PDA

View Full Version : Amping?



bnicholas26
08-23-2009, 04:13 PM
Ok guys, I've gotten pretty good with my technique, now I'm ready to amp my uke! However....I know nothing about amplifiers as I'm a brass player (we don't need no stinking amps!). I've been looking at the Crate and Behringer 15watt amps as they seem simple enough. I have a Pono Ohai tenor with passive undersaddle pickup. Any thoughts? I don't plan on playing live or anything I just want to hear her with umph.

J-Machine
08-23-2009, 04:27 PM
Ok guys, I've gotten pretty good with my technique, now I'm ready to amp my uke! However....I know nothing about amplifiers as I'm a brass player (we don't need no stinking amps!). I've been looking at the Crate and Behringer 15watt amps as they seem simple enough. I have a Pono Ohai tenor with passive undersaddle pickup. Any thoughts? I don't plan on playing live or anything I just want to hear her with umph.

not an expert and I'm pretty sure this is not the type people generally use on ukes but the roland cube is nice and small and comes with effects built in. other than that I have no real idea.

tadam3000
08-23-2009, 04:33 PM
I'm not at all an expert, but I do have a Pono with the passive pickup, and I'd say the one thing that is going to be important (no matter what amp you use) is to get some kind of pre-amp or eq to sit between the uke and the amp: the passive pickups can have a super-harsh tone until they go through some processing. Unfortunately, I can't offer any really good suggestions, save to mention a lot of people recommend LR Baggs Acoustic pre-amp eq devices, and there is an acoustic eq, I think from behringer that might do the trick also, and for a third price. But I couldn't tell you.

Ahnko Honu
08-23-2009, 04:56 PM
For my use I've been happy with my Danelectro Honeytone amp which uses a 9 volt battery but I also got the AC inverter, works for my needs which aren't too demanding.

Blrfl
08-23-2009, 05:16 PM
If we're doing little bitty amps, the original Pignose 7-100 (http://www.pignoseamps.com/index.php?disp=detail&subcat=portamps&id=253) is a fun little gadget. It's portable, battery or AC powered, and you can open the case up to change the tone.

--Mark

dirk.li
08-23-2009, 05:21 PM
Ok guys, I've gotten pretty good with my technique, now I'm ready to amp my uke! However....I know nothing about amplifiers as I'm a brass player (we don't need no stinking amps!). I've been looking at the Crate and Behringer 15watt amps as they seem simple enough. I have a Pono Ohai tenor with passive undersaddle pickup. Any thoughts? I don't plan on playing live or anything I just want to hear her with umph.

Pre-Amp
Hey... I have the same uke and I played it yesterday at the lake using an external Shadow pre-amp (ACP1) (http://www.thomann.de/gb/shadow_acp1_aktiver_vorverstaerker.htm) (see pic below) and a Roland Microcube.

http://www.dirk.li/fotos/ukulele/shadow_acp1_preamp.jpg

Plugging an instrument with a passive piezo pickup directly into the amp (without pre-amplification) doesn't sound so good (you'll get a strong piezo sound that is kind of "blaring"). The external shadow pre-amp I'm using is directly built into the cable and uses a 9V block battery. However it is made of light plastic, two steel sleeve nuts on both ends of the plastic box holding it together (you need to unscrew both nuts to open the box and change the battery), the threads at the box are let into the plastic - I guess this construction is not at all suitable for heavy duty use. The sounds is great, low noise and true. You can configure trebble, bass and output strength using the three sliders of the box.

It's a solution but I'm looking for another, better pre-amp, maybe one you can carry at your belt or one that has a built-in reverb...

Does :anyone: know such a pre-amp? I think I have once watched a video of Jake Shimabukuro using such a thing, but I can't remember which one...

DI BOX
Another (cheaper) solution is using an active DI box instead of a a pre-amp (I have tried a Behringer DI20 (http://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_di20_di_box.htm)).

http://www.dirk.li/fotos/ukulele/behringer_di20.jpg

It sounds better than pluggin in the instrument directly, but has a lower output signal than a pre-amp. And since you would use a mic-preamp input at the mixer, the DI box solution may produce some more noise. The DI box also reduces the "piezo blare" to some extend.

Btw. I have a Kala tenor with a built-in active pickup and it sounds great being plugged in directly into the mixer!

