View Full Version : Pickups for your Uke.

01-15-2011, 03:51 PM
I have been reading about piezo transducer pickups for guitars and found they work well for the ukulele. I bought a Schatten Design Schatten Dualie-Inside'R Internal Mount Pickup W/Jack (50 USD) and installed it in my Fender Nohea tenor uke. Then I bought an AXL Acoustic Guitar Transducer Pickup with Endpin Jack (20 USD) and installed it in my Lanakai Zebra concert uke.

The hardest thing to do was drill the hole for the endpin jack. That was traumatic--what if I slipped? But it went smoothly. Then you have to fish the jack through the hole. There are various ways to do that and are on you tube videos. The next step is to stick the transducer on to the sound board. A movable mirror from an auto parts store helps a lot.

Then the moment of truth! You plug in the uke to an amp. When I did I found both worked very well and the sound seemed thicker than w/o the amp. I used this setup at a coffee house gig this week and was very happy with the results.

The next step is to solder a naked piezo transducer to an endpin jack and install it into another uke. I haven't done this yet because I haven't received the transducers from the UK which were sent via Royal Air Mail on 1-6-11. There are a number of videos on how to do this on You Tube but they are short on details.

Has anyone out there done this? If so what problems have you encountered. What results did you get?
I await los of responses.

Joe T

01-20-2011, 08:33 AM
I have taken this a step further and built a couple of piezo pickups from scratch. I went to Radio Shack and bought several piezo transducers. They are also listed as piezo buzzers 273-0059. They are all the same--a flat round brall plate with ceramic in the middle of the plate. I got a couple of 1/4 " mono phone jacks 274-0252. After soldering the jacks to the piezo transducers I connected the device to an amp and you can hear it when you thump or scratch the buzzer through the amp. Then I drilled a hole in the uke and put the pickup in. It works! There are tutorials on the You Tube showing hiw this works.

01-20-2011, 09:27 AM
I havent installed the one you did, but I did install the $14.99 delivered-to-my-door JJB PPS-100 (http://www.jjb-electronics.com/PPS-100.html) in my tenor and it works great. As you said, it was kind of scarey drilling that first hole, but it was pretty simple.

I have been reluctant to use the Radio Shack buzzers because I looked up the frequency response on them last year and compared it to some of the pickups, such as the JJB, Boggs, etc. This one for example, is listed as 1500 Hz - 3000 Hz, (http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062402) which is pretty narrow for an audio pickup. Middle C is 440 Hz, for example.

At least on paper the buzzer shouldn't sound as good, so I would be interested in hearing your view of how it compares to your other ones.