PDA

View Full Version : Amp for Ukulele



bof
02-29-2008, 10:35 AM
Okay, @ those of you, who play applauses or other ukuleles with active pick ups, what amp do you use? What can you recommend to me?

I recently bought an Applause and so my budget is not exactly the highest at the momment. Furthermore, I don't need it for the stage or anything like that.
thanks for your answers

HypodermicMD
02-29-2008, 11:46 AM
I use a roland micro cube. They're very reasonably priced and roland makes some of the cleanest amps on the market. It isn't specifically an acoustic amp, so there are feedback issues, but I've had the same issues with a specifically acoustic amp. It has some effects on it too which are very nice, they could ALMOST replace a pedal. Anyhow, they go for around $125 at Guitar Center. I see 'em at Pawn Americas all the time too.

ukulele123
02-29-2008, 02:29 PM
I use a roland micro cube. They're very reasonably priced and roland makes some of the cleanest amps on the market. It isn't specifically an acoustic amp, so there are feedback issues, but I've had the same issues with a specifically acoustic amp. It has some effects on it too which are very nice, they could ALMOST replace a pedal. Anyhow, they go for around $125 at Guitar Center. I see 'em at Pawn Americas all the time too.



does it sound good when you hook up an ukulele to it?

UKESTAR
02-29-2008, 02:57 PM
does it sound good when you hook up an ukulele to it?

For the "acoustic" setting, the volume output is pretty darn low for whatever reason w/o a pre amp of some sort. I have a passive Markley pick-up. On all the other settings, it is fairly loud. I really like my micro cube over all...:D

HypodermicMD
02-29-2008, 02:58 PM
I think it does, your mileage may vary. Just tote your uke with you and go check one out at a local music store. Most anyone, even the little guys around here, carry 'em.

ukejon
02-29-2008, 04:41 PM
Crate makes an incredible little acoustic amp (http://www.amazon.com/Crate-CA15-CIMARRON-Acoustic-Contour/dp/B000PLZAE0)--beautiful, full tone and really quiet:

Howlie Boy
02-29-2008, 07:25 PM
Im going to jump on this thread to get email notification. i am also in the market for an amp for my ukulele. I have hooked it up to an amp and it didnt sound that good, but maybe cause it wasnt for accoustic.

Howlie Boy:cool:

HypodermicMD
02-29-2008, 08:17 PM
I think that having an active pickup makes a big difference. My uke has an active and sounds fine through the Cube, even on the acoustic setting. Again, this is all personal preference. I'm not trying to do "traditional uke" very much. I'm using pedals and effects. It's quite neat because by using an acoustic electric instead of a straight electric it really keeps the "plunk" of the uke. To get the best results with a non-acoustic amp though, I think a soundhole cover is very necessary.

bof
02-29-2008, 10:52 PM
thanks for your answers guys

Heard good things about the Roland Micro Cube. However I heard that it doesn'T always fit with acoustic instruments. However there seems to be no other good low budget acoustic amp available. Tell me if I'm wrong. So as temporary solution I decided to buy the danelectro honeytone miniamp until my budget grows again to buy a good acousic amp. Thought its necessary to have a portable mini-amp if I'm on a trip or anything like that.
Nevertheless I would still like to hear your recommendings bout amps for acoustic ukuleles.

studentaccount1
02-29-2008, 11:43 PM
What is your purpose for the amp? Louder tone for recording? Playing live? Etc?

bof
03-01-2008, 02:20 AM
Louder tone, recording, use of effect devices and pedals

tripl3thr33
03-01-2008, 07:46 AM
i have a vox DA5 which is often compared with the roland microcube. i've never tried BOTH of them, or any other amp for that matter so i can't say that the DA5 if better or worse than anything else but it does have a lot of effects (11, several are that of which are combined effects of those that are already available through the amp, like chorus + delay, flanger + reverb, etc) that you can apply without getting pedals. you also have 10 different "styles" that you can choose from. Some of them include crunch, higain, blues, drive, and a clean setting. i like it a lot and have fun when i want to play around with my uke even more hehe

studentaccount1
03-01-2008, 08:41 AM
Louder tone, recording, use of effect devices and pedals

I might suggest buying a simple mixer (and later a good preamp pedal for more flexibility). You could get the mixer for under a $100.

