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View Full Version : You ever modify a ukulele to make it electric?



Bipolar Joe
06-28-2010, 02:27 PM
How did you do it? I saw this (http://cgi.ebay.ie/Guitar-Piezo-Pick-Up-Equalizer-Tuner-Ukulele-VAN-3L-/280507274795?cmd=ViewItem&pt=UK_Guitar_Accessories&hash=item414f89562b) and am thinking of getting another ukulele to make electric.

MGM
06-28-2010, 03:53 PM
Two things to watch for installing these you are at your own risk when doing the cutoutfor the preamp....and without the cut you have to be very careful whichpart of the bout you pick so it matches the curve of the preamp I have ween the most acreful cutting of the rectangle end up in a long side split,,,,secondly this has the thinmountthru the thin side bout jack which cannot be on the endblock and I always thought this to be a bad place to put a jack

Bipolar Joe
06-28-2010, 05:19 PM
Not to be a jack ass, but I understood, like, maybe 70 to 75% of what you just typed.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-28-2010, 05:39 PM
I don't want to be a jackass either, but I never understood why people would want to install such a large chunk o' junk in their ukulele! There are much better, less obtrusive ways to accomplish what you want to do.
Mike may not be the best typer in the world and I usually have to read his posts several times. But it's worth it, he knows what he's talking about when it comes to this kind of stuff.

Bipolar Joe
06-28-2010, 05:47 PM
I don't doubt he does, most of y'all here do.

I've used several acoustic pick-ups for my Spanish guitar, but they were all junk, even the ones I splashed out on. The main problem was the loss of tone, on top of the crackling. I'd like some thing I can plug in, and I dig the whole built-in EQ thing.

So, recommendations?

mealfrog41
06-28-2010, 05:52 PM
Unless you're looking forward to the project of actually installing it yourself, I would just look for a uke with pickup already in it since you're planning on getting another one anyway.

Bipolar Joe
06-28-2010, 05:55 PM
I thought about that, then I figured why not make a project out of it? No point in having tools if you never use the damn things, right?

AC Baltimore
06-28-2010, 05:57 PM
In my opinion, you can produce a far more natural sound and variety of sounds buy simply using a good mic for acoustic instruments.

Bipolar Joe
06-28-2010, 06:00 PM
I'm probably gonna look like a mook right about here, but I want to do the whole plug-into-DOD Death Metal and such thing, make a one man band out of it. Ukulele grindcore, or some such nonsense.

kissing
06-28-2010, 09:48 PM
If you want to play any distortion using an electric uke, you should go for solid-body electrics.

Eg;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tqY6OPtJzQ

They don't cost much - in fact some are cheaper than just buying the pickup alone.
Search online for electric ukuleles like Stagg, Eleuke and Risa.


You'll get feedback problems trying to use much distortion on an acoustic-electric.

How good are your instrument-servicing and woodworking skills?
I would not recommend self-installing unless you have some knowledge and experience in that field.
It doesn't cost much to get a professional install it for you.

Bipolar Joe
06-28-2010, 10:04 PM
I make a lot of effect pedal cases in wood, and used to do a lot of wood cut art, so I can get by on that. Looking at your signature, I dig that little black number. What's that?

Also, Lou Reed proved that feedback = Good!

kissing
06-29-2010, 04:36 AM
The black one is Marisa... oops I mean the Risa Les Paul Tenor.
It's a steel string electric with humbucker pickups.
So it produces its sound in the same way electric guitars do.. just Uke-fied.

It cost me quite a bit, but every bit worth it for me :)

hoosierhiver
06-29-2010, 04:45 AM
Go for the MI-SI system instead, you won't have to cut a big chunk out of your uke and there's no battery to mess with.

ukecantdothat
06-29-2010, 11:46 AM
In my opinion, you can produce a far more natural sound and variety of sounds buy simply using a good mic for acoustic instruments.

The only problem with that is you are stuck holding your position in front of a mic, whereas with a pickup, you can sway while you play, or cruise about the stage, jump up and down, plug into effects, etc. In a pinch, I have dropped a lapel mic into the sound hole and taped it over to control feedback. You'd be surprised how good it can sound after shaping it with some EQ.

AC Baltimore
06-29-2010, 02:26 PM
The only problem with that is you are stuck holding your position in front of a mic, whereas with a pickup, you can sway while you play, or cruise about the stage, jump up and down, plug into effects, etc. In a pinch, I have dropped a lapel mic into the sound hole and taped it over to control feedback. You'd be surprised how good it can sound after shaping it with some EQ.

Valid points. I guess I was thinking of it more on a recording level.

ricdoug
06-29-2010, 09:06 PM
It's easy, cheap and effective. You can do it for under $10 bucks!:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8560&highlight=pickup

ricdoug
06-29-2010, 09:12 PM
Not to be a jack ass, but I understood, like, maybe 70 to 75% of what you just typed.

I understood 100% of what Mike typed. Beyond that, Mike's handled/adjusted thousands of ukulele's. Mike also FREELY shares his infinate experience of stringed instruments around the globe on the web for free. Tune in, or lose out. It's a choice. Ric

Bipolar Joe
06-30-2010, 04:04 AM
Yeah, guy, I don't doubt what he said was worth paying attention to. I also think it's swell when people are cool enough to share information they've got on whatever subject. Just because I couldn't understand a bunch of what he typed doesn't mean I don't think that. Now, if you could tell me what frequency I should tune in to so that I CAN understand that post, in keeping with sharing information, that would be real nice of you, instead of responding to me in a crappy manner when it wasn't warranted. Thanks :D !!!!!!

Uncle Rod Higuchi
06-30-2010, 06:11 AM
I bought a 'ready-to-install' setup from a friend a few years back, much like post #16 (rickdoug).

I used double-back 'tape' for the peizo pickup (attached under the bridge) and had to 'drill' (read carve out)
a hole in the bottom bout of my Kamaka Soprano.

It did NOT have a pre-amp, but I have a GigPro and it sounds OK. I don't pick much, mostly strumming
for singing and to accompany hula dancers.

It's worked OK for me for now and it's something I can install on any of my ukes (Kala Soprano Travel,
5-string Mele Concert [proto-type], etc).

I'm NOT a recording musician and I don't play amplified much, but this works for me.

keep uke'in',

unclejeff64
06-30-2010, 04:01 PM
Tyler Mountain Transducer pickup. Ebay. 20 bucks. Double-sided tape (supplied).
Stick it. Plug it Rock it.
Hear it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqp_WAkezu8
Enjoy it!

ukecantdothat
06-30-2010, 04:02 PM
Valid points. I guess I was thinking of it more on a recording level.

For recording, I have found that a well positioned mic is the best. If recording into Protools, you can process the signal any way you can imagine now, so I find the problems inherent in amplification not worth it. That said, there are times when running a signal thru a pedal board and amp, then a mic, is a ton of fun, but you still need the mic, IMO, for recording. Direct signals are just funky to record. But again. My biggest rule is NO RULES!!!!

haole
06-30-2010, 04:36 PM
If you're going for grindcore, I'd say go for a solid-body uke. Eleukes are a lot of fun with effects.

I've successfully electrified a few instruments with this method: http://www.wsukes.com/electric/electric.html
It's capable of all sorts of unearthly sounds thanks to the feedback.