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Thread: What More Can I do With an Acoustic Electric Ukulele?

  1. #1
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    Default What More Can I do With an Acoustic Electric Ukulele?

    I've been playing ukulele for approximately a year and a half (I have a soprano and a baritone), and have performed with my soprano multiple times, and I have had to use an external mic.

    I would like to get another ukulele, either a concert or tenor. While looking I stumbled upon acoustic electric ukuleles. I was wondering, what is the purpose of an acoustic electric uke? And if it's acoustic electric does that mean it has a pickup? I would be looking for something with a pickup.

    If anyone has brand suggestions, please let me know. The most I would want to spend on it is $200-$250, which I know isn't a lot. Thanks so much.

  2. #2
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    An acoustic electric uke has a pickup ("electric") but it can be played and heard without it ("acoustic"). It has a sound hole; it's not a solid body electric. To find one in your price range, go to http://www.theukulelesite.com and check out Gretsch, Islander, Kala and other brands that don't come to mind right now. (Or go to other sites, of course.)

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    you could maybe attempt the Jimi Hendrix version of "Star Spangled Banner"!

  4. #4
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    No brand suggestions, sorry. But if I were going for a uke with a pickup, I'd go acoustic/electric, as opposed to solid body. As a previous poster said, you can hear an acoustic/electric uke, say, while playing unamplified in a room. To me the point is to get as close to the best of both worlds as you can. I.e. the unplugged acoustic sound you're used to hearing when you play, and the amplified (and/or changed by digital effects) sound of an electric uke. I'd take that over a solid body, because a solid body electric can't be heard well unless amplified in some way.

    When looking at these ukes, get an active pickup if possible. That way the sound may be fuller than the sometimes tinny passive ones. Youtube and particularly other musicians if you know some, can be very helpful. Think guitar and mandolin players to name a few.

  5. #5
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    I use an Ovation Applause UAE20 with either an LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI or a Behringer ADI21:


  6. #6
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    All of my ukes are active preamp acoustic/electric, I've even swapped out and added the electronics myself. Look at my list below. They also have tuners built into the panel on the side, one less thing to carry around.

    I wouldn't have anything else because I want to play acoustic, but still have the ability to plug into an amp. I have a Crate Limo 50 watt battery powered amp with mic and line (guitar) inputs and effects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricdoug View Post

    Ricdoug - I love the pic. Looks like you have all the bases covered for a day at the beach!

  8. #8
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    Very helpful, thank you. I have lots of musician friends and some who work on soundboards, so I'll be asking them.
    I appreciate your help.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddijs View Post
    I've been playing ukulele for approximately a year and a half (I have a soprano and a baritone), and have performed with my soprano multiple times, and I have had to use an external mic.

    I would like to get another ukulele, either a concert or tenor. While looking I stumbled upon acoustic electric ukuleles. I was wondering, what is the purpose of an acoustic electric uke? And if it's acoustic electric does that mean it has a pickup? I would be looking for something with a pickup.

    If anyone has brand suggestions, please let me know. The most I would want to spend on it is $200-$250, which I know isn't a lot. Thanks so much.
    an acoustic electric is an acoustic uke with a passive pick up under saddle
    it allows the player to run though an amp or pa for love gigs
    or recording and you can add subtle effects
    an electric ukulele such as risa or konablaster
    is a solid body uke with steel strings which is really only
    meant to plug in and has more sustain and you
    can perform more rock style stuff with them. than there is eleuke
    and Teton style solid body nylon string electrics which do the same
    as the solid steel string but retains more of the
    true sound. I recommend the epiphone les paul acoustic electric
    concert uke it's the best affordable solid built acoustic electric
    you will find.
    Current Ukes:
    Makala Shark Soprano (high g)
    Vorson Steel String Solid Body Electric Tenor (low g)

    Electric Guitar/Electric Ukulele Based drone ambient music
    http://iamesper.bandcamp.com

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