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Czechmate01
11-13-2016, 02:44 AM
My new ukulele has a pick up; I want to get a small amp so that when we are fooling around at home over the holidays it gets loud , any suggestions? I do not need a professional amp just something that sounds good at home.95623

DownUpDave
11-13-2016, 03:19 AM
First of all congratulations on the Mya Moe.........stunning. I owned a Mya Moe sycamore tenor with a pick up as well as having five other ukes with pick ups. I asked questioned about amps and listened to advice and bought a Fishman Loudbox Mini and I love it (around $400.00).

You have a world class instrument with great sound so don't cheap out on an inferior sound system. There is nothing worse than your custom uke sounding like crap when plugged in......a waste of money. I have played through other amps that made my uke sound terrible. There are other good acoustic amps out there but this is the one I own and have first hand experience with.

Czechmate01
11-13-2016, 03:49 AM
Thanks for you advice :D

PTOEguy
11-13-2016, 04:25 AM
First of all congratulations on the Mya Moe.........stunning. I owned a Mya Moe sycamore tenor with a pick up as well as having five other ukes with pick ups. I asked questioned about amps and listened to advice and bought a Fishman Loudbox Mini and I love it (around $400.00).

You have a world class instrument with great sound so don't cheap out on an inferior sound system. There is nothing worse than your custom uke sounding like crap when plugged in......a waste of money. I have played through other amps that made my uke sound terrible. There are other good acoustic amps out there but this is the one I own and have first hand experience with.

It is really hard to find anyone who doesn't like their loudbox mini. Mine sounds great and I only spent around $300 by hitting the Presidents Day sale at GC. It's small enough that it doesn't take up a lot of room, sounds good in my living room but still puts out enough sound for me to be heard in a 200 seat church.

Based on my research there are less expensive options that some people like and others don't - if you want to go that route I'd visit a store and pick the one that works for you.

Rllink
11-13-2016, 04:25 AM
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Kustom-PA/PA50-Personal-PA-System-1304980282163.gc

Great acoustic amp. Simple to use, you can plug in both your uke and a microphone, which is a big plus when your really start using it. Anyway, I went through a couple of other amps before landing on this one, and it is by far the most versatile and best sounding.

This is a fifty watt amp, and it will put out some sound. The amps that I got before were five and ten watt amps. I figured that I wasn't going to need anymore than that. I found out pretty quickly that when it comes to amps, if you are turning them up to max to get the volume that you want, you get a lot of distortion. So you are going to want to stay mid range in the volume. This amp puts out plenty of sound mid range.

kohanmike
11-13-2016, 04:51 AM
My new ukulele has a pick up; I want to get a small amp so that when we are fooling around at home over the holidays it gets loud , any suggestions? I do not need a professional amp just something that sounds good at home.

95623

That Kustom amp is not as big as it looks, seems like a really good deal. I have a 15 year old Crate Limo 50 watt that cost me $350 then. Our uke group leader uses the Fishman Loudbox Mini and she loves it, great amp for the money.

(BTW, when you add a photo, be sure to hit a couple of carriage returns at the end of the paragraph so you don't cause the paragraph to spread out. I did that in the quote above, looks better, right?)

Rllink
11-13-2016, 05:02 AM
That Kustom amp is not as big as it looks, seems like a really good deal. I have a 15 year old Crate Limo 50 watt that cost me $350 then. Our uke group leader uses the Fishman Loudbox Mini and she loves it, great amp for the money.

(BTW, when you add a photo, be sure to hit a couple of carriage returns at the end of the paragraph so you don't cause the paragraph to spread out. I did that in the quote above, looks better, right?)
I finally landed on the Kustom PA50, a Beringer 8500 mic, and it all, including cords and cables, fits in a small roller suitcase, and I have less than a hundred fifty bucks tied up in the whole thing. You are right, it is not big. I love the Fishman Loudbox Mini, but it costs more than twice that of the Kustom.

