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jgeary
01-01-2011, 03:27 PM
Aloha everyone!
I'd like to add a passive pickup to my Honu (Big Island) Concert uke. It is a great little uke but, as many of you know, they are rather quiet. I lead worship at a local nursing home on Sunday mornings (using other instruments, so far) and would love to use this uke, but in the big room where we gather, I definitely need a pickup! (I've thought of mic'ing it but I move around a lot, not to mention I don't want to drag a microphone around, plus the uke, plus the music, plus the amp....)
On a side-note, I have a wonderful Koaloha Tenor, which is just terrific and much louder, but I have a serious joint injury in my left hand and the extra length of the fingerboard on the tenor is just too painful and difficult for me for the time being (I've been warned by a hand specialist to not play at all - and when I'm cleared to play I must start gradually and very slowly.)
All that to say, can anyone recommend an excellent, passive pickup for my Honu Concert? Or maybe point me to a link on UU with good advice? I really want to keep a good 'ukulele sound and not an "artificial" sound if possible. I don't mind paying extra for good quality.
I tried the Dean Markley "stick on" pickup and it has left some rather ugly marks on the Honu so I don't want to use it. And it was precariously near falling off ;-)
While I'm on the subject, I also want to add a pickup to my Koaloha Tenor at some point. Advice for it would be great, too!
If it matters, I have Worth strings on the Honu (and the Koaloha) and I'm using a Roland MicroCube guitar amp at the nursing home.
Thanks so much! (Sorry for the long post!)
Jill

Chris Tarman
01-01-2011, 04:40 PM
I have a Mi-Si in one of my Mainlands. It's great. I had it installed by Mike at Mainland when I ordered the uke, but I've seen threads about installing them on UU before. Any luthier or decent guitar shop should be able to do it, if you can't yourself. I'm guessing that if you're in San Diego you should have no problem getting it installed. Mainland sells them on their website but you can probably find it locally too.
One nice thing about this pickup is that there's no battery or controls. It comes with an AC adaptor that ends in a 1/4" guitar jack. You plug it into the wall, plug the 1/4" into the uke for about 30 seconds, unplug the uke, and you're charged up (according to the company) for 16 hours. I find that hard to believe, but I've never had to test it. It's stayed charged for as long as I've needed it to! It works great with either a PA or an amp.

jgeary
01-01-2011, 05:13 PM
Thank, Chris. So, to prove I'm just about clueless - if you don't 'charge up' the Mi-Si, is it still useable? Or is it similar to an active pickup where, if the battery is dead, the pickup doesn't work? (I think I may have answered my own question ;-)
Jill

Chris Tarman
01-01-2011, 05:23 PM
It has to be charged to be useable. I haven't checked to see how long it holds a charge between charge-ups though. It might be that if you charge it fully, it's good for 16 hrs of playing time, even if it takes weeks to get the 16 hrs. Or... on the other hand, it might not hold a charge for more than a few days. The pickup comes with a charger, though, so I just plug it in for a minute or so before I want to use it. I keep the charger in a little bag with my cable, tuner, D.I. box, stand, and (rarely used) strap. I suppose it might fit in the accessory compartment of a tenor uke case, but I play sopranos, so I can barely fit my tuner in there!

jgeary
01-01-2011, 05:40 PM
Do you have any thoughts on some of the passive pickups? Does L.R. Baggs make a passive pickup which is compatible with a 'ukulele?
Jill

AzMichael
01-01-2011, 05:41 PM
Hi jgeary,

I recently had a Fishman pickup installed in my Kamaka. It's the passive AG pickup (http://www.fishman.com/products/details.asp?id=3). The nice thing with this model is it's made specifically for an ukulele; meaning no left over element hanging down in the body. I originally ran this into a Fishman Pro-EQ Platinum Preamp/DI with great results, but upgraded this past week to the LR Baggs Venue DI. Either of these would then plug directly into your PA system.

~Michael

Nuprin
01-01-2011, 06:06 PM
Hi jgeary,

I recently had a Fishman pickup installed in my Kamaka. It's the passive AG pickup (http://www.fishman.com/products/details.asp?id=3). The nice thing with this model is it's made specifically for an ukulele; meaning no left over element hanging down in the body. I originally ran this into a Fishman Pro-EQ Platinum Preamp/DI with great results, but upgraded this past week to the LR Baggs Venue DI. Either of these would then plug directly into your PA system.

~Michael

I use this same pickup in most of my ukes. It sounds good and I can get them relatively cheap through work!

jgeary
01-01-2011, 06:06 PM
Thanks Michael. I'm starting to lean toward the Fishman pickup. The Baggs Venue DI looks sweet!

Jill

jgeary
01-01-2011, 06:08 PM
Nuprin,
Do you use a preamp as well? If so, which one?
Thanks!
Jill

salukulady
01-01-2011, 06:22 PM
Misi hands down. 16 hours of playing time. No pre-amp necessary.

Nuprin
01-02-2011, 02:22 AM
Nuprin,
Do you use a preamp as well? If so, which one?
Thanks!
Jill

I don't use a preamp...I just run it into my Roland AC33 and it is plenty loud.

jgeary
01-04-2011, 10:41 AM
Help!
I was just about to purchase the Fishman - than I read a review that says it is horrible if you use the low G. I always use the low G. Again, this is for my concert ukulele. Anyone have comments on the Fishman used on a low G?

Thanks!
Jill

OldePhart
01-04-2011, 01:17 PM
+1 MiSi. Beatuifully simple. I forgot to charge mine before the Christmas show and no problem, it was still holding a charge fine from three+ weeks before when Mike at Mainland had tested it (I'd never charged it - meant to before the Christmas show but forgot - charged it when I got home LOL ).

You would need outboard eq in the form of amp or mixer controls - maybe less so since you like low-g. The "simple jack" preamp is very simple, designed for a multititude of instruments, and so has little, if any, built in eq to filter out the "thump" from the UST (you'd have the same problem with a passive UST).

John

Tor
01-04-2011, 10:56 PM
I've only heard the MiSi in a single video.. this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH-v0uCBny8
I must admit that I do not like at all what I hear in that video. To me the sound is harsh and metallic. Is it only in that video?

-Tor

Kanaka916
01-05-2011, 12:07 AM
I've only heard the MiSi in a single video.. this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH-v0uCBny8
I must admit that I do not like at all what I hear in that video. To me the sound is harsh and metallic. Is it only that video?

-Tor
Here's Dom and Matt . . . I know for sure Dom installed a MiSi UST on his Spruce Top and Chuck Moore installed a MiSi on Matt's NSB.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLOxjsnoWKM&feature=player_embedded#!

musiccityuker
01-05-2011, 03:03 AM
MiSi is excellent. Whether you play it or not the charge holds in the capacitor. I charged mine over a month ago and have played it many times.... still using that same initial charge. Amazing technology and GREAT sound! It far surpasses, in my humble opinion, and passive pickup... and I have a fe of those in my ukes too.

OldePhart
01-05-2011, 12:11 PM
I've only heard the MiSi in a single video.. this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH-v0uCBny8
I must admit that I do not like at all what I hear in that video. To me the sound is harsh and metallic. Is it only in that video?

-Tor

A pickup is only half the story - it depends on what you do with the signal afterward. Here's a comparison of my Mainland acoustically via a Zoom H2 built-in microphone and the MiSi through a Vox Tonelab LE (second half of video).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxEPtzPEmw0

John

Tor
01-06-2011, 04:13 AM
Thanks, that was interesting.