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Rllink
07-02-2014, 08:00 AM
Could I get a down and dirty lowdown on electric ukes, without having to search threads and trying to put it all together? Besides, when I search I get into responses that for me just seem to be so obsessed with the insignificant that I can not even wrap my brain around them, so I want to avoid that if at all possible. I have very simple questions. I'm trying to keep my interest to acoustic ukes only. Can you play an acoustic uke both with amplification and without amplifying it? I'm wondering about active vs passive. I've been told that I want active, but not why I want active. What does passive do for you? I'm wondering about amps? I've heard that there are acoustic amps and non-acoustic amps. Is there really specific acoustic and non acoustic amps, because when I bring this up, some people act like they have no idea what I'm talking about? What happens if I just buy an amp at the pawn shop? They seem to have a better selection than anyone in town and most of them look like they didn't get a lot of use from the previous owner.

I don't want to get fancy, I just want to make sure that I don't put together something that is totally incompatible. So any help would be appreciated. Pleas keep it simple, I'm not a deep thinker. Thanks.

iamesperambient
07-02-2014, 08:11 AM
Could I get a down and dirty lowdown on electric ukes, without having to search threads and trying to put it all together? Besides, when I search I get into responses that for me just seem to be so obsessed with the insignificant that I can not even wrap my brain around them, so I want to avoid that if at all possible. I have very simple questions. I'm trying to keep my interest to acoustic ukes only. Can you play an acoustic uke both with amplification and without amplifying it? I'm wondering about active vs passive. I've been told that I want active, but not why I want active. What does passive do for you? I'm wondering about amps? I've heard that there are acoustic amps and non-acoustic amps. Is there really specific acoustic and non acoustic amps, because when I bring this up, some people act like they have no idea what I'm talking about? What happens if I just buy an amp at the pawn shop? They seem to have a better selection than anyone in town and most of them look like they didn't get a lot of use from the previous owner.

I don't want to get fancy, I just want to make sure that I don't put together something that is totally incompatible. So any help would be appreciated. Pleas keep it simple, I'm not a deep thinker. Thanks.

i only play steel string solid body electrics but i have owned acoustic-electrics which is what you are looking for.
Acoustic-electrics use a piezo pick up under saddle which picks up the nylon strings its almost like having a mic
under the saddle and amplifies the acoustic sound. If that is what you are looking for there is a number of acoustic-electric
ukuleles out there from high to low end.

But when we refer to 'electric ukulele' it usually means a solid body
which is designed only for being plugged in and very quiet acoustically (which can be
great for late night practice). Some solid bodies still have nylon strings and a piezo
pick up and sound more like standard electric acoustics but will not feed back
when you add distortion or effects to them via amp. Steel string solid bodies also exist
RISA, Mann, Bluestar, and monkey wrench come to mind for solid body steel string ukes
which will give you the full on rock guitar sound (i prefer these and play a solid body steel
string baritone electric uke made by Blue star guitar company).


If you are playing an acoustic-electric an acoustic amp would be better in fact kala actually makes a specific amp for this, and i think a few others possibly. A good value acoustic-electric that comes to mind is the epiphone less paul concert,. Active pick up will have a sound board on the instrument controlled by a battery but will allow you to adjust the sound via the instrument (something i never really needed i always adjusted the tone of my amp and used pedals etc for that).

pixiepurls
07-02-2014, 08:31 AM
I always post this link, get ready to be impressed. The good stuff is around 5:30 mins in. DROOL.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqo4IY4yDKc

PhilUSAFRet
07-02-2014, 08:46 AM
Can "get down" with nearly anything from "diddley bows" (one string) to ??????? When I first started getting serious about ukes, this video got my attention. It's Manitoba Hal's Sixteen Tons Bluezified for the Ukulele with an acoustic electric uke. He did his own backing tracks too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpG0pEagry8

kohanmike
07-02-2014, 08:55 AM
Yes, you can buy an amp at a pawn shop. There's supposed to be some difference between an "acoustic" and "electric" amp, but I don't find that, unless it has to do with effects that the amp does or doesn't have. Yes, you can have an acoustic uke with a preamp/pickup, it has no effect on playing without an amp (most every manufacturer offers them). I have electronics in all my acoustic ukes, they're all active with preamp/tuner. The one to which I had a passive pickup added, I didn't like at all because it had very limited volume, it needed an outboard preamp. I use a very small 5 watt amp and the passive had low volume, all my actives sound good on it. I also have a Crate Limo 50 watt battery amp that is great with all my ukes.

