Low volume e string Kayla u bass

ricky sp8

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I have a spruce top Kayla u bass that I bought used. When pluged in the E string had very little volume to the point it was unplayable. I did Google searches and found others that had the same problem but couldn't find a solution that worked on mine. Everything from amp setup to replacing the strings.I wanted to sell it but didn't want to stick someone with my junk. So after it sitting for six months last night I said what the heck I know its the same all the way down the fretboard so it has to be the saddle or the pickup so I took off the strings and removed them. I tried filing the saddle center back toward the nut a little restrung it nothing. Then I pulled the saddle off the pickup that's when I thought oh well I guess I'll buy a new pick up because all the shims fell out and I thought I'll never get this ($/,!@ thing back together. After I chilled for a little while I went back at it. I figured it didn't work like it was before so the only thing I could do different than before was to turn the saddle 180 degrees. I put it back together restrung it pluged it in and it's is perfect !! I don't know if it made any difference by the saddle being that way or that one of the shims wasn't in the right place , if you take one apart you'll see what I mean but it fixed it. As much as I was aggravated by this I had to share this hope it helps someone else. Thanks ricky
 

Deaks

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Cool, I have a similar problem with a quiet A string on my eleuke so might try this.
 

anthonyg

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Good to hear you have a solution. I suspect that the problem was the shims. You need a really solid contact between the piezo pickup and the saddle in order to get good volume.
I've had issues with a cheap pickup system in a ukulele. A Luthier spent some time making a solid contact and then it worked fine.

Anthony
 

PhilUSAFRet

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Sounds like it could be a QA problem. That piezo and saddle should fit perfectly even in that slot
 

arpie

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A buddy has just bought a lovely top of the range U-Bass and her E string is also very quiet.

She contacted Kala, but because she bought it 2nd hand - they won't help her - even tho there seems to have been a lot of people who've been affected by it!! Not a good look, Kala!!

I've sent her a link to this thread & hope gives you solution a go, Ricky - no doubt she will she jump on with any other queries she may encounter!!
 

kissing

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Is it just me, but do most production ukuleles, guitars and bass-ukes come with some kind of piezo balancing problem?

I've had the same issues too on most guitars and ukuleles and U-basses I've bought.

If they use some generic pickup system, then swapping out the piezo element with a better one (I choose Artec) into the existing pre-amp usually does the trick. If it's still a bit unbalanced, then I would look at the saddle and contact.

I do it in this order, because on an inexpensive, generic undersaddle - the kind that comes on every non-branded pickup system - will hardly ever sound balanced no matter the setup and adjustment. And even when you somehow manage to get them balanced, the output sound is usually mediocre at best anyway.

If it's a proprietary pickup system like Shadow, B-Band, etc, you're a bit out of luck as they don't generally accept replacement piezo units designed by other companies. You'll have to rely solely on fixing up the physical contact issues, for which you can be extremely lucky or unlucky.
 

sevgum

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I have an exotic mahogany kala ubass, and I have been trying to fix the same problem since I bought it. 180 degree rotation (which involves drilling a hole) did not work for me. It made the other end of the pickup non-responsive. When I examined the pickup I noticed it was not exactly flat due to extensive and non-uniform use of glue material. I pushed it against a flat surface for a while and cleaned the sticky material around the sensor. After checking the flatness, I reinstalled the pickup in its original direction. The pickup sound is much much better now. The acoustic sound did not change as expected, low E is still a bit too low in volume . But the electronic sound is quite balanced.. Just wanted to share.
 

KohanMike

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If the saddle is this kind, I have the fix.

Bass uke pickup parts.jpg


The pickup assembly has an inherent design flaw; the ceramic saddle (beige part) is solid even though there are slots cut in it. The metal tray it sits in has four individual pickup elements that the saddle is supposed to press against, but because the saddle is solid, it does not always put even pressure on the four pickups.

I read about this fix on the Talk Bass forum and did it to four of my bass ukes with that pickup assembly (I have 13 with that pickup), worked perfectly. It's really not too complicated. First undo the strings, then remove the assembly from the bridge, this is necessary to be able to take apart the saddle assembly.

Next pull off the two black caps, they can be tight. Slide out the saddle. Next, I used an Xacto thin saw blade to cut apart the four sections of the saddle. I then used a bit of tape between each piece to hold them together to make it easier to set the saddle back in the metal tray. Slide in the black caps and put the assembly back in the bridge and reset the strings.


This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
9 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 39)
 
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