For recording you will have a microphone input, for a better recording tone than the pickup will give you as well as other options for recording percussion singing etc. If you want to "Play Loud Ukulele" :p you can plug the mixer in to any amplifier you have lying around... you could even hook up your computer speakers or use headphones (for late @ night practice sessions ).

Bonus is that you can have both mic and pickup tones and mix them together as well as the ability to EQ the signals for even more tonal variation. Just plug into your sound card and rock and roll.

__________

if you want an amp for the cool factor of being able to plug in and feel like a rock star, which is definitely fun, the Roland amps are good. I have heard good reviews for the Vox DAs (model #?)

__________

To simplify even more, you could get a line 6 pod (for tons of effects) which is made for guitar but very useable for uke if you like that kind of thing, or if you are good with computers some of their new Toneport recording stuff which has Acoustic settings and all that other good stuff(effects/amp/cab simulation/microphone simulation/etc.). I used to use a UX2 when I was strapped for room while I was in school.

bof
03-01-2008, 09:14 AM
Yeah thought about a mixer too. I have an audio interface (Tascam) already which also serves as a guitar preamp for the computer, but I don't like to amp my ukulele via my pc, thats just not very handy. I also have a studio microphone (rode NTA-1).
But yeah as you guessed correctly, I like to plug my ukulele into an amp and play loud and with effects and so on.
So the Vox is for acoustic guitars? Or do I get a bad sound output if I use it for my ovation?

Anyway thanks for your detailed answer

rayan
03-01-2008, 09:21 AM
We used to use a lot of Marshall amps when we first got started.

Misguided Musician
03-01-2008, 09:46 AM
I've never heard a Uke on Marshall. How was the sound? Cuz I know it sounds great for electric guitars. My cuz thinks the tone of the uke wouldn't really sound that great on a Marshall.

ukulele123
03-01-2008, 02:46 PM
i have a vox DA5 which is often compared with the roland microcube. i've never tried BOTH of them, or any other amp for that matter so i can't say that the DA5 if better or worse than anything else but it does have a lot of effects (11, several are that of which are combined effects of those that are already available through the amp, like chorus + delay, flanger + reverb, etc) that you can apply without getting pedals. you also have 10 different "styles" that you can choose from. Some of them include crunch, higain, blues, drive, and a clean setting. i like it a lot and have fun when i want to play around with my uke even more hehe


how much was it and where did you get it?

tripl3thr33
03-01-2008, 03:20 PM
i got it on ebay for $120 with shipping.

pfestejo1
03-01-2008, 06:11 PM
any pictures of it?

ukulele123
03-01-2008, 08:30 PM
any pictures of it?



yeah pictures would be good and maybe a video too!!
because im looking for an amp too

HypodermicMD
03-01-2008, 09:29 PM
I agree that the Vox small amp is also an excellent choice. I've not used it with my uke, but it is the next small amp we will be buying. Sounds great with a guitar, and I suspect it would be something that would be awesome with a uke too.

The Pod however is NOT. We have one and it is a disaster with the uke. You can use SOME of the presets, but I get really awful feedback and just general ickyness when I use it. If you want to create your own settings, I'm sure its workable. I'm just lazy and I've got a pedal addiction. I'll stick to my amp and my pedals. :D

If I had a video camera I'd post a vid of what the uke sounds like through the cube, but alas, I does not own one.

bof
03-05-2008, 10:24 PM
So today I received the Honeytone Miniamp. All I can say: It's damn cool! Though its so small, it's pretty loud. It's really worth the 40 dollars I payed

BruddahMark
03-06-2008, 07:51 AM
my 2 cents in on this thread.