Barbablanca
07-02-2014, 09:20 AM
Specialist Acoustic amps are designed specifically to get the most accurate acoustic sound possible. Standard guitar amps are usually far more tolerant about inherent hiss or other noise than an acoustic amp, simply because most rock guitarists are going to introduce a level of dirt to the sound anyway.

I have tried a couple of acoustic amps and they did make a difference compared with plugging into my Dean Markley Guitar Amp. Acoustic amps usually come with a couple of effects designed to add a little something to an acoustic (as opposed to an electric) sound - Chorus and Reverb being the most popular.

I am saving my pennies to get a decent acoustic amp, but meanwhile Zoom's "Acoustic Pedal" (http://www.thomann.de/gb/zoom_a3_preampeffekt_acoustic_guit.htm) works really well if patched directly into the PA. The link is to the new model, I have a previous model.

RichM
07-02-2014, 10:42 AM
I am a fan of using a passive pickup and an outboard preamp, for the following reasons:

1. Onboard preamps usually require a hole in the side of your instrument
2. Many instruments use inexpensive onboard preamps that don't deliver the best sound
3. Using an outboard preamp usually gives you many more options to alter your sound
4. A single outboard preamp can be used with any number of different instruments
5. You can upgrade your outboard preamp at any time and suddenly all of your instruments are upgraded, too

Rllink
07-02-2014, 10:52 AM
Yes, you can buy an amp at a pawn shop. There's supposed to be some difference between an "acoustic" and "electric" amp, but I don't find that, unless it has to do with effects that the amp does or doesn't have. Yes, you can have an acoustic uke with a preamp/pickup, it has no effect on playing without an amp (most every manufacturer offers them). I have electronics in all my acoustic ukes, they're all active with preamp/tuner. The one to which I had a passive pickup added, I didn't like at all because it had very limited volume, it needed an outboard preamp. I use a very small 5 watt amp and the passive had low volume, all my actives sound good on it. I also have a Crate Limo 50 watt battery amp that is great with all my ukes.Thanks, Pretty much to the point.

Rllink
07-02-2014, 10:54 AM
I am a fan of using a passive pickup and an outboard preamp, for the following reasons:

1. Onboard preamps usually require a hole in the side of your instrument
2. Many instruments use inexpensive onboard preamps that don't deliver the best sound
3. Using an outboard preamp usually gives you many more options to alter your sound
4. A single outboard preamp can be used with any number of different instruments
5. You can upgrade your outboard preamp at any time and suddenly all of your instruments are upgraded, tooThanks, good information to know. I will keep those points in mind.

Rllink
07-02-2014, 11:02 AM
Specialist Acoustic amps are designed specifically to get the most accurate acoustic sound possible. Standard guitar amps are usually far more tolerant about inherent hiss or other noise than an acoustic amp, simply because most rock guitarists are going to introduce a level of dirt to the sound anyway.

I have tried a couple of acoustic amps and they did make a difference compared with plugging into my Dean Markley Guitar Amp. Acoustic amps usually come with a couple of effects designed to add a little something to an acoustic (as opposed to an electric) sound - Chorus and Reverb being the most popular.

I am saving my pennies to get a decent acoustic amp, but meanwhile Zoom's "Acoustic Pedal" (http://www.thomann.de/gb/zoom_a3_preampeffekt_acoustic_guit.htm) works really well if patched directly into the PA. The link is to the new model, I have a previous model.So are you saying that you have a Dean Markley amp and you are getting along fine with it? Because I've actually looked at one of those. I realize that you want something better, but I'm just asking.

ricdoug
07-02-2014, 12:53 PM
There's quite a difference between an electric guitar amplifier and an acoustic guitar amplifier. An electric guitar amplifier has a single or multiple large speakers, usually 8" or larger. There is no tweeter for the high range. This is done for a pronounced midrange response.


Acoustic electric instruments sound more natural through an acoustic amplifier or a P.A. system, both of which typically have a woofer and a tweeter either separate or coaxial. Sometimes it will be a woofer with an attached whizzer cone. This is done to be more like your home hifi, wide range and flat response without sound coloration. There are good choices in the lower price range:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?97960-Amp-PA-advice

If the 'ukulele you decide on does not have active electronics, an active D.I. box will match the high impedence of a passive piezoelectric pickup to the low impedence input of guitar amplifiers and acoustic guitar amplifiers along with P.A. systems. This prevents a midrange honk, squawk or park associated with passive piezoelectric pickups:

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

Vagrant
07-02-2014, 01:02 PM
I am a fan of using a passive pickup and an outboard preamp, for the following reasons:

