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View Full Version : Eleuke - give me some knowledge!...



rock_and_roll_camera
06-13-2010, 05:13 AM
Right, finally took the time to look at these in some detail, and I am liking them very much. So much so I may look at getting one? I've taken a liking to the CCJ models, I like the sunburst model but I can't decide between the cut-away and the trad body, and I have to say the maple is rather nice too? Ooh, decisions!...

I just wondered how many people have one, the numbers do seem to be growing, and what opinions etc they have on them?

Do they play the same as a uke? How do they sound plugged in, and just how silent are they?

I originally looked at getting the Stagg LP style, becuase it was slighty cheaper, but the Eleuke isn't too much more expensive than the Stagg and just seems alot more uke for the money. Does anyone have experience of the Stagg too, or both ukes together? I'd like to see how they compare to each other...

kissing
06-13-2010, 05:24 AM
but I can't decide between the cut-away and the trad body

Personally, I'd go for the cutaway all the way.
They really help when you're riffing with high chords, which is great for electric ukuleles :D


Do they play the same as a uke? How do they sound plugged in, and just how silent are they?
Yes, they play like a uke. Uke neck, uke strings, uke-sized body. Major difference is that the body is a block of wood, rather than hollow, and plugs into an amp for sound.

If you want to hear it plugged in, search "Eleuke" on Youtube to find many video samples.
Or, here's the "Video" section at Eleukeusa's website: http://www.eleukeusa.com/videos.html
Basically they're to ukes what an electric guitar is to guitars. You can get all kinds of sounds depending on where you plug it in.
It can sound like an electric guitar tuned like a uke (though a bit different, less sustain, since its nylon strings), or similar to an acoustic uke if you play it clean... and pretty much all the effects and such that can be used on electric guitars.

Without an amp, you just hear the gentle sound of the strings vibrating. It's loud enough for you to hear, but the sound won't travel very far.
Suitable for silent practice in your room at night.


I originally looked at getting the Stagg LP style, becuase it was slighty cheaper, but the Eleuke isn't too much more expensive than the Stagg and just seems alot more uke for the money. Does anyone have experience of the Stagg too, or both ukes together? I'd like to see how they compare to each other...

I hear good things about both brands. I've played Eleukes, and have been very satisfied.
They are set up reasonably well, sound good through an amp, the headphone-jack is a great feature and there is good customer support from the company.

Another option worth considering is RISA.
They cost a bit more than Stagg and Eleuke, but I think they're constructed to a higher quality ;)
They are made in Germany. The major difference is that the Stagg and Eleuke take batteries, and the Risa is much more compact and does not take batteries.

Find RISA at www.ukulele.de
I think the RISA uke-solids are great!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woyW9XIZoHM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuqQWon71do

Note: Currently only their Concert models come with the NEW geared tuners, so make sure you email RISA about getting the geared Concert model uke-solid :)
Otherwise you may end up with friction tuners, which I really disliked.

rock_and_roll_camera
06-13-2010, 05:49 AM
Yes, I like Risa Solid-Uke models, like you have in your banner... and also the Risa LPs, they are sweet! But yeah, quite expensive, I think for now I would go for the Eleuke, the Risa Solid-Uke isn't too expensive, but I think I'd prefer having a bit more body to hold? Do the Risa LP and such type electric ukes use metal strings as they have humbucker style P/Us?

kissing
06-13-2010, 06:17 AM
Yes, the Risa LP (and their other Uke-Electric model, shaped like a kidney bean) use steel strings.
The LP has humbuckers that work really well. Rich, sustained and sweet tone.

And growls like a true Les Paul with distortion ^^


An appeal of the Uke-stick is how something so extremely simple-looking and portable can have so much potential as an instrument.
It's a breeze carrying one around. Just put it into its bag, and it's hardly luggage.
They have a zero fret like the Flea and Fluke ukes, so they have excellent intonation and action.

