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View Full Version : Solid body Electric Ukulele?



PurpleHaze
10-23-2011, 02:20 PM
How many options are there exactly when it comes to a silid-bodied electric ukulele?

Are there any specific models you have played and like? Please post pictures. Thanks.

fitncrafty
10-23-2011, 02:44 PM
Since you seem to love purple as much as I do.. I have an eleuke K series tenor in purple (really its violet, dark purple would be amazing). I got it from Mim. There's a photo of it in an album on my profile.
It's the only one I have played (solid body) I love it to pieces. It has tone and volume knobs, an mp3/ipod input, headphone jack and 1/4 in. jack for amp.
Great price and lots of fun...

musicmonsterw
10-23-2011, 02:55 PM
I play a Risa Tenor solid. It's a very unusual looking ukulele. It plays very easily. Its neck is the fastest I've ever played. It takes amplification very well. Although it can sound a bit trebly, this is easily adjusted for with a simple EQ effect. In gigs, I run this through a Korg A4 Effects Processor and then through a Fender Mustang Amp.

http://www.geocities.jp/shusan99/tenorstick.jpg

I don't have any photos of my particular Risa handy but you can see me playing it a bit in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5o2lXRlb8Ig


At around 0:28, the solo on the Risa starts. This is the raw sound of the uke played straight into Garage Band with a clean tone. I found it to be a bit trebly. Since this video was made, I played with processors and amps until I came up with my current set-up. I'm pretty happy with it now.

chindog
10-23-2011, 03:01 PM
I play a Risa Tenor solid. It's a very unusual looking ukulele. It plays very easily. Its neck is the fastest I've ever played. It takes amplification very well. Although it can sound a bit trebly, this is easily adjusted for with a simple EQ effect. In gigs, I run this through a Korg A4 Effects Processor and then through a Fender Mustang Amp.

http://www.geocities.jp/shusan99/tenorstick.jpg

I don't have any photos of my particular Risa handy but you can see me playing it a bit in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5o2lXRlb8Ig


At around 0:28, the solo on the Risa starts. This is the raw sound of the uke played straight into Garage Band with a clean tone. I found it to be a bit trebly. Since this video was made, I played with processors and amps until I came up with my current set-up. I'm pretty happy with it now.

Ronin, that was a great video! Was that your twin brother harmonizing with you?

musicmonsterw
10-23-2011, 03:02 PM
Ronin, that was a great video! Was that your twin brother harmonizing with you?

Thanks, Mike! I have no twins. (he he he)

Kazz3lrath
10-23-2011, 03:34 PM
I can vouch for the quality of the eleuke. It is 100% awesome. It can do pretty much every genre of music. It rocks so hard.

TCK
10-23-2011, 03:40 PM
I know of three, have only played one. That is of course if you are talking about steel stringed solid bodies with magnetic pick-ups.
I own a Risa "kidney bean". I absolutely adore it, but they are getting herder to find. Risa also makes a "Les Paul" steel string, and it is a LOT prettier than the kidney bean, and a lot more expensive. My kidney has a great tone and is perfect chimey surf style with it's lipstick pickups. The only thing I would wish for really would be a tapered neck (it seems pretty straight to me). Here is a complete review of it (http://www.ianchadwick.com/ukuleles/risa.htm).
Next up is a Monkey Wrench (http://monkeywrenchmusic.com/)- I was originally looking at these as they are BEAUTIFUL, but could not get a contact back- sent the email that said hey take my money and never got a reply, so I sent that money to the person who owned my Risa. That is neither here nor there- folks who have them like them a lot and like I said- pretty. Really pretty.
Last one is a Jupiter Creek (http://www.jupitercreekmusic.com/). I have never seen one of these or heard one played, but they look pretty darn good- fellow is a one man show though and availability is limited.
You have these (http://www.theukerofoz.com/about4.html) as well, but I have never heard of anyone who has owned one.

Aside from that, there is the idea of a really small electric guitar (tuned ADGCEA), 1/4 size would make a decent six string and I think Fender makes these.
There are also solid bodied nylon stringed electric ukes that use transducer pickups- Eleuke is the one to buy, steer clear of the Stagg (from what I have heard)- quick internet search will show you all kinds of these out there, but if you go this route, go Mim's Ukes (http://www.mimsukes.com/). Hope that helps- remember, a steel string ukulele is a whole different breed of cat- they feel and sound absolutely nothing like a regular uke.

captaindanger
10-23-2011, 04:55 PM
I also saw locally a - I believe - sold body Fluke Electric Uke. But did not get a chance to try it. My first e-uke will most likely be a cigar box uke with an electric p/u - it will be a winter project in december

TCK
10-23-2011, 05:31 PM
Good choice Captain- My first electric was built in my garage out of an old Cigar box and I love the thing- one of my favorite players...
Totally forgot that Fluke's were available as a solid body electric- transducer pickup and nylon strings right?