1. Onboard preamps usually require a hole in the side of your instrument
2. Many instruments use inexpensive onboard preamps that don't deliver the best sound
3. Using an outboard preamp usually gives you many more options to alter your sound
4. A single outboard preamp can be used with any number of different instruments
5. You can upgrade your outboard preamp at any time and suddenly all of your instruments are upgraded, too

I did a project last year with an electric dulcimer and ended up going for a passive pickup with a cheap Behringer preamp (this one: http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/ADI21.aspx ) which really replicated the acoustic sound well... I tried the active pickup and hated it! With that Behringer we used pretty much any amp we could lay our hands on (I think a borrowed Roland cube in the end)

Tootler
07-02-2014, 01:07 PM
Specialist Acoustic amps are designed specifically to get the most accurate acoustic sound possible. Standard guitar amps are usually far more tolerant about inherent hiss or other noise than an acoustic amp, simply because most rock guitarists are going to introduce a level of dirt to the sound anyway.

I have tried a couple of acoustic amps and they did make a difference compared with plugging into my Dean Markley Guitar Amp. Acoustic amps usually come with a couple of effects designed to add a little something to an acoustic (as opposed to an electric) sound - Chorus and Reverb being the most popular.


This pretty much captures it. The point is that guitar amps colour the sound and guitarists exploit this and add effects units to create the sound they want. An acoustic amp is designed to reproduce the sound accurately.

However the output of the amp is also affected by what you use to get the sound into the amp. If you want accurate reproduction of the sound of your uke, the best thing is to use a microphone. A half way decent mic will pretty accurately pickup the sound of your uke so the combination of reasonable quality mic plus acoustic amp will give at least a reasonably accurate reproduction of the sound of your instrument. In general the recommendation for acoustic instruments is a condenser mic as they have a better high frequency response so you capture the higher harmonics better.

An under saddle pickup while having practical advantages is not responding to the sound projected from your uke but directly to the vibration of the strings transmitted through the saddle to the pickup. So what you hear from the speaker is different from what you hear from the instrument. Add to that, a piezo pickup does not have an even response across the audio spectrum. That said they are convenient so are widely used.

My own preference is not to fit pickups to my acoustic ukes but I have two Risa solid electric ukes and use them to provide a variety of sounds using effects units. They both have passive pickups and I agree with RichM, I think passive pickups are the better option for the reasons he gives. The effects units I use them with also act as preamps.

Icelander53
07-02-2014, 01:28 PM
I have an acoustic amp for my acoustic ukes. A Behringer 15 watt, that has a nice clean sound. I think acoustic amps are balanced for acoustic instrument sound and they are kind of like a keyboard amp in sound quality or something like that. I forgot all the details. I have a 8 dollar clip on pickup I got on Amazon that sounds amazingly good and then one of my ukes has a built in active pickup that I can just plug in. For me all this works great as I'm just playing for myself and friends. But this is all kid stuff for someone who's serious about playing live or recording. What I'm saying is you don't have to get real fancy to have fun but if you want more then you need to dig in and do your research. There's plenty here that could tell you way more than you want to know.lol

ricdoug
07-02-2014, 05:57 PM
You can also install your own passive pickup on the cheap (I have a pictorial starting about half way down the page:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?8560-Electrify-your-uke-for-under-10-bucks/page2

...and a really cheap amplifier:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?37044-Cheap-6-buck-ukulele-amplifier&highlight=clip

...and do it all for under $20 bucks. This will amplify your 'ukulele, but will not have full fidelity. Ric

Rllink
07-03-2014, 03:44 AM
I have an acoustic amp for my acoustic ukes. A Behringer 15 watt, that has a nice clean sound. I think acoustic amps are balanced for acoustic instrument sound and they are kind of like a keyboard amp in sound quality or something like that. I forgot all the details. I have a 8 dollar clip on pickup I got on Amazon that sounds amazingly good and then one of my ukes has a built in active pickup that I can just plug in. For me all this works great as I'm just playing for myself and friends. But this is all kid stuff for someone who's serious about playing live or recording. What I'm saying is you don't have to get real fancy to have fun but if you want more then you need to dig in and do your research. There's plenty here that could tell you way more than you want to know.lolThank you. I will use this info. I'm really trying to keep it all simple, and all I want is something to mess around with. I'm not going out and performing, I'm just playing around.

