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ricdoug
09-03-2008, 09:12 AM
Over the last year, my interest grew in battery powered amplification.
The ukulele presents itself as the perfect instrument for busking:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busking

I have played in community events with the Moonlight Beach Ukulele
Strummers, Ukulele Society of America and represented the Ukulele
Underground at a BakitWhy beach party. Amplification has been a must,
due to the ambient noise of large crowds outdoors.

Here are some short reviews of battery powered amps I own and others I
tried:

Danelectro Honeytone:
Loudest of the "pocket amps" I tried. I own two of these. 9 volt battery.
The volume needs to be turned all the way up, for the cleanest possible
sound and use the overdrive control from about 0 to 2 to adjust the
volume. It eats batteries rapidly, so I use MiMH rechargeables. These
last about an hour each. I used one of these attached to my belt at
a Carlsbad Village Farmers Market luau concert and changed the
battery every hour. There is no really clean sound available, but it will
help you cut above the ambient noise.

Roland Microcube:
Works well with uke. Muddies up quickly with the bass notes of an
acoustic guitar. This won't be an issue, if you're playing blues. It has
onboard effects and can be plugged into a larger P.A.. It runs on readily
available AA batteries. Light weight makes it suitable for carrying in your
luggage. Long battery run time - 10+ hours

Roland Street Cube:
Similar to the microcube, with the addition of a controllable microphone
input. It has two speakers, for improved bass response. It handles an
acoustic guitar OK, if you don't play too loud. It runs on readily
available AA batteries. Light weight makes it suitable for carrying in your
luggage. Long battery run time - 10+ hours

Line6 Micro:
It's advertized at 6 watts, but has similar acoustical output as a Roland
Microcube. Works well with uke. Muddies up quickly with the bass notes
of an acoustic guitar. This won't be an issue, if you're playing blues. It has
onboard effects and can be plugged into a larger P.A.. It also has a
controllable microphone input. It runs on C batteries. I would use AA
adaptors (see the photo on the Vox DA5), as AA batteries are available
everywhere. Light weight makes it suitable for carrying in your luggage.
Long battery run time - 10+ hours

Vox DA5:
This amp has a marked increase in acoustical output, over the Roland
Microcube, Roland Street Cube and Line6 Micro. It does better than them
with an acoustic guitar, but is still not ideal for that application. It has
onboard effects and can be plugged into a larger P.A.. It also has a
controllable microphone input. It runs on C batteries. I would use AA
adaptors (see the photo on the Vox DA5), as AA batteries are available
everywhere. Light weight makes it suitable for carrying in your luggage.
Long battery run time - 10+ hours

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele516.jpg

Roland Microcube RX:
The RX does a great job with an acoustic guitar. It lacks a microphone
input, but has onboard effects and an onboard drum machine. There are
4 speakers. It can can be plugged into a larger P.A.. It runs on readily
available AA batteries. It might be a little heavy for your luggage. Long
battery run time - 10+ hours

Roland Microcube RX Bass:
The RX Bass does a good job with a bass guitar. For it's size, we are all
surprized at it's punchy bass tone. It lacks a microphone input, but has
onboard effects and an onboard drum machine. There are 4 speakers. It
can can be plugged into a larger P.A.. It runs on readily available AA
batteries. It might be a little heavy for your luggage. Long battery run
time - 10+ hours

Crate Taxi TX30:
Plenty of acoustical output. No effects. It has a seperate controllable
microphone input. It runs on an internal motorcycle size battery. It can
also double as a powered monitor wedge. It might be a little heavy for
your luggage.Long battery run time - 6+ hours


Carvin S400D:
Best battery P.A. I tried. Hands down. It will play 6 hours at full power
(with the extra internal motorcycle size battery I bought), which should be
more than enough for most gigs. It has 4 channels with various
combinations of XLR, 1/4" and RCA jacks. The "D" model I bought has
onboard "D"igital effects. I also bought the stands and extra speaker, for
more coverage. It is definately too heavy for your luggage!

Setup on the bar at the Ocean House. There was a reggae band set up
on the main stage in the same room. This was the first all battery
powered kanikapila at the Ukulele Society of America. Left to right:
Roland Microcube RX Bass, Roland Microcube RX, 2 Vox DA5's, Crate
Taxi TX30, 2 Danelectro Mini's:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele512.jpg

Back of the Carvin S400D battery powered P.A.:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele513.jpg

Playing to a crowd of 100 on battery power:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele514.jpg

ricdoug
09-03-2008, 09:12 AM
The regular stage at Ukulele Society of America is now completely
run on battery power:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele515.jpg

At the BakitWhy picnic, Bolsa Chica State Beach, California playing
for 3 seperate beach groups. The audience total was about 100. The
vocals were run through a Crate Taxi TX30, the acoustic guitar was
run through a Roland Microcube RX and the ukuleles were run through
Vox DA5's.:

http://www.bakitwhy.com/2008/08/the-bakitwhy-socal-bbq-a-succe.html :

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/BakitWhy11.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/BakitWhy17.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3261/2802115577_61974b815c.jpg

ricdoug
09-03-2008, 09:14 AM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3104/2802955036_8a44d0802f.jpg

VengefulTikiGod
09-03-2008, 06:01 PM
Thanks for the tips! I've heard good things about the Crate Taxi series. There is also a Crate "Limo" which is 50W battery-operated, and is shaped like a floor monitor (and big enough to double as one). Crate also, continuing the vehicle-theme, makes a Crate "Bus", which is a bass amp (clever, but I think it's out of production now). Actually, I just checked musiciansfriend, and apparently, the Crate Taxi 30 (not the 15 or 50 though) has been discontinued! You'll have to find one used on ebay or craigslist if you want one.

It seems to me that the Crate Taxi and the Roland Microcube are the best options, as they have both the mic and instrument inputs. Just have each of your band members get one, get a Roland RX bass amp for your bass player, and you've got an extremely portable amplified show.

I'm really pleased with all these new high-quality battery amps and mini PA's that have been coming out recently. They've come a long way since the old Pignoses. It's so hard for small bands playing low-volume shows to amplify vocals without shelling out a ton of money for a PA or trying to scrounge up a spare guitar amp to plug a mic into. I've definitely got my eye on the Crate Taxi or the Street Cube. The Rolands have very good tone in my opinion, and even better effects. Reverb to die for on my microcube.

Thanks for posting this! In our increasingly boxed, wrapped, and pre-packaged society, busking is something that is long overdue for a comeback.

Howlin Hobbit
09-03-2008, 06:19 PM
It's so hard for small bands playing low-volume shows to amplify vocals without shelling out a ton of money for a PA...

As George and Ira Gershwin would say, that "ain't necessarily so."

Check out this post in my blog for details about my "party box" system. The main box was less than $200 and the mixer was about $65.

If you check out this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FqevybYDIg) or this one here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e9SoQWVcgI), you'll see that we're running a four-piece band through the party box system. Trust me, the sound was better live than it is filtered through my el-cheapo digital camera.

Throw in the spif stand I swapped for (and a satellite speaker, which I don't own but the party box will power) and you can cover up to a medium-sized club.

jjsdad
09-03-2008, 06:25 PM
Thanks for posting these great recommendations. However, going in the other direction of this thread, what amp is good for some quiet practicing with headphones? I just got my first electric uke and want to practice quietly in bed. My VOX is just a little bit big for that.

Howlin Hobbit
09-03-2008, 07:08 PM
...what amp is good for some quiet practicing with headphones? I just got my first electric uke and want to practice quietly in bed.

This one (http://www.mintyamps.com/). Tiny and mondo cheap.

ricdoug
09-03-2008, 11:06 PM
It seems to me that the Crate Taxi and the Roland Microcube are the best options, as they have both the mic and instrument inputs.

The Roland Microcube and Microcube RX do not have a seperate microphone input. The Street Cube does and so does the Vox DA5. Check out the Vox DA5. It's a lot of amp for the money and you can play your uke through it, along with a microphone. The microphone input and microphone volume control are on the back of the DA5. Ric

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele518.jpg

jjsdad
09-04-2008, 05:06 AM
This one (http://www.mintyamps.com/). Tiny and mondo cheap.

Thanks. But, looks like you need to order the I/O separately from the amp and solder together. My soldering gun is shot I think... plus, I need to buy more solder and ... yea... excuses, excuses... I don't think I've ever successfully built any electronics no matter how simple. :(

VengefulTikiGod
09-04-2008, 07:44 PM
The Roland Microcube and Microcube RX do not have a seperate microphone input. The Street Cube does and so does the Vox DA5. Check out the Vox DA5. It's a lot of amp for the money and you can play your uke through it, along with a microphone. The microphone input and microphone volume control are on the back of the DA5. Ric


Oops, my bad, I meant to say the Street Cube. I did not know the DA5 had mic input--though I think the Street Cube and Taxi are still better options just because of the power. I have a micro cube and, surprisingly loud as it is, I don't think it can move enough air to compete in a group with drums and bass. If the DA5 is anything like that (and it looks the same size as the micro cube), it seems like it might be straining a bit for anything much larger than a solo show. But then again, that's only based on my assumption that it's comparable to the microcube. Tell me otherwise if you think it's a bad assumption.

Edit: Just reread your description, seems that you DID say otherwise, haha. But then again, you did say that it's weak in the bass for an acoustic guitar. Hmm I'll have to play an acoustic through a street cube or something to try it out. I gotta admit I like the effects on those and I could definitely stand something with a better bass output than a microcube.

ricdoug
09-05-2008, 08:40 PM
If you don't need to run a microphone through it, the Roland Microcube RX handled the acoustic guitar better than the Street Cube. The 4 speakers really create a "wall of sound". The DA5 has the same power output as the Street Cube, but one less speaker. The Street Cube allows you to add effects seperately to each channel, where you can only have effects on the instrument channel of the DA5 and not on the microphone channel. Ric

SnakeOiler
09-07-2008, 04:55 PM
I recently got a Fender Amp Can, which I love...
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51WpgJ8ZmIL._SL500_AA280_.jpg
http://www.activemusician.com/images/store/small/EM_022-1200-000.gif
It has a separate input and controls for a mic or other instrument. It has an internal rechargeable battery that lasts 4-6 hours. It is heavy as balls tho'
Here's me playing it...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_t6fzuUazY
Here's a vid of it powering an electric Uke and an electric drum kit.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6-8pL7KMw0

salukulady
09-07-2008, 05:44 PM
Was curious how heavy it is, so I looked it up.....you've got 13 pound balls.....

SnakeOiler
09-07-2008, 05:49 PM
Was curious how heavy it is, so I looked it up.....you've got 13 pound balls.....

and they're brass...
http://www.peoplejam.com/files/u1811/brass_balls.jpg

Howlin Hobbit
09-07-2008, 07:18 PM
Was curious how heavy it is, so I looked it up.....you've got 13 pound balls.....

and they're brass...
http://www.peoplejam.com/files/u1811/brass_balls.jpg

When I bowled, my balls were 15 pounds.

But it hardly matters. We all know that ACDC has the biggest balls of them all.

salukulady
09-07-2008, 08:06 PM
When I bowled, my balls were 15 pounds.

But it hardly matters. We all know that ACDC has the biggest balls of them all.

This must have a connection to a music quote......okay, HH, I'm waiting......

SnakeOiler
09-08-2008, 01:08 AM
This must have a connection to a music quote......okay, HH, I'm waiting......

I'll do the honors........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g23GiivXC78

Howlin Hobbit
09-09-2008, 04:31 PM
I'll do the honors........

Thank you ever so much.

salukulady
09-09-2008, 05:35 PM
I'll do the honors........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g23GiivXC78Ahaaaaa!!!

ricdoug
09-12-2008, 04:18 PM
Big Balls - AC/DC

I'm upper, upper class high society
God's gift to ballroom notoriety
And I always fill my ballroom
The event is never small
All the social papers say I've got the biggest balls of all

CHORUS
I've got big balls
I've got big balls
And they're such big balls
Dirty big balls
And he's got big balls,
And she's got big balls,
But we've got the biggest balls of them all!

And my balls are always bouncing
My ballroom always full
And everybody comes and comes again
If your name is on the guest list
No one can take you higher
Everybody says I've got great balls of fire!

CHORUS

Some balls are held for charity
And some for fancy dress
But when they're held for pleasure,
They're the balls that I like best.
And my balls are always bouncing,
To the left and to the right.
It's my belief that my big balls should be held every night.

CHORUS

And I'm just itching to tell you about them
Oh, we have such wonderful fun
Seafood cocktail
Crabs
Crayfish

ricdoug
12-21-2008, 02:10 PM
There is also a Crate "Limo" which is 50W battery-operated, and is shaped like a floor monitor (and big enough to double as one).

We've used the Crate Taxi TX15 as a vocal monitor, with great success. It has high acoustical output and very clean amplification. I don't use any vocal monitors when using the MXL990 large diaphram condensor microphone. It has a very wide pattern and will feedback when a vocal monitor's turned up loud enough to hear. Ric

ricdoug
02-02-2009, 09:05 AM
Update: I stopped using the AA NiMH batteries in the C-cell adaptors and now use only C-cell alkaline batteries in the Vox DA5's. I always brough extra sets of the AA NiMH batteries, but they have to be changed in the middle of an outdoor gig. In live outdoor performances I was getting less than 2 hours play time out of the AA's. I think part of that's due to wind and ambient noise constantly going through the microphone along with the louder required volumes when playing outdoors. C-cell alkalines play straight through a six hour gig outdoors without failure. Ric

tanimoto
03-14-2009, 04:22 PM
Should i get the Crate Taxi TX15 or the Traynor TVM10?
Both 15 watts and weigh about the same.:confused:

Crate Taxi TX15
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Crate-TX15-Taxi-BatteryPowered-Combo-Amp?sku=487631

Traynor International TVM10
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Traynor-International-TVM10-15W-1x6-Battery-Powered-Guitar-Combo-Amp?sku=481167&src=3WFRWXX&ZYXSEM=0&CAWELAID=57137322

ricdoug
03-14-2009, 06:35 PM
Answer posted here:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10053&page=5

experimentjon
03-14-2009, 06:52 PM
Well, I picked up a VOX DA5 from my friend on the cheap. For pretty good reason. It was filled with sand, and there was quite a bit of tarnish on the grille due to sea salt and what not. But It is a great amp after I cleaned it out, and it works good as new.

I need to scrounge up 6 C cell adaptors so I can use my AA rechargable batteries...I know I have some lying around somewhere.

ricdoug
03-14-2009, 07:18 PM
I've abused my Vox DA5's weekly and many times several times a week for the past 6 months without failure. I took one with me on a trip to the Philippines and even played through it and sang through it on a boat in the China Sea off 100 islands. All of my Vox DA5's and Roland Microcube RX and Roland Microcube RX Bass amps have a lot of hours playing on the beaches of the pacific ocean on California's coast. Ric

ricdoug
03-14-2009, 07:27 PM
I need to scrounge up 6 C cell adaptors so I can use my AA rechargable batteries...I know I have some lying around somewhere.

You can order them from Sears and other places:

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_05750054000P?vName=Computers%20&%20Electronics&cName=Cameras&Camcorders&sName=Accessories&psid=YAHOOSHOP01&sid=IDx20070921x00003b

http://www.zbattery.com/Lenmar-C-Cell-Adapter-for-AA-Batteries-4-Pack?leadsource=37

http://store.sundancesolar.com/baadaatoc2pa.html

After using the rechargeables outdoors live and loud, I've found that you need to replace them with a fresh set every couple of hours for the best performance.. No big deal, as they're cheap to recharge instead of constantly buying new alkaline C-cells. Ric

ricdoug
03-19-2009, 10:08 PM
Guitar Center's having a closeout sale on the Crate Profiler Series Model 5.
I bought two of these on Tuesday for only $49 bucks each:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele562.jpg

I like these better than the Roland Microcubes. Here are some features:

5 watts RMS
2 X 4"speakers
11 digitally controlled analog classic amp profiles
Tone control
Stereo Digital Sound Processing Effects, including Delay, Modulation Effects,
__and Reverb selections
1/8" stereo audio input for devices like MP3 players/CD players
Headphone output
USB port
Included AC adaptor or battery (6 X AA) powered
Traktion software application included for recording on your computer.

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele563.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele564.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele565.jpg

It takes a while to learn how to use these amps. They save everything you set
in any previous operation. To change these settings, you have to power on,
change the knob settings, power off and power on again. It's frustrating until
you learn this sequence, as many unwanted sounds will occur otherwise.
There's nothing wrong with these amps, that's the way they are supposed to
function. My guess is that the closeout is due to users not being able to
figure out how to use them. Being that I've never recorded any of my music in
the past, this new firmware/software gives me an opportunity to delve into
that area.

