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View Full Version : Vorson Electric Ukulele finally arrived



strumsilly
06-01-2015, 07:39 AM
I ordered one of these Vorson FSUK1BK Style Electric Ukulelea while back while waiting for a custom electeric. they were out of stock and I forgot about it. it arrived yesterday. I'm very impressed for the $120 [that's with shipping and tax]. the bolt on neck is very nice maple, the frets are level, and the intonation is spot on. The bridge is cheap, but, I lowered the action at the bridge[very easy with the right size tool] and it plays like a dream. there are a few minor issues but this baby was $120. The cheap bag they ship in actually scratched the back where it was sewn. minor and will probably buff out if i bothered. it came high g so I put on a .026 from a light set and it's perfect. The price is now about $120 for Amazon prime, + tax for the black, and Amazon says they have 9. I'll do a full review if I have time, but I consider this a very good buy. just a heads up.

Icelander53
06-01-2015, 08:07 AM
They were out for so long I ended up with a Risa Gibson style electric, oh well.

strumsilly
06-01-2015, 08:23 AM
They were out for so long I ended up with a Risa Gibson style electric, oh well.
poor you :iwant:

Icelander53
06-01-2015, 09:22 AM
Hey! you don't have to rub it in. :(

Cornfield
06-01-2015, 10:24 AM
So cheap I had to order one. I have been selling off ukes that I don't use but for $120, why not get a dust collector.

strumsilly
06-01-2015, 11:49 AM
So cheap I had to order one. I have been selling off ukes that I don't use but for $120, why not get a dust collector.
the only reason mine will look dusty is its black. black shows EVERYTHING.

Icelander53
06-01-2015, 11:49 AM
as long as they play. I was worried about how they would hold up to my headbanger style of playing. I will end up getting a couple to smash on stage instead of the Risas.

strumsilly
06-01-2015, 11:50 AM
Hey! you don't have to rub it in. :(
I wasn't. I meant I want the Risa.

Icelander53
06-01-2015, 11:54 AM
I know silly. I love that Risa but I admit that it' overwhelms me. I'm not much at finger picking so it's not getting a lot of use yet. I can do a simple version (chords) of Babe I'm gonna leave you by LZ. :D It's so beautiful and black. I just wish I was a little more up to it. Mostly I just play the Pono's.

Deaks
06-01-2015, 12:41 PM
Very close to ordering one as amazon will deliver to the uk, but I really need a bandsaw for my workshop first.

Anyone gonna post some video to tempt me?

Cornfield
06-01-2015, 01:10 PM
Very close to ordering one as amazon will deliver to the uk, but I really need a bandsaw for my workshop first.

Anyone gonna post some video to tempt me?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbZqWac0jU

andylama
06-01-2015, 02:31 PM
I had ordered one of these too, back in February, and it was backordered for a full 3 months. It finally arrived 2 weeks ago, and I am well pleased with it.
I got the Les Paul style. (I posted a picture in the Uke Porn thread)
Not meaning to steal anyone's thunder, but here's my mini-review:

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:
The Good
Astonishingly playable! The action is unbelievably low. (as in, you probably can't slide a business card between the strings and the first fret wire, and there is no buzz whatsoever)
I'm able to play arpeggios by merely TOUCHING the strings. No acoustic is as easy to play as this electric!
It actually sounds GREAT! Not like a ukulele though--Just like a little electric guitar, as you'd expect.
The first thing I did after unboxing was to replace the lousy stock strings with a set of D'Addarios (the gauges recommended by Risa work great)--after that, this thing sounded GREAT right away.
The quilt maple body with high gloss sunburst finish looks beautiful. Flawless, really. The exotic wood added a few bucks to the price, but it was still less than $150.
The chrome bridge hardware is nice, and has separately adjustable saddles for each string (though see the "UGLY" section for the other side of this coin)
The frets seem smooth and even, and I detect no significant intonation problems, though I have no doubt that it would benefit from a full setup.
The pickups are height-adjustable.

