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View Full Version : NUD: Risa Les Paul solid body electric ukulele



wickedwahine11
02-15-2017, 09:28 AM
I am a frustrated rock goddess, so I made a splurge purchase yesterday to indulge the wannabe in me. I saw a Risa Les Paul solid body ukulele in black and couldn't resist it. My spouse, who usually discourages my uke purchases was even enamored enough to mutter, "You are going to have to teach me how to play that thing."

I am out of town right now and have no amp to plug it in, but look forward to playing it amped when I get back home. As others have noted, it comes with a flimsy gig bag, so I am nervous getting it home, but will put it on top of my other uke's fiberglass case in the overhead compartment.

My all-time favorite musician is B.B. King. I know his Lucille was a different model style of black Gibson, but since he inspires me, it is modeled after a black Gibson electric guitar, and it is an ukulele purchased in Hawaii (albeit a German one), I gave her the Hawaiian translation of Lucillle for her name - Lukila.

A quick photo of it:97860

Since I cannot record one now this is a sound sample of the same kind of uke: https://youtu.be/rrTto-UimHg

Cornfield
02-15-2017, 10:10 AM
Very cool. I hope that you enjoy it. The steel strings can take a little getting used to but you have the finest LP ukulele in the biz.

wickedwahine11
02-15-2017, 10:33 AM
Very cool. I hope that you enjoy it. The steel strings can take a little getting used to but you have the finest LP ukulele in the biz.

Thanks very much. I was surprised that they were not more uncomfortable, it apparently has light gauge strings so they didn't feel too bad. I was worried I would need to use a pick but was able to still play it fingerstyle. Haven't tried for more than ten or so minutes so far though...

Osprey
02-15-2017, 10:48 AM
Looks like a whole lot of fun. Please give us an update when you have spent more time with her.

greenie44
02-15-2017, 11:33 AM
And kudos for giving into an impluse buy! (at least every once in a while)

3j0hn
02-15-2017, 11:44 AM
These are so rad. My UAS on this one is only held in check by the fact that it comes in Tenor and Soprano sizes and I can't decide which one I'd prefer.

besley
02-15-2017, 12:38 PM
Mine's bigger, but WAY too heavy (~ 11 lbs).

http://i894.photobucket.com/albums/ac147/stevebesley/Daves%202_zpstkupcj03.jpg (http://s894.photobucket.com/user/stevebesley/media/Daves%202_zpstkupcj03.jpg.html)

PeteyHoudini
02-15-2017, 01:32 PM
Enjoy that cool uke!

Petey

OhioBelle
02-15-2017, 03:03 PM
Awesome uke! Rock on! :music:

Croaky Keith
02-15-2017, 11:19 PM
Enjoy. :)

I've always fancied one, but it is right at the top of my price range, & having bought a tenor Uke Ellie, I was surprised how heavy that little uke was, so, have been wondering how heavy one of these tenor electrics actually is.

Booli
02-16-2017, 12:30 AM
Thanks very much. I was surprised that they were not more uncomfortable, it apparently has light gauge strings so they didn't feel too bad. I was worried I would need to use a pick but was able to still play it fingerstyle. Haven't tried for more than ten or so minutes so far though...

Once you are playing on the steel strings for a while, you may notice the calluses on your fretting hand to get a little tougher and thicker on your fingertips, but if you push past the initial stages, it will pay off and protect your fingers from feeling cut-into by the thinner metal strings, which can feel like razor-wire if you have no calluses at all...

Congrats on the new Risa LP!!!

I have the poor-man's version of this in the Vorson brand, which I only paid $99 for as an 'open-box' item ($129 new) and it's just 'ok', but the truss rod on mine seems not to work very well.

photoshooter
02-16-2017, 03:13 AM
Congrats, that uke is on my secret want list (which isn't a secret anymore). Looking forward to hearing your impressions after you've become better acquainted with it.

