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gp-ak
01-02-2009, 05:05 PM
http://www.fender.com/ukes/

Jan. 19th. Looks like there all tenors. Wonder how they will sound?

EDIT: More info on the myspace:

http://www.myspace.com/fenderukes

haole
01-02-2009, 05:14 PM
Finding quality ukes at most music stores (especially chains) is nearly impossible. Fender is a big name, so I'm sure their ukes will be popular. Hopefully that'll give Guitar Center shoppers a choice, since all they seem to carry at the moment are poorly-intonated Hilos and occasionally a Cordoba.

MisoHappy
01-02-2009, 06:14 PM
Finding quality ukes at most music stores (especially chains) is nearly impossible. Fender is a big name, so I'm sure their ukes will be popular. Hopefully that'll give Guitar Center shoppers a choice, since all they seem to carry at the moment are poorly-intonated Hilos and occasionally a Cordoba.

Unless you go to the kamaka uke store O.o

Those fender ukes look pretty hot, I didn't think they'd makes ukuleles :)

Tanizaki
01-02-2009, 06:35 PM
Did you see the MSRPs? Oh yes $300 for a laminate LET ME GET IN LINE AT GUITAR CENTER RIGHT NOW.

Link
01-02-2009, 06:39 PM
The only people they're going to attract with these are curious guitar players who don't know their options. Which I won't complain about. The more uke players, the merrier.

BUGOY
01-02-2009, 07:25 PM
Im SOOOOO getting one! I'm quite the Fender fanatic, so I MUST have one! I LOVE the Tele head stock! awesome!!! :love:

Pippin
01-02-2009, 10:10 PM
Finding quality ukes at most music stores (especially chains) is nearly impossible. Fender is a big name, so I'm sure their ukes will be popular. Hopefully that'll give Guitar Center shoppers a choice, since all they seem to carry at the moment are poorly-intonated Hilos and occasionally a Cordoba.

Sam Ash now carries flukes and fleas, Applause, the Martin S-0 and some others. I'd prefer to send people to UkeLadyMusic and similar high-service, quality shops. A Uke specialist is great for people wanting good advice and people that actually play ukulele.

Fender, though, will most likely have better luck with a line of solid wood ukes and avoid laminates. My guess is that the solid wood uke will perform well, the others will not.

Lanark
01-03-2009, 02:22 AM
I personally wouldn't have too high hopes for the instruments themselves. They're Fender branded, but only one of the three is solid wood. (and the pun for the koa laminate "Koa Nohea", yes, koa no there ha ha. I get it. It's a laminate..) And they're going to be the same China/Indonesian made things we might normally scoff at a bit. Though they might have a bit higher playability than most depending on Fender's Q&A. And they may end up being a decent starter value. But I don't think your UAS will be sated with a Fender. Like a Martin S-O, you're still paying a certain premium on the name alone.

Even so, I may have to wander into a GC at some point towards the end of the month to see one in person. I doubt that I'll be coming home with one though. I mean, I like Fender and all. My main electric gigging guitars are/were Fenders ('66 Mustang & a '96 Vista Series MIJ Squire Jagmaster with handwound pickups.) but the company itself has never really been known for acoustic instruments. I'm skeptical. I mean, they make guitars up the wazoo and have sources and suppliers, but couldn't offer a solid spruce top?

But what does intrigue me personally is that Fender thinks there is currently enough of a market for tenor ukuleles that they starts offering them. That says a lot.

Tanizaki
01-03-2009, 02:40 AM
Fender, though, will most likely have better luck with a line of solid wood ukes and avoid laminates. My guess is that the solid wood uke will perform well, the others will not.

With an MSRP of $400 for a solid mahogany tenor, they are a little too proud of their name.

SnakeOiler
01-03-2009, 03:20 AM
With an MSRP of $400 for a solid mahogany tenor, they are a little too proud of their name.

But $400 MSRP means maybe $250 at Guitar Center.

Tanizaki
01-03-2009, 03:24 AM
But $400 MSRP means maybe $250 at Guitar Center.

Maybe. Too bad I'll never darken the doorway of a GC again.