One of the problems that I have with research, especially here in UU, is that some people are much more discerning in regards to sound than others. I was at a store the other day playing several different ukes, and the salesman there was commenting on how much better some sounded than others. I personally could not tell the difference. I'm guessing that amps are much the same. So I'm not looking for the perfect amp, I'm looking for an amp that doesn't cost a lot and is fun. On craigslist and in the pawn shops, there are a lot of used amps. They are selling for pennies on the dollar. I don't want to invest a lot of money into it, but I also don't want to throw my money away. So the whole reason for my post is to decide what I "need" to know before I grab one and haul it home. I appreciate all the reviews that people are sending me to, but when I decide to buy an amp, if that particular amp that was reviewed is not sitting on a shelf or listed in craigslist, or on clearance somewhere, it isn't going to be the amp I end up with.

Anyway, I'm getting some good info here in this thread that I can use. I think a few people can see where I'm coming from and are addressing my question. I'm getting some stuff that is going right over my head as well, but everyone is well meaning and I certainly appreciate it. So thanks all for the responses.

Rllink
07-03-2014, 03:58 AM
You can also install your own passive pickup on the cheap (I have a pictorial starting about half way down the page:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?8560-Electrify-your-uke-for-under-10-bucks/page2

...and a really cheap amplifier:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?37044-Cheap-6-buck-ukulele-amplifier&highlight=clip

...and do it all for under $20 bucks. This will amplify your 'ukulele, but will not have full fidelity. RicThat is all very interesting. I run my entire sound system at home from an I pod, so maybe this would be a fun way to play with an electric uke. We will have to see.

kissing
07-03-2014, 05:45 AM
I have had great success with the following Artec undersaddle ukulele pickup:
http://www.eyguitarmusic.com/Artec-Ukulele-Saddle-Piezo-Bridge-Pickup-PP-404U-NEW_p_181.html

I take it to my local luthier who installs it for me for a little fee.

I like it better than most factory-installed pickups.



Generally speaking, I think an instrument amplifier will always be a great investment.
Even a small 1W amp can be loads of fun in a room.



*In general*
Nylon-strung electric ukuleles sound best with an acoustic amp.
It brings out the clarity and balanced tone required for a piezo pickup.

Electric guitar amps are better reserved for a steel-string electric ukulele that has magnetic pickups.

Here's some of my gear.. although a lot of my stuff is packed away at the moment (moving house).

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y121/pactio_kiss/20140704_0149421_zps63ad6b09.jpg (http://s4.photobucket.com/user/pactio_kiss/media/20140704_0149421_zps63ad6b09.jpg.html)


And I recently sold 2 of my Risa electric ukes... :(

Rllink
07-03-2014, 06:09 AM
So just looking at an amp, how do you know if it is an acoustic amp or not? Does it state it somewhere on a placard, or do you have to go somewhere to find the specifications? Is there some feature that is common to acoustic amps that is obvious and would set them apart?

kissing
07-03-2014, 06:39 AM
It should be indicated somewhere on the amp that it is an acoustic amp.
Otherwise I suppose you can get the model no. of the amp and look for details of it online.

The manufacturers obviously want people to know what kind of amp it is.
At the very least, when you goto a music store, the amps will be clearly labelled.

Barbablanca
07-03-2014, 09:57 AM
So are you saying that you have a Dean Markley amp and you are getting along fine with it? Because I've actually looked at one of those. I realize that you want something better, but I'm just asking.

I get along fine with the DM and an electric guitar, but it is not the best combination with my Epiphone Les Paul Uke, when I want it to sound like an acoustic Uke and not a mini electric guitar ;) - The ELP Uke passed through the Zoom Acoustic pedalboard sounds cool, though (although the volume can be a little on the low side - an issue an external pre-amp might solve).

ichadwick
07-04-2014, 01:50 AM
Can you play an acoustic uke both with amplification and without amplifying it? .
Yes if it has a hollow body like an acoustic. That's the sound generator. Most solid-body ukes are too quiet to be heard more than a metre or so away. Some semi-solids like the Godin can be heard further.


I'm wondering about active vs passive. I've been told that I want active, but not why I want active. What does passive do for you?
Passive means you don't need electronics or batteries to get the amplification. Active means you do.

Usually with active pickups, you have some control over volume and tone or even a proper equalizer like on the Godin or Applause. Passive means everything has to be set at the amp; active with electronics means you can make some adjustments at the uke. This is helpful if you have more than one instrument running off the same amp. Mostly I see it as a convenience thing. You can also get effects pedals that do what the active electronics do.

Changing batteries is a pain on some ukes, easier on others.

Active has a somewhat better frequency range and sensitivity, as I understand it, but I have both on different ukes, and don't really notice a difference.


I'm wondering about amps? I've heard that there are acoustic amps and non-acoustic amps. Is there really specific acoustic and non acoustic amps,
Digital amps that offer some simulation options often have a setting for acoustic so you get everything in a single package. Look for an amp with some effects, too. Nothing like a bit of flange and fuzz, I say...

