Greatest Guitaleles 2021 – A Purchaser’s Information

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Final Up to date on April 27, 2021.

A 6-string ukulele? A down-sized guitar? Actually, these names convey a bunch of condescending connotations to the guitalele. Some musicians even argue that this instrument is a classical guitar capo-ed on the fifth fret. 

I didn’t delve into my musical forays with a classical guitar nor with a ukulele, however I obtained began with plucking the strings of a guitalele! Why? Nicely, since I couldn’t stand the load of a guitar as a kid, I demanded one thing simple to cope with like a ukulele, however not with restricted octaves or motion, like a guitar.

I assumed {that a} guitalele is a transitional instrument that it’s a must to follow earlier than holding a guitar. Nonetheless, the guitalele is an instrument by itself, and the resemblance in strategies doesn’t make it a subset on this regard. Having plucked many 6 strings on my journey, I’ve discovered that luthiers don’t take note of particulars in manufacturing a guitalele.

Additionally, you received’t discover a bar chit-chat the place this fretted instrument is introduced up. For that, I’m tremendously thrilled to showcase the 6 guitaleles that I maintain in my sacred room of devices, amongst which you’ll meet the most effective guitalele for you!

At a look:

  1. Yamaha GL1 – Greatest General
  2. Flight GUT-350 – Runner-Up
  3. Ortega RGL5EB – Greatest for Superior Gamers
  4. Caramel CB500G – Greatest Electrical Guitalele
  5. Kmise Guitalele – Greatest for Inexperienced persons

The 5 Greatest Guitaleles

The chances that the guitalele provides are INSANE. This guitar-ukulele hybrid instrument has 6 nylon strings of a guitar and a compact soundboard of a ukulele. Think about having a conveyable instrument that provides you that bass-oriented sound of a regular classical guitar! Now, let’s strum these strings to identify the most effective guitalele for you!

1. Yamaha GL1 – Greatest General

The matte end on this guitalele is the consensus amongst each guitar that makes use of nylon strings. What I favored concerning the soundboard right here is the Spruce prime. Spruce inclines towards producing a delicate, mid-range sound. If taking part in dynamics are your factor, you’ll have the ability to derive many tonal qualities.

Yamaha says the again and sides of this guitalele are molded out of a “Regionally Sourced Tonewood,” which is what boring paperwork would sound like. They’re made out of Meranti, a budget-conscious tonewood that produces a heat sound, much like mahogany. This hardwood is supposed to extend the sturdiness of the GL1, to not improve its tonal properties.

Their resonant, deep sound is much like my ear-filling C40 classical guitar from the identical model—no issues to this point! Fretting this rosewood fingerboard of the Yamaha GL1 has been a delight, particularly when you think about the widely-spaced frets and the additional octaves that grant you freedom like a guitar!

I used to be enticed to check these chrome-plated tuning machines rigorously—I simply opted for aggressive strumming and whole-tone bending to search out that this instrument stays in tune prefer it’s your final day taking part in! I’d additionally give the high-quality rosewood bridge some credit for stability. Moreover, intonation didn’t fade away from the usual, not like a short-scale ukulele.

One factor that I assumed would discredit this guitalele is the saddle because it’s made from plastic. Nonetheless, the primary drawback lies within the saddle’s excessive place, making the strings’ motion extra demanding. So, you’ll be able to say that this guitalele is the kind of instrument it’s a must to get used to at first. The excellent news is that Yamaha features a gentle gig bag with its instrument.

Execs:

  • Spruce prime
  • General heat sound
  • Louder quantity than rivals
  • Excessive-quality tuning machines
  • Exact intonation
  • Comes with a gig bag

Cons:

  • Saddle positioned larger than regular

Backside Line

What makes this 6-string Yamaha GL1 my finest guitalele is how its sound merely reverberates from the Spruce prime: full, spatial, and heat. In the meantime, Yamaha doesn’t quit on the sturdy construct high quality. Chances are you’ll even condone the excessive motion once you nail your transitions and strumming patterns—it’d simply be inappropriate to name this guitalele flawless!


2. Flight Ukulele GUT-350 – Runner-Up

The creamy look of the Flight GUT-350 is what your eyes will detect at first look, particularly these cream binding alongside the sliced neck contours close to the soundhole! Nonetheless, this guitalele is packing extra than simply 6 strings and a mesmerizing binding accent. Let’s query what this guitar-ukulele fusion hides.

