The Island Big Spot is a single passive soundboard transducer. It will hit a new level of affordable (available installed for only 64.99 at TheUkuleleSite. Even though it’s passive, or doesn’t have a battery powered preamp, it has tons of gain and clarity.
However, the new K&K I preferred most was the Twin Aloha dual passive soundboard transducer. It has more warmth and a transparent quality I really liked. At $99 installed I’m sure it will have many fans quite soon. I didn’t want to confuse the demo, so I didn’t show this, but the Twin Aloha, coupled with the small K&K external preamp was quite a bit more impressive than the pickup on it’s own. Much more body like the LR Baggs. Also, I would have EQ’d out a touch in the mid range and it would have been even more “sweet” or “true”, but this test was comparing with a flat EQ. Well, almost flat.The treble was cut a touch. In my opinion, this benefited each model except the LR Baggs that would have been better left completely flat. A touch of play with gain/volume levels and the LR Baggs would have been even more wonderful. The Misi also uses the LR Baggs pickup strip but then runs through Misi’s rechargeable preamp.This had a nice balance but can use more boost when compared to the Baggs preamp.
The Pono pickup offers a great balanced and a very clean and clear signal. It is superior to many passive under saddle strips because it uses four individual crystals, one dedicated to each string. With an external preamp this pickup really comes alive. It’s very “moldable” and great for live and recording purposes.
My opinion…you can really hear the work LR Baggs has put into their 5.0 ukulele pickup system. They cost us the most and take the longest install, but the tone is so full! A few tweaks and it’s easily as good as you will find IMHO. But each one of these pickups will give a strong signal to work with. From there you can EQ it however you like. That’s the power of plugging in 😀
Any thoughts on this demonstration, or considerations I did not discuss? And the obvious question, what did your ear like?