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funkycarnivore
06-05-2008, 06:07 AM
Hey folks,
So I'm trying to figure out what's available for amplifying the ukulele. I had a Pono concert with the electronics already built-in, but the ukes I have now are purely acoustic. I've been an electric bass player for the past eleven years, so I'm a little unfamiliar with what's good in the uke world.

I'm thinking of going with a passive pickup, because I have a Baggs Para DI. I'm ruling out really nice active systems like the D-Tar because I feel like adding a pair of 9v batteries inside the uke would add a ton of weight--plus my hands are too fat to reach into the soundhole to change batteries.

That said, what are my options? I notice that Ko'olau has their passive undersaddle pickup available for sale. How about something like the Baggs Element? Does the saddle need to be a certain length in order for that to work? How about soundboard transducers? Installing one of those might be tricky for me because of the small size of the instrument.

I should say that I want to just do this once and forget about it. So even though a homebrewed solution might be cool, I'd much prefer to install something good that I won't have to worry about in the future.

Thanks for any leads you can provide.
FC

GX9901
06-05-2008, 06:13 AM
The Pono pickup is pretty good with the Baggs Para DI. For a active pickup, the Mi-Si Acoustic Trio (http://www.mi-si.com/trio.html)is very highly regarded by many ukulele players. I just got a custom uke with the Mi-Si system over the past weekend and so far I give it the thumbs up.

UKISOCIETY
06-05-2008, 06:33 AM
The Pono pickup is pretty good with the Baggs Para DI. For a active pickup, the Mi-Si Acoustic Trio (http://www.mi-si.com/trio.html)is very highly regarded by many ukulele players. I just got a custom uke with the Mi-Si system over the past weekend and so far I give it the thumbs up.

And this makes how many ukes in your collection? ;)

brokenwing
06-05-2008, 07:13 AM
I've got the K&K Mini passive on my Pono tenor. It's a little prone to feedback and definitely requires something like the Para DI to roll off the mids, but all in all not a bad choice. I think you'd need some sort of small tool to mount it inside a uke. The dealer installed it for me, so I don't know how it was done.

SailQwest
06-05-2008, 07:35 AM
Our Bushman Jennys (concert and tenor) both came with Bushman-installed pickups that are very similar to the Shadow pickup in Rich's Kala 8-string. Rich also installed a Bushman pickup in our Jenny Baritone, which is now living in New Mexico with my sister-in-law (she gave up her guitar for the ukulele!!!).

These pickups have been fine for us. Their major drawbacks are weight (even without the 9V battery they're heavy), and to install one you have to make a big hole in the instrument.

Now the good stuff... In March I got a new Bushman Engelmann Concert Cutaway. After playing it some, I decided it also needed a pickup. This time we got a Mi-Si Acoustic Trio, which Rich installed for me. And it's fantastic!

It weighs virtually nothing, takes almost no time to charge, and it sounds great! Also, the jack plug doubles as a strap knob, so only one hole was needed!

You can hear the Mi-Si on our newer YT videos.

GX9901
06-05-2008, 07:59 AM
And this makes how many ukes in your collection? ;)

Heh, I'm doing my best to try and catch up to you man!:D

funkycarnivore
06-11-2008, 06:45 AM
Awesome, thanks for the help! I just ordered a Mi-Si so we'll see how it goes.

funkycarnivore
07-02-2008, 10:30 AM
Just wanted to revisit this thread to report on what I've done so far:
I ordered a Mi-Si Trio from Elderly, then went to Alaska for a week. I called my tech and let him know that I'd be dropping off my KoAloha for the install. So it's there right now, but he's left for the July fourth holiday, so I won't be seeing the completed job until next week!

Fortunately, I still have my Pono tenor until I get the other one back.

Thanks again for all your help!

Kekani
07-02-2008, 11:04 AM
I'm ruling out really nice active systems like the D-Tar because I feel like adding a pair of 9v batteries inside the uke would add a ton of weight--plus my hands are too fat to reach into the soundhole to change batteries.

If I'm not mistaken, Rick has an outboard battery pack, so if you're using a Para DI already, shouldn't be an issue. Because he uses a Stereo cable, he can do this. I may be mistaken, but it would be good to call him and find out.

Personally, going from D-Tar to MiSi in the same sentence (so to speak) is like apples and oranges. Yes, both grow on trees (and both pickups use LR Baggs Element as the base), but from there the technology is different.

Weight shouldn't be an issue for you either, especially if you play bass. a battery doesn't add much weight (okay, two may be substantial). Try grabbing a Tiple with 10 geared tuners, on a 14 fret neck, with an active pickup installed (you don't even feel the pickup).

-Aaron