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A solid body electric ukulele is an ideal instrument for live performances, combining the simplicity of acoustic ukuleles with the many benefits linked to electronic instruments that require amplification such as electric guitars.
There is great diversity within the electric ukulele market too. Some electric ukuleles are designed to prioritize amplified sound, meaning they make very little sound when played acoustically, while others are built to offer the best of both worlds.
On top of this, ukuleles are divided into concert, tenor, baritone, soprano, bass, and pocket types, and this impacts their sound, tone, and size.
Finding the right solid body electric ukulele for your needs can be difficult, especially for new ukulele players. To make things easier, in this article, we will provide a breakdown of five of the very best solid body electric ukes around, so that you can find the ideal option for your specific needs.
What are the Best Solid Body Electric Ukuleles?
Solid Body Electric Ukuleles Reviews
The Fullerton Tele Uke is a fantastic Telecaster electric ukulele for beginners and experienced musicians, taking visual inspiration from the classic Fender electric guitar.
It has a clear aesthetic appeal and it can be an ideal choice of solid body electric ukulele for those who are specifically seeking something different from most conventional designs.
With that being said, this ukulele is in no way an example of style over substance. In fact, the Fender Fullerton Tele Uke is a concert-style ukulele that has an excellent tone, and it’s available at an affordable price.
The ukulele features a walnut fingerboard and a maple neck, which combine to allow for comfortable playing. It has a total of 19 frets and its mahogany back and sides enhance its concert tone, as do the built-in Fender electronics.
The uke also has sealed nickel tuners and is available in either black or butterscotch blonde color schemes.
- Iconic Fender Telecaster design
- Available at an affordable price
- Delivers a rich amplified tone
- Design may not appeal to traditionalists
For buyers operating on a budget and seeking a dependable electro-acoustic ukulele, the Cordoba 20TM-CE ukulele is an excellent option to explore.
This Tenor-style ukulele can be played either acoustically or when connected to an amplifier, offering plenty of versatility.
Crafted in traditional Portuguese style, the ukulele has a soft cutaway design, which is preferred by some people due to the access it provides to higher frets.
It features built-in Cordoba electronics, with the piezo pickup and 2-band EQ. With full control over volume, bass, and treble, you can easily adjust your sound on the fly.
The natural sound of the ukulele is characterized by its warm, rich tones. It also benefits from solid build quality and the instrument’s sides, back and top are crafted from mahogany, while the fingerboard is made from rosewood.
- Made from quality materials
- Warm rich tones
- Can be amplified or played acoustically
- Cannot be played silently
For buyers with a reasonable budget to work with, the Lanikai QM-PUCET ukulele may be the ideal solid body ukulele option that produces warm and natural tones.
The instrument is extremely attractive both sonically and visually, with the help of the Fishman Kula pickup system that provides the instrument with professional-quality tones.
This particular ukulele is a tenor style uke, and given this is the most popular style, it is a relatively safe purchase for a beginner or anyone with a preference for this size.
The main material used for the instrument is quilted maple, and various colors are available, including black, blue, red, and purple.
This instrument works equally well at home, in a studio, or on stage.
- Stylish design, with many color options
- Can be played acoustically or with an amplifier
- Delivers excellent sound quality and control
- Not the most affordable option around
For those seeking a visually appealing, solid-body electric uke, which provides a classic visual appeal at an affordable price, it is difficult to look beyond the qualities offered by the Kala KA-EBY-TE Ukulele.
The main material used for this instrument is ebony, which helps to provide the instrument with its distinct warm tones. Aesthetically, this material is then enhanced by a glossy finish.
The neck is crafted from mahogany, while a walnut fingerboard provides the finishing touches and aids playability.
The instrument’s GraphTech TUSQ nut and bone saddle help to enhance the tone, while its Aquila Super Nylgut strings are extremely comfortable to play.
The model is available in a choice of either tenor or concert types, and this can also allow ukulele players to move between two uke types while retaining a sense of familiarity.
- Provides excellent bass and punch
- Ebony construction looks and feels great
- Comfortable to hold and play
- Better for beginners than for more advanced players
Ibanez is one of the top musical instrument brands around and the Ibanez UEW15E Acoustic-Electric Ukulele is a budget-friendly option, which delivers a great combination of rich tones and comfortable playability.
A concert-sized, solid body uke, the instrument can be played either acoustically or via the use of an amplifier and that can help to provide versatility to players.
The main body of the instrument is crafted from African mahogany, and its cutaway design feels comfortable to hold and provides great access to the whole fingerboard.
The instrument is equipped with an Ibanez under-saddle pickup and UK-300T preamp, which helps to deliver great sound control when played through an amp.
Its natural finish also combines with the shape to provide a visually pleasing appearance, which is well suited for use in casual, studio, and live performance settings.
- African mahogany design looks great
- Produces rich, clear, concert-style sounds
- Comfortable to hold and play
- Cannot be played silently
Buyer’s Guide – Find the Best Electric Solid Body Ukulele
Electric solid body ukuleles are excellent instruments, which can be used for everything from casual practice in the comfort of your own home, to recording music in a studio, as well as for live performances. However, it is worth researching the different options available before making a purchase.
In this buyer’s guide, we will explore some of the main features to look out for, as well as some of the most common ways in which solid body uke options on the market differ from one another.
Ultimately, this will allow you to make a more informed decision on which instrument to buy, based on your needs, budget, and preferences.
Electric Ukulele Types
The first thing to be aware of when purchasing a solid body electric uke is that there are various different types. Broadly, these can be separated into electric ukuleles, which require an amplifier to make sound, and electro-acoustic ukuleles, which can be played either acoustically, or using an amplifier.
However, digging deeper, there are also different sizes, and your choice here can have a significant impact on the sound you are able to create. In order, from smallest to largest, the main options are pocket, soprano, concert, tenor, baritone, and bass. Larger instruments have more frets and a larger scale length.
Strings and Design Elements
Aside from exploring different types of solid body electric ukes, it is also important to look at string types and the main design elements.
Some of the most popular string types include Aquila Nylgut, which are available in high-G or low-G tuning options, and Aquila Super Nylgut, which have a smooth surface, making them extremely comfortable.
Ukulele strings come in a variety of materials, including nylon polymer and steel. Ukuleles such as Cordoba 20TM-CE Ukulele and Lanikai QM-PUCET Tenor Ukulele need to be specifically designed for use with steel strings.
This is an unconventional choice, but steel strings do hold their tuning better and can provide a distinctive, bright sound that some ukulele players do like.
Visually, most ukuleles like the Kala KA-EBY-TE Tenor Acoustic-Electric Ukulele have an appearance that resembles a smaller acoustic guitar. However, there are models that deviate from this basic design, such as the Fender Fullerton Tele, which is a Telecaster electric ukulele.
Other Ukulele Features
In terms of core materials, mahogany is widely utilized, while maple is another popular option. This is largely a matter of personal preference, with some buyers having a particular fondness for either the look or feel of a particular material.
Additionally, it can be important to look into materials used for the fingerboard and neck.
The quality of pickups on a ukulele can have a substantial bearing on the quality of the sound produced, and ultimately buyers should prioritize instruments that have been crafted by renowned brands, with a strong track record.
Some electric ukuleles also come with a built-in preamp like the Ibanez UEW15E Acoustic-Electric Ukulele, minimizing distortion when amplified.