This guitalele rocks a Spruce prime, identified for the complicated timbres it provides off. Aided by the large soundboard of this guitalele, Spruce’s tonal traits turn into extra distinguished than a tenor or a baritone ukulele. On the intense aspect (actually), we’ve obtained Sapele again and sides, serving to the guitalele retain its baritone ukulele-like sound.

Flight states that the Spruce and Sapele are hardwood. Nonetheless, the Spruce right here isn’t as real as that of the GL1—it’s a laminate, and so is the Sapele. So, you’ll discover the tone of this guitalele undoubtedly inferior to our prime choose. But, it nonetheless retains the sparkly sound high quality at excessive quantity, identical to a ukulele.

The fingerboard of this guitalele is crafted from actual hardwood: walnut. Though I’m a fan of rosewood, walnut stays my favourite for its buttery-smooth floor—it makes me neglect about string rigidity after I’m half-bending the G string for a tasty blues be aware!

The Rosewood bridge right here is steady, however I’d additionally admire the way it contributes to the sound heat with out blatantly leaning towards the treble register. On the flip aspect, the saddle affixed to the bridge is made from bone as an alternative of plastic, higher than our best choice!

The fingerboard’s motion stays bearable for rookies. Due to the sturdy tuning machines, this instrument will hardly ever slip out of tune until you beat it with a Vicente Amigo-style strum, which may be very unlikely. Talking of strumming, the pre-installed strings are of top quality.

No shenanigans have arisen within the GUT-350 apart from the laminate wooden. It’s nonetheless considerate of Flight to incorporate a well-padded gig bag with this guitalele.

Execs:

  • Spruce physique
  • Sapele again and sides for upper-midrange shimmer
  • The walnut fingerboard is straightforward to stress
  • Wonderful intonation
  • Sturdy bone saddle and nut
  • Sturdy rosewood bridge and tuning machines
  • Comes with a cushioned gig bag

Cons:

  • The soundboard is made from laminate as an alternative of hardwood
  • Dimensions much like a small-scale guitar

Backside Line

The Flight Ukulele GUT-350 has been my go-to after I need to exhibit the complete potential of my dynamics, and that’s for a purpose. The respectable sound profile of this guitalele, mixed with its seamless fingerboard floor and strings, has at all times been what I would like to hold on rocking a string instrument!


3. Ortega RGL5EB – Greatest for Superior Gamers

Are you a sophisticated participant? Are the opposite guitaleles not doing the magic for you? Then you’ll fall in love with the Ortega RGL5EB. This mannequin is the most effective for superior customers, and it isn’t onerous to see why.

The very first thing that we seen about this instrument is that it’s a short-scale guitarlele. Thus, not solely is it the most effective for superior customers, however it’s also probably the greatest short-scale guitaleles.

Ortega makes some attention-grabbing devices that stand the take a look at of time and are excellent to make use of whether or not you’re a sophisticated person or simply beginning out. The model is very famend for its high-quality guitaleles, and this product isn’t any exception.

This specific mannequin comes from the model’s timber collection mannequin, and it’s created from effective tonewoods. The craftsmanship of this instrument is outstanding, and that interprets to its visible and tonal properties. The fabric it’s created from is an effective species for ukuleles, and you’ll get pleasure from taking part in the instrument.

It incorporates a darkish coloration and a transparent tonality as well. Moreover, the inside bracing on this mannequin is much like what you discover in conventional ukuleles. Due to this fact it’s sturdy, and you’ll get pleasure from utilizing it for a reasonably very long time.

As a guitalele, it’s a hybrid instrument. It options six strings and has the physique of a tenor ukulele. Due to this fact, it’s moveable and comparatively light-weight. Thus, in case you are typically on the transfer, you will see the power to maneuver this instrument simply an enormous bonus.

Throughout our testing, we found that this mannequin has the ADGCEA tune and is finest performed by individuals which might be right-handed. With sufficient follow, although, even left-handed people could have a good time taking part in this. As a result of tuning, the motion is mild and the tone brighter than what you would possibly discover in different fashions.