E-Lo Roberts
01-03-2009, 03:32 AM
Im SOOOOO getting one! I'm quite the Fender fanatic, so I MUST have one! I LOVE the Tele head stock! awesome!!! :love:
Don't know, I never liked their acoustic guitars. I have no faith their uke line will be anything special...e.lo....

BUGOY
01-03-2009, 06:54 AM
I was never a fan of their acoustic lines either. I dont think this will be a great uke simply because it has a FENDER logo on it. Its more of a "Hey thats NEAT!" kinda thing, and would be a neat addition to my collection of fenders.

haole
01-03-2009, 06:55 AM
Nobody ever pays MSRP. The actual prices will probably be competitive with Kala's offerings.

The Sam Ash near me has an Applause, a cheap Martin, and a bunch of Oscar Schmidts. The flagship store in NYC had only Oscar Schmidts last time I checked. :eek: Given the chance, I'd always steer someone toward a reputable dealer, but the people who buy ukes at Sam Ash and Guitar Center and Best Buy likely haven't asked for advice and are going in blind. For their sake, I hope the Fender ukes are good enough, because chain stores rarely offer much of a choice.

Regster
01-03-2009, 08:14 AM
hmmm im curious how this uke will turn out to be

nikolo727
01-03-2009, 09:36 AM
i might have to check these out later on in life. hmmm

ichadwick
01-03-2009, 11:26 AM
Actually, I'll be pleased to see something hanging on the music store wall beside the inevitable $30 Mahalo. And the Fender name might draw more people towards the instrument.

Jimmy
01-03-2009, 11:40 AM
Have to admit the headstock is sorta nifty, even if it's not such a great uke. Which is the solid wood one?

gobes
01-03-2009, 12:35 PM
Am I the only one that hates the look of those headstocks?

E-Lo Roberts
01-03-2009, 12:42 PM
Am I the only one that hates the look of those headstocks?
No, make that two...e.lo..

ricdoug
01-03-2009, 12:42 PM
I brought the PDF's of the Fender ukes over to Roy Goode at Giacoletti Music in Carlsbad, on a break at work today. He's getting a visit from the Fender rep on Monday and will be stocking them. Give Roy a call, so you will know when they come in or if you want to be first on the list:

http://www.carlsbadmusic.com

SnakeOiler
01-03-2009, 01:33 PM
Am I the only one that hates the look of those headstocks?

....No....

thejumpingflea
01-03-2009, 02:02 PM
Am I the only one that hates the look of those headstocks?

Normally I'd hate this on a uke, but I think it is rather cool that they use their famous headstock.

ricdoug
01-03-2009, 02:45 PM
Normally I'd hate this on a uke, but I think it is rather cool that they use their famous headstock.

I agree. It's a Fender signature. Reminds me of a Tele. Ric

Plainsong
01-03-2009, 03:00 PM
It's good for the uke and maybe I'd get one if the sound was ok, but if they were sold here they will be at least msrp, probably more, making it so not worth it, but most likely not sold here anyway. For once, I'm fine with that.

MGM
01-03-2009, 03:21 PM
For me it was a big disappointment. I would applaud feneder or gibson coming into the ukulele market with their own new designs but its a cop out to me to use the same chinese factories and same body molds and just change a headstock and try to put their name on it. No r and d no research..just someone in marketing saying that they are missing the ukulele market so lets get something out their with outr name on it. I know who originally developed the molds and designs and it is just more of the same old thing different logo....If you wanted that headstock though great you can get now more power to you but its definetly nothing new in the ukulele market

Kekani
01-03-2009, 03:22 PM
Sorry, MGM, gotta disagree, a little bit.

Its obvious that Fender is having these produced overseas, hence their extremely low price. At first, massive turn off. However, from a business perspective. . .genius.

As for being proud of their name, and their headstock, I wouldn't expect anything less. They seem to have started this right, marketing, MySpace blog, low price, what seems to be quality build (for an overseas instrument), and Hawaiian music.

They've certainly done their research (except, they don't know that the word ukuleles doesn't exists - guess its targeted at the American market, obviously), and someone told them the secret - make sure the solid one is Mahogany (for sound), and make them tenor size (for performing). Of course, the secret could also be - This is what we have, and you can cheaply build off of it.

