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View Full Version : Just tried an amp. I want one.



steel rider
06-21-2014, 02:18 PM
Took the Fluke to a music store and plugged into a Fishman Loudbox. Loved it!
I think something lighter and in the $100 range may be better for me. Maybe with a battery option. Lots of threads about them so not looking for that discussion- Pignose Hog 20 and MicroCube top my list.
This post is just to express my excitement about the amplified sound and the possibility if playing along with iPod music and such. So cool!

billten
06-21-2014, 02:25 PM
Amps are a lot of fun. I have a Yamaha THR5a and it really rocks, small and great tones for the acoustic sound and can make a piezo sound mellow and soft. Play a few with the uke you are amplifying because i found the pickup and the amp together have to match well, a great amp with a great pickup can still sound bad from what i have heard. It's all about finding a balance between the two to make the sound you are looking for...
Bill

Tootler
06-21-2014, 08:58 PM
I have a Vox Mini5. Great little amp. Comes with a good selection of built in FX if you like those crunchy blues and rock sounds. It also has a built in drum machine and an input for mp3 player/i Pod. Runs off batteries (6 x AA) or you can get a mains psu for it.

kissing
06-21-2014, 11:26 PM
After fiddling with my fair share of amps with ukuleles (and guitars), I must say definitely get a good ACOUSTIC AMPLIFIER.

I have a Roland Microcube AND the Vox Mini 3...
They are great amps for steel-string electric guitars, but quite awful for acoustic instruments; especially ukuleles.
The tone sounds unpleasant and there will always be a very loud hum.

An acoustic amplifier will bring out the best quality tone for an amplified ukulele.
Some acoustic amps even have effects built in, or if you really do want a multitude of effects, you can get an effects pedal for very cheap.
I own a Mooer Pogo effects pedal which can be found on eBay for spare change, and it does a great job.

My current acoustic amp of choice is a Fender Acoustasonic 15.
Great tone for acoustic guitars and ukes, built-in Chorus effect and microphone/XLR and Aux options.

But there are plenty of other options out there.

Ukuleleblues
06-22-2014, 02:20 AM
Check out this thread and append to it if you have some cool finds, its the Bible on portable uke amplification in the forum, lots of good info.

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

tbeltrans
06-22-2014, 07:27 AM
Took the Fluke to a music store and plugged into a Fishman Loudbox. Loved it!
I think something lighter and in the $100 range may be better for me. Maybe with a battery option. Lots of threads about them so not looking for that discussion- Pignose Hog 20 and MicroCube top my list.
This post is just to express my excitement about the amplified sound and the possibility if playing along with iPod music and such. So cool!

My Ko'olau ukulele came with an LR Baggs active pickup system installed. I have an AER Comapct 60 for my guitars. This is a very small, light and powerful acoustic guitar amplifier, though it is expensive German engineering. Anyway, I plugged the Ko'olau into it and it sounded wonderful. So when I am ready to play out on the ukulele, I am ready to go.

Just make sure that the amplifier you choose will sound good inthe manner you intend to use it. A Fishman Loudbox is a good choice. Anything cheaper, and I might be concerned about its ability to fill a room full of people with sound. One thing you will learn very quickly when performing (I have no reason to believe it would be different for ukulele than guitar) is that a sound check sounds VERY different in an empty room than with the same room filled with people. Suddenly, your amp seems too quiet because people's bodies absorb sound and the ambient noise level of the room goes up even if people are sitting quietly. EQ changes too. It is similar to having an empty living room with bare walls and then putting in carpet and curtains.

Tony

iamesperambient
06-22-2014, 08:28 AM
Took the Fluke to a music store and plugged into a Fishman Loudbox. Loved it!
I think something lighter and in the $100 range may be better for me. Maybe with a battery option. Lots of threads about them so not looking for that discussion- Pignose Hog 20 and MicroCube top my list.
This post is just to express my excitement about the amplified sound and the possibility if playing along with iPod music and such. So cool!


I had an orange amp with built in effects it was fun, but i actually love my little honey tone the best
even though it has no effects i can literally take my electric uke and amp anywhere !

harpdog cc
06-22-2014, 08:28 AM
I love my Loudbox (original 250 watt) with Uke...passive u.s.t. or soundboard transducer, with or without pre amp. I have a microcube and it is ok on the JC Clean setting, but pretty limited for live applications. I advise getting the best acoustic amp you can. The Roland acoustic amps sound good to me also.