One of the vital stunning issues about this mannequin is the amount. It’s fairly loud. Nonetheless, the amount doesn’t scale back the standard of sound that you simply get. General, you get a brilliant and crisp sound.

A part of the options we love is the built-in tuner. It’s not a third-party addition however is Ortega’s very personal tuner. Due to this fact, you’ll be able to relaxation assured that it’s a high quality choice.

Execs

  • Excessive-quality building
  • It has a built-in tuner
  • Light-weight and moveable
  • Lovely design
  • Comparatively reasonably priced

Cons

  • Greatest for right-handed gamers

Backside Line

With a high-quality construct, built-in tuner, stunning design, and low value, this mannequin is a wonderful choice for any superior gamers. We loved testing it, and imagine you’ll too.


4. Caramel CB500G – Greatest Electrical Guitalele

I’ve at all times fallen in love with the standard that Caramel presents—even the packaging of the included equipment are an indicator of the way it takes craftsmanship significantly. Having amassed reputation amongst ukulele gamers, Caramel determined to shift its consideration towards the guitalele scene, and the CG500G is its electric masterpiece!

Nicely-thought aesthetics are what involves prominence after one take a look at that soundhole of this guitalele. Leaf holes ditch the normal notion with 5 punctures into the hardwood, making certain an enormous mid-range increase. Additionally, I really like how the reddish background of the soundhole contrasts with the matte black end.

Surprisingly, this guitalele is totally crafted from rosewood. The usage of rosewood to fabricate guitar-ukulele our bodies is certainly unique because it’s a really dense tonewood. Nonetheless, this guitalele is the closest you will get to a baritone and warm-sounding instrument. Opposite to standard perception, the sound resonates from this rosewood physique with full heat!

Caramel reinforces this instrument with an entire 3-band EQ and a mono cable output to plug your guitar into any amplifier. To manage the tone depth, you’ll be able to spin the knobs of treble, mid-range, and bass to acquire the most effective timbre. On prime of that, this preamp has an onboard guitalele tuner.

I’d deem the hand-crafted contour adornments the most effective aesthetic contact on this guitalele. Design apart, this instrument’s rosewood fingerboard might not be as seamless as walnut ones, nevertheless it takes much less time to get used to. I additionally admire the fret inlays on the fingerboard for simple navigation—typically, the dots printed on the neck aren’t sufficient!

The CB500G doesn’t boast a standard classical guitar bridge. As a substitute, it has an acoustic guitar-style bridge, on which pins safe the strings’ place. Finishing the steady intonation recipe are the bone nut and saddle, enduring string rigidity in case bending is your strategy of selection.

Together with the acquisition, you get a padded gig bag, a set of guitar strings, an audio cable, a cleansing material, a wall hanger, three guitar picks, and a strap with pegs. Regardless of all of the kicks and giggles, I didn’t like that the strap pegs weren’t pre-installed. Furthermore, the pre-strung set is mellow-sounding.

Execs:

  • Full rosewood physique
  • Real bone saddle and nut
  • Positive intonation
  • Deep tone with a heat strumming sound
  • Eye-pleasing soundboard design and binding
  • Preamp with a 3-band equalizer
  • Equipment and gig bag included
  • Eligible tuning guitalele and guitars

Cons:

  • Low-quality pre-installed strings
  • Excessive motion
  • Stand-alone strap pegs

Backside Line

With a full rosewood physique, a leaf soundhole, and a 3-way controllable EQ preamp, the Caramel CB500G is the most effective electrical guitalele in case you need to crank up the amp someday! This instrument unveils the boundless prospects of guitaleles because you’ll have the ability to kick the strings to the usual E tuning of a guitar!


5. Kmise Guitalele – Greatest for Inexperienced persons

I couldn’t miss mentioning your utmost savior if you happen to’re simply getting began. Kmise is so dedicated to offering string devices’ market with all-around kits, and this Kmise Guitalele is what I’d’ve opted for if it had been there throughout my beginner days!

Although reasonably priced, we’re wanting right here at a full mahogany physique, guaranteeing a heat tone profile, additional enhanced as a result of deep soundhole. Truly, the physique isn’t the one half formed out of mahogany—each the headstock and the neck make the most of the identical tonewood so as to add to the tone depth.

