FAQ

Here you will find answers to the most popular questions of our customers. 

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You probably won’t need to clean your pickup very often, but if you’ll like to remove dust and dirt from time to time, lemon oil or a lightweight guitar polish will do fine. Your pickup is made with the same wood as many guitars, so you can treat it the same. Just be careful not to press or rub too hard. It’s a delicate piece of gear. A light brush with a cloth will to fine.  

SP-1 is a single coil pickup and some hum is normal. It will lessen as you put your hands on the strings and shouldn’t be heard at all as you’re playing. SP-1 has a sweet and natural sound, but is  very sensitive to electrical networks, as are most single coil pickups. If you are recording, you may try facing a different way as you play or moving to a different spot in the room. If you find you’d rather have a pickup with no single-coil hum, we suggest our HP-1 and HP-1A humbucker pickups.     

SG-1 / SG-2 is very thin and held in place by the tension of the strings, but if your saddle is too low (typically the treble side) the strings will be in contact with the pickup rather than the bridge saddle. In addition to throwing your guitar’s intonation off, the pickup itself won’t function as well. A local luthier or guitar tech in your area can advise you on the options to bring the saddle up. You may need a new saddle or a shim underneath your existing saddle.

Whether wood or molded ABS, most hard cases will have a rigid foam that's below the interior lining. This interior foam can be pressed down to make a little extra space. Just make a note of where the pickup is touching. Your case may already have an imprint of where the bridge makes contact. If not, you could place a bit of masking tape with the adhesive side up on the top of the pickup, close the case, and the tape will be where you'll need to compress the foam. Turn the case around so the top is on the floor, be careful not to put pressure on the hinges, and press the spot you need to have more space. Usually, a little gentle pressure with your knee is all it takes.    

They won't change the nylon strings’ breaking angle. These pickups rely on their low profiles to make sure that the basic structure of your bridge remains unchanged.

The widest part of SP-1 / HP-1 is 4.21" / 107mm in length at the bottom of the pickup. SP-1/HP-1 may be moved slightly toward the bridge or the fretboard as long as the distance between one and the other end of the soundhole in these positions is at most 4.21" / 107mm.

 

The minimum diameter of the soundhole to accommodate the SP-1 / HP-1 is at least 3.62 "/ 92 mm.

 

KNA pickups are designed to be mounted on musical instruments for both left-handed and right-handed performers. 

Just install it in the soundhole, as you would for a right-handed guitar. Keep in mind that you can place the pickup in the soundhole, facing either the neck or the bridge. This will allow you to choose which side will have the jack and the direction of the cable when it's plugged in. 

For the left-handed guitarists we always recommend to experiment and try it both ways — the standard way toward the fingerboard and the opposite position toward the bridge. The sound of the pickup depends on a variety of factors, like the position in comparison to the soundhole, and the distance between the strings and the magnets. In that regard, if you need to slightly change the distance between strings and magnets you can add a few pieces of paper as shims between the top of the guitar and the pickup. You can do one side or both sides of the pickup to find the best sound.

When installing, you may have pushed the pickup a little further in than was needed. In this way, the active element is shifted more towards the other strings and is not capturing the 1st string well. Just loosen the strings of your instrument and pull the pickup slightly out in the direction of the jack and 1st string. Retune and your issue should be resolved. 

SP-1 and HP-1 are both great pickups with their own sonic characters. Just like selecting a model for a 6-string acoustic, it is up to the player's preference. 

It depends on how tight the space is. NG, SG, and UK models can handle slight twisting and having strings pressing into the pickup. You can put the pickup in a slightly twisted position that fits the available space between the saddle and the bridge pins. Sanding is not recommended at all — it will damage the piezo crystal element inside the pickup.

Most resonator tailpieces are curved at the end where the strings are attached. This will not allow the SG-1/2 to fit properly since it is designed for a straight line behind the saddle and the pins of a standard steel-string guitar bridge. A better option for a resonator guitar would be any of our surface-mount UP or AP models. 