The twin speakers boost the low end of this amp over that of the Roland
Microcube. Physically, it's slightly smaller than the Roland Microcube. At 5
watts, it has twice the power of the Roland Microcube. The USB output and
recording software are an added plus, too. I place it in between the Roland
Microcube/Line6 Micro and the Vox DA5. At only $49 bucks, it's a no-
brainer. Ric

Ahnko Honu
03-19-2009, 10:26 PM
I just bought a NIB Danelectro Honeytone amp on eBay for $24.95, they look retro cool, may order the AC adapter if battery life sux. Looking forward to farting around with it hooked to my new Waverly Street Pineapple. :)
http://i21.ebayimg.com/05/i/001/34/1c/5dae_1.JPG

Ahnko Honu
04-04-2009, 04:52 PM
Finally got my Danelectro amp in the mail today and I must say I'm impressed, allot more than I expected cranks pretty loud and clear out of the small speaker, more enough for my puposes. Mahalo ricdoug for your review which helped me make my choice. ;)

tanimoto
04-12-2009, 11:33 AM
i pretty settled on getting the Crate Taxi 15 Watt unless anyone has a suggestion for a better 15 watt rechargeable battery powered amp

ricdoug
04-12-2009, 11:44 AM
You might want to consider the Traynor TVM10. It's the same as the Taxi TX15,

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Traynor-International-TVM10-15W-1x6-Battery-Powered-Guitar-Combo-Amp?sku=481167

but it is stand mountable and more portable. The Traynor and Taxi have the same power amp.

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/3/4/491034.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/3/5/491035.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/3/3/491033.jpg

The Traynor TVM10 battery powered amplifier is designed for the musician on the move. Perfect for rehearsal or street corner concert, the TVM10's two-channel 15-watt design allows quick connection to any microphone, instrument or CD / MP3 player. Individual volume control on the input channels and four-band master EQ makes the TVM10 amp a complete and ultra-compact PA system solution.

XLR / TRS combi-jack input on channel one allows quick connection to any microphone source. A 1/4-inch input on channel 2 is ideal for any musical instrument including acoustic or electric guitars and keyboards. An additional RCA auxiliary Input allows quick connection CD or MP3 players.

The TVM10's wedge monitor shape projects to an intimate audience from ground level, or be used with its integrated stand adaptor on any speaker stand when used as a small announcement PA or background music source.

The Traynor name has long been associated with affordable, great sounding amplifiers. Since the early 1960's, Traynor amplifiers have earned a reputation as cost-effective, highly reliable workhorses'. Yorkville Sound is proud to continue this tradition. These open-backed amps are manufactured in the far east under the supervision of Yorkville's design and manufacturing team and are perfect for aspiring guitar and bass players in need of a compact and durable, yet inexpensive rig.

All of the speaker cabinets include metal corners, non-skid rubber feet, a power indicator LED, a three band EQ and vintage style rotary control knobs, a cloth grille and a distinctive grille-mounted chrome look Traynor logo.

All Traynor International Series amplifiers come with a comprehensive two year, no hassle warranty*. When you're ready to rock, grab your mate'!

* Warranty valid in Canada & United States only.

Traynor International TVM10 15W 1x6 Battery Powered Guitar Combo Amp Specifications:

Type: Battery Powered Micro PA Combo
Cabinet Program Power (Watts): 15
Speaker Configuration - LF (Size / Power): 6-inch
Speaker Configuration - HF (Size / Power): Tweeter
Channel 1 - inputs: Combi (1/4-inch + XLR female)
Channel 1 - controls: Channel Volume
Channel 2 - inputs: 1/4-inch
Channel 2 - controls: Channel Volume
Channel 3 - inputs: 2 x RCA
Main Tone Controls: Bass, Low-Mid, Hi-Mid, Treble
LED Indicators: Power
Headphone Jack: Yes - 1 x 1/4-inch
Other Features: Rechargable battery (usage with full charge, 10-hours)
Dimensions (DWH, inches): 10.25 x 13.75 x 11.75
Dimensions (DWH, cm): 26 x 34.5 x 30
Weight (lbs / kg): 25 / 11.32
Traynor International TVM10 15W 1x6 Battery Powered Guitar Combo Amp Features:

Channel One - XLR / 1/4-inch TRS Combi-jack Microphone Input with Volume Control for quick connection to any line or microphone source.
Channel Two - 1/4-inch Line Input with Volume Control, ideal for any instrument including acoustic or electric guitars and keyboards. Additional RCA Auxiliary Line Input for quick connection of any CD or MP3 player.
Master 4-Band Equalizer
Built-In Rechargeable Battery Pack Power Source - The TVM10 can run anywhere no cumbersome AC power source required.
Unique wedge cabinet shape projects to an intimate audience from ground level, or allows the TVM10 to act as a wedge monitor for rehearsals.
Integrated Speaker Stand Adaptor - Allows quick solid connection to any standard speaker stand when TVM10 is used as a small announcement PA or background music playback system.

ricdoug
04-28-2009, 05:16 PM
At the Earth Day concert in Oceanside, California on Sunday April 26, 2009, I used two Vox DA5's running on battery from 10 A.M. until 2:00 P.M. when we played our concert. Both amps ran loud and clean for four hours of pretty consitent use. We sang and danced at our booth for hours befor we went on stage. Passers by were amazed that we were not hooked into AC power when asking where the sound was coming from (Very well hidden in our "Tiki Hut"). If you look to the top right of me, you'll see one hanging from the frame. I hung each one from the frame using two bungie cords attached to the amp strap handles. If you look closely at the front right and left of the "Tiki Hut", you'll see the microphone stands. Also, there was a microphone and an instrument cable attached to each DA5. Very versatile and time proven for busking/performing. Ric

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele582.JPG

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele596.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele580.JPG

sukie
04-29-2009, 01:25 PM
Really nice Ricdoug. I have a Vox DA5 and I love it. And the portability is terrific. I really thank you for pointing me in that direction.

tuscadero
06-17-2009, 05:52 PM
I'd like to put in a good word for the Roland Mobile Cube. Smaller than the Micro Cube, it's way versatile and very portable. The accoustic guitar setting really keeps your uke sounding clear and true. There are inputs for a mic and aux input and a cancel center channel button that when pressed diminishes the vocals of a recording, making it the perfect PA for some kareoke. It's not pro level, but it's pretty loud and proud and great fun.:shaka:

dnt.thnk.twce
06-21-2009, 12:45 PM
For those of you using these small amps on your ukes - how do you deal with feedback. I have a Vox DA5 and just got a new uke with a pickup - and the feedback seems to be a big problem.

This amp works great with an electric guitar - and even with my acoustic guitar can be played pretty loudly with some gain - but it feeds back like crazy with the uke, even at clean settings and pretty low volume.

I am just a beginner and have no real need for this other than to play around with it - hoped to use a few effects for fun.

Any tips?

haole
06-21-2009, 12:50 PM
Make sure the uke isn't facing the amp. Just pointing it away from the amp will make a world of difference. :D

dnt.thnk.twce
06-21-2009, 02:09 PM
Yeah, I've noticed this helps. Also, I am in a relatively small room and suspect that sound is bouncing around quite a bit which can't be good. I'll take it outside and check it out.

I am also interested in favorite settings, do's & don'ts or other tricks from those that use these on a regular basis. Hoping it might save a lot of trial and error frustration - although I'll probably have to experience that myself anyway! :D

ricdoug
06-28-2009, 10:17 PM
Saturday was a busy day for the Ukulele Society of America.
We had two gigs lined up. The celebration of the 50th
anniversary of the McClellan Carlsbad Airport and a luau at
Deb and Gary’s. We played a 1 hour set at the airport to a very
large audience. Our stage was a patio area next to a incomplete
restaurant. To run power there would have required a couple
hundred feet of AC extension cords that would have crossed a
lot of foot traffic. No problem, as we used a Carvin S400D
P.A. system running on batteries. We also used three Senheizer
cardiod microphones. These have a wider pickup pattern than
super cardiod microphones, such as Shure SM58’s, making
them ideal for acoustic music. We used one for the conductor,
Dede, a second for the emcee, Tom and a third for the rest of
the band. The bass was played through a Roland Microcube
Bass RX. We set the pace for the rest of the festivities. The
Airport and Chamber put a lot of planning and work into this
event. We should have some photos next week.

Next, it was on to Deb and Gary’s for a private luau. Deb and
Gary found us through:

http://www.ohanacreations.com

They’ve both since bought ukuleles and have been playing at
the Ocean House with the Ukulele Society of America on
Thursdays. Deb and Gary are also taking ukulele lessons at:

http://www.museumofmakingmusic.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=237&Itemid=3

Now Deb and Gary told us their house had a tropical island
theme - Kalika and Kepi‘s Tropical Tiki Dinner Party. How
will we notice it?!:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary1.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary2.jpg

Hmm… they did mention they eould be serving fresh sashimi:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary3.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary4.jpg

ricdoug
06-28-2009, 10:18 PM
Even a waterfall:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary5.jpg

Time to Tiki:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary6.jpg

On the menu was Kalika’s seared ahi and tropical sashimi,
Kalika’s baked coconut shrimp and terriyaki chicken kabobs
in lettuce leaves, w/veggies, mango salsa and Thai peanut
sauce, Kalika’s baked asian scallops with Kepi’s mango salsa,
Hawaiian taro chips with Kepi’s artichoke dip, Kepi’s
“onoliscious” ono and mahi mahi lau lau w/cocunut rice,
Kalika’s Hawaiian Kalua pork sandwiches w/Kepi’s Thai cole
slaw. Tropical “libations” - Kalika’s mai tais, Kepi’s “wahine
martinis”, tropical tiki grog, Long Board Island Lager & Fire
Rock Pale Ale, Guava, Volcano Red and Symphony Mele
Wines from the Big Island’s Volcano Winery, Kona Coffee
w/Kona Coffee Liqueur. Tropical Desserts - Kalika’s
Hawaiian banana foster with coconut gelato, Kepi’s tropical
fruit with Chocolate Macademia Nut Liqueur fondue. We
arrived at their door with our “Will work for food” smiles on
our faces:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary7.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary8.jpg

ricdoug
06-28-2009, 10:19 PM
http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary9.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary10.jpg

Notice the tiki huts throughout the backyard pool and patio
area:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary11.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary12.jpg

ricdoug
06-28-2009, 10:20 PM
Next, we began setting up the stage and sound. Two Senheizer
microphones through two Roland Cube Street amps and the
stand up bass through a Roland Microcube Bass RX. All these
amps were run on battery power. Each of these amps will run
on 6 AA alkaline batteries at full power for 15 hours:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary13.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary14.jpg

The audience was forming:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary15.jpg

Time for da’ jamz!:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary16.jpg

ricdoug
06-28-2009, 10:21 PM
http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary17.jpg

Teaching “The Hukilau”:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary18.jpg

“Everybody does the Hukilau”:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary19.jpg

The new halau:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/DebGary20.jpg

A big thanks to the McClellan Carlsbad Airport, the Carlsbad
Chamber of Commerce, Deb and Gary and of course, all
the musicians! Ric

Ahnko Honu
06-28-2009, 10:34 PM
I just tried out my new 2me Fluke on my Danelectro amp, and I'm pretty happy with the sound. Bought the inverter to AC too to save battery when can. I usually prefer acoustic but good to have an option. :shaka:

ricdoug
06-28-2009, 10:46 PM
Get a couple of NiMH 9 volt batteries and a battery charger for them. The Danelectro will run about an hour on one NiMH battery. A Vox DA5 or Roland Microcube would really improve your natural amplified sound. Ric

tuscadero
06-29-2009, 12:13 AM
Ricdoug, thanks for the info, the menu and the great pics from that luau. I'm inspired! Also, I think we have the same red hawaiian shirts! Does yours have a subtle bark cloth-like red-on-red pattern?

UkeNukem
06-29-2009, 02:49 AM
Wow! What a gig! You have the right idea for sure because it's supposed to be sound RE-enforcement not sound


*** FORCEMENT ***

cpatch
06-29-2009, 04:48 AM
Wow, I want that backyard! Sorry I missed the airport gig but it was nice meeting you afterwards Ric.

ricdoug
06-29-2009, 10:34 AM
I think we have the same red hawaiian shirts! Does yours have a subtle bark cloth-like red-on-red pattern?

That's very observant! Yes it does. We ordered them from:

http://www.pacificlegend.com/category/men-collection/440-hawaiian-shirts

Reading about your first gig was very inspiring, too. It takes a lot of guts to take that first step and you powered through it! You might also be interested in:

http://www.kani-ka-pila.com/index_files/ProductList.htm

As for your lighting situation:

http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0oGklJiJElKbGIADA1XNyoA?p=clip+on+boo k+light&y=Search&fr=yfp-t-851&fr2=sb-top&sao=0

ricdoug
06-29-2009, 10:57 AM
sound RE-enforcement not sound


*** FORCEMENT ***

It's been a hands-on learning curve for the last couple of years. I'm an old hippie rock and blues guitarist who's used to a past of "Spinal Tap" amp settings - everything on "11"! LOL! I own a wide variety of amps and sound reinforcement gear. It makes it easy to adjust to the gig environment. I will say that if I were limited to owning only one amp, it would hands down be the Carvin S400D:

http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/single.php?product=S400

It's a 4 channel self contained battery/AC powered acoustic instrument amplifier/PA system. I bought the "D" model that has onboard effects, along with the second battery for more play time. Carvin claims 6 hours at full power with the second battery. The longest I've used it on battery is 4 hours with no signs of degradation to the sound. I also enjoy the wide sound pickup pattern and excellent anti-feedback characteristics of these microphones:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Sennheiser-e838-Dynamic-Microphone-104600853-i1324590.gc

They are substantially lower in price than when I bought mine. Ric

ricdoug
06-29-2009, 01:21 PM
Sorry I missed the airport gig but it was nice meeting you afterwards Ric.

Sorry you missed the gig too, Craig. It was nice meeting you. Ric

ricdoug
07-19-2009, 07:55 PM
The Vox DA5 is now on sale for only $100 bucks, in white and red:

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

Check out these buskers using the DA5:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A6qffZqLtI

This is an inexpensive solution for buskers and performers. Ric

ricdoug
07-20-2009, 09:40 PM
The last two weeks have been busy with kanikapila and
performances. Last week on Wednesday, on short notice,
I played the Carlsbad Village Farmers Market luau solo.
I used a Roland Street Cube amp, Senheiser microphone,
Ovation Applause UAE20 soprano ukulele and a LR Baggs
Para DI box. It was plenty for the venue, portable and
totally battery operated. I jammed and sang for two
hours. After that it was off to the Wind an Sea Ukulele
Orchestra in La Jolla and then off to the Moonlight
Beach Ukulele Strummers in Encinitas. Then on Thursday
it was off to the Ukulele Society of America in
Carlsbad. Here's the whole setup for the solo Farmers
Market gig, including a 6' triangular EZ-Up:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/RolandAmp1.JPG

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/RolandAmp2.JPG

On Saturday, many from our group were precommitted to
other hula groups and family gatherings. Our bass
player Jim and myself ended up playing another 2 hour
gig. Christy, the Farmers Market manager, sang several
songs with us. We were set up for a larger band with 2
Roland Street Cubes and 2 Senheiser microphones for
vocals, 1 Roland Microcube Bass RX for the bass violin,
2 Roland Microcube RX's for guitar/baritone uke/tenor
ukuuleles and 2 Roland Microcubes for concert/soprano
ukuleles. Jim used the Microcube Bass RX and I used a
Microcube and we both sang vocals and harmonies. We
were set up next to a Hawaiian plumeria vendor who
benefitted from the island music. The Roland Street
Cubes once again were the right tool for the job:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/RolandAmp3.JPG

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/RolandAmp4.JPG

ricdoug
07-20-2009, 09:41 PM
http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/RolandAmp5.JPG

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/RolandAmp6.JPG

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/RolandAmp7.JPG

A week ago on Sunday, a few of us from the Ukulele
Society of America joined up with a few from the
Moonlight Beach Ukulele Strummers to play,
unrehersed, at a luau in Encinitas, California. The
gig went surprizingly smooth. The same equipment
used at the Saturday Farmers Market gig was used
here. It was plenty for a party of about 30 people.
I think I'll pick up two more of the Roland Street
Cubes for two more microphones. They make up a
lightweight, modular PA that will run 15 hours on
battery power. Nice for a weekend festival outing.
The Carvin S400D is still the ticket for larger
gigs, where AC power is not available. The Street
Cubes have proven sufficient and reliable for the
smaller venues. Ric

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/RolandAmp8.JPG

ricdoug
07-20-2009, 09:42 PM
http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/RolandAmp9.JPG

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/RolandAmp10.JPG

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/RolandAmp11.JPG

ricdoug
09-19-2009, 10:09 PM
I just tried out my new 2me Fluke on my Danelectro amp, and I'm pretty happy with the sound. Bought the inverter to AC too to save battery when can. I usually prefer acoustic but good to have an option. :shaka:

You can plug a speaker cord into the headphone jack of that Honeytone and plug it into a Marshall half-stack speaker cabinet. The sound will SHOCK YOU! The AC adaptor was a wise move. As you know, it will save you loads on batteries. I keep those micro Honeytone amps in the cargo pockets of a couple of my ukulele cases, for busking situations that pop up. Ric

ricdoug
10-20-2009, 08:09 PM
For those of you using these small amps on your ukes - how do you deal with feedback. I have a Vox DA5 and just got a new uke with a pickup - and the feedback seems to be a big problem.

This amp works great with an electric guitar - and even with my acoustic guitar can be played pretty loudly with some gain - but it feeds back like crazy with the uke, even at clean settings and pretty low volume.