The Bad (or at least Not So Good)
The tuners look nice (closed-gear chrome), but they are crude and loose. They WORK just fine, and hold their tuning acceptably well, but these ain't no Grovers.
The two pickups are single-coil, and they hum, plenty. No surprise though. What did surprise me: if you use a DI box with Ground Lift, the pickups might start picking up local RADIO STATIONS! Mine did. Engaging the ground (earth) solved this pretty quickly though.
As mentioned earlier, the stock strings are poor. Replace them with your favorite electric guitar strings. Google search for correct gauges (I'd list them, but they're not close at hand at the moment)
The pots (volume and tone) and the pickup switch, while seemingly rugged enough, are 'scratchy' sounding, so it gives a cheap feel, though they DO work. The tone pot is very non-linear in its response, so you don't get a smooth transition between bass and treble. I'm sure these could be replaced, but is it worth the bother? I'm not so sure.

...and The Ugly (though not a deal-breaker)
The bridge assembly was mounted sloppily--a few millimeters crooked, and a few millimeters off-center, but thankfully this does not ruin the playability. Unfortunately, it does cause the string courses to not be perfectly centered on the fretboard--they are offset a bit to one side (biased toward the G string), but this does not seem to cause problems, per se. It just looks awkward.

VERDICT:
I gotta say, I still fully intend to buy a Risa as soon as I can afford one (the quality and dual humbuckers are very appealing), but this Vorson is WELL WORTH the sub-$150 price tag.
If you have ANY inclination to try a solid-body electric uke, without much commitment, this is a way to try it out, while keeping the stakes low.

PRO-TIP:
If you are the avant/experimental type, you're probably gonna love this.
If you already possess guitar effects pedals, you're DEFINITELY gonna love this.
I have an Eventide H7600 Effects Processor, and this cheap little uke sounds AMAZING through it. Seriously.

I'll post sound samples if anyone's interested.

kissing
06-01-2015, 02:48 PM
I got a Vorson tenor electric too several weeks back.

For the price, it is amazing value!
And this is coming from someone who owned all the Risa electrics in the past.

The Risa's are indeed worth their price, as they used top quality parts and don't have the compromises to quality that the Vorson has. However, after a bit of tweaking, the Vorson is extremely playable and sounds great too.

My Vorson actually doesn't hum much. It's virtually hum free at moderate gain. Hum can often be due to your power cables/power source. If your amp is also battery powered, try playing it through battery instead of mains power and see if it still hums. The pickups on the Vorson are actually really well voiced to produce a nice range of tones.

The one significant problem that I had was when I was adjusting the truss rod.
Mine came 'preowned' and I felt that the previous owner had way too much neck relief. The headstock required some surgery in order for a standard truss rod key to fit, as detailed here:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?105907-Vorson-Truss-Rod-Problem-FIXED

Icelander53
06-01-2015, 04:04 PM
yeah I'd like to hear a sound sample. Thanks

andylama
06-01-2015, 08:17 PM
Ok, here's something I was playing with last weekend.
There are 4 sections that change every 16 bars, and I threw in a slightly different texture in each (no distortion though).

Vorson uke > Eventide H7600 effects
Elektron Analog 4 synth (bass & drum sequence)

Click here to listen on SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/andy-hutson/vorson-electric-uke-experiment-1/s-oRanS)

Cornfield
06-02-2015, 04:15 AM
Has anyone tried one of these effects pedals? http://www.amazon.com/DigiTech-RP55-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor/dp/B0025V1REU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433250283&sr=8-1&keywords=guitar+effects

$50 isn't bad

Icelander53
06-02-2015, 04:18 AM
With that many one star ratings I'd be cautious. Bottom end stuff is usually there for a reason but not always.

Icelander53
06-02-2015, 04:20 AM
Ok, here's something I was playing with last weekend.
There are 4 sections that change every 16 bars, and I threw in a slightly different texture in each (no distortion though).

Vorson uke > Eventide H7600 effects
Elektron Analog 4 synth (bass & drum sequence)

Click here to listen on SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/andy-hutson/vorson-electric-uke-experiment-1/s-oRanS)

Sounds electric all right. I think you got a very good deal there. I hope it continues to please.

Cornfield
06-02-2015, 04:37 AM
Are there any good low cost multi-effects out there?

RAB11
06-02-2015, 05:03 AM
Are there any good low cost multi-effects out there?

I've got a Digitech RP45 that I bought 2/3 years ago for less than 50 quid. Very good for my level but they have other models which have a step up in price and additional bells and whistles. I believe the RP155 has a looper on it. Some have built-in wah-wah style pedals too. I've got a Digitech overdrive pedal too. Both are very well made.