We have tested SP-1/HP-1 with various strings from different metal alloys including nickel. It captures and reproduces their sound, character and tone without any unpleasant noises or hum.

The pickup will work on most curved bridges. The strings will bend the pickup slightly, but it should not affect the sound or performance. 

Many customers are using our NG-1/2 on nylon-string guitars with bridge pins. Please make sure there is 0.38" (9.6mm) space between the pins and the saddle. If you have less distance, you might consider our SG-1 or SG-2 designed for steel-string guitars.

The NG-1/2, SG-1/2, and UK-1/2 pickups are held in place by the tension of the strings. No adhesive is needed.

Yes, UK-1 and UK-2 were designed to fit tie-block bridges on the four most popular sizes of ukuleles: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. However, a few ukuleles have guitar-style bridge pins and saddles, and for those we would recommend something from our AP and UP line of pickups.   

It should work fine. Most 3/4-size guitars have full-size bridges and saddles.

First, try not to face the amp directly with your guitar when you play, and keep some distance between you and the amp. Second, check your amp settings and try to turn down the gain, reverb and treble a bit. Also,  if your amp has an anti-feedback control, try dialing that up. Always remember to turn up your volume gradually and it should never be to the maximum.  If feedback is still happening, you may want to try a feedback-resistant soundhole cover which is available from most guitar shops and online retailers. 

SP-1 and HP-1 have rubber contact points where they touch the instrument which will protect the surface against scratches and marks on most modern finishes. However, there are types of finishes (nitrocellulose, often used on vintage instruments) where a reaction can occur between the rubber and the finish of the top. For more info please consult with the manufacturer of your instrument, a knowledgeable vintage instrument dealer or service center. 

They work great on guitaleles, as long as the instrument has a tie block on which to install. If the guitalele bridge is smaller than a standard guitar, you might consider using one of our UK-1 or UK-2 ukulele pickups.  

Bridge sizes vary depending on the make and model of each instrument. Check to see there is 6.3 mm at least between the bridge pins and the saddle at the first string.  Also, the distance between the 1st and 12th strings is no more than 73mm. If your bridge will not fit SG-1/2, we suggest our AP and UP surface-mount options, or the SP-1 and HP-1 soundhole-mounted pickups.  

All KNA pickup models that attach on the tie block of the bridge or between the saddle and the bridge pins are held in place by the pressure of the strings. They won't move until you want them to and loosen the strings. 

NG-1 and NG-2 have a lightweight design with an overall thickness of the active plate of about 2mm (0.08"). When the strings are tuned to pitch, this will apply the same or even greater pressure on the saddle, and sound will not be compromised.

Those models use non-standard placement for the pins on the bridge of the steel-string version and have a narrow space on the tie block of the nylon-string version. Our bridge-mount pickups don't fit without modification to the instrument. 
We'd suggest a surface-mount portable piezo pickup from the universal line to achieve similar results without having to modify your guitar.

The adhesives that we use for our stick-on pickups will not damage most modern polyurethane-based finishes. There might be a small amount of residue left by the putty when you take the pickup off, but that can be removed with a bit of water or your preferred instrument polish.     

Older, vintage instruments and custom builds may use nitrocellulose varnish for their finishes which can be sensitive to adhesives. We recommend testing by placing a small piece of the putty on the back or other less visible area on the instrument to see how it reacts.     

Don't leave the pickup attached for a long time. Some varnishes react and change under the influence of light and it’s possible there will be a visual difference with the rest of the varnish

It seems that the pickup housing on its bottom surface is not making good contact with your instrument. Piezo pickups work on the principle of sensing mechanical vibrations from acoustic surfaces, which are turned into electrical signals. Piezo pickups need good contact with the acoustic surface to better capture these vibrations.

