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View Full Version : Mi-si G-string issues, help?



Dane
11-21-2010, 10:24 AM
I installed this mi-si a while ago now, but never got around to trying to fix it.
The G string isn't registering nearly as much as C, E, and A.

Please ignore the crappy Crate amp.

If you know anything that could help me that would be really great.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFIZPyBmIUs

raecarter
11-21-2010, 10:54 AM
Did you sand down the saddle? If you didn't do it then do it. If you did do it ensure it's all level? If it's a massive difference maybe consider drilling a fresh hole at the other end and starting again

Dane
11-21-2010, 11:16 AM
Did you sand down the saddle? If you didn't do it then do it. If you did do it ensure it's all level? If it's a massive difference maybe consider drilling a fresh hole at the other end and starting again

It is quite a difference, and I did sand down the saddle, but I could very easily have sanded it down incorrectly.

SailingUke
11-21-2010, 11:25 AM
The saddle needs to set flush on the pickup.
It is very easy while sanding to not have a perfectly square edge.
Try turning the saddle around and see if you have an issue with the "E" string.
If so then the saddle may be the culprit.

raecarter
11-21-2010, 11:41 AM
The saddle needs to set flush on the pickup.
It is very easy while sanding to not have a perfectly square edge.
Try turning the saddle around and see if you have an issue with the "E" string.
If so then the saddle may be the culprit.

That's excellent advice

Dane
11-21-2010, 11:50 AM
The saddle needs to set flush on the pickup.
It is very easy while sanding to not have a perfectly square edge.
Try turning the saddle around and see if you have an issue with the "E" string.
If so then the saddle may be the culprit.

I tried, and I was hoping, but no, the problem still exists.

Dane
11-21-2010, 11:52 AM
Did you sand down the saddle? If you didn't do it then do it. If you did do it ensure it's all level? If it's a massive difference maybe consider drilling a fresh hole at the other end and starting again

I may try this next, di you think the hole I made on this one was in the proper place?

Dane
11-21-2010, 12:00 PM
oh maybe if I just find something to fill the gap at the end that is created from the space at the end of the bridge but also from the cable curving down in, also creating a gap?

Dane
11-21-2010, 12:10 PM
Sorry if I'm not making sense, here is a small diagram showing the gap I am talking about. [you have to click it] Do you think that could be the issue? and if so what could I fill it with?

17909

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-21-2010, 01:33 PM
I know this situation well. The leading 1/2" edge of the UST is not as sensitive as the rest of it. A secondary hole needs to be drilled in the saddle slot to that the less sensitive portion of the UST can be fed through thereby exposing the entire saddle to the "hottest" part of the element. This should remedy the problem.

JT_Ukes
11-21-2010, 01:37 PM
I know this situation well. The leading 1/2" edge of the UST is not as sensitive as the rest of it. A secondary hole needs to be drilled in the saddle slot to that the less sensitive portion of the UST can be fed through thereby exposing the entire saddle to the "hottest" part of the element. This should remedy the problem.

brilliant .

Dane
11-21-2010, 01:41 PM
I know this situation well. The leading 1/2" edge of the UST is not as sensitive as the rest of it. A secondary hole needs to be drilled in the saddle slot to that the less sensitive portion of the UST can be fed through thereby exposing the entire saddle to the "hottest" part of the element. This should remedy the problem.

If I understand you correctly (I probably dont) But wouldn't this mean that I was feeding the bad portion of the cable to the C string instead? Because the tip of the cable is at my A string, which is registering just fine.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-21-2010, 01:59 PM
If the UST is feeding into the saddle slot from the G string side, and it's the G string that's giving you problems, then I am wrong with my suggestion. In that case I can only think that you are get not getting good contact with the saddle on that side of the bridge.

Dane
11-21-2010, 02:22 PM
If the UST is feeding into the saddle slot from the G string side, and it's the G string that's giving you problems, then I am wrong with my suggestion. In that case I can only think that you are get not getting good contact with the saddle on that side of the bridge.
Yes it's feeding in from the G string side, but when I switched the saddle it could be that the saddle is just bad either direction for the G-string. So a new saddle might be in order. Maybe I should take it into a guitar shop and have them take a look. Do you guys think this is a good idea, I always have the mentality that "Guitar shops don't understand us ukers and our ukes!" But it's an acoustic instrument built in relatively the same style, so it could be worth a shot.