I'm using a Roland SA300 stage amp, btw. for small gigs in a pub or so. It's got enough power for a room with 50 people and sounds quite well and it's very portable! It is a complete little PA - the sounds develops at some distance from the speakers (that's why it's not so suitable for really small rooms, I think - here I use the Microcube instead).

jasnrocks
08-23-2009, 05:23 PM
I just bought a Marshall AS50D and it sounds Amazing !!!

dirk.li
08-23-2009, 05:36 PM
That's the equipment I use for gigs. In the pic:


Black Kala Tenor with built-in active pre-amp (and self-made bone saddle), directly plugged into the SA300 (mic input)
Roland SA300 - (2x75 W top and 200 W subwoofer) - it's usually positioned behind me and thus also works like a monitor! (It has a build-in feedback destroyer)
Shure SM58 mic


The garden was about 20m x 30m and 1/2 volume was sufficient to sound the place. When it was full of people I raised the volume to 3/4 later.

http://www.dirk.li/fotos/ukulele/foehr02_web.jpg

dirk.li
08-23-2009, 06:21 PM
If we're doing little bitty amps, the original Pignose 7-100 (http://www.pignoseamps.com/index.php?disp=detail&subcat=portamps&id=253) is a fun little gadget. It's portable, battery or AC powered, and you can open the case up to change the tone.

--Mark

Do you own one? I'd love to hear a sound sample!! The thing really looks cute!

fatfingers75
08-23-2009, 08:11 PM
ID suggest a line 6 15 watt amp!

Pippin
08-23-2009, 08:56 PM
What you want is an "acoustic instrument amplifier", not just any old amp. In terms of quality, there are lots of different levels available from cheap, inexpensive amps to top-of-the-line.

I have an Acoustic AG60 $299 at Guitar Center, Musician's Friend Online (60 watts, four inputs with individual volume controls on two channels with independently controlled DSPs). The amp sounds great with guitar and ukulele and it has plenty of power, but you need an electrical supply-line to run it. That works for me.

Crate and Behringer both have a reputation for lower quality. Most serious acoustic guitarists I know would never recommend Behringer amps. Interestingly, they don't recommend Marshall acoustic amps, either. They do recommend the Roland AC60 ($500) quite often and the new Fishman acoustic tower ($999.00). Fender Acoustasonic amps are popular for obvious reasons. Expect to pay $400 to $500 for one.

For battery powered amps, Crate does have a small amp with rechargeable battery (the Taxi) that will play for eight hours. It is only 15 watts of power, but that is how you can get eight hours from it. The Roland cube sounds pretty good, but it is not really an acoustic amp and when you play it side-by-side with a good acoustic amp, there is really a world of difference in tone. Still, if you play with the knobs a bit, you can get some good sound from it. It is a great value and sounds sweet with an electric guitar.

Over long use, the Crate won't hold up as long as Roland.

buddhuu
08-23-2009, 10:29 PM
I just bought a Marshall AS50D and it sounds Amazing !!!

Yup, I've been gigging an AS50D for a year or so. Great acoustic amp.

Here's an earlier thread on the subject of amplification. http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12784. There's a fair bit of information in that discussion. :)

dirk.li
08-24-2009, 12:48 AM
ID suggest a line 6 15 watt amp!

There are so many Line6 amps (http://www.thomann.de/gb/line6_modelling_guitar_combos.html) available... and aren't they electric guitar amps? :confused:

Which one do you mean? What's your experience?

dirk.li
08-24-2009, 01:05 AM
What you want is an "acoustic instrument amplifier", not just any old amp. In terms of quality, there are lots of different levels available from cheap, inexpensive amps to top-of-the-line.

I have an Acoustic AG60 $299 at Guitar Center, Musician's Friend Online (60 watts, four inputs with individual volume controls on two channels with independently controlled DSPs). The amp sounds great with guitar and ukulele and it has plenty of power, but you need an electrical supply-line to run it. That works for me.

Crate and Behringer both have a reputation for lower quality. Most serious acoustic guitarists I know would never recommend Behringer amps. Interestingly, they don't recommend Marshall acoustic amps, either. They do recommend the Roland AC60 ($500) quite often and the new Fishman acoustic tower ($999.00). Fender Acoustasonic amps are popular for obvious reasons. Expect to pay $400 to $500 for one.

For battery powered amps, Crate does have a small amp with rechargeable battery (the Taxi) that will play for eight hours. It is only 15 watts of power, but that is how you can get eight hours from it. The Roland cube sounds pretty good, but it is not really an acoustic amp and when you play it side-by-side with a good acoustic amp, there is really a world of difference in tone. Still, if you play with the knobs a bit, you can get some good sound from it. It is a great value and sounds sweet with an electric guitar.

Over long use, the Crate won't hold up as long as Roland.