Your double-sided adhesive disc may not be making good contact. Please remove the one you're using and try the other one included with the package. Press firmly when attaching the pickup to the soundboard of your instrument with that disc.

The purpose of the blue putty is so you can try out the pickup on different spots of your instrument, or use one pickup on multiple instruments. It is non-toxic and safe to be applied to the finish of your instrument. You won't have to use much putty,  so it will last a good while. If you are using the pickup on one instrument exclusively and want a more permanent solution, the double-sided adhesive discs might be your best option. 

The provided double-sided adhesive discs are quite strong and will hold the pickup in place for a long time. You can also permanently attach the pickup using glue appropriate for the surface where it's going. For better connection, sand the bottom of the pickup slightly before applying the glue. 

The UP pickup will work great with the hybrid slap top. The best placement for the pickup would be on the front soundboard. Try moving the pickup around to different spots to find your ideal tone.

The pickup may be placed on any part of the instrument's front surface for a superb sound. 

You will want to place it at a spot with a good amount of vibration. The side or back of the instrument should work just fine. Feel free to try different spots until you find the best sound.

AP-1/2 and UP-1/2 share the same piezo electronics. The main difference is the size, shape and wood used (maple for AP and mahogany for UP). You can choose your pickup based on the design and color of your instrument.

Yes — you may use up to 40 of our wireless violin/viola pickup systems simultaneously.

Using multiple VV-Wi systems is simple. Follow the regular pairing instructions for the first unit: Turn on the VV-Wi transmitter first and then turn on the receiver. The system will pair automatically in about 10 seconds. Follow the same sequence for your next unit. Then, press and hold the volume “-” button of the transmitter for 5 seconds. The blue indicator flashes 5 times. The receiver blinks once and then lights up continuously, indicating that the channel switching is successful. Each long-press of the “-” key will move the wireless channel up. For the second VV-Wi system,  long-press the “-” button 2 times, for the third VV-Wi system, long-press  the “-” button 3 times and so on until up to 40 systems are connected.   

The devices use incredibly stable Lithium-ion batteries. They do not pose a risk of over or under charging.

The time for full recharge is approximately 90 minutes. This may vary depending on the USB-A charger used, temperature and other conditions.

Both the transmitter and receiver have solid red status lights as they are charging. When the lights go off, your devices are fully charge.  If you unplug any of the devices when their status light is off and plug them back in, their indicator lights will turn on for a few minutes.

Sometime a popping sound might appear when you change the directions of the bowing. With proper adjustment of the position and the pressure of the pickups it can be avoided or reduced to insignificant levels.

The sensor will work on either side of the bridge. We recommend attaching the piezo element under the 1st string, but some players find better results when installing it under the 4th string. We suggest experimenting to find the best sound for you.

 

Our DB-1 should work on every bass that has a classic type of bridge. Additional shims are included for bridges with wider openings.

The sensor will work on either side of the bridge. We recommend attaching the piezo element under the 1st string, but some players find better results when installing it under the 4th string. We suggest experimenting to find the best sound for you.

Your piezo pickup probably works with acoustic amps and mixers but may not work with amps designed for electric guitars. To recognize the input signal, these units require a certain level of input impedance, which is available from magnetic pickups and preamp-powered ones, but not with a piezo. The piezoelectric design, the primary technology KNA uses, doesn’t have that input impedance. You’ll need to connect to an additional piece of gear, such as a DI box, preamp, pedal, or wireless system, before going into your electric amp.

You will need an amplifier with 1M? or higher impedance. 

KNA pickups will work great plugged directly into an amp. There is a preamp built into your amplifier. Some players like to use DI boxes between the pickup and the amp, especially if they connect a second instrument or microphone. 

Yes, any of our pickups will work well with wireless transmitters.

Yes, they certainly can be used with FX pedals. The pedals need to be connected to an amplifier, PA, power interface/sound card, or mixing console. 

