Fender brings their iconic Telecaster guitar style to ukuleles with their Fender Ukulele ’52 – Sunburst. This is a cool looking homage to one of the most iconic guitars in the history. Looks aside, you probably don’t just want to buy an instrument for the aesthetical reasons alone (I mean, the fact that it looks like a baby Telecaster definitely does not hurt but…). Thankfully, the ‘52 Sunburst has a lot more to offer, so let’s get into it.
If you have been dreaming about getting Fender Telecaster for years but cannot afford it and feel like foraying into the world of ukes, look no further. The Fender Ukulele ’52 – Sunburst looks like a mini-me of a full sized model. This is a concert sized ukulele with laminated spruce top and laminated mahogany back and side. The C-shaped profile mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard are smooth and easy to play. Moving up, the classic Telecaster headstock with maple veneer beds 4 tuning pegs on just the one side of the headstock. And all this beauty is topped with 3 tone sunburst finish that completed the look.
When it comes to the hardware, Fender did not really put anything over the top to impress the player (I guess the looks do that). This little uke telecaster has rosewood bridge, compensated bone nut and saddle. This all delivers pretty decently, crisp sound and nice playability. The tuning machines also do a good job of keeping the uke in tune but there is no way around it, the first week or two you just have to tune a little more often than usual. This model also ships with Aquila nylgut string set which is overall not bad but you can notice a slight buzz (which, of course, is not only string issues).
Amplified or not, the Ukulele ’52 – Sunburst has a crisp and balanced tone. While there is some buzzing on the strings the problem goes away when plugged in. I would not say this is a pro-level uke when it comes to sound but as a beginner or an intermediate player it will be sufficient. Concert ukuleles combine the volume of a baritone and comfort of the sopranos so you can rest assured that you will be getting the best of the “two worlds”.
Fender equipped this uke with Fishman KULA preamp system. It also has a built-in tuner which, at least for me, is not that great. Of course, having an onboard tuner is always a bit plus, especially if you do not know how to tune with your ear but this tuner is not the most accurate. The controls include volume, bass, middle, and treble. For such a low price I definitely did not expect a good performance BUT Fender, being Fender, has once again proved everyone wrong and delivered a high-quality system that perfectly amplifies the sweet and mellow acoustic sound of the uke.
The Ukulele ’52 – Sunburst is one of a kind instrument. The distinct look of Stratocaster along with quality electronics are hard to bit in this price range. Although Fender went with laminated tonewood which is not the best thing for the tone this uke still has a very sweet sound, great resonance, and volume. That is pretty much why this concert ukulele holds a place in our best acoustic-electric ukulele chart.