70sSanO
11-21-2010, 04:58 PM
Since it is an undersaddle pickup issue, I would think most guitar shops could figure out what was wrong. I know of a couple music stores in SB, but I would call Folk Mote first because they are pretty much an acoustic shop. I just don't know how much electronics experience they have.

John

Dane
11-21-2010, 05:37 PM
Since it is an undersaddle pickup issue, I would think most guitar shops could figure out what was wrong. I know of a couple music stores in SB, but I would call Folk Mote first because they are pretty much an acoustic shop. I just don't know how much electronics experience they have.

John

The people at folk mote are fantastic. I forget the womans name who is there most of the time, but she is really very nice, and she keeps everything in perfect tune, you can pick up anything it's great. But yeah, I haven't seen to many electrics when I've been in there, and never seen an amp, so I'm not sure if they would be able to help me. The other stores I know of are the Jensens Acoustic and Jensens Electric, and then I think there is Nick Rail Music, but I've never been there, I think Nick Rail is mostly lessons though?

Jensens would definitely be willing to give it a try, but I find they're hit or miss sometimes depending on who you get to talk to.

misterpk
11-21-2010, 07:41 PM
The people at folk mote are fantastic. I forget the womans name who is there most of the time, but she is really very nice, and she keeps everything in perfect tune, you can pick up anything it's great. But yeah, I haven't seen to many electrics when I've been in there, and never seen an amp, so I'm not sure if they would be able to help me. The other stores I know of are the Jensens Acoustic and Jensens Electric, and then I think there is Nick Rail Music, but I've never been there, I think Nick Rail is mostly lessons though?

Jensens would definitely be willing to give it a try, but I find they're hit or miss sometimes depending on who you get to talk to.

Take it to Jensens. Trust me on that. The lady at Folk Mote is awesome but she's no luthier and I'm not sure that they have a luthier on site as I think she mostly sells instruments. I've never had a problem with Jensens. The head luthier is the guy that works on David Crosby's guitar.

To be fair I talked to them about installing an LR Baggs Active Element (same undersaddle transducer as the Mi-Si) and they mentioned they've never put one in a uke before but they seem sharp and I'd trust them to figure it out.

Dane
11-21-2010, 07:56 PM
Take it to Jensens. Trust me on that. The lady at Folk Mote is awesome but she's no luthier and I'm not sure that they have a luthier on site as I think she mostly sells instruments. I've never had a problem with Jensens. The head luthier is the guy that works on David Crosby's guitar.

To be fair I talked to them about installing an LR Baggs Active Element (same undersaddle transducer as the Mi-Si) and they mentioned they've never put one in a uke before but they seem sharp and I'd trust them to figure it out.

Thanks misterpk, and yes, I believe the woman at Folk Mote is more of a player and a salesperson than a techie. But who knows, and are you referring to the man who runs the acoustic shop who has the glasses and the reddish hair? He is always helpful. I have hardly ever been in the electric portion, I don't know any faces from there.

misterpk
11-21-2010, 08:13 PM
That's correct Dane. I think he might be the owner. In any case he is very good. :)

Dane
11-21-2010, 08:26 PM
That's correct Dane. I think he might be the owner. In any case he is very good. :)

I've never quite been sure, there used to be a Jensens in Solvang as well and I think there's one or 2 others that are actually still around. I know he at least runs the acoustic shop, but yes, he is always the one I look for whenever I go in. I'll call em up tomorrow or hop in and check, I might need to get a saddle (I think mine needs to be re-set up anyways after my wonderful sanding job) and hopefully they could fix the volume issue on the G-string.

Kekani
11-21-2010, 10:26 PM
You have a few different issues with your install. The unfortunate part about a MiSi is the lack of instructions. Baggs on the other hand is very detailed. Now, I mention Baggs, because that's what you have, well the UST part anyway. Try downloading a manual for their Element, and you'll see what I mean.

First, as Chuck mentioned, you need to drill two holes when installing a Baggs Element UST.
Second, you need to drill the holes at an angle. The 90 degrees you have is for a Fishman Matrix install (as an example). I would guess this is your main issue, which can either cause your UST to lift to make the 90 degree bend, causing space below the G string, or pinch in the UST right near the G string.
Third, if you sanded the saddle from the bottom, you need to be exact, especially with a UST. This is why I sand from the top, but, to each his own. Sanding from the top forces you to recompensate again, which can be a bad thing. For me, sanding from the top forces me to compensate again, which is a good thing.

