View Full Version : Electric ukes

10-19-2017, 06:07 AM
I've been building some guitar-styled electric ukes lately -- normally I post build threads about them on guitar forums, but figured maybe I should come here to post some!

This is the latest: tenor scale (17") semi-hollow oak/sapele body, sapele/wenge neck, with a p90ish pickup, finished in Tru-oil.


10-19-2017, 07:05 AM
Welcome to the forum.

Electric instruments are not for me but its always good to see what others are making. Its an interesting and perhaps unusual combination, oak and sapele: the oak grain is stunning.

Its a very nice looking instrument and its clear that you are no novice. Thanks for posting.

10-19-2017, 11:18 AM
Interesting that you chose a 6-pole pickup as opposed to even just 1 pickup of the pair that is on a P-Bass with only 4 magnetic poles (which might more closely align with the string spacing, and get better sound [which is subjective of course]).

Most P-bass style pickups are sold in pairs so you could wire them as a humbucker if you wanted to install both, like a Les Paul kinda...and with a 3-way toggle switch (like a Les Paul) of bridge, neck and BOTH, in the BOTH setting you can have a humbucker function if you wire one of the pickups out of phase with the other...

But the sound you will get with ANY magnetic pickups is also going to depend somewhat upon their impedance, either as one, or combined.

Having said that, I really like the look of the instrument you have here, and wanted to thank you for sharing this with us.

I would be very happy to see more. :)

10-19-2017, 01:11 PM
The instrument looks great. I own a vaguely similar instrument made by Jupiter Creek in Australia although he has unfortunately passed away. Using off the shelf components such as a Tenor guitar bridge and a standard guitar pickup is a good way of doing things and is what Jupiter Creek did. One drawback of course is that its "guitar" spaced, not ukulele spaced yet the advantage is that standard guitar components will fit.

There's a builder called Jonathan Mann (Mann Mandolins) who uses Guitar blade pickups and makes his own custom bridges to make beautiful electric ukuleles. Superb, yet expensive instruments. An industry standard for these instruments could be nice but given the low volume and demand its probably not going to happen anytime soon.

10-19-2017, 02:22 PM
Those look great! Do you always build tenor-scale?
Do you have another Website that describes prices?
Thanks for posting.

10-19-2017, 06:08 PM
Very nice work, thanks for sharing.
Would love to see more.

10-22-2017, 05:51 AM
Thanks for the kind words!

I have done a few concert scale ukes and 3 baritones / tenor guitars (depending on string gauge). The one in the top post is the first tenor scale uke I've done actually.

I've been trying all sorts of different pickups to figure out what I like best. I will try some p-bass pickups in my next one, I think. The string spacing on those is actually a touch narrower (and all these are already narrower than a traditional uke since I'm using existing guitar bridge hardware).

I might try a blade pickup and custom make a bridge for one as well, to get better spacing. I worry the blades generally are too hot sounding for what I'm going for... But I might be wrong.

I don't have a proper website, just IG for now. And pricing etc. I'm not even there yet! Right now I'm mostly building guitars and ukes for friends for cost just to get some practice...

Some pics below of a few other builds if you are interested! Thanks.

10-22-2017, 10:15 AM
Almuse pickups are specially made (in the UK) to suit ukulele string spacings up to 12mm, though I can personally vouch for the "Aggressor" 4 wire humbucker working well with 13 mm spacing. I also used single string bridges (from Blackdog Music in the UK) to achieve that 13 mm.

10-22-2017, 11:38 AM
4 string Cigar box guitar parts might be useful.
There are also lots of how to make your own pickup posts on cigarboxnation.com