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I bought an electric ukulele and now I need an amp for it. What should I be looking for? Is there any uke specific things that are particular to this kind of amp? Would a regular guitar amp work just as well? I am not looking to preform in front of a crowd. I am just looking to have some fun and play some AC/DC.

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When you say "electric ukulele" do you mean a solid-body uke (i.e. very quiet without an amp) or do you mean a normal hollow-body uke with a jack socket in it? –  slim Dec 3 '12 at 14:26
    
I am referring to a solid body uke, specifically the Risa Sunburst, not an electric acoustic ukulele. –  Stopher87 Dec 3 '12 at 15:25

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Since your uke is solid-body, you need the rest of your setup -- the amp, speaker, cabinet to give character to the sound.

Fortunately the ukulele's pitch range is within that of a guitar's. A soprano uke is similar to the top strings of a guitar being played high up the fretboard. A tenor uke is similar to the top strings of a guitar being played nearer the nut. So amplifiers designed for an electric guitar will work well with the uke.

You might also fancy experimenting with pedals, to get even more distortion, reverb etc.

(I would note that the AC/DC sound is from cranking the gain high on the clean channel of an amp with no pedals)

A guitar does reach much lower pitches than a uke, so you'll never get that gutsy crunch a guitarist gets from power-chording on the bass strings. You can play with EQ to at least make the uke less piercing.

Since you're not looking to play in front of a crowd, go small. There are lots of very good small amps around nowadays, such as the tiny Danelectro Honeytone, Roland Microcube, and many others. They're not toys either - I've seen them mic'd up through the PA at major artists' gigs.

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You're probably right about the portable amps. I am not looking to play for a big night club or anything plus I can bring it places. I gave you the answer because you explained how to get the AC/DC sound. Thanks. –  Stopher87 Dec 4 '12 at 20:11
    
Yep, and you can mic up a small amp even for a big gig. The only reasons for a big amp are (a) bass response (b) visual effect (c) situations where you can't have the PA provide the volume. –  slim Dec 5 '12 at 13:21
    
I think everywhere I go would have an amp anyway. So something portable would be good because I would not have to worry about plugging in. Besides I heard that pignose on youtube and it was pretty loud already. Not rock club loud, but certainly jamming with my friends loud. –  Stopher87 Dec 5 '12 at 17:23

Any guitar amp will be absolutely fine. The sounds and tonal range are well within those a guitar amp was designed for.

Enjoy.

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What do you mean sounds and tonal range? I have no idea how amps work. –  Stopher87 Nov 30 '12 at 23:25
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If you don't know how amps work - get a standard guitar amp. It will be good. –  Dr Mayhem Dec 1 '12 at 0:21

Most Uke players want a kind of "acoustic" sound. Most guitar amps color the sound and make the Uke sound distinctly more electric. I have a Marshall AS50D and it has a separate tweeter, which makes the tone more neutral. It also has an anti-feedback filter. I believe that's pretty much a notch filter that suppresses the band where most feedback occurs. With my standard guitar amp, it's a constant war to keep the uke from exploding from feedback. With the Marshall, it's no prob.

There are plenty of other amps out there (as well as PAs) that fill the bill nicely. I just provided one example. On the plus side, any of your acoustic instruments that have pickups will sound great through this kind of amp. On the minus side, it's more gear to buy and more gear to carry.

If you're really keen on playing AC/DC, then why not get a shredder guitar, a cheap used Crate amp, turn everything all the way up and wail away?

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I know how to play the uke not the guitar. I can rock AC/DC now just no effects. That, and the awesomeness factor, is why I am going with the electric uke. I did not know about the anti-feedback filter. I'll have to check that out in the store. –  Stopher87 Dec 3 '12 at 6:30

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