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Rllink
09-27-2014, 06:52 AM
Anybody have an opinion about the Fender Ukuleles. The local music shop has one. The guy working there doesn't know much about ukuleles. I asked about set up, and he said he would have to check on it. I didn't have a lot of time to look at it. I'm thinking of going back though. I don't even know which model it is, so I need to do a little more research.

RAB11
09-27-2014, 07:49 AM
I'm not a Fender guy when it comes to guitars but I've tried a few of their ukes out in stores and they seem to be very well made, pretty easy to play and relatively affordable. Believe they have Fishman preamps as standard which is a big plus.

WhenDogsSing
09-27-2014, 08:23 AM
Fender ukuleles have never been highly regarded as they have been overbuilt in the past. Fender recently changed the construction of their ukuleles and the recently constructed models have been getting some pretty decent reviews, at least more positive than in the past. Hawaii Music Site (HMS) is a good source for Fender ukuleles and they will assure it is setup well before they deliver.

http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/brand/fender.html

Rllink
09-27-2014, 09:40 AM
Fender ukuleles have never been highly regarded as they have been overbuilt in the past. Fender recently changed the construction of their ukuleles and the recently constructed models have been getting some pretty decent reviews, at least more positive than in the past. Hawaii Music Site (HMS) is a good source for Fender ukuleles and they will assure it is setup well before they deliver.

http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/brand/fender.htmlThanks......

The Big Kahuna
09-27-2014, 10:15 AM
I've had a $ 200 Fender NoHea for 2 years. I still like it more than my $ 1100 Kanile'a, and I like my Kanile'a a LOT. If you like it, buy it. Just don't buy it from your "local music shop". The chances are that the only reason they're stocking ukuleles is because they are currently popular, and they want to make some money before this particular bandwagon dies on its arse. Buy it from HMS, or don't buy it at all.

Rllink
09-27-2014, 10:27 AM
I've had a $ 200 Fender NoHea for 2 years. I still like it more than my $ 1100 Kanile'a, and I like my Kanile'a a LOT. If you like it, buy it. Just don't buy it from your "local music shop". The chances are that the only reason they're stocking ukuleles is because they are currently popular, and they want to make some money before this particular bandwagon dies on its arse. Buy it from HMS, or don't buy it at all.Thanks, if I do buy one, I will get it from HMS.

Pippin
09-27-2014, 10:30 AM
The first ukes Fender brought to market were hit and miss with quality. Some people are claiming that they are much better now, but, I have not had a chance to review one. When I do get a chance, I'll post a comment on it.

PhilUSAFRet
09-27-2014, 11:12 AM
Have read a lot of good posts from happy Fender uke owners. That being said, unless you just like the Fender design and all, there are lots of other nice $200 ukes.

SteveZ
09-27-2014, 12:33 PM
Fender has become quite an instrument conglomerate. Have had a Fender mandolin for a while that's been better than expected and today got a Gretsch banjolele. The number of names now under the Fender banner has really grown. Have not tried their ukuleles, but would not be against the experience.

Ukejenny
09-27-2014, 01:09 PM
We have a lady in UBA who has a Fender tenor. She bought it earlier in 2014. She bought it at a music store in Nashville and had a set up done on it at a guitar shop in Huntsville, Al. It really plays well and I think it has a great sound.

Is Gretsch owned by Fender? My husband plays a deluxe tenor Gretsch and that thing is also very sweet. Feels and sounds great.

SteveZ
09-27-2014, 03:45 PM
We have a lady in UBA who has a Fender tenor. She bought it earlier in 2014. She bought it at a music store in Nashville and had a set up done on it at a guitar shop in Huntsville, Al. It really plays well and I think it has a great sound.

Is Gretsch owned by Fender? My husband plays a deluxe tenor Gretsch and that thing is also very sweet. Feels and sounds great.

In 2002/2003 Fender and Gretsch joined forces, in that the Gretsch family still owns Gretsch, but most of the business (marketing, product development, distribution and such) has been effectively subcontracted to Fender. That has changed the product to something under Fender's control with the Gretsch name still on the headstock. That's not necessarily bad, because of all the possible companies Gretsch could have made arrangements to build under the Gretsch name, Fender is one of the better ones.

timmit65
09-27-2014, 05:51 PM
I have several Gretsch Ukes. They're nice instruments and a good bang for the buck!

kohanmike
09-27-2014, 09:32 PM
My Gretsch G9121 A.C.E. is really good, even better when I changed the strings to Worth CT. There was a short time when I thought I would like to get a Fender T-Bucket™ Tenor, but went for Vorzon steel string Tele look-a-like.

