Fender Nohea Jimmy Stafford Signature Model. Review - 20/05/2015

The new Jimmy Stafford model is essentially the same as its original Nohea stablemate aside from the different gloss black transparent finish, however the Gear-Review team found it important to comment on its extra unique feature The Fishman Sonitone pickup & pre-amp.

With the original model I found myself trying a number of clip-on pickups where the sound was harsh or using a microphone which is impractical live. I also contemplated installing one but the cost was prohibitive. This new model solves the issue with a built in pickup so you can plug straight in to your PA or amplifier. For adjustment a volume and tone control is provided and this is placed in the sound hole under the strings, which in my opinion can be tricky to access. Power is provided by a 3 volt battery located near the rear socket assembly.

I have so far tested it on a Fender Blues Junior amplifier, a pair of Alesis Studio Monitors and a HK Audio Impact PA. It definitely seems more at home on the more neutral PA or monitors with a clean, clear sound which is not harsh at all, when playing through the PA. I also used a pair of Mackie Thump monitors for foldback and could hear myself perfectly with no feedback issues. Through the Blues Junior it was a bit harsh and less acoustic sounding to my ear but it may also work for small gigs. It would also be interesting to try it with a dedicated acoustic combo. Finally I also tried it with a pair of Alesis Studio monitors with similar results to the PA and also it can be said that this allows a defined and clear sound when recording.

A great and practical addition, to the Fender Ukulele family.

By Ernest H Slade