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View Full Version : K&K Big Shot (Internal install)



beeejums
01-26-2010, 02:08 AM
Who has one? What do you use it for? How's it sound?

Has anybody modified it with a volume control? Would you want to? Why or why not?

Um... Thanks!

lefty dan
01-26-2010, 04:47 AM
Id like to know the same thing. Thinking of buying a K&K.
Dan

haole
01-26-2010, 05:39 AM
I have one in my Flea. For a cheap passive pickup, it sounds good. When I plug it directly into the PA at open mics, it has really harsh trebles and sounds like a banjo, but I've gotten good results by running it through a Boss EQ pedal to balance it out. It's not super loud either, but it's adequate for most purposes. I probably wouldn't put anything more expensive in a Flea or similarly-priced uke.

buddhuu
01-26-2010, 05:44 AM
IMHO, this kind of pickup really does benefit from a preamp in order to help with impedance matching, taming harsh high frequencies, signal strength and general EQ etc.

If you're going to use it for playing to an audience I'd budget for a decent preamp or DI box of some kind.

YMMV.

Brad Bordessa
01-26-2010, 07:06 AM
I was under the impression for a long time that this pickup sucked, but I've changed my mind. For starters it was installed wrong, but that isn't the pickup's problem. The pickup head was in a weird place and totally overloaded a B note when I played it. But I had that fixed and now it sounds better. Keep in mind that most of my playing has been through a Micro Cube so that didn't help impressions. But when played through a nice amp and a preamp it sounds great. Really warm and smooth. The only problem is that you hear a lot of arm movement and any taps on the sound board are amplified a lot. I had a chance over the weekend to play with my friend's Fishman Solo Amp. Through a preamp (both my Fishman Pro EQ Platinum and an LR Baggs Venue DI - I still like my Fishman more) and my ME-50 effects pedal, it sounded awesome. Usually at home I don't plug in unless I need to because it sounds bad, but I would have played plugged in all day with the Soloamp.

If you can fork out for or have access to a nice amp and an outboard preamp, go for it, but if you are playing through a micro cube, don't expect a great sound.

jimmybookout
01-26-2010, 10:54 AM
I have K&K Big Shot internals in my Mainland Mahogany Tenor and my Kala Cedar/Koa Tenor. I like the pickup a great deal because of it's balance and ease of installation but you MUST use a preamp with it to get good sound.With a preamp, the K&K is very natural and IMO, much better sounding than under saddle transducers. Another nice thing about the K&K (and McIntyre Feather, etc) is that you don't have the frustrating string to string balance issues that plague the under saddle transducers. My Kala had a Baggs Element/Mi-Si combo (UST/On board preamp) that I took out because of massive string balance issues. By the time I would have paid to have my luthier chase this problem down (getting the saddle slot and/or saddle completely flat), I was able to buy (and install) the K&K. There are many great preamps out there, the K&K is nice because it is inexpensive and leaves a little cash (Hopefully) for the purchase of a preamp. Some good preamp recommendations are: Fishman Platinum or Aura Spectrum, LR Baggs PADI or Venue, just to name 4.

Jimmy

beeejums
01-26-2010, 12:24 PM
Thanks for the input... I have a Fishman somethingorother preamp, so I'll probably go ahead with it... But...

What about the volume knob? I don't want to do it if I can't have a volume knob... for preference reasons, but it's terribly important to me.

Would it be tough, you think?

Brad Bordessa
01-26-2010, 12:33 PM
Hmm... I think a volume knob would be tough. I'm no expert on pickup wiring, but the pickup head looks pretty solidly wired into the plug. I'm sure you could, but... There should be a volume on your preamp. I like having easy control of volume, so I'm thrilled with the rocker pedal that came on my ME-50. A pedal would probably be easier than a knob anyways. Is there something specific you need volume control for?

adam2180
01-26-2010, 12:35 PM
I use these http://www.jjb-electronics.com/ They are the same thing at a fraction of the price. I have used them in Ukes, Guitars and banjos. I highly recommend.

Brad Bordessa
01-26-2010, 12:39 PM
Wait... I was looking around the K&K site and found this: http://www.kksound.com/volumecontrol.html. It looks like it would work for what you need. Good idea, but I bet it adds some weight.

beeejums
01-26-2010, 12:48 PM
I use these http://www.jjb-electronics.com/ They are the same thing at a fraction of the price. I have used them in Ukes, Guitars and banjos. I highly recommend.

That looks fantastic! I hope it sounds as good as they claim...


Wait... I was looking around the K&K site and found this: http://www.kksound.com/volumecontrol.html. It looks like it would work for what you need. Good idea, but I bet it adds some weight.

That looks good too, but I really liked the look of the JJB pickup... What do you think of this VPS - 200?

adam2180
01-27-2010, 04:58 PM
For a Uke you only need a pickup with one transducer JJB will make you a pickup with whatever you want. I like the PPS-100, they can add a volume control.