Some amps have separate inputs for mic and instrument, too. I've plugged instruments into the mic input too.

Kekani
07-04-2014, 09:22 AM
Could I get a down and dirty lowdown on electric ukes, without having to search threads and trying to put it all together?

I'll be lazy and not even post the thread, but not that lazy that I won't take the time for this:
Buddhuu posted a sticky 5 years ago in Tech Support. May want to read that.

And, you know by now that you probably have no interest in electric `ukulele.

ricdoug
07-04-2014, 07:57 PM
That is all very interesting. I run my entire sound system at home from an I pod, so maybe this would be a fun way to play with an electric uke. We will have to see.

Does Ames still host the largest beach party? I recruited for the USMC in the mid 1980's in Cedar Rapids and Marshalltown and I still remember that as a unique event. I also enjoyed watching high school, collegiate and Greco Roman wrestling on TV and in the school gyms. Before being drafted into the military I had a wrestling scholarship to Indiana University. That cut me short of completing my second year. I used my G.I. Bill benefits to complete my degree in electrical and electronics engineering, minoring in music theory. Later on I got a certificate of completion in live sound engineering...

All that being said, I still enjoy minimalist setups. Here's a pic of me busking:

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

...in Dana Point, California using only an Ovation Applause UAE20 acoustic electric 'ukulele with a passive pickup along with a Vox Mini3 amplifier and an Emerson M193 headset microphone:

http://www.frys.com/product/6460952;jsessionid=D2Yu+Fuz6YnYc4XqBDNE5g__.node2? site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG


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

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

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

The reason I always recommend the Kustom PA50, is that is the lowest priced and powerful professional P.A. system on the market. You can take it straight from practice to performances to crowds over 50 in number.

Rllink
07-05-2014, 06:04 AM
Yes if it has a hollow body like an acoustic. That's the sound generator. Most solid-body ukes are too quiet to be heard more than a metre or so away. Some semi-solids like the Godin can be heard further.


Passive means you don't need electronics or batteries to get the amplification. Active means you do.

Usually with active pickups, you have some control over volume and tone or even a proper equalizer like on the Godin or Applause. Passive means everything has to be set at the amp; active with electronics means you can make some adjustments at the uke. This is helpful if you have more than one instrument running off the same amp. Mostly I see it as a convenience thing. You can also get effects pedals that do what the active electronics do.

Changing batteries is a pain on some ukes, easier on others.

Active has a somewhat better frequency range and sensitivity, as I understand it, but I have both on different ukes, and don't really notice a difference.


Digital amps that offer some simulation options often have a setting for acoustic so you get everything in a single package. Look for an amp with some effects, too. Nothing like a bit of flange and fuzz, I say...

Some amps have separate inputs for mic and instrument, too. I've plugged instruments into the mic input too.Thanks, I appreciate the straight forward info.

Rllink
07-05-2014, 06:21 AM
I'll be lazy and not even post the thread, but not that lazy that I won't take the time for this:
Buddhuu posted a sticky 5 years ago in Tech Support. May want to read that.

And, you know by now that you probably have no interest in electric `ukulele.Thank you for responding. Actually, I did read that thread, along with a couple of others that I searched for, and while it starts out fine, by the time I got through it I was so confused that I wrote this thread. It has nothing to do with laziness. I appreciate people who become so focused on something that they want to explore every nuance of it, but I just want to sit out on my back deck and play, I don't really want to become an expert on it. Also, I do not see why just because something has been covered before, it can't be revisited? I imagine that a lot of stuff that is being discussed has been discussed before. Besides, a sticky is not a discussion, and I was hoping we could have a discussion here. It also seems to me that threads quickly go from informational to obsessional and much more complicated than they need to be. I'm hoping this one remains informational, and that there is dialog, and for the most part it has. I've picked up a lot of information that is useful.

Rllink
07-05-2014, 06:36 AM
Does Ames still host the largest beach party? I recruited for the USMC in the mid 1980's in Cedar Rapids and Marshalltown and I still remember that as a unique event. I also enjoyed watching high school, collegiate and Greco Roman wrestling on TV and in the school gyms. Before being drafted into the military I had a wrestling scholarship to Indiana University. That cut me short of completing my second year. I used my G.I. Bill benefits to complete my degree in electrical and electronics engineering, minoring in music theory. Later on I got a certificate of completion in live sound engineering...

