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The Eleuke is the main ukulele sold by Bugsgear. It is a solid body, electric ukulele. All the EleUkes come with a volume and tone control and under-saddle pickups.
BugsGear EleUke TC100-PHP/R Review
I have an EleUke myself, and I wouldn't be without it. The big advantage of it for me is that it's silent. Because it has a solid body, when it's not plugged in, it's very quiet. I do a lot of ukeing early in the morning and late at night and the EleUke has meant I don't get any complaints. It's the uke I have laying around ready to pick up for a bit of practice any time I feel like it.
It did take me a little while to get used to handling the EleUke. The body is much thiner than and standard uke and the neck thicker. The holes in the body also meant I had to adjust my natural playing style a little. But once I was used to, it became a pleasure to play: the action is low, the intonation is spot on, the fretboard is smooth; it's comfortable to play up to the fifteenth fret. It's also solid as brick. I'm far from the most careful of ukulele owners and mine has survived drops, scrapes and bangs without any battle scars or electrical breakdowns.
One problem I had was with the string grooves in the nut. They aren't wide enough for the strings to sit in. I had the C string pop out on me a few times before I took a file to it.
This model has a headphone input as well as a standard lead input. The headphones supplied with it (as with the strings) are pretty much junk: I replaced them both after trying them just once. The sound on headphones isn't great, but good enough if you're just practicing.
I'm really happy with the way it sounds plugged in. You're never going to get the real ukulele sound with a solid body electric, so you have to treat it as its own instrument. It works well enough with a clean tone, but I can never resist cranking up the distortion and playing blues riffs. Unlike with acoustic ukuleles with a pick up, you can do this without getting an earful of nasty, high pitched feedback.
I wouldn't recommend the EleUke as anyone's first ukulele, but it makes a perfect quiet practice uke and is great for anyone wanting to experiment with some wild distortion.
Review by Woodshed.
Bugsgear Rosewood Tenor EleUke Review
When you've been playing a yellow Mahalo U30 uke for a couple of months and you take those fateful steps into the local music shop just to try out that gorgeous (but grossly overpriced) little uke in the window you very quickly realise why you NEED to get a better uke. With some money set aside from xmas and birthday gifts, I had set my heart set on a Pono PTO ukulele from TheUkuleleShop.com.
The initial emails weren't promising and it looked like it would be months before they would have any in stock so after much trawling of the internet, YouTube and UkeHunt, I plumped for a Bugsgear Rosewood Tenor EleUke as a compromise, I decided I would go for an electric uke instead of an acoustic as it would be a little quieter (there are only so many times you can stumble through the Guns'n'roses "Sweet Child'o'mine" riff before you hear knives being sharpened), so after a couple of phonecalls a Bugsgear Rosewood Eleuke was ordered. The very nice and helpful chap at TheUkuleleShop threw in a set of Worth strings as well.
What a lovely instrument, the first impression when I took her out was *niiice*, she isn't too heavy nor too light and is nice and shiny. The gig bag supplied with her fits like a glove and has enough space to fit a patch cable, spare strings, strap and a chromatic tuner.
From a technical perspective she's got; chrome geared tuners, chrome strap buttons, rosewood finger board with mother of pearl position markers, nickel fret wire, ebony nut, ebony bridge and saddle (with under saddle pickup), a standard headphone jack, a standard guitar jack, volume and tone control knobs and of course the onboard, "patented" bugsgear onboard amplifier,. The body and neck are plywood, veneered with rosewood and laquered, the head has a modest gold motif and is quite plain. On the back of the instrument there is a battery box for the 9 volt battery which powers the amplifier and there is a plastic plate which hides all the amplifier gubbins.
All in all she is a very nicely constructed instrument and feels nice to hold and play, "the real deal" so to speak.
Now, playing her. Well, I'm no musical maestro however I do know what I like and what I don't. The standard black strings which she came with were very harsh and not particularly nice to fret, so they were changed to the Worth strings which were thrown in with her. What a difference, they are much nicer to play and a lot less brash. The action was a little too high at the higher end of the fretboard for my liking as well, some careful application of the saddle to sandpaper and this was soon remedied. Now that I was happy with the strings and the fretting I concentrated on playing.
The sound from her is very clear and bright, even without amplification, the intonation is excellent and I haven't found any problems in that regards. The headphones supplied went straight in the bin, I use a decent set of Sony studio headphones or I play her through a Kustom KAA16 Acoustic amp (only has reverb unfortunately). When she's played through the amp she sounds even better, it's not a typical Ukey sound but then she's not yer typical uke, I wont embarass myself with recording anything but a quick trawl on youtube and you'll get a good idea of what these delightful instruments sound like.
The tenor scale makes the fingers work a little harder but as there is more space on the fretboard this makes some chord shapes easier and some harder.
All in all a lovely instrument in every regard, great value for money, great fun to play, with the added bonus you can plug in the headphones and strum, pluck and pick away for hours and you wont hear anything else and no-one else will hear you OR you can plug her into the amp crank up the volume and do the exact opposite.
Review by Martin.