DownUpDave
11-13-2016, 05:39 AM
I finally landed on the Kustom PA50, a Beringer 8500 mic, and it all, including cords and cables, fits in a small roller suitcase, and I have less than a hundred fifty bucks tied up in the whole thing. You are right, it is not big. I love the Fishman Loudbox Mini, but it costs more than twice that of the Kustom.

The Kustom amp that Rllink has is a fabulous amp, especially at such an affordable price. It has been extensively used and praised by some gigging musicians right here on UU. Highly recommended

Czechmate01
11-13-2016, 05:41 AM
Yes it does look better I do not usually add photos this was a first time experience thanks for the amp advice too!

kohanmike
11-13-2016, 06:43 AM
Yes it does look better I do not usually add photos this was a first time experience thanks for the amp advice too!

You can edit your post and add the carriage returns any time.

Brad Bordessa
11-13-2016, 08:03 AM
One more plug for the Loudbox. Great piece of gear.

LDS714
11-13-2016, 01:24 PM
I was introduced to the Blackstar ID:Core BEAM at a local music store this weekend. Didn't plug a uke into it, but played guitars and basses through it for a while and all I can say is that it's absolutely amazing. It's small, portable, versatile, great-sounding, and to top it off can also function as a bluetooth stereo speaker for your phone/computer as well as an interface for recording.

Don't take my word for it, if you can find one nearby, demo it.


https://youtu.be/G0gDoguk5KM

Mezcalero
11-13-2016, 01:57 PM
Congrats on the new Mya Moe. It is a beauty!

I have a Mya Moe all Mrytle with pick-up installed and I play it through the Roland AC-33. It is nice sounding, has two inputs, one for microphone in case you want to play and sing, and it has loop function which allows you to lay down a rhythm track and jam along. I got mine used for around $240.00, but I think they are around $400.00 new.

Dan Gleibitz
11-13-2016, 03:31 PM
Have a look at the Yamaha THR series. They're compact high quality modelling amps, which means they do a pretty good job at emulating the sound of a powerful amp head and large cab, even at low volume. So you can play 'loud' without getting noise complaints from 2 streets away. And despite the low wattage, they'll fill a room before you hit 6 on the dial.

Depends what you're after, but I love mine. I didn't get the acoustic version, but the regular ones work fine with acoustic guitar and ukulele. The effects are stereo too, which can add some depth.

beowoulfe
11-14-2016, 04:28 AM
95646 I don't have a pickup, but I ran across a "Jam Jar Amp" on Instructables the other day. Looks way interesting: http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Jelly-Jar-Guitar-Amplifier-the-North-Georgia-J/

ErnieElse
11-14-2016, 08:39 AM
I'm very happy with my Yamaha THR5A.

joneo
11-30-2016, 10:12 AM
I have a Pignose portable bass amp that sounds decent to me. You can either plug it into the wall or use the internal rechargable batteries. Less than half the cost of a Fishman.

96003

bnolsen
11-30-2016, 03:42 PM
I got my kustom pa50 for 79.99 on sale at GC. For ukulele and voice it works just fine. It doesn't hold up as well when used as a keyboard amp (paired with a bass amp). Gets a bit harsh on the high end when cranked.

Definitely doesn't hurt to test drive one at GC.

BBQUKER
12-01-2016, 02:44 AM
Check out the Powerwerks PW50. Picked up mine for a little over $100.

strumsilly
12-01-2016, 03:53 AM
for price, go with the Kustom PA. for better sound go with the Loudbox mini. I have both and they are both fine. My advice would be to play your particular instrument and mic/pickup through the amps before buying if possible.

Bob-in-Alberta
12-01-2016, 07:02 AM
I've got a Roland Microcube that works pretty well. It also has the option of running it off batteries which could be handy.

bnolsen
12-01-2016, 05:53 PM
Check out the Powerwerks PW50. Picked up mine for a little over $100.

same as the kustom pa50, just rebranded.

sculptor
12-05-2016, 08:53 PM
I own the Roland AC-33 which is optimized for acoustic instruments so it works great with a ukulele and you can use it with batteries if you need to. It's not got a huge sound (especially in battery mode) but it's more than enough for a home or a smaller venue.

phil hague
12-06-2016, 02:28 AM
I have Roland AC 40 (similar to AC33) but doesn't work on batteries but similar. Great sounds from it . two inputs so voice mic and uke together. Highly recommend Roland.

