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Jerryc41
06-09-2018, 01:08 AM
I have a couple of ukuleles with pickups for amplifiers, but I don't have an amp. I haven't seen a need for one, and my playing isn't so good that I want to make it louder. : )

Do any of you regularly amplify?

twokatmew
06-09-2018, 01:33 AM
I have a couple of ukuleles with pickups for amplifiers, but I don't have an amp. I haven't seen a need for one, and my playing isn't so good that I want to make it louder. : )

Do any of you regularly amplify?

With guitars, yes, simply because my (recently sold) thin-line classical guitar has a pickup. I used to record my practice sessions, as listening to those recordings really helps me to improve my playing. With newbie recording skills, it's easier to plug an instrument into my computer (via interface) and record than it is to futz with a microphone, too. I'd do the same with my ukes, but none currently has a pickup.

When I moved along my guitar gear, I kept one electric guitar and my Roland Cube 30 amp. I hope to either add a pickup or ultimately buy something like the Magic Fluke solid body, but as I have a lap steel guitar being built right now, I'll be putting my energies there for a while. Mike Holland has recommended this Yamaha amp (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/THR10--yamaha-thr10-10-watt-2x3-inch-modeling-combo) as a practice amp and recording interface, and I expect to add it sometime after I get my lap steel. I've been reading reviews and watching YouTube videos, and it seems like a fantastic option (and a no-brainer). There's an acoustic version, but the amp I linked to has one acoustic model that should be fine for my needs.

Croaky Keith
06-09-2018, 01:37 AM
I bought an amp when I started playing in the Seasons, because I wasn't playing loud enough for recording, but after a while, I learned how to pick with more volume, enough to get recordings done - then I just started to prefer the acoustic sound/tone more.

(I haven't really used my amp since getting a pre used electric steel stringed tenor uke & giving it a try out - nor have I plugged in my electro acoustics.)

Jerryc41
06-09-2018, 01:53 AM
I bought an amp when I started playing in the Seasons, because I wasn't playing loud enough for recording, but after a while, I learned how to pick with more volume, enough to get recordings done - then I just started to prefer the acoustic sound/tone more.

(I haven't really used my amp since getting a pre used electric steel stringed tenor uke & giving it a try out - nor have I plugged in my electro acoustics.)

If I started recording my playing, I might start selling my collection of ukes. I sound great in a group! ;)

RafterGirl
06-09-2018, 01:59 AM
I've been playing ukulele for just over a year & playing in my church worship band for about 6 months. When I joined the band, I got myself a ukulele with a pick-up. I got a custom Loprinzi with a MiSi pick-up as a Christmas present to myself. I plug into the church sound system & it sounds awesome. I'm competing with an electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and a piano, so my uke just adds some sparkle to the overall sound. On Sundays when the piano guy is out of town, then my uke definitely stands out more. My Gary Gill tenor also has a MiSi pick-up.

At home I have a Blackstar Fly mini amp. It's a nice little amp (6watt), but I wish now that I'd gotten something bigger. I think my local acoustic guitar shop has a Fishman Loudbox Mini that I might be able to make a deal on????

ripock
06-09-2018, 02:00 AM
I have a 75w Blackstar amp and I plug my instrument into it...just for kicks and giggles. I engage in such wankery as playing with a fuzz pedal or with some overdrive. Sometimes I will take my cigar box guitar (4 stringed and tuned to open D7) and play loudly with a ceramic slide and try out different shapes and double-stops with this new tuning. With my tenor guitar (in standard Chicago tuning) I play ukulele stuff, but crunchier. So, yeah, I play around with the amp. The one thing I never do is use a clean channel. If I'm going to play clean, why use electronics?

melensdad
06-09-2018, 02:04 AM
I have a couple of ukuleles with pickups for amplifiers, but I don't have an amp. I haven't seen a need for one, and my playing isn't so good that I want to make it louder. : )

Do any of you regularly amplify?

No, but I do it sometimes.

