- 1. Electric Ubass Acoustic Bass Ukulele 30 Inch Mahogany
- 2. Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Acoustic Electric Ukulele
- 3. Cordoba 15CM-E Acoustic Electric Concert Ukulele
- 4. Epiphone Les Paul Acoustic Electric Ukulele Outfit Vintage Sunburst
- 5. Luna Tattoo Mahogany Acoustic Electric Concert Ukulele Bundle
- 6. Caramel CB500 30 Inch All Rosewood Baritone Electric Ukulele
- 7. AKLOT Electric Acoustic Concert Ukulele Solid Mahogany 23 Inches
- 8. Caramel 26 Inch CT103 High Gloss Tenor Electric Ukulele
- 9. Vorson FSUK-1-S-Style Electric Ukulele with Gig Bag
- 10. Electric Concert Ukulele with Amp 23 Inches
- Selecting an Electric Ukulele
- Types of Electric Ukuleles
- Top Electric Ukulele Brands
- Average Electric Ukulele Pricing
- Common Questions & Answers
Resembling a small guitar, ukuleles are popular instruments that produce a quiet sound when used acoustically. Electric ukuleles allow the sound to be amplified and projected. Most often used in folk-style and rock music, ukuleles occupy a firm place in the world of string instruments and are played by strumming or fingerpicking. Like all musical instruments, ukuleles come in a wide variety from different materials, sizes, shapes, and price points. Generally speaking, you can spend anywhere from $50 to $200 on your first uke, depending on what kind and what type of investment you are willing to make. Enjoy the following recommendations of top electric ukuleles for 2020 to help you make an informed decision.
1. Electric Ubass Acoustic Bass Ukulele 30 Inch Mahogany
The electric Ubass is a high-quality bass ukulele with an equalizer so you can control the bass, middle, treble, and volume. This uke is recommended for novices and professionals alike.
This 30-inch uke comes with an Allen wrench so you can customize the action: clockwise turns loosen the strings, and anticlockwise turns tighten the strings. This uke features smooth edges and a smooth surface for ease of playing and holding. The bass neck is the home of the adjustment knobs so it can easily be tuned.
This full-size Ubass produces a nice clear sound with the strings 3.5mm from the fingerboard at the 12th fret, enhancing its playability and limiting buzzing.
• Decent price
• Good for beginners and pros
• Produces a nice clear sound
• Comes with an instructional booklet
• Holds its tune for days
• Made from laminate mahogany, rather than solid wood
2. Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Acoustic Electric Ukulele
The Luna Tattoo uke is a lovely instrument to behold. Its unique tattoo design makes it a true conversation piece. The design mimics the look of a traditional monochromatic tattoo with the black design featured against brown skin.
The fret markers are none other than shark's teeth to continue the instrument's unique appearance. Thanks to its concert shape and mahogany build, it produces a lovely tone for a great price. A travel bag is included with the purchase.
• Made from solid wood
• An ideal concert uke
• Produces a rich tone
• Unique appearance with the tattoo design
• Smaller than some concert ukes
• Wood used in build is thin -- prone to cracks
3. Cordoba 15CM-E Acoustic Electric Concert Ukulele
The Cordoba electric concert uke features a solid-wood mahogany top, back and sides. The natural satin finish leaves the instrument with a subtle sheen.
The abalone rosette and rosewood fingerboard and fret are top-quality. This soprano-sized uke boasts an old-world look with a fantastic sound and projection. Ideal for those just starting out or more advanced players, this instrument is 100-percent handmade and offers players a truly unique instrument and playing experience.
• Superior craftsmanship
• Features rosewood and mahogany
• Good projection and intonation
• Noticeable buzz
• Strings take a while to stretch before they hold their tune
4. Epiphone Les Paul Acoustic Electric Ukulele Outfit Vintage Sunburst
The Epiphany Les Paul acoustic/electric uke features great intonation and projection. Its impressive starburst finish adds to the look. The Okoume neck with its 'D' profile shape is secured to the body with bolts for ultimate stability and durability.
The fingerboard is concert length with a 15" scale and 10 silver nickel frets with a 16" fingerboard radius for ease of playability. This uke is backed by a limited lifetime warranty so is recommended as a worthy investment for beginners and pros alike.
• Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
• Great intonation
• High-quality craftsmanship
• Cool sunburst finish
• Doesn't come with high-quality strings
• Doesn't come with an amp
5. Luna Tattoo Mahogany Acoustic Electric Concert Ukulele Bundle
The Luna tattoo mahogany uke bundle is a great choice for a beginner as it comes with everything you need to start playing. The bundle comes complete with a good-quality hard case, ideal for ease of transport and an excellent choice for someone who plans on traveling with their instrument. It also comes with an Austin Bazaar instructional DVD that takes players from step 1 all the way to fingerpicking and chords, an excellent tuner, and a gig bag with straps so it can be worn over the shoulder or carried as a backpack. The polishing cloth allows owners to keep their instrument looking as new as day one.
The tattoo pattern is modelled after traditional Hawaiian patterns and was laser etched onto the body for a truly unique and memorable look. Its concert body features solid mahogany sides, back and top. The neck is a blend of natural and mahogany wood, and the instrument is known to produce a rich sound with great projection.
• Features a laser-etched tattoo design
• Comes with a hard case
• Comes with a high-quality tuner
• Comes with an instructional DVD to get started
• Comes with a gig bag
• Affordable bundle package
• Great intonation and projection
• Strings need to be played a lot before it really starts to hold its tune
6. Caramel CB500 30 Inch All Rosewood Baritone Electric Ukulele
This electric Caramel baritone uke features a fully rosewood body, known for its ability to produce a rich and warm tone. It also features a 3-band built-in EQ tuner with an easy-to-read LCD color display that makes tuning the instrument quick and easy.
The adjustable truss rod is located inside the neck and comes with a wrench for easy adjustments. It can be tuned to D, G, B, E. It also features a special sound hole, known to resonate as well as regularly-placed sound holes.
• Nice craftmanship
• Produces a rich and warm sound
• Comes with a built-in EQ tuner
• Unique sound hole placement
• Rosewood needs to be oiled periodically
• Equalizer doesn't take standard batteries
• Better strings should be purchased for intermediate-to-advanced players
7. AKLOT Electric Acoustic Concert Ukulele Solid Mahogany 23 Inches
The AKLOT electric/acoustic ukulele features solid-wood mahogany construction, known to produce better resonance and a purer and more sustainable tone than laminate counterparts. Its sound will also improve with age. It also comes with an advanced tuner made from pure copper, offering a more stable and precise tuning result with longer sustainability.
This uke comes with higher-quality Aquila strings for a fuller sound. The uke's strengthened neck and soundboard make this instrument a worthy investment as it is durable and known for its longevity.
As the AKLOT comes complete with access to beginner online lessons and an instruction booklet for beginners, this makes an ideal choice for beginners. It also comes with a tuner, extra strings, picks, and a strap: everything you need to get playing immediately.
• Mahogany for superior sound and longevity
• Comes with higher-quality Aquila strings
• Affordable price
• Comes with online lessons and instructional book
• Includes picks, extra strings, and a tuner
• Needs some fiddling in the setup department
• Some buzz when playing
8. Caramel 26 Inch CT103 High Gloss Tenor Electric Ukulele
This Caramel CT103 uke features a high-gloss finish over an exotic zebra wood 26" body. The tenor uke features edging by xylonite.
The mahogany neck is well suited for a variety of hand sizes, making this a great instrument in terms of playability. Often the top choice of beginners are pros, caramel ukes are a great option. This bundle includes your uke, complete with superior pre-strung Aquila strings, extra strings, a gig bag, picks, a cleaning cloth, a wall hanger and strap with pegs, two bridge pins, a metal nail drawer, and a 3-band build-in EQ tuner with a LCD color display.
The adjustable truss red is located inside the neck, and with the included wrench, players can adjust the action to suit their preference and needs. With its money-back guarantee, there's not much to lose with trying out this uke.
• Comes with a bag, strap, picks, tuner, extra strings, and more
• Comes pre-strung with superior Aquila strings
• Features a high-gloss finish
• Superior craftmanship with exotic zebra woods
• 26" body
• Tuner knobs have sharp edges
• High-gloss finish makes it a tad slippery to hold
9. Vorson FSUK-1-S-Style Electric Ukulele with Gig Bag
This Vorson electric uke looks just like a cool electric guitar, just on a slightly smaller scale. Guitarists and ukulele players alike enjoy this instrument with its dual single-coil pickups for superior tone. Thanks to its three-way toggle, the instruments tone and variation are a cinch to control.
The neck is designed with comfort in mind, and thanks to the adjustable truss rod and bridge, playability and customizability is simple. The candlenut body boasts superior craftsmanship, and the Vorson name is known for superiority when it comes to quality and durability.
Comes complete with a cable and a padded gig bag, this tenor uke features an 'S' design and a maple fretboard. For uke players that lean towards the rock & roll side of things, the Vorson electric uke gives the look and vibe of an electric guitar with the softness and playability of a ukulele.
