PDA

View Full Version : Which pick-up???



UK Paulie
04-27-2012, 09:12 AM
Ok so I'm needing to pick a pick-up so to speak to go into my soon to be ukulele. Question is, which pick-up should I go for? The builder has told me to research them so this is part of it! Does anyone have experience of more than one? Anyone know what the pro's use? I seem to remember fishman matrix is in Jakes ukulele, I'm also considering K&K twin spot, LRbaggs 5-0 and Mi-si. Which sound is the truest (is that even a word?) You guys know what I mean right? Any advice gratefully recieved. :)

PhilUSAFRet
04-27-2012, 11:26 AM
"LRbaggs 5-0 and Mi-si. Which sound is the truest".....supposedly, 5.0 is a ukulele dedicated pickup and should be a little bit superior to the MiSi (first cousin?)
A custom, go for the one you think you'll be happiest in the long run. Lots of great sounding ukes out without either of those pickups, but installation costs will be about the same whichever one you chose. Good luck...talk to luthier about top, wood, expected tone(s), etc. He should be able to give you some insights based on what you expect from your instrument.

ukecantdothat
04-27-2012, 01:00 PM
I have Mi-Si's in my ukes. Haven't heard the 5.0. The big thing is what comes after it. Once I got the Baggs paracoustic DI, everything came together tonally, and I feel like I can handle almost any amp/PA situation (and board operator) that comes along.

UK Paulie
04-27-2012, 01:34 PM
I have Mi-Si's in my ukes. Haven't heard the 5.0. The big thing is what comes after it. Once I got the Baggs paracoustic DI, everything came together tonally, and I feel like I can handle almost any amp/PA situation (and board operator) that comes along.

Ok, whats the baggs paracoustic DI?? I'm hopeless at this stuff. Doesn't the mi-si come with an LRbaggs? I'm a bit confused by it all to be honest. I've seen a couple of reviews on these, one demoing the mi-si in which the guy says it comes with an LR Baggs and another comparing it to an LR Baggs???? Is it a newer version with the 5 0?

UK Paulie
04-27-2012, 01:35 PM
"LRbaggs 5-0 and Mi-si. Which sound is the truest".....supposedly, 5.0 is a ukulele dedicated pickup and should be a little bit superior to the MiSi (first cousin?)
A custom, go for the one you think you'll be happiest in the long run. Lots of great sounding ukes out without either of those pickups, but installation costs will be about the same whichever one you chose. Good luck...talk to luthier about top, wood, expected tone(s), etc. He should be able to give you some insights based on what you expect from your instrument.


Thanks Phil, much appreciated mate.

Markr1
04-27-2012, 02:06 PM
I just ordered an LR Baggs 5.0 so I should know how it is when it comes in and I get it installed. I had my guitar man order it and he will install it for me. All my acoustic guitars have LR Baggs in them and I really like them. I'm expecting the same from the 5.0 hopefully. I haven't decided which uke to start with. I was going to get 2 and put one in my Kamaka HF-3 and one in my Bluegrass Low G tenor but I thought I would see how I like the one before ordering anymore and I'm going to start with the HF-3. I'll reply back on this thread as soon as its ready and let you know what I think.

Dan Uke
04-27-2012, 02:16 PM
Para DI is a preamp but the Misi and 5.0 should have a built in one. However, the Para DI is nice because it has EQ functions and control feedback, brilliance, volume, etc. It's about $160 so that means you are spending about $300 just for the equipment.

I have a Fishman Prefix Pro in one of my ukes and I like it because it controls similar things like the Para DI directly on the uke. However, you need a uke that is deep enough to fit and it's heavy cuz it uses 9V battery. The weight doesn't bother me as the uke rests on my lap when playing sitting down and use a strap when standing. I wouldn't recommend it as it's about $300 so unless you are performing and need direct control, it's too pricey in my opinion.

Markr1
04-27-2012, 02:53 PM
I think I'm going to post a thread for advice on which uke to put my pickup in.

Tigeralum2001
04-27-2012, 03:17 PM
I got to meet Daniel Ho last month and I asked what he used and he told me Mi-Si because of its convenience. I don't think he is sponsored by them.

As far as the truest sound, Pepe Romero claims "the best is made by Schertler, it's the Resocoil model. It is a tiny microphone that is glued to the underside of the bridge. It produces a perfectly natural sound. Also it does not hurt the sound of the ukulele when played un amplified. It is very light weight as well." The problem is the price of the pickup is $400.

I guess it is up to you and what you are doing with it. For my custom I chose a Mi-Si. If it's good enough for Daniel and affordable, then that is good enough for me! I will never go on tour, so I should be fine...

webby
04-27-2012, 07:26 PM
I will never go on tour, so I should be fine...

