Fender Nohea Ukulele Review - 07-12-2010
Given the recent resurgence in popularity of the Ukulele, Fender,
who is usually better known, for there fine range of guitars,
basses and amplifiers, have also produced a new range of ukuleles
in Hawaiian tradition but with a Fender twist.
The particular model we will be reviewing
is the Nohea, which together with its Hau’Oli and Pa’ina cousins
make up the new product range.
The Nohea is a tenor sized ukulele which
is tuned with re-entrant C tuning (G C E A) that is, the same
as the smaller soprano ukulele’s. Being larger it has a louder
voice which can also said to be mellower, chords etc are easier
to play as well. The instrument is also easier to hold in
The Nohea‘s body is constructed with
mahogany, with scalloped fan bracing for support. Koa is used
for the top which is the same type of wood used for Hawaiian
dugout canoes. The top and rosette are complemented with aged
acrylic abalone binding. This model is protected with a gloss
finish (the other models are satin).
As for the neck this is also made from mahogany, has 19 frets
and features aged white binding. The Telecaster shaped headstock
gives this instrument its distinctive Fender style and also
practically provides straight string pull to the sealed tuners.
The instrument is supplied with a padded
gigbag but I also opted to purchase a suitable hard case so
as to take it on the road safely.
Onto the build quality, to me the instrument
is flawless. It is well made and shows no issues or faults
even the binding is well executed. Also there is no overspray
on the paint work or any glue marks as sometimes found on
Now that you know all the specifications, we’ll talk about playability.
Firstly although I’ve been playing guitar for many years,
I only took an interest in Ukuleles this summer. I first of
all bought an inexpensive soprano ukulele, and now that was
getting accustomed to the instrument decided to get something
a bit more serious.
In that frame of mind the Nohea delivers.
It is well made, has a nice neck which I can get my fingers
around far better than the tiny soprano, intonates and tunes
well and has a great mellow sound. I’ve actually been using
the Peterson Strobo-Clip with its sweetened Ukulele
tuning offset which works out great.
The Nohea doesn’t have any electronics
but readers might find it useful to know that you can buy
an inexpensive clip on tuner such as the Cherub Wcp-55, I however found better result clipping
it to the soundhole rather than the headstock.
Hear and see the demos below and judge
for yourself, I would definitely recommend you check out the
Fender range of ukuleles at your nearest Fender dealer.
By Ernest H Slade