PDA

View Full Version : Rarity of Soprano ukes with factory-installed active pickups



kissing
12-25-2009, 03:19 AM
I'm actually looking for an affordable (like below $200) soprano uke that comes with a good active pickup, and learned that they're actually quite rare.

For instance, Kala has a good cheap acoustic-electric laminate ukes in tenor (KA-TE) and concert (KA-CE)... but not Soprano :mad:

A similar story be told for Boulder Creek's Riptide ukes... only their concerts and tenors have pickups.

And while the concerts and tenors with the pickups are rather affordable, it would be too expensive to have the pickup installed on the soprano separately.

I was told by a seller that this was the case because not many Soprano uke players need a pickup. I was wondering whether this really is so amongst the uke folk here.
I would seriously buy a soprano with a pickup for its portability and added versatility.

Kala do have the solid spruce top/lacewood cutaway soprano with a pickup, but thats out of my price range. So I'm looking at this Legacy laminate soprano with shadow pickup within Australia:
http://legacymusic.com.au/products/index.cfm?action=view&id=59
(the $179.99 option).
But the search of a good, cheap soprano with a pickup has been quite frustrating, as I wanted something setup on MGM while still being affordable (I discussed with him about getting a cheap soprano with the pickup installed on it.. but it costs too much >_<)
Any other suggestions for affordable acoustic-electric sopranos would also be welcome :)

Ahnko Honu
12-25-2009, 08:00 AM
A tad above your budget but maybe worth considering is a Flea ($169) with pick-up ($60)= $229.00.

weegee
12-25-2009, 09:33 AM
I think the post above means $229.00, and mainland has one for $260, a big difference in your price range for both, but apprently everyone here speaks their praises.

8890
12-25-2009, 09:57 AM
I'd suggest the Brüko no. 6 (http://www.brueko.de/shop/product_info.php?info=p18_Brueko-No--6-Soprano-Ukulele.html), at €115 + €45 for the factory-installed pickup, but the weak dollar and strong euro busts your budget if you're paying in USD...

Doc_J
12-25-2009, 01:53 PM
Mainland has a Honeybee soprano with a built-in, passive pick-up for $200.
It does have some noted finish flaws. But that's a good deal.

kissing
12-25-2009, 03:52 PM
Thanks for the suggestions everyone :D
I didn't know Fleas could come with pickups installed.
I have also looked at the Mainland.

Though I am looking for an active pickup with onboard preamp specifically.
I have had some passive pickup ukes in the past (even very good ones like Risa), but for my purposes of plugging and playing, I would really like an active.

luvdat
12-26-2009, 11:52 PM
I'm actually looking for an affordable (like below $200) soprano uke that comes with a good active pickup, and learned that they're actually quite rare.

For instance, Kala has a good cheap acoustic-electric laminate ukes in tenor (KA-TE) and concert (KA-CE)... but not Soprano :mad:

A similar story be told for Boulder Creek's Riptide ukes... only their concerts and tenors have pickups.

And while the concerts and tenors with the pickups are rather affordable, it would be too expensive to have the pickup installed on the soprano separately.

I was told by a seller that this was the case because not many Soprano uke players need a pickup. I was wondering whether this really is so amongst the uke folk here.
I would seriously buy a soprano with a pickup for its portability and added versatility.

Kala do have the solid spruce top/lacewood cutaway soprano with a pickup, but thats out of my price range. So I'm looking at this Legacy laminate soprano with shadow pickup within Australia:
http://legacymusic.com.au/products/index.cfm?action=view&id=59
(the $179.99 option).
But the search of a good, cheap soprano with a pickup has been quite frustrating, as I wanted something setup on MGM while still being affordable (I discussed with him about getting a cheap soprano with the pickup installed on it.. but it costs too much >_<)
Any other suggestions for affordable acoustic-electric sopranos would also be welcome :)

An Applause?

Hey, my search for someone to TALK about sopranos has been frustrating...

kissing
12-27-2009, 12:25 AM
I did consider the Applause once too in this search.
But I really hated how they sounded acoustically. And I believe their pickup is also passive..

bunnyflower
12-27-2009, 05:23 AM
Hah, I have been beginning to wonder if my preference for sopranos is a rarity, too. It seems like almost everybody jumps to the concert and tenor asap... and I still prefer soprano.

I really hope you can find one! And then I'll know where to look, when I want one too. ;)

Bluke
12-27-2009, 10:12 AM
What is the problem with finding a uke you like, then add a pickup? Some are very inexpensive.

Futch
12-27-2009, 10:18 AM
Hah, I have been beginning to wonder if my preference for sopranos is a rarity, too. It seems like almost everybody jumps to the concert and tenor asap... and I still prefer soprano.

I feel the same! I came to uke as a long time guitar player. Everyone said 'you'll prefer a tenor then', bu tI found soprano to be my favorite.

hoosierhiver
12-27-2009, 10:58 AM
I would guess that maybe about 35% of uke players prefer sopranos over other sizes.

Womby28
12-27-2009, 12:42 PM
Hey guys. I'm dealing with the very same issue. I'm looking to buy a soprano to compliment my tenor and while I'd like to find one with a pick up installed, those I can find are a bit more than I'd like to pay.

Has anybody tried the external 'stick on' pickups? I have zero experience with them.

One style found here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/PICKUP-TRANSDUCER-FOR-BANJO-VIOLIN-MANDOLIN-UKULELE-etc_W0QQitemZ360212576281QQcmdZViewItemQQptZString _Instrument_Parts_Accessories?hash=item53de57b819

kissing
12-27-2009, 01:18 PM
What is the problem with finding a uke you like, then add a pickup? Some are very inexpensive.

Because I'm rather fussy about the pickup.
It has to be a good quality active pickup with onboard tone/volume controls... and the pickups separately tend to cost more than a concert or tenor uke that comes WITH the pickup already installed on it from the factory :(
For instance, in Australia, a Shadow Nanoflex pickup costs about $200 alone (not including installation price).
At MGM, you can get a brand new KA-CE that comes WITH the pickup for about $160. So it seems like it is better to have them factory installed. The uke manufacturers must get them at a bulk discount.



Has anybody tried the external 'stick on' pickups? I have zero experience with them.

I haven't tried them before, but they would be passive pickups.
You'll have to invest in an external pre-amp to go between the pickup and the amp/mixer to get a good sound.
Again.. more $$'s

I prefer having the pre-amp on-board the uke itself, as I'm a plug-n-play sort of person :)


At the moment, I'm going for one of these Legacy Soprano's with pickup. I tried one out in a store.
They come with active Shadow Nanoflex, and I was surprised to see they were set up. The action was low and comfortable.
Even the default GHS strings felt ok.
http://www.legacymusic.com.au/products/index.cfm?action=view&id=59

They only seem to be sold within Australia though, in some music stores.

Richie23
12-27-2009, 01:38 PM
How about a Stagg US80SE (http://www.staggmusic.com/products/products_detail.php?langue=uk&catid=174&oneid=597). I got one some time back, it is a soprano, and all solid Mahogany.
It comes with a factory installed UK2000 pickup, which sounds great through my amp (a Laney prism P20), and I would vouch for the quality of the Uke.

You can buy the Stagg brand outside the UK, and there is distribution across Australia, if thats where you are.

kissing
12-27-2009, 02:26 PM
Thanks for that suggestion.
I found one on eBay, and the price seems very good. It's all solid too :)

Pippin
12-27-2009, 09:05 PM
The passive pickup in the Applause ukes does a really fine job, actually. They sound great played with the electronics. Acoustically, it does open-up quite a bit in about a year or so of playing.

I gave mine to a close friend and he really loves it.