View Full Version : Fender Pa'ina Review

08-29-2010, 10:14 PM
I'm not sure if I'm qualified to review Ukuleles. But I figured, it's really just about sharing your experiences, hey? So why not. I know especially that the Fender Ukuleles got a bit of a bad rep from other Ukulele sites (namely Ukulele Hunt), and so I thought I would share my experience with it, and maybe change some minds about it.

To begin with, I should mention that Ukulele Hunt was the first resource I spent time investigating when I first got into Uke-ing. Except I bought my Fender Pa'ina *before* looking things up. I mainly bought it for the novelty of having an Uke with the Fender Telecaster headstock. I thought that was ridiculously cool at the time. I bought the Pa'ina especially for the electronics, and for the fact that it was made from solid mahogany, which I also thought was pretty incredible at the time.

Anyway, after I bought it, I discovered Ukulele Hunt, and the negative reviews it got on the site. I was of course quite dismayed at having spent $300 on an Uke that most people found to be sub-standard for the price range. Because of this, my attitude toward my Uke was actually pretty bad, especially after I left it in the car once and one of the main complaints against the Uke happened to me: the bridge broke off.

I was really pissed at the time because it was a week before I was to leave to live in British Columbia (on a small island, devoid of many modern comforts like a decent music store, called Thetis) for two months. I needed my Uke because one of my work responsibilities during this two month period was basically performing on the Uke every day.

Thankfully, the store that I bought it from was quick with the repairs - I got it back a day before I flew out. And Fender paid for the repairs too. The guy told me that he also used better glue than Fender did on the repair job, so it should be much stronger.

Anyway, my attitude toward the Uke changed over this past two months I had been using it daily. The sound was great with the Aquila (Low-G) strings that I put on it. It carried over the 30-40 kids that were singing along with me. So that was a huge plus. I recorded one of my last singing sessions with the kids, and it was pretty clearly visible. So I was really impressed with that.

Another thing that stuck out to me was how strong it was. I actually dropped it on concrete when I didn't secure my strap on properly one time. That fall resulted in a pretty visible crack in the back, but otherwise, it held together. I'm not going to have it repaired because it seems to me pretty cosmetic. I'll have to check how it sounds with the massive crack plugged in though. That'll be the only thing that'll change my mind about repairing it, as I still have to perform with this uke for another 8 months before I can replace it.

One really major plus that someone else pointed out to me about it (online forums), was its intonation. The guy was very impressed at how accurate Fender's intonation was right up to the 14th fret. I certainly never had problems, even though I didn't really have to worry about intonation much as I don't perform much with other instruments. But I did check it with an electronic tuner, and the intonation really was spot on.

I've grown really fond of this Uke, and even though I'm seeking to replace it as my main performance Uke, I will certainly continue using it for my own pleasure. I'm not going to try to put in to numbers what I think about this Uke, because my review is purely subjective. Again this is but a narrative of my experience with this Uke.. Which is basically to say that I've really loved using it so far, and will enjoy doing so until I am able to graduate to a higher end uke.

08-30-2010, 04:37 AM
Thanks for posting . . . there's alway gonna be some who don't like it and some who do. If you like the comfortability, playability and sound, that is all that really matters.

08-30-2010, 05:22 AM
Thanks for posting your thoughts and comments on the Fender Pa'ina. I have contemplated getting a Fender uke - especially due to the headstock design (as I'm a huge Fender Telecaster fan, hence Tele-Bob as my moniker!) but I digress... heh, heh - anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, its good to hear you're sticking with the uke despite some early issues... it seems to be working well for you, for playing, etc. I will eventually check it out - considering your positive comments on intonation. Cheers and best wishes! :)

08-30-2010, 05:10 PM
Hey. One thing I neglected to mention. I was going to mention it as a positive when I give my thoughts on my other Uke, a Kala KA-KS.. But that little Soprano Kala is at least 50% louder than this one. I haven't played a whole lot of Ukes myseslf, so I can't say wether the Pa'ina is quiet, or the Kala is really loud. But the difference is certainly noticeable.

Anyway, as I mentioned, the Pa'ina produced sufficient sound quality to be heard over 30-40 voices. So I really have no problems with its volume, especially since I will soon be using it mostly plugged in to an amp. But I thought I should mention this discrepancy between these two Ukes of mine.

09-04-2010, 01:41 PM
Glad to hear you're happy with your Pa'ina. I've got one as well and really dig it...I can't help but wonder how many of the negative reviews it got on UH are legitimate or just bandwagon mentality.

I play mine at home all the time, take it to jams, have used it at band rehearsal a couple times, and plan to use it on the 18th at our next gig.

09-05-2010, 08:54 PM
Hey, it seems to me like most the negative reviews had to do with poor construction. A lot of people complained about having to return the Ukes over and over again because of it. The problem with mine was the bridge, which was an easy fix, especially cause my guitar tech is incredible. I figure it would have happened anyway, but I did feel responsible cause I left it in a hot car. I was gonna pay for the fix myself (or try to do it myself) but the guitar tech convinced me to hit up fender for the repairs, and they did pay for it. So good on that.

09-08-2010, 07:38 AM
Hey there, fellow Fender Uker!

I just wanted to tell you that my Hau'oli was way louder after I replaced the crappy stock saddle. I bought one for an acoustic guitar, filed it down and *bam* - crazy loud uke. So maybe you could try that if you decide to fix the crack (my condolences). It's a cheap and easy fix, and it made all the difference on my uke. Even gave it a "rounder" sound.

Just sayin.

Peace :shaka:

09-15-2010, 09:58 PM
I bought the Fender Nohea and had the same reservations after finding that site and other bad reviews.

The groovy thing is, I've had it for about two months and have had absolutely no problems with it.

The intonation is absolutely perfect up to about the 10th fret (probably could go further with a bit of filing). I can't say that about many bass guitars I've owned/played.

09-16-2010, 03:14 AM
I bought the Fender Nohea and had the same reservations after finding that site and other bad reviews.

The groovy thing is, I've had it for about two months and have had absolutely no problems with it.

The intonation is absolutely perfect up to about the 10th fret (probably could go further with a bit of filing). I can't say that about many bass guitars I've owned/played.

I love the looks of the Nohea & will probably eventually own one & maybe put a Mi-Si in it & probably replace the saddle w/Tusq. I want the Pa'ina as it looks like a minature version of my Vintage Fender Newporter. And, my son who played my Newporter for years really likes the Fender style as well.

Good to hear people other than the crazy "Ukulele Ray" enjoying these Fender ukes. (sorry if there are Ray followers out there, he just reminds me of a mix between Tiny Tim, Alice Cooper & a circus clown).