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Thread: Updating mics for electric uke (Clearwater/Vorson)

  1. #1
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    Default Updating pickups for electric uke (Clearwater/Vorson)

    I'm quite a newbie to electric ukes, but I do find my Clearwater's other mic as sounding bad. It might be technically fine - it's not buzzing or breaking up - I suppose I just dislike the sound. Might be a bad quality mic, wiring, shielding, who knows.

    Also, I'd like a mic with the risable individual magnet thingys, because the 1st string is a bit on the low volume side compared to the others.

    I have no idea about the sizes of different mics. Is there a standard for ukes/mandolins? Or is it the same as bass mics? Can I fit a mandolin/bass mic, or do I have to source for custom mics or contact Fanner or Risa..?

    There are some "quite local" mic winders around where I'm living, but they are specialized in guitars, maybe basses too. Are they of any help, or is the size of the cover a limiting factor and would have to be custom molded or whatever? I don't mind a bigger price, if it takes the instrument to another level. I don't think there's technically much else to complain about the Clearwater.

    Ideas?
    Last edited by Jupu; 04-09-2021 at 04:47 AM.

  2. #2
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    You mean pickups, not microphones. unfortunately, pickups for steel string ukuleles are VERY unique items, and not easily sourced and/or replaced.

    Now you say "other mic" or really "other pickup". So I'm guessing that this is a two pickup instrument with what's called a bridge pickup (close to the bridge) and a neck pickup (close to the neck).
    The neck pickup does sound sweeter. It's the way it is and the way it will always be. The bridge pickup will sound sharper and more trebly by comparison. It's just the way it is and some people actually like this sound.
    I personally much prefer the neck pickup sound myself yet the bridge pickup sound is a classic sound for Country music as well as for Rock & Roll.

  3. #3
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    Ah, pickups! I corrected the topic name now. In my language we just say mics .

    I can't remember, which one of the two is the one I dislike. To be honest, I'm not even sure, which is which - unless the switch works logically, and it points backwards, when the bridge pickup is on and forwards, when the neck pickup is on.

    Maybe it is as you say that it does work like it should. But my imagination really runs out before I can think of any use for its sound... And I consider myself quite open minded, when it comes to music. It's just that as long as the pickup slot is built there, I'd like to put it to good use. Maybe some day, perhaps with some effects I could find a use for it...

    But reasons why aside, where could one source for a replacement pickup?

  4. #4
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    Pickup switches are supposed to point in a logical fashion. Either up/forwards for the neck pickup or down/rearwards for the bridge pickup, yet sometimes an individual instrument may be wired back to front.
    The sweeter, rounder sound comes from the neck pickup, and the harder, edgier sound comes from the bridge pickup.
    Now the important thing is that its not an electronic difference in the pickups that makes the difference, its the position that makes the difference. The pickup being close to the bridge gives the harder, edgier sound.

    The bridge pickup is definitely there for Country or Rock & Roll style music. If your just playing folk type music, or if you venture into jazz music, then the neck pickup is what you want. If your instrument allows you to select an in between/both pickups together sound then that can be a great sound too.

    Where to get a replacement? No idea and it will be difficult and probably expensive indeed. The only option that I can conceive is to take the existing pickup to a custom pickup maker and have them rewind/reconstruct it for you. There are no off the shelf replacement options.
    Last edited by anthonyg; 04-09-2021 at 01:35 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    There are no off the shelf replacement options.
    I know nothing about this topic
    But google turned up this :
    http://www.almuse.co.uk/ukulele_pickups.html

    You might also check some of the Etsy sellers (search for "electric ukulele pickup") and see if they would sell you just a pickup.
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Southern Cross concert GCEA
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, A, UG1

    !Flukutronic!

  6. #6
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    The Vorson/Clearwater has mini-single coil pickups. Your best bet to find others that size may be pickups for a four-string cigar-box guitar.

    The Almuse humbuckers are too big to replace the single coils in the Vorson, as is half a P-bass pickup. You would need to route the pickup cavities larger to fit them.

    Your custom guitar & bass pickup winders shouldn't have any trouble rewinding your Vorson pickups or winding a new one to fit.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    I know nothing about this topic
    But google turned up this :
    http://www.almuse.co.uk/ukulele_pickups.html

    You might also check some of the Etsy sellers (search for "electric ukulele pickup") and see if they would sell you just a pickup.
    Well this is new, yet they are built to the Risa Humbucker standard which is a narrow spaced humbucker, not what the Vorson's have which is a wide spaced single coil, and this is the problem. No standardisation yet in ukulele pickups.

    EDIT: I have already mentioned this above, but I had better say it again. Those Almuse ukulele humbucker's are narrow spaced at standard guitar spacing, which is the spacing that Risa uses on its Les Paul style ukuleles. Even if you decided to route your body out to accommodate them (this is getting expensive if you don't do it yourself), they still won't work because they won't line up with the Vorson's string spacing which is a wider ukulele standard spacing.
    Almuse is a small custom builder so its easy for guys like him to fall through the cracks.

    Lets face it, the Vorson's are inexpensive instruments and any level of customisation will add costs rather quickly.
    Last edited by anthonyg; 04-09-2021 at 06:48 PM.

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