I'm not a performer. No aspirations to stand on a stage. But I have a couple of amps. A 30 Watt Crate from back in the day when an electric violin was commonly played. Also a little CUBE, recently purchased specifically for ukes. Both amps do the same thing.

And its not uncommon, with the Cube, to plug into the amp, don a pair of headphones, and connect the amp up to a laptop and play along with youtube videos. The Cube has ports and settings that allow the amp to be muted, the sound routed through to the headphones, mixed with the audio from the computer, so it is like playing with a band. I tried it with an older high end Lanikai solid spalted mango uke that had a built in Fishman pre-amp. I bought it despite the electronics because I got a killer deal. Would have preferred a pure acoustic version of the same uke. That said, I liked playing the Lanikai through the larger amp so much that I bought the little CUBE and added K&K pick ups to my Fluke and my Tiny Tenor. No pick up in my aNueNue (yet).

Sometimes I hook up just to make noise ... but only when my wife is not home :rolleyes:

But mostly I play without a cord. Its nice to have the option.

DownUpDave
06-09-2018, 02:45 AM
I started performing at open mics early on so my ukes started getting pick ups. Most all my tenor and baritone ukes have pick ups and I own two amps, Fishman Loudbox mini and Yamaha THR5. I do enjoy plugging in at home and rocking out, love the sound shaping an amp gives.. One thing I will tell you, practicing while plugged in is very revealing. Every mistake is amplified and evident, I find it very effective in helping me to improve

Tenebrius
06-09-2018, 05:36 AM
Before I started playing ukulele I played mostly folk-style guitar for many years and never bothered with amps but then I bought a Les Paul clone and eventually a Godin Multiac Nylon string guitar so I bought some Roland amps and recently the Blackstar Fly 3 because it fits in my suitcase. I don't perform outside the family and I normally don't like playing loud but it is fun to try different effects. I have a looper pedal and a couple of others as well. The looper is the main reason for plugging in for me because it allows me to accompany myself. Also, as mentioned, an amp keeps you honest and helps hone your technique. Ultimately, I think anything that inspires you to play more is worth trying.

Rllink
06-09-2018, 05:44 AM
I do. I play some venues and I can use an amp and a mixer to balance the ukulele and my voice. I have it all set up in my house so that I can practice on it sometimes. Especially when I'm getting ready for something. One of my ukuleles does not have a pickup. I have a boom off of my mic stand with a second microphone directed toward my ukulele that I was using for that one. At first I thought that ukulele and the setup would just be a back up, but I'm getting some good sound out of it. I'm starting to mic my Mainland that has the MiSi and not plugging it in. I like it better than I thought that I would. But as long as I'm talking about balance, I have a decibel meter app on my tablet and I set it up on the opposite side of the room and it is big enough that I can see it. I can play in a normal manner and adjust the amp where I want it. Then I can sing without playing and adjust that volume accordingly, usually a little louder than my playing. I've experimented with it enough that I can get a very good balance and I don't have to strain so much that way. I don't think that a lot of people think of an amp that way. It isn't just about playing louder, it is about playing and singing in a normal tone.

kohanmike
06-09-2018, 06:25 AM
After almost 50 years of playing guitar with electronics and a Crate Limo 10" 50w battery amp, then switching to ukulele 5 years ago and joining a 60 person seniors uke group, I made sure all of my ukes had a preamp and pickup, mostly that I installed with parts directly from China. After a while I realized I wasn't using the amp, and because I also took up the bass uke, which always needs amplification, I stopped adding the electronics to my ukes. Of my 8 ukes, 5 have preamps, 3 do not. I did buy an iRig HD when I participated in an online group recording session with the bass uke 3 years ago, but haven't used that since.

Every-so-often the uke group has an open mic day, to which I bring two wireless mics on a single stand, one for voice, the other for the uke that usually does not have a pickup, works very well. The receivers are plugged into a small mixer with my Carvin MB15 that I use for my bass uke on those occasions (and larger gigs). I normally use a Phil Jones Double Four bass amp. I also have a Blackstar Fly 3 bass amp rig for practice at home and hanging on me for hospital gigs roaming from room to room.

