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Acoustic guitars have their electric brothers, so why not a ukulele? Vorson’s FSUK1BK is a cute little uke, but it’s no toy – this is a serious, steel-stringed, fully electric ukulele, with a good dose of rock attitude. Whether you’re a uke player looking for the feel of an electric guitar, or a guitarist interested in shredding on a uke, this should appeal to most of us! Let’s check it out.
It looks like a mini Strat – and that’s awesome! With a tenor sized body, the manufacturer takes inspiration from every Strat-style electric guitar out there, with a double-cutaway body shape, finished in glossy black and featuring a white pickguard. Note that, while the BK model is black, you can also find a cool flamed maple (FM) and quilted maple (QM) version, although these tend to cost around thirty bucks more.
The manufacturer, Vorson, is a Chinese brand, and aren’t known for premium instruments. Their release of information surrounding this model is pretty limited, but we understand that candlenut wood is used to construct the body and neck, while rosewood is used for the fretboard. The neck and fretboard all feel smooth and the uke is well put together. It’s not high-end, but very playable, with 19 easily accessible frets and black dot fret inlays.
For such a budget ukulele, the FSUK1 comes with decent hardware. You’ll find two stock single-coil pickups, and controls that are common on an electric guitar – volume, tone, and a three-way toggle switch. The tuners are chrome and closed-gear, while the fixed bridge is fully adjustable. There’s also a truss rod in the neck for easy adjustments and stability. The only significant disappointment are the actory strings, which do their job, but nothing more – you’d be wise to change these immediately to enhance the playability and tone.
It’s hard to compare the sound of this model to that of a traditional acoustic tenor uke because it’s technically a different instrument. Acoustically it’s quiet – as you’d expect from an electric instrument – but plugged into a decent amp you can get some great sounds, both clean and distorted. The two pickups and tone controls provide an outlet for a little sound shaping too. For a ukulele, you can actually get some pretty mean rock tones!
Being a steel-stringed electric model, perhaps Vorson’s FSUK1 is not the ideal beginner’s ukulele – but it’s a great little instrument that would be a worthy addition to the collection of a more experienced ukulelist or guitarist. It looks awesome, sounds pretty good, is versatile, and feels well-made for the price. For something a little different, it’s well-worth the hundred bucks.