Try stuffing some newspaper in the soundhole. Jake used to do it that way and it helps immensly. Also, play with the tone controls to "notch out" the feedback frequencies. Ric

ricdoug
11-29-2009, 07:01 AM
Roland Microcube modifications:

http://www.konaweb.com/special/microcube_modification/

http://www.lojeck.com/brian/MicroCubeRepair.html

http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?p=32061197#post32061197

salukulady
11-29-2009, 08:35 AM
Roland Microcube modifications:

http://www.konaweb.com/special/microcube_modification/

http://www.lojeck.com/brian/MicroCubeRepair.html

http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?p=32061197#post32061197Thanks, Ric!

ricdoug
11-29-2009, 08:58 PM
Which mods do you plan on doing, Sally? Ric

salukulady
11-29-2009, 09:09 PM
Which mods do you plan on doing, Sally? RicMy hubby was thinking about modifying my sons bass microcube and seeing if my daughters vox could be done too. We printed out your directions, thanx.

ukecantdothat
11-30-2009, 06:47 AM
Great thread! Lots of useful, first-hand info. Thanks!

ricdoug
12-10-2009, 07:20 PM
I gotta' admit I'm skeptical as to how this works, but if it even runs 2 to 3 hours at that power on penlite batteries I'd still be beyond impressed. A frind of mine, Kristi "Cowbelle" in Arizona just got one and she's gigging with it this weekend in Arizona. This technology could have a whole new place in mountain, park and wilderness gigs/festivals. Here's the info I have on it:

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product?sku=583400

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/2/1/617021.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/2/7/617027.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/1/8/617018.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/2/2/617022.jpg

ricdoug
12-10-2009, 07:21 PM
http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/2/3/617023.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/1/9/617019.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/2/0/617020.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/2/6/617026.jpg

ricdoug
12-10-2009, 07:22 PM
http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/2/8/617028.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/2/9/617029.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/2/4/617024.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/2/5/617025.jpg

ricdoug
01-01-2010, 02:26 PM
My Roland BA330 came in last week. I left it at Giacoletti Music in Carlsbad with a couple
packs of batteries, for the employees to run it through a lot of beta testing. My first
impressions are that it's very clean and loud. I'll give a full report after more extensive
testing. Until then, here's another recent acquisition:

Wandering through the accessories section of the local Guitar Center, I ran
accross this:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxDA201.JPG

At only $10 bucks more than a Vox DA5, the Vox DA20 was a no-brainer!
From the top, the control layout is familiar to those that already own the
Vox DA5's. What's different is a much larger cabinet and a solid handle:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxDA202.JPG

Here's an angled view of the top and back. Notice the Vox DA20 has a built
in AC power supply with a standard power cord, instead of the AC adaptor
used on the Vox DA5:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxDA203.JPG

This is a closer view of the controls from the top:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxDA204.JPG

ricdoug
01-01-2010, 02:26 PM
Looking at the back, you'll notice a 1/4" microphone input and a microphone
volume control. You can plug an MP3 player into the AUX in, a microphone
into the MIC input and an instrument into the top input. What this means is
you can play and sing along to your MP3 tunes all at the same time!:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxDA205.JPG

After taking off the back panel, you now see the two 8" speakers and the
battery compartment for 6 C cell alkaline batteries:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxDA206.JPG

Playing impressions:

I started out with an American Standard Fender Stratocaster. The DA20
effectively reproduced the lower notes, that seem to plague the smaller
battery powered amps. I had the power switch on MAX, which is 5 watts on
battery power and 20 watts on AC power. These tests were performed on
battery power. I did some power chording playing Jumpin' Jack Flash, some
power riffing playing Riff Raff, a power blues shuffle playing Zep's Rock 'n
Roll some pentatonic blues scales and then the Carter Scratch to Wildwood
Flower for an articulation check. The DA20 passed with flying colors on all
of the tests.

Next, I played Hanalei Moon and Sophisticated Hula on my Ovation Applause
UAE20 acoustic/electric soprano ukulele, followed by a 12 bar blues shuffle to
Kansas City. Then I fingerpicked Hiilawe. All the above yielded a very natural
sound.

In all the above tests, the volume was impressively loud and clear. Just for fun,
I plugged the DA20 into AC and played Hey Joe with the Strat. With local
noise level ordinances, the DA20 would do well live on stage with a power trio.

Ric

ricdoug
02-15-2010, 03:42 PM
I ordered and received the Roland BA-330 P.A. about two months ago. I gave the employees a box of 24 AA alkaline batteries at Giacoletti Music and asked them to test it under a variety of circumstances They just killed the first set of 8 AA alkaline batteries after two weeks of medium usage. The reports are that it's loud and clean and the batteries seem to last forever. So, I brought it home, but did not unload it from my car as I was headed to the Wednesday night jam at the Moonlight Ukulele Strummers in Encinitas. I quickly learned the sad news that uncle Frank Leong was sick and bad health for the past two weeks. God bless our braddah and I wish/pray for his speedy recovery. Gerry Rayhill talked to me about the battery life of my Carvin S400D and I told him it was about 2 and a half hours at full power on a full charge. Gerry told me he needed more than that for him and Dr. Keith Marzullo to play their set at the http://runrocknroll.competitor.com . I immediately loaned Gerry my Roland BA330, along with 16 new AA batteries (enough for two battery reloads on the BA330) to use for the gig. I'm hoping Keith will report here after the gig on the Roland BA330's performnce after the gig. I still can't figure out how Roland gets that much power and running time out of 8 AA alkaline batteries. Ric

ricdoug
02-15-2010, 03:43 PM
This is the Roland Battery Band:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJRKP7R0ZBk

In a noisy room of about 200 yacking people, you could hear them loud and clear. The vocals were on steroids. She had two BA330's cascaded for the mains. This made a very effective 60 watt P.A. system that sounded more like a 200 watt system, due to the efficiency of the speakers. The gentleman on the left was using a handheld Keyboard to play the bass through a Roland KC110 30 watt battery powered keyboard amp http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.php?ProductId=1057&ParentId=418 . The keyboardist also played through a Roland KC110 30 watt battery powered keyboard amp http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.php?ProductId=1057&ParentId=418 as well ast hee accordianist who also played through a Roland KC110 30 watt battery powered keyboard amp http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.php?ProductId=1057&ParentId=418 . The guitarist was playing through a Roland Cube Street, of which I own 3. The drummer was playing through a BA330. Ladies and gentlemen, this was loud and clean. I talked to the band after their set and they change the NiMH AA batteries after every 10 hours of playing. This technology is mysterious. My BA330 P.A. arrived at Giacoletti Music in Carlsbad before Christmas. I gave them two packs of 24 AA alkaline batteries to run the amp through many situations. After 2 weeks, the batteries finally died. I picked up the BA330 and the remaining 40 batteries. When I took it home, When I took it home, I ran an I-Pod into it for about 5 hours at a pretty loud volume. The battery meter still showed about half of the battery life remained. Another musician, Gerry Rahill asked me about how long the batteries lasted on my Carvin S4100D battery powered P.A. running at full power, as he also has access to another one. When I told him about 2 to 2 and a half hours, he said that would not be long enough for his application. I immedietley loaned Gerry my BA330 and 16 alkaline batteries so that he and Dr. Keith Marzullo could use it for the http://san-diego.competitor.com/register/ http://san-diego.competitor.com/uncategorized/rock-n-roll-relay-is-back/ . Ric

ricdoug
02-15-2010, 03:47 PM
I stopped by to check out the Southern California Slack Key Society
at Kaisen Sushi in Oceanside, California a couple of weeks ago. Mikale'le was
playing as I stepped in. Lots of friends from the local Island music
community were there.

There were some technical issues with the sound, so I brought in
one of my Roland BA-330's (the first one's still loaned out) and
plugged Bill in. The audience was instantly wowed by the improved
(that's right) sound quality, fidelity and projection. I had shown the
BA-330 to several of the musicians and the battery pack loaded
with 8 RayOVac 2250mAH NiMH rechargeable AA batteries. We
ended up plugging the microphone into the BA-330, too:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/kaisens4.JPG

ricdoug
02-15-2010, 03:47 PM
My wife worked a double shift, so I was finally able to perform a good test on the NiMH battery performance. The batteries I used were freshly charged (the day before) on a 1 hour charger. They are the green RayOVac 2250 mAH NiMH batteries carried in the camera department of Wal Mart. I had both of my BA-330 P.A.'s cascaded using the Stereo Link feature. Using an American Standard Strat through a DOD FX55C Supra Distortion pedal and singing through a Sennheizer E838 microphone playing and singing loud classic rock selections. When I wasn't playing, I plugged in my Palm Pre phone using my Jimi Hendrix Pandora channel as the source. It was just slightly short of 5 hours, when I started to hear the first signs of breakup in the audio. This concluded my testing of battery life. I'm 100% satisfied with 5 hours and know that a couple of extra sets of NiMH batteries could sustain an all day wilderness concert. Ric

SailingUke
02-16-2010, 05:22 AM
I like my Roland Mini Cube for just me and my uke. When I want some uke volume, but just sing over the top of it, no mic.
If I need uke and voice amplification I use my Crate Limo. I have very pleased with the Limo in all venues including some out door stuff.

ricdoug
11-08-2010, 04:57 PM
I used 2 Roland BA-330's for the outdoor stage at the Southern California Ukulele Festival this year in Cerritos, California. On a single set of NiMH AA batteries, this system ran from 9:00 A.M. in the morning to 3:30 P.M. in the afternoon without hiccups. I'm still working on recovering corrupted video from this event. Ric

bazmaz
11-08-2010, 09:33 PM
My oh my

Eight pages of posts and nobody has mentioned a Pignose??

http://gotaukulele.blogspot.com/2010/10/what-amps-do-i-use-for-ukulele-playing.html

ricdoug
11-09-2010, 02:36 PM
I owned one of those back in the 70's, Paul. Opening the case at varying angles makes different sounds. I don't know if they've improved, but it quickly ate batteries. I also owned an Electro Harmonix Mike Matthews Freedom Amp, which had a lot more power. It also ran out of battery fast. Ric

ricdoug
03-03-2011, 05:33 AM
Line 6 Micro is on sale for $69 bucks:

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product?sku=483088V

This amp can run on 6 c-cell batteries. It has 3 channels - one for an instrument, another for a microphone with it's own microphone and a third input for a device like an MP3 player or CD player. It features chorus/flanger, phaser, tremelo, two echo and reverb effects, along with a built in tuner.

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/9/9/0/547990.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/6/7/1/549671.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/6/7/0/549670.jpg

sukie
03-03-2011, 09:16 AM
Ricdoug -- Is it better than the VoxDA5? Sounds like a heck o a deal.

ricdoug
03-03-2011, 06:31 PM
I like the DA5 better, Sukie, but you can't get one for $69 bucks. The DA5 produces more clean volume than the Line 6 Micro, but the Line 6 Micro has a little more versatility with the effects and tuner. It's the $69 buck price point that is the main purchase motivator here. Ric

ricdoug
03-03-2011, 08:07 PM
If I need uke and voice amplification I use my Crate Limo. I have very pleased with the Limo in all venues including some out door stuff.

The Crate Limo and Taxi have great sound and volume, SailingUke. Their caveat is the internal lead/acid battery - you get about 2 to 3 hours before the battery dies. After a few deep cycles on the battery you have to replace it. Not cheap! The Roland, Vox, Crate and Line 6 all run 3 times (or more!) longer than the Crate's on Alkaline or rechargeable NiMH batteries. The Crate Limo is a powerhouse workhorse, though. Ric

fitncrafty
03-04-2011, 01:33 AM
Ricdoug -- Is it better than the VoxDA5? Sounds like a heck o a deal.

Sukie.. my husband bought this line 6 amp, because when he and my son played it against the Vox Da5 they liked it better. I didn't like the controls, weird soft buttons, and it was 129.99. I exchanged it and was going to get the Da5 however ended up with the VOX mini 3 a little less power, but some added features and very clear cut controls. It sounds GREAT with my eleuke and was only 99 bucks...

ricdoug
03-04-2011, 12:50 PM
fitncrafty,

I just checked out the manual for the Vox Mini 3:

http://www.voxamps.com/downloads/PDF/MINI3_OM_E1.pdf

It has some nice features and runs on six AA batteries. How does the spring reverb sound? I called the local Guitar Center and they have them in stock. Ric

fitncrafty
03-04-2011, 05:54 PM
fitncrafty,

I just checked out the manual for the Vox Mini 3:

http://www.voxamps.com/downloads/PDF/MINI3_OM_E1.pdf

It has some nice features and runs on six AA batteries. How does the spring reverb sound? I called the local Guitar Center and they have them in stock. Ric

Ricdoug... I put it on spring reverb while playing a little melody I found of Dream a Little dream.. it sounded divine! I am in LOVE with that amp.. made me sound like I was doing vibrato...sweet.. that amp is rocking my world!

sukie
03-05-2011, 05:00 AM
Dear Ricdoug --

Thank you so much for helping all of us with our amp. questions. I appreciate it a lot.

Sukie

ricdoug
06-18-2011, 05:06 AM
A passionate member on the UU, fitncrafty, gave a strong recommendation for the battery powered Vox Mini 3.

Left to right front view: Roland Microcube, Vox Mini 3, Vox DA5 and Vox DA20:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxBatteryAmps1.jpg

Left to right rear view: VoxDA20, VoxDA5, Vox Mini 3, and Roland Microcube:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxBatteryAmps2.jpg

Top rear view of Vox DA5 and Vox Mini 3:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxBatteryAmps3.jpg

Top rear view of Vox DA20:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxBatteryAmps4.jpg

The Mini 3 has about the same footprint as the Roland Microcube. It has a larger speaker (5” - better bass response) than the Microcube, along with a more powerful 3 watt amplifier section. The Mini 3 also has a separate microphone input and it allows you to add delay/reverb to your vocals. The onboard tuner allows you to precisely tune the E strings on your guitars and ukuleles. The amp models are BTQ Clean, Black 2X12, Tweed 4X10, AC15, AC30TB, UK ‘70S, UK ‘80S, UK ‘90S, Cali Metal, US Higain and Line (clean). Instrument effects are Delay, Reverb, Compressor, Chorus, Flanger and Tremelo. The Delay/Reverb can be run with any of the other effects. 6AA Alkaline batteries run the amp for about 10 hours. At only 6 pounds, it’s a great amp to put in your luggage for travel. With a guitar strap and a headset microphone, you have the perfect mobile busking setup. Ric

ricdoug
06-18-2011, 05:06 AM
Top rear view of Roland Microcube:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxBatteryAmps5.jpg

Vox Mini 3 with instrument cable and Emerson headset microphone:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxBatteryAmps6.jpg

Pondoro
06-18-2011, 07:14 AM
The onboard tuner allows you to precisely tune the E strings on your guitars and ukuleles.

Ric - Does this mean that you can only tune the E string and then you have to tune the others to the E? Sounds rather useless for a uke.

ricdoug
06-18-2011, 04:21 PM
I guess that's subject to individual opinion, Pondoro. The Roland Microcube puts out an "A" note as it's tuning system. I have no problem tuning a guitar or ukulele to a single "E" or "A" note reference. With a microphone channel and the ability two run two banks of effects at the same time, the Vox Mini 3 offers a little more power and versatility than the Roland Microcube. I remember Gerald Ross stating he likes to have reverb on both channels so he can leave both his steel and uke plugged in without having to switch cables. The light weight allows one to put more in their luggage when traveling. With a guitar strap and the headset microphone, it's a relatively inexpensive busker's kit:

$99 bucks for the amp: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/vox-mini-3-3w-battery-powered-guitar-combo-amp

$19 bucks for the headset mic: http://www.frys.com/product/6460952;jsessionid=D2Yu+Fuz6YnYc4XqBDNE5g__.node2? site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxBatteryAmps6.jpg

fitncrafty
06-18-2011, 05:11 PM
I guess that's subject to individual opinion, Pondoro. The Roland Microcube puts out an "A" note as it's tuning system. I have no problem tuning a guitar or ukulele to a single "E" or "A" note reference. With a microphone channel and the ability two run two banks of effects at the same time, the Vox Mini 3 offers a little more power and versatility than the Roland Microcube. I remember Gerald Ross stating he likes to have reverb on both channels so he can leave both his steel and uke plugged in without having to switch cables. The light weight allows one to put more in their luggage when traveling. With a guitar strap and the headset microphone, it's a relatively inexpensive busker's kit:

$99 bucks for the amp: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/vox-mini-3-3w-battery-powered-guitar-combo-amp

$19 bucks for the headset mic: http://www.frys.com/product/6460952;jsessionid=D2Yu+Fuz6YnYc4XqBDNE5g__.node2? site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

[img]http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxBatteryAmps6.jpg[/link]
Ric thanks so much for the excellent review of the amps. I don't think I will ever need an amp more than the mini 3, but I do love it. I don't k now much about the tech side, and just play with all the knobs until it sounds good to my ears. Enjoy those amps and I. Know others will appreciate it too.

Pondoro
06-19-2011, 01:39 AM
Ric - I'm not bashing the whole amp, I'm actually probably going to buy one based on your review. Just the tuner seems like it would be a pain. I hate trying to tune a lower string to a higher string that is in tune. SO I would probably rarely use the built in tuner.