I also recently joined a Sunday afternoon acoustic group that plays in the park, no amplification allowed, giving me an opportunity to play uke rather than the bass uke. If I ever need to be amplified, I will use one of my preamp ukes, which can either be plugged in or miced as the occasion requires.

8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 8 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. http://www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos)

ksiegel
06-10-2018, 03:15 AM
Three of my uke have pickups - the Fluke has a B&B, the Donaldson has a K&K Twinspot, and the new Ohana has a MiSi. I plug in when I gig, or play open mic nights.

My preference is to balance the pickup with a microphone - I think the two together makes the best combination, but I can go either way if that isn't an option.

I need to use a preamp with the K&K, as it is totally passive, but the other two have preamps built in. The Fluke has a volume control, but the MiSi is controlled down the line.

Everything gets plugged into a mixer, where I try and blend it for the performance space, and then into the amp. I use the same system whether I am playing solo, or with my trio.

Any of the other ukes I play while performing just use a microphone.

hollisdwyer
06-10-2018, 07:57 AM
Except for my Collings concert, all my instruments have MiSi pickups in them. When I was invited to play with the rhythm section ( electric bass, electric drum kit/ cajon and me ) of my group about a year ago I had a Yamaha THR5A which is a nice acoustic practice amp. As I play outdoors with no available electricity, I have to have a battery powered solution.

The Yamaha didn’t cut it outdoors (it would have been fine indoors) so I bought a Roland AC33 which has worked out well. Lately my UAS has been converted into PAS(Pedal Acquisition Syndrome). I’ve been exploring a wide range of electronics. This is a difficult exercise for a Uke because pedals that get a great review for guitar, especially electric guitar, may sound poor for an acoustic instrument, especially a Ukulele. Many a pedal have come and gone from my board.
Here is an early version of my small board:
109649

twokatmew
06-10-2018, 08:42 AM
Except for my Collings concert, all my instruments have MiSi pickups in them. When I was invited to play with the rhythm section ( electric bass, electric drum kit/ cajon and me ) of my group about a year ago I had a Yamaha THR5A which is a nice acoustic practice amp. As I play outdoors with no available electricity, I have to have a battery powered solution.

The Yamaha didn’t cut it outdoors (it would have been fine indoors) so I bought a Roland AC33 which has worked out well. Lately my UAS has been converted into PAS(Pedal Acquisition Syndrome). I’ve been exploring a wide range of electronics. This is a difficult exercise for a Uke because pedals that get a great review for guitar, especially electric guitar, may sound poor for an acoustic instrument, especially a Ukulele. Many a pedal have come and gone from my board.
Here is an early version of my small board:
109649

I don't recognize most of those pedals, and unfortunately the pic is too small for me to read the text printed on them. Can you please tell us what you're using? :)

RafterGirl
06-10-2018, 09:12 AM
Except for my Collings concert, all my instruments have MiSi pickups in them. When I was invited to play with the rhythm section ( electric bass, electric drum kit/ cajon and me ) of my group about a year ago I had a Yamaha THR5A which is a nice acoustic practice amp. As I play outdoors with no available electricity, I have to have a battery powered solution.

The Yamaha didnít cut it outdoors (it would have been fine indoors) so I bought a Roland AC33 which has worked out well. Lately my UAS has been converted into PAS(Pedal Acquisition Syndrome). Iíve been exploring a wide range of electronics. This is a difficult exercise for a Uke because pedals that get a great review for guitar, especially electric guitar, may sound poor for an acoustic instrument, especially a Ukulele. Many a pedal have come and gone from my board.
Here is an early version of my small board:
109649
I play my Loprinzi concert with MiSi pack-up at church. I have it hooked up to a tuner pedal that I use mostly as way to mute my uke between songs (getting it on & off the stand,etc.). What would be your suggestion as a first effects pedal to try out? Nothing too wild & crazy, but useful & fun.