Famous last words :)

Look forward to seeing you on tour some day lol.

ukuloonie
04-27-2012, 07:36 PM
Hello Uk Paulie
Did you see this review of Misi and the L.r. Braggs?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRbyIRZiRIY&feature=plcp
an interesting review

Tigeralum2001
04-27-2012, 08:06 PM
Wow, great find ukuloonie! I was under the, apparently mistaken, assumption that the only difference between the LR Baggs and MiSi was the capacitor vs. battery issue. MiSi even advertises that they use the LR Baggs element. Does anyone have further information on the differences?

UK Paulie
04-28-2012, 01:50 AM
Wow, great find ukuloonie! I was under the, apparently mistaken, assumption that the only difference between the LR Baggs and MiSi was the capacitor vs. battery issue. MiSi even advertises that they use the LR Baggs element. Does anyone have further information on the differences?

Firstly, thanks to everyone for the replies. Secondly, as Tigeralum2001 said i was under the impression that the mi-si was inclusive of an LR Baggs and I have seen reviews where just that is stated. Its a bit confusing so if anyone has any definitive explanation of this it would, certainly by me, be greatly appreciated. Also, does anyone know what Kalei Gamiao uses? I know technique, a droolworthy custom kamaka and the brazilian rosewood/bearclaw sitka spruce top all contribute but that guy sounds spectacular plugged in. I know leads have alot to do with it too, all the pro's seem to use similar leads. Any contribution to this subject welcome!! Cheers ukers and keep ukein!

UK Paulie
04-28-2012, 01:58 AM
Hello Uk Paulie
Did you see this review of Misi and the L.r. Braggs?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRbyIRZiRIY&feature=plcp
an interesting review


Hi ukuloonie, yes I was looking at this just last night too. The Baggs 5.0 does sound alot better and clearly has more output than the mi-si in this video. I saw a review of just the mi-si too where it sounded alot better than it does in this video so I guess its either the installation or, and probably more likely, the fact that youtube videos don't give the truest sound. Really helpful though so thanks mate.

AndrewKuker
04-28-2012, 11:00 AM
The thing is though, LR Baggs changed their pickup strip that MiSi now uses also. The difference is still the preamp. But the comparison in the video is not completely accurate because MiSi is now using the new pickup strip that is much shorter. The transducer before from LR Baggs that MiSi used was really long and had to be tied up inside or harnessed in some way. This whole strip acts sort of like a microphone and with the extreme excess created feedback easier and a "woofy" tone. So now MiSi is better also. The new trio. I prefer the LR Baggs but there is not much difference. What you come from and go into are bigger factors and both are excellent systems. I tried the schertler and it was very true. I have not heard it in a live situation cranked up so the mic aspect I wonder about. But it may be great. I used to do sound for many uke shows and certain passive pickup with the individual crystals (pono and kanilea make one) going through a Baggs preamp (the Para or even better the Venue) was my favorite because active pickups can be a bit "thumpy". That was pre 5.0 though.

pulelehua
04-28-2012, 12:12 PM
Anyone do James Hill/Craig Chee style percussion? I have a K&K twinspot in my MP custom, and that picks up all sorts of contact noise. And is great for the percussion. I was wondering about MiSi's in terms of picking up bashes, tweaks and thumps.

Input much appreciated.

:)

Tigeralum2001
04-28-2012, 01:01 PM
I was told today that KoAloha used to offer a choice for pick-ups, but that LR Baggs is now their only option. I am torn. I love the theory behind the MiSi (no batteries), but the sound of the LR Baggs was clearly better. I wonder how the battery mount and volume/tone switches affect the unplugged sound? The old 9V battery systems made ukes sound like crap unplugged and it made the uke unbalanced. I'm sure a 3V button battery solves the balance issue, but you have to mount all of that junk somewhere. Surely that affects acoustic sound in some manner. Also, changing a small battery must be hard unless it is also mounted near the sound hole.

Are there any MiSi reps on this board? I'd love to learn more.

Kekani
04-28-2012, 01:33 PM
The thing is though, LR Baggs changed their pickup strip that MiSi now uses also. The difference is still the preamp. But the comparison in the video is not completely accurate because MiSi is now using the new pickup strip that is much shorter. The transducer before from LR Baggs that MiSi used was really long and had to be tied up inside or harnessed in some way. This whole strip acts sort of like a microphone and with the extreme excess created feedback easier and a "woofy" tone. So now MiSi is better also. The new trio.

Not sure who you get your Baggs from, but I custom order mine with a shorter element pickup. I even custom ordered everything unattached (but that's only for dealers), but now they have an `ukulele version with shorter everything.