Cornfield
02-16-2017, 03:24 AM
Once you are playing on the steel strings for a while, you may notice the calluses on your fretting hand to get a little tougher and thicker on your fingertips, but if you push past the initial stages, it will pay off and protect your fingers from feeling cut-into by the thinner metal strings, which can feel like razor-wire if you have no calluses at all...

Congrats on the new Risa LP!!!

I have the poor-man's version of this in the Vorson brand, which I only paid $99 for as an 'open-box' item ($129 new) and it's just 'ok', but the truss rod on mine seems not to work very well.

I had both the Risa LP and a Vorson. I sold my Risa when I was feeling stupid. My Vorson now resides in a landfill.

Landshark
02-16-2017, 06:54 AM
Congrats, I love those uke LPs, I would pick one up if I did not own too much stuff already,
My solid body Uke
http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s39/abcphotowest/music/KoolauCE-2full1.jpg
the full size LP
http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s39/abcphotowest/music/c58ef3fe-ba48-4828-9f7c-fc292392c2e9_zpsfaqif0wm.jpg
and finally the closest thing to BB King style guitar
http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s39/abcphotowest/music/ES-275c%20sm_zpstqlphw5e.jpg

wickedwahine11
02-16-2017, 08:14 AM
Thanks everyone for the kind words. I did discover, though, that the G string is has terrible intonation - almost halfway to the next note on anything other than open. They had a display model so I will go back tomorrow to try that one, otherwise I may have to return it as it is unplayable. :( I am bummed as I never heard of this problem with the RISA.

Landshark
02-16-2017, 08:26 AM
Is it not adjustable with a proper setup?

wickedwahine11
02-16-2017, 08:43 AM
Is it not adjustable with a proper setup?

I hope so, they are going to take a look at it tomorrow to adjust it and set it up. To be honest, I tend to be a nervous Nellie so unless it becomes perfect I will probably return it since there is only a seven day return policy. Fingers crossed they fix it.

chainyanker
02-16-2017, 09:11 AM
Congratulations, I have the sunburst tenor. Play it every day. My favorite ukulele. Having it set up will fix your problem.

wickedwahine11
02-16-2017, 09:12 AM
Congratulations, I have the sunburst tenor. Play it every day. My favorite ukulele. Having it set up will fix your problem.

Good to know, thanks. :)

Tenorsee guy
02-16-2017, 03:49 PM
@besley, and I thought my new Taylor 214 CE Deluxe was pretty sweet, that LP is awesome! And one of my two favorite LP colors! I will have one some day!!

Booli
02-16-2017, 04:56 PM
I had both the Risa LP and a Vorson. I sold my Risa when I was feeling stupid. My Vorson now resides in a landfill.

I may replace the neck on the Vorson with one from Mainland to make it a baritone, as the neck, truss rod and tuners on these leave a lot to be desired.

Booli
02-16-2017, 05:16 PM
Thanks everyone for the kind words. I did discover, though, that the G string is has terrible intonation - almost halfway to the next note on anything other than open. They had a display model so I will go back tomorrow to try that one, otherwise I may have to return it as it is unplayable. :( I am bummed as I never heard of this problem with the RISA.

Staci -

Maybe you are unaware, that just like on electric guitars it is VERY VERY easy to adjust the intonation of the saddles on these with a small screw driver...hmm?

Coming from years of guitar for me, this is common knowledge for anyone who has done guitar setups, or has had a guitar setup by a shop, but maybe this was never explained to you when you bought it?

Also, with steel strings, if you change the gauges of strings, you will ALSO likely need to adjust the string height and intonation at the saddles, as these are MADE to be adjustable and are not FIXED in the saddle position which is completely different from an acoustic uke with only about 3mm of space to compensate.

L@@K at the bridge and you will see what I mean.

Also, changing string gauges may require adjusting the truss rod in order to lower the action or eliminate fret buzz.

All of this is an iterative process of small increments, but none of it is complicated once you know how it all works together.

Going to the shop may be wasteful and gratuitous unless you have them demonstrate FOR YOU how to adjust the saddle height and intonation with a tiny Allen key or 'hex wrench' as this is totally normal and expected as part of owning one of these types of instruments...