Zoom does one as well but I've never used one. The Boss one seems to be the, erm, boss, but is priced as such. But for just dipping your toe in I would say whichever Digitech fits your budget. Even my bog-standard one has 40 preset effects with the ability to tweak and save them as new ones, so a potential for 80 different effects.

kissing
06-02-2015, 05:04 AM
Depends on how many effects and how sophisticated you want it to be. Some amps come with effects built in, such as the Roland Cube series or VOX.

The cheapest multi effects pedal I've come across is the Mooer Pogo. It has all the basic effects and several amp voice settings. Easy to use.

strumsilly
06-02-2015, 06:14 AM
I had ordered one of these too, back in February, and it was backordered for a full 3 months. It finally arrived 2 weeks ago, and I am well pleased with it.
I got the Les Paul style. (I posted a picture in the Uke Porn thread)
Not meaning to steal anyone's thunder, but here's my mini-review:

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:
The Good
Astonishingly playable! The action is unbelievably low. (as in, you probably can't slide a business card between the strings and the first fret wire, and there is no buzz whatsoever)
I'm able to play arpeggios by merely TOUCHING the strings. No acoustic is as easy to play as this electric!
It actually sounds GREAT! Not like a ukulele though--Just like a little electric guitar, as you'd expect.
The first thing I did after unboxing was to replace the lousy stock strings with a set of D'Addarios (the gauges recommended by Risa work great)--after that, this thing sounded GREAT right away.
The quilt maple body with high gloss sunburst finish looks beautiful. Flawless, really. The exotic wood added a few bucks to the price, but it was still less than $150.
The chrome bridge hardware is nice, and has separately adjustable saddles for each string (though see the "UGLY" section for the other side of this coin)
The frets seem smooth and even, and I detect no significant intonation problems, though I have no doubt that it would benefit from a full setup.
The pickups are height-adjustable.

The Bad (or at least Not So Good)
The tuners look nice (closed-gear chrome), but they are crude and loose. They WORK just fine, and hold their tuning acceptably well, but these ain't no Grovers.
The two pickups are single-coil, and they hum, plenty. No surprise though. What did surprise me: if you use a DI box with Ground Lift, the pickups might start picking up local RADIO STATIONS! Mine did. Engaging the ground (earth) solved this pretty quickly though.
As mentioned earlier, the stock strings are poor. Replace them with your favorite electric guitar strings. Google search for correct gauges (I'd list them, but they're not close at hand at the moment)
The pots (volume and tone) and the pickup switch, while seemingly rugged enough, are 'scratchy' sounding, so it gives a cheap feel, though they DO work. The tone pot is very non-linear in its response, so you don't get a smooth transition between bass and treble. I'm sure these could be replaced, but is it worth the bother? I'm not so sure.

...and The Ugly (though not a deal-breaker)
The bridge assembly was mounted sloppily--a few millimeters crooked, and a few millimeters off-center, but thankfully this does not ruin the playability. Unfortunately, it does cause the string courses to not be perfectly centered on the fretboard--they are offset a bit to one side (biased toward the G string), but this does not seem to cause problems, per se. It just looks awkward.

VERDICT:
I gotta say, I still fully intend to buy a Risa as soon as I can afford one (the quality and dual humbuckers are very appealing), but this Vorson is WELL WORTH the sub-$150 price tag.
If you have ANY inclination to try a solid-body electric uke, without much commitment, this is a way to try it out, while keeping the stakes low.

PRO-TIP:
If you are the avant/experimental type, you're probably gonna love this.
If you already possess guitar effects pedals, you're DEFINITELY gonna love this.
I have an Eventide H7600 Effects Processor, and this cheap little uke sounds AMAZING through it. Seriously.

I'll post sound samples if anyone's interested.
thanks for doing this so I don't have to. I'd only add that the maker should put the uke in some protective bag to protect it from that poor excuse of a gig bag or leave it out altogether. the only real flaw with mine is the cheap bridge [the strings don't come off evenly so there is less room between the e and a strings. A quick fix will be to put a spacer between the adjusters. other than that it is pretty sweet. The neck is the best I've seen on a cheap [relatively speaking] uke. the finish [black] on mine is almost perfect too [except for the scratches from the bag].

Cornfield
06-02-2015, 06:36 AM
Depends on how many effects and how sophisticated you want it to be. Some amps come with effects built in, such as the Roland Cube series or VOX.

The cheapest multi effects pedal I've come across is the Mooer Pogo. It has all the basic effects and several amp voice settings. Easy to use.



Duh. I have a Roland Street Cube that has the effects built in. I guess that I thought the pedal did something else.

