Tearcaster uke build : part 03 – Pickup and Bridge custom parts

As I am sure you can imagine, finding good pickups for an electric ukulele is a tricky business. Off the shelf options are limited, with most people I know suggesting P-bass pickups. See the problem here? they are designed for bass guitars… not for ukes. You can look at electric mandolin pickups, you can look at hot rail pickups, you can use a guitar pickup. Not one of these solutions looks right though, and I am sure that sound performance will be held back. I got lucky with mine. I found a real nice guy called Pete Mallinson at Almuse and he makes custom links to match your requirements. And he really knows his stuff. This is the single coil pickup he made for the Tearcaster uke :-

It is a fully custom design. 4 pole, 12mm string spacing, with the re-entrant gCEA tuning in mind, meaning that the ‘g’ pole is the right size for a high ‘g’ string. Not only this, but Pete gave a choice of colours, a choice of clockwise/anti-clockwise and a choice of N/S or S/N polarity. If I wanted anything else out of the ordinary, all I had to do was ask. He will happily make you different rated pickups for bridge and neck too, if you are ordering a pair. How cool is that?

In addition, Pete also provided one of the hardest parts for me to locate, the 4 string bridge plate. This takes standard Fender style bridge saddles that you can salvage from any ol’ strat or tele bridge, both of which are cheap as chips on ebay now. In the photo here, the saddles are in need of a clean up, but I just screwed them on quickly so you could all see how nice a fit they are.

Pete is a real gent and I get the feeling he loves his work. He was happy to help me get all the details right and even offered up some other ideas (more on that in another post). You can get current prices for his stuff from the site, but really don’t be afraid to mail him with your requirements.

I just can’t wait to get this all wired up and shredding now. Only I do need to find a body for the Tearcaster uke first. That would seem like the logical thing to do for pt 04.

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