Tootler
12-06-2016, 11:06 AM
I have a Samson XP106. It's battery operated and comes with a charger. Claims 20hours on full charge. Excellent tone with a combi XLR/6mm Jack input and a line level 6mm jack.

Excellent amp with 100W output, plenty of volume for a village hall gig. There's also a smaller XP40 Range.

dwh
12-06-2016, 01:18 PM
The Schertler Giulia is also an extremely nice amp closer to your price point. I play a Schertler Unico which is an outstanding amp for acoustic guitar, ukulele, and vocals.

chikon2000
12-11-2016, 05:24 PM
For those who use small PAs in lieu of an amp, I'm curious about how (or whether) you deal with not having reverb. I would have thought that the vocals and uke would sound too dry without a little reverb to thicken the sound.

Hms
12-13-2016, 01:44 AM
Lovely Mya Moe Czechmate.
Looks to be from the same billet as mine, but I had mine bookmatched the opposite way! (2033)

Roland AC33 is a great little portable amp, battery or mains. In the group we use them as either group amps, or when using the main amps, as foldback speakers.

Also bought one of these 5 amp, battery or mains, mains adaptor not included for pottering round the house with and using for the stomp box!

http://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-Bass/SubZero-Micro-Ukulele-Amp-by-Gear4music-Tweed/NE8?origin=product-ads&utm_campaign=PLA+Shop+-+SubZero&utm_medium=vertical_search&network=google&adgroup=3+-+Generic+Level+-+SubZero&merchant_id=1279443&product_id=30320d1&product_country=GB&product_partition_id=95700736639&gclid=COLIiJmY8dACFS-77Qod-bMDyQ

Seems identical to a Kala amp except for the power switch. (Think this may include the power supply as well.)

https://cosmomusic.ca/amp-ukulele-kala-5-watt-tweed-portable-practice-amp.html

h

Booli
12-13-2016, 02:27 AM
For those who use small PAs in lieu of an amp, I'm curious about how (or whether) you deal with not having reverb. I would have thought that the vocals and uke would sound too dry without a little reverb to thicken the sound.

From experience myself, both as performer and as running the FOH (Front Of House) PA system, reverb is sometimes your enemy since a) it can contribute to feedback and b) if the venue already has lots of reflective surfaces, you get natural reverb anyway, and using a reverb effect going into your amplification can make the sound very muddy to the audience and a nightmare for the sound man to try and clean up with EQ.

If you are mic'ing guitar cabinets that the performers are also using as stage monitors, (like a small jazz group) then the reverb is mostly for the performers, but for the audience, IMHO a very light reverb only seems necessary in a PA system that is in a room that is dead sounding or totally carpeted like a living room, where there is little any sound reflection.

However, if you are The Rolling Stones, or Fleetwood Mac, that is a completely different setup, and I doubt many of us here are playing in stadiums or venues with more than 1,000 people.

The most important factor in amplification is CLEAN sound, and the second is it being LOUD ENOUGH without being too loud.

Starting at about 100 decibels of volume, certain (and most) sound frequencies will cause permanent hearing damage, distorted sound or high levels of ambient 'hiss' can also cause 'ringing in the ears' and hearing loss if exposed to it frequently enough.

Hearing protection in the form of proper earplugs is essential unless losing your hearing is one of your goals.

Having a 100 watt amp for a solo act might be overkill, unless playing outside often.

Playing outside, the sound tends to get 'lost', but playing indoors the sound will reflect off of any hard surface and will seem LOUDER to the audience than to the performer.

