First electric uke and I'm clueless

boojiboo

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I am unexpectedly coming into possession of an A/E uke (a Flight Leia CE, if it matters). I've never owned an electric instrument before and I am absolutely lost as to what I should look for in an amp. My budget is very low and I don't expect to play it anywhere that I'll really need amplification, but I'd like to at least be able to test it when it arrives and make sure everything's working properly. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 
Hi there. When you say A/E do you mean as electro acoustic, as in it can be played acoustically? You want to get an amp just to see the electric side of things works? I have a nifty little Roland Cube 10 but that’s not just for “testing” if you see what I mean. For a little amp it’s quite pokey, and it has a few nice built in effects. There are littler amps of course, some that even plug direct into your instrument. So while, as a user, I can recommend the Roland, I’m sure there will be others who know of still smaller amps.
 
Take it to your local Guitar Center, and ask to try out a few low-priced amps. Set the bass to the middle, the mids off, and just open the treble a bit (almost off) then advance the treble (and mid) to your liking. The salesperson will think you're an expert.

You are not obligated to buy, as at this point you are just shopping around.

Leave your credit card in the car ;) Then, go on Craigslist to see what you can find within your budget.
 
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Thank you all for your replies. I did mean that it's electro-acoustic (I had seen it abbreviated at a/e, but please correct me if that is the wrong way to abbreviate it). I am not nearly at a stage in playing where I would be performing, so anything I got would be strictly for me to test the uke, then mess around with and learn. Budget-wise, as inexpensive as possible...I recognize that you get what you pay for, but since this is just to play with, I really can't justify anything too wild.
 
There are those little Vox plug in amps you can get. Not sure about the US but on this side of the pond they retail at about £38. As for A/E, or E/A? Abbreviate it any which way you want 👍
 
Take it to your local Guitar Center, and ask to try out a few low-priced amps. Set the bass to the middle, the mids off, and just open the treble a bit (almost off) then advance the treble to your liking. The salesperson will think you're an expert.

You are not obligated to buy, as at this point you are just shopping around.

Leave your credit card in the car ;) Then, go on Craigslist to see what you can find within your budget.
Ha, thanks for the good advice! We do have a Guitar Center not far from here.
 
There are those little Vox plug in amps you can get. Not sure about the US but on this side of the pond they retail at about £38. As for A/E, or E/A? Abbreviate it any which way you want 👍
Thank you for the advice, and the reassurance! If there was a standard way to abbreviate, I wanted to use it...no point in asking questions if I can't be understood, lol.
 
The Flight Leia CE is battery-operated so it has a built-in preamp. With that, you can plug straight into any small electric guitar amp or mixer board. Don't bother with the distortion and modeling "features" at this stage, unless... now keep it clean. Hah!
 
The Flight Leia CE is battery-operated so it has a built-in preamp. With that, you can plug straight into any small electric guitar amp or mixer board. Don't bother with the distortion and modeling "features" at this stage, unless... now keep it clean. Hah!
Yeah, I don't intend to get too crazy!
 
I am unexpectedly coming into possession of an A/E uke (a Flight Leia CE, if it matters). I've never owned an electric instrument before and I am absolutely lost as to what I should look for in an amp. My budget is very low and I don't expect to play it anywhere that I'll really need amplification, but I'd like to at least be able to test it when it arrives and make sure everything's working properly. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Take the new uke into any music shop that has amps, and ask to try one.
 
Take the new uke into any music shop that has amps, and ask to try one.
Thanks! I had about that. The local music store is...well, the level of friendliness is very dependent on who's working that day. So I might be able to do that, depending.
 
Another recommendation that you look on Craigslist or similar venues to see what used amps are available. I also see amps in the for sale section of the Next Door neighborhood amp, and often find inexpensive amps at McKay's Used Books store. Pawn shops are another option.

The problem you will encounter is that many of these amps have very simple controls, without any digital effects. You can add some creative options with a Pocket POD or a BOSS GT-1 or any number of pedals.
https://line6.com/pocket-pod/





If you're wanting to explore different sounds with a bit less cable clutter I recommend you look for a "modeling amp". These emulate several other famous amps, such as blues amps, country-western amps, rockabilly amps, surf music amps, etc..

There are many more options than are shown in this video, and entire groups of videos devoted to demonstrating specific amps. Be aware, an amp will not make your 'ukulele sound like a guitar, so choose your video demos wisely.

Some modeling amps are controlled with the turn of a switch, some use your smartphone as an interface to a wide range of options.


The least expensive option is a headphone amp, and no-one but you will hear the tonal modification. They will--of course--be able to hear your acoustic output. I have a couple, but personally find the minute multi-purpose multi-push dimly-labeled buttons to be non-user-friendly.


Brad Bordessa (a member here) created a great introduction to amps here:
https://liveukulele.com/lessons/plug-in/ukulele-amps/

A/E is a fine abreviation. It's for Acoustic / Electric, the very same thing as Electric Acoustic.
 
Whoa, thank you for all the information! That will definitely keep me busy. I'd thought of Craigslist, but hadn't considered pawn shops. And I will definitely check out the videos and link!
 
Do you have any Music Go Round stores in your location. They sell new and used gear. I have bought and sold at my local shop.

Small amps. The Spark shown seems to be well liked by people. Take a look at the Blackstar Fly3 for a small amp. The Yamaha THR series is very nice but higher priced. With the THR I wouldn't go less than 10amps but that's just me, if I'm spending that much money I'm going to want some volume. Take a look at the Roland Cube AC 5. A little more than the Blackfly a little less than the Yamaha.

Hope you find an amp you like in the budget range your willing to spend.

Just for some back ground we do have a VOX mini5--no longer made. Not necessarily voiced for acoustic instruments but I have played my Godin Uke through it. It sounds OK--but not as good as my Fishman Loudbox mini.
 
Do you have any Music Go Round stores in your location. They sell new and used gear. I have bought and sold at my local shop.

Small amps. The Spark shown seems to be well liked by people. Take a look at the Blackstar Fly3 for a small amp. The Yamaha THR series is very nice but higher priced. With the THR I wouldn't go less than 10amps but that's just me, if I'm spending that much money I'm going to want some volume. Take a look at the Roland Cube AC 5. A little more than the Blackfly a little less than the Yamaha.

Hope you find an amp you like in the budget range your willing to spend.

Just for some back ground we do have a VOX mini5--no longer made. Not necessarily voiced for acoustic instruments but I have played my Godin Uke through it. It sounds OK--but not as good as my Fishman Loudbox mini.
Thank you for the advice! We don't have that chain in my area, at least not that I've ever come across. I'll do a search for it, though, and see if there's one I just don't know about!
 
I have a Spark 40 that is loads of fun when you want to plug in. Also, a Roland Cube for when you need battery power. What's your budget?
 
I have a Spark 40 that is loads of fun when you want to plug in. Also, a Roland Cube for when you need battery power. What's your budget?
My budget is tiny-- definitely less than $50. All I need right now is something to test out the uke, and play around with a little bit. I won't be performing with it or anything like that. This is "singing in the shower" kind of stuff. :)
 
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