Nuprin
10-24-2011, 02:21 AM
Next up is a Monkey Wrench (http://monkeywrenchmusic.com/)- I was originally looking at these as they are BEAUTIFUL, but could not get a contact back- sent the email that said hey take my money and never got a reply, so I sent that money to the person who owned my Risa. That is neither here nor there- folks who have them like them a lot and like I said- pretty. Really pretty.

That's too bad...Jim was quite prompt in responding to my many emails when commissioning a tenor from him. I've never played a Risa but I absolutely love my Monkey Wrench...it's gorgeous and plays really well.

Ambient Doughnut
10-24-2011, 02:25 AM
I've been looking into this for a while and the one I most like the look of is the Risa Uke'Ellie but they don't seem to be available anywhere. Perhaps they've been discontinued? I do like the look of the Risa Solid but I'm a little put off by the lack of a headstock., Also I read that it has a fairly square profile neck which doesn't really appeal to me. This leaves Eleuke or Clearwater and I'm still pondering which I prefer the look of.

musicmonsterw
10-24-2011, 03:49 AM
That's too bad...Jim was quite prompt in responding to my many emails when commissioning a tenor from him. I've never played a Risa but I absolutely love my Monkey Wrench...it's gorgeous and plays really well.

I've been curious about these. Do you have a sample video or audio? I'd be curious to hear one. Also, what amp do you use with yours?

musicmonsterw
10-24-2011, 03:57 AM
I've been looking into this for a while and the one I most like the look of is the Risa Uke'Ellie but they don't seem to be available anywhere. Perhaps they've been discontinued? I do like the look of the Risa Solid but I'm a little put off by the lack of a headstock., Also I read that it has a fairly square profile neck which doesn't really appeal to me. This leaves Eleuke or Clearwater and I'm still pondering which I prefer the look of.

I found that the lack of the headstock on the Risa didn't bother me once I got used to it. It does take a little orientation at first. And, I find it fun sometimes to wrap my hand around the top of the neck where the headstock would normally be. I do this more for show than for technique but it's fun.

Again, out of all the solid-body electrics I've tried, I think the Risa has the fastest response. The fingerboard feels like it bounces your fingers back at ya. I've tried Eleukes and the feel just does not appeal to me. However, a lot of people seem to like it. so, to each his/her own, I guess.

phil_doleman
10-24-2011, 04:45 AM
I have three solid body nylon string electric ukes. Two of them are Pete Howlett (www.petehowlettukulele.co.uk) Uklectics, concert scale. Here's me playing one (this one is actually the prototype, and it's been my main gigging uke for over 4 years).
29255

The other is a Rob Collins (www.tinguitar.com) airline solid soprano. It's an 'airline' because it's one of the ukes he has made specifically to fit with budget airline hand luggage requirements. It's actually exactly the same length as a Risa solid soprano, even though it's full soprano scale and has a headstock! In fact, it lives in a sopranino gibag!
29256

Both of these guys are UK based luthiers. Incidentally, neither uke is actually completely solid, they are both 'chambered', though this is primarily to reduce weight.

I love playing solid body. I regularly gig through large PA systems and there's never a problem with feedback of nasty resonances.

Ambient Doughnut
10-24-2011, 04:57 AM
That Rob Collins looks absolutely spot on. Dare I ask how much?

Nixon
10-24-2011, 05:48 AM
If you can afford one, I second the suggestion of a Pete Howlett. Picked mine up second hand on eBay for 350 (originally cost the guy waaayyy more) and have gigged with it ever since.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvhQXdF2yow

On a smaller budget, you can't go wrong with one built by Rob Collins.

phil_doleman
10-24-2011, 11:42 AM
Well, the Rob Collins came to me by way of the other half of the Re-entrants, Ian, and some swapping of gear! Rob is really approachable though, and whilst he will do you a really blingy one if you want, the basic unadorned models are very reasonably priced indeed.

Nuprin
10-24-2011, 01:28 PM
I've been curious about these. Do you have a sample video or audio? I'd be curious to hear one. Also, what amp do you use with yours?

I haven't made a video with it yet. I'll try to get one done in the next couple of weeks. I'm using a Vox AC4 along with a few pedals...Keeley Compressor, Ibanez TS808, ElectroHarmonix Holy Grail Plus, & ElectroHarmonix Pog2).

PhilUSAFRet
10-24-2011, 01:57 PM
I know of three, have only played one. That is of course if you are talking about steel stringed solid bodies with magnetic pick-ups.
I own a Risa "kidney bean". I absolutely adore it, but they are getting herder to find. Risa also makes a "Les Paul" steel string, and it is a LOT prettier than the kidney bean, and a lot more expensive. My kidney has a great tone and is perfect chimey surf style with it's lipstick pickups. The only thing I would wish for really would be a tapered neck (it seems pretty straight to me). Here is a complete review of it (http://www.ianchadwick.com/ukuleles/risa.htm).
Next up is a Monkey Wrench (http://monkeywrenchmusic.com/)- I was originally looking at these as they are BEAUTIFUL, but could not get a contact back- sent the email that said hey take my money and never got a reply, so I sent that money to the person who owned my Risa. That is neither here nor there- folks who have them like them a lot and like I said- pretty. Really pretty.
Last one is a Jupiter Creek (http://www.jupitercreekmusic.com/). I have never seen one of these or heard one played, but they look pretty darn good- fellow is a one man show though and availability is limited.
You have these (http://www.theukerofoz.com/about4.html) as well, but I have never heard of anyone who has owned one.