I forsee Artist Relations cranking up in the near future. And, based on how they're posturing their product, especially with their Pa`ina having a pickup preinstalled, I'm sure they talked to someone in the Hawaiian music industry.

On the flip side, can you imagine if they brought production in-house (as Breedlove and Santa Cruz did last year)? Then their prices will surely match their name, and probably be in the $2K+ range. They'd have to price it that high to make a profit.

From what I see and hear, I think Fender is probably going to move more models than Martin's attempt at a comeback, for a while, anyway.

MGM, like it or not, I think you should stock these. And I'm STILL keeping My single sided headstock, especially for guys that change tunings in the middle of the song. . .

Just my $.02 - Aaron

ricdoug
01-03-2009, 03:48 PM
From what I see and hear, I think Fender is probably going to move more models than Martin's attempt at a comeback, for a while, anyway.

MGM, like it or not, I think you should stock these. And I'm STILL keeping My single sided headstock, especially for guys that change tunings in the middle of the song. . .

Just my $.02 - Aaron

I'm anxiously awaiting to play them when they arrive at Giacoletti Music. They have the look of the Kala/Makala brand. It might even look cool next to some of my Strats and Teles. I know you've done a lot of market research, Mike, but I'm not sure on the Fender. Ric

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/Ukulele228.jpg

Tanizaki
01-03-2009, 04:00 PM
Sorry, MGM, gotta disagree, a little bit.

Its obvious that Fender is having these produced overseas, hence their extremely low price. At first, massive turn off. However, from a business perspective. . .genius.
In what way is it genius? Choosing cheaper production costs is something you would do as a matter of course.


They've certainly done their research (except, they don't know that the word ukuleles doesn't exists - guess its targeted at the American market, obviously), and someone told them the secret - make sure the solid one is Mahogany (for sound), and make them tenor size (for performing). Of course, the secret could also be - This is what we have, and you can cheaply build off of it.
What is the evidence of the top notch research? Solid mahogany tenors? Oh, stroke of genius! I wonder how much they paid for that crackerjack research.

Side rant: Can we please stop with the pedantism about "ukulele" that is rampant amongst ukulele players? I suppose you would have had Fender say "we have a line of three na ukulele" or some such. Japanese has no plural whatsoever, but I don't have a conniption when someone says "ninjas". Ditto for pronunciation of the word. I don't give people grief about "To-kee-yo", so everyone please spare me with "oo-koo-lay-lay". Thanks!

Brian Regan has a great routine about news anchors who put on the thick accent for Spanish words. That pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter. There was also a SNL skit with Jimmy Smits that took the same angle.


I forsee Artist Relations cranking up in the near future. And, based on how they're posturing their product, especially with their Pa`ina having a pickup preinstalled, I'm sure they talked to someone in the Hawaiian music industry.
Yeah, a pickup is really pushing back the frontiers of music. You bought some great research, Fender!

ricdoug
01-03-2009, 04:48 PM
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I think most of Fender's research was in the marketing, branding (in reference to the styling) and hopefully playability (to be determined when I get my mits on one). It falls in line with many other products outsourced to Mexico, Korea, China, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Glad I don't make no grammatical an spellun airors, muhself! Ric

mhh
01-03-2009, 05:01 PM
Meh, I wouldn't trust it right off the bat just because it's a fender... but I would play it if someone handed it to me or something. I'm not really hunting for another uke right now, so I don't really need to think about it. I don't know why this is such a big deal, tho. Shouldn't this be a discussion topic after the ukes hit the shelves?

Plainsong
01-03-2009, 06:25 PM
I agree with Kekani and of course I see where MGM is coming from. It is good for the uke and maybe good for us if the price is right and we need a beater tenor with the cool headstock. Think of it as a Kala, only it says Fender.

It doesn't set this forum on fire like a Kamaka with a slotted headstock would, but it'll bring more people to the uke and add some headstock options for us and that's not a bad thing.

And I do believe the research Kekani was referring to is marketing. Sure they coulda given us a Fender US custom, but you'll pay the Fender US custom price.

Regarding pronounciation, yeah it's annoying with teh grammar polices and probably off-putting to new ukesters to be laughed at. But then the pronounciation is darn close to the Finnish pronounciation, so it's easy for me, and sounds cooler than youkelele.

