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Thread: Do You Plug In and Amplify?

  1. #1
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    Default Do You Plug In and Amplify?

    I have a couple of ukuleles with pickups for amplifiers, but I don't have an amp. I haven't seen a need for one, and my playing isn't so good that I want to make it louder. : )

    Do any of you regularly amplify?
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    I have a couple of ukuleles with pickups for amplifiers, but I don't have an amp. I haven't seen a need for one, and my playing isn't so good that I want to make it louder. : )

    Do any of you regularly amplify?
    With guitars, yes, simply because my (recently sold) thin-line classical guitar has a pickup. I used to record my practice sessions, as listening to those recordings really helps me to improve my playing. With newbie recording skills, it's easier to plug an instrument into my computer (via interface) and record than it is to futz with a microphone, too. I'd do the same with my ukes, but none currently has a pickup.

    When I moved along my guitar gear, I kept one electric guitar and my Roland Cube 30 amp. I hope to either add a pickup or ultimately buy something like the Magic Fluke solid body, but as I have a lap steel guitar being built right now, I'll be putting my energies there for a while. Mike Holland has recommended this Yamaha amp as a practice amp and recording interface, and I expect to add it sometime after I get my lap steel. I've been reading reviews and watching YouTube videos, and it seems like a fantastic option (and a no-brainer). There's an acoustic version, but the amp I linked to has one acoustic model that should be fine for my needs.
    Last edited by twokatmew; 06-09-2018 at 01:35 AM. Reason: fix typo
    Margaret, classical guitarist gone uke crazy

  3. #3
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    I bought an amp when I started playing in the Seasons, because I wasn't playing loud enough for recording, but after a while, I learned how to pick with more volume, enough to get recordings done - then I just started to prefer the acoustic sound/tone more.

    (I haven't really used my amp since getting a pre used electric steel stringed tenor uke & giving it a try out - nor have I plugged in my electro acoustics.)
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Croaky Keith View Post
    I bought an amp when I started playing in the Seasons, because I wasn't playing loud enough for recording, but after a while, I learned how to pick with more volume, enough to get recordings done - then I just started to prefer the acoustic sound/tone more.

    (I haven't really used my amp since getting a pre used electric steel stringed tenor uke & giving it a try out - nor have I plugged in my electro acoustics.)
    If I started recording my playing, I might start selling my collection of ukes. I sound great in a group!
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

  5. #5
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    I've been playing ukulele for just over a year & playing in my church worship band for about 6 months. When I joined the band, I got myself a ukulele with a pick-up. I got a custom Loprinzi with a MiSi pick-up as a Christmas present to myself. I plug into the church sound system & it sounds awesome. I'm competing with an electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and a piano, so my uke just adds some sparkle to the overall sound. On Sundays when the piano guy is out of town, then my uke definitely stands out more. My Gary Gill tenor also has a MiSi pick-up.

    At home I have a Blackstar Fly mini amp. It's a nice little amp (6watt), but I wish now that I'd gotten something bigger. I think my local acoustic guitar shop has a Fishman Loudbox Mini that I might be able to make a deal on????
    Last edited by RafterGirl; 06-09-2018 at 02:02 AM.
    My ukulele family.....
    Islander Acacia laminate soprano
    KoAloha concert - circa 2006
    Loprinzi cedar & rosewood concert
    Gary Gill concert scale tenor, Douglas Fir & Mahogany

  6. #6
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    I have a 75w Blackstar amp and I plug my instrument into it...just for kicks and giggles. I engage in such wankery as playing with a fuzz pedal or with some overdrive. Sometimes I will take my cigar box guitar (4 stringed and tuned to open D7) and play loudly with a ceramic slide and try out different shapes and double-stops with this new tuning. With my tenor guitar (in standard Chicago tuning) I play ukulele stuff, but crunchier. So, yeah, I play around with the amp. The one thing I never do is use a clean channel. If I'm going to play clean, why use electronics?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    I have a couple of ukuleles with pickups for amplifiers, but I don't have an amp. I haven't seen a need for one, and my playing isn't so good that I want to make it louder. : )

    Do any of you regularly amplify?
    No, but I do it sometimes.

