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Fender


fender 52 telecaster concert ukulele
'52 Concert
Fender Hai'ola Acoustic Tenor
Hai'ola Tenor
Tacoma Papoose Guitalele
Tacoma Papoose
Fender is far more famous for their Guitars and they don't have a long history of making Ukuleles but they are currently in the Fender catalogue and are being produced in Fender's Indonesian Factory. Initially, while other Ukulele makers make Ukuleles with body shapes in homage to famous Fender Guitars, (Mahalo, Brunswick and Stagg to name three), Fender didn't, apart from the classic Fender headstock.

In 2013 they changed this and released the '52 which is their version of the Telecaster body shaped Ukulele and a Tenor called the T Bucket based on their acoustic Guitars. They have put out a number of different ranges and limited edition specials since they first started making Ukuleles including the Piha'ea Soprano with stencil painting that harks back to the old days of Harmony, Regal and the like.

In 2014 Fender Japan release a nylon strung solid body electric Concert in colour and sunburst finishes based upon the Mando-Strat electric Mandolin, (which was in turn based upon the 1950's and 60's Fender electric Mandolin that was nicknames the Mandocaster but never actually called this by Fender), it just has the model name FUK-MS and there is a suggestion on the site that Fender originally released something similar to this in 1956 along with the electric Mandolin, (which like all 4 string electric Mandolins including the current Mando-Strat version, can easily be converted into a Concert Ukulele); however I have never seen one of these 1956 Ukuleles, and until this, not even seen them mentioned?

The current range consists of Sopranos, Concerts and Tenors in different woods that have a California beach name.

Ashbory

Ashbory is famous as the original rubber stringed short scale Bass and the father of the Ukulele bass. It was invented in 1986 by Alun Ashworth-Jones and Nigel Thornbory (hence the name), using Ukulele tuners so it was part Ukulele to start with. They then got a deal for production with Guild but for a number of reasons Guild stopped production in 1988 but Alun and Nigel persevered with production in the UK, even amending it to produce the squarer mk II version. Being innovative it was remembered in the US and with Fenders take over of Guild it went back into mass production in 1999, using the mk I "Dog Bone" design (as the mk II was never released in the US), under the De Armond branding when Fender owned it. From this Owen Holt took it up and developed the Ukulele Bass:- and much better strings which in turn came back to go on the Ashbory

Tacoma

Tacoma Guitars began as a division of Young Chang America in Tacoma, Washington, (obviously enough), that, starting in 1991, processed Northwest hardwood for export for piano soundboards. The decided to expand and started a small guitar factory to also make use of the processed wood but it wasn't until 1997 that they started producing under the name Tacoma Guitars. In 1999 Young Chang sold the factory to local Management and they in turn sold it to Fender in 2004; I believe Fender closed down the Washington Factory and stopped using the name in 2008 (though they still own it should they want to use it again). While Tacoma was a brand they produced, as well as Guitars, Mandolins and a 19in scale Guitalele they called the Papoose, (in fact this was their first production Guitar), though a little large for a Guitalele it was always made to use the standard A Guitalele tuning.

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