A solid body electric ukulele can be a great addition to your collection. Whether you want to sound like your favorite electric guitar god, need something ultra-portable, or just want to experiment, the possibilities are endless. Take a look at these great solid body electric ukuleles, and see which one fits your needs the best!
Vorson Solid Body Electric Ukulele
Summary: Steel strings give this ukulele a classic electric guitar sound
Best for: Someone looking for an electric guitar sound with ukulele fingerings and size
The Vorson electric ukulele comes in a variety of shapes and colors, mostly based off of classic electric guitars like the Les Paul and Stratocaster. It has been popular for quite a while, in part due to one unique feature: it uses steel strings. Most ukuleles use nylon strings, and their necks can’t handle the extra tension that steel strings create. But with a solid body electric ukulele, it’s easier to brace the neck and body to handle that tension, which Vorson has done. They’ve also added a truss rod to the neck, making it both more secure and adjustable.
This means that Vorson can use magnetic pickups, just like the ones used in electric guitars. In fact, the Vorson sounds more like a regular electric guitar than any other solid body electric ukulele on this list. Plugged into an amp, it’s hard to tell much difference. This is great for any uke players who want to sound like a classic rock guitar god. The pickups give a clean sound with only a slight hum, fairly common among magnetic pickups.
The other features on the Vorson ukulele are also very much like those on an electric guitar. A three-way pickup selector means you can choose either one or both to get the sound you want, along with tone and volume knobs. The bridge is fully adjustable, so you can dial in the right intonation if you switch up the strings.
The steel strings do pose a couple of inconveniences, however. One is that there are very few sets of steel strings designed for ukuleles, so players have to buy strings made for other instruments and adapt them to the ukulele. You might be tempted to try standard ukulele strings, but the magnetic pickups will not register anything that’s not metal, so you’ll end up with a silent uke.
The other is that steel strings are much harder on the fingers than nylon ones. This is true not only for the fretting hand, which will develop harder calluses over time, but for the strumming/fingerpicking hand. It’s worth trying out using a pick or fingerpicks, even if you’ve never done so before. Your hands will thank you!
- Steel strings and magnetic pickup give a unique sound
- Solid build quality
- Replacement string sets are hard to source
- Steel strings harder on player’s hands/fingers
Stagg Solid Body Electric Ukulele
Summary: A solid all-around electric ukulele that works well clean or with effects
Best for: A musician looking to experiment with a range of electric ukulele sounds
Like the Vorson, Stagg’s electric ukulele come in a variety of electric guitar-guitar inspired looks. Unlike the Vorson, the Stagg ukulele uses standard nylon ukulele strings, which are much easier to find. These also give it a bit more of a traditional ukulele sound, although it still doesn’t have quite the same tone as an acoustic ukulele.
This is a great compromise for someone who is coming from the acoustic world and doesn’t want to completely leave that sound behind. The Stagg electric ukulele has an active pickup system, which means that the signal going out to the amp is much stronger than other similar ukuleles. The preamp takes a 9 volt battery, and features three sliders on the front of the uke for treble, bass, and volume.
This means that you can dial in a clean tone that stands alone quite well without effects or distortion added. While some of the other ukes on this list are geared towards players who want to get out their inner rocker, the Stagg offers a sound that will please the more acoustic-minded who just want to plug in.
The Stagg also works quite well as a quiet “practice uke,” thanks to a headphone jack that allows you to hear yourself without disturbing anyone around you. There’s also an ⅛” aux input jack, so you can plug a CD or mp3 player in and play along to your favorite tunes. While it’s a little awkwardly placed on the back of the uke (rather than the more convenient side or front), it’s easy enough to use, and can save any non-uke-playing spouse, children, dog, etc. a lot of aggravation!
- Strong, clean signal
- Headphone jack allows for quiet practice
- Headphone and aux jacks awkwardly placed
Godin Guitars MultiUke
Summary: A hybrid design delivers the best natural acoustic tone in a solid body electric ukulele
Best for: A gigging musicians who wants the best and most customizable sound
The Godin MultiUke has a unique design that puts it halfway between a true solid-body electric and an acoustic-electric ukulele. Rather than a fully solid body, Godin put a hollow chamber inside the uke for resonance. Without a soundhole, the plugged-out acoustic sound is thin and somewhat muted. The ukulele works as an acoustic quite well, but won’t be as loud or as rich as a dedicated acoustic ukulele.
While it may seem silly to have a resonant chamber but no soundhole, that serves a purpose. The soundhole is usually where acoustic-electric ukuleles pick up feedback problems. Sound from the speakers enters through the soundhole, resonates through the body, and feeds into the pickup, creating those awful howls and screeches. No soundhole means a lot less feedback, great for live settings.
In fact, the unique design of the Godin MultiUke makes it perfect for a gigging musician. The uke really shines when it’s plugged in. If you’re looking for a natural acoustic-sounding tone on an electric uke, this is the one for you. Without any kind of resonant chamber, most solid body electric ukuleles just can’t reproduce the tone of an acoustic. The MultiUke not only has that resonant chamber, it features a different pickup for each string, along with four control sliders for bass, mid, treble, and volume. This gives the player an incredible range of tone to work with.
Like other active pickup systems, the MultiUke requires a 9 volt battery to run. It’s also a heavier uke than even other solid body ukuleles, something I found surprising given the fact that it’s not completely solid.
- Excellent plugged-in sound
- Lots of control over tone
- Hybrid design means it works well acoustically
- Heavier than other similar ukes
- More expensive than others on this list
EleUke Peanut Solid Body Electric Ukulele
Summary: An ukulele with a tiny profile and Bluetooth connectivity
Best for: Someone looking for the ultimate travel companion for practice on the road
The name “Peanut” is pretty apt, since this ukulele changes out the usual shapes for a thin, peanut-like figure 8 body. The slim-line and soprano size is great for anyone who needs the ultimate in portability. It comes at the cost of not really being comfortable to hold without a strap, but one is included with the ukulele. Overall, the EleUke is the perfect carry-on companion when traveling, and takes up very little room in a suitcase.
Like the Stagg, the EleUke has a headphone jack that allows for silent practicing and playing along with your favorite recordings or backing tracks. But instead of a standard ⅛” aux input jack, it has the unique ability to connect to your smartphone via a bluetooth connection. Connecting is pretty smoth, and the audio quality of the Bluetooth audio is quite good. The audio from the ukulele gets distorted a little too easily, but is perfectly acceptable for practicing along.
It’s less acceptable when plugged into an amp or PA system. The active pickup system should be able to send a strong, clean signal to the amp, but the EleUke has a noisy pickup and a signal that distorts much easier than it should. The tone is also muddy even with after fiddling with the tone and volume control knobs on the uke. With a bit of additional EQing, this could be a decent ukulele for live gigs, but it’s definitely not plug-and-play. It’s better if you’re planning on connecting it to an effects pedal or using distortion, which will cover up some of its audio shortcomings.
Rather than a replaceable battery like many other active pickup systems, the EleUke has a rechargeable battery with a USB charging port. I honestly can’t decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing. On one hand, no replacing batteries constantly, and a couple hours charge gives you a respectable 10 hours of active playing. On the flip side, if the battery does die, it’ll take a couple hours to charge rather than a couple minutes to swap out a battery. This comes down to personal preference. Would you rather be able to carry a couple spare batteries for power at a moment’s notice, or not have to bother with batteries at all?
- Small size
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Noisy, distorted tone
- Not comfortable to hold without a strap