All that being said, I still enjoy minimalist setups. Here's a pic of me busking:

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

...in Dana Point, California using only an Ovation Applause UAE20 acoustic electric 'ukulele with a passive pickup along with a Vox Mini3 amplifier and an Emerson M193 headset microphone:

http://www.frys.com/product/6460952;jsessionid=D2Yu+Fuz6YnYc4XqBDNE5g__.node2? site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG




The reason I always recommend the Kustom PA50, is that is the lowest priced and powerful professional P.A. system on the market. You can take it straight from practice to performances to crowds over 50 in number.Thank you for responding. I especially found the wikipedia link interesting because my wife and I saw a sign in a window downtown that said, "Buskers Welcome." I had no idea what a busker was and I forgot about it before I got around to looking it up. We live in San Juan, Puerto Rico during the winter and I told my wife that my goal was to play my uke on a street corner during the San Sebastian Festival and have at least someone put a dollar in my case. She suggested that someone might pay me to stop playing. It was just a joke, I hope.

I've lived in Ames since 1976, and I have never heard of this beach party. That is not to say that it doesn't happen, I've just never heard of it. Lots of things go on over at the college that I don't know about. I wonder if it had something to do with the VEISHEA celebration. They are always trying to do something that is the "biggest". I thought that your story was interesting as well, as I ended up here because I attended Iowa State University on the GI Bill.

Kekani
07-05-2014, 08:56 AM
. . . I appreciate people who become so focused on something that they want to explore every nuance of it, but I just want to sit out on my back deck and play, I don't really want to become an expert on it. Also, I do not see why just because something has been covered before, it can't be revisited? I imagine that a lot of stuff that is being discussed has been discussed before. Besides, a sticky is not a discussion, and I was hoping we could have a discussion here. It also seems to me that threads quickly go from informational to obsessional and much more complicated than they need to be. I'm hoping this one remains informational, and that there is dialog, and for the most part it has. I've picked up a lot of information that is useful.

I'm one of those guys. And you're right about discussions; I forgot I'm not in the lounge, where lack of using the search function gets very taxing on the responders. Probably part of the reason you don't see some long time members as much, anymore. But, you've gotten good responses here.

Personally, I'd try to understand the sticky, then ask specific questions about products. This may bring you closer to where you want to be.

Note: as with most things, you pay for what you get. ie: Bought a Roland MicroCube early on. Thought it was the sh*t, for what its intent was. Now? Yup, it is sh*t. What a freaking waste of money. Should've done more research, and spent more up front. Glad I didn't get a StreetCube. Then again, combo's are not my thing. Much prefer an amp & cab. Of course, there are exceptions, one of them being the LRBaggs AR Amp, which they don't make anymore.

Rllink
07-05-2014, 11:25 AM
I'm one of those guys. And you're right about discussions; I forgot I'm not in the lounge, where lack of using the search function gets very taxing on the responders. Probably part of the reason you don't see some long time members as much, anymore. But, you've gotten good responses here.

Personally, I'd try to understand the sticky, then ask specific questions about products. This may bring you closer to where you want to be.

Note: as with most things, you pay for what you get. ie: Bought a Roland MicroCube early on. Thought it was the sh*t, for what its intent was. Now? Yup, it is sh*t. What a freaking waste of money. Should've done more research, and spent more up front. Glad I didn't get a StreetCube. Then again, combo's are not my thing. Much prefer an amp & cab. Of course, there are exceptions, one of them being the LRBaggs AR Amp, which they don't make anymore.What did you not like about the MicroCube, why are you glad that you didn't get a StreetCube, and what is an amp & cab? I know what an amp is, I'm wondering what a cab is and what it has to do with an amp?

Kekani
07-05-2014, 02:10 PM
What did you not like about the MicroCube, why are you glad that you didn't get a StreetCube, and what is an amp & cab? I know what an amp is, I'm wondering what a cab is and what it has to do with an amp?

Last question first - the cab (or speaker) is what takes the signal from the amp to make sound - its what houses the drivers. If you know what an amp is, you'll know that its nothing without a cab. Again, covered in the stickies in Tech Support.

Sometimes pictures are worth, well. . .
Eden WTX500 Amp and fEARful 12/6 Cab (with bass, of course):
http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll290/kekani427/Custom%20PJ%20Bass%20Dec%202010/Custom%20PJ%20Bass%20Update%20May%202014/1167351d-9405-4c64-9973-bfac91bbcbaa_zps8b3646d2.jpg (http://s291.photobucket.com/user/kekani427/media/Custom%20PJ%20Bass%20Dec%202010/Custom%20PJ%20Bass%20Update%20May%202014/1167351d-9405-4c64-9973-bfac91bbcbaa_zps8b3646d2.jpg.html)

Egnater Tweaker-88 Tube Amp, with custom BFM XF212 Cab (sans electric guitar).
http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll290/kekani427/Bill%20Fitzmaurice%20Jack%20112%20Build/BFM%20XF212%20Guitar%20cab/DSCN1946_zps1dc5e1ce.jpg (http://s291.photobucket.com/user/kekani427/media/Bill%20Fitzmaurice%20Jack%20112%20Build/BFM%20XF212%20Guitar%20cab/DSCN1946_zps1dc5e1ce.jpg.html)

Ric already showed you a combo, which is what the Microcube is. Street cube is a little larger. Both combo's.

