Risa LP Tobacco Sunburst Electro Tenor Ukulele
Undoubtedly cool, the Risa LP electro tenor uke borrows the classic visual appeal of the Gibson Les Paul electric guitar. It does so in a really impressive way, with a stunning level of finish. Reviewed was the tobacco sunburst model, with a jet black gloss giving way to a warm orange-brown that reveals the wood grain beneath. Gorgeous little pickups, knobs and switches adorn the top. It’s a bit of a looker!
Without plugging it in, the Risa sounds very quiet, with the distinctive jangle of an electric guitar before it is amplified. This thing lives to be plugged it. True, you can sit and noodle while watching the telly and disturb nobody else watching, but that is about it. Plug it and it is a different animal, and a beast of an animal at that! The sound quality is superb and there’s a great flexibility offered in being able to switch between different pickups and alter their tone, easily. Quality shines through when it comes to the performance.
The gorgeously shaped body is solid mahogany, finished in high gloss. There are two hand-wired humbucker pickups, a three way selector switch (activating the bridge pickup, neck pickup, or both), and tone and volume controls for each humbucker. All of these components are great quality. The Risa LP is strung low G, with electric guitar strings (the middle four or the pack of six).
I defy anyone who is presented with one of these instruments to not find themselves twenty minutes later familiarising themselves with string bending, hammer-ons and pull offs. It is, in effect, a conveniently light and compact, high quality electric guitar that plays like a dream. Oh, and of course, it has four ukulele-tuned strings. Effortless to play, it is a lot of fun!
If you’re a purist, then the Risa LP has strayed a long way from ukulele norms and traditions. But, if you want a good time with a really fun instrument, and one that performs wonders through an amplifier, then you won’t be disappointed. The fact it looks such a beauty doesn’t hurt either!