March 23, 2010 by Tim
Imagine if back in the day when Led Zeppelin was forming and Jimmy Page decided that his main instrument would be a ukulele!!! If that did happen, and Eleuke was making these ukuleles, he would have played it. I think Led Zeppelin would have been even bigger than they were!…….. Maybe not, But it would have been cool to see.
When someone says ukulele most think of the standard design of a 3 inch deep hollow box with a wood neck, with the wood grain showing, and friction tuners. They don’t think of a 1/2″ thick solid sparkle blue ukulele with a cut away body, geared tuners, no sound hole, and 3 jacks in the end. But why NOT! Uke players can rock out with the best of them gosh darn it!!! (Gotta keep it family friendly) And with the personal MP3 player input you can rock out along with the best of them without disturbing the whole house when you use the built in amp with your headphones plugged in
Eleuke was nice enough to send me a concert sized eleuke a few weeks ago and below is the full review, enjoy.
Concert : 19 Fret
Bridge & Saddle : Rosewood
Nut : Rosewood
Pickup : Eleuke original
Output : 1/4″ Phone Jack, H/P output
Input: MP3 Input with connection cable for your MP3 player to play along with backing track.
String : Aquila
Peg : Closed Gear chrome
Bag : Softbag Included
First look: (4) Its Bright blue, you can’t miss it. My 2009 Honda Civic is the same color (Atomic Blue) I like it because it makes a statement. For some it may not be to their liking, but you can get these in a pineapple, natural wood (Really cool looking since they do strips of different wood), and they also come in purple and red. One of the details that is really hard to photograph is the sparkle in the paint. It looks like car paint, which is not uncommon and means that it is a really sturdy finish. With the mother of pearl binding around the edge of the body and fret board it makes it look like a well made instrument that people took care in making.
My only real turn-off is with the headstock. It has mother of pearl inlay around the body and the position markers, but the headstock logo and design is screen printed on in a flat gold. Just takes away from the overall look.
Fit and Finish: (5) When making and instrument there are telltale signs that it is quality. One of them is smoothness of the edges. Every edge has been rounded (Except the bridge where you want it to be crisp). The paint is perfect with no weird blotches. I will say at first I was worried about the paint because it will look kind of dark at the edges when you look at it at an angle. I think this is a two part thing with the sparkle and major thick gloss finish they use.
Other things like the fret board are also just great. The frets are filed back with no edges to catch on. Every joint and part that is not suppose to have paint on it was handled very well. You can tell that it was taped because you can see a small micro space around the fret board at the body from the tape. Not noticeable unless you A) have your face an inch away looking for it , or B) just too picky and expecting a sub $200 ukulele to not have any tiny finish flaws. Either way top notch.
Sound Type : Depends on where you have the tone knob. All the way down it is mellow and muted, all the way up sharp and tinny.
Intonation: (4) The intonation is not perfect, but I have yet to find a ukulele that is perfect from the factory. With a professionals help it would take a little time to shape the saddle to make it perfect. The only people that would notice are those who are crazy sensitive to pitch. No matter where you play on the fret board it will sound really awesome and right.
Volume: (NA) How big is your amp? Unplugged you can hear it, kind of, it is a solid body electric. If you plug this baby into a Marshall double stack and crank it, you could level a house, if that is how you roll. Don’t forget that this has one really unique feature, A built in personal amp. Just plug in some headphones and turn the volume up to make it as loud as you want without disturbing anyone else.
Sustain: (5) Beside the fact that it is an electric, and you can hear the sound as it degrades for longer, it has really good sustain. The Aquila strings have a lot to do with the sound and sustain.
String Height: (Medium-High) Both the nut and saddle are higher than I would like. Not slide guitar high. The nut could come down a mm or two, and the saddle has room also to come down a bit.
Neck Radius Depth: (3/4″) Average radius depth for a C shaped neck.
Frets: (5) I measured the fret spacing and found that they are perfect. Along with the frets they are very well dressed with no issues. For the price I was surprised to not to be able to feel the frets from the side of the neck. This is something that shows that great care was taken on the fret board.
Tuning: (4) I know I will get flack for this, but I think ukuleles should come with friction tuners. The ukulele stays in-tune after the strings have settled. Tuning it is very easy with the geared tuners. Perfect ratio for tuning a ukulele. small turns make small changes.
Comfort: (5) The rounded edges, no frets sticking out the side, and the fact that it is very small makes it very comfortable to play. It can sit on your knee while you are sitting. Also has a strap button/amp jack lets you put a strap on it, you just need to tie it to the head on the other side. Very comfortable to play and nothing gets in the way with the cut-out in the body so you can hit the highest notes.
I own a Risa solid soprano, so this is not the first electric uke I have played. I love the volume and tone knobs. Very useful when you are playing and need to adjust the sound. The Eleuke is bigger and less compact, but it comes with a great padded clothe case (No kidding at least 2 inches of padding on both top and bottom) and also easier to hold if you don’t want to strap it on. Just a really well made instrument for anyone who wants to play on stage, practice without having others hear it, or just being loud for loads sake.
IF this was my instrument I would take it in to have the action lowered. The way I got it was totally playable, I just am really picky. I would also buy some more fun knobs like these that got to 11. The last thing I would do is put a strap button behind the neck where it meets the body.
If anyone asks me what solid body ukulele to buy, I would say that this is my top choice.
All Rating on a scale of 1-5
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|Fit and Finish||5|
|Neck Radius Depth||3/4″|