Mim
06-13-2010, 06:44 AM
I do not have much time to write, so I am just going to say:

Cutaway!

I have not seen a full body vintage, but I have had the full body rosewood and the cutaway rosewood in my shop... the cutaway just looks sharp. But that is my opinion.

arashi_nero
06-13-2010, 07:36 AM
i'd have to agree with everyone above. cutaway is the way to go. i've played both and for the eleuke, i really like the cutaway. lately i've been playing in the upper frets and it makes getting those high notes much easier.

the sunburst jazz is sweet looking and i wish they would have the cutaway model of that here in the states!! but i absolutely love my rosewood jazz and wouldn't trade it for anything!!

rock_and_roll_camera
06-13-2010, 07:47 AM
Excellent! Cutaway it is... Now, sunburst or satin mahogany (sorry, its not maple). I do love vintage sunburst, but I have an Epiphone Casino in such a colour, and I did intend to by the Kala archtop tenor as a kind of mini version, so not sure if I should avoid maxing out on the VSB? I like the Satin finish, kind of reminds me of John Lennon's Rickenbacker before he painted it black!? Kudos enough perhaps?

Anybody have any pictures they'd like to post? Perhaps pictures against other ukes?

UncleElvis
06-13-2010, 09:01 AM
And don't forget! Should you decide to get one, go to Mim's! The customer service is AMAZING and the prices are fantastic!
(Plus, if you get to know her, you might be able to scam a free sundae next time you're in NC! *grin*)

I'm gonna be getting mine from her as soon as it comes in. The experience has been remarkable.

thatguywiththeukulele
06-13-2010, 09:02 AM
Im getting a jazz cutaway eleuke concert size...once i get it ill be posting all the info i can! it should come tomorrow or tuesday =)

bigploch
06-13-2010, 10:46 AM
don't count out the stagg. I have one an love it. has all the same featres as an eleuke but for less money. great first electric. Id live the Risa LP but money is an issue too. I play with a guy who has an LP junior guitar and it is identical minus the p/u.

bigploch
06-13-2010, 10:48 AM
Check out the review...

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?26964-Stagg-solid-body-electric-ukulele&highlight=stagg

FourChordWonder
06-13-2010, 12:48 PM
don't count out the stagg. I have one an love it. has all the same featres as an eleuke but for less money..

Agreed. I have the sunburst LP model and love mine as well. It really does look like a mini Les Paul.

The only bad thing is the headphone and mp3 jacks are on the back instead of on the end like the 1/4" output jack is. It's generally not a problem because it's in the lower corner, but you might want to pick up an L shaped adapter. Some people might be turned off by the slider system for the volume and tone controls because they're not as easy to adjust while playing as knobs but you get used to it pretty quick. It also only has 16 frets which kind of sucks but is adequate for most people and is pretty standard for a concert scale uke. It's kind of heavy too as both the body and neck are solid maple, but that kind of adds to the Les Paul experience of the LP model. I'd probably stay away from the Strat style model. I've never played it but that upper horn looks like it sticks out way too much and would get in the way.

The Risa Uke-Solids seem like kind of a rip off. Passive electronics so you'll need a Vox headphone amp or similar to use on the go with headphones, no tone or volume controls, not a lot of wood to give it good sustain, etc. You can get a Stagg EUK for a bit over $100 on ebay which is literally twice as much uke as a two hundred and something concert Uke-Stick. Even an Eleuke is a far better deal than the Risa.

oldrookie
06-13-2010, 03:27 PM
I like my Stagg as well. Kinda chuckle to hear it described as heavy. Typically play bass and my lightest is about 8.5 lbs and that is rather light for a bass.

kissing
06-13-2010, 05:40 PM
The Risa Uke-Solids seem like kind of a rip off. Passive electronics so you'll need a Vox headphone amp or similar to use on the go with headphones, no tone or volume controls, not a lot of wood to give it good sustain, etc. You can get a Stagg EUK for a bit over $100 on ebay which is literally twice as much uke as a two hundred and something concert Uke-Stick. Even an Eleuke is a far better deal than the Risa.

