Pet Peeve #47 - Do not use a garbage amp to demo an electric ukulele

I almost feel that electric ukes shouldn't be demo'd at all because it will really depend on the amp. It is really more of a review of the amp than anything else. For example, if you plugged the uke into a classic Marshall plexi it will sound great, but who aside from the estate holder of Randy Rhoads has a plexi to duplicate the experience? On second thought, maybe the Honeytone is a good idea. It gives you worst possible scenario so that if you kind of dig what you're hearing whatever amp you have at home will be an improvement.
 
... For example, if you plugged the uke into a classic Marshall plexi it will sound great.. It gives you worst possible scenario so that if you kind of dig what you're hearing whatever amp you have at home will be an improvement.
Uh, no... Unless you like and want over-the-top-hyper-compressed screaming distortion. Some do.

Fender Rumble 40:

I like a uke to sound like a uke. Clean, with controllable EQ, and smooth (not screeching ice-pick) highs. This, I got for a lousy 200 bucks. Bulky, yes, but it is only 18 lbs! GC commonly has them "barely used" for $160. The only pedal I use is an Ernie Ball VP Jr. for volume/mute. They sound wonderful from a whisper to more than you can stand. Oh, and it doubles as a bass amp, 'cause that's what it is ;)

Take your electric uke to any GC and plug in to try.

<edit> I tried and failed with various guitars, pedals, and guitar amps. Bought used, refurbished, and sold probably 10-15 amps. Had fun, but my lack of ability finally came clear. I was a technician, not a musician. As Joan Jett sang, "I Love Rock & Roll!" but don't really want to be a rocker.
 
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There is nothing wrong with a HoneyTone type amps, or over-driven Marshall stacks if you are going for a sort of Kitschy or heavy metal effect. I have a Boss guitar pedal that even has an old time radio effect that sort of moves in that direction and is sometimes good for comic relief. That said, , I'd venture that most of us who perform before audiences of 20-100 people use more mainstream sounds on a clean channel with perhaps a bit of reverb.
 
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I think it worth noting that Baz, a very respected ukulele reviewer, doesn't play electric ukes in his reviews for the simple reason that the sound is intimately allied to the gear and therefore he doesn't even bother.
 
I think it worth noting that Baz, a very respected ukulele reviewer, doesn't play electric ukes in his reviews for the simple reason that the sound is intimately allied to the gear and therefore he doesn't even bother.
If I am not mistaken, he has started reviewing/playing some solid body electrics, but at least now uses a great sounding Roland AC33 or Yamaha amp.
 
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cool. I have to admit that I don't have a horse in this race. I only use an amp to be silly. So I'll sit back and let you guys who know what you're talking take over so that we can learn some stuff.
 
Caveat: I play for my own amusement. I am not a performing professional.

This is a good topic as there are two different reasons for amplifying.

One is to simply make louder what an acoustic ukulele (regardless of size) sounds like. That would be me. (I do own reverb, slapback/echo, and gain/compression pedals. They are fun to play with, but clean is where it's at when I'm trying to sing along.)

The other is to play A/E or steel-nylon-stringed solid-body electrics, introducing effects and making the result louder. Note that many effects work in conjunction with the amplifier's input circuitry and onboard effects. The possibilities are endless.

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My questions are:

What amps are UU-ers (pro and non-pro) playing through, and how well are they working? What is lacking or could be improved on?

BTW, my other 'favvie' is a 1979 Peavey Pacer with a modern Blue Marvel driver. It has a classic spring reverb. By comparison, it weighs a ton.
 
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My questions are:

What amps are UU-ers (pro and non-pro) playing through, and how well are they working? What is lacking or could be improved on?

BTW, my other 'favvie' is a 1979 Peavey Pacer with a modern Blue Marvel driver. It has a classic spring reverb. By comparison, it weighs a ton.