When I read "built in tuner" my first thought was a "full service" tuner that would show me if a sting was flat or sharp, like my clip on or plug-in tuners. So I'm disappointed in that feature. But I'll still probably buy one.

UncleElvis
06-19-2011, 04:37 AM
I ripped the Vox Mini3 apart and put it in "Honey", the miniBindle, my new portable PA system, and could not be happier.
It sounds AMAZING with good volume and sound. The amp modelling is incredible as well! Playing a sopranino through it, set to 90s metal is one of the most insane, hilarious, ridiculous things I've ever heard.
The vocals sound good going through it, as well, though I haven't played with that side of it enough.

http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg612/scaled.php?tn=0&server=612&filename=18glhs.jpg&xsize=640&ysize=640

It's hidden behind the tweed panel.

ricdoug
06-19-2011, 05:05 AM
Ric - I'm not bashing the whole amp, I'm actually probably going to buy one based on your review. Just the tuner seems like it would be a pain. I hate trying to tune a lower string to a higher string that is in tune. SO I would probably rarely use the built in tuner.

I did not take that in a negative way, Pondoro. I know some that think any kind of tuner is a waste and everyone should only tune by ear. Most of the time I use a clip on chromatic tuner anyway. You are also correct that after tuning the lower strings, you have to go back and check the E string reference due to the changes in neck tension. Everyone's got a different school of thought on tuning. For someone on a budget, the one note tuner would help get them started.

Another feature I'd like to see on all the Vox battery amps is an XLR/1/4" combo jack for the microphone channel. The Emerson headset DJ mic I got for mine has a 1/4" plug to make it simple and eliminate the need for a microphone stand.

ricdoug
06-19-2011, 05:14 AM
I ripped the Vox Mini3 apart and put it in "Honey", the miniBindle, my new portable PA system, and could not be happier.


It's hidden behind the tweed panel.

WOW, Uncle Elvis! Nostalgia meets modern technology. I'd like to see how you arranged the other components behind the tweed panel, in particular the speaker. That's innovative. Does the uke fit in the suitcase closed? What kind of microphone do you use with it? Ric

Pondoro
06-19-2011, 08:16 AM
WOW, Uncle Elvis! Nostalgia meets modern technology. I'd like to see how you arranged the other components behind the tweed panel, in particular the speaker. That's innovative. Does the uke fit in the suitcase closed? What kind of microphone do you use with it? Ric

I saw and heard this at UWC, it is a sweet bit of kit.

Pondoro
06-19-2011, 08:24 AM
Everyone's got a different school of thought on tuning. For someone on a budget, the one note tuner would help get them started..

I'd love an amp with a feed-trough chromatic tuner so I colud look down and check my tuning quickly.

UncleElvis
06-19-2011, 11:58 AM
WOW, Uncle Elvis! Nostalgia meets modern technology. I'd like to see how you arranged the other components behind the tweed panel, in particular the speaker. That's innovative. Does the uke fit in the suitcase closed? What kind of microphone do you use with it? Ric

Here's how I arranged it. The battery pack WAS glued down, but is now screwed down, as it's a naughty little thing that likes to come loose.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5102/5685192711_4a8d23414c.jpg

The ukulele sits right where it is in the pic and the space underneath stores a collapsible mic stand made from PVC pipe and a bungee cord.
Right now, I'm using the cheapest piece of crap mic I could find, just to have something, but will eventually be using a Shure SM55, the "Elvis Mic". I have one that's about 20 years old that needs to be fixed, hence the crappy one.
I might do something ridiculous with the crappy mic, like "upholster" it in tweed. We'll see.

UncleElvis
06-19-2011, 11:59 AM
I saw and heard this at UWC, it is a sweet bit of kit.

T'ank you, sah! Glad you like. I wish I had had it finished in time.

Landshark
06-19-2011, 01:36 PM
While I do still own a Roland Micro cube, I rarely use it after I got the Roland AC-33 ac/batt powered amp, just amazing and only about 10 lbs, lots of volume and sounds great

http://www.rolandus.com/flash/player/?path=http://media.rolandus.com/flv/ac-33_demo_video_hd.flv

ricdoug
09-25-2011, 08:31 AM
The AC-33 is a powerhouse, Landshark. It's really a performing tool when you add two Boss FS-6 footswitches:

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/6/001/426/987/DV019_Jpg_Regular_421384_top.jpg

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/19/001/219/500/DV020_Jpg_Jumbo_421384_rear.jpg

Sum the AB to a single jack and use a stereo 1/4" cable on each FS-6 for full control of the 40 second looper and the onboard effects. This allows you to turn yourself into a one man band. Ric

ricdoug
09-25-2011, 03:13 PM
How much sound gear do you carry for your ukulele group and what kind of vehicle do you carry it in?

Yesterday, I emptied out the trunk of my 2001 Ford Focus Sedan. Here’s the gear stacked in the front door hallway. 1 Carvin S400D Stagemate P.A. system, 1 Carvin 810 Extension Speaker, 3 Roland Cube Street’s, 2 Roland Microcube RX’s, 1 Roland Microcube Bass Rx, 1 Roland Microcube, 5 Camp Stools, 6 Adjustable Boom Microphone stands, 2 Speaker Stands and 6 large recyclable (grocery store bags) that are double bagged for strength:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/BatteryAmpsTrunkFordFocus.jpg

I took out the contents of these bags to show what’s inside and to rewind the cables for better order:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/BatteryAmpsTrunkFordFocus2.jpg

Here’s the stands and camp stools:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/BatteryAmpsTrunkFordFocus3.jpg

Next I reloaded all that equipment into the trunk:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/BatteryAmpsTrunkFordFocus4.jpg

ricdoug
09-25-2011, 03:13 PM
Then the bags were loaded into the trunk:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/BatteryAmpsTrunkFordFocus5.jpg

ralphk
09-26-2011, 02:12 AM
To rcdoug:

What headset mike have you chosen to use with the Vox? This looks like a nice setup.

Thanks

ricdoug
09-26-2011, 06:54 AM
It's an Emerson M193 I purchased at Frys (great customer service, by the way), ralphk:

http://www.frys.com/product/6460952?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

At only $20 bucks it's a perfect addition to the Vox Mini3. No microphone stand or microphone cable needed:

http://images.frys.com/art/product/big_shots/6460952.big.jpg

Brad Bordessa
09-26-2011, 08:00 AM
The AC-33 is a powerhouse, Landshark. It's really a performing tool when you add two Boss FS-6 footswitches:

...

Sum the AB to a single jack and use a stereo 1/4" cable on each FS-6 for full control of the 40 second looper and the onboard effects. This allows you to turn yourself into a one man band. Ric

You know you can make your own foot switches like that right? I was convinced I needed the FS-6 but then found instructions for a totally passive alternative with parts from radio shack. The hardest thing to find is the housing. I can post up the instructions I wrote if you like.

ricdoug
09-26-2011, 08:11 AM
Please do, Hippie Guy. DIY is many times a great way to save money. Ric

Trinimon
10-04-2011, 06:58 AM
I'm torn between a Vox Mini3 and a Roland MicroCube. Someone locally is selling a "new" condition Micro Cube for $75. or spend the extra $40-$50 or so and get a new Vox Mini3?

fitncrafty
10-04-2011, 07:10 AM
I'm torn between a Vox Mini3 and a Roland MicroCube. Someone locally is selling a "new" condition Micro Cube for $75. or spend the extra $40-$50 or so and get a new Vox Mini3?

Can you go somewhere and try them out? that would be my best recommendation. Both are good. I have and picked the Mini3. Got it for about 95 US..

Trinimon
10-04-2011, 07:13 AM
I've tried the Mini3 and it sounds good but nobody carries the Micro Cube in stock to compare. The price is nice for a "new" condition Micro Cube I'm assuming. Can I run a mic for vocals along with the uke plugged in on the Micro Cube? Thanks.

ricdoug
10-04-2011, 08:24 AM
I own both, Trinimon. The Microcube makes you choose an instrument or a microphone. It will not do both. The Mini3 allows you to use an instrument at the same time. The Mini3 also has separate controls for the instrument and the microphone. The Mini3 has more power and a larger speaker. The Mini3 has two banks of effects. The Mini3 is the same physical size as the Microcube. The Mini3 and the Microcube both use 6AA batteries and also come with an A/C adaptor. I like my Microcubes. My Mini3 is louder and more versatile. The Mini3 is $99 bucks, new. The Microcube is $125 new. Hope this gives you more ideas to choose. Ric

Trinimon
10-04-2011, 09:04 AM
lol, when you break it down like that ricdoug, I think I'm liking the pros of the Mini3 more and more. Thanks!

UncleElvis
10-04-2011, 09:04 AM
Is there something like a Mini3, but with, like, just a little reverb and a clean sound? I love the Mini3, but, as fun as they are, I don't really need all the guitar effects...

ricdoug
10-04-2011, 10:37 AM
Yes, Uncle Elvis, but it's 4 times the price. It's for acoustic instruments.:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/roland-ac-33-acoustic-chorus-combo-amp

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/6/001/388/418/DV019_Jpg_Regular_423449_stand_down_R.jpg

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/6/001/388/419/DV019_Jpg_Regular_423449_no_grille_R.jpg

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/6/001/388/422/DV019_Jpg_Regular_423449_top.jpg

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/6/001/388/415/DV019_Jpg_Regular_423449_back1.jpg

ricdoug
10-04-2011, 10:38 AM
http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/6/001/388/416/DV019_Jpg_Regular_423449_back2.jpg

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/6/001/388/421/DV019_Jpg_Regular_423449_stand_down_V.jpg

UncleElvis
10-05-2011, 04:38 AM
Yes, Uncle Elvis, but it's 4 times the price. It's for acoustic instruments.:


Jinkies!

Ok... so I'll be staying with the Mini3!

Trinimon
10-07-2011, 12:10 PM
I went to pickup the Vox Mini3 from the local store and was told they sold their last Mini3 a week ago. Asked when they'll be getting more and was told that they recently found out that they're already discontinued. Anyone else heard this? Didn't know what and when the replacement will be out.

ricdoug
10-07-2011, 01:31 PM
Order one, Trinimon:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/vox-mini-3-3w-battery-powered-guitar-combo-amp/h14148000001000

Trinimon
10-07-2011, 02:25 PM
Thanks. I found one at a store (but not nearby) but thinking, if the Mini3 is discontinued, should I wait for the replacement? :P

fitncrafty
10-07-2011, 02:39 PM
Thanks. I found one at a store (but not nearby) but thinking, if the Mini3 is discontinued, should I wait for the replacement? :P

That's so weird because the Mini 3 just came out in the last year and replaced the DA5 (i think that is the one)... I LOVE LOVE LOVE that amp..

ricdoug
10-07-2011, 07:05 PM
Thanks. I found one at a store (but not nearby) but thinking, if the Mini3 is discontinued, should I wait for the replacement? :P

IF the Mini3 is discontinued is a loaded question, Trinimon. Vox does not say anything about that:

http://www.voxamps.com/us/

There's nothing about discontinuing the Vox Mini3 on Vox's forums:

http://www.voxamps.com/forum/search.php?q=mini3

When you get a Vox Mini3 you'll probably never get rid of it, Trinimon. I still have all 3 of my Vox DA5's and my Vox DA20. Both of those models were discontinued. I'm glad I bought them when I did. As a matter of fact, Vox made a DA10, a DA15 and a DA20 after the DA5. I came close to buying a Da10, then close to buying a DA15 before Vox made the DA20 and Guitar Center had one on closeout. The DA20 retailed for over $300 bucks. Here's mine when I got it:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxDA201.JPG

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxDA204.JPG

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxDA205.JPG

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxDA206.JPG

I use my DA20 with an American Standard Fender Stratocaster and a Sennheizer E-838 microphone through a http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/whirlwind-little-imp-lo-to-hi-impedance-matcher/427600000000000 to play blues, rock and country at swap meets, flea markets, farmers markets and streete fairs. All of these venues will charge you up to $200 bucks to hook into their AC power. I love the looks on their faces and their sly comments when they discover I'm doing fine on just battery power. One lady attempted to charge me $175 bucks for power at a streete faire where the whole band was battery powered. I told her to sue us, as we were in total compliance with the rules of the street faire. That was 4 years ago and we never heard from anybody about that since. There's plenty of useful situations to use all of the Vox and other battery powered amps. Ric

Trinimon
10-07-2011, 07:41 PM
Thanks Ric. I spent the better half of an hour trying to find any mention of the Mini3 being discontinued and came up empty. Not sure if the sales clerk was just feeding me false info but it wasn't like he was selling me anything as he was just cashing out the stuff I was buying.

Trinimon
10-12-2011, 03:12 PM
YAY! Found a local store that got some of the Mini3's in but only the Classic version. I was hoping on the all black vinyl wrapped one but the Classic doesn't look half bad so I bought it. Got my MISI pickup from Mainland enroute so the waiting game begins. Thanks all for all the great info!

ricdoug
10-12-2011, 05:26 PM
Congratulations on the new Mini3, Trinimon. Looking forward to your review. Ric

Trinimon
10-24-2011, 05:17 AM
My MISI pickup came in from Mike at Mainland last Wednesday but unfortunately I had to go out of town for the weekend. All I could think of was getting this installed and finally testing out the Mini3.

Well I got home late yesterday afternoon and like a kid with a new toy, ran off to the makeshift workshop to install the pickup. All went smoothly with the installation. No buzzing, intonation out a couple cents, maybe I just need to lower the saddle a wee more.

Plugged in the uke expecting the worst but was pleasantly surprised that it worked beautifully. No humming or popping noises etc. Not sure if I'd ever use some of the features of the amp but one day maybe I'll tackle some Guns & Roses stuff. lol

Couldn't crank it up because it was pretty late at night but used the headphones and ran through all the settings testing the sound levels from each string etc. I'm impressed by the Mini3 so far. I'll crank up the Mini3 tonight after work and see. So far, I'm a very happy camper!

Thanks for all the info and tips.

ricdoug
10-24-2011, 02:18 PM
Congratulations on the successful pickup surgery, Trinimon! I'm sure we'll get a review from you when you really get a chance to test drive the Mini3. Ric

paeataa
11-11-2011, 06:30 AM
I wondered if anyone could help me explain whether misi pickup installed in an ukulele will require those amplifiers. Or can I just plug the audio jack from the ukulele to any speakers like 2.1 desktop computer speakers?

Thank you very much!

ricdoug
11-11-2011, 11:00 AM
I plugged my Eleuke soprano and Stagg tenor into a $6 buck pair of computer speakers using the headphone jack, paeataa. With a headphone adaptor from a dollar store this will also work from a 1/4" jack, but will only play through one of the speakers. The result was surprizingly good sound for the money! Of course it's not a premium quality acoustic instrument amplifier, but it will allow many to experiment with amplification on the cheap. For singers like me who have naturally loud vocals, these speakers boost the level of the ukulele to match the vocal level.

http://shopping.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AovmpWm_OR2sZW8jNgv9VNkbFt0A?p=compute r+speakers&view=g&sortby=priceA

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/EleukeAmp.JPG

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/StaggUkeAmp.JPG

The mono 1/4" endpin jack would work with a 1/8" jack to a 1/4" plug adaptor like this:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062468

but will only play to one of the speakers. These "headphone adaptors can be readilly found for a buck in a dollar store. A mono 1/4" plug to a stereo 1/8" jack"

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062462

would play through both speakers, but I have not yet run across one in a dollar store. Keeping in mind that this is in no way a substition for a quality D.I./preamp and acoustic instrument amplifier/P.A.. These cheap speaker/amp combos do raise the level of these ukes to my vocals and could be used in simplistic performances. Ric

paeataa
11-11-2011, 11:34 AM
Thank you very much, ricdoug! This is exactly the answer I was looking for. I just need to raise the volume level the uke when jamming with some guitars and to match with my vocals as well.

But I am just curious why it works on only one of the speakers. Is it because the jack is mono instead of stereo?

Thanks again!

ricdoug
11-11-2011, 11:56 AM
it works on only one of the speakers. Is it because the jack is mono instead of stereo?

The 1/4" jacks on my ukes are mono Tip/Sleeve. The headphone adaptors are stereo Tip/Ring/Sleeve. The audio is only then transmited through the single Tip/Sleeve channel, which results in mono sound through one of the speakers. Ric

paeataa
11-11-2011, 12:01 PM
Got you! Thank you very much, Ric!!

ricdoug
04-11-2012, 06:45 PM
What battery powered amps do the rest of you Ukulele Underground members use and what are your opinions of how they work for you? Ric

ukuhippo
04-11-2012, 08:06 PM
What battery powered amps do the rest of you Ukulele Underground members use and what are your opinions of how they work for you? Ric

I bought a uk2000 of ebay for less than 10 dollar. Got some time of work in may, and will install it in one of my dolphins then.

arpie
04-11-2012, 11:03 PM
Here is a neat blog for fitting a uk2000 - note that he wished he'd put the pickup wire thru the bridge next time, so it is invisible & neater.

http://theukuleleblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-to-fit-ukulele-pickup.html

On Saturday, I am checking out a Roland Micro Cube Bass RX for my new Spruce UBass! :) Can't wait!!

cheerio

Roberta

You wouldn't need a preamp as well, would you for my intended setup?

ricdoug
04-12-2012, 08:47 PM
Aloha e Roberta.

