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Thread: Practice amps which can be performance amps at a very small venue

  1. #1
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    Default Practice amps which can be performance amps at a very small venue

    I am thinking about maybe in a month or two getting a practice amp but one of sufficient wattage to use in future (maybe a year) in a circumstance where somebody says "There's a band on at the [very small] pub next Thursday, let's arrange to feed their ego with you 'opening' for them with a couple of tunes". (Pub bands where I am from never have an 'opening' act.)

    I seek advice on amps which for quite some time will be totally for practice. Firstly let's be general. I see that a guitar amp would probably be most useful so let's consider the wider categories of bass, electric, acoustic, vocal and general public address amps with each of these categories being a combined amp and speaker.
    25 watts would be sufficient both as a practice amp and also to eventually stumble into very low level performance in a small venue.

    Are there any amps (that is combined amp and speaker) which are reasonable for multi-purpose requirements? I.e. is there one amp that would be able to cope with concurrent ukulele playing, singing and maybe acoustic guitar or maybe any two or one at a time of those three?

    Are bass amps solely for bass guitars / bass ukuleles?

    Are electric guitar amps solely for electric guitars or can they be used for acoustic guitars / ukuleles, singing and public address?

    Are acoustic guitar amps solely for acoustic instruments or can they be used for electric guitars / electric ukuleles, singing and public address?

    Are vocal amps solely for singing vocals or can they be used for public address and some instruments?

    Are public address amps any use for any other purpose?

    I seek a practice amp for acoustic ukulele but one which could eventually be used at a very small venue for music / vocal performance or other purposes. Since I make no claim whatsoever that I will ever be able to perform, the fundamental of this is that the need is for a practice amp for acoustic ukulele.
    Last edited by _Ukeless_; 11-06-2018 at 04:48 AM.
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  2. #2
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    I'd suggest you just look at 'practice' amps as the guitarists call them, something like my Roland Micro Cube, which comes with built in effects, & is quite usable on electro acoustic, solid body, or steel string.

    (If you want to sing as well as play, just get the one with a mic socket as well.)
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  3. #3
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    No offense intended but there is a big thread going on right now about the same topic. Read that for all the info you need and or use the search function. There have been many threads on the same topic and you will find a wealth of information.

    One that was recommended and will do as you ask is the Roland mobile AC..you NEED an acoustic amp. for decent sound from an acoustic instrument
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

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    Hey Ukeless, this may or may not be very helpful, but one option to consider-- in the context of you doing a few tunes as the "opener" for the headlining act-- would be to reach out to the establishment's manager a few weeks in advance of the gig, see if he or she can put you in touch with one of the headlining band's members, and ask if they'd be gracious enough to "run sound" for you, utilizing their own system. It could be as straightforward as one of them agreeing to be on hand to mic up your uke and separately mic up your voice. That way, all you'd have to do is show up with your uke, and let 'er rip !! And you'd have an experienced person on hand, getting your volumes and your uke/voice balance to comfortable levels in real time, which is much nicer than having to mess with all that yourself. I'm betting that most headlining bands would be glad to give you an assist in that fashion. And as to "micing up" that uke instead of "plugging in", I used to be skeptical about that, but if you look at a guy like "Ukulele Uff" (Chris Hough), it's clear that micing up can indeed be done effectively.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    No offense intended but there is a big thread going on right now about the same topic. Read that for all the info you need and or use the search function. There have been many threads on the same topic and you will find a wealth of information.

    One that was recommended and will do as you ask is the Roland mobile AC..you NEED an acoustic amp. for decent sound from an acoustic instrument
    Quite, can moderators please put the contents of this thread in here https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...all-Amplifiers such that my specific points merge into that thread which covers some of the ground of my question. Then delete this thread.
    Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain Fan & Carlisle United Fan
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  6. #6
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    Although some may slag the little Roland Microcube, it is a fun little amp for home use, uke or guitar, but it also has a line out, which you can plug into a PA, which sounds great. I once did a gig that way on electric guitar, and got a few kudos on the sound. You can also use it with headphones, and hook up an external music source, for jamming along.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Sheehan View Post
    Hey Ukeless, this may or may not be very helpful, but one option to consider-- in the context of you doing a few tunes as the "opener" for the headlining act-- would be to reach out to the establishment's manager a few weeks in advance of the gig, see if he or she can put you in touch with one of the headlining band's members, and ask if they'd be gracious enough to "run sound" for you, utilizing their own system. It could be as straightforward as one of them agreeing to be on hand to mic up your uke and separately mic up your voice. That way, all you'd have to do is show up with your uke, and let 'er rip !! And you'd have an experienced person on hand, getting your volumes and your uke/voice balance to comfortable levels in real time, which is much nicer than having to mess with all that yourself. I'm betting that most headlining bands would be glad to give you an assist in that fashion. And as to "micing up" that uke instead of "plugging in", I used to be skeptical about that, but if you look at a guy like "Ukulele Uff" (Chris Hough), it's clear that micing up can indeed be done effectively.
    Bill’s suggestion is really an excellent one as if you really don’t need an amp but are going to play at venues that have sound systems, they should be able to plug you in via a DI box to the venues system or that of the headliners. If you want some more control I suggest you consider getting your own preamp/DI Box such as the LR Baggs ParaDI, especially if your pickup is passive. Not too expensive (especially if you can find a 2nd hand one) and you can adjust your sound for the venue you are playing in. I have Baggs pre-amps before all my amps. They do a wonderful job of sweetening your sound and preventing feedback and ground loops.
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  8. #8
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    I like my Boss Acoustic Singer Live 60 amp. But a noisy pub environment may be too much for it to overcome. They also have a pro version that is 120 amp that might be just right. These are aimed at the singer for the effects offered such as harmony and chorus, though there are several for the acoustic instrument: reverb, chorus, acoustic sound. A looper.

    Boss is the sister company of Roland. Roland amps are aimed more at playing acoustic instruments. Boss more at the singer/acoustic instrument interaction. But both have great reputations for rugged, well made amplifiers. With speakers.

  9. #9
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    I purchased a Boss Katana 50 to use with my SG electric guitar. It just happens to have a setting for an acoustic instrument. With my Para DI in front of it I am quite pleased with the tone and adjustability.
    It also has 5, 25 and 50 watt settings. At 5 watts I am able to get away with playing it in a bedroom. Havenít tried it at 50, I am afraid the neighbors would object. It may be a bit of overkill but fills the bill for my needs.
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