Kmise thought that incorporating a walnut fingerboard to this guitalele would neutralize the overly heat sound of mahogany, and that’s true since walnut, although a subdued tonewood, provides that upper-midrange crispness to bass-heavy tonewoods. In addition to, walnut sports activities a porous floor that’s simple to cope with for rookies.

In contrast to what you’ll discover in an affordable guitalele, this fingerboard has the fret wires well-sanded with no pointy edges that have an effect on your studying expertise. Furthermore, the spacing between frets is the widest on our checklist, which is extraordinarily useful if you happen to’ve by no means laid your palms on a string instrument.

Affixed to this stunning mahogany headstock is eighteen:1 tuning machines, the place every gear has 18 pins as an alternative of 15 to assist the bridge maintain the instrument in tune. Whereas there are not any tragedies with this guitalele remaining in tune, the intonation is somewhat bit questionable for the reason that notes are inclined to sound flat as you progress down the fingerboard, nevertheless it’s not that noticeable.

On the edges, you’ll see two metallic pins put in, suggesting that Kmise features a strap, and it does! Moreover, you get 5 guitar picks, a wrench for truss rod adjustment (extra on that within the assist part,) and a tremendously inflexible gig bag to maintain the guitalele in a secure haven from unintentional bumps.

Execs:

  • Very reasonably priced
  • All-mahogany physique
  • Comfy Walnut fingerboard for rookies
  • Balanced tonal high quality
  • Tenacious tuning machines
  • Comes with equipment
  • Sturdy gig bag

Cons:

  • Slight intonation deviation
  • Doesn’t include a clip-on tuner

Backside Line

This Kmise package deal includes the most effective guitalele yow will discover on each the spectrums of price range and beginner-friendliness. Why? At this value phase, you get a steady instrument with partially-closed tuners, a deep timber, actual mahogany hardwood, and a sturdy gig bag to guard your loyal companion all through your musical pursuits!


For Reference Solely: Older Fashions

Gretsch G9126

Gretsch is a high-end guitar model similar to each Taylor and Martin, leaving a hint of wonderful luthiers that crafted custom-made guitars for some timestamps in music historical past, like Chet Atkins! Now, Gretsch has ventured into the center realm between guitar and ukulele with its G9126 guitalele!

This guitalele is constructed from one sizable chunk of genuine mahogany with a honey satin end on prime. Want I stress extra on “genuine?” As a result of the sound heat right here is sort of impeccable, much more profound than a baritone ukulele!

One take a look at the mahogany neck and your eyes can be stuffed with this ovangkol fingerboard. That was the primary time I obtained acquainted with ovangkol, a tonewood much like rosewood in its density. The perfect factor about this hardwood is that it enhances the mid-range properties of mahogany, displaying extra bias towards tone heat moderately than brightness.

Aside from the passable sound, I wished to analyze what makes this guitalele reverberate properly: the tuning machines. You’ll discover Gretsch’s Sta-Tite machines on this seemingly stable headstock. These machines are put in in a manner that retains a large spacing between the pegs, tuning the strings extra independently than tightly-spaced pegs.

The guitar-ukulele merger we’ve right here by no means drops in tune—there’s a tug of conflict that by no means ends between that ovangkol bridge and the robust rigidity these machines grant to the strings. Likewise, the intonation is fairly correct all the way in which to the twelfth fret. Past that, it begins deviating, explaining why Gretsch didn’t slice a cutaway by way of the mahogany physique.

Additional boosting this instrument’s stability are the saddle and nut, created from real bone, exhibiting a better rigidity endurance in comparison with the Flight Ukulele GUT-350. Strumming this guitalele didn’t give rise to the urge to place it down—that’s what a premium instrument is all about: optimized strings’ motion for all gamers.

Execs:

  • Respected guitar model
  • All-mahogany physique
  • Ovangkol fingerboard and bridge
  • Prime-notch tuning machines
  • Zero intonation errors
  • Excellent heat tone

Cons:

  • Costly

Backside Line

I contemplate the Gretsch G9126 the holy grail of guitaleles. Whereas the honey satin end could maintain you spellbound, you’ll be amazed at how balanced this guitalele sounds owing to its effective tonewood mix of mahogany and ovangkol. This instrument actually craves who appreciates it: the sturdy tuning machines received’t let down any critical musician in search of a guitalele!

