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DigableKid
06-22-2008, 09:09 PM
I can answer this by going to a store and listening to one...but I figured I 'd ask the pros. Do ukuleles with electric pickups sound as sweet as a one without. I mean are they only meant to be played with an amp or can I play one without and still have it play at it's highest quality sound?

Thanks gang,
Digable

KyleYankan
06-23-2008, 01:04 AM
I'm still new to ukulele's, but I have a Kala Mahagony Soprano (KA-S), which is an acoustic ukulele. It sounds awesome, but I recently went out and got a Markley stick-on pickup. It works pretty good, and I can put my Ukulele through an amp/effects now, but my only qualm is storing this thing, it leaves a residue on the ukulele, which takes a minute to remove, and it' more like a microphone than a pickup. If you tap the cord to the pickup, it goes over the amp, as well as any tapping/brushing of the ukulele body. Good if you can hold your ukulele without it moving, which I can't yet :-P

Plainsong
06-23-2008, 02:31 AM
It depends on the uke I guess. It's my understanding that the best steel string electric ukes are made by Risa, who also makes two other models of passive-pickup nylon string electric-only ukes.

Then there's the very popular Bugsgear Eleuke, which I believe has an active pickup and the pictures clearly show tone and volume controls.

There's a new one made by Koolau, and then there's the Pete Howlett Uklectic.

Of all those, I've had the Risa uke-solid concert, which had an almost-too-easy-to-drive pickup but otherwise no complaints about it. I've played the the Eleuke, but I just didn't find it much to cheer for.. probably because I was sitting opposite the guy who built the Uklectic I was just about to buy.

I say the Uklectic is beyond great, but much depends on the quality of the pickup. Mine is right down the middle. Another UU member has one that favors the mids and lows too much once it's plugged in. And of course what you plug it into, like the quality of your amp and/or preamp, and the cables you use, and the headphones you use if you're using those - they all play a role no matter what instrument you're plugging in. Any piece of gear has its own coloring to the sound.

But if you're just talking about acoustic ukes with pickups installed, then the ukes function as normal ukes. Just plug them in if you want to amplify the sound or play with the original sound. :)

The Risa didn't have the sustain that an acoustic uke has, but you could make it do whatever you want. The Uklectic is worlds easier to play, has that traditional sustain, and as it is with electric instruments, it'll do whatever you want. You're only limited by what you plug into.

1uke
06-23-2008, 03:08 AM
I believe he's asking weather putting an acoustic pickup in an acoustic ukulele will change the sound projection of that ukulele. I personally cannot say but I hope I helped clear that up. Btw, nice overview of solid body ukes, Plainsong!

Plainsong
06-23-2008, 07:44 AM
I was trying to cover all the bases there, but I'd assume that the pickup wouldn't change the projection of the sound...

Am I making an Ass out of U and Me? :D

And as always, what you plug into matters. - I don't say that as a huge electric instrument expert (well I don't say it as any kind of expert of anything), but I say it with my audio hobbyist hat on. If it's plugged into the chain of what you're listening to, it affects the sound. By how much and if the change is good or bad is what starts flame wars on audio forums.

ricdoug
06-23-2008, 08:17 AM
On my (Ovation) Applause UAE20, the piezo pickup does not alter the acoustic sound. Since it does not have an internal preamp/equalizer, the tone controls on the amp have to be adjusted to boost the bass and back off on the treble to get a more natural tone. Mic'ing works very well with ukes, as the frequency range of the uke does not require much amplification to project. Ric

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/35858Ukulele111.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/35858AXL1.jpg

brokenwing
06-23-2008, 10:22 AM
what's with the fly-swatter?

ricdoug
06-23-2008, 11:02 AM
what's with the fly-swatter?

To cool down my fingers, when I'm playing lead! :music: LOL! Actually, our 2 1/2 year old granddaughter enjoys bouncing off walls and furniture while chasing flies. :eek: :D Ric

j312311
06-23-2008, 11:49 AM
I can answer this by going to a store and listening to one...but I figured I 'd ask the pros. Do ukuleles with electric pickups sound as sweet as a one without. I mean are they only meant to be played with an amp or can I play one without and still have it play at it's highest quality sound?

Thanks gang,
DigableI have an acoustic uke with an electric pick up and it sounds fine either way. The amp just amplifies the volume given out, it doesnt effect the sound at all unless you use effects. Without the amp, it still gives a full, solid tone as a normal one would.

nikolo727
06-23-2008, 02:41 PM
with a decent amplifier it will sound fine!