Icelander53
06-02-2015, 06:56 AM
Strumsilly, when I got my fairly expensive Risa it came with a very flimsy soft case. I was pretty impressed they'd sell them without a hard case.

Icelander53
06-02-2015, 06:58 AM
Duh. I have a Roland Street Cube that has the effects built in. I guess that I thought the pedal did something else.

Well you can get more and specialized effects with choosing specific pedals. I use them on acoustics too. Now I'm sure they have some effects units that cover a lot of bases and you really may not want the pedals if you are just messing around like I am.

RAB11
06-02-2015, 09:34 AM
Duh. I have a Roland Street Cube that has the effects built in. I guess that I thought the pedal did something else.

Pedals mean you can change effects/switch them on and off on the fly. But if you just wanna play around with distortion and reverb in your living room built-in effects should be fine.

Cornfield
06-02-2015, 10:02 AM
Pedals mean you can change effects/switch them on and off on the fly. But if you just wanna play around with distortion and reverb in your living room built-in effects should be fine.


The cheap $50 area pedals seem to be plastic and not durable to actually using with your feet.

bnolsen
06-02-2015, 10:35 AM
zoom g1on is a good pedal for trying out effects. Pretty decent stuff. The builtin tuner is pretty excellent.

Cornfield
06-02-2015, 11:12 AM
zoom g1on is a good pedal for trying out effects. Pretty decent stuff. The builtin tuner is pretty excellent.

I see it has a looper too :)

RAB11
06-02-2015, 10:23 PM
The cheap $50 area pedals seem to be plastic and not durable to actually using with your feet.

Depends how hard you stomp. My 50 one has survived a number of outings at open mics where I've changed effects on the fly. All it needs is a light tap on the up or down button, tap both at the same time for clean and hold both at the same time for the tuner.

Inksplosive AL
06-03-2015, 02:05 AM
I have a digitech rp360 and can make my little Risa stick sound like anything from a ukulele to a crunchy metal guitar to a pseudo bass. The RP360 "streams" to a computer as well through usb. This allows you to use any DAW program to record lag free as the RP360 becomes the soundcard. The Zoom unit I believe the G300 did much the same for the same price.

The major differences I see are the Zoom powers off the USB where the Digitech needs a wall wart. The Zoom pedal allows multiple instances of the same types of pedal emulation. This allows the Zoom to make much more crazy out there effects than the Digitech. The Digitech unit limits you to one of each "type" and worse off each "type" might contain different effects that you cannot chain together. The Zoom unit is not available at any nearby brick and mortar stores the Digitech was available at Guitar Center.

I wanted the ability to record to my computer so this was first priority for me. The Digitech is a metal pedal suited to stomping. I chose the model without a built in expression pedal as a standard volume pedal can be plugged in taking its place.

Off topic rant: Its June 3rd I'm freezing sitting here thinking of firing up my furnace to kill the chill. Its only 48 degrees outside and I wonder why I haven't bothered ordering new tires for my 87 Magna yet or even bothered firing it up this year. Global warming my butt.

Cornfield
06-03-2015, 05:19 PM
My Vorson arrived today. Haven't had time to inspect it as I am heading out to Houston. Amazon is FAST

Cornfield
06-03-2015, 05:47 PM
I take that back. I'm looking at it now. It has a nice appearance. I'll keep it in a spare tenor case that I have as the gig bag is......
I'm not sure what the swiI'll have more time next week.tch and the pots do. The lower pot does not seem to do anything. I can see that it needs strings, definitely a low G.
I

Cornfield
06-12-2015, 09:02 AM
I have had time to play with this now. I am so glad that I bought it on Amazon as I think it is getting returned. The pots just don't work right. Lots of hum coming through my amp, a Roland Street Cube. The selection switch does not change anything and the lower pickup seems inoperable.
I wrote a message to the seller but have not received a response.

Icelander53
06-12-2015, 10:42 AM
That's one of the things I was worried about considering the price tag. I guess I'm glad I upgraded and didn't go that route. I still think it might be a great deal for someone with some skills for setting it up properly and such.

mvinsel
06-12-2015, 11:10 AM
I think its pretty remarkable that they can make & sell it at that price. If you pay retail for decent parts you're over $100 to make your own.

Hopefully the two pickups can cancel the hum when both are turned on if its wired and the magnets are right.
I think they might benefit from a magnet for each string instead of sharing in between strings.

