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View Full Version : your experience with K&K Big Spot pickup?



DaveY
04-14-2018, 07:54 AM
I'm considering having a K&K Big Spot put into a $200, solid cedar top ukulele (Cordoba 24T) and am wondering what to expect.

I'm not willing to spend more for this; I have or have had Baggs and MiSi pickups, and realize that they are better (and are active ones). It will be either the Big Spot or nothing, unless someone can recommend something (at that price or lower) that I could have a repair guy put in.

I would be plugging in to my own Bose L1 Compact or Bose S1 -- usually via an Allen & Heath ZED mixer, and maybe into my Fishman Loudbox Mini, as well as whatever is at the occasional open mic. I have a Baggs Para D.I. that I could use if needed to influence things.

My main concern is the overall sound, and whether I'd be better off just mic-ing the uke. Thanks.

Booli
04-14-2018, 10:18 AM
A passive piezo pickup requires the use of a preamp for optimal sound.

This is an electrical problem due to impedance mismatch, and correcting the mismatch will significantly improve the sound. This is done with a proper (external) preamp.

I have written about this extensively here on UU in several other threads which you can see by clicking on the FAQ link in my signature below.

Your L.R. Baggs Para DI is handily capable and actually the best possible, and most frequently used option for this. It will be in your best interest to use it, since you already own one, otherwise you will be punishing your audience with a harsh and brittle tone that lacks all bass frequencies below ~400hz, and this cannot be corrected with an equalizer, since the impedance mismatch acts as a high-pass filter, and those frequencies are not able to even be sent to your amplifier, without the use of a proper preamp.

Short answer - Use the Para DI.

If you want the science behind all this, read the links from my FAQ page.

Patrick Madsen
04-14-2018, 10:31 AM
You get what you pay for. I looked at the the Big Spot at first but decided against it because the twin gave a better definition of the sound. The price of the uke it's going in doesn't really matter for me due to it'll be "colored" by the electric sound. I also used a K&K Volume control wheel to control the volume between playing rhythm and lead.

I have a 5 dollar ribbon passive pickup in my archtop bass that sounds as good as any 100 dollar pickup. Not sure of the name but was bought off Amazon or Ebay.

A good suggestion would be to read some of Booli's threads in the JUST the FAQs. He's the man when it comes to electronics.

ohiopicker
10-08-2018, 09:03 AM
I am curious as to whether you went through with the pickup addition, and whether you have run it through a direct box to your Bose L1 Compact, and if you are satisfied with the sound. I have a Córdoba 20T with a built in pickup and preamp that I have run into another brand of "stixk pa" and I can't seem to get rid of the thump when turned up to necessary volume.

ThAnks!

Strumdaddy
10-08-2018, 02:28 PM
I have a K & K in one uke, and just installed a JJB in another. I like the sound of the first, but love the sound of the second. Bear in mind they are in different ukes, but if anyone was considering the K & K I would suggest they check out JJB - 1/3 of the price and definitely similar quality sound.
http://http://www.jjb-electronics.com/index.html

DaveY
10-08-2018, 04:09 PM
I am curious as to whether you went through with the pickup addition, and whether you have run it through a direct box to your Bose L1 Compact, and if you are satisfied with the sound. I have a Córdoba 20T with a built in pickup and preamp that I have run into another brand of "stixk pa" and I can't seem to get rid of the thump when turned up to necessary volume.

ThAnks!

Sorry, but I returned the 24T, and never had the pickup installed. In fact, I'm intending to mic any new ukuleles that I buy, as I have enough ukes with pickups -- but that would be another thread.

ksiegel
10-08-2018, 04:32 PM
I have a custom built Donaldson with a K&K Twinspot, and I use the K&K Pure preamp. Sounds great. I also have an Ohana concert with the MiSi pickup, and it also sounds great.

When I perform, I use the pickups AND mic my instruments. I like the blended sound.

When I do a video, I just use the mic on the recording device, or a USB MXL condenser mic if I'm recording with my Surface.


-Kurt