As someone who has used both Risa Uke-solids and Eleukes, I actually prefer the Risa.
I suppose being a passive electric may come across as a 'drawback'; but most electric guitars are passive electrics and most electric guitarists have not found a necessity to have a built-in headphone jack.
It's an instrument that plugs into an amplifier for its sound. While I found that the headphone jack of Eleukes was 'fun' and 'convenient' in some ways, I don't consider it a feature necessary for a musical instrument that is to be used to perform.

As for the nature of being a 'passive', the Risa sounds fantastic through an amplifier.
I find it actually has more sustain than the Eleuke, due to more meticulous attention to design. The small body surprisingly has a lot of vibration throughout; the block of solid wood is thick, there is an aluminium bridge with the strings extending at a backwards slant into the uke (as opposed to just being tied at the bridge), which provides better transmission of vibration from the strings to the saddle. Features which are not as easily achieved on an acoustic, but improve vibration and sustain on an electric.

It also has a very rich, balanced sound to my ears, even without tone and volume, and you can adjust the sound to your liking on the amp. Eleukes come across as a bit harsh and trebly to my ears, even with the Eq adjusted - the pickups seem to be sensitive to touch in that way. When you strum on an Eleuke, you get an initial split second of a very loud twang, before the loudness quickly cuts off, coming across as short sustain. A Risa has less of an instant twang, but a more mellow, balanced volume throughout its sustain, which sounds more natural and pleasant to my ears.

And it's a huge plus when you don't have to fuss with 9V batteries, and it's ultra-portability is an undeniable advantage.
The action is also much more comfortable on the Risa - they're set up in a way similar to Fleas and Flukes. A zero fret, which ensures spot-on intonation and string height.
One drawback that used to make me prefer Eleukes is the tuners. Eleukes and Stagg have geared tuners, but the Risa had friction tuners, which I disliked.
But now Uke-sticks are coming with new geared tuners. If you email them, you can currently get the Concert size with geared (as I have now), and they're planning to put geared on the Sopranos and Tenors later on.

In the end, there are pros and cons to either.
The Eleuke (and Stagg I imagine) have active pickups and headphone jacks which are definitely a plus.
But when it comes to overall build quality as a musical instrument, my vote goes to the Risa.
As simple as they look in photos, when you hold one in your hands, you know straight away that it has a better build quality than Eleukes.
This is not to say Eleukes are 'bad' in any way - they're EXCELLENT value instruments made in China, and I recommend them to a lot of my friends.
But if they can be flexible in their budget, I also recommend the Risa, if its characteristics fit what they are looking for :)

Here is a concise comparison review on Ukulelehunt;
http://ukulelehunt.com/buy-ukulele/unusual/electric-ukulele/

FourChordWonder
06-14-2010, 02:15 AM
I suppose being a passive electric may come across as a 'drawback'; but most electric guitars are passive electrics and most electric guitarists have not found a necessity to have a built-in headphone jack.

I understand that. But as an instrument that was obviously designed with travelling in mind, it seems kind of odd that they would force you to drag around additional accessories, as small as those accessories may be, to make it truly portable. Probably a cost saving move on their end more than anything.


And it's a huge plus when you don't have to fuss with 9V batteries

Providing you don't leave your uke plugged in when you're not using it, you shouldn't have to change the battery more than once or twice a year. I don't see what the fuss is. Just keep a spare in your gigbag if you're really that concerned about it.


The action is also much more comfortable on the Risa - they're set up in a way similar to Fleas and Flukes. A zero fret, which ensures spot-on intonation and string height.

