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tbeltrans
06-30-2014, 04:50 PM
My Kamaka Ohta-San came without a pickup in it. I decided to get a pickup and a local shop that I trust recommended the Schatten UKE-1 under saddle passive pickup. There is also a version with preamp built into the end pin. From what I can tell reading the specs for it and my AER Compact 60 acoustic amplifier, this pickup should just plug straight in. If not, a do have a couple of preamps I use with my acoustic guitars.

I should get my ukulele back on Wednesday. Anybody here have experience with this pickup?

Tony

Skinny Money McGee
07-01-2014, 05:04 AM
Looks like you will be able to answer your own question in another day or so. AER amps are nice amps, and being a Kamaka fan and owner, I would personally like to hear what you have to say about this. Sounds like a nice combination to me.

Cheers

tbeltrans
07-01-2014, 11:37 AM
Looks like you will be able to answer your own question in another day or so. AER amps are nice amps, and being a Kamaka fan and owner, I would personally like to hear what you have to say about this. Sounds like a nice combination to me.

Cheers

Yes, I suspect the lack of response to this thread, though there have been several people looking at it, suggests that not many (if any) have tried this pickup. I trust the judgement of the person who suggested and will install it. On the Schatten site, they do recommend a preamp for the passive version, but as I mentioned, it appears the specs on the preamp section of my AER indicate that this pickup should work without an external preamp. If that is not the case, I do have a couple of preamps, being that I also play acoustic guitar. So one way or another, it will be workable.

My Ko'olau tenor came from the factory (builder) with an LR Baggs active pickup that sounds really good. Schatten has a good reputation and has been around for quite some time, so I think it will be fine. I just hope it is ready tomorrow.

Tony

tbeltrans
07-01-2014, 04:16 PM
I just got a call that my ukulele is finished, so tomorrow I will go get it and post a brief review. There won't be much to say since I did not do the install and I doubt that other than Twin Cities locals, many will be sending their ukuleles here to get an install done. That leaves either it sounds good and is balanced string to string or it isn't.

Tony

tbeltrans
07-02-2014, 10:27 AM
I just got a call that my ukulele is finished, so tomorrow I will go get it and post a brief review. There won't be much to say since I did not do the install and I doubt that other than Twin Cities locals, many will be sending their ukuleles here to get an install done. That leaves either it sounds good and is balanced string to string or it isn't.

Tony

After gotten home with my Kamaka Ohta-San ukulele with the newly installed Schatten UKE-1 (http://www.schattendesign.com/uke.htm),
here is my impression. Note that this is the PASSIVE model, which Schatten clearly states should be used with a preamp. The other versions of this have their own preamp in one form or another.

A nice addition that I am glad I asked for when the pickup was installed was to have the action lowered a bit. The ukulele plays REALLY nice now - similar to my Ko'olau.

I plugged directly in to my AER Compact 60 and it worked rather well - better than I expected. I would definitely get more volume with a preamp in front of the amp. I have an Ultrasound DI Plus that works very nicely for this purpose. The pickup is crisp and clear and the volume seems equal across all strings and all frets (i.e. no "wolf tones" or other unusual differences in volume between strings or frets). Much of that has to do with the quality of the install as well as the quality of the pickup. I don't notice any extraneous noises as I might expect from a pickup that attaches temporarily to the top of the instrument.

I am well satisfied with the install. The total cost was $135 for the pickup and the install, which was as nice as a factory install would be (i.e. no damage to the ukulele and no strangeness in the operation of the pickup). I dropped off the ukulele on Monday. They said it would be ready Wednesday. I got a call Tuesday evening that it was finished, and picked up today (Wednesday). Completely hassle free and no unpleasant surprises. Now, both my ukuleles are ready for playing out when the time comes.

Tony

peaceweaver3
07-02-2014, 10:50 AM
Thanks for sharing your experience, Tony. Schatten seems very overlooked around here, and I'm not sure why. I haven't used their uke pickups myself, but used a harp pickup with builtin preamp, and a soundboard transducer on several instruments. I liked both. From reading the installation guides, these pickups are easier to install than other UST's, mainly LR Baggs 5.0 and Mi-Si. I wouldn't install those myself, but would install the Schatten. Something to keep in mind for those of us without trusted local techs to install them. :)

tbeltrans
07-02-2014, 12:45 PM
Thanks for sharing your experience, Tony. Schatten seems very overlooked around here, and I'm not sure why. I haven't used their uke pickups myself, but used a harp pickup with builtin preamp, and a soundboard transducer on several instruments. I liked both. From reading the installation guides, these pickups are easier to install than other UST's, mainly LR Baggs 5.0 and Mi-Si. I wouldn't install those myself, but would install the Schatten. Something to keep in mind for those of us without trusted local techs to install them. :)

One thing I noticed about Schatten's UST element is that it seems thicker than the LR Baggs element that was factory installed in my Ko'olau, so more of the saddle is removed for it than would be for a much thinner element. I don't know why Schatten isn't mentioned around here either. Maybe fewer places sell them and/or install them at the factory where the ukuleles are built. I don't know if I would recommend a Schatten over another brand, since I don't really have experience with other brands. Both my McPherson acoustic guitar and Ko'olau ukulele use LR Baggs. Both of those instruments are "high end".

My one issue with the MiSi pickup system is how many charges that cap can take. I simply don't know. I do know from my work in engineering that this technology does have a finite life, just as any rechargeable device does. A battery can be replaced, such as is used in my LR Baggs systems. I don't know what they do with the MiSi or even if that company will be around when a replacement device is needed. I have not seen ro heard the MiSi system, so my comments are limited to the charging technology, and I have yet to read any post discuss this aspect of it. Maybe there are not other engineers around here and in the guitar forums considering these devices?

Tony