The Fender Strat Ukulele as if a Fender Stratocaster went on vacation to Hawaii, decided to settle down and assimilate with the local music scene. It’s as if a ukulele went through a teenage rebellion phase and got all rock ‘n roll. And for just about $200, the Fender Fullerton Series of ukuleles are well-built, stylish ukulele with great features.
Fender’s new Fullerton Series Ukuleles come in three styles based on classic Fender guitars, each with their own beautifully-designed body paints and pickguards. The one I’ve been playing with is the Fullerton Strat Ukulele, which is styled after the classic Fender Stratocaster and is available in sunburst and black. The other models include the Fullerton Tele Ukulele styled after the Fender Telecaster, available in butterscotch blonde and black as well as the Fullerton Jazzmaster Ukulele, which comes in tidepool blue and Olympic white.
The $199.99 price point is a great fit for the Fullerton Ukulele, as it’s a step up from those entry-level ukulele kits you’ll find on Amazon, but it comes packed with features. Most importantly, it sounds great and is built with the quality Fender is known for. Each of the Fullerton Ukuleles has a Fender-designed preamp system built-in, meaning your ukulele is always ready to plug into an amplifier and play to a crowd. The FE-U01 pre-amp has separate volume and tone controls as well as a built-in tuner that works great. The Fullerton Ukuleles also feature no-tie bridges, allowing you to change strings easily, without the need to tie special notes that many other ukulele designs utilize.
As you can already tell, the Fullerton Strat Ukuklele looks almost identical to the classic Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, down to the double-cutaway and contoured body shape and even the 4-in-line Strat headstock. It’s undoubtedly Fender and it’s awesome. As Fender says on their website, it’s “the perfect choice for the ukulele player looking to inject the spirit of rock ‘n roll into every performance.”
The Fullerton Series Ukuleles are made with mahogany backs and sides, with a laminated spruce top. They are all Concert size ukuleles, which is a mid-sized ukulele, in between the soprano ukulele and baritone ukulele. The neck is made of maple with a walnut fingerboard and has a 15.04” scale length with 19 frets. The nut material is synthetic bone, the tuning machines are sealed nickel, and the ukuleles come with Aquila Nylgut Concert ukulele strings.
I’ve had a lot of fun learning how to play on the Fender Fullerton Strat ukulele, it’s a great ukulele for both beginners and experienced players. It sounds punchy, bright, and clear and begs you to pick it up night after night; not to mention the fact that it’s a great conversation starter. The built-in pre-amp gives you excellent control over the tone of your ukulele, not just bass and treble, and the fact that it doubles as a tuner is a nice touch. It’s been a fantastic entry into the world of ukulele for me, and I anticipate playing for a long time to come.
The Fullerton Ukulele is even better when plugged into Fender’s new Mustang LT25 amplifier. It’s a 25-watt amplifier with an 8” Fender special design speaker inside a wood cabinet that’s designed to be used by beginners and students, like me, for home practice. The LT25 has a built-in 1.8” color display that allows you to quickly switch between 30 preset electric guitar tones and you can edit them on the amp as well.
The presets range from classic, clean guitar to edgy punk rock, to space-age reverb sound effects and they’re a lot of fun to play around with. The Mustang LT25 even has a stereo headphone output so you can jam in silence without waking up your family. It has an easy-grip handle and the Mustang LT25 is light enough to take wherever you go. It’s the perfect guitar amp for beginners and it’s a bargain at $149.99.
You can pick up your very own Fender Fullerton Series Ukulele or Mustang LT25 amplifier directly from Fender.com or any music instrument retailer like Guitar Center or Sweetwater.
Source: Review samples on loan from the manufacturer
What I Like: Gorgeous, classic Fender-inspired design; Built-in pre-amp and tuner; Excellent lively sound; Tie-less strings.
What Needs Improvement: Nothing I could find.