bacchettadavid
06-10-2018, 06:31 PM
I don't recognize most of those pedals, and unfortunately the pic is too small for me to read the text printed on them. Can you please tell us what you're using? :)

I recognize most of these. From right to left: Strymon Brigadier (delay), Strymon OB 1 (compressor & also boost), TC Electronic Sub n Up (pitch shifter), TC Electronic Corona (chorus), TC Electronic Ditto (looper), and LR Baggs Paracoustic DI (preamp to go out to a mixing board).

About this time last year, I began putting together a pedalboard of my own, and Hollis and a few other UUers were very helpful. At that time, Hollis was switching to a new pedalboard and was using a Rockboard power supply.

fromthee2me
06-10-2018, 07:01 PM
My input on this topic, is that I found bass guitar amps/speaker combinations give me the best sound. Sound is very warm and quite full. 5c

hollisdwyer
06-11-2018, 12:05 AM
I don't recognize most of those pedals, and unfortunately the pic is too small for me to read the text printed on them. Can you please tell us what you're using? :)


I play my Loprinzi concert with MiSi pack-up at church. I have it hooked up to a tuner pedal that I use mostly as way to mute my uke between songs (getting it on & off the stand,etc.). What would be your suggestion as a first effects pedal to try out? Nothing too wild & crazy, but useful & fun.


I recognize most of these. From right to left: Strymon Brigadier (delay), Strymon OB 1 (compressor & also boost), TC Electronic Sub n Up (pitch shifter), TC Electronic Corona (chorus), TC Electronic Ditto (looper), and LR Baggs Paracoustic DI (preamp to go out to a mixing board).

About this time last year, I began putting together a pedalboard of my own, and Hollis and a few other UUers were very helpful. At that time, Hollis was switching to a new pedalboard and was using a Rockboard power supply.

Thanks David for identifying those pedals on the first iteration of my small board. I think the only thing that remains from that board is the looper. Here is a photo of what I have squeezed onto my small board as of today (pedalboard Nano+):

109666

From right to left: TC Electronics polytune 2, LR Baggs Session DI Acoustic Preamp, Electro Harminix Nano PoG (Octaver), Keeley Caverns Reverb and Delay, Keeley Germanium Super Phat Mod (overdrive), TC Electronics Ditto looper. The reason for my changes have been to squeeze multi effects into scarce real estate and finding pedals that work better with ukuleles.

Raftergirl, to answer your question is difficult. When you play at church are you plugged into your own amp or the church’s mixing desk? If your amp, does it have any inbuilt effects. Answer these questions and let’s continue the conversation.

RafterGirl
06-11-2018, 01:10 AM
Thanks David for identifying those pedals on the first iteration of my small board. I think the only thing that remains from that board is the looper. Here is a photo of what I have squeezed onto my small board as of today (pedalboard Nano+):

109666

From right to left: TC Electronics polytune 2, LR Baggs Session DI Acoustic Preamp, Electro Harminix Nano PoG (Octaver), Keeley Caverns Reverb and Delay, Keeley Germanium Super Phat Mod (overdrive), TC Electronics Ditto looper. The reason for my changes have been to squeeze multi effects into scarce real estate and finding pedals that work better with ukuleles.

Raftergirl, to answer your question is difficult. When you play at church are you plugged into your own amp or the church’s mixing desk? If your amp, does it have any inbuilt effects. Answer these questions and let’s continue the conversation.

I'm plugged into the mixing board at church. I'm starting to play a little bit at other venues and will probably get a larger amp than my little Blackstar Fly combo at some point. Just wondering what a good starting point would be for an effects pedal?

hollisdwyer
06-11-2018, 01:50 AM
I'm plugged into the mixing board at church. I'm starting to play a little bit at other venues and will probably get a larger amp than my little Blackstar Fly combo at some point. Just wondering what a good starting point would be for an effects pedal?