It's not difficult, just new to you.

Most instruments that have adjustable saddles and a truss rod will include FROM the manufacturer, the necessary hex wrench for saddle adjustments and also for another sized hex wrench for the truss rod, and if yours did not come with it, I would request the shop to provide you with ones that fit.

If they have the nerve to charge you for them, they should not be more than $1 each, since you can buy a full set of 12-16 different-sizes as a FULL SET of metric or imperial allen keys for like $8 at most hardware stores.

Please dont return the instrument if there is nothing wrong with it. Everything can be adjusted on these rather easily.

If the intonation at the NUT is wrong, as in going sharp 1-2 semitones when you fret 1st position chords, then the nut slots are likely too high, and this too can be adjust with the proper nut files or a cheap set of 'torch tip cleaners'. YouTube has like 10 million videos demonstrating this procedure.

If I were you, since you are new to this kind of instrument, AND you just bought it, I would kindly insist upon them doing a proper setup to your satisfaction so that you are going home with a properly adjusted and playable instrument.

Returning it because the intonation is off seems a rather severe thing to do, and maybe one thought of as the last resort if/when you do not understand the mechanics of an electric steel string instrument with adjustable saddles.

Hope this helps, and if you have any questions, please keep asking as I am happy to share all of my experience with you all here on UU. :)

rappsy
02-16-2017, 05:50 PM
Hi Staci:

Congrats to you and Lukila. I am a RISA Stick owner and love it. I think their quality is just great.

Use it well and looking to BB for inspiration is a marvelous thing to do. He was/is incredible.

wickedwahine11
02-16-2017, 06:52 PM
Staci -

Maybe you are unaware, that just like on electric guitars it is VERY VERY easy to adjust the intonation of the saddles on these with a small screw driver...hmm?

Coming from years of guitar for me, this is common knowledge for anyone who has done guitar setups, or has had a guitar setup by a shop, but maybe this was never explained to you when you bought it?

Also, with steel strings, if you change the gauges of strings, you will ALSO likely need to adjust the string height and intonation at the saddles, as these are MADE to be adjustable and are not FIXED in the saddle position which is completely different from an acoustic uke with only about 3mm of space to compensate.

L@@K at the bridge and you will see what I mean.

Also, changing string gauges may require adjusting the truss rod in order to lower the action or eliminate fret buzz.

All of this is an iterative process of small increments, but none of it is complicated once you know how it all works together.

Going to the shop may be wasteful and gratuitous unless you have them demonstrate FOR YOU how to adjust the saddle height and intonation with a tiny Allen key or 'hex wrench' as this is totally normal and expected as part of owning one of these types of instruments...

It's not difficult, just new to you.

Most instruments that have adjustable saddles and a truss rod will include FROM the manufacturer, the necessary hex wrench for saddle adjustments and also for another sized hex wrench for the truss rod, and if yours did not come with it, I would request the shop to provide you with ones that fit.

If they have the nerve to charge you for them, they should not be more than $1 each, since you can buy a full set of 12-16 different-sizes as a FULL SET of metric or imperial allen keys for like $8 at most hardware stores.

Please dont return the instrument if there is nothing wrong with it. Everything can be adjusted on these rather easily.

If the intonation at the NUT is wrong, as in going sharp 1-2 semitones when you fret 1st position chords, then the nut slots are likely too high, and this too can be adjust with the proper nut files or a cheap set of 'torch tip cleaners'. YouTube has like 10 million videos demonstrating this procedure.

If I were you, since you are new to this kind of instrument, AND you just bought it, I would kindly insist upon them doing a proper setup to your satisfaction so that you are going home with a properly adjusted and playable instrument.

Returning it because the intonation is off seems a rather severe thing to do, and maybe one thought of as the last resort if/when you do not understand the mechanics of an electric steel string instrument with adjustable saddles.