Action is a personal preference. The intonation aspect of a zero fret is nice but "spot-on" string height to you might be too low or too high for someone else. I actually have that problem with a cheap 1/4 scale guitar that I turned into a baritone. It has a zero fret and the action is so incredibly low that I'm amazed it doesn't buzz. I like low action but I also like feeling a difference between fretted and unfretted strings. Action is fairly easy to adjust anyway and if you're the least bit serious about playing uke you should learn how to adjust it on your own. It saves you money and allows you to get it just the way you want it.

The action on my Stagg was pretty good out of the box. It was a little on the high side but still perfectly playable. I lowered it because I like pretty low action but I've seen far worse.


In the end, there are pros and cons to either.

Pretty much. Buy whatever fits your needs.

kissing
06-14-2010, 02:36 AM
I understand that. But as an instrument that was obviously designed with travelling in mind, it seems kind of odd that they would force you to drag around additional accessories, as small as those accessories may be, to make it truly portable. Probably a cost saving move on their end more than anything.

I'm going to have to disagree on that point. Battery and tone/volume pre-amp would mean additional bulk on the instrument itself, which would add things to the Risa's minimalistic design.
Risa's appeal is in its reduction in size and weight, which is worth paying for. The one-piece body ("stick") makes it much more tougher than the Stagg and Eleukes, which are constructed more traditionally (neck and body are separate, etc). Eleukes and Staggs are pretty small, but they're still more of a luggage to carry than a Risa.

I agree that the built-in headphone jack and pre-amp eliminates the need to carry a mini amplifier or VOX headphone preamp.
I found the Eleuke's built-in electronics rather convenient. But I was willing to compromise them for the favourable features of the Risa.
And besides, for my personal purposes, I still like to have a mini amp with an electric ukulele, even when travelling. Just something that gives me the option of making actual sound, rather than just headphone sound. This can be my Fender Mini Tone Master amp, which is a small electric guitar amp, which also has a headphone jack, or an Amp-u-plug-n-play (http://www.ampuplugnplay.com/), which has the headphone and mp3 jack + being an amp that produces sound. It's small enough to fit in the Risa bag with the uke, and can also make a decent sound that is a bit louder than a typical acoustic uke. No need for cables, it plugs directly into the instrument.


Providing you don't leave your uke plugged in when you're not using it, you shouldn't have to change the battery more than once or twice a year. I don't see what the fuss is. Just keep a spare in your gigbag if you're really that concerned about it.

I like not having to depend on batteries when possible :)


But indeed it is up to personal preference. I've owned 2 Eleukes and 3 Risas, and have found myself preferring the Risas :)
I am just disagreeing with your initial implications that Risa's are a waste of money or are inferior to Staggs/Eleukes when you haven't tried one.

FourChordWonder
06-14-2010, 03:18 AM
I'm going to have to disagree on that point. Battery and tone/volume pre-amp would mean additional bulk on the instrument itself, which would add things to the Risa's minimalistic design.
Risa's appeal is in its reduction in size and weight, which is worth paying for. Eleukes and Staggs are pretty small, but they're still more of a luggage to carry than a Risa.

I really doubt the weight of a 9V batter, preamp and controls would have a drastic effect on the weight or add much bulk to the instrument. If they put the battery compartment up by the neck it would help balance out the preamp in the back and you probably wouldn't even notice the added weight. The slider control system on the Stagg is very minimal and would be a very good fit for the Risa.


But I still like to have a mini amp with an electric ukulele, even when travelling. Just something that gives me the option of making actual sound, rather than just headphone sound.

I like using a real amp too. A Honeytone fits in the front pocket of the gigbag that came with my Stagg pretty well. But like you said the Risa is designed to be ultra-portable and the fact that you have to carry around extra stuff to make it functional, I don't know. Just seems like they didn't think that one through.


