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Thread: Non-banjo loud ukes for busking (resonator, 8-string?)

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveZ View Post
    I've had an OU28T for a long time. It's strung with Aquila NylGuts. As a fun project I installed a tuner/pickup as a convenience, but found I really don't need an amp unless I'm in the middle of a bunch of banjos.

    The OU28T is a soft-sounding instrument, or at least mine is, when only finger-strummed. It's no louder than any of my other full-bodied ukes My 6-string is normally louder. When used with a pick, the OU28T's volume level can change quite a bit, however, that's true with all my ukes, 4-6-8 string alike. I use a pick all the time with all of my stringed instruments and have learned over time how to control volume by selective pick use. The pick can make that much of a difference

    If one is playing indoors, the pick may provide all the amplification one needs. When outside, depending on environment, things may be different. Perhaps playing with a pick with what one currently has in the instrument stable and evaluating the results should be attempted first. Having the ability to"go amp" when the situation leaves no choice is indeed a convenience.
    Oscar Schmidts do seem to be a bit overbuilt and muffled, sounds like the OU28T follows in that pattern. Thanks for the data point! I think I'll focus on reso ukes, maybe find a cheaper used one to play around with before committing to a National. They're pricey, but they do look (and sound) pretty fun...

    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    Seriously I hardly hear my own amp when I busk. If I can hear it then its TOO loud.
    Oh man, do I wish more buskers thought like you, rather than having the Nigel Tufnel approach. I did my undergrad degree in classical voice, where singing over a full orchestra for a few hours is all in a day's work. The amount of people who tell me that they need to crank an amp up to 11 "so people can hear my voice" drives me nuts (along with anyone who has to walk by that amp at full blast).

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
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    641

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    I have never busked with an amp and our Downtown Merchants' Ass. encourage buskers, but amplification is not allowed except for special occasions (Sidewalk sales and festivals and the River Race) and these performers are paid and not really buskers. Regular weekend busking is always acoustic. You might get away with a Pignose if no one complains, but technically it's not allowed.
    One regular busker uses an 8 string uke and does quite well.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Queanbeyan, NSW Australia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsciota View Post

    Oh man, do I wish more buskers thought like you, rather than having the Nigel Tufnel approach. I did my undergrad degree in classical voice, where singing over a full orchestra for a few hours is all in a day's work. The amount of people who tell me that they need to crank an amp up to 11 "so people can hear my voice" drives me nuts (along with anyone who has to walk by that amp at full blast).
    I have been too loud in the past and I find it perfectly understandable why so many play too loud. When you can't hear it yourself your automatic reaction is believe that the audience can't hear it either and to turn up. The problem is the directionality of sound and in fact most amps are designed to be directional as this helps to prevent feedback. Performers struggle to hear their own sound which is travelling away from them and this is easily overwhelmed by environmental noise that is travelling towards them.

    My standard power setting is only half power on a 20 watt amp (Roland AC-33) but recently I'm coming to the conclusion that this is STILL too loud in some settings.
    The somewhat current standard, the Roland Street Cube EX with its 50 watts of power is ridiculously loud even in economy power mode and only half power on the dial.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    329

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    I used to own this one, sounds excellent all the way up the neck, great condition and loud. I traded it in cause my audience were not into resonator playing in the house. I would recommend it highly https://shop.gryphonstrings.com/prod...p-copper-54988
    Last edited by kerneltime; 11-28-2018 at 06:55 PM.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Confluence of the Mississippi and Rum Rivers
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    61

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    Like the looks of the copper National.....how did it sound other than loud??? I was kind of resigned that a National was out of my price range but I really haven't looked at used too much....local store has a Koa wood National reso and too rich for me right now.....I've already spent much of my fun money this month but hey.....December starts in a Day....I will have to think about this one.....
    Last edited by mjh42; 11-30-2018 at 01:43 PM.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    NYC
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    233

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    What about getting a 'tenor' banjo, which is not a tenor uke, but a 4-string 19" scale banjo and putting re-entrant baritone ukulele strings on it?

    It should be loud enough, easier on the fingers than steel strings, and also give you both a ukulele tone via the tuning, as well as enough punch via the nature of a banjo's acoustic properties?

    Aquila has several string sets, like their Nylgut 23U and Lava 117U that are for GCEA re-entrant baritone scale (and a few for banjos too). Maybe you could try those strings and see if it works well enough for you.
    -Joe......Have uke, will travel...

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa/San Juan, Puerto Rico
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    3,292

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Yates View Post
    I have never busked with an amp and our Downtown Merchants' Ass. encourage buskers, but amplification is not allowed except for special occasions (Sidewalk sales and festivals and the River Race) and these performers are paid and not really buskers. Regular weekend busking is always acoustic. You might get away with a Pignose if no one complains, but technically it's not allowed.
    One regular busker uses an 8 string uke and does quite well.
    I've tried it with a battery powered amp, A vox mini five, but I have to walk a ways with it, and when I get done I usually go to the bar or to the coffee shop, or out to eat, or something. I don't go straight home. So an amp is just one more thing to drag along. But if it is feasible, I will use one. We have a street festival and I live right on that street. I always set one up for that because all I have to do is go outside the gate or our condominium. There is so much going on during the festival that it is pretty hard to be heard without one, and I don't think just that just a louder instrument is the answer in that environment.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

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