Hope this helps, and if you have any questions, please keep asking as I am happy to share all of my experience with you all here on UU. :)

Admittedly, I know ZERO about electric steel string instruments, so you may regret offering your input and future advice. :) Every uke I have ever bought - all acoustics or acoustic/electric came to me set up by the luthier or shop, and admittedly never required these types of adjustments. So my initial panic was rushed and a cooler head has prevailed, I feel better - especially after hearing how routine these adjustments are. Definitely liked playing "Oye Como Va" on it today. Even out of tune and unamplified, it was fun as hell!

wickedwahine11
02-16-2017, 06:54 PM
Hi Staci:

Congrats to you and Lukila. I am a RISA Stick owner and love it. I think their quality is just great.

Use it well and looking to BB for inspiration is a marvelous thing to do. He was/is incredible.

Wasn't he amazing? I just loved him so much. I was such a weird kid, my grandmother and I dragged my mom and grandfather to see him play in Vegas when I was probably around 12. I was enraptured. Even though he didn't play a Les Paul, I could never name a black electric instrument anything BUT Lucille. :)

TCK
02-17-2017, 06:02 PM
Beautiful uke, and surely the intonation issue is just set up. Easy fix. Love my Risa kidney bean- tons of fun to play.
We named a car Lucille once. Sold her, but she is still in town and we get to drive her when we want. Just had a friend who needed her more.

wickedwahine11
02-17-2017, 06:54 PM
Sigh, well that was that. I took her back to the shop and after examining it and tinkering with it, they determined the neck was twisted or bent. So they refunded my money and said they will return this one to RISA and let me know the next time they have one in stock. :(

TCK
02-17-2017, 06:56 PM
Sadness...My Risa has a truss rod- surely the LP does too, but there is only so much you can tweak I reckon. Hope you have another soon.
Sigh, well that was that. I took her back to the shop and after examining it and tinkering with it, they determined the neck was twisted or bent. So they refunded my money and said they will return this one to RISA and let me know the next time they have one in stock. :(

wickedwahine11
02-17-2017, 06:58 PM
Sadness...My Risa has a truss rod- surely the LP does too, but there is only so much you can tweak I reckon. Hope you have another soon.

Thanks, I figured I sure didn't know to adjust it and neither did he. It might have been fixable (or he may have been wrong about it being twisted) but since I only had a couple of days to return it, I figure it is better to wait and hopefully I will get another one down the road.

TCK
02-17-2017, 07:05 PM
Thanks, I figured I sure didn't know to adjust it and neither did he. It might have been fixable (or he may have been wrong about it being twisted) but since I only had a couple of days to return it, I figure it is better to wait and hopefully I will get another one down the road.

Fingers crossed- I wanna hear one because boy oh boy is that one pretty and I am gonna be in big trouble if I get one. I need to live vicariously...another frustrated rock star for sure. My wife despises my bean. HATES IT.
But she rocks.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ7Nxn6sv6E

Nickie
02-17-2017, 07:54 PM
It's really cute! Congrats!

Cornfield
02-18-2017, 04:21 AM
Thanks, I figured I sure didn't know to adjust it and neither did he. It might have been fixable (or he may have been wrong about it being twisted) but since I only had a couple of days to return it, I figure it is better to wait and hopefully I will get another one down the road.

You can order a new one direct from Risa. They come set up very nicely. https://www.ukulele.de/shop4/en/risa-lp-tenor-cherry-sunburst If you are having it shipped directly to the USA, you can deduct 19% from the listed price (we don't pay VAT). That makes your price $532 plus shipping for a cherry sunburst.


The ST and TE are less https://www.ukulele.de/shop4/en/search?page=search&page_action=query&desc=on&sdesc=on&keywords=Electric+ukulele+tenor&x=0&y=0

wickedwahine11
02-18-2017, 06:18 AM
You can order a new one direct from Risa. They come set up very nicely. https://www.ukulele.de/shop4/en/risa-lp-tenor-cherry-sunburst If you are having it shipped directly to the USA, you can deduct 19% from the listed price (we don't pay VAT). That makes your price $532 plus shipping for a cherry sunburst.


