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Thread: Soundsmith electric uke no longer playing through an amplifier

  1. #1
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    Default Soundsmith electric uke no longer playing through an amplifier

    Hi guys - I have a soundsmith electric ukulele. When I first got it I bought a $25 honey tone amp to try. It was a cheap little amp and I ended up returning it immediately. However the SoundSmith did play through that amp. Now I have a fender bass amp and when I plug the SoundSmith in no sound comes from the speaker. If I have the amp already turned on when I plug the cable into the uke, you don't get any noise or feedback (I only did that to see if it would make a noise).

    EDIT: No preamp. Just a passive pickup (sorry - my original post was cut short). I have unplugged and plugged the cable back in. This is a new Fender rumble amp, it's plugged in and my ubass sounds great through it - using the same cable.
    Last edited by lakeside339; 10-24-2020 at 12:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    If the ukulele has an active preamp onboard, check the battery. If it's totally dead, the active preamp in the instrument won't function and you'll get no sound.

    Otherwise, loose jacks are a common problem. Sometimes the contacts in the jack will get bent or worn and won't connect with the cable tip. Other times the nut holding the jack on will come loose and the jack itself will rotate or spin in it's mounting hole, which can cause wires to break off or short.

  3. #3
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    If your preamp has a tuner built in, be sure it's turned off, when it's on, it cuts off the output. Also, when a cable is plugged into the jack on the uke, it turns on the preamp and the battery dies very quickly, don't keep the cable plugged in when you're not playing.


    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

  4. #4
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    EDIT: No preamp. Just a passive pickup

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohanmike View Post
    If your preamp has a tuner built in, be sure it's turned off, when it's on, it cuts off the output. Also, when a cable is plugged into the jack on the uke, it turns on the preamp and the battery dies very quickly, don't keep the cable plugged in when you're not playing.


    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
    No preamp - just a passive pickup

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwizum View Post
    ...Otherwise, loose jacks are a common problem. Sometimes the contacts in the jack will get bent or worn and won't connect with the cable tip. Other times the nut holding the jack on will come loose and the jack itself will rotate or spin in it's mounting hole, which can cause wires to break off or short.
    Did you try unplugging and re-plugging the cable? As dwizum wrote, a cable that is not fully plugged in can cause problems.

    Have you tried a different cable?

    Have you tried a third amp?

    Does your amp use batteries? If so, have you tried changing batteries?

    Have you tried other instruments plugged into the amp?

    I once purchased an electric instrument that didn't work, and wrote to the instrument maker. They told me to remove the preamp, check to see if the plug for the pickup had come unplugged from the preamp, and to reassemble everything. They were right, the connection had jostled loose during shipping. I understand that you are not dealing with a preamp, but it is possible that your pickup has become disconnected from the jack, or that your pickup has become detached somehow. Small mirrors exist that allow you to peek inside your instrument in order to look for this sort of thing.

    In order to help you remotely we have to suggest possibilities, which you can try out and discard. My suggestion is that trying the amp with a different cable and different instrument can point to the amp (or rule out the amp) as the problem. Trying your ukulele with a different cable and a different amp can point to the 'ukulele (or rule out the 'ukulele) as the problem. Once you have a better idea of where the problem is you'll find it easier to solve the problem.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futurethink View Post
    Did you try unplugging and re-plugging the cable? As dwizum wrote, a cable that is not fully plugged in can cause problems.

    Have you tried a different cable?

    Have you tried a third amp?

    Does your amp use batteries? If so, have you tried changing batteries?

    Have you tried other instruments plugged into the amp?

    I once purchased an electric instrument that didn't work, and wrote to the instrument maker. They told me to remove the preamp, check to see if the plug for the pickup had come unplugged from the preamp, and to reassemble everything. They were right, the connection had jostled loose during shipping. I understand that you are not dealing with a preamp, but it is possible that your pickup has become disconnected from the jack, or that your pickup has become detached somehow. Small mirrors exist that allow you to peek inside your instrument in order to look for this sort of thing.

    In order to help you remotely we have to suggest possibilities, which you can try out and discard. My suggestion is that trying the amp with a different cable and different instrument can point to the amp (or rule out the amp) as the problem. Trying your ukulele with a different cable and a different amp can point to the 'ukulele (or rule out the 'ukulele) as the problem. Once you have a better idea of where the problem is you'll find it easier to solve the problem.
    I had already done all these things - except look in with a mirror, though the pickup becoming loose was one possibility in my head. I'll check it out (I have dental mirrors)

  8. #8
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    Great. Did your tests lead you to conclude that the problem is with the amp, or with the 'ukulele, or with the cable?

  9. #9
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    Default Cripes

    Well hell's bells! I just got an irig acoustic studio. I hooked that up to my guitar tonight and into the amp - no sound!! Same cable that ubass still works with (no problem). Seems unlikely that electric uke AND irig microphone are both broken (though not impossible). I think I will take everything to Guitar Center (from whom I bought the amp) in the next few days to get some help. (before they go into bankruptcy and close).

    thanks for the input everyone.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futurethink View Post
    Great. Did your tests lead you to conclude that the problem is with the amp, or with the 'ukulele, or with the cable?
    As far as I can tell, not problem with amp or cable, so no idea. See my new post 'reply' (above) tonight
    Last edited by lakeside339; 10-24-2020 at 04:58 PM.

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