View Full Version : Electric uke - question (probably dumb one!)

05-16-2011, 04:26 PM
Some of the electric ukes I've seen are solid body with what looks like the pick up just 'plonked in' - by which I mean as though a hole had been driven and the connector end slid in and fixed.

Is that right ? or is there more to it than meets the eye ? as in a lot more within the body of the uke. I've seen the clip on or stick on pickups so thats why I wondered whether it is a similar thing just driven into the body of the uke.

Curious minds ....

05-16-2011, 05:03 PM
Nearly all electric and acoustic/electric ukes use "under-saddle" pickups. You can't actually see the pickup portion because it's buried under the saddle. From the pickup there is a wire to the pre-amp/equalizer/battery pack, usually on the top edge of the uke. From there the wiring runs to the female jack, usually at the end-pin.

There are variations on this arrangement. "Passive" pickups do not require a battery, so usually are wired directly to the jack. The clip-on or stick-on pickups use piezo electric technology that senses vibration frequencies on the soundboard.

The pickups that you see on electric guitars use magnetic coils, a different technology that requires metal strings.

05-16-2011, 05:07 PM
Active under saddle (http://cgi.ebay.ca/PIEZO-CABLE-PICKUP-EQ-AND-PRE-AMP-UKULELE-/360347376546)

Active, lots of pix of different components (http://cgi.ebay.ca/Acoustic-Guitar-2-Band-EQ-Ukulele-Equalize-Pickup-UK300-/110557729355?)

Passive under saddle (http://cgi.ebay.ca/Dean-Markley-Undersaddle-Ukulele-Pickup-w-Jack-GOLD-/360320041441)

05-16-2011, 07:49 PM
Allan basically nailed it.
Nylon string solid body electrics have a piezo pickup under the saddle that picks up vibrations of the string on the saddle.

Steel string solid body electrics have a magnetic pickup on the body(visible under the strings) that picks up the magnetic motion of the steel strings.

Stick-on/Clip on pickups are easier to install, but are more prone to feedback noise and generally give a weaker signal.