Between all the bass amp models and tone controls on the Roland Microcube Bass RX, you'll be fine. Ric

arpie
04-16-2012, 06:38 PM
Wooohooo!!! Thanks Ric! Picked up My Roland Microcube Bass RX on Sat & EVERYBODY wants to play my UBASS! Wow - what a terrific 'not so little' amp, too!! Compared to the original Mricro Cubes, the RX is about 1/3 larger but it still works on the 6 AA Batteries - and it has SOOO many different sound effects, as well as the percussion/drums (about 16 variations) and I haven't dared turn the volume up past 1/2 & it was WAY loud enough for a small group (ie uke group) whether inside under cover or outside in the open!!

The UBass is such a neat little Bass to play with - I will be practising to CDs & Youtube songs, to 'get used' to playing the bass notes - you can 'slide up or down' to your note & it still sounds good - even it you miss it the first time, incorporate the slide into the effect!! :D

I can see that I will be having a fun time with this little setup - possibly to the exclusion of my other ukes! :rolleyes: he, he,

cheerio

Roberta

ricdoug
04-18-2012, 08:59 PM
When you do need to turn it up louder, Roberta, push the "Comp" button. This compresses the signal to prevent the Microcube Bass RX from distorting. Ric

ricdoug
05-20-2012, 02:14 PM
All set up for the Jonathan Tarr Foundation Scholarship Picnic. All battery powered sound system. Two Roland BA-330's, one Roland AC-33, one Roland Microcube Bass RX and three Roland Cube Street's. Four Senheizer E-838 microphones make for a superb setup for parks and beaches. Ono grindz, too.

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/JonathanTarr201201.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/JonathanTarr201202.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/JonathanTarr201203.jpg

ricdoug
05-28-2012, 02:51 PM
Motu Hawaii annual Memorial Day Celebration at Cardiff State Beach, California hosted by Babe and Rome Valero. Jamming on ukulele with Uncle Frank Leong on guitar and Bruddah Romeo on bongos. My amp rig is an L.R. Baggs Para Acoustic D.I. through a Vox Mini3 along with an Emerson headset microphone. Ric

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/MotuHawaiiParty.jpg

ricdoug
09-08-2012, 09:08 PM
I just tried the Luna suitcase amp at a local store. It's got a lot of eye value and runs on a 9 volt battery. When you open the tweed case, it has a packet full of cool stickers. It has a truly cool look for buskers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busking

It has basic controls and sounds better than most 9 volt battery amps I've played through.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/luna-guitars-ukulele-suitcase-combo-amp

For the same price you are much better off with a Vox Mini3 that runs off 6 AA batteries. The Mini3 has longer runtime, more power, a larger speaker, digital effects and a seperate microphone input so you can be a one man band.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/vox-mini3-3w-battery-powered-guitar-combo-amp

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/19/999/852/99/DV020_Jpg_Jumbo_1316478179593_E.jpg

salukulady
09-08-2012, 10:21 PM
Y
I just tried the Luna suitcase amp at a local store. It's got a lot of eye value and runs on a 9 volt battery. When you open the tweed case, it has a packet full of cool stickers. It has a truly cool look for buskers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busking

It has basic controls and sounds better than most 9 volt battery amps I've played through.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/luna-guitars-ukulele-suitcase-combo-amp

For the same price you are much better off with a Vox Mini3 that runs off 6 AA batteries. The Mini3 has longer runtime, more power, a larger speaker, digital effects and a seperate microphone input so you can be a one man band.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/vox-mini3-3w-battery-powered-guitar-combo-amp

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/19/999/852/99/DV020_Jpg_Jumbo_1316478179593_E.jpg
A few months ago I showed my hubby the Luna amp and asked him to build me one. I have a cool old suitcase and he intends on buying the Vox mini3 and installing it in the suitcase. My suitcase is considerably larger so we are hoping a uke will fit inside plus other equipment. If this project ever gets completed I will post some pics here.

dkcrown
09-09-2012, 12:59 AM
Y
A few months ago I showed my hubby the Luna amp and asked him to build me one. I have a cool old suitcase and he intends on buying the Vox mini3 and installing it in the suitcase. My suitcase is considerably larger so we are hoping a uke will fit inside plus other equipment. If this project ever gets completed I will post some pics here.

That sounds really cool Sally. Would love to see some pics of it.

salukulady
09-09-2012, 09:53 AM
That sounds really cool Sally. Would love to see some pics of it.

Will do. As with most of our projects it may be a while, ha.

Have you seen uncle E's (mike hind) buskers set up? It's ahmazing. If you haven't I will tell him to post some pics here.

ricdoug
09-09-2012, 10:29 AM
Looking forward to seeing your suitcase project, Sally. Any upcoming gigs with the Barefoot Wahines?

Uncle Elvis’ setup:

http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg612/scaled.php?tn=0&server=612&filename=18glhs.jpg&xsize=640&ysize=640

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5102/5685192711_4a8d23414c.jpg

salukulady
09-09-2012, 10:53 AM
Thanks Ric.

No. All of the BW gigs have been private parties this season. They pay much better than restaurants and bars.

ricdoug
09-09-2012, 11:09 AM
Thanks Ric.

No. All of the BW gigs have been private parties this season. They pay much better than restaurants and bars.

Haha, Sally! A lot of "play for tips and you can sell your CD's" in the south land. Parties feed us, too!

As I recall, Uncle Elvis made a PVC microphone stand that attachesto the suitcase too. Ric

UncleElvis
09-09-2012, 08:18 PM
Haha, Sally! A lot of "play for tips and you can sell your CD's" in the south land. Parties feed us, too!

As I recall, Uncle Elvis made a PVC microphone stand that attachesto the suitcase too. Ric

I did indeed. Sadly, there are some adjustments that I need to make this winter. I'm gonna need to seal the interior to get a bit more sound out of it, as well as figure out some way of dampening where the mic stand touches the rest of the case, as the vibrations cause quite bad feedback at the moment. I usually put a towel or something there, but that's not a good enough solution.
There will be more additions to come.
I'm also going to be going to TBUG and, hopefully, will find a few minutes to run to a thrift store to pick up another case or three for other projects I'm working on.

Right now, for gigs, I'm running a Fender Passport 150 with a Shure Super55, but I'm thinking about getting an AC33 for smaller gigs (like if I get something on a boat). I'm gonna see if I can figure out a way to work all THAT into a suitcase, as well as tshirts, CDs and the rest...

ricdoug
09-10-2012, 07:47 PM
I know a local who does cruise ship gigs on and off, Uncle Elvis. He enjoys it. Good luck getting one of those gigs. It will be a new adventure for you.

The AC-33 is the ticket for that kind of work. Keep an extra charged set of NiMH rechargeable batteries so you start each gig with a fresh set. Running the AC-33 on battery power makes setup and teardown a snap. For larger auditorium and stadium gigs, I like to use the line out from the AC-33 to the P.A. system. This puts me in charge of my own vocal and instrumental mix. The way I want it to be. It then acts as my personal stage monitor. Ric

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/roland-ac-33-acoustic-chorus-combo-amp

http://media.rolandus.com/manuals/AC-33_OM.pdf

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/18/001/388/422/DV016_Jpg_Large_423449_top.jpg

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/18/001/388/415/DV016_Jpg_Large_423449_back1.jpg

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/18/001/388/419/DV016_Jpg_Large_423449_no_grille_R.jpg

mLKauai
11-10-2012, 09:58 AM
Hi gang,
I have a yearning to play my uke-solos and chords with occasional vocals: with my ipod playlist: Band in a Box backup tracks I made for my repertoire.

This is what I have:
a mic stand, Shure58 and Shure57 mics.
A Crate amp
A Cube CM30 Monitor
A Kick iPod boombox (which is quite loud and clear).
Uke has Mi-Si Align pickup.

My question is; the amps are pretty old and I'm wondering if adding the AC-33 would be sufficient to optimize my setup... for a restaurant, lanai setting, would the A-33 work good with a uke and the mic or with both channels working same time? or best dedicated to one thing?

* Do you performers have trouble transitioning from practicing accoustic in your room every day to amplified in a performance setting?
I think about it all the time, how nice the accoustic uke sounds ( i do a lot of jazz solos ) to my back up tracks and how different everything sounds and feels with amplification.
I know it takes practicing with the amp, but wonder if there's been any breakthroughs in microphone technology to make a nice clean accoustic sound without paying up the yazoo. i think i already know the answer, besides, Jake uses an amp :) hahah

ricdoug
11-18-2012, 06:28 AM
I use my AC-33 for both vocals and mic in restaurant venues, mLKauai. It's more than enough and eliminates the need for a monitor. The electronics of a uke are many times not enough to get the potential clean volume of an AC-33, so I use a preamp like http://www.guitarcenter.com/LR-Baggs-Para-Acoustic-DI-101359792-i1128134.gc or http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringer-ADI21-V-Tone-Acoustic-Driver-Direct-Recording-Preamp-DI-Box-103385159-i2547754.gc to wake up the sound. Ric

mLKauai
11-18-2012, 07:51 AM
thanks Ric,
I'm just wondering if one of the other amps i have, which would be acceptable for the backup tracks i use from my iPod; Crate taxi, or Roland cube monitor, or the Kick for iPod if any.
I use my AC-33 for both vocals and mic in restaurant venues, mLKauai. It's more than enough and eliminates the need for a monitor. The electronics of a uke are many times not enough to get the potential clean volume of an AC-33, so I use a preamp like http://www.guitarcenter.com/LR-Baggs-Para-Acoustic-DI-101359792-i1128134.gc or http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringer-ADI21-V-Tone-Acoustic-Driver-Direct-Recording-Preamp-DI-Box-103385159-i2547754.gc to wake up the sound. Ric

ricdoug
11-18-2012, 08:30 AM
Just plug it into the AUX IN of the AC-33. It handles the instrument, vocals and MP3 superbly together at the same time, mLKauai:

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/18/001/388/415/DV016_Jpg_Large_423449_back1.jpg

mLKauai
11-18-2012, 08:54 AM
WOW! thats saying something Ric... all 3; vocal, ipod, and uke (w/pre-amp).
Just plug it into the AUX IN of the AC-33. It handles the instrument, vocals and MP3 superbly together at the same time, mLKauai:

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/18/001/388/415/DV016_Jpg_Large_423449_back1.jpg

ricdoug
11-19-2012, 04:19 PM
Anyone needing microphones for their ukuleles/vocals, get 4 for $39 bucks including shipping (+ your local sales tax) I just ordered 4 more of these (2 for $24.99 bucks) and used the code SAVUP200 (expires today) to save another $10 bucks off $49 bucks plus. I own several of these already. They are well built metal construction and work great for both vocals and instruments. The funny thing is you can buy 1 for $49 bucks. Ric

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Digital-Reference-DRV100-Dynamic-Cardioid-Handheld-Mic--two-pack--H90924-i2812032.gc

Incredible deal on two microphones.

The Digital Reference DRV100 Dynamic Vocal Microphone is an all-around mic for stage vocals. Built with a rugged grille, all-metal body, and optimized frequency response, the DRV100 microphone stands up to long hours of use while providing uncompromising vocal reproduction. Ideal for any musical style or speech application, the great-sounding and durable DRV100 microphone is the must-have for every gig bag. This item is a special deal on two of these fine microphones.

Digital Reference DRV100 Dynamic Cardioid Handheld Mic (two pack) Features:

Outstanding vocal reproduction for any musical style
Cardioid polar pattern for wider pickup area
Dynamic capsule, rugged grille, all-metal body, and gold-plated XLR connector
Includes microphone clip

Specifications:

50Hz - 15kHz frequency response
600O output impedance

http://images.guitarcenter.com/products/optionLarge/DigitalReference/DV016_Jpg_Large_H90924000000000.jpg

ricdoug
12-10-2012, 05:12 PM
Used the Vox Mini3 again this weekend for street busking:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Mini3Busking.jpg

This rig sets up in seconds! Ric

Ukuleleblues
12-11-2012, 02:11 AM
Used the Vox Mini3 again this weekend for street busking:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Mini3Busking.jpg

This rig sets up in seconds! RicRic,
What kind of headset mic is that?

ricdoug
12-11-2012, 08:11 AM
It's an Emerson M193 I purchased at Frys (great customer service, by the way), Jimmy:

http://www.frys.com/product/6460952?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

At only $20 bucks it's a perfect addition to the Vox Mini3. No microphone stand or microphone cable needed:

http://images.frys.com/art/product/big_shots/6460952.big.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxBatteryAmps6.jpg

ralphk
12-14-2012, 03:54 AM
I don't remember if you ever told us about your settings for the Vox amp. That would be interesting. Thanks

ricdoug
12-14-2012, 06:57 AM
It varies by application, Ralph. In the bottom photo I'm using a passive piezoelectric pickup straight to the Mini3. The channel is Clean. Spring Reverb barely on. Tone at about 8 o'clock. Master volume all the way up. Volume according to what's needed.

mLKauai
12-20-2012, 07:47 PM
Hey Ric, very cool set up with the mic... does a $20 mic give any "deep" and clear coverage? Like say the Shure 58 ?

Hey Ric I picked up the A33 and just love it... the no-feedback button works great too!
The amp sounds really good and I haven't really plumbed its depths but am so happy so far.
Can you tell me:
1. Would my pre amp for the uke add value to the sound ?
2. I don't understand the dual function reverb/ambiance button... could you explain?
3. how about the Chorus buttons... I like the "wide" for extra sustain, and the "space" is for a more accoustic sound imo so far, but still don't really know what i'm doing there. any insight there?

thanks,

ricdoug
12-21-2012, 07:23 PM
mLKauai, the Emerson sounds nice but it's not an SM58. I picked it up to use with the Vox Mini3 as my minimal setup. It's deep enough and clear enough for that combo.

1. Would my pre amp for the uke add value to the sound ?

Yes. The AC-33 is biased low and wakes up with an outboard preamp like the LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI.

2. I don't understand the dual function reverb/ambiance button... could you explain?

Reverb is like the spring reverb on older guitar amps. My AC-33 has a Reverb/Delay knob. You get one effect or the other, not both at the same time. My ZT Lunchbox amps have an Ambience knob that gives them a sound of being in a larger room.

3. how about the Chorus buttons... I like the "wide" for extra sustain, and the "space" is for a more accoustic sound imo so far, but still don't really know what i'm doing there. any insight there?

If it sounds good, do it! Ric

ricdoug
12-26-2012, 03:59 PM
Just added a review of the Behringer ADI21 active DI preamp and recommend it for those on a budget. This device will help you get a more natural amplified sound out of your acoustic electric instruments:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?74603-Behringer-ADI21-active-DI-preamp

ricdoug
01-24-2013, 07:12 AM
Fender is introducing the Passport Mini at the NAMM Show. It is smaller than a Vox Mini3 or a Roland Microcube. It has 7 watts of power pumped into a 6.5" speaker. Both a 1/4" and XLR input on the microphone channel allow the use of a wide variety of microphones. Fender claims it has amp models for both acoustic and electric guitars. Looking forward to testing one out at the NAMM Show

http://www.fender.com/series/passport/passport-mini/q

Plainsong
01-24-2013, 09:04 AM
For my part, the Roland Mobile AC looks like a nicer piece of kit. But that's probably a bias against some of what Fender does.

Overall though, I'm liking the advancements in the world of small amps. You CAN take it with you. :)

HBolte
01-24-2013, 11:03 AM
For my part, the Roland Mobile AC looks like a nicer piece of kit. But that's probably a bias against some of what Fender does.

Overall though, I'm liking the advancements in the world of small amps. You CAN take it with you. :)

I recently bought a Mobile AC. Sounds great with my guitar (Gibson Songwriter), I need to decide which uke to have a pickup installed in...

Ukuleleblues
01-28-2013, 02:03 PM
Ric,

On the passport Mini 3 it has a 1/4 mic input. To use an XLR mic all I would need would be a XLR to 1/4 adapter as the impedance of the jack is already matched to a mic. Is that correct? If I was going to plug a mic in to a line input I would need to match the impedance. In the case of the mini 3, no need for that. Does that sound correct also?

I already have a audio technica Pro 8HEx headset with an XLR connector I want to use.

I was thinking about waiting for the Mini 5 to become available. I was also looking at the Fender Passport mini, but the Vox amps have more features. Have you tried a Fender Passport mini? Any thoughts on the new Vox Mini 5?

salukulady
01-28-2013, 07:04 PM
Not dumb questions, just a crapload of them. Ha!

ricdoug
01-28-2013, 07:47 PM
Aloha e Jimmy

It's going to take me a while to upload all my photos from the Winter NAMM Show 2013, but I uploaded the ones of the Fender Passport Mini. I've been looking at this to fill the niche between my Vox Mini3 and the Roland AC-33. After two recent beach gigs where the parking was over a mile away from the beach location, I'm rethinking how to get the job done with less weight and bulk.