I've stated a good pickup is designed to take an instrument and make it louder. If its a good instrument, it'll sound good louder. Crappy instrument, then crappy loud instrument, although many try to adjust that with eq, effects, etc. Guess I should add that all elements in the signal chain will affect the final result.

I've owned/played through both of the Rolands, and the microcube is simply shit. No other way to describe it. Its one of those things that can take a good instrument and make it sound crappy. Crappy instrument through it? Hmm, that may be a push as it may be able to not do worse. No doubt the effects are cool, but they still sound crappy. And you'll get over that coolness factor really quickly. It took the same fate as all of the xxxx strings MGM left for me - I threw it away.
Streetcube is a step above. More expensive than a Microcube, and still a waste of money. Either way, they do very well at producing distorted sound.

The cabs above are not for acoustics, of course. However, in the realm of what they're designed for, they do very well. Not too many guys around here play through a fEARful. 3 guys told me they want one; one of them didn't even hear it, yet. The guitar cab is still fresh, but that owner (its not mine) can't believe how it performs. One of his friends wants a similar one.

ricdoug
07-05-2014, 03:18 PM
Thank you for responding. I especially found the wikipedia link interesting because my wife and I saw a sign in a window downtown that said, "Buskers Welcome." I had no idea what a busker was and I forgot about it before I got around to looking it up. We live in San Juan, Puerto Rico during the winter and I told my wife that my goal was to play my uke on a street corner during the San Sebastian Festival and have at least someone put a dollar in my case. She suggested that someone might pay me to stop playing. It was just a joke, I hope.

I've lived in Ames since 1976, and I have never heard of this beach party. That is not to say that it doesn't happen, I've just never heard of it. Lots of things go on over at the college that I don't know about. I wonder if it had something to do with the VEISHEA celebration. They are always trying to do something that is the "biggest". I thought that your story was interesting as well, as I ended up here because I attended Iowa State University on the GI Bill.

Well, a female friend vacationing in Florida just posted on her Facebook page about an Irish club in Florida where she tipped them to turn the stage volume down. What was of particular interest to her is that the band was using a Bose L1 Compact, as she has a lot of experience with the L1 2 with B2 bass module and ToneMatch. I'm going to cut and paste that conversation here:

"Shades of home! Local musician Scotty Long sets up his Bose L1 compact at Connoly's Irish Pub, where we're waiting out a storm."

"Darn it. He has it cranked up to 11 in a space about the size of Molly Bloom's . I'd rather hear the guitar and mandolin without any amp at all. Women should take over for all the guys who fried their ears with guns, motorcycles, and Walkmen!"

"With a small donation and a smile they turned it down. They've also broken out the bodhran - very nice!"


Well I researched the Beach Party and I was off by a hundred miles! It was held close to Iowa City. They called it the largest beach party, as it was all beach and no water LOL!:

http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1985/-Biggest-Beach-Party-Won-t-Be-Held-On-Town-s-Square/id-6346598a505bf925ecf6b3a52ef7ab77

Rllink
07-07-2014, 08:02 AM
Well, a female friend vacationing in Florida just posted on her Facebook page about an Irish club in Florida where she tipped them to turn the stage volume down. What was of particular interest to her is that the band was using a Bose L1 Compact, as she has a lot of experience with the L1 2 with B2 bass module and ToneMatch. I'm going to cut and paste that conversation here:

"Shades of home! Local musician Scotty Long sets up his Bose L1 compact at Connoly's Irish Pub, where we're waiting out a storm."

"Darn it. He has it cranked up to 11 in a space about the size of Molly Bloom's . I'd rather hear the guitar and mandolin without any amp at all. Women should take over for all the guys who fried their ears with guns, motorcycles, and Walkmen!"

"With a small donation and a smile they turned it down. They've also broken out the bodhran - very nice!"