Aside from that, there is the idea of a really small electric guitar (tuned ADGCEA), 1/4 size would make a decent six string and I think Fender makes these.
There are also solid bodied nylon stringed electric ukes that use transducer pickups- Eleuke is the one to buy, steer clear of the Stagg (from what I have heard)- quick internet search will show you all kinds of these out there, but if you go this route, go Mim's Ukes (http://www.mimsukes.com/). Hope that helps- remember, a steel string ukulele is a whole different breed of cat- they feel and sound absolutely nothing like a regular uke.

I have the red kidney bean tenor. A professional grade instrument, it will give you as much tone as your amp can handle.

PurpleHaze
10-24-2011, 02:54 PM
Since you seem to love purple as much as I do.. I have an eleuke K series tenor in purple (really its violet, dark purple would be amazing). I got it from Mim. There's a photo of it in an album on my profile.
It's the only one I have played (solid body) I love it to pieces. It has tone and volume knobs, an mp3/ipod input, headphone jack and 1/4 in. jack for amp.
Great price and lots of fun...

Cool. :) The only think I don't like about the eleuke is the strange F-hole type things on the body. If they made one without those, you bet I'd be saving up.


I play a Risa Tenor solid. It's a very unusual looking ukulele. It plays very easily. Its neck is the fastest I've ever played. It takes amplification very well. Although it can sound a bit trebly, this is easily adjusted for with a simple EQ effect. In gigs, I run this through a Korg A4 Effects Processor and then through a Fender Mustang Amp.

http://www.geocities.jp/shusan99/tenorstick.jpg

I don't have any photos of my particular Risa handy but you can see me playing it a bit in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5o2lXRlb8Ig



At around 0:28, the solo on the Risa starts. This is the raw sound of the uke played straight into Garage Band with a clean tone. I found it to be a bit trebly. Since this video was made, I played with processors and amps until I came up with my current set-up. I'm pretty happy with it now.

Nice. :)


Good choice Captain- My first electric was built in my garage out of an old Cigar box and I love the thing- one of my favorite players...
Totally forgot that Fluke's were available as a solid body electric- transducer pickup and nylon strings right?

I've also come across something called a konablaster. Those any good? I've been tempted to make my own electric uke.

PurpleHaze
10-24-2011, 02:57 PM
Update. I think the Eleuke RH-Series would be just right for me, in a soprano scale.

musicmonsterw
10-24-2011, 03:09 PM
I haven't made a video with it yet. I'll try to get one done in the next couple of weeks. I'm using a Vox AC4 along with a few pedals...Keeley Compressor, Ibanez TS808, ElectroHarmonix Holy Grail Plus, & ElectroHarmonix Pog2).

Thanks for the info! Please let me know when the video comes out.

TCK
10-24-2011, 06:35 PM
I've also come across something called a konablaster. Those any good? I've been tempted to make my own electric uke.
I have heard they are junk- have not played one though. There are a couple reviews on line for them that are less than favorable.
As for making them- I have these (http://www.michaeljking.com/electric_ukuleles.htm) plans and they are really nice, but I have buggered up the neck enough that I shelved it for a bit- mine will eventually be a concert pineapple in wormy cherry (the body is awesome) with three rail pups in it (total overkill).
The CBU was an easy start- bought the neck from Mike at mainland, made a resonator from a tart pan and the transducer from a couple of piezo disks- sounds pretty darn good and didn't give me fits like the steel string is.

TCK
10-24-2011, 06:38 PM
That's too bad...Jim was quite prompt in responding to my many emails when commissioning a tenor from him. I've never played a Risa but I absolutely love my Monkey Wrench...it's gorgeous and plays really well.
I went to order directly after I saw yours on here- first email went great- second round fell off the face of the Earth.

iamesperambient
11-29-2013, 08:06 PM
I have heard they are junk- have not played one though. There are a couple reviews on line for them that are less than favorable.
As for making them- I have these (http://www.michaeljking.com/electric_ukuleles.htm) plans and they are really nice, but I have buggered up the neck enough that I shelved it for a bit- mine will eventually be a concert pineapple in wormy cherry (the body is awesome) with three rail pups in it (total overkill).
The CBU was an easy start- bought the neck from Mike at mainland, made a resonator from a tart pan and the transducer from a couple of piezo disks- sounds pretty darn good and didn't give me fits like the steel string is.

I know this is a way old thread....but
the konablaster is far from 'junk'. I own a baritone konablaster
and it feels like a fender strat. The neck is solid as all hell intonation
is spot on, sounds like a dream. Its very affordable too and looks and sounds
unique. I wish more people would give them a try its sad the little recognition this
electric uke gets.