The Fender Passport Mini has substantially more acoustical output than my Vox DA5's (I own three of them). The Passport Mini also sounds more clean and natural with acoustic/electric instruments. The Passport Mini handles the bass notes better than the DA5 (I'm referencing the DA5, as it has the same power amp section as the Mini5). The Fender Passport Mini is in the same physical size and weight category as the Vox Mini3 and Roland Microcube. The kickstand feature of the Passport Mini aims the sound up, so you don't need a seperate monitor. The Passport Mini accepts both 1/4" and XLR microphone inputs.

All that being said, I prefer my Roland Cube Streets for power and sound over the Passport Mini. The Cube Street's are bulkier and heavier, though.

The Fender rep told me the Passport Mini was going to retail at $159 bucks. It fits a good niche at that price point.

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/FenderPassportMini1.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/FenderPassportMini2.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/FenderPassportMini3.jpg

ricdoug
01-28-2013, 07:48 PM
Here's a comparison of some of my amps side by side for size comparison. Roland Microcube, Vox Mini3, Vox DA5 and Vox DA20:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxBatteryAmps1.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/VoxBatteryAmps2.jpg

mikef
06-05-2013, 02:34 AM
Bouncing up this rather useful thread again :)

Just wondering if anyone has compared the Mobile Cube vs Mobile AC?
The AC costs about an extra 35UKP / 55USD so is it worth it? In fact when you look at the specs, the AC seems to offer less. They are almost identical except the original has various electric guitar/keyboard/audio options and the center cancel button (which I admittedly wouldn't use, but still) whilst the AC has a "wide" button. 35UKP for a wide button?

So is there any advantage in the AC or is it just marketing to acoustic players? Or am I missing something?

EDIT: The AC also has independent volume for the Audio input

DaveY
06-05-2013, 09:20 AM
Bouncing up this rather useful thread again :)

Just wondering if anyone has compared the Mobile Cube vs Mobile AC?
The AC costs about an extra 35UKP / 55USD so is it worth it? In fact when you look at the specs, the AC seems to offer less. They are almost identical except the original has various electric guitar/keyboard/audio options and the center cancel button (which I admittedly wouldn't use, but still) whilst the AC has a "wide" button. 35UKP for a wide button?

So is there any advantage in the AC or is it just marketing to acoustic players? Or am I missing something?

EDIT: The AC also has independent volume for the Audio input

According to some reviews I read (before purchasing the Mobile AC, which arrived earlier today), the Cube distorts somewhat easily (when the volume is raised to a certain level). I read one online comparison of the Mobile and the Mobile AC, and it favored the AC. I wonder if the Mobile is really for an electric/solid body instrument, and the AC for an acoustic one? In any case, I already tried out my new Mobile AC, and I love it. I also have a Vox Mini 3, and I prefer the Mobile AC sound. Again, the Mini 3 might really be for electric instruments, and it does cost about half what the Mobile AC does ($100 vs. $189). I connected one of my multi-effects pedals to the AC, and it sounded fine, which makes up for the missing effects on the AC (although that adds some inconvenience). (I'm going to sell the Mini 3, FWIW.)

mikef
06-05-2013, 09:34 PM
I wonder if the Mobile is really for an electric/solid body instrument, and the AC for an acoustic one?
Looking at the specs they seem remarkably similar so I feel they the guts are pretty much the same BUT that's not to say the AC isn't "tweaked" for the best response from an acoustic instrument, the Mobile for electric... that would make sense. The same goes for the vocal Mobile (BA) they've also brought out... tweaked for vocals.

I still think that makes the Mobile AC overpriced vs the Mobile as even if they had different components, they are still essentially the same with a slightly different use & market, but I guess the price is more to do with the AC being the new kid on the block and the Mobile been around for a few years so you get £/$xx dollars off the RRP.

I have no doubt the AC is a great acoustic battery amp... it's great to hear you're loving it :)
Have you got a link to the comparison you read?

ricdoug
06-08-2013, 04:36 PM
Used the Roland AC-33 with LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI and Emerson M193 at the annual Motu Hawai'i Memorial Day picnic at Cardiff State Beach, California. Had the Vox Mini3 in tow as backup. Some key players did not show up, so I happily performed solo for a large crowd. Another fun day in paradise! Ric

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/AC33MemorialDay.jpg

ricdoug
06-08-2013, 04:45 PM
Bouncing up this rather useful thread again :)

Just wondering if anyone has compared the Mobile Cube vs Mobile AC?

So is there any advantage in the AC or is it just marketing to acoustic players? Or am I missing something?

EDIT: The AC also has independent volume for the Audio input

Mike, check out the Fender Passport Mini. It out performs both of the amps you mentioned for the price of USD $149 bucks. I was very impressed with it at the 2013 Winter NAMM Show. These are my own photo's:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Fender-Passport-Mini-7W-1x8-Battery-Powered-Acoustic-Guitar-Combo-with-Effects-108873779-i2976928.gc

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/FenderPassportMini3.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/FenderPassportMini2.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/FenderPassportMini1.jpg

mikef
06-09-2013, 09:20 PM
Mike, check out the Fender Passport Mini. It out performs both of the amps you mentioned for the price of USD $149 bucks. I was very impressed with it at the 2013 Winter NAMM Show.

Cheers. I've had a good look at the Passport (online only) which seems a pretty nice package (nice independent vocal control, reverb and I love the tilt handle... so simple, so useful), but I was always drawn to the "boombox" style of the Rolands that makes them even smaller and easier to push into a pack on your back or something. Tempting though as the Passport is extremely good value for money.

ricdoug
08-16-2013, 07:13 PM
The Fender Passport Mini is a small profile amp that's voiced for both acoustic and electrical instruments along with a separate microphone input, Mike. Ric

tozan
08-19-2013, 02:11 PM
Hi ricdoug,
I read your advice for battery powered amps, thanks for sharing your experiences.
Have you had any problems fitting the Lenmar C-sized adapters in the amp battery compartment? Amazon review comments say that they were too wide (diameter) for certain appliances. Sorry but did you know your UU mailbox is full?

mooney
08-28-2013, 11:07 AM
The Fender Passport Mini is a small profile amp that's voiced for both acoustic and electrical instruments along with a separate microphone input, Mike. Ric

Ricdoug, new here and first post. Been following/reviewing (stalking :-) your posts about the battery amps. I'm sold on the roland ac33, but need to save some more mad money for it. Short term I was going on your Vox da5 recommendation, but just realized its discontinued. Is the Mini5 as good or better, or is the Fender passport far and above a better choice now? I'm a new Uke'r with a new Kala Archtop with a pickup, so looking for a good compliment to the Kala and the Roland ac33 later when I get one.

Also, I see these small cube style boxes referred to as guitar amps, amps, mini pa systems, and acoustic guitar amps. Is this all marketing, or what exactly is the difference when the cubes all seem to have similar specs and features. Its all very confusing to a noob or Ukulele kook.

Mooney

ricdoug
08-28-2013, 06:57 PM
My choices in order of relevance, Moonie:

Roland AC-33
Crate Taxi TX15
Vox Mini3.

My plug in favorite is the Acoustic AG30

ricdoug
08-28-2013, 06:58 PM
Hi ricdoug,
I read your advice for battery powered amps, thanks for sharing your experiences.
Have you had any problems fitting the Lenmar C-sized adapters in the amp battery compartment? Amazon review comments say that they were too wide (diameter) for certain appliances. Sorry but did you know your UU mailbox is full?

The Lenmar adapters fit fine, Tozan.

Strumdaddy
08-28-2013, 08:20 PM
Most small amps are designed with electric guitars in mind, you will be heard - but an amp designed for acoustic instruments will give better results. I had a Vox DA5, and it was pretty good, but my AC33 sounds much cleaner and clearer. Get one first up and you won't have an extra little amp hanging around.

Shastastan
08-29-2013, 08:39 AM
We have both the Roland Micro Cube and Roland Cm-30 Cube. We have to use the cm-30 when we mic my wife's flute and still need to have the backup playback plugged in on another jack w/volume & tone control. The micro cube is a good little practice amp and okay for a campfire, but in the big outdoors or a park concert it's not strong enough. It can work in a retirement home dining hall but might not in a school gym. Just trying to give some venue examples. We used the cm-30 in the pines at a craft show and it was okay since they had ac available. Since the micro cube does not have vol. and tone controls for aux in, we would not have been able to us it. It appears that the ac-33 have have that feature and also be more powerful than the micro cube also. We are looking at the ac-33, but the price is up there. We have had good experience with Roland products so we may be partial to them. YMMV

mooney
08-29-2013, 08:52 AM
Most small amps are designed with electric guitars in mind, you will be heard - but an amp designed for acoustic instruments will give better results. I had a Vox DA5, and it was pretty good, but my AC33 sounds much cleaner and clearer. Get one first up and you won't have an extra little amp hanging around.

Yes, thank you for the advice and help. I definately want the AC33, that's my goal. I'm not really ready for playing in a big croud solo so teh AC33 is longer term, but I do want a small practice amp so i can see what the KALA Archtop can do and is capable of.

I was thinking I should just wait and save for the AC33, BUT...I got kind of inpatient I guess, LOL. I'm in another town for work and just can't keep myself off of eBay and Craigslist when I travel. I did a search for Roland, VOX, and Fender on Craigslist and a like new VOX DA5 was for sale about a 1/4 mile from where I am staying. Must have been fate, but then something weird or maybe common happened...the seller had other stuff he wanted to get rid of so I got sucked into other items I may or may not use or need. I got it all for just under $200, What do you think? Can I use it all?

VOX DA5 Amp
Ibanez IBZ10A Acoustic Amp (no effects or anything, just basic controls and 10watts. The VOX seems much louder so questioning the 10watts)
DigiTech RP50 Modeling Guitar Processor (2 pedals and lots of electronic buttons for effects)
BOSS DS-1 Distortion Pedal (not sure I can or will use this, but got it just in case)
Samson M15 Microphone (I guess I need to learn to sing now as well LOL)
a USB pickup cable (not sure what I can do with this, but I guess there's programs for the computer that I can use this cable with and play with)
3 pickup cables

So the purchase, on a whim because I was bored, Electric KALA Archtop Uke has lead to a bunch of new to me electronic gear. I guess I'm on my way and may have a Uke and Uke accessoriy problem, LOL

Mooney

Shastastan
08-29-2013, 09:10 AM
Just watched this youtube demo of the ac-33:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tq30Y1VgD4c

I'm saving my pennies and may sell my Roland micro cube in the process!

ricdoug
08-29-2013, 08:12 PM
Just watched this youtube demo of the ac-33:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tq30Y1VgD4c

I'm saving my pennies and may sell my Roland micro cube in the process!

Ypu will NEVER turn back with a Roland AC-33.

mooney
08-30-2013, 07:13 AM
FYI - Roland AC33 is 15% off at Guitar Center Labor Day weekend until Tuesday with online coupon. Scroll to the bottom to get the online or store coupon.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Labor-Day-2013-g26854t0.gc?icid=400593

I guess that is a pretty good deal, or should I be lookign somewhere else?

Mooney

ricdoug
09-04-2013, 05:29 PM
Did you get an AC-33, Mooney?

mooney
09-04-2013, 08:06 PM
Did you get an AC-33, Mooney?

No, I went to 2 guitar centers that said they had one in stock, both were the ac60 not the ac33. I could have ordered one with the special price coupon, but I wanted to try it out, and I was frustrated about driving around for no reason. I'll try and sell the amp gear I have now and order one online later. I saw one online posted for 322.00 shipped which looks better then the guitar center deal by about $30 :-)

They were back ordered at guitar center anyway. Must be a pretty popular amp.

Mooney

mooney
09-04-2013, 08:13 PM
Ricdoug,

On another subject, I can't seem to get a good acoustic sounding output with the VOX DA5. I know its not a true acoustic amp but how do you set yours for the best acoustic Uke sound? I'm plugging my Kala Archtop into it. It has a basic active pre-amp with vol and tone settings built in.

Thanks,

Mooney

Hms
10-31-2013, 08:44 AM
You know you can make your own foot switches like that right? I was convinced I needed the FS-6 but then found instructions for a totally passive alternative with parts from radio shack. The hardest thing to find is the housing. I can post up the instructions I wrote if you like.

Hippie guy,
Any news on your write up?
H

ChaosToo
10-31-2013, 10:29 AM
Just adding my 2p to this - just received my Vox mini 3 - and it's BRILLIANT!

All you'll ever need in a little amp - and more!

Can't recommend it enough at the price!

ricdoug
11-02-2013, 03:57 PM
Ricdoug,

On another subject, I can't seem to get a good acoustic sounding output with the VOX DA5. I know its not a true acoustic amp but how do you set yours for the best acoustic Uke sound? I'm plugging my Kala Archtop into it. It has a basic active pre-amp with vol and tone settings built in.

Thanks,

Mooney

An active D.I. box, like the Behringer ADI21, will clean up the sound through amplifiers and P.A. systems Mooney:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?74603-Behringer-ADI21-active-DI-preamp

King David
11-02-2013, 04:05 PM
I have recently dished out the cash to upgrade from my 2x Kustom PA50's which Ricdoug has recommended here to larger 100watt units. So if anyone is interested in two PA50's PM me to buy they are new as can be.

ricdoug
11-02-2013, 04:13 PM
Hey ricdoug, as far as a quality ubass amp(batt op or not): What are my options? I'm only aware of the Roland cube bass RX but at 279$ price point might I want to consider something else for more or less? Curious to hear your thoughts my man, much appreciation again for your time as well!

If it's plug in, King David, get one with at least 50 watts and preferably a 12" or larger woofer:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-PEAVEY-BASIC-60-109660986-i3486526.gc

http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-CRATE-BX80-BASS-COMBO-AMP-109650775-i3474060.gc

http://www.guitarcenter.com/-i3488505.gc

This is the model Jim Stowe uses:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-CRATE-BX50-109527060-i3410742.gc

http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-CRATE-BASS-AMP-MODEL-G130CXL-108792857-i3084859.gc

http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-CRATE-BX50-BASS-COMBO-AMP-109620970-i3454916.gc

ricdoug
11-02-2013, 04:16 PM
Did you get the PowerWerks PW100T's, David? Ric

ricdoug
11-02-2013, 04:20 PM
http://www.powerwerks.com/page/PW100T-24.aspx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xIY65YWEi0

Strumdaddy
11-02-2013, 05:10 PM
You will NEVER turn back with a Roland AC-33 - ricdoug.

I traveled the same road... Got a Vox DA5, never happy enough with the sound (from a Kala concert with pre-amp), got an EQ pedal - still not quite there, got a Behringer DI, much better, but still left me twiddling knobs in a fruitless search for happiness....
I eventually gave up on getting the clean acoustic sound I wanted out of an amp designed more with electric guitars in mind. I got an AC33 and never looked back. I also got a Fishman Aura DI as part of the package 2nd-hand. Am now just playing my music and not even thinking about my sound....
(By the way - downloaded some "ukulele" images from the Fishman website for the Aura... they do the trick, and make my tenor sound like a vintage Kamaka SOPRANO!!!! I just tried all the presets untill I found one I like - it could be a Gibson jumbo for all I know, but it sounds good)

ricdoug
11-02-2013, 07:58 PM
I agree on the AC-33, Strumdaddy. If the purchase is not price driven, the Roland AC-33 works both for street busking and on the stage. Ric

ricdoug
11-03-2013, 09:54 AM
I have recently dished out the cash to upgrade from my 2x Kustom PA50's which Ricdoug has recommended here to larger 100watt units. So if anyone is interested in two PA50's PM me to buy they are new as can be.

You can also add the matching subwoofer's to the PA50's/PW100T's:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/kustom-pa-kustom-pa112s-powered-sub

Kustom PA112S Powered Sub Specifications:

200W output power
30Hz - 150kHz frequency response
+40dB (Mic) -56dB residual hum & noise
12” speaker
6.35mm sub input


A 200W sub with 12" bass driver, built-in crossover, and more.


The PA112S is a 200W self-contained powered subwoofer with a 12” bass driver in a tuned, ported cabinet and is the perfect companion for the PA100T. It features built-in crossover, level control, and dual 1⁄4” jacks for line level input and output. The compact cabinet includes a standard pole mount adapter and side handles for easy transport.

Features
Side handle for easy transport
Pole mount adapter

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/19/001/634/315/DV020_Jpg_Jumbo_H74860_V.jpg

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/19/001/634/316/DV020_Jpg_Jumbo_H74860_back.jpg

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/19/001/634/317/DV020_Jpg_Jumbo_H74860_control_panel.jpg

http://static.musiciansfriend.com/derivates/18/001/634/319/DV016_Jpg_Large_H74860_top_detail.jpg

geetee
11-03-2013, 10:30 AM
Here is a link to Gerald Ross' experience with the Yamaha THR5A.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?88442-Excellent-new-amp-for-uke-Gerald-Ross

King David
11-03-2013, 11:24 AM
If it's plug in, King David, get one with at least 50 watts and preferably a 12" or larger woofer:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-PEAVEY-BASIC-60-109660986-i3486526.gc

http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-CRATE-BX80-BASS-COMBO-AMP-109650775-i3474060.gc

http://www.guitarcenter.com/-i3488505.gc

This is the model Jim Stowe uses:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-CRATE-BX50-109527060-i3410742.gc

http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-CRATE-BASS-AMP-MODEL-G130CXL-108792857-i3084859.gc

http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-CRATE-BX50-BASS-COMBO-AMP-109620970-i3454916.gc


Did you get the PowerWerks PW100T's, David? Ric

Thanks brother!