Well I researched the Beach Party and I was off by a hundred miles! It was held close to Iowa City. They called it the largest beach party, as it was all beach and no water LOL!:

http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1985/-Biggest-Beach-Party-Won-t-Be-Held-On-Town-s-Square/id-6346598a505bf925ecf6b3a52ef7ab77OK, that is Williamsburg, which is near Iowa City, but still a little ways away. It probably has a population of four thousand. Their claim to fame is an outlet mall there just off of I-35. If they still had a beach party though, it would be a good place to set up and play the uke.

Rllink
07-07-2014, 08:07 AM
OK, I don't want to be accused of being lazy, but I've just gone through five threads, one of which had 23 pages and several posts about how great Roland Streetcubes and Microcubes are, but what I was really looking for is something about the Luna AG5. Does anyone have any experience with that amp? It looks attractive to me, is pretty self contained, and they are not too expensive. Are they any good?

ricdoug
07-07-2014, 11:06 AM
I would not call that lazy. It takes a while to get familiar with any format. I'm reading that you're looking for an inexpensive amplifier to amplify an 'ukulele. The Luna will do the job. So will a number of small guitar amps. If you have a nearby Guitar Center call them and ask about their lower priced guitar amps. Drive over and try one. If the sound suits you, buy it. Not everyone has the same needs. You may, in the future want to get something better. Ric

Rllink
07-07-2014, 12:44 PM
I would not call that lazy. It takes a while to get familiar with any format. I'm reading that you're looking for an inexpensive amplifier to amplify an 'ukulele. The Luna will do the job. So will a number of small guitar amps. If you have a nearby Guitar Center call them and ask about their lower priced guitar amps. Drive over and try one. If the sound suits you, buy it. Not everyone has the same needs. You may, in the future want to get something better. RicWell, I'm a long way off from buying an electric ukulele or an amp, I'm just thinking about it and looking around. I'm making a list of the different ones that people have suggested, and I'm thinking that someone will get a pared down version at Christmas time.

bborzell
07-07-2014, 01:24 PM
I'm less than certain that I have followed the route that this thread has taken, but two things occur to me with respect to electric ukes (non steel string types) and amps. One is that, if you only have one fairly decent amp in the house, your electric uke will probably sound OK.

On the other hand, some amps will make an electric uke sound way better than others and the factors that bring that point to life aren't necessarily intuitive. Case in point; I have a Genz Benz Shenandoah Acoustic amp, a Polytone bass amp, a Samick Smart 2V practice amp, a Fender Princeton and a Roland Cube 60. My Pono TE chambered solid body sounds fine through all of the amps I have, but it virtually sings on the "Lead Acoustic" setting on the Roland. On this setting, both volume and tone across strings is perfectly balanced.

The same is true with my Pono and MP tenors with a bridge pickup attached. For some reason, a solid state modeled acoustic setting designed to make an electric guitar sound acoustic turns out to be a better choice than even a dedicated acoustic amp (the Genz Benz). OTOH, the Genz Benz sounds ideally suited to any of my acoustic guitars and mandolins. Go figure.

If you can find a used Cube 60 (and can live with the weight), you will likely end up with a very acceptable sound from your electric uke. I have not had much experience with the portable Rolands.

bnolsen
07-07-2014, 01:40 PM
I have a genz benz contour 500-115t combo amp (bass amp). One really good thing about this amp, which I think extends to most of the genz benz amps, is that they can be set up to add no color whatsoever to the instrument being amplified.

Kekani
07-08-2014, 09:51 AM
Too bad Genz is no more.

CT Rick
07-09-2014, 11:05 AM
There is a great luthier named Jim Hellar making steel string and Nylon string ukes the company is called Monkey wrench music you can google it. I have on with dual pickups, solid body and steel strings, tuned in low g

iamesperambient
07-09-2014, 11:07 AM
There is a great luthier named Jim Hellar making steel string and Nylon string ukes the company is called Monkey wrench music you can google it. I have on with dual pickups, solid body and steel strings, tuned in low g

monkey wrench is pretty well known on this forum.
their very amazing quality electric ukes if one can afford them.
I also recommend blue star guitar company who also makes
great electric ukes and custom electrics for a little bit less money.

13down
10-03-2014, 05:24 AM
Bluestar is highly recommended. I have a custom Bluestar uke that I'll put up pictures of soon. In any case, they are a great value and highly underrated.

pritch
10-03-2014, 01:01 PM
Although I'm a long way off wanting to amplify the sounds I'm making, I had noticed the existence of electric ukuleles but was completely in the dark about the details. This thread has answered all my questions, and some I hadn't thought of.

It also seems my Roland Cube could do a turn, which would leave more money to spend on the ukulele whenever.
Thanks all for the help. Now it would seem time to read the stickies...