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AMP for electric uke. Any suggestions?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 12:23 pm
by Madior
Hi, guys!

I'm getting an electric uke for my birthday... Not an "acoustic" uke with a piezo pickup, but an electric uke like an electric guitar.

So, of course, I want an amp with very good cleans, but I don't really need it to be more than say 5-10-15-20 watts (if it's tube watts if it's a solid state or digital amp it doesn't matter) lol... I know that's a pretty big leap but I don't really need anything big at all if it's a tube, since I've learned the lesson; you need to crank them!

It needs to be reasonably priced too, of course. I don't really care if it's tube, solid state or digital or whatever if it has good cleans. Originally I thought about something like..say Roland Jazz Chorus cleans, maybe you can use that as a guideline.

So, give me your recommendations!

Since both my tube amps don't have clean channels, I don't know much about "tube cleans". Would I need amps bigger than the suggested wattage in order for the cleans not to break up? The lipstick Kent Armstrong pickup on my electric uke is only like 4,9k though, so it's not "hot" by any means.

Re: AMP for electric uke. Any suggestions?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 7:51 pm
by ufug
Happy Birthday!

A used Roland Micro Cube will get you where you want to go.

If you can spend a little more, the Yamaha THR10 is a great value. Nice variety of sounds including cleans. It's reliable, sturdy, and super portable. I've even done a couple bass gigs at nursing homes on it (it has two 3" speakers and believe it or not, it sounded pretty good and was plenty loud! Physics be damned). I've had mine for ~seven years and love it for everything. It even has a "flat" sound so you can plug your phone/mp3 player into it and use it as a speaker.

Both of these sound much better than you might expect and will go a long time on batteries which is a nice bonus.

Re: AMP for electric uke. Any suggestions?

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 8:16 pm
by lilith
I have the THR10 and can recommend it also.
As an alternative you can also buy such a speaker

which is more versatile.

Re: AMP for electric uke. Any suggestions?

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:23 am
by Jamesf
Happy birthday!

If it's purely a clean sound you're after, I'd go solid-state. Lighter (especially if the power stage is class D), no waiting for the tubes to warm up, no expensive tube replacement when the unthinkable happens, and the sound stays pretty much the same until you overdo it and clip it.
If you definitely want to go with tubes, more power == more headroom, and headroom is what allows it to stay clean - you need to start thinking in the opposite direction to what you're used to :)

Maybe consider a compressor or limiter with a fast attach and release, given the percussive nature of the instrument. Less of an issue if you don't overdrive the preamp and the power-amp has plenty of headroom, but probably helpful if you're going to record it, to prevent clipping in the D/A converter.