I did get 2x used PW100T's for a difference of $60 more then what I paid for the 2x PA50's. FYI I just found out these PA50's JUST NOW went on sale for only $79.99 shipped at guitarcenter! These are definitely the best bang for your buck now at such price range.

As far as the bass amp for the UBass. I went again the used route craigslist/ebay with the Roland Bass Cube RX battery operated amp for outdoor/practice use(~$150) and I came across an older Carvin Pro Bass 150 watt 1x15" cab bass amp I couldn't pass up for $100.

The 30watt & plenty loud Roland Ba-330 battery operated PA I got used on ebay is still my most utilized piece of equipment and a great monitor/link to the PA50/100's.

I just need a mixer now for convenience. Was sold on Behringer now I'm not sure as I'm aware they are more cheaply made/not as durable as say your more expensive Yamaha mixers(which I might be able to come across used). What do you think Ric? I just want something that won't break on me in a year or two.

Cheers!

Tootler
12-04-2013, 05:45 AM
Just adding my 2p to this - just received my Vox mini 3 - and it's BRILLIANT!

All you'll ever need in a little amp - and more!

Can't recommend it enough at the price!

Even better a Vox mini5. Got one on Monday Fantastic! Only about 20 quid more than the Mini3. Worth it for the extra features.

macimaxcom
01-12-2014, 05:25 PM
The regular stage at Ukulele Society of America is now completely
run on battery power bank (http://www.macimax.com/power-bank):

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele515.jpg

At the BakitWhy picnic, Bolsa Chica State Beach, California playing
for 3 seperate beach groups. The audience total was about 100. The
vocals were run through a Crate Taxi TX30, the acoustic guitar was
run through a Roland Microcube RX and the ukuleles were run through
Vox DA5's.:

http://www.bakitwhy.com/2008/08/the-bakitwhy-socal-bbq-a-succe.html :

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/BakitWhy11.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/BakitWhy17.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3261/2802115577_61974b815c.jpg

when playing outside
No electricity
How should we do?

ricdoug
03-13-2014, 09:18 AM
It depends on the size of the crowd you're playing for, ambient noise of the location, whether the audience is standing or sitting and location of the musicians along with other factors, macimaxcom. Ric

kohanmike
03-13-2014, 04:53 PM
The Crate Limo and Taxi have great sound and volume, SailingUke. Their caveat is the internal lead/acid battery - you get about 2 to 3 hours before the battery dies. After a few deep cycles on the battery you have to replace it. Not cheap! The Roland, Vox, Crate and Line 6 all run 3 times (or more!) longer than the Crate's on Alkaline or rechargeable NiMH batteries. The Crate Limo is a powerhouse workhorse, though. Ric

I've had a Crate Limo for many years and the only time the battery went bad was when I didn't plug it in after a gig. When not running on battery, it's necessary to keep it plugged in, but it will also play while plugged in. The last time it died (when my nephew borrowed it and didn't plug it in after the gig), I replaced the 7 amp hour battery with a 12 amp hour (and new bracket). Now the thing lasts 7-8 hours.

King David
03-20-2014, 12:00 PM
With those parameters, David, the Fender Passport Mini is your ticket:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/fender-passport-mini-7w-1x8-battery-powered-acoustic-guitar-combo-with-effects

Fender Passport Mini 7W 1x8 Battery Powered Acoustic Guitar Combo with Effects Features:

Vocal channel controls: Volume, Tone, Reverb Level
Instrument channel controls: Volume, Preset, Effects, Tap Tempo Button
Two channels (Instrument and Microphone)
Two inputs (1/4", Input Two has -10db Pad Switch)
1/8" stereo input
Effects: Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Vibratone, Vintage Tremolo, Slap-back Echo, Small Room Reverb, Fender ’65 Spring Reverb, Stereo Tape Delay, Tape Delay+Room Reverb, Chorus+Hall Reverb, Vibratone+Room Reverb
Line out: two (speaker emulated USB and 1/8” headphone jack doubles as speaker emulated line out)
Grey two-tone control panel
Metal handle that doubles as a tilt-back stand
Universal AC power supply (included) or six "C" batteries
USB connection for Fender® FUSE™ application and digital recording output


Ric, thanks once again you prove you are a god among battery operated uke players. :)

I almost bit the bullet on the Fender Passport mini but two things about the C-cell batteries stopped me. First, I already invested into rechargeable AA's and a 10-bay hitech AA charger for my other battery amps. I read if you use C-cell adapters with AA's it drastically lowers the amount of hours you can get in one single live session on batteries(not o.k. with me). Plus I can buy 12 extra 2600mAh rechargeable AA's for $20. So buying(~$80-$100) 6x rechargeable C-cell batteries and a new 6-bay C-cell charger doesn't seem to make sense here: seeing as I could just as easily throw that extra $100 spent on top of the $150 price point I'm already at with something possibly better, that uses AA's.

What would you say is my best bet then, in that case Ricdoug, again a sub-standard price range like below the Roland AC-33($399 retail), that's small(my big BA-330 isn't), works on AA's and has solid acoustic sound? Aloha!

SailingUke
03-20-2014, 12:13 PM
The Crate Limo and Taxi have great sound and volume, SailingUke. Their caveat is the internal lead/acid battery - you get about 2 to 3 hours before the battery dies. After a few deep cycles on the battery you have to replace it. Not cheap! The Roland, Vox, Crate and Line 6 all run 3 times (or more!) longer than the Crate's on Alkaline or rechargeable NiMH batteries. The Crate Limo is a powerhouse workhorse, though. Ric

I guess I have been lucky, I replaced the battery once when I left the amp on after using it.
It was on for several days before I discovered it. I replaced it with one with more amp hours and it was around $25.
I have used the amp for a 6 hour gig with no issue. What I like about it that I need not take out batteries to charge it up.
The Roland I have is a pain to charge 6 AA's, but I can easily carry extra batteries.

Ukuleleblues
04-28-2014, 03:47 PM
I hit a couple of bumps in the road of life and have had some time on my hands....so I have been thinking. I have always wanted a battery powered busking amp that I could connect 2 condenser mics ( nady spc-15) to. But I Can't find a battery powered amp that has phantom power.

So I was thinking about buying this amp or one similar.

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=108&cp_id=10823&cs_id=1082705&p_id=10951&seq=1&format=2

And mounting this mixer on the top. The mixer uses a 12v wall wart so I could wire it to the battery in the amp.

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=115&cp_id=11503&cs_id=1150301&p_id=615808&seq=1&format=2

I am playing on a noisy street so lack of recording room quality or indoor gig quality in the sound will not be noticed. (Try playing and singing when a fire truck comes by, you can't even hear the uke you are playing!!!!)

Has anyone tried something like this? Does any knowledge person see a problem with running the mixer off a 12v battery instead of the 12v wall wart?

I did something similar a few years ago an use it on a regular basis.

I made a portable sound system out of a behringer 5 channel mixer, reverb unit, 2 car stereo Amps, and three Danelectro fish and chips EQ boxes. I run it off a 21 ah sealed lead acid, the car Amps are straight wired to the battery, the mixer and pedals use a 100watt inverter that changes the 12v dc to 110v ac sends it to a power strip that I plug in the behringer wall wart and a 9v wall wart to power the reverb, 3 eqs and a zoom H2. I run 2 10" Kustom main speakers and up to 2 home made 8" monitors. I have played 5 hours straight (with breaks) in 40 degree weather and still had 12.4 volts showing on the battery (using phantom powered condenser mics!)

Even though I have the battery, mixer, pedals, inverter, wall warts, etc. in a custom "rack" case I built where everything is connected, it's still like setting up a full sound system.

What I want to be able to do is set up two mic Stands with the condensers. (We have two uke player/singers and if you position the mic properly it will pick up ukes and voice.)
Plug the mic cables to mixer/amp and start playing. Something for days when you don't have a lot of setup time or days when it might rain and tear down needs to be quick.

Any ideas?

anthonyg
04-28-2014, 04:20 PM
I run a Roland AC-33 using the microphone input for a dynamic vocal microphone and I run a condenser instrument microphone with its own battery powered preamp/power supply into the instrument input. Works great for me.

The issue is your requirement for phantom power for 2 microphones. This is something companies just don't build for. Behringer make a battery powered mixer that WILL supply Phantom power if you fit 3 batteries, The Xenyx 1002B, http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/1002B.aspx

I was thinking that you could then run it into a Roland battery powered amp, they have many which will work and be neat but you will be paying again for a preamp/mixer section that you won't use. Ideally what you want is JUST a battery powered speaker without a preamp section. I'm not sure at this stage what to suggest but you may find something.

Anthony

Ukuleleblues
04-28-2014, 05:04 PM
I run a Roland AC-33 using the microphone input for a dynamic vocal microphone and I run a condenser instrument microphone with its own battery powered preamp/power supply into the instrument input. Works great for me.

The issue is your requirement for phantom power for 2 microphones. This is something companies just don't build for. Behringer make a battery powered mixer that WILL supply Phantom power if you fit 3 batteries, The Xenyx 1002B,

I was thinking that you could then run it into a Roland battery powered amp, they have many which will work and be neat but you will be paying again for a preamp/mixer section that you won't use. Ideally what you want is JUST a battery powered speaker without a preamp section. I'm not sure at this stage what to suggest but you may find something.

Anthony
Anthony, thanks for the ideas, If it were just me playing the AC-33 or street cube would be the ticket. I might go that route when it is all said and done.

I'll play baritone, concert, guitar, harmonica (can't use a mic headset with the harp even though I've tried), and, sometimes, lap steel so the single condenser makes it doable. I've tried playing with pickups on the ukes and guitars and a dynamic for the vocals but it adds a lot of wires and when you switch from one instrument to another you have to have some way to adjust the volume.

I have the 1002B in my home built system, but using 3-9 volt batts each session or so was expensive so I just went the 12v battery-inverter-wall wart path, since it was there for the pedal warts. Plus, It is really nice to have one battery to maintain.

I have a couple of PA-50s http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/kustom-pa50-personal-pa-system They have phantom, good sound quality, but no battery power. I have a pure sine wave inverter I hooked them to, one connected worked fine, two linked had a hum with the inverter.
I might revisit that idea and just build a "powers supply" with the inverter and 12v battery. I'll need to test the current draw to see if I can get 3 hours (usual paying time) out of a reasonably sized battery with

I was looking at the Carvin http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/kustom-pa50-personal-pa-system but they are out of stock for 60-90 days according to Carvin and they don't have phantom.

I noticed Behringer and a few others have started making battery powered speakers

http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-BEH-MPA40BT-LIST

Looks like all the pieces are there I just need to figure out a way to have it put together so I have the least amount of hassle when I set up....and an acceptable sound. Plus I kind of like messing with this stuff.

salukulady
04-28-2014, 06:55 PM
Check out Carvin amps. Their located in San Diego. I think they might have what you need.

Kayak Jim
04-29-2014, 01:30 AM
New to amplified sound and not wanting to hijack the thread, but if you're not concerned about optimum sound quality (for recording) why would one use condenser mics in this situation?

Ukuleleblues
04-29-2014, 02:26 AM
New to amplified sound and not wanting to hijack the thread, but if you're not concerned about optimum sound quality (for recording) why would one use condenser mics in this situation?
With a condenser mic I can pick up the uke and voice with one mic per person. When I use a dynamic mic I need two per person, one for the mic and one for the uke, and have to play close to the microphones in a fairly fixed position. The mics will even pickup the bass bucket if we are playing in front of a wall.

I have used a single MXL 990 for the entire group on occasions, but controlling feedback is tricky. The SPC-15s have a tighter pattern.

The downside to condensers in this situation are feedback, picking up ambient noise, and you have to be aware that anything you say between songs is picked up and broadcast.

The upside is less set up time because you have fewer mics and a little more freedom of movement, if you are a loud singer you can just sit, or stand there and play like there is no mic. Makes it easier to play for
2-4 hours.

Thanks for the interest.

Ukuleleblues
04-29-2014, 02:35 AM
Check out Carvin amps. Their located in San Diego. I think they might have what you need.

They used to sell a SD400 battery PA with 3 or 4 mic inputs but no phantom power. It hasn't been on their site since I started looking in January. I wrote them an they said check back in 60-90 days. It's a nice unit but I would still have to address the lack of phantom power. I was hoping they were going to upgrade it when it is back. Last time they added a model with effects so they are continually adding features. I have a Carvin AC powered that I love. That definitely is an option as then make 12V powered dual phantom power boxes I could easily hack to run off a 12V battery.

I appreciate the suggestion.

konut
04-29-2014, 04:28 AM
Ominidirectional dynamic microphones exist in all price ranges, just not as prevalent as condensers. All the major manufactures make them, but I am partial to Audio Technica or Beyer. Feedback is always a problem with ominis and its important that the speaker is never in back of the mic, and as far away as possible.

Ukuleleblues
04-29-2014, 04:47 AM
Ominidirectional dynamic microphones exist in all price ranges, just not as prevalent as condensers. All the major manufactures make them, but I am partial to Audio Technica or Beyer. Feedback is always a problem with ominis and its important that the speaker is never in back of the mic, and as far away as possible.

I"ll look into an omnidirectional dynamic mic. Didn't realize they would be an option. Thanks!

Anything to make setup and sound adjustment easier. I've sent my band mates into the listening area to give me feedback on volume and voice instrument balance and all they do is dance if they like it . Funny but not what I am looking for.

Thank you for the tip!

ichadwick
05-03-2014, 10:52 AM
O

Vox DA5:
This amp has a marked increase in acoustical output, over the Roland
Microcube, Roland Street Cube and Line6 Micro. It does better than them
with an acoustic guitar, but is still not ideal for that application. It has
onboard effects and can be plugged into a larger P.A.. It also has a
controllable microphone input. It runs on C batteries. I would use AA
adaptors (see the photo on the Vox DA5), as AA batteries are available
everywhere. Light weight makes it suitable for carrying in your luggage.
Long battery run time - 10+ hours

Is this an early version of the Mini 5? I came across the Mini 5 in the local music shop and it seems similar (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Mini5BK/ for a view)

kesroberts
05-03-2014, 01:01 PM
I believe that the Mini5 replaced the DA5. I have the mini and have been very happy with it. Sound is great for such a small thing, in my non-expert opinion.

ichadwick
05-04-2014, 01:42 AM
I believe that the Mini5 replaced the DA5. I have the mini and have been very happy with it. Sound is great for such a small thing, in my non-expert opinion.
The local music store has both a Fender G-DEC PR520 (used) and a Vox Mini5. The Vox can run on batteries, and seems to take AA. The G-DEC just has oodles of features, a bigger speaker and lower price... a bit moot right now for me. But one of our local group members may get one of the two and let me play it at our meetings.

What I like is the metronome or beat/drum machine that can help everyone keep time.

ricdoug
05-04-2014, 01:55 PM
My Carvin S400D with Carvin 819 extension speaker was used for bands at the Carlsbad Village Street Faire today. It's a serious P.A. system:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VjvvhhbRvU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7yP3rqzstE

Ukuleleblues
05-18-2014, 03:32 AM
I thought I would pass this on to the tinkerers out there.

I made a portable inverter/battery pac. i made a little carry bracket with a handle, mounted a 18 Amp hr sealed 12 volt battery and a 300 watt continuous/600 wat Peak, Pure Sine way 110V inverter.

We went out yesterday and hooked up 1 PA50 Watt Personal PA. I was running 2 Nady SPC-15 condenser mics that required Phantom power.

We played from 12 noon until 4:30. I attached a picture of the back of the PA 50 so you could see the settings. Master Volume was set at about 7 our of 10. The Line volumes were set at the maximum I can set them without over driving a Zoom H2 recorder I have connected to one of the Sync out connectors.

After playing for about 4 1/2 hours I packed it up and drove home. When I got home I put a volt meter on it and the battery ready 12.65 volts. I was surprised. I thought it would be closer to 11.65. The PA power consumption is rated at 80 watts peak continuous draw.

We both played ukes, and sang. For one hour long set I hooked a guitar to the input line in with the mic on line 1 (It is designed to use both inputs at one time.) I controlled the volume of the guitar with a Digitech RP80 with a built in expression pedal programmed to be a volume pedal. Next time I am going to try to hook two PA50s together and see how long they last on the 18amp hour battery.

The whole thing cost $63 for the pure sine wave inverter and 37 for the 18 ah battery on e-bay. Definitely an option when power is not available.


66858

66859

66860

66861

66862

iamesperambient
05-18-2014, 12:48 PM
I thought I would pass this on to the tinkerers out there.

I made a portable inverter/battery pac. i made a little carry bracket with a handle, mounted a 18 Amp hr sealed 12 volt battery and a 300 watt continuous/600 wat Peak, Pure Sine way 110V inverter.

We went out yesterday and hooked up 1 PA50 Watt Personal PA. I was running 2 Nady SPC-15 condenser mics that required Phantom power.

We played from 12 noon until 4:30. I attached a picture of the back of the PA 50 so you could see the settings. Master Volume was set at about 7 our of 10. The Line volumes were set at the maximum I can set them without over driving a Zoom H2 recorder I have connected to one of the Sync out connectors.