Personally, I'd drill the two holes, at an angle, and see what happens. If it doesn't work, get a Fishman (for `ukulele) and have a nice day. Note: I'm a Baggs fan, but in your case, the bridge was drilled for a Fishman, not a Baggs (or MiSi).

Aaron

Dane
11-22-2010, 06:45 AM
You have a few different issues with your install. The unfortunate part about a MiSi is the lack of instructions. Baggs on the other hand is very detailed. Now, I mention Baggs, because that's what you have, well the UST part anyway. Try downloading a manual for their Element, and you'll see what I mean.

First, as Chuck mentioned, you need to drill two holes when installing a Baggs Element UST.
Second, you need to drill the holes at an angle. The 90 degrees you have is for a Fishman Matrix install (as an example). I would guess this is your main issue, which can either cause your UST to lift to make the 90 degree bend, causing space below the G string, or pinch in the UST right near the G string.
Third, if you sanded the saddle from the bottom, you need to be exact, especially with a UST. This is why I sand from the top, but, to each his own. Sanding from the top forces you to recompensate again, which can be a bad thing. For me, sanding from the top forces me to compensate again, which is a good thing.

Personally, I'd drill the two holes, at an angle, and see what happens. If it doesn't work, get a Fishman (for `ukulele) and have a nice day. Note: I'm a Baggs fan, but in your case, the bridge was drilled for a Fishman, not a Baggs (or MiSi).

Aaron

Thank you VERY much for your comments. I had drilled the hole at about 45 degrees, but I think if I remember correctly I opened it up cuz it was too small, so this probably led to it being closer to 90. Do you think I should fill the original with something first? Or maybe use like, a sized piece of wood as a mold and put filler around it so I essentially have a new hole that is the proper angle?

And I'm pretty sure a new saddle would be a great idea, because I did have difficulty with keeping it level while sanding.

hoosierhiver
11-22-2010, 07:27 AM
I'd suggest as above mentioned redrilling the hole and making an angle to it, if the wire is crimped at a sharp angle it can interfere with the sound. The other thing is to look at how the wire is laying in the bridge groove, if it is not 100% flat, then you will have to adjust it (the wire is not exactly round, it has a flat edge to it.)

Dane
11-22-2010, 07:34 AM
I'd suggest as above mentioned redrilling the hole and making an angle to it, if the wire is crimped at a sharp angle it can interfere with the sound. The other thing is to look at how the wire is laying in the bridge groove, if it is not 100% flat, then you will have to adjust it (the wire is not exactly round, it has a flat edge to it.)

Thanks! Yeah I made pretty darn sure that I had it flat, I think my diagnosis is that the bridge being a little funky in combination with the bad angle of the wire is probably leading to the reduced volume. Maybe I should first just remove the misi, and run it straight across the bridge externally to test and see if the problem exists while it's completely flat all the way across.

raecarter
11-22-2010, 08:05 AM
I'd suggest as above mentioned redrilling the hole and making an angle to it, if the wire is crimped at a sharp angle it can interfere with the sound. The other thing is to look at how the wire is laying in the bridge groove, if it is not 100% flat, then you will have to adjust it (the wire is not exactly round, it has a flat edge to it.)

I'm curious mike do you drill two holes under the saddle?

hoosierhiver
11-22-2010, 08:19 AM
I'm curious mike do you drill two holes under the saddle?

nope, just one

raecarter
11-22-2010, 08:32 AM
nope, just one

Thanks mike

Kekani
11-22-2010, 03:26 PM
Thanks! Yeah I made pretty darn sure that I had it flat, I think my diagnosis is that the bridge being a little funky in combination with the bad angle of the wire is probably leading to the reduced volume. Maybe I should first just remove the misi, and run it straight across the bridge externally to test and see if the problem exists while it's completely flat all the way across.

Good idea. What you may want to do when you test it is find a "sweet spot" across the UST, if there is one, and reinstall in the same location relative to the strings.

As for filling, the issue you may run into is keeping the fill completely flat as well. If its not, you just added another problem.

Aaron

OldePhart
11-22-2010, 04:50 PM
Just FYI, the only way I've been able to sand the bottom of a saddle or a nut successfully is on a belt sander, holding the saddle with padded vice grips. I find it pretty much impossible to avoid sanding a curve into a saddle when I try to do it by hand, no matter how careful and slow I go, and no matter whether I use sandpaper glued to a flat surface or a file.

