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View Full Version : How much to install a output jack?



Squid503
11-26-2011, 01:23 AM
Sorry if this is the wrong section. I was just curious if anyone knew how much it cost to install a output jack. There are a lot of ukules that im really interested in, however, my next and 2nd uke i want get, needs to have a jack so i plug it into a amp to jam with my friends. Thanks, Squid.

Ken Middleton
11-26-2011, 02:30 AM
Assuming you have a drill bit of the correct size, it costs nothing providing you are willing to do it yourself. All you you need is the jack input and this costs very little.

However, I suspect you might be asking how much it costs to install a passive under-saddle pick-up. This can cost very little too. You buy a kit which contains the pickup, cable and jack socket. Cheap one will only cost a few dollars (pounds, yen or whatever other currency you use), but these are not always good and may give a lousy tone. A good one (L R Baggs, Fishman, etc) will cost a bit more. You pretty much get what you pay for.

if you want an active system, this is slightly more complicated and can cost way over 100 euros (rupees, Australian dollars, etc). Also a bit trickier to install.

Dan Uke
11-26-2011, 05:55 AM
I've asked around in Los Angeles and it's around $55 - $75

ricdoug
11-26-2011, 06:11 AM
If you start reading on the second page of that thread, you'll se a picture tutorial of my simplified method:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?8560-Electrify-your-uke-for-under-10-bucks/page2

coolkayaker1
11-26-2011, 07:50 AM
Funny you should ask, Squid. I just bought a $65 (incl shipping) Shadow passive ukulele pickup from Amazon.com and installed it myself a month ago. And I suck at installations and anything mechanical. It was a breeze, and this German made pickup is excellent on both my small 15 watt Marshall, and my giant Fender De-luxe tube amp. Honestly, I can't even change the oil in my own car.

Amazon search this: Shadow Ukulele Under-Saddle Pickup with Endpin Jack

Tools required: a drill and two bits.

And here's the only video I used to install it: I just did what this guy did.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdLUDWoh-cE

Cheers to you, Squid.

Squid503
11-26-2011, 10:05 AM
Thx for the help guys :)

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-26-2011, 11:55 AM
Before answering your question you need to first decide which type of pickup you want to install, active or passive. There is a big price difference between passive to active pickup itself and that will also be true of the installation price of either.

chindog
11-26-2011, 01:34 PM
This thread has made me curious about installing an under saddle pickup on my Mainland tenor. I see that passive pickups don't do very well on the extreme ends of the pitch range, but are good for the middle tones. That would explain the one review I saw for the Fishman passive pickup that said it didn't work very well on a tenor with a low G. I currently use a wound low G on my tenor, and wonder if the Fishman Matrix active pickup would do OK with that. Anyone have an idea on that setup?

Ken Middleton
11-26-2011, 09:58 PM
This thread has made me curious about installing an under saddle pickup on my Mainland tenor. I see that passive pickups don't do very well on the extreme ends of the pitch range, but are good for the middle tones. That would explain the one review I saw for the Fishman passive pickup that said it didn't work very well on a tenor with a low G. I currently use a wound low G on my tenor, and wonder if the Fishman Matrix active pickup would do OK with that. Anyone have an idea on that setup?

I installed this system on my Ohana TK-35CG just before the Wine Country Festival in September. I used it for the live performances at that festival (On YT: Blue Moon and Banks of the Ohio from September 2011). I think it sounds pretty good, but remember that I had no control of the sound system. Gordon Mayer was listening to the concert and told me that he thought the tone was turned up to too high. I changed it to around the middle setting and everything was fine. It is a very accurate and sensitive tone control. I haven't used it since that fest as I would prefer to play acoustically if at all possible.

The Fishman Matrix system played through a dedicated Trace Eliott acoustic amp at home sounds brilliant and seems perfect for the solid mahogany body I am using. To my ears it is just as good as the MiSi system for quality of sound and clarity. Maybe even better.

It was easy enough to fit, except for the large amount of wiring. It is as if the good people at Fishman didn't actually measure a ukulele to find out how small they are inside. It would have had too much cable even fitted to a baritone. The other thing is the size of the pre-amp. It takes up a fair amount of space near the jack socket. However, if you are going to use the uke primarily amplified, it is a great-sounding system with easy-to-use and accurate sound hole volume and tone controls.

PROS
1. The sound quality is wonderful: very clear, both at full and low volume.
2. The tone control goes from sizzling trebles to deep, balanced basses.
3. A company with more experience than pretty much anyone.
4. A proven, tried and tested system (on guitars).
5. Easy to install.
6. Not over-priced.
7. Fishman seem to have made sound-quality their top priority.

