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matt20
07-22-2009, 08:47 AM
Hey everyone,
I'm planing on purchasing a Kamaka Tenor HF-3 and was thinking about having an on-board pickup installed. Any recommendations for the brand of pickup? Is this a good idea or is a compression mic a better choice. I'm kinda hesitant handing a new uke over to a guitar shop for them to butcher..

Mahalo

experimentjon
07-22-2009, 08:56 AM
Go with the onboard pickup. The Kamaka factory installs Fishman Matrix Infinitys. I think their price is $250 for the pickup with installation. I have a Fishman Matrix in my Kanilea K1-T now, and it sounds awesome. Aldrine has an older version of the Fishman Matrix in his uke.

The other big brand that people use is the LR Baggs Element. I think Kanilea defaults to that one at their factory. I have heard that this one sounds more natural.

But if you go with either, you won't regret it.

BrotherUke
07-22-2009, 09:33 AM
Hey everyone,
I'm planing on purchasing a Kamaka Tenor HF-3 and was thinking about having an on-board pickup installed. Any recommendations for the brand of pickup? Is this a good idea or is a compression mic a better choice. I'm kinda hesitant handing a new uke over to a guitar shop for them to butcher..

Mahalo

Boy... I don't know. I have an HF3 and it's an absolutely beautiful instrument. I think you should mic it if you need the increased volume rather than add a pick-up and jack. Just my opinion.

RevWill
07-22-2009, 09:38 AM
The Mi-Si gets great reviews from everyone around, but then again we are talking about surgery on a Kamaka...

experimentjon
07-22-2009, 01:08 PM
The Mi-Si gets great reviews from everyone around, but then again we are talking about surgery on a Kamaka...

Well, as long as it's professionally done it should be perfect. I mean they're just drilling two holes. :)

I mean, getting a Shure SM57 and a mic stand would cost less, but I think pickups are easier to use than mics, and if you can justify the extra coin, go for the pickup.

RevWill
07-22-2009, 01:24 PM
Well, as long as it's professionally done it should be perfect. I mean they're just drilling two holes. :)

I mean, getting a Shure SM57 and a mic stand would cost less, but I think pickups are easier to use than mics, and if you can justify the extra coin, go for the pickup.

Agreed, as long as it's installed by a properly experienced person. Just repeating that bit for emphasis.

matt20
08-10-2009, 06:04 PM
Thanks a lot guys! I finally got my baby and I don't think I could stand to see her drilled.. I think I'm gonna go with the mic.:shaka:

Rick Turner
08-10-2009, 07:10 PM
Any of you in Northern California who go to Gryphon Stringed Instruments can now hear one of my Compass Rose ukes with one of my D-TAR Timberline pickups in it in the store.

We just got a request from someone who I won't name...yet...about putting one of these systems in their uke. I hope it all comes through because this will be a big one for us.

vahn
08-10-2009, 07:16 PM
listen to rick... he invented piezo pickups. literally.

Pippin
08-10-2009, 08:37 PM
There are some very serious advantages to having a pickup in any fine instrument. I hate being anchored to a microphone. I prefer the mobility, but, also... a good system will be as close to natural acoustic sound as you can get. That is one reason for the popularity of the LR Baggs.

Whatever Rick puts in an instrument will be top-shelf all the way. He's the expert.

Kekani
08-10-2009, 11:41 PM
I finally got my baby and I don't think I could stand to see her drilled

If you plan on performing, a UST is the way to go. My kids perform on stage, and I can tell you that a mic is MUCH harder to setup correctly than a pickup.

Your `ukulele is your instrument. Do with it what it was intended to do. You can baby it all you want, but play it!
As for drilling, pretty much comes with the territory. I can say the last 10 or so instruments to leave my shop had pickups installed. Every custom that MGM orders, has a pickup installed. I can tell you that you probably have 4 holes drilled in your headstock already. Probably got your bridge drilled as well. And, if you install a pickup that uses the Baggs Element, you'll end up drilling 3 holes, not just two.

I gotta admit, I never suggested installing pickup, but not because it was bad - because I didn't know how. You've gotten good advice from those who say put it in. Those who use a mic, have probably not become accustomed to using a good pickup. Once that happens, suggestions may change.

My $.02 for the day.

-Aaron

Rick Turner
08-11-2009, 03:23 AM
You can hear my pickup setup on any of the Ingrid Michaelson YouTube videos of her live performances where she's playing her Compass Rose uke.

I use the D-TAR pickup which for us is an easy install as our bridges are made to accommodate it. The preamp goes in the instrument mounted on an endpin jack, and I make an external battery box. A stereo cable brings battery power up to the uke and takes signal back out to the box, and a mono cable takes the signal from the box to your amp or PA or direct box.

Yes, it's a bit of stuff. No, it's not cheap. But it works and sounds really good, and in the end is a whole lot easier than dealing with a microphone.

And I didn't invent the concept of piezo pickups, but I have designed a lot of them now for everything from upright bass to Tuvan stick fiddle with many stops in between.

vahn
08-11-2009, 07:12 AM
And I didn't invent the concept of piezo pickups, but I have designed a lot of them now for everything from upright bass to Tuvan stick fiddle with many stops in between.

My mistake Rick, I know you didnt discover the concept piezoelectricity or anything, but given your history in the industry my statement was more to illustrate that you pretty much (to me anyway) have invaluable opinion when it comes to such matters. I mean Edison didn't invent the lightbulb, technically, but he perfected it.

Rick Turner
08-11-2009, 08:39 AM
Thanks! I just saw one of the first piezo pickups...on a zither from 1923! That's before they had cone loudspeakers...

My own contributions have been through a lot of research into tangential fields like underwater sonar transducers where technology can be moved over to musical applications as well as understanding the geometry of how vibrations get from strings into instruments and where and how best to intercept those vibrations. A lot of it is about location, location, location and then the geometry of the pickup and it's relationship to location, etc.

I've learned a tremendous amount about the acoustics of stringed instruments from delving so deeply into the electronic side...much more than I would have learned just sticking to acoustic tradition. I think the electronic side has actually made me a better acoustic luthier. It's been very interesting, to say the least.

vahn
08-11-2009, 09:58 AM
music, acoustics; electricity and vibrations.. its crazy to think that sound is just vibrations that hit our ear drums and essentially, our eardrums do a similar thing to a piezo pickup, they turn it into electrical thought impulses going to our brain, where we become comfortable with certain patterns and frequencies in our brains...