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studemobile
06-17-2016, 10:43 AM
Hi All,
I am thinking of making a solid body Baritone uke. I plan to use a magnetic pickup with the volume controlled at the amp for a simple setup. Would this be the equivalent of having the pickup control set to 10 meaning the amp would not need to be turned up all the way or is the total volume capability increased when a volume knob is installed on the instrument?
Thanks in advance,
grandpag123.com

kohanmike
06-17-2016, 11:03 AM
A side question, what strings will you use?

studemobile
06-17-2016, 11:46 AM
Low G - C tuning. Probably Nickel and or Steel .024w, .016, .013, .010. I have experimented with a 19" scale kids solid body guitar converted to 4 string with success.

kypfer
06-17-2016, 12:45 PM
Hi All,
I am thinking of making a solid body Baritone uke. I plan to use a magnetic pickup with the volume controlled at the amp for a simple setup. Would this be the equivalent of having the pickup control set to 10 meaning the amp would not need to be turned up all the way or is the total volume capability increased when a volume knob is installed on the instrument?
Thanks in advance,
grandpag123.com

The volume knob on the instrument, (assuming there's no powered circuitry within the instrument), acts simply as an attenuator, so, to use your analogy, having no volume control on the instrument is like having one set at 10 ... wide open ;)

I can appreciate the appeal of simplification, but there are circumstances, re-tuning a string for example, or even changing from chord strumming to melody picking, where having a locally adjustable volume control (and tone control) can be advantageous.

On a similar note (pun intended) I put a Stratocaster guitar together with a single centrally mounted humbucker and the tone and volume controls right out of the way, in the far corner of the scratchplate. They're well out of the way for "normal playing purposes" but still immediately available should I want to adjust things "on the fly" and not have to go over to the amp ... obviously, YMMV ;)

Booli
06-17-2016, 12:47 PM
A volume control on an instrument is a type of resistor, aka potentiometer (POT) or variable resistor (varistor) measured in Ohms.

At 100% 'open' it theoretically lets all the electrons flow and would be similar to having NO pot in the circuit at all, and at zero, or 100% closed, theoretically it should stop all the electrons from flowing.

So to answer your question, having NO volume control ON THE INSTRUMENT is the same as having the volume control at 100% open or '10' when going into the amp, and this has nothing to do with the volume setting on the amp.

Having a volume control on your instrument is for convenience, say for live performance when you want to mute the instrument or change volume level during performance, as opposed to having a VOLUME PEDAL, or having to reach over to the possibly inconveniently located controls ON the amplifier during performance.

More TECH details follow below: (not required for the answer to the question)

I say 'theoretically' above because there is always some 'bleed' when fully closed and as well as some 'insertion loss' (measured in decibels 'db') even when fully OPEN with any potentiometer. How much or how little depends upon the quality of the potentiometers in question.

You should also be aware of the difference between LINEAR (or logarithmic) potentiometers vs. AUDIO TAPER potentiometers. They each have a different 'curve', i.e., how much you turn the knob, and how much the sound level is effected proportionally. There are different viable uses for each type when being used for audio.

Also, there is no one single value for potentiometers, they need to be matched to the pickup(s) as well as the amplifier. There is a LOAD measure in kilo-Ohms from magnetic pickups, as well as the input impedance on an amplifier. There is no hard and fast rule, but 250k potentiometers will SOUND DIFFERENT than 500k or 100k potentiometers with the SAME pickups feeding into each. More or less treble, more or less warmth, depending upon the total source impedance load of the pickups themselves.

Also, a TONE control, or individual bass, middle and trble controls are nothing more than a potentiometer, wired in series with a specific capacitor. The capacitor acts as a filter to pass OR block certain audio frequencies.

Lots of this info can be had on the StewMac tech info, tech-tips, and tutorials pages, as well as other sources online.

Inksplosive AL
06-17-2016, 08:26 PM
Some reading on active and passive pickups that may interest you. I know my KonaBlaster sounds dead compared to a nylon stringed solid ukulele with a piezo pickup. Perhaps a good active pickup is key.

http://www.samash.com/help/library/main/Choosing_the_Best_Pickup_for_Your_Guitar.html

Then there are the lace Alumitone line of pickups.

~good luck~

studemobile
06-25-2016, 03:13 PM
Thanks to all for responding and offering good suggestions. I'll let you know how it turns out.
grandpag123.com