KevinV
09-29-2014, 06:40 PM
I had a Fender Pa'ina. I bought it used and it was a 2nd. I loved that uke and regret selling it. I sold it on here to a no longer active member. I've tried messaging him to see if he wanted to resell it if he's no longer playing it. Never heard back. That's one uke I really regret selling.

Rllink
09-30-2014, 05:10 AM
I had a Fender Pa'ina. I bought it used and it was a 2nd. I loved that uke and regret selling it. I sold it on here to a no longer active member. I've tried messaging him to see if he wanted to resell it if he's no longer playing it. Never heard back. That's one uke I really regret selling.I don't know if that is what I want to upgrade to, or not. A good friend of mine took up playing the guitar when he retired. I had actually been thinking of taking up the guitar as well, but watching what my friend was doing, and how serious he had to be all the time, I decided to go with the ukulele. So I just saw it and how it looked like a miniature fender guitar, and thought that it might be fun. We will have to wait and see though. I'm not going to get all UAS, so I need to be pretty careful about the next upgrade. Another thing, the one that I saw at the music store did not have an electric pickup. I asked about getting one with a pickup and the guy working suggested that he thought getting a Fishman installed there would be better.

RAB11
09-30-2014, 05:16 AM
Sounds like a Fender 52. All the ones I've seen have had Fishman pickups installed. Really liked the feel of it when I played one a few weeks ago.

Did it look like this?

http://s4ee134128e51b.img.gostorego.com/809E82/cdn/media/s4/ee/13/41/28/e5/1b/catalog/product/cache/1/image/6e3e117d8c70e39179cbb6e84d26cc33/f/e/fender_ukulele_52.jpg

Pippin
09-30-2014, 10:57 AM
Sounds like a Fender 52. All the ones I've seen have had Fishman pickups installed. Really liked the feel of it when I played one a few weeks ago.

Did it look like this?

http://s4ee134128e51b.img.gostorego.com/809E82/cdn/media/s4/ee/13/41/28/e5/1b/catalog/product/cache/1/image/6e3e117d8c70e39179cbb6e84d26cc33/f/e/fender_ukulele_52.jpg

I like that!

kwall
09-30-2014, 03:39 PM
I think the "bad" fenders came out in around 2010 and then after a year on the market they fixed them up (correct me if im wrong). I have a 2012 and it is FANTASTIC its my go to ukulele and I would never part, they are laminate but I think they are fantastic and worth the money

Ukejenny
10-01-2014, 05:59 AM
In 2002/2003 Fender and Gretsch joined forces, in that the Gretsch family still owns Gretsch, but most of the business (marketing, product development, distribution and such) has been effectively subcontracted to Fender. That has changed the product to something under Fender's control with the Gretsch name still on the headstock. That's not necessarily bad, because of all the possible companies Gretsch could have made arrangements to build under the Gretsch name, Fender is one of the better ones.

Thank you so much!!

Also, the Fender ukulele posted above looks quite different from the one my friend in UBA plays, but it just may be the sunburst throwing me off. I looked at some photos online, and compared them to a UBA photo. I think the one I've played is the Hau-oli mahogany Fender. It sounded and felt quite good.

Rllink
10-01-2014, 06:43 AM
Thank you so much!!

Also, the Fender ukulele posted above looks quite different from the one my friend in UBA plays, but it just may be the sunburst throwing me off. I looked at some photos online, and compared them to a UBA photo. I think the one I've played is the Hau-oli mahogany Fender. It sounded and felt quite good.I'm not where I can easily post a picture, but that is the Hau'oli is the one that I was looking at.

Rllink
10-01-2014, 07:53 AM
All these Fender Hawaiian product names just make me think, "Fender, you're fooling no one and trying too hard; give it a rest. You probably had to hire a consultant to come up with these names; for all you guys know, pa'ina could really mean crabcake and hau'oli, kick me."

This "authentic Hawaiian" posturing from a company having nothing to do with Hawai'i (established in California, now based in Arizona, building these ukes in China) actually makes me not seriously consider Fenders. They may make good/decent ukes—you don't have to be Hawaiian to do that, as Mainland proves—, but this sort of deception-marketing ploy is a right turn-off.Their marketing does not turn me off, but it doesn't make me want to buy one either. But they aren't really talking to me either. I'm not going to run right out and buy one because I think that it has a cool Hawaiian name. But what I want to address is the Hawaii aspect of ukuleles. I appreciate the history of the instrument, but Hawaii has nothing to do with it. I think that the Hawaii angle is as much marketing as anything, and I would not take one uke over another just because it is in some way connected to Hawaii. I know that for many, the history is everything, but for me, ukuleles are ukuleles, and giving them a name is giving them a name. Gotta call them something I guess.

