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View Full Version : Ukulele Pickups -Video Comparison



AndrewKuker
04-12-2013, 04:09 PM
K&K just released a few ukulele pickups. Affordable too, 65 or 99 installed. And one thing I get asked a lot is how the Misi and Baggs compare. So last night I was installing pickups. Aaron dropped by the workshop on his way up to Haleiwa.
I did a blog write up on this you can find if you want. Kind of a long video but you can skip through it if you want the quick version. My sloppy camera work shouldn't surprise anyone. Sound is pretty accurate though, and it wasn't as close as I presumed (to me). Check it out-

https://vimeo.com/63940107

Dan Uke
04-12-2013, 04:26 PM
Can u provide a link for those on a phone and cant navigate as easily. Thx Andrew!

Found it! I'm glad I bought the LR Baggs 5.0 for my new custom.

http://theukulelereview.com/

hawaii 50
04-12-2013, 04:44 PM
Nice Andrew ..I just tuned in to see Aaron play.. only a sample but I like it..

I am not a pickup guy but I like the Misi sound but the Braggs sounds good too..if I had to choose I would take the braggs..but I am old and loosing my hearing

my 2 cents..

AndrewKuker
04-12-2013, 05:06 PM
Can u provide a link for those on a phone and cant navigate as easily.

http://vimeo.com/63940107 thx Daniel


Nice Andrew ..

Mahalo Len, it's Baggs, no worries, hope to see you soon.

janthony1
04-12-2013, 05:09 PM
Great video. The Baggs for me.

Newportlocal
04-12-2013, 05:21 PM
I'm glad I bought the LR Baggs 5.0 for my new custom.


Thanks Andrew for the video. That is my current favorite too Daniel.

Gillian
04-12-2013, 07:12 PM
Very interesting comparison video. Thanks for posting it.

I went back and forth between the MiSi and the Baggs and thought the Baggs sounded a bit fuzzy. I couldn't hear the individual strings clearly. The other pickups, the Pono and K&K were the opposite and sounded a bit too sharp. So the MiSi is my "Goldilocks" choice.

Tigeralum2001
04-12-2013, 07:44 PM
Nice job, guys! I have been debating MiSi and Baggs 5.0. Various videos I've seen has one superior to the other. I have found that odd because they are both supposed to me using Baggs transducers, so power should be the only difference, right? MiSi now even has the volume and tone options. I do like the idea of no battery for the MiSi.

To me, the Miso sounded best in this vid. Typically the Baggs sounds best in other vids, though. I would like to hear more showdowns and even how those two compare to the Resocoil and other higher end pickups.

hawaii 50
04-12-2013, 07:57 PM
Hey CJ..

I am glad I am not a pickup kind of guy,,i liked the Misi first then I liked the Baggs..so it just would of been something else to make me go crazy,,Lol

are you going with the Misi then.. are you bring your uke here to get it installed?

Pondoro
04-13-2013, 04:18 AM
Nice video. Maybe I have a tin ear but I've learned that I like them all, so I'll probably get one of the cheaper ones. I am not skeptical of those out there who appreciate the subtle differences, I'm just saying that I'd be happy with any of them.

Tigeralum2001
04-13-2013, 09:39 AM
Nice video. Maybe I have a tin ear but I've learned that I like them all, so I'll probably get one of the cheaper ones. I am not skeptical of those out there who appreciate the subtle differences, I'm just saying that I'd be happy with any of them.
Really? I thought there were substantial differences. Listen to the K&Ks again. The "Aloha Twin" was a lot different than the "Big Island." Of the two, I thought the Big Island sounded a lot better, but neither compared to the MiSi or LR Baggs 5.0

Perhaps it is not fair to compare active & passive? I thought Pono was the best passive pick-up in the group.

AndrewKuker
04-13-2013, 11:38 AM
Really? I thought there were substantial differences. Listen to the K&Ks again. The "Aloha Twin" was a lot different than the "Big Island." Of the two, I thought the Big Island sounded a lot better, but neither compared to the MiSi or LR Baggs 5.0

Perhaps it is not fair to compare active & passive? I thought Pono was the best passive pick-up in the group.

Ya, it's not fair, missing a preamp, but just to see what you start with. All of them I would have Eq'd a little different. Or sometimes you don't need to EQ, like with the 5.0, just cutting the gain on the amp and going up with the volume instead would have made it cleaner or less woofy. But it definitely had the most body to start with and it's easiest to cut that than try to give it. Here is a sample of a track that will be on Corey's new album which is mostly 5.0 with a room mic. I'm excited about this album, I got Kelii Heath Cruz to start on the mixing, she's amazing. This one is undone but..- Corey Fujimoto- The Rain (https://soundcloud.com/kitakis/corey-fujimoto-therain) (all instruments played by Corey)

keliiyama
04-13-2013, 04:04 PM
Misi sounded the best in the video.

But I have a feeling that the guys at 'Theukulelesite'/HMS love Baggs!