No harm in telling folks the right way, but if you deride the wrong way too harshly, it will turn off those beginners lurking here, and they are here, never doubt that.

Lanark
01-04-2009, 03:18 AM
Think of it as a Kala, only it says Fender...

This.

MGM kind of confirmed my suspicions about what these actually will be. Probably quite servicable instruments, but nothing particularly special. Just more widely available.

Even given that the MSRP is highly inflated so that GC can pretend that they're practically giving them away, I'm going to be inclined to think that they're still going to be a tad more expensive than a comparable Kala which you'd be better off getting from MGM for the set up alone. Otherwise you're at the mercy of the factory set or what a dude behind the counter at a Guitar Center (who still thinks you're buying a toy despite the Fender logo) considers to be adequate.

Fender's market research apparently sees enough of a profitable niche to roll these out. (But that's about the extent of their homework given the lackluster array they're going with) Since it's not so high profile and the initial offerings are pretty slim and unspectacular, I have to assume that this is more about them testing the waters before they commit to something grander. Budget tenors seem to be what an awful lot of people are in the market for these days. (Raise your hands UUers) That's what they'll give them. (and they don't have to compete directly with the Martin S-O from the get go.)

If these sell well enough, perhaps then Fender will decide to expand the line and offer something for the more discerning player and the other scale lengths. We'll see.


Overall though, I don't think these are going to impact my life much. I've got some much nicer instruments already and I'm not in the market for a tenor. I keep getting sopranos for some reason. (UPS site says Thursday for the latest....)

Pippin
01-04-2009, 07:31 AM
Fender's market research apparently sees enough of a profitable niche to roll these out.


That might not be totally accurate. I am sure that people at Fender are watching the growing popularity of ukulele, but, we (Ukulele Player Magazine) have been doing some market research and what we are finding about guitar players taking up ukulele is pretty enlightening.

Having a "look" that is familiar to a Fender guitar player is the tie that binds. It may well be what they think a Fender player will need to compel him/her to buy a Fender ukulele rather than a company they don't know that "sounds" Hawaiian.

BTW... Eddie Veder's custom-made Earnest uke looks a lot like a telecaster... think about that when you consider market research.

MGM
01-04-2009, 08:41 AM
dont get me wrong I never said these wont sell what I was saying that is was disapointing that a company with a instrument legacy took the path of mediocricy with this release. I mean say now "Gibson" introduced the mahalo les paul design knockoffs as their "own" able to now label them Gibson les paul ukuleles....Am I supposed to get exicted and jump for joy.....think not true it may bring some guitarist to try a uke which is good but big news it is not

Pippin
01-04-2009, 09:16 AM
dont get me wrong I never said these wont sell what I was saying that is was disapointing that a company with a instrument legacy took the path of mediocricy with this release. I mean say now "Gibson" introduced the mahalo les paul design knockoffs as their "own" able to now label them Gibson les paul ukuleles....Am I supposed to get exicted and jump for joy.....think not true it may bring some guitarist to try a uke which is good but big news it is not

A Kamaka player will not look twice at them, perhaps, but Fender is banking on guitarist purchases, I'd wager.

Kekani
01-04-2009, 09:26 AM
I figured someone (or more than one) would get it sooner or later, from a business perspective.

As a player, I'm with MGM, I would be disappointed. I understand he should be as well, because this could've been an opportunity to open a new product line. Personally, cheaper instruments like this do me no favors, and I would not be looking in this direction.

As a builder, you would think offerings from Breedlove and Santa Cruz would not be welcome in the marketplace. On the contrary, the fact that they (too) have determined that their own clients may be inclined to go with a "Brand Name" ukulele doesn't threaten the market . . . it helps to make the market and set a static range into the low 4 digits. Like Starbuck's did with coffee, making it okay to spend $4 on a cup, those companies, and John Kitakis in particular, have established a market where its okay to spend $7K+ on an instrument.

With Fender's offering, those competing against the low end will see competition, for a bit. But, for those building quality products, shouldn't be an issue.

