The Mi-Si Pickup
MI – SI PICKUPS
(PRONOUNCED “MY SIGH”)
This is fairly new electronics technology developed by NASA which has trickled down to earthly uses.
This new technology utilizes ‘super capacitors’ which, like batteries store electrical energy but in a different fashion. Capacitors which have been around since the early days of electronics have recently grown to a hundred times their previous capacity.
What this means for us is that they are powerful and long lasting enough to power our ukulele preamps without using batteries which have always been a compromise to fit into the little instruments. Not only do we lose the battery compartment but we lose the weight of the battery keeping our instruments lightweight like they should be. A one minute electrical charge using the supplied AC adapter will power the Mi-Si preamp for a full day of playing.
Why use an active pickup? There are two ways to amplify or record a ukulele, the first is using a microphone which will always sound best but if you are the kind of musician that can’t sit still in front of a microphone you’ll need to plug in. A piezo pickup is a pickup element that senses vibration. Unfortunately the piezo signal that comes out of your amplifier will sound harsh and cold. To help remedy that a pre-amplifier must be used in conjunction with the piezo element. For ‘technical electronic’ reasons the pre-amp will make your ukulele sound more realistic, not as good as a microphone but much better that without the pre-amp. I’ve been using the Fishman Acoustic Matrix system for years and I find the MI-Si unit very comparable in sound quality.