Ukuleles have been around for a long period, and they seem to become more and more popular. Thousands of newbies find it ideal to begin with ukuleles thanks to its ease and joy. And now, there are some people who are looking to give their uke a bit more projection. The electric ukulele is just the ticket for giving your sound more pop and punch. But, as there are so many types available, which one will be suitable for you?
Well, you can keep it cool, because we have the Best Acoustic Electric Ukuleles on the market today. So catch a wave with us as we take a look at what makes each of them sway.
Our Best Acoustic Electric Ukulele Picks
We’ve searched high and low through many different products and chosen five different models to compare. Have a look through all our pros and cons for each one to find your best acoustic electric ukuleles.
Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany
This fantastic ukulele features an unmistakably Hawaiian design, featuring swirling waves inspired by traditional body ornamentation, tattooed in black across the lower bout, with a shark tooth-inspired soundhole rosette. As for its build, it’s a full-sized concert body, with a length of 23”, so it is suitable for both newbie and experienced players.
The body is made completely of satin-finished laminated mahogany, with a solid C-shaped mahogany neck that sports a rosewood fretboard and 18 frets. The body and neck look wonderful together with those matching shark-tooth mother-of-pearl fretboard inlays. It could do with a good set-up out of the box to optimize its playability, but otherwise it’s quite comfortable to play. Although Luna doesn’t allocate generous budget, their instruments usually feel well-built and durable – and the Tattoo is no different.
The hardware it comes with is good, and complements the fine build. There’s a set of open-gear tuners with charming pearloid buttons, which are decent – they are responsive to use, and hold tuning reasonably well. The bridge matches the fretboard in using rosewood, while the nut is graphite – better than plastic, as you’d find on some other budget ukes. Finally, the gig bag comes with the uke, while being not quite protective, still giving you an option to store your instrument.
So, what does it sound like? For a budget ukulele, it’s actually pretty great. It offers the rich warmth you’d expect from the mahogany, along with a crisp twang that keeps things articulate. Projection-wise it is by no means the loudest ukulele out there, but it is more than suitable for practice and spontaneous small performances.
Anytime a muscial instrument by Cordoba is introduced, you simply can’t help having a look and considering it on your wish list. Cordoba is a leading brand and has been in the business of making string instruments for decades. The Cordoba 15CM-E features a mahogany body design that excels in sound quality and projection. The top, back, and sides are also crafted from mahogany, which helps deliver a nice crisp, clean sound when playing.
It comes with the popular Cordoba pickup and discreet sound control system. When playing the instrument, it projects full, rich sound that can easily translate to the stage. It features abalone-style rosette and a modern edge burst satin finish which gives the uke a very nice look.
The Cordoba 15CM-E also comes with ivoroid body and fingerboard binding that distinguishes it from a score of other models within its price range. A fretboard with 18 frets and a bridge made of rosewood are also featured. The ukulele comes with silver tuners bearing pearl buttons which do a good job of holding the strings in tune. However, a drawback is that the saddle and the nut are made of plastic, which is not as sturdy as bone or urea. The ukulele has a preamp pickup exclusively produced by Cordoba which has soundhole control. Therefore, you may find it a bit complicated at times to alter any levels while you are on stage. However, the pickup does an excellent job overall. It transfers balanced amplification and enhanced stage presence.
The Cordoba 15CM-E possesses a balance between affordability and playability. While it is not highly priced, the sound quality is comparable to that of more high-end ukuleles. It may not be the best ukulele on the market, the Cordoba 15CM-E can be considered an excellent choice for both beginners and intermediate players.
Luna High Tide Koa Concert
If you haven’t heard of the brand before, one thing you’ll quickly realize is that Luna rarely disappoint us with the extravagant design of their instruments – and the High Tide series is no exception. This ukulele features a soprano sized body, which is made entirely of solid koa (a native Hawaiian wood), with a sleek satin finish, an attractive walnut/maple binding, and an equally eye-catching abalone rosette.
Considerable effort has been devoted to the decoration on the walnut fretboard, which was inspired from – as Luna put it themselves – ‘the full moon at the first fret, which causes the abalone wave fret markers below it to rise as they make their way up the fretboard towards the moon’s pull.’ If only all fretboards were this well thought out! There are 12 frets, and this all sits on a very playable mahogany neck. In fact, the whole instrument feels very premium, as you’d expect for the price.
The High Tide is an electro-acoustic, so is kitted with a piezo pickup and preamp for easy amplification. This is Luna-designed and works very well, with a simple control panel offering three sliders – one each for volume, treble and bass. There’s a walnut bridge while, at the top of the uke, you’ll find a set of open-geared tuners featuring nice little pearloid buttons, offering a smooth action and good tuning precision.