Before I offer any advice I am required by law (the Consumer Protection Act 1992 & the Metal Health Act 2007) to give you this warning: “Abandon all hope ye who enter here”. Once you start acquiring pedals there’s no turning back, lol.
So I might start with a DI box/Acoustic Preamp like the LR Baggs Para DI or the LR Baggs Session. These will allow you to plug into any mixing desk anywhere and control your own sound as they have EQ, feedback control and avoids ground loops. No “effects” with these but they do allow you to really tweak your sound in the room, any room/space.
You might also consider a simple looper that would allow you to lay down a backing track ( maybe a chord progression) and play melody over that. They are a lot of fun and not too expensive.
An Octaver is a great addition. It will allow you to shift pitch both higher and lower. I can highly recommend the EHX Nano or Micro POG. They work particularly well with a ukulele (recommended by both Jake and me(lol)).
A Reverb, Delay and Chorus should be looked into. Go to a music store and try these things out. See which of these appeals to you. Jake has a nice Jam Delay Pedal on his board. These are Very good but are expensive. I’m very happy with my Keeley Caverns combo Reverb/Delay pedal.
Lately I have been exploring distortion pedals as I have some songs that I regularly play that work well with those. I currently have a Keeley Super Phat Mod on my board and another in the post(a Keeley Red Dirt mini).

Hope that this gives you something to think about.

bacchettadavid
06-11-2018, 02:53 AM
I'll chime in here, too.

Like Hollis, for playing in church, I recommend you first acquire a good DI box with some EQ and feedback control features. Good ones are pricey but worth every penny. From there, I'd recommend investing in a good tuner followed by compressor, reverb, delay, or a looper. Each of those effects works well with acoustic instruments. You can then build from there, exploring volume, overdrive, modulation, etc.

Here's my own board presented in stereotypical order of effects:
DI/Preamp (all effects except tuner in effects loop of DI box): Radial PZ-Pre
Tuner (out from tuner out on DI): Boss TU-3
Volume: Hilton Electronics Pro Guitar - got the idea from a Jake vid.
Bypass looper: Saturnworks LED model
Octave (in bypass loop): Electroharmonix Micro POG
Overdrive (in bypass loop): Ibanez TS-9
Tremolo (in bypass loop): Mooer Trelicopter
Delay: Hilton Electronics The Legend Pro-Delay
Reverb: Robert Keeley Aurora
Looper: Digitech Jamman Solo XT w/ FS-3 footswitch
Powersupply: Cioks PP-10 (creative variant of the DC-10)

I tend to switch between two orders of effects: the stereotypical one above is very practical, but I also enjoy a more heavily effected sound as follows:
DI->volume->reverb (sometimes followed by delay)->bypass looper->overdrive (in bypass loop)->Micro POG (in bypass loop)->Delay->Tremolo->looper. In this order, the overdrive brings out the reverb more and, if I put the delay immediately after the reverb, keeps the tails on the delay going for a while, allowing me to really chop them up with the tremolo pedal. It's pretty trippy, but it's a bit of a feedback monster at higher sound pressure levels.

Not on the board since it's more of a home & preparation tool: Digitech Trio+.

I'm still exploring other effects. I really want to get more into modulation, wah, and compresssion. As hollis hinted at, pedals get very lonely and have a bad habit of reproducing when left unsupervised.

hollisdwyer
06-11-2018, 05:43 AM
I'll chime in here, too.

Like Hollis, for playing in church, I recommend you first acquire a good DI box with some EQ and feedback control features. Good ones are pricey but worth every penny. From there, I'd recommend investing in a good tuner followed by compressor, reverb, delay, or a looper. Each of those effects works well with acoustic instruments. You can then build from there, exploring volume, overdrive, modulation, etc.

