PDA

View Full Version : Installing a pickup?



moetrout
06-27-2014, 06:32 AM
I recently picked up a Kala concert uke for $30 taht I would like to install a pickup on. I know nothing about pickups, amps, or anything else related to electrifying a uke.

I think what I am looking for is something fairly simple that I could plug into a practice amp. I would be interested in your suggestion, links that could educate me on the process of installing a pickup, links that would educate me on pickups and amp and the whole electric uke topic. I've done some reading here, but I am not find a clear answer for my situation.

Vagrant
06-27-2014, 06:58 AM
The simplest is probably a piezo pickup - I used to make them for amplifying tin cans (long story), and got the piezo parts from old baby toys I'd pick up for pennies in charity shops (thrift stores).

Basically it's a piezo buzzer element wired to a 1/4inch jack. The element goes on the top of the uke (but preferably under the bridge), and you then plug a lead between your amp and the 1/4" jack.

There's quite a few guides online for making your own pickup, or similar cheap options can be found on t'ebay. Here's one guide for ideas:

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Music_p005.shtml#materials

Piezo pickups do pick up everything though, including all movements you make on the sound board with your fingers! I'm pretty sure many on here will know more about better ways of amplifying ukes, but some of them may cost more than your uke cost...

Vagrant
06-27-2014, 07:00 AM
Some more links and guides:

http://www.vintageukemusic.com/ukuleles/pickups.htm

http://liveukulele.com/gear/amplifying-your-ukulele/pickups/

http://theukuleleblog.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/how-to-fit-ukulele-pickup.html

moetrout
06-27-2014, 07:21 AM
Thanks for the links, interesting reading for sure! This is the kind of info I was looking for. Once I understand it I can then get the job done. For what little reading I have done so far, I am thinking I might prefer an active pickup.

Vagrant
06-27-2014, 07:38 AM
Although what I've done hasn't been on ukes, active pickups produce better results generally - more control, less feedback. The other option is a microphone setup... or maybe even try and find a 2nd cheap uke with a pickup already installed!

Anyway, glad the links helped, and good luck!

Kekani
06-28-2014, 05:37 PM
I recently picked up a Kala concert uke for $30 taht I would like to install a pickup on. I know nothing about pickups, amps, or anything else related to electrifying a uke.

I think what I am looking for is something fairly simple that I could plug into a practice amp. I would be interested in your suggestion, links that could educate me on the process of installing a pickup, links that would educate me on pickups and amp and the whole electric uke topic. I've done some reading here, but I am not find a clear answer for my situation.

I would suggest using the search function. You're sure to come across the sticky that Buddhuu posted 5 years ago for all to see. Hint: its in the subforum above this one.

One thing, any pickup worth installing is going to cost a few times more than what you paid for your instrument imo.

Kayak Jim
06-29-2014, 08:22 AM
Parts and instructions from CB Gitty http://www.cbgitty.com/pickups-1/