Ukulele

Best Electric Ukuleles

August 9, 2018
Ericka

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Best Electric Ukuleles

Electric ukuleles are a relatively new thing in the market today. What most people usually know as ukuleles are of wood material.

However, there are electric ukuleles out there. Like the traditional ukulele, electric ukuleles can be strummed like a guitar and carry a unique sound.

Electric ukuleles carry special elements to them which make them compatible with other kinds of music styles.

If you are interested in owning an electric ukulele, you should first determine what to look for when buying one. Another thing to note is the kinds of electric ukuleles offered in the market. This way, you will be able to select the best one for you.

Key Considerations When Buying an Electric Ukulele

Just like electric guitars, electric ukuleles can be plugged into an amplifier. They come in different sizes and have certain factors that make them stand out from others.

You should not be simply looking at brand names since not all electric ukuleles will be up to the standard of the brand. Here are some things to consider when you are buying your first electric ukulele.

  • Material Quality – Cheap materials make for cheap products when it comes to electric ukuleles, and thus you should look for high-quality products. The quality of the material impacts the sound, longevity, and performance of the product. If you opt for a more expensive ukulele, chances are you will save more money in the long run. Some materials to look for when it comes to electric ukuleles are mahogany, spruce, and maple as they produce the best sound around.
  • Size – Size matters when it comes to ukuleles, as the size will determine the highness or lowness of the notes the ukulele is capable of playing. Opt for smaller ukuleles if you are willing to look for a higher pitched sound, and go larger for lower notes. The only drawback to this is that when it comes to size, smaller ukuleles will become more difficult to play with big hands. This is the reason why most of the time children are the ones playing small ukuleles.
  • Electric/ Electro-Acoustic – There are hybrid ukuleles that are being sold in the market today which is also a subcategory of electric ukuleles. These are called electro-acoustic ukuleles, and they are capable of being played with no amplifier. If you are looking for a pure electric ukulele, do note that it will produce little to no sound unless you plug it into an amplifier. Depending on the size as well, electro-acoustic ukuleles come in various tones. 
  • Onboard Electronics – Another thing to consider when you buy an electric ukulele is the volume control, equalization features, and onboard tuner. These options make your sound experience more akin to that of an electric guitar. The more options the instrument has, the better it is as you can customize its sound. Some of the things above should be the most basic features that you should look for in an electric ukulele.

Types of Electric Ukuleles

These instruments, just like guitars, come in various flavors depending on what you need as a musician. Whether it be for a hobby or a gig, you should be able to know the difference between these ukuleles.

This is because sometimes ukuleles look so alike that they can be confused with one another to the untrained eye. Below are the kinds of electric ukuleles that you should know about to avoid confusion.

  • Solid Body – Similar in look to that of an electric guitar, solid body guitars are more or less just like electric guitars. The only difference you will notice is the strings, as ukuleles carry only four strings. Overall, they are pretty much the same as electric guitars, only that you will find them smaller. You will also find these instruments to be proficient in sound projection and have rich and warm tones.
  • Electro-Acoustic – Most of the time, you will find that these kinds of ukuleles have piezo pickups rather than action pickups. Another thing you should note is that these ukuleles look more traditional than solid body ukuleles. You should also be able to create sound from these instruments, unlike solid body ones. The reason for the piezo pickups is because it picks up acoustic sounds better than you will possibly make.
  • Acoustic with Pickup – The main difference you will find here between the electro-acoustic and acoustic with pickup is that it has an additional piezo pickup. Other than that, there is no other apparent difference between the two that you will find. The reason for this is for you to be able to have a better acoustic sound than the previous type. Other than that, you will also find that it looks like a miniature guitar just like any other ukulele.

Quick Links: Best Electric Ukuleles

  1. Hadean Acoustic Bass Ukulele UKB-23
  2. Cordoba 20TM-CE Acoustic Electric Tenor Ukulele
  3. Fender Ukulele 52”- Sunburst
  4. Cordoba 15CM-E Acoustic Electronic Concert Ukulele
  5. Epiphone Les Paul Acoustic/Electric Ukulele Outfit Heritage, Cherry Burst

Our Top Recommended Electric Ukuleles Reviewed.

Hadean Acoustic Bass Ukulele UKB-23

  • Pre-installed strings are smooth and glidey
  • Has a warmer tone than electric bass guitars
  • Built in tuner makes tuning easy
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Cordoba 20TM-CE Acoustic Electric Tenor Ukulele

  • Has a good balance
  • Geared tuners stay nice and tight
  • Has a very solid feel
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Fender Ukulele 52”- Sunburst

  • Very loud for a small instrument
  • Looks similar to Fender Telecaster guitar
  • Easy to play
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Cordoba 15CM-E Acoustic Electronic Concert Ukulele

  • Delivers a warm sound
  • Lightweight
  • Feels good when you hold it
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Epiphone Les Paul Acoustic/Electric Ukulele Outfit Heritage, Cherry Burst

  • Delivers a great sound
  • Looks great
  • Allows some adjustments when strummed incorrectly
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The best electric ukuleles can be hard to find in the market today because of the mass production of these instruments. However, there are rare gems that value the money of their customers because they deliver high-quality. This list will help you select from these kinds of electric ukuleles. Below are the ukuleles we think pass most people’s ideal standards when owning this instrument.

