Electronic Pickups

 

Pickups and pickup systems can be as complex and individualized as the instrument itself. And, the ukulele, versus a larger, heavier instrument such as a guitar, puts even greater demands on the pickup.

 

We have sought out and selected pickups that have the following characteristics, in priority order:

 

* accurately represent the acoustics of the instrument

* simple and trouble-free

* minimal added weight

 

And, while we have our personal favorites, pickup selection is as personal as the selection of the wood. If you have any questions, please contact us. Here are 3 videos that we've done on the subject:

If you're not sure if you want a pickup or not, we recommend not getting one as it can always be added later.

 

Our preferred pickup is the K&K Twin Spot ($150). It does a great job of accurately representing the acoustics of the instrument. In addition, it is lightweight with no on-board electronics to worry about.

 

Want more options? We currently offer 4 different pickup choices. They all vary in terms of:

 

active/passive: passive pickups are lighter and don't have on-board electronics; active pickups have the option of on-board volume control

 

transducer: the 'transducer' is the part of the pickup that converts sound or movement into an electrical signal

 

on-board volume: some pickups offer a small volume wheel that mounts inside the soundhole

 

cost: from $150-$500

 

size/weight: active pickups are heavier, and adding volume control also adds weight

K&K Twin Spot ($150)

This pickup does an excellent job of representing the acoustics of the instrument. In addition, it has no on-board electronics so it is lightweight and very durable. The transducers are two discs that mount inside the body under the bridge plate.

MiSi ($200)

The MiSi is an active pickup that utilizes a proprietary charging technology that obviates the need for an on-board battery. They come with a small wall-charger which provides for 8-hours of playing time with a 60-second recharge time. The transducer is an L.R. Baggs under-saddle piezo-electric pickup.

MiSi with on-board Volume & Tone controls ($250)

The volume & tone controls mount just inside of the soundhole. Everything else about this pickup is the same as the MiSi listed above.

L.R. Baggs Hawaii Five.O ($250)

This is an active pickup, using a small "coin" battery to power it. The transducer is an under-saddle piezo-electric, and the pickup comes with a volume control wheel which mounts just inside the soundwell. Because it has a battery, it is slightly heavier than the MiSi pickup.

 

 

K&K Twin Spot Pickup ($150)

For the Tradition, we recommend the K&K Twin Spot pickup. It does a wonderful job of accurately representing the acoustics of the instrument, and has no on-board electronics to fail. It is our favorite all-around pickup, and has the added benefit of being the lowest cost pickup that we offer.

 

 

K&K Twin Spot Pickup ($150)

For the banjo, we exclusively use the K&K Twin Spot pickup. It does a wonderful job of accurately representing the acoustics of the instrument, and has no on-board electronics to fail.

 

 

Schatten Designs Biscuit Bridge Resonator Pickup ($150)

Resonator instruments are notoriously difficult to amplify--not only because of the acoustic properties, but also because of the space and access limitations. This pickup, made in Canada, is warm and balanced. It is specifically designed for a biscuit bridge resonator instrument. It is a passive pickup, which is lightweight with no on-board electronics.