New toy – Skysonic pickup

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    • #944
      tadol
      Moderator

      So after reading a bunch of good things about it, and having a few guitars without pickups that I thought would be fun to try it on, I ordered a Skysonic FS-1 wireless pickup. Got it from place in china or hong kong – $125 using Paypal. It arrived about 2-½ weeks later in slightly battered package, but all inside was safe and sound. The directions are only a couple pages long, and written in a 4 pt font, so I squinted hard with my strongest readers and got thru it in a few minutes, and decided to give it a go.

      First thing, there are 2 units – the transmitter, which is like an extra deep boxy soundhole pickup, and the receiver, which is a much smaller unit that plugs into your amp. They each have mini usb jacks, and each need to be plugged in and charged via a pair of usb cables (included). I have no idea if these also allow any kind of upgrade capability when plugged into a computer, but I think they are only for charging the internal battery packs.  I plugged them both into a power strip I have with 2 usb plugs, and went to work on other projects.

      My original thought when buying was I could try this in a few different guitars. Well, you can, but the pickup is so big you practically have to remove all the strings to get it into place. So, no quickie swaps between guitars.  There is a “main”power switch on the face of the pickup – they say to turn that on and leave it on, and that makes sense because once its installed, reaching that switch is a little tricky without a little tool of some kind. The pickup is anchored with a pair of phillips screws that clamp it into the sound hole – very simple. Then I had to tune the guitar back up.

      The 2 units need to be paired, and that can’t be too tricky, cause it seemed to happen without any active effort on my part. I just looked and there’s a power switch on the receiver as well – it must have been “on” –

      So parts were paired and everything turned on, so I started strumming a bit to see what the wheels did. One is volume, the other controls the amount of mic thats on the front of the transmitter, down inside the guitar. The mic seems to be on the treble side, don’t know if that matters, or if a lefty might get a very different sound.

      I have it plugged into my Schertler Jam 150 – its a very decent little acoustic amp. I’ve initially got the pickup installed in my Sexauer mini-D, just a simple mahogany/adi that is one of my pickup-less favs. The pole spacing on the pickup does not line up well with the wider spacing on the miniD, and I used the included hex wrench to lower a couple of center screws (especially the B) and popped up a little on both E’s. That helped the balance a fair bit, and then I played with the volume and mic wheels. I was able to get a pretty decent sound, but ran into the same problem I always have with acoustic guitars and pickups – I hear the guitar great, but I have to crank the amp way up if I only want to hear the electric part. Not an option in the evening at home.

      So I turned off the top switch on the pickup, didn’t realize there was a switch on the receiver, and put everything away for the evening. Next evening,  pickup shows a green light, and receiver shows nothing – so before I do any more evaluating, it looks like I need to recharge everything.

      For now, I’m thinking this is a pretty nice setup for a guitar without an end pin, without a pickup, and a way to amp up wirelessly to boot. But I do want to try it out a bunch more, on a couple of other guitars, and play with the settings more to see what more I can hear, and maybe even to try recording it to see what it sounds like – that or let a friend play it in another room while I sit in front of the amp and listen. I think its safe to say it sounds at least as good as a k&k setup I’m more used to, also wireless but working with a Line6 G10. That has its own issues, but at least plugging the transmitter into the base station pairs and charges it automatically. Whether I can deal with plugging both devices and getting a 2 port usb charger in my guitar case permanently – that I’m less sure of –  but to get both pickup, mic addition, and wireless all in one package for not much more than a k&k (and less that the G10 unit) is still kinda attractive –

      More to come!!!

    • #945
      indexless
      Keymaster

      Keep us in the loupe on this one Tad, I hope it doesn’t replace my 50’s DeArmonf 🙂

    • #995
      tadol
      Moderator

      Quickie follow-up – having learned about the on-off switches, I turned both parts off and plugged them into a usb charger overnight. After unplugging, I played the guitar for a little while, then turned both part off and put the guitar aside. I’ve been turning them on and playing it every day for a little bit since, and the 2 parts have always synced immediately, and some 10 plus days later, its still going strong every time I turn it on. I’m still needing to do a range test (need someone to help, since I can only hear the guitar and not the amp once I get a couple rooms away, but I’m sure signals getting thru) and I also need to do an endurance test to see how many hours I can get on a charge, but haven’t had the time for that yet.

      But right now, if you dont have a pickup in your guitar, and you like the idea of doing it wireless, this is not a bad option to  consider –

    • #1046
      indexless
      Keymaster

      Thanks, that’s cool, did you find any videos? I came up blank

    • #1058
      Matt Hayden
      Participant

      I like this idea. I may have to try one….

    • #1063
      tadol
      Moderator

      Here are a couple if anyones interested –

       

    • #1070
      Matt Hayden
      Participant

      The tone in the seoncd example is very much like Tuck Andress’ tone.  I like it….

       

    • #1078
      indexless
      Keymaster

      I’m wondering if 2 could be in the same room together and not fight

    • #1081
      Matt Hayden
      Participant

      If it’s following the bluetooth standard, it should auto negotiate pairing.

      One can only hope that they followed the standard…

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