View Full Version : plug-in vs. pick-up vs. microphone

07-12-2008, 05:14 PM
Okay, I know this subject has come up before but I don't seem to be able to find it with search.

I got an interesting email today. A friend and fellow uke player asked me if I would be interested in joining her band. She has an all woman band that plays mostly 60 surf music. They have a gig on the 20th and are in need of a singer/uke player. I can't believe she asked me. I am quite excited.

Anyway, I'm not counting on anything but if this works out and I want to eventually electrify, what do you more experienced players think. I remember Hobbit saying he preferred a mic, and some others stating they wanted the ability to move around on stage a bit, but my question is, is there a decent pick-up out there that sticks well, sounds good and doesn't mess up my uke finish. Or do I start shopping for a uke with a plug-in? Any help would be much appreciated.

07-12-2008, 05:32 PM
No experience with ukes, but some with guitars here. A mic will always sound the most natural, but they can be difficult in a live setting if you need to move a bit. Pickups will give you the most freedom and there are some really good ones out there, but they will need a professional installation unless you can do it yourself.

I use K & K PUP's in my guitars and they have a really nice natural sound and they do make one with only two transducers which are great for ukes, but again, the installation isn't the easiest, especially in a uke.

Considering the cost of a K & K with installation, you are probably looking at $150 or more??? You might just put that towards a new uke with built in electronics.

07-12-2008, 06:04 PM
You might want to try a Dean Markley stick-on pick-up. At about $40, it's not a really big investment, and a lot of people really like them.

We have one. We have a friend who really liked it, and after borrowing ours all the time, he finally got his own. He had been using a mic, but he needed a mic for his ukulele, as well as a mic for vocals, and he felt like it really trapped him in one spot.

Rich and I both prefer a built-in pick-up. The last ukulele I got did not have one, so Rich installed a Mi-Si Acoustic Trio in it for me (it was his second pick-up installation). It's sweet, and since it doesn't have a traditional battery, it weighs next to nothing.