Solid Risa ukulele, mini-amp and some accessories

ropedy

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I bought my first uke about 8 months ago. I believe it is Staggs U10 Soprano, the one with frog desing. Basically I just went to store to get their cheapest uke to try out if I like playing. Well I did and now I'd like to get new ukulele. I have been wanting to try out electric ukulele and now I have pretty much fell in love with Risa's solid "stick" ukes. I have some questions about the matter.

Soprano or concert?
http://ukulele.de/shop/product_info...dolin-.html&XTCsid=fr2pitsr4lp4vss23bl3h3iu20
http://ukulele.de/shop/product_info...oncert.html&XTCsid=fr2pitsr4lp4vss23bl3h3iu20
Is there any differences excluding that concert-one has one fret more and soprano looks much cuter? :3
I think concert would be better for me since to price is not problem(I signed working contract for a summer job today).

I would also like to have some mini-amp. Honeytone amp looked pretty much fine but I wonder if there is any good alternatives?
http://ukulele.de/shop/product_info...eytone.html&XTCsid=fr2pitsr4lp4vss23bl3h3iu20

What else should I get? Frog-uke was only thing I have bought. At least I'd like to get tuner. What about wire to connect uke and amp. Is it usually included to uke?

Where should I shop?
These:
http://stores.shop.ebay.co.uk/Southern-Ukulele-Store
http://www.ukulele.de/menu/
were pretty much only stores selling Risa ukes I foung by quick googling. ukulele.de seems to have more diverse but more expensive choice. Is there any more online stores I could thing of. I'm from Finland so European shop would be the best but of course not necessary.
 

SailQwest

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I've had a Risa soprano stick for about a year and I love it! It's my most-played uke (although it's not my gigging uke).

I always have my Risa handy and it takes a lot of abuse. I rarely put it in it's case. I pile stuff on top of it. I leave it lying in the sun, and it even gets an occasional light rain shower. I shove it in my backpack to take along whenever I leave the boat. And I plan to use it as a weapon in the event of a zombie attack. :D

Soprano vs Concert: I got a soprano because it was the smallest and I wanted a "backpack" uke. If you're used to a soprano, definitely go with a soprano. Otherwise, it's a toss-up. But the small size makes the soprano soooo handy.

Honeytone Mini-Amp: My Risa came with one and it is a sweet little amp. Nice volume and tone, plus controls for both. The Risa does not come with an amp cable, but any music store will have them and they are fairly inexpensive.

But the mini-amp I keep handy and carry in the Risa's gig bag is one called an AmpUPlugNPlay, that UU member Kissing recommended. It is TINY (fits in the Risa's gig bag), and does not need a separate cable, unlike most amps. It does not have a volume control, but it's loud enough to make the Risa's volume comparable to my acoustic ukes. In addition, it has a gain switch if you really want to wail with it. And it has an MP3 input so you can play along with your iPod, and headphone jack so you can play very quietly.

Tuner: I think a good clip-on tuner is a necessity. A well-tuned instrument is a pleasure to play and to listen to. (delete mini-rant about "ear tuning")

Where to buy: I have heard good things about both, but keep in mind that ukulele.de is the Risa company, while Southern Ukulele is a dealer.
 

kissing

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I'm a huge fan of Risa's electric ukuleles.
I have their Les Paul electric tenor (steel strings, humbucking pickups), and it's a real beauty.

I also think highly of their Uke-solids. They are one of the most playable ukes I've ever played. Perfectly smooth action (string height) and intonation.
I used to have a Soprano - it's the perfect portable electric uke.... except for the friction tuners. So I ended up selling it to buy an Eleuke, purely because Eleukes have geared tuners.
It was a bit of a pity though, because I felt that the RISA sticks have better playability and build-quality overall.

But you have made seriously good timing! I emailed Rigk (owner of RISA) not long ago about the possibility of adding geared tuners to Uke-sticks, just like how Flukes and Fleas can have pegheads. It just so happened that he has already been working on that.
He hasn't officially made the changes on the website, but I was able to order a new Concert Uke-stick with geared tuners (should arrive in 1-2 weeks). All you have to do is order one (from ukulele.de), and leave a note in your order form to send you the Geared Tuners model. You can email him about it to confirm too if you would like. At the moment, only the Concerts seem to be available with geared tuners. They are likely to produce Sopranos and Tenors with geared tuners later in the year I've been told.

I *just* made a topic about the geared tuners too actually. There's a photo of it too:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/f...16-Awaiting-RISA-Uke-solid-with-GEARED-tuners!

The main difference between Soprano, Concert and Tenor sizes are the scale length and appearances. The electronic hardware are the same, though I think the scale length and tension of the strings may affect the sound a bit.


As for mini-amps. Nothing beats the Amp-u-plug-n-play when it comes to portability.
But slightly bigger mini-amps, like the Honeytone provided at ukulele.de would probably give you a louder possible sound and more versatility to change the sound (having tone, gain and volume knobs).
I've had good experience with the Fender Mini Tone Master.
The uke will not come with a cable included. But they are very cheap - just goto your nearest music store and ask for an electric guitar cable. They are plentiful and inexpensive. One will last you a long time.

If you want a more "permanent" amp, consider saving up for a Roland Microcube. They are so packed with features! So many different sounds and effects.
And they are still rather compact and portable. I take my Microcube to play worship songs for the Christian club at uni.
 
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ropedy

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Thanks for nice advices. I don't really mind fricition tuners. To be honest I'd had never even thought about the tuners if you wouldn't had brought it up. I think my ears are just corrupted by ear tuning. :p

I think I'll go with RISA Uke-Solid-Soprano along with Honeytone amp from ukulele.de. I just noticed that there is also change to add cable for the amp for 3 euros so I don't need to bother people at local music store with my presence. :)

Now I'm just wondering if I should add strap to my order. I'd like to have one but I'm not sure if the uke comes with strap. The gigbags strap looks a bit like it would be attachable to the uke but I can't really be sure.
 

SailQwest

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Now I'm just wondering if I should add strap to my order. I'd like to have one but I'm not sure if the uke comes with strap. The gigbags strap looks a bit like it would be attachable to the uke but I can't really be sure.

The gig bag strap is detachable so you can use it on the uke. In fact, I leave mine on the uke, instead of the bag. :D
 

kissing

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I keep the strap on the uke, and use another generic strap for the bag :)

I don't really mind fricition tuners.

Lol, for me geared tuners are so much worth it. So much that I would voice my concern one more timeto reconsider getting the geared tuners :)
The Concert uke stick is only like 2cm longer than the Soprano anyway.

(and not to be confused with electronic-tuners, did you end up getting one? It's definitely recommended :D )
 
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ropedy

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Yeah.. I'm planning to get electronic tuner too. Now I'm just waiting for my first payday. :)