Slow Eddie
06-22-2014, 08:56 AM
I have a Loudbox Artist, and love it. I wouldn't have replaced my Behringer AT108 but the Fishman was too good a deal to pass up. So now I've got a barely-used AT108, and a brand-new, unused ADI21, looking to be placed in a good home...

steel rider
06-26-2014, 01:05 PM
Well I went with the Roland Mobile Cube since it is easily portable and I liked the way it sounded when I tried it at the Uke Festival. If I ever need a step up I will look at the Fishman again.

Tootler
06-26-2014, 01:41 PM
<snip>
I have a Roland Microcube AND the Vox Mini 3...
They are great amps for steel-string electric guitars, but quite awful for acoustic instruments; especially ukuleles.
The tone sounds unpleasant and there will always be a very loud hum.

<snip>


I mostly use my Vox Mini5 with my Risa solid ukes. Nylon strung and piezo pickup. I've not had the problems you describe. I can get some great sounds from it and I don't have problems with hum at all but then I just use it on batteries. Battery life is very good

I also have a 35W Laney acoustic amp which is excellent.

kissing
06-26-2014, 10:40 PM
I mostly use my Vox Mini5 with my Risa solid ukes. Nylon strung and piezo pickup. I've not had the problems you describe. I can get some great sounds from it and I don't have problems with hum at all but then I just use it on batteries. Battery life is very good

I also have a 35W Laney acoustic amp which is excellent.



I observed something bizarre the other day. When running on batteries, the hum is greatly reduced. On mains power, there is hum. Thats pretty annoying..

kkimura
06-27-2014, 01:06 AM
I observed something bizarre the other day. When running on batteries, the hum is greatly reduced. On mains power, there is hum. Thats pretty annoying..

Sounds like your AC power supply filters are failing. Usually it's the large electrolytic capacitors drying out.

Vagrant
06-27-2014, 01:15 AM
I keep looking at the ZT Lunchbox Jr, it throws a huge amount of sound out for such a small amp - but at the level I'm at, I think the last thing anyone needs is to hear my fumblings louder!

tbeltrans
06-27-2014, 02:59 AM
When considering an amp for ukulele, remember that there are guitar amps and acoustic guitar amps and I honestly have not seen an amplifier specifically for ukulele. An amplifier built for electric guitar will be voiced with a focus on the midrange, and will generally (not always!!) not sound very good with acoustic instruments (the ukulele being an acoustic instrument except maybe something solid body like a typical electric guitar).

Acoustic guitar amplifiers are wide range, some would even say the more expensive models are "hi fi". These will sound good with a ukulele as an acoustic instrument. I am sure that even among acoustic guitar amplifiers, some will sound better with a ukulele than some others. Since I have not tried my ukulele with a variety of amplifiers, the only thing I can say is that my AER Compact 60 sounds great with my ukulele, but then the AER Compact 60 is an expensive amplifier and so is my ukulele, with its factory installed LR Baggs active pickup system. My point is that everything in the signal chain is a variable and therefore each situation is different enough to warrant experimenting, rather than making a blanket statement that a particular amplifier will sound great with anything you plug into it. In the guitar community, people are always experimenting with changing this and that in search of "the sound". Over in the acoustic guitar forums, there is one setup that seems to be generally accepted as the golden standard, but complete, with preamp, amp, and speakers, and maybe an EQ, we are talking several thousand dollars. I do "play out" fairly frequently with solo fingerstyle guitar and feel that this warranted getting the AER amplifier, which is very small and powerful. <any performers use these, with one popular example being Tommy Emmanuel. These typicall sell for around $1,100, but I buy used and "horsetrade" to get something like this. There are certainly far less expensive amplifiers that will do a very good job too. It just takes some research and willingness to try before you buy, if possible. I think buying used is going to get you the best "bang for the buck" IF you have some safety measure if you run into problems with the purchase (i.e. at least a short warranty of 90 days or somethign along those lines).

As for specific recommendations of brands, I really don't know since I bought one amplifier and use it. I have read that Roland makes a series of acoustic guitar amplifiers that people seem satisfied with. I think these have already been mentoned in this thread. Another consideration might be a keyboard amplifier, since these are also wide range. Again, experimentation is the way to find out what is right for your particular needs. Though if a number of people all recommend the same amplifier, then it is a good bet it could work for you too.

