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View Full Version : Passive Pickups - Round 2 - discovered an EXCELLENT and easy pickup option!



kissing
11-16-2018, 02:34 AM
A while back, I posted a topic in which I complained about how every PASSIVE piezo system I've used in ukuleles and guitars would hum through my setup at home (plugged into an amp running on mains power) and how the hum is only alleviated if I plug it into an amp running on batteries.

I've tried all sorts of solutions, such as purchasing an external acoustic pre-amp/DI-box, which did not resolve the problem.

Then I proceeded to purge all the passive pickup instruments in my collection, swearing to myself that I'll never buy a passive again, and only stick to active pickup systems because they are not plagued by the hum.


But I did manage to find a passive piezo system that does NOT hum!
I discovered these handmade pickups by an Australian maker:

https://www.peterman.com.au/music3/Acoustic_Guitar_Pickups

I purchased the cheapest one there, the single transducer external pickup.

It arrived today, and I stuck it onto some of my instrument soundboards using some putty... and much to my surprised, a CLEAN and fantastic sounding tone with no hum!!

It sounds even better through the external preamp I purchased (so I guess that wasn't a waste of money afterall).

I immediately also ordered the dual-transducer internal version to install.




What is it about this particular soundboard transducer that prevents hum? Is it shielded better? Is the signal "grounded" somehow in a way undersaddles aren't? Is this the case with other transducer pickups, like the K&K ones?


Anyway, if anyone was interested in an affordable and easy installation (the external options are phenomenally easy to attach onto any guitar/uke with absolutely no modification required. Just stick on and play!), check these out!

This is the best passive piezo option I've tried so far!

eyedoc
11-16-2018, 03:14 AM
Hi
Does the putty damage the finish of the Uke?
Does humidity affect how it will stick?
Thanks,
Ron

kissing
11-16-2018, 03:55 AM
Hi
Does the putty damage the finish of the Uke?
Does humidity affect how it will stick?
Thanks,
Ron

The putty is the generic type we would use around the house to stick things on walls.
Here in Australia, the most widely used brand is "Blu Tack" - not sure how common it is in USA.

The putty does not appear to damage the instrument's finish in the slightest, and can be removed with utmost ease.
I would imagine the designer has taken this into account when he designed this unit.

ksiegel
11-16-2018, 08:21 AM
That looks like the old Barcus-Berry transducers I used 30+ years ago. (wish I could find it!) A passive transducer I stuck to the guitar bridge with beeswax, plugged a short cord between the transducer and a mic stand-mounted preamp, and then to the amplifier.

The only real difference is the Barcus-Berry was rectangular, and the Peterman is round.

The K&K Twinspot and Barcus-Berry are the only transducer pickups I've used; they have a two-conductor connection, no separate ground. I don't know why any other pickups would have an issue, unless these are shielded, and the others aren't- I'm not about to take my K&K apart to find out, I just know that Bradford Donaldson recommended it, and that was good enough for me.


-Kurt

kissing
11-19-2018, 03:08 AM
Hehe for what it's worth, here's a little demonstration of using this new pickup through a looper pedal and an amp


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJi9HXWT2mI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJi9HXWT2mI

ralphk
11-19-2018, 04:13 AM
Looking forward to your experiences with the two pickup option

ralphk
12-28-2018, 03:56 AM
Did you ever get the two pickup version and evaluate it?