As businessman, if my name was Fender. . . Leo Fender never played (neither do I), yet, look at the company. Their initial target market has GOT to be their current clients (as MGM knows). The Tenor will easily fit into a guitar player's accustomed scale length. Their problem will be if customers start asking for a better quality product, and they have to bring it in house (like Martin?). Then the price will jump to the $2K arena where is should be to remain profitable.

-Aaron

edit: pippin, you are too quick, and nicely succinct - I'll just delete my whole post now. . .

Let's see - overseas offerings for tonewoods: Mahogany, or laminated? Okay, change that, any offerings for tonewoods, Mahogany, or Koa? If we go for sound, we should know the answer. . . just a tad of "stirring of the pot" for conversation sake, prior to my morning coffee.

Woodstocksp3
01-04-2009, 09:34 AM
Maybe. Too bad I'll never darken the doorway of a GC again.

Haha me neither, they're rude there!

BUGOY
01-04-2009, 10:39 AM
I was saying that is was disapointing that a company with a instrument legacy took the path of mediocricy with this release

I agree, before i looked at the MSRP or any details, I was expecting quality and value to be of at least comparable to Pono. Maybe people would be 'happier' if the headstock said Squire?!

in any case, im still very intrigued by it and would like to test it out. Like i said in an earlier post, I'm a Fender fanatic. primarily an electric guitar player but i like ukes also so this is right up my alley.


PS. I know Guitar Center has SOME dumb employees making instrument shopping not so fun, but hear me now and listen to me later. Go to GC to BUY stuff, not to ask questions! If you're interested in something, do the research then use GC as a means to getting your hands on it. I hate goin to GC as much as the next guy, but damn i got some GREAT deals from there!

Tanizaki
01-04-2009, 01:46 PM
Haha me neither, they're rude there!

I went there only once to buy about $20 of various minor items when I first got my ukulele. I was not expecting them to demand to see my receipt. Sux 2 u, GC!

MGM
01-04-2009, 05:55 PM
WHATS A GUITAR CENTER?? Is that the exact center horizontally and vertically on a guitar? or is it a the chocolate filling inside GC?? hmmm enlighten me I have never seen one......





I'm joking of course

Pippin
01-04-2009, 06:12 PM
WHATS A GUITAR CENTER?? Is that the exact center horizontally and vertically on a guitar? or is it a the chocolate filling inside GC?? hmmm enlighten me I have never seen one......





I'm joking of course

A place you go when you don't want good service.

ricdoug
01-04-2009, 06:27 PM
We have a good crew at the Guitar Center in San Marcos, California. It's not very uke oriented, though. Any locals, ask for "Flock" (Jason Lee - his hair will identify him). Flock will always steer you right and knows music and instruments very well. I've spent many Ben's, there.

I do most of my ukulele business locally at Giacoletti Music in Carlsbad. Roy Goode, who many of the locals know, delivers impeccable customer service. They keep a huge stock of over 100 models of ukuleles, except for this week. I visited Roy yesterday and he only had 7 ukes on the wall for sale. He sold 4 large shipments of ukes in the store the last 3 days before Christmas. Fortunately, 2 shipments are due this week to restock his store. In conjunction with that Roy's giving the buyers free uke lessons to prepare them for playing in local kanikapilas.

I've read that many Best Buys are carrying musical instruments. Hopefully they've trained their staff's better than the ones I've encountered in the home audio and video departments. Frys rocks on those items! Ric

SuperSecretBETA
01-04-2009, 06:29 PM
A place you go when you don't want good service.

It's weird how Musician's Friends is a sister company. Customer service for MF is a lot better. Although, MF's service is nowhere near as good as MGM's.

Site note: I wish I could try MF's Silver Creek line of ukuleles. There's never much talk of them around UU.

Pippin
01-04-2009, 06:50 PM
It's weird how Musician's Friends is a sister company. Customer service for MF is a lot better. Although, MF's service is nowhere near as good as MGM's.

Site note: I wish I could try MF's Silver Creek line of ukuleles. There's never much talk of them around UU.

We have a member of COUP (Columbus Ohio Ukulele Peeps) with a Silver Creek baritone. That uke is nice and plays well, but, I've been told that quality control is not the greatest. Ohana solid wood instruments start at $129 and you can't beat that.

