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Thread: Need pickup advice for my kala

  1. #11
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    Probably a good choice at your price ratio and a good spot to start learning. Thereʻs only so much advice you can solicit from a forum before you just have to waste some money trying things out. Sometimes they work, sometimes they donʻt. If youʻre not playing super loud, the K&K will probably be fine, though a preamp of some sort would go a long ways towards making your life better on stage.

    Keep in mind that your install location will change the tone a lot. I had one for years and thought it sounded terrible. Had someone move it and it was much better. You might have to experiment a bit.
    Brad Bordessa
    Webmaster of Live 'Ukulele.com
    Admin for The Ukulele Way

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hippie Guy View Post
    Probably a good choice at your price ratio and a good spot to start learning. Thereʻs only so much advice you can solicit from a forum before you just have to waste some money trying things out. Sometimes they work, sometimes they donʻt. If youʻre not playing super loud, the K&K will probably be fine, though a preamp of some sort would go a long ways towards making your life better on stage.

    Keep in mind that your install location will change the tone a lot. I had one for years and thought it sounded terrible. Had someone move it and it was much better. You might have to experiment a bit.
    I'm definitely going to play around a bit with the location before securing it more permanently. I should be able to get a pre amp pretty inexpensively at some point.

  3. #13

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    Well, I ordered one on Saturday and got it today. I have painter's tape holding it in a temporary position, but I'm pretty pleased. Next week be getting a preamp. Other than the one k&k sells, do you have any other recommendations? Something simple. A57FF51E-1B50-4DAD-A8D9-C78866D40773.jpg

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshsimpson79 View Post
    Well, I ordered one on Saturday and got it today. I have painter's tape holding it in a temporary position, but I'm pretty pleased. Next week be getting a preamp. Other than the one k&k sells, do you have any other recommendations? Something simple.
    There are hundreds of QUALITY options for external preamps, most popular on UU, as well as used daily by professionals around the world:

    Budget preamp: Behringer ADI-21 $29-39 everywhere
    see: https://www.amazon.com/BEHRINGER-V-T...dp/B000KITQK2/


    High-end preamp, considered one of the best: LR Baggs Para DI $189-199 everywhere
    see: https://www.amazon.com/LR-Baggs-Para.../dp/B001E95KEC


    With either of these, you can't go wrong, just depends upon your budget and how discriminating your hearing perception is, but most folks that are not audio engineers will be hard-pressed to tell the difference between these two units in a blind test.
    This FAQ link will help you learn about:
    - Magic Fluke Company ukes
    - Pickups, Preamps and Impedance Mismatch
    - Home Recording and Mics
    - String Upgrades
    - iPad Microphones
    - Wolfelele Uke Kit
    - How to string a Baritone uke as a piccolo bass
    - Strings I used for GDAE and CGDA fifths tunings

  5. #15
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    I am a believer in the Baggs Para DI. It might be more expensive, but it will last a lifetime and be worthy of any setup.
    Keep Strummin'

  6. #16
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    The reason for using a preamp is not only volume boost, nor fiddly knobs to modify the eq but for IMPEDANCE MISMATCH between ALL piezo pickups under the sun, and what they plug in to.

    This is not my sole opinion, but instead it is proven scientific fact.

    The page linked below in my signature has links that detail all of these issues and how to remedy them, from the technical explanations I've previously written here on the forum, as well as the suggestions of others, some of whom have even more experience doing professional audio than I do.

    It would not only save time and frustration to read these threads, but also help to manage one's expectations for each given level of budget.

    I'd strongly recommend that anyone wanting to get IMPROVED sound from a pickup and NOT the typically 'quacky', thin, and brittle tone that piezos offer when going direct without a preamp or DI box, to actually make time to educate themselves.