I have a guitar practice amp and I can do a hell of a lot with it!

and it sounds great!

believe me you can do a lot!

Plainsong
06-23-2008, 02:56 PM
with a decent amplifier it will sound fine!

I have a guitar practice amp and I can do a hell of a lot with it!

and it sounds great!

believe me you can do a lot!

Amen with a plagal cadence. Especially if there are some effects on the amp, like your basic reverb, chorus, or delay. And then play with the gain to get some crunch going, and if it has some amp models there, all the better. You can really have some fun there. :)

Woodstocksp3
06-23-2008, 03:10 PM
I can answer this by going to a store and listening to one...but I figured I 'd ask the pros. Do ukuleles with electric pickups sound as sweet as a one without. I mean are they only meant to be played with an amp or can I play one without and still have it play at it's highest quality sound?

Thanks gang,
Digable

Crazy timing! I just got my Kala KA-CE/BK which is an acoustic ukulele with a pickup in it. I was kind of scared that it would be much quieter and emptier sounding when I played acoustically with it but the sound of it isn't dulled at all. It sounds awesome and it projects very well even though it has a pickup! No complaints at all! :D

mr fion
07-04-2008, 11:23 PM
HI

Mr fion asks if anyone knows any rocking song that would kick ass on an electric uke ?:rock:

tad
07-04-2008, 11:34 PM
HI

Mr fion asks if anyone knows any rocking song that would kick ass on an electric uke ?:rock:

Blitzgreig Bop.

mr fion
07-04-2008, 11:43 PM
Blitzgreig Bop.
thanks man
got tab?

very played on youtube, that's right....very ......ramones:D

Kekani
07-05-2008, 01:02 AM
Look up Tony Gamble.

mr fion
07-06-2008, 06:31 PM
Look up Tony Gamble.

goodness gracious...

terrific tab source!!!

thanks guys, keep on strummin':music:

Plainsong
07-06-2008, 07:15 PM
Tony Gamble seems to have a large following of uke players who are very much opposed to him. I'm trying to figure out why that is. I wonder if it's the "It is only a ukulele if it is soprano, made of koa or mahogany in hawaii, and is soprano in the Martin style." crowd.

ricdoug
07-07-2008, 07:56 AM
Tony Gamble seems to have a large following of uke players who are very much opposed to him. I'm trying to figure out why that is.

We would still be playing ancient music on a Vihuela http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vihuela and instruments, like the ukulele, banjo, guitar and dulcimer would never have been invented if artists, like Tony Gamble, had never set a new bar.

We all have our preferences. I have stated that I only play soprano ukes, as I use the guitar for other playing. That does not mean I'll never change my outlook, or buy other style ukes. Heck, I own 58 guitars and there was a time in my youth when I only liked electrics! LOL!

Tony's style, along with many others, are fine by me. At the Ukulele Society of America http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/Ukulele_Society_of_America in North County San Diego, California, the members (ukulele and hula) range from 2 to 100 (Bill Tapia) and the styles are equally as diverse. We play Hawaiian, Rock, Country, Jazz, Bluegrass, Tin Pan Alley, Vaudville and many other genres. Our songbook is comprised of arrangements by many individuals in our membership. Ric

Plainsong
07-07-2008, 09:00 AM
I agree 100%. I prefer concert size, but I loves my little Koaloha soprano.

Now if you excuse me, I have to practice my harpsichord....

/jk, but I knew some Harpischord music majors. I think James May from Top Gear was also one.

experimentjon
07-19-2008, 01:28 PM
I'm going to purchase an Applause UAE-148 tenor today as my first uke with a pickup. Found it on craigslist, and am going to pick it up in about an hour.

But as for the original question about pickups dampening the acoustic sound, I dont think so. The other week I visited the Kamaka factory because I had the day off from work and was just reaaaaly bored. And they had no customers in there except for me, since I went at an off hour, so they talked to me and showed me a whole bunch of cool ukes. I played a HF-3 and a HF-3 with an active pickup (which means a bulky 9v battery inside) back to back, and really, there was no notable difference except the increased weight of the amp-ready HF-3. Both still sounded perfect acoustically.

And James May...I thought he was joking about being a Harpischord music major. "GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!" Hehehe. I hart Top Gear.

cMejilla
07-19-2008, 06:18 PM
To cool down my fingers, when I'm playing lead! :music: LOL! Actually, our 2 1/2 year old granddaughter enjoys bouncing off walls and furniture while chasing flies. :eek: :D Ric

inexpensive hobby for a kid. probably the best toy to get a child because it doubles as a useful tool later.