High Tide’s tone is marvellous. The solid koa projects a crisp, direct, twinkly tone which is exactly what you have been longing for from a soprano ukulele. Acoustically it will get warmer as time goes by, owing to the use of solid wood. Through an amp it also sounds pretty good, and retains the natural brightness of the koa, while the controls allow for a little versatility.
Luna Vintage Mahogany
The Luna Vintage Mahogany has a mahogany flat top. The whole body is also built from mahogany making the uke sound very sweet while perserving rigid construction. The C-shaped mahogany neck has a walnut fretboard with MOP shark teeth inlays that is smooth and very comfortable.
Luna has equipped their instrument with black open gear tuners and 1 3/8″ Urea (OEM) nut. Personally, Urea is not my favorite material for the nut but in this case, it does not seem to do any “harm” to the sound and overall playability of the instrument. As for the tuners, I think they do a good job of helping the instrument stay in tune but they are magical tuners, you will have to tune a little bit in the beginning. The guitar comes with popular Aquila strings, but they do not help improve the sound much so feel free to exchange them for other string brands.
Whether you have the best material or not, your uke will probably not sound its best unless people who know what they are doing get involved. The selection of all mahogany body and C-shaped neck on this soprano was pretty standard but the sound it delivers is much more than just standard when you consider the price range. The balanced tone with sweet uke sound will make you fall in love with music all over again. The playability of this instrument is also great. The only thing I would change, as I have mentioned before, are the strings which do not let the uke have the intonation that it can actually achieve.
Oscar Schmidt OU2E-A-U
The great thing about the Oscar Schmidt OU2E-A-U isn’t just that it has a premium feel and sound to it but also that it comes with all the extra accessories you’d need to start playing right away. For an entry-level electric ukulele, this model can be regarded as one of the greatest on the market. And although it comes at a very affordable price, it has way more to offer in terms of quality than other budget models.
The ukulele features a mahogany body design that adds to its rich and warm tone. The top, back and sides of the instrument also feature the popular mahogany wood design. The fretboard and bridge are made of rosewood, and they combine amazingly to produce a rich, warm sound. Added by a satin finish, the Oscar Schmidt OU2E-A-U is an ideal ukulele for a beginner.
The sound is pretty warm, yet feels well balanced. Though you can hear some buzzing noise with harder strum, it’s not that of a big deal. Both the pickup and preamp performance are on point. Maybe not that great for playing alongside a band, but certainly good enough for solo performances and casual jamming.
Oscar Schmidt comes out with all necessary accessories that will get you started instantly. A polishing cloth to keep your ukulele clean is included. There is also a gig bag with which you can carry your ukulele and keep it safe from scratches when not in use. Austin Bazaar’s instructional DVD on how to play keeps you on track. All things considered, the Oscar Schmidt OU2E-A-U ukulele bundle serves as an ideal starting point for those who begin to play ukulele, as well as a well-rounded gift.
Do Acoustic Electric Ukuleles offer more Benefits than the Standard Ukulele?
The benefits of an electric ukulele with its amplification capabilities far outweigh the abilities of a traditional ukulele. They allow for amplification, which can improve performances if you are limited to standing in front of a microphone with your ukulele. They can be recorded directly into digital audio workstations for music production and songwriting.
Having an electronic output means you can use a loop pedal to layer with and improvise over. It also provides you with a chance of freestyle sound experimentation by running them through a pedalboard or effects stack.
Most electronic models can be played acoustically as well as electronically so it would be wise to go for the electric anyway for all the additional abilities it brings to the table. Other noticeable benefits they provide are more accurate tuning, auxiliary jamming and even silent rehearsing which is a win-win for anyone living in an apartment. Some modern models even have wireless connectivity options built-in these days, in order to keep up with demanding customer conveniences and facilitate the latest trends in technology.
If you are a stickler for tradition, and can’t find it within you to even think of a solid bodied electric ukulele as anywhere close to the original article you might want to invest in a good stick on, slide in, or clip on pick-up as an amplification option for your uke instead.
By now you must have figured out what ukulele you should purchase. While the list and reviews above are not everything that you can find in the market, they form part of the best there is. So you shouldn’t waste much of your time seeking everywhere for your ukulele.
However, before parting with your money, there is something you need to know about ukulele pickups. Most of the pickups and additional electronics you will come across on most ukuleles are not always of professional grade. Although they really don’t sound bad, they, however, may sound bit quaky to some people. Against this backdrop, it is strongly advised that you consider serious reviews like this or consult musical experts before buying your ukulele of choice.
That said, the ukuleles on this review has been thoroughly screened and confirmed adequate, and in some case even surpass your expectations. So, you may bravely make your order at anytime, and you will be glad you did.