    Otherwise, 'just plugging it in' is going to punish the audience, who will not hear the music you are playing because the tone of it is drastically impaired due to the IMPEDANCE MISMATCH of piezo pickups going direct into an amp or PA without proper additional add-ons, which do NOT have to be expensive at all.
    This FAQ link will help you learn about:
    - Magic Fluke Company ukes
    - Pickups, Preamps and Impedance Mismatch
    - Home Recording and Mics
    - String Upgrades
    - iPad Microphones
    - Wolfelele Uke Kit
    - How to string a Baritone uke as a piccolo bass
    - Strings I used for GDAE and CGDA fifths tunings

  7. #17
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    Dean - some amps, especially if designed as an 'acoustic amp', will already have an impedance matching 'front end circuit' within it's preamp which is usually wired up as it's output feeding the input of the 'tone stack' which is your bass/mid/treble/notch-filter section, and the output of the tone-stack then feeds the input of the 'power-amp' which then goes to the speaker.

    If your amp has an 'active' input as well as a 'passive' input, using an additional preamp may be redundant when using the 'active' input, however, as long as you have 'unity gain' from your external preamp or effects, either going into the active input or via an effects loop on the amp itself, the sound should at least be passable...

    But remember, as kekani said above, there are lots of variables involved, and without looking at the schematic diagrams of the amp's circuits and technical data sheets from the amp maker, it's near impossible to predict the end result.

    I am glad it is working for you. Maybe try and set the eq and notch filter 'flat' or everything at 12-o'clock, and leaving the volume and gain also mid-level, plug into the active input and have a listen, and the passive input and have a listen - if you active input has impedance compensation or a piezo 'buffer' circuit, the active input should have more low-mid and bass frequencies and the passive input should sound brittle and thin in comparison.

    The very short reason for this is that 'uncompensated impedance', or 'unbuffered input' from a piezo manifests as a 'high-pass' filter, which usually omits ALL sound below about 500hz, and this is electrically caused by the piezo's nearly 10 million ohm impedance going into an input that expects magnetic pickups that put out from 1.5k ohms to 10k ohms, or on a PA system an XLR mic channel that expects a mic output from 150 ohms up to about 1k ohm.

    A preamp, DI, or piezo buffer reduces the ratio of the 10M ohm down to something closer to the amp or PA's input channel's design, and by doing so, flattens out the frequency response so it is closer to what your natural ears hear as resonance in the air from the acoustic sound of the instrument.
    This FAQ link will help you learn about:
    - Magic Fluke Company ukes
    - Pickups, Preamps and Impedance Mismatch
    - Home Recording and Mics
    - String Upgrades
    - iPad Microphones
    - Wolfelele Uke Kit
    - How to string a Baritone uke as a piccolo bass
    - Strings I used for GDAE and CGDA fifths tunings

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dean Beaver View Post
    I'm all for the volume control btw, I can't stand feedback from mics and speakers etc, I don't think anyone likes it.
    Just for conversation, how does volume control feedback without affecting main level volume?
    I'll start- it doesn't. This is where a ParaAcoustic DI or Venue will serve well with their feature set. They're not "just more expensive versions" once you learn to use them.

    As Booli mentioned, live sound needs to be learned.
    Last edited by Kekani; 08-29-2017 at 12:14 PM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kekani View Post
    ...As Booli mentioned, live sound needs to be learned.
    Aye brother! and dues paid in the field (and studio for recording), and in my case, 30 yrs worth.
    This FAQ link will help you learn about:
    - Magic Fluke Company ukes
    - Pickups, Preamps and Impedance Mismatch
    - Home Recording and Mics
    - String Upgrades
    - iPad Microphones
    - Wolfelele Uke Kit
    - How to string a Baritone uke as a piccolo bass
    - Strings I used for GDAE and CGDA fifths tunings

  10. #20
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    Dean, read your statement as using Volume knob to control feedback on stage. You're using it for something else.

    Note: Venue is a thing, not a place.
    Last edited by Kekani; 08-29-2017 at 04:38 PM.

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