View Full Version : Low G Aquila +Fishman pickup= REAL LOUD!

05-08-2010, 08:59 PM
I just bought a Nalu Hokua solid mahoganyTenor equipped with a Fishman pickup. It came with Aquila nylgut strings and sounds so sweet when played acoustically or amplified.

I changed the high G to an Aquila low G string. Acoustically, it still sounds great, but when amplified, the metal low G string overpowers the others. I fiddled with tone settings on both the pickup and the amp, but nothing changed.

I thought maybe the low G loudness was due to it being the closest string to the pickup but ruled this reason out because with the high G string, all the strings sounded equally amplified.

Could the reason be that metal strings give off a different frequency vibration that the Fishman pickup is overly sensitive to?

Has anyone else experienced this? Any suggestions or solutions? (Besides "don't play it amplified with a metal low G string"?)


05-09-2010, 12:41 AM
Wound strings do tend to overpower on some pickups in my experience.

05-09-2010, 02:16 AM
The increased tension of that string may result in a stronger vibration on the pickup. Might have to change your technique.

05-09-2010, 10:01 AM
I would recommend Worth clear Low G strings. They have a low g string that is not wound and blends well with the other strings.

E-Lo Roberts
05-09-2010, 10:07 AM
The lower the note the deeper the tone, thus the louder the volume....IF you have increased the bass on your amplifier. That is, sometime the higher strings sound better when increasing the bass on your amp, but since they don't naturally produce the bass spectrum very well, a large amount of bass is needed. When you get to that low G string (which has more natural bass tone) suddenly it grabs all that extra bass you added to the amp and you get the increase in (bass) volume...
Try rolling off your super lows on your amp. If that doesn't do it, perhaps someone else can help you.... good luck, e.lo....

05-09-2010, 11:43 AM
I turned down the bass on the amp to zero and the G-string still overpowered the others. I wonder if the Fishman pickup is over sensitive to the low frequencies. Can these uke pickups be adjusted?

I will also try the Worth low G-string suggestion.

When I have solved the problem, I'll post the solution.


05-09-2010, 03:33 PM
i have found that a lot of piezo pickups are more sensitive to bass frequencies. Even with the tone knob to compensate.
Perhaps because a lot of them are designed for guitar?

05-09-2010, 03:42 PM
my C string does that too, don't worry though u'll get used to it and your technique will change naturally.

05-10-2010, 04:16 AM
No advice to solve the problem but it does exist !

05-10-2010, 04:26 AM
I had the same experience with a wound low g string. I switched to Worth CTLG strings. Problem solved.

05-10-2010, 05:42 AM
Try the Worth Clear low G string. How do you like your Nalu btw?

05-10-2010, 11:49 AM
I agree with trying he Worth low G. I had one on one of my ukes, and it sounds better than the wound. You might also try a compressor if you decide to stay with the wound.

05-10-2010, 07:00 PM
Try the Worth Clear low G string. How do you like your Nalu btw?

I'm going to the uke store tomorrow to change the Aquilas for the Worths.

I tried a LOT of mahogany tenor ukes, both solid and laminate, before settling on the Nalu. It was more expensive than the others, but the higher quality of the wood and workmanship, both inside and out, was apparent, plus I love abalone inlay.

There is nothing plinky about this uke. Great sound all down the fretboard. No dull spots or buzzing. Easy to play with good action. The sustain is very impressive.

I'll give a more detailed review and post some pics after I've played with it some more. I just wonder if I made the right decision to go with the electronic model.

05-13-2010, 12:36 PM
OK. I replaced the wound Aquila low G (and the other Aquilas) with a set of Worth Clears (low G).

My initial impression is the Worths aren't as crisp as the Aquilas, especially the low G, which sounds deadened/muffled. This isn't a bad thing, though, because now the low G string doesn't overwhelm the others when I play acoustically.

But...even though the Worth low G doesn't ring out like the Aquila, I still hear it over the others when amped. Maybe I'm listening too hard for it. Maybe I need to buy an acoustic amp, even though, from what I've read online, the jury is split on whether electric guitar amps should or shouldn't be used with ukes.

Sigh...maybe I'll give up on the low G and just go back to the high G Aquilas...

E-Lo Roberts
05-13-2010, 03:09 PM
gilllian, one last hope IF you are brave. This works but it's very trick. Try this on a second test saddle. By removing the bottom area of the saddle below the C string you can create less vibration to that particular piezo cell. This doesn't work on a ribbon piezo, but the fishman has four piezo cells located below the string spacing. It might take you a while to work off a little at a time, testing the volume as you go, but I've had success with this method. Good luck, hey if it doesn't work, put your old saddle back on dude. No harm done... e.lo...