Zakulele
01-06-2009, 09:35 AM
Apparently, Fenders Ukuleles have a myspace with a sound sample of the Pa'ina model. To me, sounds pretty good.


http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=439965921

thejumpingflea
01-06-2009, 11:19 AM
Apparently, Fenders Ukuleles have a myspace with a sound sample of the Pa'ina model. To me, sounds pretty good.


http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=439965921

That does sound good. Considering Guitar Centers will carry them you could very likely get the 400 one for 275 with some bargaining. Damn good deal if they are well setup.

GX9901
01-06-2009, 11:42 AM
Elderly Instruments has listed the three Fender ukes in their "coming soon" section for $300, $200, $150 respectively. So I guess we can expect the average street price to be around these prices. That's not really that different from the equivalent Kala and Pono tenors, and by most indications, they are probably made at the same factories. I wouldn't expect them to be great or anything, but they should be of decent quality along the lines of Kala and Pono. I think it would be cool if they are indeed available at local music shops to check out.

thejumpingflea
01-06-2009, 12:52 PM
Elderly Instruments has listed the three Fender ukes in their "coming soon" section for $300, $200, $150 respectively. So I guess we can expect the average street price to be around these prices. That's not really that different from the equivalent Kala and Pono tenors, and by most indications, they are probably made at the same factories. I wouldn't expect them to be great or anything, but they should be of decent quality along the lines of Kala and Pono. I think it would be cool if they are indeed available at local music shops to check out.

From my personal experience, Kala and Pono are in two very different categories. Pono is a much better sounding brand then Kala; from the Kala's I've played I have felt they had a very dull sound compared to a Pono.

For 300 a tenor, solid mahogany uke with a pick-up is a great deal if it is going to sound like a Pono. If it sounds like a Kala then meh.

GX9901
01-06-2009, 02:23 PM
From my personal experience, Kala and Pono are in two very different categories. Pono is a much better sounding brand then Kala; from the Kala's I've played I have felt they had a very dull sound compared to a Pono.

For 300 a tenor, solid mahogany uke with a pick-up is a great deal if it is going to sound like a Pono. If it sounds like a Kala then meh.

I was thinking the $300 Fender would be similar to a Pono PTOE while the other two are more like the laminated Kala koa and mahogany models.

thejumpingflea
01-06-2009, 03:21 PM
I was thinking the $300 Fender would be similar to a Pono PTOE while the other two are more like the laminated Kala koa and mahogany models.

Gotcha. I actually completely forgot that Fender was making more than that one for a minute.

I completely agree with you. :D

deach
01-06-2009, 03:28 PM
I wonder if they're going to have a Squire line as well.



.

thejumpingflea
01-06-2009, 03:51 PM
I wonder if they're going to have a Squire line as well.



.

Haha, that is great. :rofl:

rayan
01-06-2009, 11:18 PM
I wonder if they're going to have a Squire line as well.



.

Such an awesome post. It's a joke and a serious question at the same time.

experimentjon
01-07-2009, 12:10 AM
Well, I know that Epiphone isn't exactly Fender, but the other day in Hong Kong, I stumbled upon an Epiphone ukulele in a Tom Lee Music Center. Of course, I was immediately suprised because I did not know that Epiphone made ukes. But there it was, a soprano with a massive price tag. (Not really that massive, but it wa over 1000 HKD. I had no intention of spending that much on a temporary uke, so I didn't really look that closely, but I think it was around 175-200 USD.)

Anyway, the Epiphone was a solid mahogany, and it sounded pretty good, especially for a soprano, since I'm not that much of a fan of sopranos. But I think that the Epiphone sounded far better than the Koa laminate soprano by Kala, since I play that model rather often since one of my friends has one. And I'd say that it was on par with the solid mahogany soprano made by Tangi. But it was not a dissappointing uke at all.

You can look at more info on the Epiphone uke here.

http://folk-instruments.musiciansfriend.com/product/Epiphone-UKE500M-Masterbilt-Mahogany-Ukulele?sku=518764

Lanark
01-07-2009, 04:19 AM
I was thinking the $300 Fender would be similar to a Pono PTOE

I'm less inclined to imagine they'll be nearly as nice as a Pono. Give Ko'olau some credit here.