KNA pickups are meant to be used with an amplifying system such as acoustic instrument amplifiers, audio interfaces/sound cards, and mixing consoles. Without one of those, there is nothing to increase the power of the input signal.

Many computers have an audio input that goes into their sound card. If there is a mic or line-level choice, you'll want line-level. The jack is usually a 1/8" stereo input, and you'll need a 1/4" mono to 1/8" stereo adapter to use it. We advise checking the computer owner's manual for directions, as each model can be a little different.

Your KNA pickup delivers an analog signal that will need to be converted to a digital one to work on a computer. For best sound quality, we recommend using an audio interface. There are USB interfaces that are very affordable and offer good results.

Please make sure you are using the instrument input and not the microphone or line inputs. The instrument input has 1.5 MΩ impedance and should work just fine. To use the other inputs you will need a preamp. Otherwise, an input/output impedance mismatch may occur.

When connecting a passive piezo pickup to a computer, tablet or phone we recommend using an audio interface. This way you will avoid any interference and hum and get the cleanest signal for recording. 

The top of your pickup is finished in epoxy resin. It’s a lot like the finish of many floors and countertops, so you can use similar cleaning products. Glass cleaner or oil soap will work fine. Just remember not to use too much, otherwise the finish will start to look dull.  

Each model has a tonewood or wood combination selected to provide a lightweight casing for the embedded piezo element, and allow the acoustic sound to be captured and transmitted with optimal sensitivity. Over time and lots of testing, we’ve arrived with the woods we are using today.     

With our commitment to continuous tonal improvement we are always testing to make sure we have the best pickup solutions available. With that in mind, check back to our product listings every once in a while. If there’s a better tonewood choice to be found, we’ll certainly be updating our models.   

Unlike the microphone pickups our piezo pickups have minimum to no feedback. 

There will be no difference between TRS and TS cables when using them with our pickups. The explanation for this is that the signal flows mono anyway, regardless of the type of the cable.

The external sounds you hear are normal, due to the nature of piezoelectrics. The piezoelectric element can pick up any sounds it comes in contact with and is subject to friction, contraction, and any other impact from the environment. 

In some musical genres and styles, these external sounds are a desired effect, such as the tapping on the flamenco guitar, the sound from sliding fingers on the strings. 

To lower the amount of unwanted cable interference, you should limit the movement of the cable. You may run the cable through the strap or tape it to the side of the instrument with paper tape.
You can also change the direction of the cable, so that it doesn't pass through your legs, rub or slide onto them. 

Both 1st generation and 2nd generation pickups share the same piezo elements and the sound is the same. The only difference is the volume knob on the 2nd generation pickups.

Yes, one of the great features of the piezo pickup is capturing different tapping techniques.

Yes, the pickup will not interfere with the vibration of the soundboard or the instrument's ability to project sound.

Any of our surface mount pickup from the UP or AP series works great on an oud, capturing and reproducing the unique sound of the instrument.

Any pickup can be broken if a user is not careful with it. We have many customers who've been enjoying our pickups for many years without any issues.
The majority of incidents have happened when the plugged-in cable was stepped on. We are now offering a 3" lead cable with safety clip that's attached to the performer's clothes or guitar strap. If the cable is stepped on, the forced will be transferred to the clip and the pickup will be left unharmed.

Yes, you can use one of our universal acoustic pickups. It will work perfectly for this instrument.

The 1/8" female socket allows the pickup to be compact enough to fit its application. 

The volume controls are not placed too high on the pickups and usually don't interfere with the picking hand. It depends on the instrumentalist's technique and playing style.

KNA pickups are designed to be mounted on musical instruments for both left-handed and right-handed performers. 
Each pickup will be reversed in relation where it would be on a right-handed instrument but the sound produced will be the same.

KNA pickups feature lightweight tonewood assembly and the best possible electronics to perfectly capture and voice the output of all strings, so they sound very even.

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