• Solid wood candlenut and maple
• Great intonation and projection
• Nice variation via knobs
• Adjustable truss rod and bridge
• Comes with a padded gig bag and cable
• Great reverb when plugged into an amp
• Comes with steel strings
10. Electric Concert Ukulele with Amp 23 Inches
This electric concert uke with amp is ideal for beginners. The bundle comes complete with everything anyone would need to start playing the ukulele, whether acoustic or electric.
This ukulele comes in the traditional concert size; this is great for beginners as the average 23" concert size is larger than other ukes, such as a soprano, leaving more space between the frets to make learning finger placement simpler.
Thanks to the instrument's superior mahogany and rosewood craftsmanship, the sound produced is rich, warm, bright, and has great intonation and projection. This instrument is affordable, but also durable. Longevity is on its side, making this uke a worthy investment.
The bundle comes with everything a person would need to start playing right away. The acoustic/electric ukulele comes with a small amp and compatible cable, a padded case for safe transport, an adjustable strap, a good-quality tuner, spare nylon strings, and picks.
The tuner is built-in for ease of use, especially ideal for beginners. All you need to do is connect the uke to an amp and press the 'Tuner' button on the instrument. The built-in easy to read LCD display will clearly indicate the tuning mode and level.
• Comes with a tuner, strap, picks, gig bag, and more
• Great set for someone wanting to learn
• Concert size offers more space between frets for learning finger placement
• Comes with spare strings
• Affordable price point
• Comes with an adapter and battery
• Strap is better suited as a neck than a shoulder strap
Selecting an Electric Ukulele
Although the sound of an electric ukulele is almost radically different from that of a traditional uke, many prefer at least one electric version to go into their uke stable, more often in order to experience the fun of playing this traditional instrument in its altered, amped version.
The electric ukes are also easier to tune, have expanded timbers and you can experiment and have fun with a host of effects, something that you obviously cannot do with a traditional instrument. And all of the above, we are assuming, appeal to you which is why you have made your decision to buy an electric ukulele and have wound up here, right?
Anyway, before you make your mind to buy any particular electric model, you must have a good idea of the different types of electric ukuleles so that you know what particular type will best suit your present requirements. Each type has its advantages as well as downsides and knowing these beforehand will help you make an informed decision when you head to the store to make your purchase.
Types of Electric Ukuleles
The two most common types in electric ukuleles are the Solid Body Electric and the Acoustic-Electric (sometime referred to as A/E).
Most solid-body ukuleles are made of a single chunk of wood (sans the neck, of course) and are equipped with single-coil magnetic pickups or with active Humbucker style pickups. These are what you call active pickups. The latter are normally a common feature with electric ukes. With active pickups, you can control the volume as well as adjust the sound levels such as bass, treble, etc. with the help of two or three sliders or knobs attached to the top soundboard of the instrument. This means you have a far greater control over the kind of sound you want to produce before the signals are sent to the amplifier.
The only downside, if you can call it that, is that since active pickups use a preamp (functioning via a 9V battery), the instrument is a bit heavier compared to models that use a passive pickup.
Now, as to passive pickups, these are usually found in acoustic-electric ukes. The passive pickups send the sound directly to the amp and as such, you miss the pre-amplification adjustments when you are using a model with a passive pickup. In such cases, you’ll have to rely basically on your amplifier or computer for volume and tone adjustments.
Now, the question of an active/ passive pickup should be one of the most important criteria for the selection of your electric uke. If you want loud sound, active controls, and different effects, you must go for an electric ukulele fitted with active pickup and internal preamp. On the other hand, if amplifying the sound is your primary concern (in which case, you’ll probably settle for an A/E uke), a model with a passive pickup would work just as well for you.
Now, please note that it is not a given that all solid-body electric ukes will come with built-in preamps and active pickups. For example, most models from Eleuke, a brand specializing in producing electric ukuleles, are solid body electric with passive pickups fitted under the saddle (this, however, is not true of one of their standout models, the Eleuke Peanut, which comes with an internal preamp and volume mixers).
On the other hand, there are some A/E ukes that use active pickups and still others that use a passive pickup but come with an external pickup attached to the side of the model. So, have an eye for these onboard electronics details when you go to buy your uke.
What type of sound you want?
Now, one important question is why you want to go for an electric uke. Is it simply because of the novelty of it or do you want one so you can practice during nights without disturbing your neighbors? If your reason is the latter, you’ll be better off buying a solid body electric. With the solid body ukuleles, the sound is produced entirely through the pressure you exert on the strings. In other words, there would be no resonance from the woods and as such, the sound produced would be inaudible from a few feet away.
