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Thread: Amplifiers (again)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    UK
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    2

    Default Amplifiers (again)

    Hi
    I want to buy my son an amplifier for his ukulele for Christmas.
    He was given an amp some years ago, but when he plugs his ukulele in, the lower notes are very loud and the treble can hardly be heard despite what he does to adjust the bass and treble levels.
    I don't want to just buy him one and have the same happen again. I was hoping someone would be able to give some recommendations. Budget is a consideration.
    Thank you x

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    181

    Default

    Plug into another amp first to see if the problem isn't with the pickup.

    A new amp won't fix a bad pickup.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    4,286

    Default

    If the pickup isn't the problem, the Kustom PA50 is a pretty good acoustic amp at right around a hundred bucks. It is worth looking at. I really like the Fishman Loudboxes, but they are pricey.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Honolulu
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    898

    Default

    You might want to check the string balance on the pickup first. It's likely an under saddle piezo design, and if the saddle doesn't sit right on the piezo strip the balance will be off, mostly commonly the first string (A) will be too soft. I've fixed many and most balance problems were due to the saddle being untrue on the bottom surface and thus not making even contact with the pickup. In such cases I'd cut a new saddle. Sometimes the saddle will bind along the edges of the saddle slot and a few swipes with a file fixed it. I've even found wood chips left in the slot and, once removed. the piezo strip and saddle meshed perfectly and string balance was good. Finally, if it's just the A and E strings cutting out, you could try a thin copper saddle shim or aluminum tape on the saddle beneath those strings. Sometimes that will increase pressure on the piezo enough to fix the balance.

    But, yeah, I'm a sucker for old Trace Acoustic amps like the TA100R or the Roland Acoustic Chorus line.
    Last edited by gochugogi; 10-23-2020 at 10:43 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    UK
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    That is brilliant. Thank you all so much for your time. I've emailed the music shop we got his ukulele from to see if they can do the necessary to sort it out.
    And, if the I ukulele is OK and it is the amp, then I also have an idea of what one to buy him!
    Thank you for your help xx

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
    Posts
    5,231

    Default

    It is absolutely the pickup under the saddle, the white part sitting in the bridge. Take it back to the shop, they should have someone to do fixes. There is no need what-so-ever to replace the amp.


    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 39)

    Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    Member The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
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    Just saw this thread.

    I had exactly the same problem with a Pono tenor I purchased from HMS. I sent an email to Joel, the head of their setup & repair shop. He sent me a quick reply. He suggested that I give the top of the saddle a firm "thump" with the side/heel of my thumb!

    He explained that sometimes with the detuned (looser) strings and the vibration and temperature changes during shipping, the bottom of the saddle can lose the full contact with the piezo pickup. A thump will often reseat it properly.

    Which I did. And it worked perfectly. No further problems with my pickup.

    I sent him an email telling him he was a genius. He did not disagree.
    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 don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

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