Here's my own board presented in stereotypical order of effects:
DI/Preamp (all effects except tuner in effects loop of DI box): Radial PZ-Pre
Tuner (out from tuner out on DI): Boss TU-3
Volume: Hilton Electronics Pro Guitar - got the idea from a Jake vid.
Bypass looper: Saturnworks LED model
Octave (in bypass loop): Electroharmonix Micro POG
Overdrive (in bypass loop): Ibanez TS-9
Tremolo (in bypass loop): Mooer Trelicopter
Delay: Hilton Electronics The Legend Pro-Delay
Reverb: Robert Keeley Aurora
Looper: Digitech Jamman Solo XT w/ FS-3 footswitch
Powersupply: Cioks PP-10 (creative variant of the DC-10)

I tend to switch between two orders of effects: the stereotypical one above is very practical, but I also enjoy a more heavily effected sound as follows:
DI->volume->reverb (sometimes followed by delay)->bypass looper->overdrive (in bypass loop)->Micro POG (in bypass loop)->Delay->Tremolo->looper. In this order, the overdrive brings out the reverb more and, if I put the delay immediately after the reverb, keeps the tails on the delay going for a while, allowing me to really chop them up with the tremolo pedal. It's pretty trippy, but it's a bit of a feedback monster at higher sound pressure levels.

Not on the board since it's more of a home & preparation tool: Digitech Trio+.

I'm still exploring other effects. I really want to get more into modulation, wah, and compresssion. As hollis hinted at, pedals get very lonely and have a bad habit of reproducing when left unsupervised.

I would agree totally with David’s ‘order of acquisition’ in his first paragraph above.

Nickie
06-11-2018, 02:17 PM
Yes, but only when we perform. I prefer the un-amp'd sound of ukuleles, but in most venues, we cannot be heard playing acoustically. If we're in a small room, only the bass uke gets amp'd.

ricdoug
06-11-2018, 05:02 PM
Battery powered 'ukulele amplification has been one of my expensive tenets and pursuits for decades!:

https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?5333-Battery-powered-ukulele-amplification&highlight=s400d

hollisdwyer
06-11-2018, 07:17 PM
Battery powered 'ukulele amplification has been one of my expensive tenets and pursuits for decades!:

https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?5333-Battery-powered-ukulele-amplification&highlight=s400d

Same for me. The places I play never have power available so it’s a battery powered amp and pedalboard for me.

RafterGirl
06-12-2018, 01:06 AM
What are your thoughts on the Fishman Loudbox Mini battery powered model?

Patrick Madsen
06-12-2018, 05:22 AM
A friend asked the other day if there were any amps that can handle more than one instrument. Are there any in a portable type amp; Phil Jones, Roland etc.

kohanmike
06-12-2018, 06:21 AM
My PJ Double Four has a 3.5mm aux input with level control. I've used it for my iPhone, but not sure if with an adapter, the impedance will allow for an instrument.

8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 7 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. http://www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos)

Patrick Madsen
06-12-2018, 06:41 AM
My thoughts too Mike.

bacchettadavid
06-12-2018, 07:03 AM
The Marshall AS50D has two instrument inputs. It's not battery-powered and weighs 36 lbs, so I don't know if I'd consider it portable.

hollisdwyer
06-12-2018, 08:04 AM
What are your thoughts on the Fishman Loudbox Mini battery powered model?

Iíve never played through one but the people I know who have them are very satisfied. Havenít hear any reviews on the new battery power version.


A friend asked the other day if there were any amps that can handle more than one instrument. Are there any in a portable type amp; Phil Jones, Roland etc.
My Roland AC33 ((battery & line voltage ( more available power when plugged in BTW) has two inputs plus an aux input for an iPod. Iíve had my active pick up plugged into one Channel and another instrument with a passive pickup in the other Chanel. The second input can also take a mic. The Roland unit has a lot of power, even on battery and is much lighter and less expensive Than the Fishmam. The majority of my requirements have been met by the Roland. If I played regularly at a large venue Iíd go for a larger amp and in that segment you have more choice even restricting yourself to acoustic amplifiers.