View Full Version : How to Plug In?

08-20-2018, 09:25 PM
I'm getting a uke with a passive pickup, and I've found plenty of information on what I need to make it work plugged in-- clearly I'll need an amplifier and a preamp. My question is, how does it all connect? Run a cable from the uke to the preamp, and another cable from the preamp to the amplifier? Or run a cable from the uke to the amplifier and another from the amplifier to the preamp? Two cables anyway... right?

08-20-2018, 09:43 PM
You may not need a pre-amp. It depends on where you intend to play. In the comfort of your own house then no.
Even on a small stage, a pre-amp is not always a requirement.
Usually the setup is, jack plug and cable from socket on uke to input on amp. If you are using a pre-amp the cord goes to input (line in) on pre-amp then cord from line out (output) to input (line in) on amp.you need to ensure that the pre amp and main amp are compatible ( matching) and you should seek advice on this.

08-20-2018, 10:02 PM
Correct! A preamp isn't necessary, unless you want a very lush sound on a big stage. A preamp basically boosts the sound signal and cancels the noise, which is only really needed when you want a very high sound volume (or a really pristine broadcast, or recording).

One thing I learned is that the quality of the cables is quite important - if you just buy one, buy a good one. Most of the sqeacks, hums and hic-ups come from cables, rather than the (much more expensive) amp. The only other thing you'll need to plug into, is a power socket, unless your amp works on batteries or a built-in battery.

Croaky Keith
08-21-2018, 12:04 AM
Yep, cable & amp is usually all that is needed - my Roland Micro Cube has a built in pre amp anyway, some do, some don't.

You may also want some headphones so that you can practice/try out things quietly.

08-21-2018, 03:47 AM
Struggling to properly post a link to Booli's FAQ. If you search for Booli in the Audio/Video page he has posted a very insightful FAQ about audio. A gentleman that has kindly shared his vast knowledge with us all about amplification and the details involved. A very good read and great to go back to as a reference.

Croaky Keith
08-21-2018, 07:12 AM
Here's a link for Booli's FAQ


08-21-2018, 07:57 AM
Thanks everybody-- you've all been very helpful. I'll give it a try without a preamp-- It's just me busking, and most of the time with no amplification (as none is allowed where I live).

08-21-2018, 08:51 AM
If you decide to try a preamp, I can recommend the Behringer ADI21 (http://m.musictribe.com/Categories/Behringer/Guitar/Stompboxes/ADI21/p/P0293), as it's not expensive but can make a big improvement to the sound of a passive pickup.

08-21-2018, 10:30 AM
Many thanks with the help on the link Croaky Keith.

08-21-2018, 06:08 PM
Many acoustic amps have a built in pre-amp. My Boss "Acoustic Singer" amp has one. As do their sister company Roland's acoustic amps. (Larger than the micro cube.) So no separate pre-amp is needed.