Hi all, I have a question on pickup placement on a high G ukulele.

My next build is going be a cigarbox ukulele with a C. B. Gitty "Disc-o-Tone" Standard Piezo Pickup Harness:


Looking at the documentation that came with the pickup, it says to basically place the pickup slightly away from the higher strings (off to the side of the C and G strings). I understand that the Piezo pickups are more sensitive to the higher sounds and this is to compensate for that. My question is how is this affected by high G (reentrant) tuning. As you are playing, the stings go from top to bottom:

String 1 – g This G note is tuned to the G between the E on the third string and the A on the fourth string
String 2 – C
String 3 – E
String 4 – A

If I follow the instructions and move the pickup to the side favoring the C and G strings, aren't I going to get the same issue with the G that I would get with the A and E if I didn't offset it. I guess I could center it on the C string, but doing that is almost the same thing as centering it on all strings (since the C string is almost in the center anyway). I'm thinking, follow the Gitty instructions and hope it's not overwhelmed by the G.

Any thoughts. Thanks, Chris

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Replies to This Discussion

Sorry I'm going to be wet blanket here, but the disc piezos are just not sensitive for the positioning to that degree to be much difference. If you're not using a rod piezo placed directly under the bridge... disc piezos, not matter how large or fancy, are picking up on the vibrations of the entire soundboard- as a whole, really.  When they say "slightly away" from higher strings- that's about as specific as it needs to be and it's more like a preference when such placement is optional. I have a CBG with a piezo that is to the left of the high strings and it sounds fine and I didn't hear a whole lot of difference when trying it on exactly the opposite side.

You tuning seems to be ukulele tuning. I've heard of uke players using low G instead and Aquilla sells a uke sets of strings this way. Actually I've been learning ukulele playing from an app, I bought a Bento Box I love, and I also bought a discounted "Hinkler Strum Box" which is exactly like their slide CBG except with four strings and a frets. Their piezo is also to the left of strings (above when playing). For both building cigar box instruments and being able to buy cheap discounted ukes, I think I've been converted.

Thanks, Christopher. I know a lot people who play low G. There are a lot of advantages to it, mostly an extra half octave of range on an instrument that already has a small range. But I learned on High G, and at least some of the songs I play regularly take advantage of it. 

I guess my big concern is I don't want to have too much high end on the pickups. I bought a cigar box ukulele on etsy from a guy who I don't think he knew what he was doing. It looked really cool and was cheap, but it had issues. The bridge was set way too high. The pickups stopped working, had to take it to a guitar shop to get it fixed. Now, it mostly picks up the bottom two strings. I'm not sure if it was always like that, or if that happened after it was fixed. All I know is that it still doesn't play very well or sound very good. I've only make one so far, a Bento Box kit, no pickup but sounds pretty good acoustic.

If the disk pickup picks up vibrations from the whole soundboard, I'm probably good. I mostly want a relatively clean sound with no aberrations. If a rod pickup under the bridge is a better option, it's not too late to switch.


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