However, you can also plug in a headphone to your amp or pre-amp for this same purpose. That way only you’ll be able to listen to what you are playing. Now, if you want to play it that way, you would be better off looking for a model that lets you plug a headphone right from the body of your uke through a headphone jack. Of course, you can plug the headphone to your amplifier as well, but that is always somewhat more troublesome.
Electric ukuleles normally use either steel strings or nylon strings. However, steel strings are far more common for electric versions as well as for acoustic-electrics. Nylon strings produce a mellower sound and are easy on our fingers. However, they do not have the same sustain or overall tension of the steel strings. As such, steel strings are ideal if you are planning to use a lot of distortion and other effects. Primarily, the strings will be a bit hard on your fingers but you’ll get used to it.
Other considerations that you might take into account before buying your electric uke include whether the model comes with a good quality multi-effects pedal and whether it includes a smartphone/mp3 aux input (which allows you to practice along with your favorite tracks/songs). These are not absolute essentials, but it won’t hurt to have these features on your model (as long as you don’t have to break your purse for them)!
Top Electric Ukulele Brands
Some of the most popular electric uke models come from the following brands:
If you want a really decent quality (and cool-looking) electric uke at an affordable price, Vorson is your best bet. The brand offers a number of both solid body and elctro-acoustic models at budget to mid-level prices.
Fender can always be trusted with their electric instruments and the same goes for their fine line of electric ukes. Be warned though that you’ll have to spend a pretty buck to get hold of one of these models.
This is a brand that is exclusively dedicated to manufacturing electric and A/E ukuleles. Most of their models use passive pickups (even for the solid body models), however it is due to the superior craftsmanship of their models that the brand deserves a mention. And in their hugely popular Eleuke Peanut model, you do get an active pickup complete with internal amps, smartphone/mp3 aux input and a headphone jack.
Just as Fender is famous for their electric instruments, Mahalo is a brand exclusively famous for their high quality traditional ukes. And the brand also offers some great electric uke models as well.
In addition to the above four, you can also get many decent quality electric ukulele models from brands such as Luna, Kala, Cordoba, Hadean and others.
Average Electric Ukulele Pricing
• Budget/ entry-level: around $100
• Mid-level/Intermediate: $150-$200
• Premium quality: $350 and more
Common Questions & Answers
Are there electric ukuleles?
But of course. The term ‘electric ukulele’ normally refers to solid body electric models with much the same features that you’ll get in an electric guitar. However, an electric uke may also mean an acoustic-electric or elctro-acoustic ukulele or even a simple, traditional ukulele with a pickup. The former is a hollow-body uke fitted with either a passive or an active pickup and one that is designed to sound best when plugged in to an amplifier. The last variety mentioned is simply a traditional acoustic ukulele but with an added pickup that lets you connect the instrument to an amplifier to obtain a louder sound.
How does an electric ukulele work?
To put it simply, an electric ukulele comes with some components that detect and capture the sonic waves aka the vibrations produced by the strings of the instrument. Those built-in components then convert the captured vibration into electric signals. And these signals are then sent to an amplifier via an output jack, so what you get to hear is this amplified sound emanating from the amp.
Who invented the electric ukulele?
We really do not know the answer to this! Some surmise that Late Major General Edmund A. Rafalko, who has a patented electric ukulele under his name, was the first designer of an electric uke. This is possible since ukulele in the US saw a resurgence in the late 1940s that was partly owing to the retuning soldiers from WWII. However, there is no definitive data available regarding this. Two of the top electric ukulele brands that excel in producing both traditional as well as electric ukuleles, namely Mahalo and Fender, may also be behind manufacturing the first electric ukulele.
How much is an electric ukulele?
As you can see from our above average pricing list, you can have a budget but decent quality electric ukulele around the $100 mark. On the other hand, high-end models normally cost in the range of $350-$500. However, since an electric uke is normally seen more as a fun instrument than a really serious one, the price of even high-end or custom made electric ukes never go up to thousands of dollars, as is the case with traditional ukes.
Can you play an electric ukulele without an amp?
Anytime. However, as discussed above, a solid body electric ukulele will produce very little sound unless plugged to an amp. With the electro-acoustic, on the other hand, you can of course play it without an amp as much as you like.
George A. Smith received a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of Berkeley. George has been teaching music professionally for the past 8 years. George regularly contributes content to several music websites including LoadRecords.com.