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Thread: Small Amplifiers

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    If I didn't have several plug-in ukes, I wouldn't even be considering this. A friend is going to let me try one of her amps tomorrow, and I'll decide after doing that.
    You love your ukuleles Jerry, don't cheat them by plugging into some $30 amp. Your electronics are subject to the lowest common denominator. You can have the best pickup on your best sounding uke, and if you plug it into a cheap amp it comes out sounding cheap. Bite the bullet. It doesn't cost that much more to get a real amp that sounds half way decent. If you were buying another ukulele you wouldn't bat an eye. I'm a Vox Mini fan, by the way, if you want a battery powered amp. Might as well mention it while I'm here.
    Last edited by Rllink; 11-06-2018 at 04:01 AM.
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  2. #42
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    Is it possible to use an electric guitar amp (combined amp and speaker) as an acoustic ukulele amp (combined amp and speaker)? There are a lot more 25 watt electric guitar amps than acoustic ones, i.e. on the periphery of practice amp and small gig amp. Is it possible to just plug a microphone into it and play a ukulele into it? Does this need some extra interface bit of kit? Or does it not work at all?
    Last edited by _Ukeless_; 11-06-2018 at 08:03 PM.
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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Ukeless_ View Post
    Is it possible to use an electric guitar amp (combined amp and speaker) as an acoustic ukulele amp (combined amp and speaker)? There are a lot more 25 watt electric guitar amps than acoustic ones, i.e. on the periphery of practice amp and small gig amp. Is it possible to just plug a microphone into it and play a ukulele into it? Does this need some extra interface bit of kit? Or does it not work at all?
    Yes, you can use those kind of amps. I know people say that electric is not for acoustic, but I defy anyone to do a side by side test with their eyes closed and be able to tell the difference. That's why there are tone controls on amps, to set them to what you like.

    If the amp has a three prong XLR connector, you can plug in a mic, but even a 1/4" standard plug could work. I'm not a stickler for great/perfect sound, if it amplifies and I can adjust it, that's good for me.


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  4. #44
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    You can use electric guitar amps. For myself, I stay away from new Fender amps. Something to remember is if you are using a passive pickup, to ensure the amp has a pre amp or you'll need to buy a preamp to go with it. I use a LRBaggs 5.0 and K&K mini.

    I also like to ensure it'll be able to use battery power. I have the Yamaha THR5 and Phil Jones bass amp. Both are capable of battery power. I use a computer battery suggested by Kohanmike. It lasts for hours and save having to look for an outlet and carrying extra cords to plug it in. For the occasional times when I play an electric guitar, I have an early '90's Vox Valvatronic.

  5. #45
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    It really depends on your checklist: battery powered or not, if so rechargeable battery or not, phantom powered or not, weight and power...

    Your question about amps for electric instruments versus acoustic amps touches on that as well. The former accentuate the mid frequencies and usually down on the lows and highs, and also often have a lower saturation point at which the sound 'breaks up' or 'bites' - which is exactly what you hear in electric guitars. There's also a difference between transistor and tube amps for electric instruments, but at this size and budget you'll only find transistor ones. Bass amps, acoustic amps and keyboard amps are usually more neutral and natural sounding.

    You can't say that one is better than the other. If you want to have a more electric, prominent sound that cuts through a mix, or use effect pedals, electric amps are the way to go. But if you're looking for a natural but bigger ukulele sound, do look for a small and cheap acoustic amp. There is a big difference in how they work.

  6. #46
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    If you want it to sound like a ukulele... you need a very clean "clean channel".
    If you want it to sound like something else, then you use a channel/effect that sounds like something else.

    Most electric amps don't do a good clean channel.

    Some people suggest a bass amp to have less effects sound to it.
    Some people use a PA speaker.

    Different strokes for different folks. There's no right or wrong to it, but you will get a different sound by using different amps.

    If you're looking to sound like a uke, but louder though.. that's a narrower selection.

  7. #47
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    I’ve noticed that a lot of “acoustic” amps usually have two channels. One for a 1/4” input from your instruments pickup and another for a mic to amplify the singer. Examples of top of the range (before you get into custom hand wired builds) are brands like AER and Henriksen. These do a fantastic job but are expensive.

    ZT amps do a great Lunchbox sized acoustic amp for less than half of what those brands cost. If you want quality you have to pay for it. But as someone already said, the little Yamaha THR5A practice amp is a good starting point for $199 and sounds good. A particularly nice thing about this amp IMO is that it models different types of microphones and has some basic effects (Reverb, compression, chorus, etc). I really wouldn’t bother getting an amp unless it was at least the quality of the Yamaha.

    P.S. forgot to mention that the Yamaha also has a USB out so you can plug it into your computer or any device that runs programmes like Garage Band.
    Last edited by hollisdwyer; 11-08-2018 at 01:50 AM.
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  8. #48
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    Behringer makes a 15-watt acoustic amp with an input for an instrument and a separate input for a mic (as described above by Hollis). It doesn't have any effects, and it appears that both inputs "share" the bass/middle/treble knobs, which may not be the ideal situation, but it does seem to get very favorable reviews for a "coffeehouse" type of amp, and it's priced around $99.99... Also, the folks at Acoustic make a similar amp, same price, and it has a chorus effect (which may only apply to the instrument, not the mic).
    Last edited by Bill Sheehan; 11-11-2018 at 04:28 PM.

  9. #49
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    I was looking for a solution, and ended up buying a multi-purpose speaker, a Monster 4, at Sams Club for $179. I was looking for a portable amplifier with rechargeable batteries; this speaker has a guitar input, as well as Bluetooth, Radio, and a lousy microphone. I needed a solution for my very cheap Sam Ash bass ukulele, which I am now bringing to local jams when I get a chance...it challenges me, and provides a foundation for the group.

    http://mymonsteraudio.com/rr4.html
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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    I was looking for a solution, and ended up buying a multi-purpose speaker, a Monster 4, at Sams Club for $179. I was looking for a portable amplifier with rechargeable batteries; this speaker has a guitar input, as well as Bluetooth, Radio, and a lousy microphone. I needed a solution for my very cheap Sam Ash bass ukulele, which I am now bringing to local jams when I get a chance...it challenges me, and provides a foundation for the group.

    http://mymonsteraudio.com/rr4.html
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