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Picker Jon
04-25-2015, 04:53 AM
I got a uke last Christmas and I'm loving it. I'm learning jigs and reels and bluegrass tunes that go down really well at pub sessions. I'm amplifying my uke through a 5 watt battery amp which works really well.

However, I can't always be bothered carrying an amp around and I was wondering if there was a uke with enough volume to be herd clearly in a pub session, such as a tenor banjo uke or a resonator? I haven't been able to hear any of these instruments so I was wondering if you had any suggestions? Thanks!

RichM
04-25-2015, 05:20 AM
If your primary goal is acoustic volume, banjo uke, hands down. Resonator ukes definitely up the volume, but nothing cuts through like a banjo uke.

Mooh
04-25-2015, 05:51 AM
If my collection is any indication, banjo-uke, resonator-uke, (all solid wood) tenor-uke, in that order. Don't bother with a baritone uke, it's too much in the guitar register to be distinguishable in that scenario.

actadh
04-25-2015, 06:12 AM
Pretty good excuse to get that new Deering banjo uke. I may have to start playing in pubs to justify it.

kohanmike
04-25-2015, 06:25 AM
As an added point about a banjo uke, I played my first gig last Saturday on u-bass and decided to put a video camera on me to save for it posterity using the camera's built in microphone. Sitting next to me was a player with a banjo uke and because it was so loud, the camera audio limiter kicked in so much that my bass was barely recorded, it was all banjo uke. (You can be sure I turned off the limiter and will use an external mic from now on.)

SteveZ
04-25-2015, 08:35 AM
Pretty good excuse to get that new Deering banjo uke. I may have to start playing in pubs to justify it.

The Deering Banjo Uke (with 11-inch head) is fairly loud as it is. I added an EZ-Resonator (aftermarket add-on to Deering Goodtime Banjos) to mine and really jumped the volume.

rappsy
04-25-2015, 08:52 AM
I don't know if it would cut through that type of noise, but I have never heard a normal Uke that is louder than the KoAloha Ukes. They are loud, clean, and considered by many as "Sound Cannons."

Tootler
04-25-2015, 09:07 AM
Definitely banjo Uke. Especially if you get one with a resonator. Mine came from the Music Room in Cleckheaton and it is LOUD. (I see you're in the UK)

mds725
04-25-2015, 09:45 AM
Banjo ukes are loud, but they sound like banjos. I wouldn't recommend one if you want a loud ukulele that sounds like an ukulele.

Luke El U
04-25-2015, 02:22 PM
Banjo ukes are loud, but they sound like banjos. I wouldn't recommend one if you want a loud ukulele that sounds like an ukulele.

About which I would recommend KoAlohas Juke-a-lele

http://www.theukulelesite.com/juke-a-lele-tenor-ukulele.html

itsme
04-25-2015, 02:53 PM
The two loudest ukes I have are:

- Mainland red cedar tenor
- Kala thinline travel tenor

kohanmike
04-25-2015, 07:54 PM
My loudest uke is a Kala solid cedar top acacia body tenor with cutaway.

http://www.fairfax67.com/images/Kala Cedar.jpg

IamNoMan
04-25-2015, 08:17 PM
Far and away my loudest uke is a Mainland Western Red Cedar. At jams and song circles where there are all manner of instruments it competes favorably volume-wise with every instrument except the banjos and hammered dulcimers.

I don't consider the banjo-uke as a uke in this regard. When I use my banjo-ukes in sessions with other ukulele players they complain it is too loud for them to hear what they are playing. If you want a banjo uke that is particularly loud I would suggest one with a metal tone ring. with or without a resonator they are loud and punch through better than wooden tone rim banjo ukes.

What ever type of strings you use, the higher the tension, the more volume and brightness you can expect. Brightness, (the aDF#B tuning is brighter), doesn't always equate to volume but the sound does punch thru better.

SteveZ
04-26-2015, 03:27 AM
It would seem that the question is really which is the loudest uke by type/size.

