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Thread: Question on amplifying acoustic ukes.

  1. #1

    Default Question on amplifying acoustic ukes.

    Hello all,

    Iíve been wondering about acoustic-electric ukes? Iím leaning towards getting a better acoustic Uke and putting an attachable pickup on it. I have a few acoustic guitars and I have a Little Gem so I was thinking multiple application. The question is I really have no idea where to start.

    Any help will be appreciated.

    Thanx. Rp.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.


    This subject has been addressed multiple times in the recent pass. Try doing a search here for pickups.

    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 10 solid body bass ukes, 13 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 37)

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019


    Yes, buku threads on this topic but the more the merrier. I suppose using an attachable pickup comes down to how picky you are about sound and your playing style. I tried many attachable pickups over the years and found them to be barely useable for me. Sound quality was on the poor side through my Trace Acoustic and Genz Benz amps, but the over sensitivity to touches and bumps on body of the instrument is what made attachable pickups totally unbearable: the slightest brush or bump was amplified as a thundering thud! The last two I tried were the KNA UK-1 (attaches to bridge) and KNA AP-1 (stick-on). My advice is to have an under saddle piezo installed and you can dance and swing the darn thing without fear of thundering thuds. I like the sound of the Baggs Five-O in my Tiny Tenor.

  4. #4


    Thanx gochugogi, I’ve looked through a number of the threads and most talk about the type of pickup or the use of a straight mike. I was looking for a clip on and didn’t think of the surface noise. Maybe I’ll just put my money in a better acoustic Uke and get an extra mike.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2019


    Look at the reviews of the iRig clip on mike.

    I have a Kala acoustic tenor with inbuilt pickup and preamp and it sounds pretty good through my 100W Fender amp which is not one designed for acoustic instruments.

    I feed the amp through a pedal board and it is here I set patches to make the uke sound as good as it can, the amp is run on clean settings, pedal board is a Zoom G1X Four $99.

    I also use a small 8W practice amp and again it sounds good through the Boss Katana Mini amp $99.
    From the UK with a bad case of MIAS.
    Korg PA700, Korg Kross 2, Gibson LP, Fender Jazz Bass,
    + Amps, PA, Boss GT100, mixer.
    Ukes - Kala KA-TEME and Risa ST electric solid body.
    Uke wish list, a Bass, make and model yet to be determined

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Redmond, WA


    Quote Originally Posted by Col50 View Post
    Look at the reviews of the iRig clip on mike.
    If you mean the iRig Acoustic HD then it probably won't work on the Little Gem rps mentioned since there's no soundhole to attach it to. I can't use mine on the Outdoor Tenor because the soundhole reinforcement is too thick for the clip.

    With the iRig I get an unpleasant amount of noise (as gochugogi reports with other pickups) when listening directly from the iRig to an amp, but it's quite usable when recording. I expect that one of the default settings I'm using in Garage Band filters out the nasty frequencies and the same could be done more deliberately through a pedal.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA


    Look at the Deering Goodtime banjo ukes. There is a version that comes with a passive piezo pickup that has a pad that attaches to the underside of the head. I don't remember the brand or model. That's the only banjolele I have seen with a pickup.

    I'd go the mike route. Especially if you have a number of acoustic instruments you want to amplify without installing pickups in all of them.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you donít begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    óLou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Grand Rapids, MI


    Nothing like the sound of a JCM 900....
    Concert: Lanikai LU-21C (Southcoast MU)
    Soprano: Kala KA-PWS (Southcoast Machete)
    Baritone "Rennaissance Guitar": Kala KA-SBG (C-Linear with Worth BL-LGs currently.)
    Tenor: Kala ATP-CTG (Southcoast LMU-NW
    Tenor "Low G': Kala KA-FMTG (Southcoast LML-NW
    Tenor: Kala SRT-CTG-E (Southcoast LMU-NW
    Baritone "Nui": Pono NS-10 (Worth B-B)

  9. #9


    Kenn2018, I think you are right with going with just a mike. While we have an amp for the plug in ukes ( all come with the pickup built in ) at our uke circle, I have noticed that I am leaning more toward the better acoustic ukes which just use the mike. A long time ago a friend of mine gave me some advice on how to buy a stereo set. He said take the price and divide it by the number of pieces the set came with and that would indicate the value of each unit.....he said what you really want is a very good receiver and great speakers....pass on the other stuff until you can afford it. Im thinking the equivalent in a uke sense is buy a really good acoustic uke and then think about a pickup if that is what I want.....but I am more and more leaning to mike use.

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