For portability (like the beach, small gatherings, coffee house, etc.) I use the Vox DA5. It is a great little amp that you can take anywhere. Lots of fun effects. It has never let me down. Running on batteries it lasts a long time. Plug-in power it will go forever. I had it with me when I was at the Cerritos Ukulele festival and had The Dominator and other players test it out. Good reviews from everyone. Check his site and search FMBB on VOX-DA5.
http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o167/markouke/thedominator.jpg
You can see the two Vox's hanging in each cornerof our booth. We were on battery power all day during the festival


My money amp is the Marshall AS100D. It's a Marshall Acoustical Amp. To me it's one the of cleanest sounding most versatile amps I have ever plugged my ukulele in. Plenti of "fat" Marshall power plus has a separate mic channel. A lot of my friends own the Marshall AS50D which is smaller and more portable.

I run my ukulele through a MiSi- battery free pickup system then through a Dean Markley DM-3 pre-amp for added pump.

For what it is worth.

Dominator
03-06-2008, 08:07 AM
BruddahMark, who's that old fart next to you? Looks vaguely familiar ;).

Seriously, those amps did sound really good. Best I've heard my Glyph sound in a while.

BruddahMark
03-06-2008, 08:18 AM
Hey my braddah! Howzit?

Yeah da buggah next to me is "da man". Known by many, loved by all. He is helping change the world.....of ukulele players. That's for sure!

Yagura
05-28-2008, 03:13 AM
I use a vox da5 with the applause . I think perfect for home and versatility
http://en.woodbrass.com/product_info.php?calculport_country_id=222&products_id=21970&

JP

hotnanas
05-28-2008, 04:43 AM
I have the Line 6 Spider III 15 watt amp. I like it and it's rather cheap at just under $100. It also has a bunch of built in effects that i like playing with.

pohaku
05-29-2008, 05:21 PM
For acoustic instruments (that are being played to sound like acoustic instruments), I've liked my Ultrasound amp. I have an older single channel one and I believe the newer ones offer multiple channels (so you can plug a mic in too). They also come with on-board effects that include different reverbs, chorus, etc. A very nice natural sound and reasonably priced. If price was no object, I'd get an AER Compact 60 or another from their line. Absolutely top flight amp. They sound wonderful.

If you need a preamp/DI, the Baggs PADI is a pretty standard preamp/DI that can be used with passive pickups. I think it is still pretty much the standard for acoustic guitars with passive pickups.


If you want your uke to sound like an electric instrument (as opposed to an amplified acoustic instrument), then the sky is the limit. I'd plug the soundhole and find a nice tube amp to play through.

KoloheBoy
05-29-2008, 06:32 PM
get a good stereo with dual speakers for 150 bucks. best amp for acoustic playing at home ;)

UkuleleSwanlet
05-30-2008, 09:28 PM
Hey Bof,
Do you still like your honeytone mini amp? I am thinking of getting one but hoping to hook it up with an external pickup. The price seems perfect. Do you think it'll work?
Thanks for all these great threads.:D

ichadwick
05-31-2008, 01:58 AM
I picked up a Roland Cube 30X (http://www.roland.com/products/en/cube-30x/index.html)as a general all-purpose amp. It has a handful of basic effects built in, as well as numerous amp simulations (so you can make it sound like a tube amp, overdrive, stack, etc.). It's damned loud if I want it to be, small enough to carry easily and has a headphone jack so I can go deaf without disturbing the wife or scaring the dog. Some nice features built into it. Sounds good for my guitars, harps and ukes.

bof
05-31-2008, 02:18 AM
Hey Bof,
Do you still like your honeytone mini amp? I am thinking of getting one but hoping to hook it up with an external pickup. The price seems perfect. Do you think it'll work?
Thanks for all these great threads.:D

I bought a vox da5 now for my e-guitar. The difference to the honeytone is so huge. I think the honey is okay for its price, but if you have 100 $ don't hesitate to buy the vox, as the vox is so amazing for its price. Now I didn't touch the honey for some weeks. Well i still take the honey if im going outdoors with the uke as its really small.
--> I wouldn't buy the honey again but save money for the vox
but the honey was still lots of fun..

SailQwest
05-31-2008, 04:50 AM
We have a Vox DA5. It's a nice amp for the ukuleles, and being battery-powered is great for us on the boat.

