View Full Version : Acoustic/electric vs Solid body electric

Tenorsee guy
11-12-2015, 12:17 PM
Hello everyone, I apologize if this has been asked before, but in searching I haven't really found this topic. I am wanting to get some type of electric tenor uke. I am starting out and I always liked the blues, pop, rock genre. I know with my son's guitars there is a big difference between an acoustic/ electric and straight electric guitar.
In the uke world what is the difference between the acoustic/electric and solid body electric?


Inksplosive AL
11-12-2015, 01:59 PM
Having quite a few different acoustic and electric ukuleles the main difference between an acoustic nylon stringed uke with a piezo pickup and a solid body with a piezo pickup and nylon strings is if you can hear it well when playing unplugged.

Now when dealing with solid electric ukuleles there is a big difference in the spectrum of sound between a uke nylon strung with a piezo pickup and one with steel strings and magnetic pickups. Much like the acoustic/ electric guitar debate yet still different.

The piezo picks up a much larger sound spectrum including string noise forcing one to play with better technique. Fun fact: Jimi Hendrix had a piezo pickup mounted to his strat to pickup string noise that a normal electric guitar would not. The steel stringed solid body ukulele sounds very compressed compared to the piezo nylon combination. This configuration works well with most guitar effect presets where the piezo needed much tweaking to get a good sound.

The only other thing Ive ever heard about is an acoustic instrument can feedback due to the sound hole. I have never had this experience but have read about it.

Hope it helps

11-12-2015, 05:16 PM
I have a solid body with piezo and find it useful for practicing late at night quietly although not silently. If you want to be silent, you'll need a steel string solid body.

Inksplosive AL
11-13-2015, 07:19 PM
From my experience a Risa stick while not "silent" sure as heck isn't very loud at all.

11-13-2015, 07:50 PM
The Risa solid/stick are probably the only one I would consider buying. They're nice and high quality. You can order directly from them at

Actually fairly quick shipping to the USA. Prices shown include 19% European tax VAT. That's what I would get.

11-13-2015, 10:02 PM
A solid body electric will reduce feedback issues that may occur with an amplified acoustic instrument. Like AL said, Nylon strings with a piezo will sound pretty similar to an acoustic Ukulele. You can add some distortion, but that fades away rather quickly, in my experience. So, if you want to do screaming rock riffs, you'll have to get one with steel strings and magnetic pickups, like the Risa LP, or Vorson.

11-14-2015, 03:38 AM
I've got several of both.

Advantages of the solid bodies - less feedback, better for quiet practice (they make little unplugged sound). With the steel stringed ones you can get some great overdrive and sustain, although you can do wonders with a nylon strung solid body and the right pedals.

Advantages of acoustic electrics - well, that you can play them unplugged as regular ukuleles.

I think the mistake most people make with either though is they don't budget MORE for an electric over a regular soprano. An electric of either kind has to do that plugged in thing well - never understand when people skimp on the pickup.

For me - best budget choice is the Risa Uke Solid - http://www.gotaukulele.com/2012/07/risa-uke-solid-concert-ukulele-review.html. It's not all that expensive but the pickup is light years ahead of stuff like Eleuke and Vorson.

If you have more cash, I also like the Godin - http://www.gotaukulele.com/2013/08/godin-multiuke-tenor-electro-ukulele.html

As for recommendations for electro acoustics - I hardly ever give recommendations for one simple reason. Most acoustics can have pickups fitted. My favourite at the moment is not normally an electric ukulele - it's a Pono tenor that I fitted a decent pickup to. As such I always recommend getting an acoustic you really like and then retro fitting a good pickup.