I'd lean more towards a Lanikai LSM-T with an added pickup. The rosette on both of them is eerily similar. The bridge and the headstock are different but the body shape is the same. Could be the same factory (if I've interpreted MGM correctly about using the same moulds.)

http://www.lanikaiukes.com/images/Products/lightbox/LSM-T-2_lb.gifhttp://www.fender.com/myspace/fenderukes/paina2.jpg

GX9901
01-07-2009, 04:44 AM
I'm less inclined to imagine they'll be nearly as nice as a Pono. Give Ko'olau some credit here.

I'd lean more towards a Lanikai LSM-T with an added pickup. The rosette on both of them is eerily similar. The bridge and the headstock are different but the body shape is the same. Could be the same factory (if I've interpreted MGM correctly about using the same moulds.)



The reason the Pono PTO-E came to mind first is because I knew it was built in Indonesia. I think the LSM-T is Indonesia built as well, but I'm not sure. To me it looks like the PTO-E also has the same body shape as the Lanikai and Fender.

I kind of wonder if all ukes coming out of Indonesia is from the same factory. I had a Pono Ebony Deluxe and an Oscar Schmidt bell uke that were both built in Indonesia and had identical colored rope purfling and Grover tuners. So it's not out of the question that these Fender ukes are built at the same place as Pono. I suppose MGM would know, but maybe that's classified information.:D

haole
01-07-2009, 04:50 AM
Gibson should reissue the ukes they made 75 years ago, cover them in the same thick glossy finish that muffles the sound of all their new acoustics, and charge $5000 for them so they can go head-to-head with Martin. :B

Lanark
01-07-2009, 05:42 AM
To me it looks like the PTO-E also has the same body shape as the Lanikai and Fender.



I'll have to disagree there. The body isn't quite the same.

http://www.ukes.com/images/pono-pto.jpg

If you look back at the Lanikai and the Fender, the waist is a little more sharply cinched. Almost to a point. Those look pretty identical to me even without the rosette.

The waist on the Pono is more curved and it looks to me as if the upper bout is a little larger than the other two. (but that might be the angle of the picture.)

All of which doesn't preclude them all being made in the same factory, but I do think that Ko'olau at least uses their own design. (Plus the Ponos are made on Java and I was under the impression that Lanakai's are made in China)

GX9901
01-20-2009, 09:54 AM
So, has anyone actually seen these in stores yet?

Woodshed
01-20-2009, 11:12 AM
its a cop out to me to use the same chinese factories and same body molds and just change a headstock and try to put their name on it.

According to Mike Lewis from Fender, they're made in Indonesia and were designed from scratch:

http://ukulelehunt.com/2009/01/19/fender-ukuleles/

Whatever the facts, I'm not particularly tempted by these ukes. It seems they're very much aimed at guitarists getting their first ukulele. Sound business decision for them.

PineAppleExpress
01-20-2009, 12:07 PM
I'm sold... I wonder if they have them in Custom Shop Relic by John Cruz?

MGM
01-20-2009, 12:15 PM
designed from scratch i doubt it. What companies do is they have the Chinese or indonesian or whereever first send a sample of what they make then they say change this that and the other thing. reason....These manufacturers are tooled and machined for certain body shapes and sizes and use vast automation in the build process....

MGM
01-20-2009, 12:17 PM
if you want a truly American made ukulele contact me about a collings ukulele...made by Bill hiimself ..if you need to ask price...ha ha dont email lol

MGM
01-20-2009, 12:19 PM
by the way I know exactly which factories most ukes come from...lol

thejumpingflea
01-20-2009, 04:04 PM
by the way I know exactly which factories most ukes come from...lol

Interesting. Could you maybe make a list sometime of what ukes come from the same factories? That would be neat to know. :D

rayan
01-20-2009, 10:15 PM
According to Mike Lewis from Fender, they're made in Indonesia and were designed from scratch:

http://ukulelehunt.com/2009/01/19/fender-ukuleles/

Whatever the facts, I'm not particularly tempted by these ukes. It seems they're very much aimed at guitarists getting their first ukulele. Sound business decision for them.

Great interview / article Al. Awesome work as always.