Banjoleles by design are boomers, and the Deering with its 11-inch head is the loudest I've ever owned, especially with an aftermarket resonator installed.

Baritones with their large bodies get the edge over other "traditional" form ukuleles. Don't know which is the loudest baritone, because I've only played two.

Tenors are plentiful, but the Pono Pro Classic I owned for a while was defnitely the loudest I've ever experienced.

The debate as to what concert or soprano rules the loudness roost seems to center around wood type. Am interested as to what the concert-soprano "specialists" say about these models.

Since the cost is low and the work is straightforward, have electrified my traditional-form ukuleles which didn't aleady have an installed pickup/preamp.. As long as I have an amp nearby (even a Honeytone), then loudness is not a problem.

Lori
04-26-2015, 05:15 AM
If you are strumming, consider an 8 string or 6 string uke. They have a very full and rich sound (like the difference between a 6 string and 12 string guitar). The 8 string might take a little more effort to play, but it will sound great.

A resonator uke with wood back, top and sides will sound a bit on the banjo side, but not quite as much as a banjo uke. Some ukes can be harsh, and that can often be the case with banjo ukes. You might have to experiment with the strings to get the sound right for your style.

As far as regular ukes, the Blackbird Clara is the loudest uke I own.

–Lori

Steedy
04-26-2015, 08:37 AM
The Ohana TK-40 (http://ukerepublic.bigcartel.com/product/ohana-redwood-rosewood-tenor) is a cannon!

Ukuleleblues
04-26-2015, 10:58 AM
The two loudest ukes I have are:

- Mainland red cedar tenor
- Kala thinline travel tenor

Is a red cedar similar to a redwood top? If not can anyone that has a redwood ukulele comment on the tone and volume?

Gillian
04-26-2015, 11:34 AM
Of the ones I own, it is a draw between my Compass Rose sequoia/walnut tenor and the Blackbird BTU carbon fibre tenor.

But as for wood production ukes, I would say that KoAlohas are the loudest, based on the amazing loudness of my little KoAloha soprano.

TheCraftedCow
04-26-2015, 03:06 PM
On Fridays evenings, we have a hard core bluegrass jam with 5 stringers,fiddlers ,accordians and mandolins. Quite often there are various types of flutes. I find that my concert Eddy Finn travel ukulele holds its own because it is a 4th higher than others are playing. A low 4th string carries the sound more than the same uke strung reentrant.

Why do most people refer to whatever is on the back of a banjo as a resonator? It looks nothing like the inner workings of my 1929 DoBro mandolin or the 2005 Johnson concert resonator ukulele.

The back of a banjo really only REFLECTS the sound . If it a disc spaced 3/16 to 1/4 inch away from the rim, the sound is reflected sideways so it sounds to the player almost like a side port. It is a simple task to add a disc to the back side of an open back banjo or banjo ukulele. The Claraphone line had holes in the body with brass grommet inserts, and a totally closed back. The heavier and more expensive models have a back which goes an inch farther out from the head all the way around , and the sound goes straight out to the people in front through different shaped ports (holes) in the metal rim.

If one is going to be doing jigs - reels - Irish fiddle tunes, why not make life easy and string something with Aquila Reds which are the same as a mandolin tuning --5ths apart

RichM
04-26-2015, 04:01 PM
Why do most people refer to whatever is on the back of a banjo as a resonator? It looks nothing like the inner workings of my 1929 DoBro mandolin or the 2005 Johnson concert resonator ukulele.



The use of the word resonator to describe the rear assembly of a banjo dates back at least to 1925, while the cone-based resonator guitar dates to 1928.

Picker Jon
04-26-2015, 07:50 PM
Thank you for all your replies, everyone. Lots of interesting ideas. I think I'll try to get to play a banjo uke and see if that will give me enough volume, I like the banjo sound anyway and it suits the style of of a lot of pieces I play.

I'll try experimenting with tunings on my wooden uke as well, to see if it'll cut through more, that's something I hadn't thought of. I'm still excited by all the possibilities of the seemingly modest little uke!