What Makes a Guitalele Stand Out

The variety of faulty string devices I’ve come throughout would sink a canoe. Guitaleles will be liable to compromised craftsmanship, from glue drips across the neck joint to blatant pitch deviation. So, let’s make clear the elements it’s best to search for to get the most effective guitalele.

Wooden Sort: A Sneak Peek at Tonewoods

Let’s acquaint you with some tonewoods finest used for guitaleles within the rundown under:

Mahogany vs. Spruce vs. Sapele (Physique)

Lots of the guitaleles you’ll encounter have tops molded out of the tonewoods talked about above. Mahogany is probably the most ubiquitous tonewood on this regard for its heat, depressed, and wealthy tone profile. Sapele (used for again and sides) is nearly indistinguishable from mahogany however has extra of a brighter tonal high quality.

Nonetheless, Spruce tops grant a louder quantity out of the soundboard, and this variation in quantity provides to the sound coloration. So, Spruce produces refined variants of the identical tone profile, permitting expert gamers to completely exhibit the dynamics of their strategies whereas retaining a bias towards the upper-midrange frequency in comparison with mahogany’s adherence to pure mids.

Rosewood vs. Walnut vs. Ovangkol (Fingerboard)

Rosewood is king within the realm of fingerboards for its inflexible building. Sonically, rosewood transfers sound higher than walnut. The division the place I’d deem walnut the most effective is playability—these plaques have extra open pores than rosewood, guaranteeing optimum seamlessness whereas leaping between frets.

Whereas walnut leans towards the intense register, rosewood guarantees a fuller mid-range sound resonance. Alternatively, Ovangkol options related tonal traits to rosewood, but prioritizes the mid-range greater than rosewood.

Pitch Precision: Observe These 3 Guidelines

Intonation is an intricate drawback, even in the most effective guitaleles. It mainly means how far the identical be aware tends to sound out of tune in several positions on the fretboard. Let’s stroll by way of 3 guidelines for checking your instrument’s accuracy.

Rule A: Use a Tuner

A tough-and-fast resolution to figuring out your intonation’s accuracy is to seize a tuner, kick the guitalele again in tune correctly, after which play the open strings individually. Afterward, test how exact the open positions are in comparison with the twelfth fret for every string.

Rule B: Test the Motion

Motion refers back to the string top, in response to the fingerboard. If the saddle and nut don’t maintain every string at an acceptable top, you’ll run into intonation issues, and the notes will sound flatter or sharper. You may optimize the motion through sanding the saddle or bridge.

Rule C: Truss Rod Adjustment

Stretching alongside the neck’s guts is the truss rod, a element that customizes the neck’s endurance to string rigidity. You should utilize a wrench (obtainable at many shops) to regulate the truss rod to treatment a twisted neck, a direct wrongdoer in defective intonation. That is the place guitaleles when within the guitalele vs. ukulele battle—ukes don’t have any truss rods to stabilize intonation.

Is Guitalele Good for Inexperienced persons?

There’s purpose why guitaleles are appropriate for rookies. The size length (distance between the nut and saddle) is round 25.5” on a regular guitar. In distinction, guitaleles have a 17-inch scale size, which is appropriate for rookies demanding the identical octaves of a guitar and vast frets, however in a extra ukulele-like kind issue!

What Strings Do You Use for a Guitalele?

You should utilize the identical nylon strings of a classical guitar on your guitalele. I exploit the usual Aquila strings, however I tune them to the usual A guitalele tuning.

Can You Play a Guitalele Like a Guitar?

Guitar strategies and dynamics apply to guitaleles. Even the chords for guitalele have the identical shapes on guitars. Nonetheless, if you happen to tuned your guitalele to the usual E tuning of a guitar, the strain can be sloppy, and the strings would sound damp since they’d hit the fret wires, giving off a buzzing sound.

Rejoice, Strummers!

It seems that choosing the most effective guitalele isn’t a troublesome chore for musicians on the finish of the day! Concluding our guitalele evaluate, I wager you now have a stable understanding of how to decide on and keep this guitar-ukulele merger. 

If I had been the one to decide on, I’d undoubtedly go for the Yamaha GL-1—I like how each Meranti and Spruce collaborate to provide us an unrelenting strumming machine, be it the resonant soundboard or the ironclad sturdiness!