I'm no craftsman, though, so YMMV.

John

Dane
11-22-2010, 04:56 PM
Good idea. What you may want to do when you test it is find a "sweet spot" across the UST, if there is one, and reinstall in the same location relative to the strings.

As for filling, the issue you may run into is keeping the fill completely flat as well. If its not, you just added another problem.

Aaron

I'm going to remove it and test in a few minutes here, as for filling I now realise that most people must have meant re-drilling as in drilling a new hole on the other side? I was thinking to minimize the current hole and make a new better one in its place.

hoosierhiver
11-22-2010, 05:06 PM
Just FYI, the only way I've been able to sand the bottom of a saddle or a nut successfully is on a belt sander, holding the saddle with padded vice grips. I find it pretty much impossible to avoid sanding a curve into a saddle when I try to do it by hand, no matter how careful and slow I go, and no matter whether I use sandpaper glued to a flat surface or a file.

I'm no craftsman, though, so YMMV.

John

I try to run it over the sandpaper evenly a few times and then turn the saddle around and sand from the opposite end to compensate for any pressure curve

Kekani
11-22-2010, 05:10 PM
I think the drilling refers to changing the angle on your current hole. I'd do both, drill out the current hole with a 7/64" bit at a better angle (and file the edge with a round file) as well as drilling the other hole on the A string side because you didn't do it the first time. I learned something from Joe Souza that works with a closed saddle - instead of drilling through the bridge and soundboard, just drill the bridge at a shallower angle so you don't go through the soundboard.

As for your current hole, the location looks okay, just the angle is wrong. I'm guessing you probably didn't ramp it with a file either, did you?

Let us know the outcome.

Aaron

OldePhart
11-22-2010, 05:22 PM
I try to run it over the sandpaper evenly a few times and then turn the saddle around and sand from the opposite end to compensate for any pressure curve

Yeah, I've tried that - I think all I accomplished was making sure the curve was symetrical. :o

Of course, in junior-high shop class my tree-house looked looked more like a lean-to.

When I put down plank flooring in the bathroom I did it diagonally so any imperfections would not be obvious.

You're probably getting the general idea by now...

John

Dane
11-22-2010, 07:05 PM
hold on I think I got it fixed, I'll have a video up in a bit if it worked.

Dane
11-22-2010, 07:37 PM
Ok, so I hope this makes sense, but we will see if my "repair" lasts, or if I fixed it at all anyways, it takes me a while to really start noticing things. When I said the saddle was "higher" I really meant that there was a gap between that end and the pickup cable. First impressions would tell me that the E string is just slightly louder than the others, but thats no big deal for the moment.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdfIeOs7oKc

raecarter
11-22-2010, 11:00 PM
I try to run it over the sandpaper evenly a few times and then turn the saddle around and sand from the opposite end to compensate for any pressure curve

That's what I did

Dane
11-22-2010, 11:14 PM
That's what I did

Same, but obviously I'm not as good at it haha.

Dane
11-23-2010, 02:51 PM
Here is my first new recording with it, I think it sounds pretty good, it does still pick up my finger sounds a lot, but I'm learning the "sweet spot" persay for playing with the minimum amount of finger noise (reverb helps mask it a little bit too)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuooUnfPWs8

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-23-2010, 03:29 PM
I admit to not following this thread very closely so I don't know if my concern has been addressed or not.
You mentioned the saddle being a little "funky". That got me remembering about saddle consistency. Neither Baggs nor Fishman recommend using an organic (bone, wood, etc) material as a saddle when installing the UST. They can have inconsistency or voids in them that will affect the transmitting of vibrations. Most composite materials work well. I, however, do use bone when installing pick ups and have never had a problem but I have to sort through the stash I have to find the most "sound" ones. So you may also need to check your saddle to make sure it's not cracked or has any other damage.

harpdog
11-23-2010, 03:39 PM
Great job on showing what's going on. I haven't examined a mi-si UST, but I wonder of there isn't some space between the pickup and bottom of the channel at the point where it takes the 90 degree turn....leaving a poor condition for transfer of energy at that point.

I toyed with an Oscar Schmidt that had uneven saddle bottom, and flattening it out as suggested above solved the problem.

The explanation about a lack of sensitivity could make sense also - how about a tap test right on the pickup?