It makes a decent harp amp, too!

UkuleleSwanlet
05-31-2008, 05:15 AM
Thanks guys for your input. I saw one on ebay and will keep my eyes out for it. Oh, maybe I shouldn't have said that in case someone else is interested as well. The Honeytone does look so cute though, but I don't have anyone to impress so, will go for quality!! :D

ricdoug
05-31-2008, 09:27 AM
So today I received the Honeytone Miniamp. All I can say: It's damn cool! Though its so small, it's pretty loud. It's really worth the 40 dollars I payed

I use my Honeytone on the beach. With NiMH rechargeable batteries, it will give about an hour of good service. I have 2 of these batteries. I always carry it in my case to the Encinitas and Oceanside Kanikapilas, if any locals want to try it. Turn the Master all the way up and the overdrive from about 0 to 10%. It really starts to distort, after this. The Honeytone is the loudest of the miniamps I've tried. I also have the AC adaptor. There is a belt ckip on the back, for hands-free operation:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/ukulele324.jpg

The battery powered Crate Taxi TX-15 is my favorite. It has two inputs, with seperate level controls. The first input has a combo XLR/ 1/4" instrument jack, which allows you to plug in a mic and a uke with control over each seperately. It is loud enough to play in medium venues. I've used mine successfully in front of an audience of 75. Very clean and low noise:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/35858Ukulele110.jpg

Another good choice is an AXL B60 Bass/Keyboard amp. It has two inputs with XLR/ 1/4" instrument jacks on each. They are independently adjustable. I sometiomes use two mics, to sing along with my acoustic ukes. It has a tweeter and a 12" speaker. The parametric EQ allows you to notch out the feedback:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/35858AXL1.jpg

I own a couple dozen amps and have tried them all with my ukes:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Keyboard1.jpg

nmelcher
07-15-2008, 08:51 AM
I picked up a Roland Microcube a year ago and I love it. I use it for all of my live gigs and I usually use the special effects to rock out. I use Duracell AA batteries and I've only had to change them once in a year and that was only just in case so it wouldn't conk out on me during a show. Most of my audience has never seen an electric ukulele, and they get a kick out of seeing a "little amp" with a "little guitar."

UkuLeLesReggAe
07-15-2008, 03:22 PM
i like all ur amps there..

the blue one looks funny lmao - the black one is nice

ricdoug
07-15-2008, 03:48 PM
The blue one comes in two other funny colors - a deep burgundy and a pastel yellow. Those colors are symbolic of car paints and 50's diner restaurants of that era. Ric

Baron
03-20-2009, 05:24 PM
Using smaller "cheapy" amps only makes your uke sound less round and thin. I'm recording with a Gibson Goldtone single speaker 15W amp and I think it is fabulous for the Uke! I will use it live as well. Check out the songs I recorded using the amp (plus some pedals and mixing EFX) - the songs are: Feel So Good (Ovation Tenor), and Tiki Lady (HONU cutaway-Tenor) at: http://www.myspace.com/tikicowboys The song Slap, Clap And Tickle uses a gnarly CRATE amp and you can hear a BIG difference versus the Goldtone. Although the CRATE ain't too bad for the money.

Just my 2¢

-Baron

Baron
03-20-2009, 05:30 PM
I don't know about vocals and the uke through the same amp, never been a fan of that sound, something always suffers either the vocals or the uke but usually BOTH. The band I am in always plays the ukes through the PA and I think it sounds terrible.

ricdoug
03-20-2009, 06:49 PM
Who carries your generator? LOL! I tried viewing your MySpace page,
but all that came up were some graphics on the left hand side. I wanted
to sample the soundbytes you were describing. I personally like the
sound of a 12" for rock and blues electric guitar.

