Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Gear Head

Okay, I mentioned that I decided to amplify one of my ukes. It's done, and it came out fine.

For the gear heads among you, here's what's what: The uke is an all koa Woodley White tenor, tuned to Low G, below, thus:

The guitar tech is Ryan Lynn, who owns Eastside Guitar Repair. I had him install a K&K Twin Spot passive pick-up. What this means for those who don't know is, the pick-up is installed inside the guitar, under the front, and it doesn't require batteries to work.

As you can see above, the jack is installed at the bottom–this is where the 1/4" plug goes, and can also can serve as a strap button. Ryan's work was clean, reasonably-priced and there's not a new scratch on the uke. He's the go-to guy in Portland for fretted instrument repairs. If you go there, tell him I sent you.

I also bought a pre-amp, likewise a K&K, above, which goes between the guitar and the amp. With passive pick-ups, the signal isn't particularly strong, and this gives it a boost, as well as offering ways to tweak the sound.

The cable out of the uke goes into the pre-amp; a second cable from there goes to the amp, which is the itty-bitty Roland Micro, two watts of pure power, and able to operate either on wall current or AA batteries, of which it takes six rechargeables.

Voila! It sounds terrific, the basic Acoustic setting is clean and just makes the uke louder without distorting the sound.  Well, until you crank it up real high ...

Now, I'm ready to blow the strats off the stage ...

As soon as I can get it together, I'll do a sound sample vid and stick it up. 

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