AndrewKuker
04-13-2013, 05:37 PM
Misi sounded the best in the video.

But I have a feeling that the guys at 'Theukulelesite'/HMS love Baggs!

Misi cost us much less and takes much less time to install. I love it, we buy hundreds at a time, average over 10 installs a week and I rarely hear of any problems. I was talking to Dieter about a potential combo of that and a k&k with a blend. That may come up. But when people ask my opinion I will say 5.0 has a bit more warmth to my ear, but both are good. Depends what you like, and you can eq any which way as well.

Faricelli
04-14-2013, 12:36 PM
The 5.0 sounded the best. But the price of the k&k's and their easy installation could warrant a purchase for those who are installing them on their own.

Skinny Money McGee
04-14-2013, 03:03 PM
The 5.0 sounded the best. But the price of the k&k's and their easy installation could warrant a purchase for those who are installing them on their own.

Using a DI preamp, the K&K can be dialed in to any sound you want and then some. So Andrew is correct, not a fair comparison.

Tigeralum2001
04-14-2013, 08:43 PM
Using a DI preamp, the K&K can be dialed in to any sound you want and then some. So Andrew is correct, not a fair comparison.
I know nothing about sound engineering. Is it like statistics in that you can make it sound anyway you want? If so can I just buy a $2 Chinese piezo and EQ it "right" and sound like Jake or Aldrine (assuming I could play like them' which of course I can't).

AndrewKuker
04-14-2013, 10:14 PM
I know nothing about sound engineering. Is it like statistics in that you can make it sound anyway you want? If so can I just buy a $2 Chinese piezo and EQ it "right" and sound like Jake or Aldrine (assuming I could play like them' which of course I can't).

oh man…there's so many factors involved here but the short answer is no. It's like in John's signature where it says something about polishing a turd, or the saying about putting lipstick on a pig. So many pickups I have tried are not good, imo. Soundboard transducers are often hollow, or barell like in tone and feedback easy, under saddle piezo's are often harsh or brittle with little hope even with a 64 band eq.

I like these 5 pickups, for their price point, they are great. But I would make small adjustments to EQ out certain things with each one that are not present in the sound of the acoustic. The goal is to stay true while gaining volume. It get's complicated because certain frequencies become harsh as you add volume, but are needed more at lower volumes.

The point is to get as close to true as possible and then make small adjustments. The Aloha twin, to me, is very true. It does have less gain, but with an external preamp boost you will get a wonderful tone. It is new to the market and I like it. I would install it in my uke.

I did sound at Higher Ground for years so I can geek talk for days about this stuff, sorry. Here's one of the times I recorded at HG (our live music cafe that had to be put to bed)
To sound like this live, you gotta first play like Abe, and also have a Ko'olau caliber uke. But at that point some pickups would still give a harsh or ugly tone. Ukes can easily get shrill and lose their beauty when plugged in at high volumes. So Abe's LR Baggs is a piece of the puzzle in his live sound.


http://vimeo.com/19159006

hawaii 50
04-14-2013, 10:17 PM
I know nothing about sound engineering. Is it like statistics in that you can make it sound anyway you want? If so can I just buy a $2 Chinese piezo and EQ it "right" and sound like Jake or Aldrine (assuming I could play like them' which of course I can't).

Hey CJ I like the avatar..I don't need a calendar to see when you are flying in... Haha

KimosTherapy
04-29-2013, 07:51 AM
Ya, it's not fair, missing a preamp, but just to see what you start with. All of them I would have Eq'd a little different. Or sometimes you don't need to EQ, like with the 5.0, just cutting the gain on the amp and going up with the volume instead would have made it cleaner or less woofy. But it definitely had the most body to start with and it's easiest to cut that than try to give it. Here is a sample of a track that will be on Corey's new album which is mostly 5.0 with a room mic. I'm excited about this album, I got Kelii Heath Cruz to start on the mixing, she's amazing. This one is undone but..- Corey Fujimoto- The Rain (https://soundcloud.com/kitakis/corey-fujimoto-therain) (all instruments played by Corey)


Ho, Bruddah Andrew!

Mahalo fo posting dis Ukulele Pickups - Comparison Video! Brah, jus like say Mahalo nui loa fo everything you bring to da table fo all of us hea on da UU! Providing awesome customah service wit all kine ukes wit da best professional set ups, your awesome "TheUkuleleReview.com" website, all your Vimeo uke videos, and your frequent posts here around da UU Forums! Your talented photography and video recordings are superb as well! You rock brah!

Mahalo fo posting da sound clip of Corey Fujimoto's "The Rain" from his new album! I cannot wait fo it to come out. Wen da buggah going be released?

Keep up da great work brah ... you and da HMS staff are greatly appreciated!

Malama pono,

Kimo

AndrewKuker
04-29-2013, 10:35 AM
Wow, thanks so much Kimo! And thanks to the whole community here. It's a wonderful place to hang out at on break. Learn and make new friends. Big mahalos and Aloha from the north shore.