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At GuitarFella, we like a wildcard – and on our chart of the best ukuleles under $100 – this Electric Peanut Ukulele from EleUke is one of the most interesting models we feature. It’s Bluetooth compatible, headphone compatible, light, versatile, portable, and looks pretty cool – it’s shaping up to be quite the budget ukulele! Let’s see what it has to offer.
You don’t have to be an expert to see that this is no ordinary soprano ukulele. For one thing, the Peanut (which takes its name from its inherent peanut-in-a-shell shape) is made from a solid block of mahogany, so there’s no soundhole. This makes it a particularly robust instrument, and excellent for travel. This wood is satin-finished, and has a minimalist natural look that’s quite appealing, although you can also find a painted black version which is pretty cool too. The neck also uses mahogany, and sports a rosewood fretboard with 13 frets.
It’s no heavier than a regular ukulele, and is very slim, so it’s easy to transport, hold and play. Overall it looks and feels like a quality product. The only slight letdown is the headstock, which bears the EleUke name in a rather cheap looking font – a bit more creativity and this may have passed for a $200 uke!
The Peanut is an electro-acoustic model, so comes fitted with a piezo pickup and a preamp, with a headphone jack, as well as a standard ¼” output jack for a guitar amplifier. Most interestingly, the Peanut is also Bluetooth compatible, meaning you are able to wirelessly connect to a smartphone and play along to MP3 tracks. Very clever. This is all powered with an included rechargeable battery – which comfortably lasts around nine hours or so – and is controlled by a master volume and master tone rotary control.
The rest of the hardware is pretty good, considering this is a sub-$100 ukulele. There’s a rosewood bridge, a graphite nut and saddle, and a set of sealed die-cast tuning machines. These tuners – as is the case with many budget instruments – are the weakest link as they slip out of tune quite often, but all things considered this isn’t a major issue. Finally, the Peanut also comes with strap pegs, so attaching a strap for stand-up playing is pretty simple, while the branded nylon gig bag is another nice touch for this budget uke.
Acoustically the Peanut is naturally much quieter than your standard ukulele, but still audible enough for quiet practice sessions. However, the amplified sound can enhance the output up whatever volume you want. The preamp is basic, but does the job of amplifying the sound clearly, which is all you can ask at this price.
For under $100, you are getting a lot of instrument with EleUke’s Peanut. While beginners may be better off learning with a more conventional ukulele, this electro-acoustic uke is ideal for more experienced players wanting something new in their collection, or something that’s both wallet and travel-friendly.