=Kissing]I am just disagreeing with your initial implications that Risa's are a waste of money or are inferior to Staggs/Eleukes.I wasn't trying to imply that at all. Risa makes a great ukulele. I'm just saying that with the Eleuke and Stagg you get a little more uke for your money. The Stagg is an especially great deal. I mean you get a concert ukulele with all the features of an Eleuke, a decent padded gigbag, instrument cable, and a battery for about $110 + shipping from P-Hill on ebay. It may be made in China but it's still good quality. Especially for the price.

kissing
06-14-2010, 04:21 AM
I guess 'more uke' for the money is subjective :) Sometimes 'less' is more.
Stagg and Eleukes have great features. But the Risa has other aspects that make it 'more uke for the money' for me, such as better build quality, smaller design, better setup (for me) and the kind of sound they produce.
In the end, they're all instruments with different features made for one purpose - to be played and enjoyed :D

Uke on~ :D

arashi_nero
06-14-2010, 07:44 AM
Excellent! Cutaway it is... Now, sunburst or satin mahogany (sorry, its not maple). I do love vintage sunburst, but I have an Epiphone Casino in such a colour, and I did intend to by the Kala archtop tenor as a kind of mini version, so not sure if I should avoid maxing out on the VSB? I like the Satin finish, kind of reminds me of John Lennon's Rickenbacker before he painted it black!? Kudos enough perhaps?

Anybody have any pictures they'd like to post? Perhaps pictures against other ukes?

if you want to see pics of a rosewood jazz cutaway eleuke against other ukes, check out the pictures on my profile. i have pics-a-plenty of my ukes on there.


And don't forget! Should you decide to get one, go to Mim's! The customer service is AMAZING and the prices are fantastic!
(Plus, if you get to know her, you might be able to scam a free sundae next time you're in NC! *grin*)

I'm gonna be getting mine from her as soon as it comes in. The experience has been remarkable.

i'd have to agree with gettin the uke from mim. she's definitely a great person to deal with!

rock_and_roll_camera
06-14-2010, 11:26 AM
The Staggs are nice, but to me, for a little extra the Eleukes are so much more aesthetically pleasing. I d too like the Risa Uke-Sticks, and one day I could see me owning one!? I find The Risa LPs very interesting, what are they like?How much do they cost out of interest, in GBP?

rock_and_roll_camera
06-15-2010, 09:27 PM
The question now is, concert or tenor? I play concert at the moment, put the lower frets are a wee bit small for my fingers, and as discussed earlier in the thread, it's best to get a cut-away Eleuke to allow access to the frets, so I may as well be able to finger them with ease, huh?

arashi_nero
06-16-2010, 04:18 AM
i'm not having any issues with the frets at the fingerboard. if you already have a concert and are worried about tiny frets, i don't see why having a tenor eleuke would be a bad thing. right now, i have a tenor, concert, and soprano and i love all 3 of them.

kissing
06-16-2010, 05:04 AM
Perhaps Tenor will have a bit more versatility. I want to get a Tenor Eleuke some day to tune like a Baritone... just coz I can :)

sharp21
07-01-2010, 08:59 PM
I've got a guitar that I am selling to make way for a Risa Uke-Electric. I've got a nice Marshall & am really looking forward to getting a steel string tenor uke to hammer on. The shape isn't for everyone but I really like it!

For me the big thing is the steel strings. While I'm sure an Eleuke sounds slightly different than an acoustic with pick up, I want that steel string sound
S.

mythidiot
07-02-2010, 04:53 AM
Perhaps Tenor will have a bit more versatility. I want to get a Tenor Eleuke some day to tune like a Baritone... just coz I can :)
eleuke will be coming out with actual baritones soon. I'm not sure when, but I saw one at the booth at summer NAMM

mythidiot
07-02-2010, 04:57 AM
For me the big thing is the steel strings. While I'm sure an Eleuke sounds slightly different than an acoustic with pick up, I want that steel string sound
eleuke also had several steel string prototypes at their booth. They said the only difference between the proto and the final product was that the final would have a truss rod. They seemed pretty cool. I can't remember what they said about when they're coming out.