Wiggy: My band mostly performs at senior centers. I often play guitar at these, but also uke. When I do I mostly play though a Fishman Loudbox Artist. Since it is an "acoustic amp", it has very clean channels (2 of them). One I use for my voice, the other for instruments. I generally use a touch of reverb and some EQ for both. I also own a cheap Kustom PA50 with two good clean channels. Its a powered speaker that we sometimes use when we need another amp for guest players' voice etc. I am happy with both these amps. Neither one has ever required additional preamps or DI boxes for me and I have played active pickup piezo guitars and Ukes, as well as passive pickups and steel string magnetic pickups through them.

I also own a Boss VE8 acoustic pedal that has an instrument channel and voice. It has all the effects (reverb, chorus, eq, etc) I need and a looper for the voice and instrument. You can use it as a DI box without an amp at open mics etc, and feed it into a clean channel of a PA. I'm happy with it as well.

My partner often uses an older Fishman Loudbox, but since he only plays guitar, he sometimes uses a Fender Frontman amp to get the guitar sounds he likes. When we have a bass player he uses a small Fender bass amp. Sorry I don't know what model.

If I had it to do all over again, I would probably just buy an inexpensive PA system with powered speakers, rather than stand alone amps.They are much more versatile for performing. When I wanted effects, I would use my Boss VE8 pedal. There used to be several posts on UU about various PA system setups performing members use for backyard parties and other venues. I'm sure you could search for them.
 
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Your Boss pedal is a powerhouse! It also offers pitch correction and harmonization.
Yes. It is pretty much an all in one pedal without all the wires. I bought it to eliminate my pedal board that had a harmony pedal and looper on it. So far I haven't sold all the other pedals, but that was my intent once I had tested the VE8 sufficiently. To be honest, I don't use the VE8 much when we perform, because we do our own human harmonies and with 2-4 players you don't really need a looper. I bought it mostly for those times when I might want to perform solo. Its a complicated pedal to set up, but once you get it like you want it, it's pretty simple.
 
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I'll give a nod to SweetWaterBlue's mention of the Kustom PA-50. I have one, and often use it for solo appearances at retirement homes. I plug my mic into channel 1, and my uke into channel 2 (running first thru an inexpensive Behringer preamp), and the result is very nice! Makes for a super-light-packin' gig! The PA-50 doesn't have reverb, but honestly, after numerous outings, I can't say I miss it.
 
I play a 75 watt Blackstar which I have never played above "2" on the volume knob. I once accidentally twirled the volume dial and it made such a frightening din that both my wife and cats came in to inquire WTF?

I have never played a clean signal in my life and never intend to. If I want a clean signal, I won't use an amp. That's as clean as it gets. When I use my amp I want to be unclean. I believe I am currently using EL84 tubes which I gather is supposed to mean something to guitar players although it doesn't signify to me. I just play standard stuff like minor chord modes or rhythm changes or blues progressions...but I do it with fuzz pedal and some wah wah and a flanger and with the gain of the pre-amp cranked up. As I said earlier in the thread, I'm just messing around. I noticed that cool music like desert rock or stoner rock is just pentatonics with pedals and I thought to myself I could do that.
 
Yeah, it’s a different world. EG folks know a “Strat Sound” a “Tele Sound” a “Les Paul” sound and they play it through a “Fender Style” a “Marshall Style” or a “Vox Style” and know what to expect tone-wise. Then toss something like a Super Strat at them and you either get dazed looks or Severe GAS.

TONS of fun things to do, though in my world I’m more “Irridium” than “Marshall Stack”
 
Only time I've played for an audience I used my Godin into a Fishman Loudbox mini likely with just a little reverb from the amp.

One has to watch a lot of video to get the feel of how a solid body uke might sound through various amps. The amp and the amp setting are so much a part of the sound. Baz is very clear about this when he has reviewed the solid body and more electric focused uke's.

With my Risa I had all kinds of fun with my tube amp, pedals, overdrive, distortion, delay and so forth. The Risa stayed the same within its possible range. It was the add on's that then produced the outcomes whatever they were. I even use some effects with my Godin or plug my Godin into my "electric" pedalboard and tube amp.

A HoneyTone amp would not be on my list to evaluate and use with any instrument. If I wanted small there are other options.

As asked for. I have a Fishman Loudbox mini and a Supro Delta King 12. I no longer have the RISA Teleuke as well.
 
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