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Thread: Looking for an electric steel-string ukulele

  1. #1

    Cool Looking for an electric steel-string ukulele

    Hi everyone, I am new to the forum and in the market for an electric ukulele. I am not looking for an acoustic-electric, but a true metal-string instrument. Basically like a mini electric guitar with four strings (lol). I am not an expert and definitely don't have the time or experience to build anything myself. I have seen some that have looked great, such as the risa les paul electric, but at $500ish it is simply too expensive for my budget. Like I said I am a beginner, not an enthusiast- but I do appreciate quality and don't want to cheap out. I'd like to stay under $300, and for someone who can enjoy a $150 electric guitar, I feel like double the price should grant me a uke that would fit my standards (which I assume should be much lower than an experienced player/enthusiast). Like I said previously, I am a huge fan of the les paul design and would lean toward that if possible. There is one here:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptmX...utu.be&t=1m00s

    That is a custom uke that I can't find being sold anywhere, but if I could get something like that in my price range that'd be a dream. Sorry for the length of the post but I realize what I'm asking is very specific/difficult and I want to be sure to cover everything.


    TL;DR:
    -fully electric metal-string uke
    -under $300 (the lower the better)
    -Les Paul preferred

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
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    Hmm, it's a little bit over your target, but I'd recommend a Konablaster :
    https://www.elderly.com/blue-star-ba...ele-127033.htm

    If you wanted a shorter scale like 19" or 17", you should be able to order direct from Blue Star Guitar for the same price.
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Southern Cross concert GCEA
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, A, UG1

    !Flukutronic!

  3. #3
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    You can do a search in the forum, there have been a number of posts about steel string electrics. Or do a Google search for a Vorzon ukulele.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    A Vorson Flame Maple or Quilted Maple ukulele has the shape you are looking for in a tenor size. They run about $136. Swap out the single coil pickups for some humbucker pickups for about $120. This will improve the sound. You are still under your $300 budget. Spend just a little more to replace the jack and potentiometers for better units.

    Next, save up for a slapback delay pedal.

  5. #5
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    The problem is compared to electric guitar, your pricing ratio does not really hold up...and more than ever here, the phrase:

    "Buy cheap, buy twice"
    will be in full effect.

    I bought one of the Vorson ukes via https://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-VOR-FLPUK2-LIST, and was terribly disappointed, as were many other on UU that also did the same, despite a few folks getting a good one, so it seems that quality control and manufacturing deficits vary widely with this brand, so you are rolling the dice here that you could get a nice one, or a totally unplayable slab of wood that might have had great potential, but fails in all regards.

    OTOH, there is a very nice used RISA kidney-bean shaped instrument for sale here on the Marketplace, that will be a much more well-made instrument out of the box, and really is the only brand of steel-string ukes that has been getting consistent reviews:

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...g-RISA-Soprano

    also you can find the other RISA steel string ukes, which includes a Les Paul style here (RISA does NOT have a different web site other than this one AFAICT):

    https://www.ukulele.de/shop4/en/en-R...ce&next_page=2

    also, to see prices in $USD you can scroll to the bottom and change the currency from EURO which is the default.

    Hope this helps!
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

  6. #6
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    I have the Vorson (in Europe sold under the Name Clearwater) and I like it for what it is. Finish on mine is fine. Intonation is an easy fix, with screws to adjust the height and length. The electronics suffice for what I need, playing through a cheap amp with heavy distortion. Nevertheless, I think if you're really serious about it, then go the extra mile for the Risa, which will be of much better quality and a closer copy of the real LP.

  7. #7
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    I was about to suggest Clearwater too, though I don't actually have one, they seem to be liked by those who have them.

    Edit: I've just remembered, Mahalo make (or made) a 'Surfboard' steel string electric.
    Last edited by Croaky Keith; 11-26-2017 at 01:01 AM.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  8. #8
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    Portsmouth, Ohio
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    Here is a link to a seller on Reverb who has "Fanner" brand solid body electric ukuleles. I am not familiar with their instruments and can not comment on quality.

    https://reverb.com/item/7066343-fann...d-natural-teak

  9. #9
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    Booli, he named his budget, and his expectations.
    While a Risa is outside of his budget, Mim's Ukes now carries them.

    YouTube of a Vorson with humbucker pickups.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VlA0s6fpnf0
    Last edited by Futurethink; 11-26-2017 at 03:54 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futurethink View Post
    Booli, he named his budget, and his expectations.
    While a Risa is outside of his budget, Mim's Ukes now carries them.

    YouTube of a Vorson with humbucker pickups.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VlA0s6fpnf0
    FYI:

    With the Vorson (or any instrument that has 2 single-coil pickups), you can get the same function as a humbucker by simple removing and rotating one of the pickups 180 degrees and then re-installing it (only involves 2 screws).

    By doing so, this inverts the phase of the pickup, and thus provides the hum-cancelling effect if you put the 3-way switch in the middle position (which combines the output of both pickups).
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

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