Pippin
01-21-2009, 01:02 AM
According to Mike Lewis from Fender, they're made in Indonesia and were designed from scratch:

http://ukulelehunt.com/2009/01/19/fender-ukuleles/

Whatever the facts, I'm not particularly tempted by these ukes. It seems they're very much aimed at guitarists getting their first ukulele. Sound business decision for them.

Woodshed, nice article. Interesting comments at the bottom. Good thoughts on the Kala archtop... Bigsby whammy would never work with nylon strings... to much stretch.

Stackabones
01-21-2009, 04:43 AM
According to Mike Lewis from Fender, they're made in Indonesia and were designed from scratch:

http://ukulelehunt.com/2009/01/19/fender-ukuleles/

Whatever the facts, I'm not particularly tempted by these ukes. It seems they're very much aimed at guitarists getting their first ukulele. Sound business decision for them.

Thanks for the review!

ukulelemotion
01-21-2009, 05:35 AM
fender huh.. i would like to test this out for myself.. no plan of buying tho... hahaha.. not in the budget for my fiscal year.. haha

Woodshed
01-21-2009, 06:14 AM
Ryan: Thanks. I thought his answers were a bit too 'heavy sell' in places, but I guess you have to expect that.

Pippin: Since that comment someone actually found a uke with a whammy bar for sale (http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=2&campid=5335823728&toolid=10001&customid=2301&ext=330302138259&item=330302138259). I can't imagine it functions very well. But if someone was making a mini-Gretsch you'd have to have a cosmetic bar at least.

Stackabones: I should point out, not a review but an interview. I've never touched a Fender uke.

bluesuke
01-22-2009, 11:51 AM
They said in the stores the 19th. I went to my local guitar center to try one just for fun and see how they sound. they didn't have any and told me special order only. The manger told me he could order one and if I didn't like i could return it but i will have to pay in full before ordering. seems like a bad way to do business to me. has any one had a chance to play one yet?

MGM
01-22-2009, 11:59 AM
I played them at Namm. Like any other good chinese or asian import setup properly...nothing different but some like i said will like the look.

bornagainjeeper
01-22-2009, 12:08 PM
Im SOOOOO getting one! I'm quite the Fender fanatic, so I MUST have one! I LOVE the Tele head stock! awesome!!! :love:

certainly respect your opinion on the head stock...but for me it just don't look right! haha i do understand why they want to put that fender trademark on it...but call me a traditionalist i spoze...

NukeDOC
01-22-2009, 01:17 PM
im surprised i totally missed this thread when it started.

i have to say that when i saw the headline of this thread i was hoping for it to be another electric ukulele. with fender as a company being more known for their electric guitars i was hoping to see a telecaster or stratocaster styled solid body ukulele.

rayan
01-22-2009, 01:59 PM
im surprised i totally missed this thread when it started.

i have to say that when i saw the headline of this thread i was hoping for it to be another electric ukulele. with fender as a company being more known for their electric guitars i was hoping to see a telecaster or stratocaster styled solid body ukulele.

That would have been pretty awesome. oh well, here's hoping they try that in the future.

Pippin
01-22-2009, 02:27 PM
Fender made acoustic guitars in the past with the strat headstock, so, this look here is not too far-fetched to me. The Sonoran (California guitar) acoustic has a Fender electric-shaped headstock in their current line-up.

http://www.fender.com/products/prod_images/acoustics/0968024021_xl.jpg

Fender is banking on the guitar players they already have in their stable jumping on their ukes. I don't mind the look because I had one of those acoustic guitars in the early 1980s.

Pippin
01-22-2009, 02:34 PM
I sent my contact at Fender a message suggesting a solid-bodied ukulele in a Tele style and also an Acoustasonic Tele style for Fender fans. I'll let everyone know what his reaction is.

paw123los
01-24-2009, 01:53 AM
In the NAMM video the guy who plays the Fender ukulele about 0:50 plays with very nice technique. How does he do that ? I can't figure it out from the movie.

Pippin
01-24-2009, 06:56 AM
My contact at Fender said that he'd pass word of people's interest in a Fender electric uke up the chain of command. A Fender electric ukulele from the "Squire" series, for example, would not cost much to produce and might turn out a big winner for them.