Tony

Olarte
06-27-2014, 04:08 AM
I have several small amps including the Vox AC5 etc.

However I just picked up the Acoustic AG30 for $180 and it is totally amazing for my acoustic instruments including ukuleles, classical guitar and violin.

It's bigger than I expected and it has a very nice clean sound on two inputs 16 "effects" etc. but the main quality is the nice clean full range acoustic sound. Brings my amplified playing to a whole new level!

68254

tbeltrans
06-27-2014, 05:08 AM
I have several small amps including the Vox AC5 etc.

However I just picked up the Acoustic AG30 for $180 and it is totally amazing for my acoustic instruments including ukuleles, classical guitar and violin.

It's bigger than I expected and it has a very nice clean sound on two inputs 16 "effects" etc. but the main quality is the nice clean full range acoustic sound. Brings my amplified playing to a whole new level!

68254

Good thing you brought that brand up here! i copletely forgot about them. These are well spoken of among acoustic guitar players and are very affordable.

Another affordable acoustic guitar amplifier that is well thought of among acoustic guitar players is the Ultrasound series. These are plentiful on the used market.

Tony

ricdoug
06-27-2014, 11:32 AM
Steel Rider, to get the clean acoustic sound an amp designed for acoustic instruments or a P.A. system works great. I also own an Acoustic AG30 and it works great. Here's a solution that falls in your budget range and has plenty of power for public performances and only costs $99 bucks:

I use the Powerwerks PW50/Kustom PA50 for a variety of PA applications. They interconnect with microphone cables. Mount them high on speaker stands and they will cover surprisingly large crowds. Here's an outdoor party where we used three of them with 6 microphones. They were aimed in three seperate directions. This was a large party and had three large canopies set up for the guests to sit down in the shade. They were spread out all over the property. Guests were called up to the buffet one canopy at a time:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/CraigAndTheCruisers1.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/CraigAndTheCruisers3.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/CraigAndTheCruisers5.jpg

ricdoug
06-27-2014, 11:37 AM
Here's a review I wrote on this system in 2008:

Ukulele amp/P.A. system for under $100 bucks…

About 3 months back (which is now 6 years ago), I was in Guitar Center checking out sound reinforcement gear. I came across a Kustom PA50 and intrigued by its size, specs and versatility:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/KustomPA501.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/KustomPA502.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/KustomPA503.jpg

ricdoug
06-27-2014, 11:57 AM
I searched the Guitar Center website, Musician’s Friend website and Kustom Amps website, but did not find any reference to this system. When I searched PowerWerks, I came up with:

http://powerwerks.com/pages/PA-Systems-8.aspx

http://powerwerks.com/ContentHandler.ashx?ID=87 Owners manual.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZk33_3GmE4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nL-RzN98VT0

http://www.youtube.com/user/GenoKreis?blend=5&ob=5#p/u/0/0xIY65YWEi0

The frontal shows the two 4.5” drivers and the high frequency horn:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/KustomPA504.jpg

You can also note the rugged construction and the protective steel speaker grill. In addition, each corner is protected.

ricdoug
06-27-2014, 12:02 PM
The rear view shows the three channels, controls, inputs and outputs. I was asked if the XLR and ¼” inputs could be used at the same time, so I plugged a microphone and instrument into both jacks on both channels. All can be used at the same time:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/KustomPA505.jpg

One of the long sides has a carrying handle and the other side has four rubber feet:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/KustomPA506.jpg

The bottom has a speaker stand adaptor and four rubber feet:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/KustomPA507.jpg

Here it is shown mounted on an OnStage speaker stand:

[img]http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/KustomPA508.jpg


I liked the first one enough to purchase a second one. I almost always have one loaned out. Hula halau’s like to use a microphone for announcing and an MPR/CD player for their music when musicians are not available. There are no effects onboard, but I generally prefer to use my systems “dry” - without effects.

ricdoug
06-27-2014, 12:04 PM
Since that review, I've purchased 6 more. Two I leave in a club we kanikapila in weekly. These make a nice modular system, where space is an issue. I have plenty of sound equipment for very large venues, but find myself using these more often. You can place them wherever you need sound coverage and interconnect them with microphone cables.