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ukulelearp
01-15-2010, 05:54 PM
Hi, I want to add an active pickup to my ukulele, but also want to add volume and tone control knobs. The closest I've found was this (http://www.melmusic.com.au/shop/index.php?productID=11958) by Mahalo. Is this a good choice? Are there any better choices out there? Thanks.

grappler
01-15-2010, 06:03 PM
this is pretty sweet

http://www.fishman.com/products/details.asp?id=36

Kanaka916
01-15-2010, 06:32 PM
I'm not too keen on cutting out part of the sides to accomodate a control panel but that's just me. I would go with a Mi-Si ($120) and a LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI $($169) . . . way cheaper than the Fishman ($400).

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/1/4/5/566145.jpg

kissing
01-15-2010, 08:01 PM
I once had an Ohana Vita with that Mahalo pickup installed by a guitar shop guy:
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y121/pactio_kiss/electrified_vita.jpg

The pickup somewhat works reasonably well for something I paid around $30 for.
But it did have some issues to do with some hissing at high volume, the middle strings sounding louder than the outer strings and the wires rattling in the body while playing.
The string balance was fixed up by the guy who set it up (though I think the G string was still a bit weaker than the rest), and it "worked" as a pickup. But having tried better pickups, like the Shadow Nanoflex on my Kala, it is clearly inferior. The money you save may not be worth it in the long term.

The dilemma with the better quality-pickups is that they sometimes cost just as much (or more) as a good, inexpensive uke that comes with that same pickup factory-installed.

To put things into perspective:
The Shadow Nanoflex pickup by itself for Ukuleles costs a whopping $199.99 AUD if you order through an Australian music store.
A brand new Kala KA-CE Mahogany Concert from MGM costs about $200 AUD including shipping, complete with Aquila strings, hardcase, other extras with the same Shadow pickup built in.
A Legacy laminate spruce-top Soprano with the Shadow pickup built in just costs $179 AUD ordered through a music store's catalogue (they're pretty nice).

And well for a $400 Fishman pickup mentioned earlier, you can buy a very good uke with a very good pickup >_<

Brad Bordessa
01-15-2010, 08:54 PM
I agree with Kanaka. And if I were to cut a hole in my 'ukulele I would want the best quality pickup/controls I could get. I don't know if it would be worth it for me personally to cut a hole for a $30 pickup (no offense, just my opinion). Fishman and Baggs both make good products, but they are more expensive - you get what you pay for.

ukulelearp
01-16-2010, 10:20 AM
You guys are probably right, I think I may just go with a Mi-Si Acoustic Trio and a pre-amp.

Brad Bordessa
01-16-2010, 12:32 PM
You shouldn't even need a preamp for the MISI. I believe it is active. All the power for the built in preamp is stored in a super capacitor that is charged by being plugged into the wall.

SailorQwest
01-16-2010, 12:49 PM
You shouldn't even need a preamp for the MISI. I believe it is active. All the power for the built in preamp is stored in a super capacitor that is charged by being plugged into the wall.

You are right the MISI is active. It dosen't have tone or vollume. I find I don't need it on the Uke, if you're pluged in you just use the ones on the amp. If you want that though you could go with a passive pickup and a preamp.

thejumpingflea
02-26-2010, 09:33 PM
I'm not too keen on cutting out part of the sides to accomodate a control panel but that's just me. I would go with a Mi-Si ($120) and a LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI $($169) . . . way cheaper than the Fishman ($400).



I just found this thread and wanted to say that my current set up I use is the Misi with the Para Acoustic Baggs DI.

buddhuu
02-26-2010, 11:35 PM
Misi is active and doesn't need an additional preamp, but there is no reason not to use an outboard preamp with it to expand your options.

The Misi seems like a great solution to me.

Other than that, I'm with Kanaka. I prefer a light, passive pickup so I can keep the weight of the preamp external to the uke.

GrumpyCoyote
02-27-2010, 07:32 AM
Yep - I use that LR Baggs with my Mi-Si... Not for the power (the misi carries signal fine direct to the PA), but for the EQ.

thejumpingflea
02-27-2010, 08:57 AM
I prefer a light, passive pickup so I can keep the weight of the preamp external to the uke.

That is one reason so many love the MiSi. It is practically the same size and weight as a passive with all the extra power of an active.

Also, if you like the MiSi and still want controls, you can do that. The MiSi allows controls to be added.