I'm still not sold on the capacitor or the 3v batteries. Its still the Element Active for me, and even better through a Para DI or Venue.

Aaron

consitter
04-28-2012, 05:36 PM
Not sure who you get your Baggs from, but I custom order mine with a shorter element pickup. I even custom ordered everything unattached (but that's only for dealers), but now they have an `ukulele version with shorter everything.

I'm still not sold on the capacitor or the 3v batteries. Its still the Element Active for me, and even better through a Para DI or Venue.

Aaron

Ditto what Aaron says. I have that exact setup. (Element Active and Para DI). They are awesome together.

ukecantdothat
04-29-2012, 12:57 PM
Ok, whats the baggs paracoustic DI?? I'm hopeless at this stuff. Doesn't the mi-si come with an LRbaggs? I'm a bit confused by it all to be honest. I've seen a couple of reviews on these, one demoing the mi-si in which the guy says it comes with an LR Baggs and another comparing it to an LR Baggs???? Is it a newer version with the 5 0?

In addition to the things mentioned above about using DI's, or direct boxes, is the added control in live situations I alluded to with PA board operators throwing you the occasional curve ball in the mix. Even when you ask that they keep you "flat" (i.e. no added EQ) on your input channel, sometimes the entire board's master EQ is tweaked for the room or whatever, and with the Paracoustic, I've found it pretty easy to "undo" some unwanted tones. I'm curious to hear the 5.0's, though. I have the earlier version.

OldePhart
04-29-2012, 03:19 PM
I have a couple of MiSis and they're extremely convenient. They are also great if you're looking for the typical amplified sound (i.e. compressed, etc.). They aren't bad for a pure acoustic sound but they aren't necessarily the best. I think a good soundboard pickup is probably better than any UST if you're trying for as near a reproduction of the unamplified uke as possible.

ukeeku
04-29-2012, 04:58 PM
Having used both. the big difference is that L.R. Baggs is actually made for the ukulele. Also I can say that with the Mi-Si, you have to turn the volume up a lot more compared to the L.R. Baggs 5-O. I am taking the Mi-Si out and putting one in my Uke pretty soon.

Tigeralum2001
04-29-2012, 05:19 PM
I emailed MiSi about the difference and linked to the video. Here is their response:
Thank you for your interest in our products.

And thank you for the link with the video.

I can only tell you that both systems use the same pickup and it is extremely difficult to make an equal comparison even on the same instrument.
I also would like to add that we never had ANY complains about the sound of our systems. I always say that battery free is a great feature but without perfect sound it would be just an engineering gimmick.
We claim that our sound is virtually “quack” free and it’s been noted among many players that in fact it is true. We also don’t put ANY eq in our preamp – the response is completely flat.

Try our system for yourself without considering “green” factor. If you don’t like how it sounds - just send it back to retailer. We will send them a replacement with no questions asked.

Best regards,


Mikhail Ioffe
Mi-Si Electronics Design, Inc.
178 Crescent Road
Needham, MA 02494

At least they stand behind their product. The only problem is I don't know how many people are willing to install it and then remove it to send it back and then install a second pickup.

It sounds like the LR Baggs Pre-amp might be the difference. MiSi comes out flat, but LR Baggs does something to the sound. Any sound engineers with that answer?

gyosh
04-29-2012, 05:25 PM
Too lazy to read all the posts, but has anyone suggested the D-TAR Timberline. I have one in my uke and my professional musician friends LOVE the sound (it's my one and only amplified uke so I have no basis for comparison).
Just my :2cents:

AndrewKuker
04-29-2012, 05:41 PM
You can do that now but up until the 5.0 the pickup strip was longer because it was made to work with guitar. The excess transducer inside the body did not help the tone or feedback resistance. Now that they make a shorter strip you can use it with whichever preamp you want.

maclay
04-29-2012, 05:51 PM
Too lazy to read all the posts, but has anyone suggested the D-TAR Timberline. I have one in my uke and my professional musician friends LOVE the sound (it's my one and only amplified uke so I have no basis for comparison).
Just my :2cents:

The D-Tar Timberline that Rick Turner installs in the Compass Rose Ukuleles sound great. They have a 18 volt external preamp that gives you higher headroom and greater dynamic range than the typical 9 volt system. And since it has an external battery box, it doesn't weigh down the instrument. I just installed one last week, and it sounded amazing......natural sound, and no piezo "quack".

poppy
04-29-2012, 06:29 PM
personally the MISI is the best choice. Its light and gives a good flat responce. Any thing the 5 gives you can be achived better with a good external preamp be it baggs (which I have or another good brand ) most of those are belt mounted and have features like notch and gain etc. that exceed what the 5 offers. I seldome use the preamp as the controls on the amp work fine most of the time for my desires.