Those things can pretty easily be retrofitted, pickups could be hotrodded, and shielding and grounding can minimize the hum.

Steel string electrics open up a whole new world - just ask Bob Dylan!

-Vinnie

Cornfield
06-12-2015, 12:03 PM
I took it to a trusted local luthier. He was impressed with everything about it till he plugged it in. He quickly determined that it was not a grounding issue. He thinks the biggest problem was the pickups. The hum was quite loud depending on which direction you held the uke. The humming did not change when you touched the metal parts.
The manufacturer may produce some without hum. Mine is on its way back to Amazon.

kissing
06-12-2015, 08:05 PM
I think that would confirm that your particular one is defective.

My one is nearly hum-free. I daresay that it's quieter than my Gibson Les Paul with humbuckers!

The tone and volume knobs DO work on mine too! Turning the pots makes a very noticeable difference.

I guess I got lucky! My guess is that if you get a replacement through your seller, the new one would hopefully be hum-free




EDIT: One thing I would recommend your luthier to take a look at is the truss rod nut at the headstock. I had to dremel my headstock to allow the Allens key to fit.
The luthier may do a better job of it.

kohanmike
06-12-2015, 09:44 PM
I had the Telecaster version, which worked fine, no hum, pots and switch functioned, but after a few weeks, I found that I didn't have any occasion to play it, so I sold it. In looking back, I really just bought it because it looked so much like a Telecaster, which I'm partial to (see my custom mini-bass Telecaster below).

iamesperambient
06-13-2015, 05:28 AM
actually thinking of buying one of these next weds when im paid. i currently have no instruments at the moment so i need to think if this is the right purchase because it would be my only instrument for a while. how is it????

kissing
06-13-2015, 06:01 AM
actually thinking of buying one of these next weds when im paid. i currently have no instruments at the moment so i need to think if this is the right purchase because it would be my only instrument for a while. how is it????

I have replied to you in your other topic:
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?108073-Vorson-electric-tenor-uke-questions&p=1709606#post1709606

SteveZ
06-13-2015, 09:31 AM
Would really appreciate a comparison sound-wise feel-wise with the KonaBlaster. Can't think of anything else that matches to the Vorson.

iamesperambient
06-13-2015, 03:53 PM
Would really appreciate a comparison sound-wise feel-wise with the KonaBlaster. Can't think of anything else that matches to the Vorson.

I had a konablaster baritone and it was a really solid beatiful instrument in sound (it looked cool but id be lying if i said
they vorson didn't look nicer) if the sound matches how the blue star sounds with the way it looks i think it could be a killer uke!

Jim Hanks
06-13-2015, 07:12 PM
First of all, welcome back! This is going to be an unfair comment as I have not seen a Vorson in person. But I would have a hard time believing the mass produced Chinese Vorson can match the handmade Blue Star in anything. Maybe I'm wrong.

iamesperambient
06-14-2015, 04:16 AM
First of all, welcome back! This is going to be an unfair comment as I have not seen a Vorson in person. But I would have a hard time believing the mass produced Chinese Vorson can match the handmade Blue Star in anything. Maybe I'm wrong.

i will have to see when i get it.
The stock blue stars are really nice
in terms of sound i like the look of the vorson better
not going to lie ill have to see when i get it. One day when i do
have the money id like bruce at blue star to make me a custom electric baritone
but in a more guitar shape with a wood finish and proper strap pegs, for now i think
this vorson tenor will do the trick.

bnolsen
06-14-2015, 05:07 AM
First of all, welcome back! This is going to be an unfair comment as I have not seen a Vorson in person. But I would have a hard time believing the mass produced Chinese Vorson can match the handmade Blue Star in anything. Maybe I'm wrong.

Machinery has gotten very good (CNC machines, etc). We're in a golden age for solid body bass and electric guitars.
The base quality is similar between the low and high end of manufactured instruments. The difference is mostly in fit & finish and more importantly QC.

By hand stuff? In some cases may be worse than manufactured esp if tolerances are screwed up.

Cornfield
06-15-2015, 07:09 AM
I just bought the used Vorson from Stumsilly. He says that it does not have the Hummmmmm or other problems that were in the one that Amazon shipped me.

Cornfield
06-17-2015, 12:41 PM
Now I have a used Zoom G3X effects pedal setup on the way. With the Vorson, the G3X and my StreetCube I will take over the world.

Muhaha!