and a second mic sitting in front of his uke, and he seems to get by really well with that approach.

Yea no doubt playing in front of a mic is a skill that needs to be honed like any other. I've tried it on stage and I move around too much to get a consistently decent sound. In a studio setting nothing beats a good mic.

anthonyg
03-24-2017, 11:48 AM
Tried playing through a Shure SM57 and didn't have much luck. I had a hard time finding the sweet spot and feedback issues because I had to have the volume so high. I also had issues keeping my strumming hand from hitting the mic, since I had to get so close.

Looks like I'm going to add the Baggs to the Pono.

A Shure SM-57 would not be my pick as an acoustic instrument microphone as its really a Rock&Roll instrument microphone. Having said that an SM-57 is still better than any Piezo pickup that you will fit.

The crux of the problem is this. The performer can not accurately judge the performance of a microphone while performing. Period. A performer can't accurately judge the performance of a PA system while performing either. Most feedback problems come from too much foldback.

If the volume is set where most performers want it to be its too loud for the audience. As a performer you just have to deal with the volume seeming low for you. I've learn't this the hard way.



Anthony