Sure there's a difference in sound between a Marshall Stack and a
Honeytone Mini (I own both and a little of everything in between). Can't
clip a half stack on the belt and jam at a Farmer's Market... Can't
Rock Shea Stadium with a belt clip amp... This was a previous thread
on battery powered amplification:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5333

A couple of pros jammed for a crowd of a couple hundred last night
through some Roland Microcube RX Bass, Roland Microcube RX's
and Vox DA5's. Bass guitar, acoustic guitar, lap steel guitar, ukuleles:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/TinyTom1.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/TinyTom2.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/TinyTom3.jpg

Left to right, Tiny Tom, Uncle Bill and our alaka'i Pat "Palika" Enos

I'll try your MySpace page again later. Ric

buddhuu
03-21-2009, 01:11 AM
I really like the Marshall AS50D.

It is a 2 channel acoustic amp. 50w, 2x8" speakers + tweeter. It has a built-in limiter to keep it clean when pushed hard. There are a phase switch and notch filter to eliminate feedback - and they work extremely well. It has chorus and reverb.

It has jack and phantom power XLR inputs, and line and DI out so you can bung it into a PA.

I mostly play into a condenser mic (Shure PG81), but sometimes I put my electro acoustic concert uke straight into the high impedance jack of the 1st channel. One reason I usually play into the mic channel is that Phil the banjo player often puts his piezo into channel 1 - so the amp takes care of both of us at once.

I love this amp.

Here's the Marshall product page for AS50D (http://www.marshallamps.com/product.asp?productCode=AS50D)

and here it is at a pub gig. Makes a great Guinness table.

http://www.whitehatseo.net/images/ymcaboot.jpg

Ahnko Honu
03-21-2009, 02:43 AM
The picture reminds me of a UK version of "The Village People". :biglaugh:
Nice looking Guiness. :shaka:
http://www.whitehatseo.net/images/ymcaboot.jpg

buddhuu
03-23-2009, 03:21 AM
The picture reminds me of a UK version of "The Village People". :biglaugh:
Nice looking Guiness. :shaka:


Well spotted that man! :D

Yeh, that's during our world-famous interpretation of YMCA (as banned by Youtube). As there are 9 of us we kind of run out of VP characters, so we improvise a few new ones - such as gay Santa, gay fly-fisherman, gay whippet trainer...

nicthejew22
01-08-2010, 12:03 AM
I'm looking for a good amp for a Eleuke (http://www.amazon.com/Eleuke-Rosewood-Tenor-Electric-Ukulele/dp/B002WV4HTK) It is strictly an Electric Uke, Would I be fine with any old Guitar Amp?

If it matters, The uke is being used for a louder Rock Setting.

Thanks
-Nic

bensontaylor
02-12-2010, 06:42 AM
Hey, at summer NAMM they had the both an acoustic guitar amp (Ibanez Troubador 35 Watt) and electric guitar also Ibanez 65 watt I think. Both played really good.

SailingUke
02-12-2010, 06:56 AM
For total portability the Micro Cube is great. I was a little disappointed in the volume with a passive pickup, but then I tried the "Mic" setting on the amp and wow.
It really just increases the volume of the uke and still sounds like a uke. I like the micro for when I need just a little volume boost. I can still sing over the top of it and not need a mic.
For perfomances I have a Crate Limo (60W and battery powered) it has multiple channels so I can run an instrument and a mic though it. They also make a smaller one called the Taxi.
It looks good and I have heard good things, but not played one.

GrumpyOldMan
02-13-2010, 04:57 AM
Another vote here for Roland Micro Cube. I bought a mint one from Cash Converters about three weeks ago for 20, mostly because of the comments on UU. I'm very impressed with it with my Eleuke, I can sound like anything from Tiny Tim to Jimi Hendrix at the turn of a switch!

Ian.

experimentjon
02-13-2010, 11:27 AM
One amp that I don't think was mentioned here is the Roland AC60, which I think is an awesome acoustic amp. Everything you need to perform live in a small venue. But I also love the Microcube, and have two of them, one for home, one for the dorm, because it really is just such a good amp. I like my DA5 as well, but it doesn't feel as rugged as the microcube for some reason, and it's a bit bigger. As for using guitar amps for ukulele, I think my Cube30 sounds okay, but you just don't get all of the nuances of the tone.

