PDA

View Full Version : Beginner question about using amp with Kala travel tenor?



BostonUke
08-19-2017, 06:30 PM
Does anyone have the Kala KA-SSTU-TE (or any of the travel Kalas that have the B-Band electronics?) I bought this because I'm going through a really tough time and thought it would raise my spirits, but so far all it's done is frustrate me.

I admit I know very little about playing amplified, but I have a Kala U-Bass that I love that I play through a Fender Rumble Bass amp without any issues. But this new travel tenor does not have a built in tuner (which is fine) like my bass does. The tenor seems to only have "tone" and "volume" sliders and no power or on/off button, and no red light to tell me it's on.

So I assume I just plug it into the amp and it automatically activates the electrics? Except it doesn't. It came with 2 little round batteries installed. I figured maybe they're dead, so I replaced them (2 on top of each other, rounded side up facing the "hole" side of the battery slider drawer). Still nothing.

I'm trying to use it with a Fender Champion 20 guitar amp, which I chose because I saw The Ukulele Teacher playing this same tenor using this amp in one of his videos. The amp is on. The volume is on on both the uke and the amp. The cable is good.

At one point tonight I got frustrated and accidentally unplugged it before turning the amp off, and it made the loud protesting sound that I would think would mean the uke and the amp are "talking" and the batteries are working? But still no sound comes out of the amp.

Tonight I was literally rolling around on the floor, plugging my right ear and pressing my left ear to the amp to see if any sound was coming out of it. Still nothing. The uke is new and came from a reputable source. I'm kind of disheartened. If I have to return it, I will, but with my life situation right now, it would be very difficult. Anybody have any ideas? Am I doing something wrong? Thanks.

kohanmike
08-19-2017, 08:26 PM
I've made the mistake of loading those wafer batteries upside down, see if that's it.

BostonUke
08-19-2017, 09:02 PM
Thanks. I tried them in both directions. I guess my question is, would the amp still have made the loud popping kind of sound when I accidentally unplugged the uke with the amp still on if the batteries weren't working?

JackLuis
08-19-2017, 09:54 PM
Thanks. I tried them in both directions. I guess my question is, would the amp still have made the loud popping kind of sound when I accidentally unplugged the uke with the amp still on if the batteries weren't working?

Yes the popping is from the breaking of the connection. It probably wouldn't matter if the preamp was working or not. Sorry I can't be more help, but I know nothing about the Kala electronics.

Croaky Keith
08-19-2017, 09:59 PM
All I can think of is to check the connections are on properly.

Booli
08-19-2017, 11:42 PM
MOST ukes with active preamps, i.e., that have batteries are designed with a function that plugging it in turns the preamp on.

if you leave it plugged in, then it will be turning the preamp on, and therefore run down the batteries dead, usually as little as overnight.

So if you forgot to unplug the cable from the jack in the uke, your batteries are likely dead and need to be replaced.

As Jack said above, that buzzing sound or clicking or popping sound when inserting or removing the cable while the amp is on, is from the movement of the 1/4" plug at the end of the cable actually bridging the positive and negative contacts during movement in/out of the jack and this causes an electrical short, which can manifest in bad sounds coming out of the amp. If that sound is only for a few seconds no harm should come to the amp itself, but if prolonged or at a loud volume, usually the first bad thing to happen is that the voice coil in the speaker that is in the amp will get fried from being hit with a square wave audio signal at high volume, which you will hear as an awful sounding low-frequency (about 60-80hz) buzzing or pfffft tone, and if the volume is high enough, and persists long enough, you are rewarded with silence due to a blown speaker.

kohanmike
08-20-2017, 08:07 AM
Booli is absolutely correct. Don't leave the cable plugged into the jack on the uke.