Hadean Acoustic Bass Ukulele UKB-23

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Pros:

  • Pre-installed strings are smooth and glidey
  • Has a warmer tone than electric bass guitars
  • Built in tuner makes tuning easy

Cons:

  • A little neck heavy
  • Batteries on tuner do not last long
  • You need to pluck the strings rather than strum

Hadean Acoustic Electric Bass Ukulele UKB-23 has a walnut body which ensures that you get a long-lasting product. It comes with a preamp so that you may be able to use it with a ukulele amplifier if you wish to do so. It is for you to be able to play with standard bass guitar notes.

The strings the brand uses are Aquila Nylgut strings which reduces the risk of inaccurate fret-intonations whenever you play the instrument.

You will find that this product is a satisfying electric bass ukulele that has the advantages and disadvantages of a typical Hadean brand. Because its strings require a different playing style, you may find this slightly annoying.

Cordoba 20TM-CE Acoustic Electric Tenor Ukulele

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Pros:

  • Has a good balance
  • Geared tuners stay nice and tight
  • Has a very solid feel

Cons:

  • Vibratos are inconsistent
  • Some strings on the frets have no resonance
  • Gives off a nasally tone

Cordoba 20TM-CE Acoustic Electric Tenor Ukulele is a lightweight and stage-ready ukulele that will appeal to your various musical styles. It has an aesthetically appealing satin finish that you will find in most Cordoba ukuleles. This product delivers a sweet, rich sound that you may find that is a product of the Aquila Nylgut string we use here. You will not find this electro-acoustic ukulele to be heavy at all because it is mahogany.

Despite the lack of consistency in some product shipments, Cordoba still mostly delivers a good product such as this one. If you find that the product has a tone that does not fit your tastes, you can opt to buy strings for it. Strings for this instrument are not difficult to find, and you may be able to remedy the problem you face.

Fender Ukulele 52”- Sunburst

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Pros:

  • Very loud for a small instrument
  • Looks similar to Fender Telecaster guitar
  • Easy to play

Cons:

  • Tuner takes button batteries
  • Tuner is a little sloppy
  • Pickups sound raspy

Fender Ukulele ’52 – Sunburst has a distinctive telecaster body and neck shape that is the trademark of the brand. You can be able to tune this guitar using its electronic tuner and attach it to an amplifier. It is made up of spruce top and mahogany so that you will be able to keep your instrument for a long time. If you are a person who wishes to stand out from the crowd, you will be able to do so with this because of its unique design.

If you enjoy having a Fender Telecaster without the needed bulk, then this instrument is the perfect match for you. The only drawback to this instrument is that the tuner needs work when matching to your tone. Other than that, finding good batteries that are similar to what has been included will surely improve your experience.

Cordoba 15CM-E Acoustic Electronic Concert Ukulele

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Pros:

  • Delivers a warm sound
  • Lightweight
  • Feels good when you hold it

Cons:

  • Needs constant tuning
  • Needs to be broken in
  • Action is a little high

Cordoba 15CM-E Acoustic Electric Concert Ukulele has discreet sound hole controls that you will find useful when you need to control your volume.

Cordoba has designed this ukulele for people who are looking for entry level ukuleles that can be used on the stage.

You will find that the materials for this instrument are of a top quality such as the silver tuner with pearl buttons used for this product. The premium Aquila strings deliver the best sound possible for your playing experience.

This is a product worth investing with especially when you are a beginner because of its quality materials and rich sound.

The drawbacks of this instrument can be fixed with a little experience, but over time it gets better. If you are patient enough to break in your ukulele for some time, you will surely thank yourself for buying this product.

Epiphone Les Paul Acoustic/Electric Ukulele Outfit Heritage, Cherry Burst

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Pros:

  • Delivers a great sound
  • Looks great
  • Allows some adjustments when strummed incorrectly

Cons:

  • Strings lack in quality
  • Has no tone or onboard volume controls
  • Cheery sounding when unplugged

Epiphone Les Paul Acoustic/Electric Ukulele Outfit Heritage, Cherry Burst includes a gig bag that you can use for easy transport. You will find that this has a better sound when plugged to an amplifier as it has a built-in piezo film inner saddle pickup.

With its AAA grade flame maple top finish, people will surely notice your instrument from far away. Even at 15 inches in length only, it delivers a very good sound to your ears as you play it.

This ukulele is certainly a showstopper because of its apparent design and it can also deliver great tunes. However, you should heed the warning of changing its strings once you get it out of the box.

This is because you will find that it only sounds better upon changing the strings of the instrument.

Final Thoughts

You should not be afraid of purchasing an electric ukulele because of the things that it comes with. There may be drawbacks to these instruments, but any type of instrument has these same issues.

If ever you find that you do not have the time nor resources to fix these issues, then you may opt for other options as well.

Most of these cons are redeemable and can be fixed with some adjustment Furthermore,  you should remember to find a ukulele that best suits your needs as a musician. Simply going in with the trends will only make you miserable if you purchase an instrument you do not know how to play.

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