SteveZ
10-01-2014, 08:02 AM
All these Fender Hawaiian product names just make me think, "Fender, you're fooling no one and trying too hard; give it a rest. You probably had to hire a consultant to come up with these names; for all you guys know, pa'ina could really mean crabcake and hau'oli, kick me."

This "authentic Hawaiian" posturing from a company having nothing to do with Hawai'i (established in California, now based in Arizona, building these ukes in China) actually makes me not seriously consider Fenders. They may make good/decent ukes—you don't have to be Hawaiian to do that, as Mainland proves—, but this sort of deception-marketing ploy is a right turn-off.

The marketing name-game is everywhere, not just with Fender and not just in the musical instrument business. If you think Fender is bad, "Kentucky" mandolins are all made by Saga in China. There are "Kentucky" guitars made by a luthier in Glasgow, Kentucky, but he has to market his mandolins under his surname, since Saga owns the "Kentucky" mandolin trademark.

Ukes are no different, with so many with a Hawaiian name and their only "Hawaiian" connection is the ship transporting them from China or elsewhere in Asia hapoens to sail within a few hundred miles of the Islands as the ship crosses the Pacific (only if heading to North America).

In the end, the question is not the name on the headstock, but how well the instrument plays and sounds.

SteveZ
10-01-2014, 09:25 AM
This is true, such posturing is hardly limited to Fender. It just sticks out a bit glaringly because most uke companies, even the actually Hawaiian ones, primarily use product codes and descriptions. Only a few exceptions spring readily to my mind: Makalas and 'Opios, and these are low-end brand names used primarily (it seems) to signify "we don't want to taint our main product line by direct association; these offerings are no true reflection of our higher-end products."

And it's also true that the main thing should be how well the instrument plays and sounds. We just can't separate off these ancillary factors (which is supposedly why Fender chose to add these spurious product names). These fake-o marketing ploys can try too hard and backfire, distracting from a product's true merits, and for me, this is a case in point. We've been so hammered by deceptive advertising, we've come to view any marketing claim or blatant image-mongering as meaning the opposite of what it's intended to convey—this is becoming a knee-jerk reaction. We search for the subtext, the negative hidden story, what they're trying to spin or make us not think.
With most musical instruments the goal is simply to associate the instrument with a genre. What I find hilarious are the bigger-dollar products, especially cars and trucks, where vehicles are labelled "Tucson, Sante Fe, Tacoma and the like" by Asian manufacturers in the hope of "domsesticating" the product.

It still goes back to tossing the label and examining the product solely on its technical merits. If folk buy things based on the label and not on the product itself, then Caveat Emptor applies.

Rllink
10-01-2014, 10:18 AM
I'm not going to jump for a while anyway, but I've got my sights on a Mainland. So for me to get something else, it would have to knock Mainland off the top, and the Fender doesn't seem to do that. I've been back a couple of times, and I haven't said, "I think I would rather have this". But I have plenty of time to look at other ukes and ask questions. We will see. But I'm pretty sure that my next uke is going to be my uke for a long time, so I need to make sure that I don't buy one, then turn right around and decide I want something different. Which brings up my Makala. I know that it is a cheap uke, and that cheap ukes get maligned around here some times, but the more experienced I get, and the more ukes I check out and play, the more I appreciate my little Makala. I've played some better ukes, but not so much better that I've thought that the Makala is junk. At least for me, the Makala was a good buy. I don't think that a better and more expensive uke is going to make me a better ukulele player, but I do think that I will play better if I have a better uke. If that makes any sense. It does to me.

SteveZ
10-01-2014, 12:35 PM
I know what you mean about what I call "price envy" when it comes to instruments. I've had expensive clunkers and inexpensive gems. Had to learn the hard way a long time ago that a hefty price doesn't a fun instrument make.

Have a Fender mandolin. It's laminate, as good as any other laminate, and as solid as a rock. Have done many musical experiments (the latest changing the tuning to CGDA) with it and keeps responding well. Within the mandolin community, Fender gets about as much (maybe less) love as it does with the ukulele crowd, but the instrument is a keeper because of its durability.

In my neck of the woods (FL) there's been a TV ad for a Hawaiian brand beer. During the commercial there's a ukulele scene and the uke is definitely a Fender (you can't mistake that headstock!). Linking Hawaiian beer and a Fender uke works for me...