Christmas Gifts for Ukulele Players: Electric Ukuleles

If you can’t stand the sound of your loved one strumming incessantly, it might seem a little counter-intuitive to buy them an electric ukulele. Were it not for one word: headphones.

ovation applause electric ukuleleOvation Applause

With their round backs and distinctive sound-holes, Ovation Applause tenor ukuleles are heavily based on their guitar big brother. In my opinion, they have a slightly dated look – there’s a definite whiff of Bon Jovi unplugged about them. But recently, Kaki King came along and rescued the Applause image.

Buy for: the hair-rocker in your life.

Find Applause ukuleles

Bugsgear eleuke electric ukuleleBugsgear Eleuke

Bugsgear’s Eleuke has a much more modern look. They come in a sparkling blue or a more understated natural wood.

They now have one you can plug headphones straight into, so no excuse for waking up family members with midnight strummings.

Find Bugsgear EleUkes

kala archtop electric ukulele tenorKala Archtop

The Kala Archtop Tenor has a more classic look with jazzy f-holes and an archtop.

Buy for: midnight jazzers, those who find the term ‘f-hole’ endlessly amusing.

Find Kala ukuleles

What’s your electric uke recommendation?

More Christmas gifts for ukulele players

View Comments


  1. Stewart Greenhill December 16th, 2007 1:30 pm

    I love my Ovation Applause, though mine does not have the electrics buit-in. Its got quite a good sound despite the wierdly placed sound holes – 20 holes in total of various sizes. This one was given to me as a gift, but I do quite like the look – its got a greenish centre and the wooden inlay could be either wings or leaves.

    As far as electrics go, I’m quite intrigued by the RISA solid ukes. They have quite a funky look and apparently can crank out 30% of the volume of a standard uke despite the complete lack of a body. Put one on my wish list…

  2. weelie December 17th, 2007 2:13 pm

    I’ve played the Kala, Ovation, Risa Solid and UkeEllie.

    The Kala looks beautiful (I fall into the midnite jazzers category). The ovation doesn’t remind me of the guitar brothers as much. Or I always hated the looks of the guitars, but to have one as an ukulele, it makes me smile. And the Ovations have made a small comeback in guitars too. Both sounded ok acoustically. I think I just slighly prefered the Ovation, for whatever reason. Didn’t play them plugged in!

    The Solid by Risa is a fun tool for those who enjoy the look of it. It will make heads turn! And you can play one through teh night not bothering your neighbors! But I personally found the UkeEllie soooooooooooooo cute, that I would pay the extra to get that. Maybe. I am into acoustic ukes, and the pure electric ones are not my cup of tea. Anyway, looks to have the best choice electrified ukes, and you get very good service too!

    Then there are the ukes that look like electric guitars. Great gift to somebody who is into the rock’n’roll look of Fender or Gibson guitars. I actually don’t know if they have pickups though.

  3. Woodshed December 17th, 2007 7:39 pm

    Thanks for your opinions, guys.

    Stewart: I’ve got a RISA solid on my wishlist too. I’m hoping for a sale somewhere after Xmas.

    weelie: I’m not so keen on the look of the Uke’Ellies – prefer the solids. But if someone offered me a Crystal’Ellie I wouldn’t turn it down – even if it does look like Liberace’s ukulele.

  4. Nina Coquina December 18th, 2007 6:46 am

    Joel Eckhaus of Earnest Ukuleles makes some fantastic electric ukes. Check out his Tululele and the LaPaula.

    Also Ko’olau has some terrific solid-bodied electric ukes in tenor and baritone sizes. Pricey but really nice.

  5. weelie December 18th, 2007 7:59 am

    The most beautiful electric ukulele I’ve had in my hands was this Pete Howlett Uklectric (made in Wales):

  6. Woodshed December 18th, 2007 7:50 pm

    If I’m going to get every uke I need, I’m going to have to steal a lot of money.

    Nina: Joel Eckhaus makes some really nice ukes. I particularly like his Stradelele ukes.

    weelie: You had it in your hands? Does that mean you didn’t get to keep it?

  7. UkeySam December 31st, 2007 9:33 am

    !!! You guys really have to check out this website. This guy named Rob makes handmade ukuleles, guitars, mandolines and more to custom orders! I got one not too long ago and it is SWEET! Its in the shape of a gibson SG stained wine red. His pricing is also very fair considering the work he puts in to it. Check it out and let me know what you think.
    He is based in Adelaide, Australia which makes it even better for us aussies.
    :-D Sam

  8. Ian January 2nd, 2008 12:25 am

    I second UkeySam… Rob is awesome. Purely awesome. He’s got some of the nicest tenor guitars around these days… same with solid body ukes… He also puts them up on ebay occasionally for a lower price… but beware, if you buy his next concert sized one that he puts up, I’ll be forced to steal it from you when you get it… or something.

  9. SnakeOiler January 2nd, 2008 5:21 pm

    If you guys want to see some juicy archtop electric Ukes, check out these beauties from Sonntag:

  10. UkeySam January 3rd, 2008 11:46 am

    Hahaha! Theres plenty to go round Ian. But do beware, I am thinking about buying one :-D

  11. Woodshed January 3rd, 2008 8:39 pm

    UkeySam & Ian: I want one too. BIDDING WAR!

    SnakeOiler: Those look damn sweet too. I need to steal more money.

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