After playing for about 4 1/2 hours I packed it up and drove home. When I got home I put a volt meter on it and the battery ready 12.65 volts. I was surprised. I thought it would be closer to 11.65. The PA power consumption is rated at 80 watts peak continuous draw.

We both played ukes, and sang. For one hour long set I hooked a guitar to the input line in with the mic on line 1 (It is designed to use both inputs at one time.) I controlled the volume of the guitar with a Digitech RP80 with a built in expression pedal programmed to be a volume pedal. Next time I am going to try to hook two PA50s together and see how long they last on the 18amp hour battery.

The whole thing cost $63 for the pure sine wave inverter and 37 for the 18 ah battery on e-bay. Definitely an option when power is not available.


66858

66859

66860

66861

66862


I just got a little honey tone amp on wallmart online for 19 bucks
it puts out a lot of volume for the price and its very very portable.
Only thing is i do not care for the over drive, its 'clean' sound is a bit
muddy but its still great for the price/size and to travel and play around the house with.

Ukuleleblues
05-18-2014, 02:02 PM
I just got a little honey tone amp on wallmart online for 19 bucks
it puts out a lot of volume for the price and its very very portable.
Only thing is i do not care for the over drive, its 'clean' sound is a bit
muddy but its still great for the price/size and to travel and play around the house with.
Hi Jamesper,

I like the Honeytones quite a lot of sound from something so small!!!.

I took one and gutted it and made a enclosure for it with a 8" speaker, mounted the HT guts, covered it in a "Island pattern" cloth and converted it to AA batteries. I can't believe how good it sounds.

I played it one year at a "island Swing Xmas show" using a lap steel. We played in front of around 80-110 people in the main branch library auditorium. It was a 8 piece swing band. I was not even miced through the PA and the amp was plenty loud enough.

You can look at the pics and see by the spacing of the 3 knobs. input jack and power light I just pulled the board out and mounted in the box. It runs forever on the 6 AA batteries (They are cheaper than a 9V and last longer). I bought the knobs at raidioshack to spiff it up. You can see another Jack under the input. I added that to hook it to a bigger PA cabinet if I want. I like to tinker with stuff.

66867

66868

ricdoug
06-29-2014, 11:00 AM
Behringer makes a battery powered mixer that supplies phantom power to the microphones:

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/1002B.aspx

http://www.zzounds.com/item--BEHXENYX1002B

http://c1.zzounds.com/media/fit,2018by3200/quality,85/1002B_P0A04_Top_XXL_clipped-82f2cb6440199a79b225afa3e903b9cb.jpg

Tootler
11-23-2014, 03:58 AM
The Samson Expedition series of portable PA are worth a look, especially the Expedition Rechargeable range.

http://www.samsontech.com/samson/products/portable-pa/

I've just bought an Expedition XP106 and I am really chuffed with it. No frills in the form of reverb or other effects but good quality clean sound. Ideal for an acoustic gig. I used it at a gig on Friday night using just a single small diaphragm condenser mic (mic takes a AA battery so no need for phantom power) and stood back about 18" from the mic and was pleasantly surprised at the sound quality in a fairly large Hall in Victorian building (high ceiling, much natural reverb). It projected well and a friend testified to that saying he could hear me clearly. I have performed twice previously in the same building purely acoustically and was unhappy with the way things went because of the echo in the building.

The XP 106 is a no frills portable PA. It has a built in sealed lead-acid rechargeable battery for which the claimed battery life is 20 hrs. The spec says 100W output but doesn't say if that's RMS or peak. I suspect peak but that's still 70W rms. There is a built in four channel mixer with a combined XLR/jack socket for mic/guitar (uke), 1/4" socket for instrument/line in plus a usb socket to take a portable wifi mic and a bluetooth link. Each channel has its own fader. There are no effects or eq. There is a line out socket for connecting an external powered speaker.

I paid just £209GB which seems to be about going rate. A quick check suggests that US price is around $250.

There is a cheaper version, the Expedition Express which does not have the usb socket for the wifi but does have treble/bass EQ controls. That retails at around £140GB or $200US.

I have no connection with Samson but this does seem to be an excellent piece of kit, highly portable with good quality sound.

Review here of the Expedition Express (http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar14/articles/samson-expedition-express.htm)

Ukuleleblues
11-23-2014, 06:25 AM
The Samson Expedition series of portable PA are worth a look, especially the Expedition Rechargeable range.

http://www.samsontech.com/samson/products/portable-pa/

I've just bought an Expedition XP106 and I am really chuffed with it. No frills in the form of reverb "......

Review here of the Expedition Express (http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar14/articles/samson-expedition-express.htm)

Thanks for the heads up, what brand/model mic do you use?

Tootler
11-23-2014, 12:30 PM
Thanks for the heads up, what brand/model mic do you use?

I use a Shure PG81.

I used a condenser mic after seeing (& hearing) large diaphragm condensers used at a couple of events I've been to recently and was impressed by the quality of the sound. The performer could stand back and the sound was very natural yet you could hear them very clearly. One performer described the sound as "transparent" which I thought was a good term. As I have small diaphragm condensers (we use them for some of the instruments in our band) I thought I would give one a try and it worked very well. The Shure takes an AA battery so you don't need phantom power which isn't available on the XP106 - nor on the Express. I don't think there are any large diaphragm condenser mics which take an internal battery (unless you count the Rode M3 which seems to be an intermediate size) so you would need a separate power supply for the mic if you used a LDC mic.

Ukuleleblues
01-11-2015, 04:19 PM
I bought two of the Fender Passport Minis for small gigs. http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PassportMini

The only thing I don't like is they run on 6 C cells when in battery mode.

So I made a little box with a 7ah SLA 12 volt battery and a 12-9 volt converter. The amps and DI run on 12v and the preamps/stompboxes on 9v. I have six DC pigtails braided into two lines, one for each amp. I can power condenser mics or run dynamic mics or stomp boxes from it. Lot cheaper than C cells or 9v batts. Played with it acouple of times 3-5 hours and did not deplete the SLA, It had over 12.3 volts, and it was a discarded UPS battery.

The little power box weighs about 4 lbs, most of that is the SLA. I think you could run it 4 hours on a 3ah SLA.

So I can run the two amps with two condensers by hooking up 2 behringer phantom power units I velcroed to the side
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PS400

Here is a short vid using the condensers, phantom power and passport mini

http://youtu.be/OIRvUBNUDsI

Here is a short video with a guitar and uke going through line in with a 9v eq and preamp. One uke played to the dynamic on the left amp and singing/harp through the right amp. Recorded with a $99 casio from about 30 feet away.

http://youtu.be/7Z1EeS99cWY

Bought two amp stands and used them for vocal stands. see pic

74893

Ukuleleblues
01-13-2015, 07:38 AM
Here is a pic of the power unit. If you want a parts list or wiring diagram let me know. I might build one using a lithium ion battery pack. A small one would be great for powering a pedal board.
7490874909

ricdoug
02-22-2015, 11:20 AM
I recently performed music and vocals solo for and outdoor over the beach wedding ceremony. The Roland AC-33 with an LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI was plenty for the job:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/CheriWedding1.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/CheriWedding4.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/CheriWedding5.jpg

salukulady
02-22-2015, 11:41 AM
Beautiful setting Ric.

ricdoug
02-22-2015, 03:29 PM
Dana Point Harbor, Sally. Ric

King David
02-23-2015, 06:38 AM
Sweet gig Ric. The Ac-33 is hands down my overall favorite piece of gear.

Holy Shmokes!! Ric, were you aware of the battery operated Powerwerks!?!?

http://www.powerwerks.com/images/products/PW40BAT_main.jpg

http://www.powerwerks.com/manuals/PW40BAT-PW40BATBT-OM-RevA-13Mar2014mc.pdf

A little less power then the PW50's plugged into the AC(40W), but 36W on battery - dare I say I'd sell a pair of PW50/100's just to have access to the cordless option, what do you think? PS: you can fit two of the PW40/PW50's in one of the PW100 carrying bags ;)

Ukuleleblues
02-23-2015, 08:28 AM
Sweet gig Ric. The Ac-33 is hands down my overall favorite piece of gear.

Holy Shmokes!! Ric, were you aware of the battery operated Powerwerks!?!?

http://www.powerwerks.com/images/products/PW40BAT_main.jpg

http://www.powerwerks.com/manuals/PW40BAT-PW40BATBT-OM-RevA-13Mar2014mc.pdf

A little less power then the PW50's plugged into the AC(40W), but 36W on battery - dare I say I'd sell a pair of PW50/100's just to have access to the cordless option, what do you think? PS: you can fit two of the PW40/PW50's in one of the PW100 carrying bags ;)Wow, I wonder how long they play on a charge. I like this. Thanks for the heads up.

ricdoug
02-23-2015, 09:22 AM
Sweet gig Ric. The Ac-33 is hands down my overall favorite piece of gear.

Holy Shmokes!! Ric, were you aware of the battery operated Powerwerks!?!?

A little less power then the PW50's plugged into the AC(40W), but 36W on battery - dare I say I'd sell a pair of PW50/100's just to have access to the cordless option, what do you think? PS: you can fit two of the PW40/PW50's in one of the PW100 carrying bags ;)

I'm waiting for those to arrive in local stores, David. B & H Photo (I've done business with them) carries them for a price of $175. They run on lead acid batteries, like my Carvin S400D, so they don't like to be deep discharged and will wear out over time. I'm sure replacements can be obtained cheap from a Batteries +.

Jimmy, they claim:

"The PW40BAT has a built-in rechargable battery for up to 10 hours of uninterrupted music, or if AC power is available plug-in directly."

...and they have built in phantom power. They are also interconnectable with microphone cables, so each musician could carry his/her own which would increase channels and system power:

1 unit = 1 XLR channel + 1 1/4" channel and 40 watts system output

2 units = 2 XLR channels + 2 1/4" channels and 80 watts system output

3 units = 3 XLR channels + 3 1/4" channels and 120 watts system output

4 units = 4 XLR channels + 4 1/4" channels and 160 watts system output

5 units = 5 XLR channels + 5 1/4" channels and 200 watts system output

...and so on. Ric

katysax
02-23-2015, 12:58 PM
I have found that my Phil Jones Double Four, which is designed and intended as a bass amp, works great as an acoustic amp as well. It is designed to be run, as an option, off a laptop battery that I just jam into the carrying handle and it will last 6-hours. I have read that they are going to soon release a version with a built in battery. Keep in mind it is a bass amp, not an acoustic amp, but I have seen others use it as an acoustic amp as well. It is a 75 watt amp and weighs less than 9 pounds. It's not a cheap amp. The laptop battery that I use is another $70, but since it is just an external piece it is even possible to have one in reserve.

Ukuleleblues
02-23-2015, 04:18 PM
Looks like the PW40 uses a lithium ion battery

http://www.powerwerks.com/Category/PaSystems

southcoastukes
02-23-2015, 04:48 PM
Can't comment on volume or sound quality, but there is a more portable way to do amplified busking:

http://powerukes.blogspot.com/

tigersister
02-23-2015, 05:14 PM
I got an UE Boom, which is a tall beer can sized bluetooth speaker, a few months back to listen to my MP3 player in the car (no aux port). While not the cheapest small portable speaker option, my Risa stick sounds much better on it than on any mini amp I've tried.

Ukuleleblues
02-24-2015, 03:13 AM
Can't comment on volume or sound quality, but there is a more portable way to do amplified busking:

http://powerukes.blogspot.com/Looks like the guts to a Danelectro Honeytone amp was used.

Ukuleleblues
03-13-2015, 02:19 PM
Just bought a Powerwerks PW150TFX. They added effects (reverb, chorus, delay), a monitor out and upped the watts to 150. It can link to the PW50s I have and sends the effect channels to the linked amps mains. Sounds real good so far. Once I gig with it I will let you all know. Tomorrow I am going to try it with a 400 watt inverter with 12 volt battery to see how long it lasts.

http://www.powerwerks.com/Product/PW150TFX

ricdoug
03-13-2015, 09:21 PM
How much $$$, Jimmy? Ric

Ukuleleblues
03-14-2015, 05:40 PM
How much $$$, Jimmy? Ric

$270.90 delivered from pitbull audio. Been messing around with it hooked to 2 PW50s. One is on the floor monitor stand I built and the other is on a regular stand. I am running two Nady Spc-15s through the PW150's inputs to get the reverb. When I play guitar I hook the ouput from my pedal to the PW50 floor monitor since the reverb comes from the pedal. So far the setup looks sweet. I tried a new product for me the TC Mic mechanic through the Monitor also. We have a monthly 6-8 gig Thursday that setup and strike time is at a premium. We play outside for a downtown event where the shops stay open late and you can drink on the street. There is this one band a block away that plays so loud that their speakers distort and they actually run folks off. The test is whether the new setup can give us enough sound for our ears to reasonably block their sound without feedback or running the audience off. Its hard to tell in the house, but it sounds very promising so far.

King David
04-22-2015, 10:19 AM
I'm waiting for those to arrive in local stores, David. B & H Photo (I've done business with them) carries them for a price of $175.

What was the consensus on the PW40BAT's Ric? I'm debating:
1)Spending the $400 for the pair with 2 powerwerks bags
OR
2)Going the used route and getting a previously owned Roland BA-330 switched to Wide mode and using that as a single unit setup, eventually saving up for a second unit.

What's your thoughts? In my opinion, the Roland BA-330's larger speakers, horns, and acoustic geared technology sound way better than the Powerwerks especially when examining the lows/mids with a guitar/low g ukulele plugged in. The PW-40's will be louder and cheaper/more immediate to get a pair chained up, but IMO again the sound quality won't be AS nice.

Btw most gigs around here I noticed get by with plenty of volume on a single unit mounted to a speaker stand. Regards,

ricdoug
04-24-2015, 05:38 PM
Aloha e King David. The PowerWerks PW40BAT's are still not available locally. My Roland BA-330's definately have fuller tone than my PowerWerks PW50's. Dr. Keith Marzullo and Gerry Rahill have borrowed one of my BA-330's on more than one occassion to play the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. Ric

Dan Uke
04-26-2015, 07:51 PM
So Ric, do you own a BEHRINGER XENYX 1002B? I really want to get a battery operated mixer for at least 3 mics.

King David
04-27-2015, 04:04 AM
Aloha e King David. The PowerWerks PW40BAT's are still not available locally. My Roland BA-330's definately have fuller tone than my PowerWerks PW50's. Dr. Keith Marzullo and Gerry Rahill have borrowed one of my BA-330's on more than one occassion to play the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. Ric

Right on, what about the new-ish Roland Cube Street EX(50 watts) Ric? Any experience? Would think the 2 8" cabs would sound even better then the Ba-330's.

I dunno, all these options are quite pricey per unit and I'm starting to think just spending a little more extra money to get some QSC K8's would be the best route. You can always do the car battery converter trick for battery operation ya know?

Tootler
04-27-2015, 05:27 AM
So Ric, do you own a BEHRINGER XENYX 1002B? I really want to get a battery operated mixer for at least 3 mics.

I wondered about one of these but I've heard the battery life isn't all that great.

ricdoug
05-12-2015, 06:45 PM
Right on, what about the new-ish Roland Cube Street EX(50 watts) Ric? Any experience? Would think the 2 8" cabs would sound even better then the Ba-330's.

I dunno, all these options are quite pricey per unit and I'm starting to think just spending a little more extra money to get some QSC K8's would be the best route. You can always do the car battery converter trick for battery operation ya know?

The BA-330 produces more fidelity, King David, but Carvin has a new player in this game:

Carvin Stagemate S600

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ogtIcS6i_M

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/2ogtIcS6i_M/maxresdefault.jpg

http://www.premierguitar.com/ext/resources/images/content/2015-02/Videos/carvin-amps-feat.jpg?1424408918

ricdoug
05-12-2015, 07:04 PM
http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/S600.jpg

ricdoug
05-12-2015, 07:10 PM
http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele513.jpg

King David
05-13-2015, 09:03 AM
The BA-330 produces more fidelity, King David, but Carvin has a new player in this game:

Carvin Stagemate S600

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ogtIcS6i_M


Good find Ric, best in show at NAMM.. wow. I'd think they might sound on par with the smaller QSC's since it has the line array and 8" woofer. Apparently only 150watt running the single S600, the 400w coming into play if you buy the separate extension cab. So probably not a full 150watt on battery power but I imagine at least 100watt batt op and they are quoting 4-10 hours battery life depending on use. Not gonna lie I don't need the QSC's 1000 watts, this may be just the perfect piece of gear Ric. Have you heard them yet, thoughts?

ricdoug
05-13-2015, 10:03 AM
Those are what I call "Marketing Watts", King David. The QSC K8 states 500 Watts for the low frequency driver and 500 Watts for the high frequency driver. The Celestion high frequency driver in the K8's has 50 watt RMS capability:

http://celestion.com/product/47/cdx11720/

so the amplifier is limited to probably somewhere around 100 watts for the highs. The woofer if I remember correctly is 250 watts RMS capability. No worries, all pro audio manufacturers do the same. The power amp modules are cheap enough to use for marketing purposes. Carvin should have them in stock in the next month or two. The last photo was my S400D which we used at the Ocean House. It's the predecessor to the new S600. Ric