    I'm not a performer. No aspirations to stand on a stage. But I have a couple of amps. A 30 Watt Crate from back in the day when an electric violin was commonly played. Also a little CUBE, recently purchased specifically for ukes. Both amps do the same thing.

    And its not uncommon, with the Cube, to plug into the amp, don a pair of headphones, and connect the amp up to a laptop and play along with youtube videos. The Cube has ports and settings that allow the amp to be muted, the sound routed through to the headphones, mixed with the audio from the computer, so it is like playing with a band. I tried it with an older high end Lanikai solid spalted mango uke that had a built in Fishman pre-amp. I bought it despite the electronics because I got a killer deal. Would have preferred a pure acoustic version of the same uke. That said, I liked playing the Lanikai through the larger amp so much that I bought the little CUBE and added K&K pick ups to my Fluke and my Tiny Tenor. No pick up in my aNueNue (yet).

    Sometimes I hook up just to make noise ... but only when my wife is not home

    But mostly I play without a cord. Its nice to have the option.
    Grey beard, tone deaf, rhythm challenged, but my dogs allow me to play for them so that is good enough for me
    aNueNue straight grain mango Custom Maui Mango III
    Lanikai spalted mango Concert TunaUke
    Magic Fluke concert Fluke w/K&K Big Island Spot
    Romero Creations flamed and spalted mango Tiny Tenor w/K&K Aloha Twin

  8. #8
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    I started performing at open mics early on so my ukes started getting pick ups. Most all my tenor and baritone ukes have pick ups and I own two amps, Fishman Loudbox mini and Yamaha THR5. I do enjoy plugging in at home and rocking out, love the sound shaping an amp gives.. One thing I will tell you, practicing while plugged in is very revealing. Every mistake is amplified and evident, I find it very effective in helping me to improve
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  9. #9
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    Before I started playing ukulele I played mostly folk-style guitar for many years and never bothered with amps but then I bought a Les Paul clone and eventually a Godin Multiac Nylon string guitar so I bought some Roland amps and recently the Blackstar Fly 3 because it fits in my suitcase. I don't perform outside the family and I normally don't like playing loud but it is fun to try different effects. I have a looper pedal and a couple of others as well. The looper is the main reason for plugging in for me because it allows me to accompany myself. Also, as mentioned, an amp keeps you honest and helps hone your technique. Ultimately, I think anything that inspires you to play more is worth trying.
    Godin Multiuke (Koa top) linear
    Kanile’a K1-TS linear
    Martin T1K re-entrant
    Ohana PKC-70G linear
    Kala KA-T re-entrant
    Kala KA-B linear low G
    Waterman re-entrant
    Vorson T-style steel string electric uke.

  10. #10
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    I do. I play some venues and I can use an amp and a mixer to balance the ukulele and my voice. I have it all set up in my house so that I can practice on it sometimes. Especially when I'm getting ready for something. One of my ukuleles does not have a pickup. I have a boom off of my mic stand with a second microphone directed toward my ukulele that I was using for that one. At first I thought that ukulele and the setup would just be a back up, but I'm getting some good sound out of it. I'm starting to mic my Mainland that has the MiSi and not plugging it in. I like it better than I thought that I would. But as long as I'm talking about balance, I have a decibel meter app on my tablet and I set it up on the opposite side of the room and it is big enough that I can see it. I can play in a normal manner and adjust the amp where I want it. Then I can sing without playing and adjust that volume accordingly, usually a little louder than my playing. I've experimented with it enough that I can get a very good balance and I don't have to strain so much that way. I don't think that a lot of people think of an amp that way. It isn't just about playing louder, it is about playing and singing in a normal tone.
    Last edited by Rllink; 06-09-2018 at 06:05 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

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