I've been looking to plug my Roland AC60 into my surround sound system, but am too lazy to go and dig up a pair of those red/white cable things. I wonder what will happen...

Projectbronco
02-13-2010, 12:51 PM
Well spotted that man! :D

Yeh, that's during our world-famous interpretation of YMCA (as banned by Youtube). As there are 9 of us we kind of run out of VP characters, so we improvise a few new ones - such as gay Santa, gay fly-fisherman, gay whippet trainer...

Ha ha haa! That's hillarious.

Chris Parks
02-14-2012, 05:53 AM
Chris from Quilter here. Just wanted to say as I am an avid ukulele player myself, that first and foremost, I work for a manufacturer. (Now that that is out of the way...)
I am visiting not so much by way of trying to make sales as to share a new product that I think is a perfect fit for Ukulele.
(It is an awkward place for me as I want to tell you about it, but at the same time I don't want to be "one of those guys" who intrudes on a forum.)
So at the risk of being looked at as a turd, here goes.
I have been using the Quilter MicroPro 200 for some time and it works great for me as it has enough power and projection to work well amplifying my Ukulele, but it also has a mic input.
I made a video of a tune, and at risk of further heckling and abuse, here it is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCuAbnPCfMg&list=UUZ8W6TpCgNS2lkIEJT-yr6g&index=4&feature=plcp
In any case, I wanted to share and say how wonderful this site has been for me as a resource over the last few years as I have been learning Ukulele. Let me know if you have any questions, and feel free to rib me if need be.
Pleasure to meet you all.

-chris

Gwynedd
02-14-2012, 10:42 AM
Not a fan of that song (not your fault) but it actually seems better with uke. How did you employ the amp? Do you have a pickup (not seeing a cable to an amp....) Nice sound.

Chris Parks
02-14-2012, 02:01 PM
It does have a cable. It's just out of the frame.
The Ukulele is a cheapo Cordoba I bought for $159 from the local music store when I was actually looking to buy pickups to retrofit another one I have that is rather dull sounding and had two piece tuning pegs that I loc-tited together to stop them from buzzing. I was surprised to find it actually had a pretty good tone amped.
Yeah, I agree. It's not my best song. I wrote a tune the other day whilst taking my daughter to a park. Perhaps I will post it up.
Personally I am a big fan of old calypso tunes which are just great on a Uke. I have learned quite a few Burgess/Belafonte tunes. (Mostly outside the popularized stuff oddly.)
The amp has two inputs. One for the instrument, and one for Microphone. You can check it out on the site but I don't want to be advertising. Again, just sharing.

-chris

Nickie
02-14-2012, 05:08 PM
I have a bass amp that seems to work right for my uke. If I am going to perform in nursing homes and ALFs, for people who don't have the best hearing, should I get a microphone? What kind of reasonably priced mike sould I get?

Plainsong
02-14-2012, 05:25 PM
There's an Audio Technica instrument mic, it's the bottom of the range, and it's blue, and it's really pretty good. I think it's about 40 euros, so not surf the us street price. If you were to search the online music stores in the US by audio technica and lowest price, you'd probably see th blue one.

Of course then you need th xlr cable, and maybe an xlr to mono adapter depending on what you're plugging into, and a mic stand, but th stand I got has a boom arm, works well, and was 12 euros at Thomann.de.

ricdoug
02-14-2012, 06:15 PM
Aloha e Chris.

Do any San Diego music retailers carry those? I'd like to try one out with some acoustic/electric instruments I own. The ukulele sounded "electric" to me in that video. I checked out several of the guitar videos on that channel and the Quilter MicroPro 200 sounds great with the electrics. What kind of pickup are using in that Cordoba, active or passive?

On another note a good friend of mine, Jon Bart of Quiet Voice Audio, is a fanatic about QSC pro audio. I've seen some of his work with your line arrays.

Ric

Pippin
02-15-2012, 09:46 AM
Kala Round-About is a great sounding amp "voiced" especially for ukulele.

fitncrafty
02-15-2012, 10:00 AM
I haven't had any experience with it, but Luna just came out with a little ukulele amp..