CONS
1. Heavier than you would ideally want.
2. Doubles the cost if used on a laminate instrument.
3. It needs a battery that has to be changed every so often (but there is a red warning light on the pre-amp).
4. Too much cable to wrap up and stick down.
5. You must place the pick-up accurately to get a balanced output (easy to do).
6. I used my own strong Velcro to stick the battery holder down (the sticky things they supply don't do the job).

James Hill uses a similar Fishman system. He advised me to take the battery out on a long flight as the jarring of the aircraft, particularly in the hold, can make it come use and it can damage the inside of the uke. This happened to one of his.

Although i use re-entrant tuning, of course, this system should work fine with a low G instrument. it gives a very balanced response.

Nearly everyone I talk to now say that they prefer the MiSi system with the Baggs pick-up. It is certainly lighter and has none of the battery issues. I don't regret fitting the Fishman Matrix however and I look forward to using it again.

Hope this helps.

chindog
11-27-2011, 02:57 AM
Thanks for that excellent review of the Matrix, Ken!

Kekani
11-27-2011, 09:08 AM
CONS
1. Heavier than you would ideally want.
2. Doubles the cost if used on a laminate instrument.
3. It needs a battery that has to be changed every so often (but there is a red warning light on the pre-amp).
4. Too much cable to wrap up and stick down.
5. You must place the pick-up accurately to get a balanced output (easy to do).
6. I used my own strong Velcro to stick the battery holder down (the sticky things they supply don't do the job).

. . .
Nearly everyone I talk to now say that they prefer the MiSi system with the Baggs pick-up. It is certainly lighter and has none of the battery issues. I don't regret fitting the Fishman Matrix however and I look forward to using it again.

Hope this helps.

Depends on what ideal in weight is - on Tenors it really doesn't add "that" much weight, especially with geared tuning machines on the top. Personally, I think its minimal at best. Again, depends on the player, and the instrument of course.

I don't think the battery change is "con". I always carry batteries, not only for the instruments, but also for the active DI's and tuners that I use (all use 9v). I picked up a Misi installed instrument the other week, plugged it in, and boom, nothing. No charger to be found.

The cables have always come long, for guitars. This is why I used to cut them and reinstall shorter lengths for a clean installation (on the older Fishmans). LRBaggs used to send the Element to me unattached (by request) and I soldered them to the proper length myself. Then they came up with `Ukulele length Elements. Of course, now they have the Five-O.

I agree with the velcro - I always use my own as well.

I think the raves on MiSi is something like Aquila - everyone raves about it, because. I agree on the light weight, but I still haven't gotten over the capacitor thing. Honestly, I'd rather go the other way with an 18v DTar. Yes, heavier, but worth it.
As for the MiSi, it sounds more like a Fishman than a Baggs (even though it uses the Element undersaddle) - I'd just get a Fishman. MUCH easier install (as stated) than the Baggs UST on the MiSi (of course, I use LRBaggs myself). Then again, the MiSi guys supposedly have some Fishman in their genes, hence the resemblance to sound.

-Aaron

ricdoug
11-27-2011, 09:30 AM
Mike, two piezo buzzers can be connected in parallel and positioned to help eliminate dead or weak spots. You can use plumbers putty for experimentation. One common factor in most acoustic pickups, whether active or passive, is the piezoelectric transducer. A piece of crystal, such as rock salt http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Acoustics/Piezoelectric_Transducers . Active electronics add weight to the ukulele.

Some acoustic amplifiers have a seperate input, or switch for a piezo pickup. I use an L.R. Baggs Paracoustic D.I.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/lr-baggs-para-acoustic-di/307160000000000

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/19/001/572/276/DV020_Jpg_Jumbo_307160_V.jpg

with both passive and active electronics, as it allows me to match the acoustics through different sound systems and venues. I made the mistake of not bringing it to what I thought was a play along that ended up being an open mic. I was using my Ovation/Aplause UAE20 with the tone control (treble rolloff) turned all the way down. The P.A. produced a very "raspy" sound and I had to use my vocals to pull it off. When I go to a venue I'm not familiar with, I bring my uke, the Baggs, a Sennheizer E-838 http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/sennheiser-e838-dynamic-microphone with a stand and my Roland AC-33 http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/roland-ac-33-acoustic-chorus-combo-amp . Twice this has proven to be a better system than the house P.A.. In other situations I plug the line out from the Roland AC-33 into the house system and use it to control my uke and vocals.

When using ANYTHING that requires batteries to operate, make sure you have fresh spares onhand. Ric