AER has some very good (high-end and expensive) acoustic amps. A friend of mine is a professional guitarist and he uses an AER COMPACT 60 II (http://www.thomann.de/gb/aer_compact_60.htm) when he's travelling. When playing at a location with a PA system, he uses the AER as a monitor.

I have so far only listened to acoustic guitar put through this amp and the sound was very good! Next time I see my friend, I'll plugin my uke and try it.

Check out these videos of RISA on YouTube, both musicians are using AER amps!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HchbmLIV3w&fmt=18
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5rTBOVUHQY&fmt=18

I think the high-end acoustic amps may also sound good if you directly plug in an instrument with a passive piezo pickup (because they are made exactly for this purpose!). I guess they have some advanced input circuitry that replaces a DI Box or a pre-amp. Could :anyone: confirm this?

For any other purposes, a pre-amp is very important!! Especially when you want to plugin your instrument into a mixer (which is usually the case).

ricdoug
08-24-2009, 07:45 AM
I own several dozen amplifiers for multiple purposes. Here's a review of the ones we use regularly for performing:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5333&highlight=s400D

If you're on a budget, I recommend the Vox DA5. It's very versatile and has inputs for your instrument, auxilliary and microphone - what this means to you is that you can plug your IPod into it, sing along through a microphone and play your ukulele through it all at the same time! It even has a seperate volume control for the microphone. The acoustical output is quite impressive for such a small amp. It's very light and I packed one in my luggage for a vacation to the Philippines last year. Ric

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Vox-DA5-Portable-Amplifier-?sku=482065

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/media/product/video/482065.mov

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/4/9/7/455497.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/4/9/6/455496.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/4/9/3/455493.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/4/9/2/455492.jpg

ricdoug
08-24-2009, 10:05 AM
I have an Acoustic AG60 $299 at Guitar Center, Musician's Friend Online (60 watts, four inputs with individual volume controls on two channels with independently controlled DSPs). The amp sounds great with guitar and ukulele and it has plenty of power, but you need an electrical supply-line to run it. That works for me.

After reading your review in Ukulele Player Magazine, I definately wanted to put one through the test myself, Micky. When I read this thread about the bargain Deach aquired:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15786&highlight=ag30

I stopped by Guitar Center for their 4th of July sale weekend and got an Acoustic AG30 for only $138 bucks. It has two level controllable inputs with a single effects/tone bank that works for both inputs. I bought it for sololing in coffee houses/restaurants. Ric

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Acoustic-AG30-30W-1x8-Acoustic-Guitar-Combo-Amp?sku=500133

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/4/9/2/571492.jpg

lancemanion
08-24-2009, 03:33 PM
I would also suggest the Line 6 spider III 15W. You can get one at bestbuy for $70, they sometimes go on sale for $60. The built in effects are great fun to play around with. Have to have a preamp though.

ricdoug
08-25-2009, 07:48 PM
Line 6 Spider III's are no longer available. I like the 15 watt Line 6 amps. The Spider IV's have replaced them with:

http://line6.com/spideriv

http://line6.com/spideriv15

For the same price you can get a Raven RG20 (built in America) with a 12" speaker to better reproduce the tones of tenor and baritone ukes. Ric

http://www.ravenamps.com/main.cfm?x=2&pro=rg20

http://www.ravenamps.com/downloads/raven_rg20_manual.pdf

Pippin
08-25-2009, 08:20 PM
Line 6 Spider III's are no longer available. I like the 15 watt Line 6 amps. The Spider IV's have replaced them with:

http://line6.com/spideriv

http://line6.com/spideriv15

For the same price you can get a Raven RG20 (built in America) with a 12" speaker to better reproduce the tones of tenor and baritone ukes. Ric

http://www.ravenamps.com/main.cfm?x=2&pro=rg20

http://www.ravenamps.com/downloads/raven_rg20_manual.pdf

Ric, nice choise of amp. I grabbed the AG60 for the extra power because it doubles as a PA when I don't want to haul our complete PA system.

I plan to review a small PA (50 watt Crate) in the next issue of Ukulele Player. The "Acoustic" amps are great value for the price.

cornfedgroove
08-26-2009, 03:32 AM
he's not looking for a $500 amp...at this stage he's just having fun w/o all the fancy pants gear. I doubt that he's at the point where he's become a purist, acoustic-amp-only audiophile either.

anything that you can afford with a sound that you like. Roland Cube is great. get a crate acoustic amp...they're ok. The honeytone would be cool...its like $20, or you can get a cigar box amp for extra style.

http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m38.l1313&_nkw=cigar+box+amp&_sacat=See-All-Categories