Any way, sorry for the digression...

bnolsen
12-13-2016, 06:27 AM
Thanks for bringing up hearing. That's the biggest beef I have with bands in general. The drummer plays like animal and everyone else cranks it up to compensate. It ends up being jet engine levels of sound. This is pretty much par for the course for bands who are playing at festivals. And some of them probably wonder why no one comes to sit and listen.

If the band players on stage need ear protection then its too damn loud.

Booli
12-13-2016, 06:53 AM
Thanks for bringing up hearing. That's the biggest beef I have with bands in general. The drummer plays like animal and everyone else cranks it up to compensate. It ends up being jet engine levels of sound. This is pretty much par for the course for bands who are playing at festivals. And some of them probably wonder why no one comes to sit and listen.

If the band players on stage need ear protection then its too damn loud.

Most folks on stage now use wireless in-ear monitors, which allow for sound isolation and protection from the assault of the stage sound, while also giving each player enough volume to not only hear themselves, but also the rest of the band.

Back in the '80s when I used to go to rock concerts, whether in the nosebleed seats or in the first 10 rows, it was always deafeningly loud and my ears were ringing for days. Most notably when I saw Van Halen back in 1982 for the 'Diver Down' album tour, we had seats at the end of the 12th row on the floor near the stage, and there was a wall of speakers, maybe 25 ft away from us, like 20 ft high and it was so loud that your eyelashes and nose-hairs would vibrate.

I was young and foolish and thought 'yeah man, crank it up', but then my ears were ringing for almost a week afterwards. Every concert after that, no matter where I sat, I always brought foam earplugs with me, even the cheap drugstore brand where you get like 10 pairs in the pack, can cut down the noise level by about 20 db, and yes you can still hear the music clearly, but the person speaking to you, right next to you sounds a bit muffled. At least my eardrums were not bleeding afterwards.

Famously Pete Townsend of The Who is almost completely legally deaf due to loud stage volumes.

When I went to see Aerosmith back in 1992, even with the ear plugs it was still offensively loud, and when combined with being forced to inhale the second-hand smoke from all the weed that folks were consuming, I got a really bad headache and physically ill. I had to leave the concert after about a half hour of being exposed to it all.

Stage volume is a real problem, and if you are running the PA, you need to know how to properly set the EQ for the ROOM and start at a low volume, otherwise you end up punishing the audience with ear damage for 2-3 hrs.

Also, recently Brandi Carlisle took her band on the road, and had NO PA system at all, they performed totally acoustically in smaller, acoustically pleasing venues, to audiences of about 1,000 seats and from the reviews I read, and folks I spoke to that attended, they not only appreciated the more intimate setting (oil lamps and candle-light) but also really enjoyed the music so much more without being punished by obscenely loud stage volume. I could not attend, but if she or another artist comes around again doing something like that, I am hoping that I can see the show.

Most of the uke festivals that I have attended, when the headliner performers are on stage, have had a simple PA system, with an audience of maybe no more than 300 seats (not all of them filled) and while seeing the PA system up close (yes I am an audio gear geek) most of the time they are not using more than 250 watts, and even so, the master levels are usually not more than 1/2 way up. SO while the reserve is there for the sound to potentially go louder, lots of times it's not needed with ukes and other folk instruments.

I've not yet had the pleasure to check out the sound systems that are used at the Grand Ole Opry, but I suspect that it is more minimal when compared to what might be used for any Top-40 or mainstream rock concerts these days.

Rllink
12-13-2016, 07:09 AM
I have a VOX battery powered amp with all kinds of setting and effects, and I also have a Marshall amp that has a reverb setting, and they are both fun to play with, and I've used them both. But for performing in general, I like the PA. Booli can explain it all in detail, as he knows more about amps than I ever will, but I know what I think sounds good, and most of the time I think that it comes out of the PA sounding better, especially with the music that I generally like to play and sing. I'll admit though, sometimes if I hear my neighbor out in his back yard, I'll get that VOX out on my patio, plug it in, and send some ukulele hard rock his direction just for fun, and it is fun. But that only works with the right music.