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King David
09-05-2017, 04:21 AM
Where are we at with this? We're all aware of Mi-Si. Apparently they ditched the old trio under saddle element(which was geared for guitar anyway and not my favorite) on some versions like those installed on Pono TE's - now they use the same LR Baggs Five.O element as the big brother coin cell powered pickup which sounds like an upgrade in technology. I'm still not a fan of the super capacitor batteries though as they are no where near as hot as say 9volt powered pickups, which allow me to directly line in my PA without that fancy LR Baggs venue DI boost.

Then there's these new blends of half MIC half under saddle piezo Baggs has been working on to get more of a mic'd sound...however, these are not quite there yet technology wise of what you'd expect or want.

So that leaves us right back with the Baggs Five.O. Is this seriously as good as it gets right now/next couple years? Don't get me wrong, it's a nice pickup with an adequate amount of power voiced for the ukulele, however, it tends to be a bit boomy and geared toward the low end(for low G players?) so I'm often rolling off the lows to avoid muddiness and bass heavy finger noise. To top it off, I can't help but think this pickup is lacking when you directly compare it to say the custom LR Baggs active 9volt pickups built specifically for the Ko'olau CE semi-chambered electrics. When will these be the new norm, if ever, or in your speculation what will replace the Five.O for best sound?

P.S. I'm aware of vendor specific geared pickups: example Ovation & Blackbird.. like the graphtech/rmc individual piezos found on the former. While they sound good, (I wouldn't say natural...) it still is guitar technology and these are super fragile on ukes where messing up one of the gold elements can happen as easily as during a string change/setup..i.e. these are not the answer for consistent live performance or travel.

Pleasure Paul
09-05-2017, 06:05 AM
I'm still not a fan of the super capacitor batteries though as they are no where near as hot as say 9volt powered pickups, which allow me to directly line in my PA without that fancy LR Baggs venue DI boost.

When will these be the new norm, if ever, or in your speculation what will replace the Five.O for best sound?



First, I have a MiSi/Baggs equipped Kala travel soprano, and IME it produces enough level into a line input. The sound, in my experience, does not need bass roll off (what bass :D perhaps finger pressure rumble?), but I do take some highs off. But some soundpeople insist on running it flat. My 2cts on this...

I just want to point out, based on my guitar experience, that I regard the new approach by Taylor guitars, to put the piezo pickup BEHIND the saddle instead of under it, as a meaningful improvement. 'Quack' and uneven string balance ("piezogate") are a thing of the past. I wouldn't mind the idea finding its way into the ukulele one day. I have to say that my Kala/MiSi is not very 'quacky', but I do believe that the Taylor approach could be beneficial to the uke too.

Brad Bordessa
09-05-2017, 08:38 AM
From my experience and ears, the Five-0 is where it's at right now. Certainly we always hope for better and better technologies, but I've never been happier with a pickup. Maybe I'm searching for a sound that is closer to the stock Baggs tone than most. For what I do it's perfect. The next new thing would have to be pretty exciting for me to switch.

M3Ukulele
09-05-2017, 09:40 AM
Pleasure Paul. Do you have reference article or link page to what Taylor is doing? When you say they put the under saddle piezo BEHIND the saddle. How, can you explain a little more or post a reference. Sounds interesting. I keep hearing Five O is still the best but everyone has their opinion. I've not spend any time with pickups yet but keep an eye on all threads about it. Just curious.
thanks

DownUpDave
09-05-2017, 09:46 AM
From my experience and ears, the Five-0 is where it's at right now. Certainly we always hope for better and better technologies, but I've never been happier with a pickup. Maybe I'm searching for a sound that is closer to the stock Baggs tone than most. For what I do it's perfect. The next new thing would have to be pretty exciting for me to switch.

I agree. I have tried MiSi and they are close but Baggs 5.0 sounds better to me. I tried the MiSi Air trio with the internal mic.....epic fail. I have two different clip on sound hole mics, an iRig Acoustic Stage and a Myers Feather. They both give good sound reproduction but are sensitive to feedback. Enough so that I don't use them, it is just too much hassle.

I accept the fact an under saddle pickup won't sound as good as playing into a microphone. I hope one day as improvements are made they will. Maybe this thread will expose something new we don't know about yet.

Kekani
09-05-2017, 12:34 PM
King David, the fact that you roll off lows is a good sign - I always run a hpf on ukulele channels. The Five.O pre is voiced for the smaller body of an ukulele, but prior to that, I installed the Element nylon with much success.

May not makes sense, but Brad will probably agree- run the Five.O through a ParaAcoustic or Venue DI and you'll be glad you did, once you get through the learning curve, if you aren't already. Should be quick.

Brad Bordessa
09-05-2017, 01:26 PM
I know it makes no sense, but Brad will probably agree- run the Five.O through a ParaAcoustic or Venue DI and you'll be glad you did, once you get through the learning curve, if you aren't already. Should be quick.

Yessir. Scoop the mud at 200hz, juice the highs to taste and you're golden. You might even turn one of the other knobs...

Booli
09-05-2017, 02:47 PM
post deleted

King David
09-05-2017, 04:25 PM
Okay but this thread isn't really even about ignorance, using or not using an expensive Venue DI, user error with EQ'ing... it's about current and developing, quality technologies for amplifying acoustic ukuleles. Comparatively to guitars, there are very few options for ukes in production right now... so there is a market and mark my words there will be future technologies developed for us ukulele players.

Nothing against the Baggs, just saying the pickup world will not begin and end with the Five.O.

Booli
09-05-2017, 05:10 PM
My original post has been removed due to mis-application of my efforts and feelings of futility.

Shaka and Mahalo. Peace be with you all. :)

Pleasure Paul
09-10-2017, 12:05 PM
Pleasure Paul. Do you have reference article or link page to what Taylor is doing? When you say they put the under saddle piezo BEHIND the saddle. How, can you explain a little more or post a reference. Sounds interesting. I keep hearing Five O is still the best but everyone has their opinion. I've not spend any time with pickups yet but keep an eye on all threads about it. Just curious.
thanks

Hi M3, sorry for seeing your post just now. For the expression system 2, here's is a place to start reading: https://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/acoustic/features/electronics/expression-systemŽ-2

I got introduced to it by a friend, who is a guitar maker/repairer. He said: "listen to this, it is really bad" (bad in the way of 'bad'). I tried it, expecting a bad sound, but instead I liked it a lot. His quabbles were about finger noise, which I did not notice, I probably have a different touch. When I was at Taylor AMS, they toid me they could adjust the pickup for complaints of finger noise.
BTW, I just got a Taylor guitar and I noticed a slight hum under certain plugged in circumstances. Taylor replaced my pickup, and gave me the original one. Now I might be one of the few persons who have a discarded brand new Expression 2 pickup. It is very light, and the actual piezos (3) are very small. Pression would be exerted by 3 small excenters which are set into the bridge behind the saddle and can be tweaked by an allen key to produce prefect string balance. I understand that Taylor will be coming up with a uke, let's just see if they put this system in.