The ST and TE are less https://www.ukulele.de/shop4/en/search?page=search&page_action=query&desc=on&sdesc=on&keywords=Electric+ukulele+tenor&x=0&y=0

Thanks! :)

igorthebarbarian
02-18-2017, 08:04 AM
You can order a new one direct from Risa. They come set up very nicely. https://www.ukulele.de/shop4/en/risa-lp-tenor-cherry-sunburst If you are having it shipped directly to the USA, you can deduct 19% from the listed price (we don't pay VAT). That makes your price $532 plus shipping for a cherry sunburst.


The ST and TE are less https://www.ukulele.de/shop4/en/search?page=search&page_action=query&desc=on&sdesc=on&keywords=Electric+ukulele+tenor&x=0&y=0

I have bought directly from Risa before and their shipping to Arizona wasn't that bad. I think it may have been 10-14 days total coming from Germany. It does look like a lot of these are out-of-stock though until April. They're marvelous-looking though. The Euro-exchange rate and knocking off the 19% VAT helps a lot too. I think MIM is going to be carrying Risa's too.

JohnL
02-18-2017, 02:00 PM
I have bought directly from Risa before and their shipping to Arizona wasn't that bad. I think it may have been 10-14 days total coming from Germany. It does look like a lot of these are out-of-stock though until April. They're marvelous-looking though. The Euro-exchange rate and knocking off the 19% VAT helps a lot too. I think MIM is going to be carrying Risa's too.

Uke Republic is going to be carrying them soon too.

wickedwahine11
03-04-2017, 08:15 AM
Yay, thanks to Mim's Ukes I was able to get another one, and it plays beautifully. Thanks so much for coming to my rescue. I'm ready to rock!
98303

Cornfield
03-04-2017, 08:46 AM
Yay, thanks to Mim's Ukes I was able to get another one, and it plays beautifully. Thanks so much for coming to my rescue. I'm ready to rock!
98303

You got a great ukulele. The Risa LP is the Mo' Bettah of solid body Les Paul style electric steel string ukuleles.

K-dog
03-05-2017, 12:28 PM
Noticed your post today and wondered if you wouldn't mind sharing what you paid for your Risa Les Paul. I have the exact same model (also in black) and have been thinking of selling it. I have ended up concluding that I'm more comfortable fingering my baritone ukulele. In my opinion however, the ease of bending and sliding around with light gauge strings with the closer distance between string and fretboard on the Les Paul is easier than a typical nylon strung tenor ukulele. I think by now your pleasantly surprised. The neck is a little rounder than I expected but still comfortable.

Osprey
03-05-2017, 04:49 PM
Yay, thanks to Mim's Ukes I was able to get another one, and it plays beautifully. Thanks so much for coming to my rescue. I'm ready to rock!
98303
Congrats on getting your Les Paul. BTW I love your ukulele hangers.

wickedwahine11
03-05-2017, 05:11 PM
You got a great ukulele. The Risa LP is the Mo' Bettah of solid body Les Paul style electric steel string ukuleles.

Thank you! :)


Noticed your post today and wondered if you wouldn't mind sharing what you paid for your Risa Les Paul. I have the exact same model (also in black) and have been thinking of selling it. I have ended up concluding that I'm more comfortable fingering my baritone ukulele. In my opinion however, the ease of bending and sliding around with light gauge strings with the closer distance between string and fretboard on the Les Paul is easier than a typical nylon strung tenor ukulele. I think by now your pleasantly surprised. The neck is a little rounder than I expected but still comfortable.

I paid $565 shipped from Mim's Ukes. :)


Congrats on getting your Les Paul. BTW I love your ukulele hangers.
Thank you so much. The two on the tight were bought from ToucanMango, a UU member, I can't remember if they were from Etsy ot Ebay.

The large turtle was built and carved for me by my spouse out of mahogany. I have been promised two baby turtles for the other two ukes for an anniversary present. :)