Flight Pathfinder Solidbody Electric Tenor Ukulele - Trans Black
Flight have really taken the bull by the horns in recent years - in 2020 alone they have succesfully launched the gorgeous Flight Fireball Mango Tenor and a whole range of Soundwaves models... It feels to me like the entire Ukulele world is talking about Flight right now. You would think that Flight might take a moment to relax and contemplate their next move but to our surprise they have already listened to their customers - designed, refined and launched three extremely attractive solid body Electric Tenor Ukuleles to close out the year.
The Pathfinder is more than a little bit based on an extremely famous bolt on Electric Guitar model that originated in California back in 1954. Available initially in a crazy cool Trans blue that fades to white with a single coil neck pickup and humbucker at the bridge. If you want to plug in with effects or explore the overdrive channel of your amp then this Ukulele was built with you in mind. Equally, if you want to roll back the volume and tone and learn some jazz chords the unique metallic timbre of brighter edge to this Ukulele can certainly exceed your expectations.
The Flight Pathfinder, Transparent Black, Solid Body Tenor Ukulele is a dual cutaway steel string electric ukulele, offering the tonal possibilities of a true electric ukulele from the trusted name of Flight Ukulele. The ukulele itself is stunnning with a gradient blue flamed maple top with blue basswood body and neck. The ukulele features a maple neck, inline headstock, white ABS binding, hardtail fixed bridge, back-through stringing, humbucker and single coil pickups, chrome hardware, single controls for volume and tone, and a three way switch.
For those unfamiliar with the anatomy of an electric guitar - The steel strings, slim taper to the neck and lack of acoustic chambering mean that this uke will require some adjustment to your playing style to truly master. It's clear Flight thought long and hard about the spec of this Ukulele because it has a zero fret, an electric mandolin style bridge with individual saddles and finally a nice padded blue Flight gigbag.
The question you will be asking now is whether this instrument can be nearly as good as the Risa LP, ST or TE models that have been on the market for the better half of the last decade and I would say that these Ukes offer the same experience with perfectly acceptable and serviceable hardware but they are still a Chinese factory Ukulele (the Risa's are made in the EU) with cosmetic marks visible when you really scrutinise it. The most important thing to factor in about these instruments is the large amount of set up work required to make them perform at their best - on average, each one of these sold so far has spend between 60-120 minutes on the workbench and all are restrung with a good quality set of Electric Guitar strings. This does mean our prices sit a notch higher than large box-shifting retailers that don't check instruments before dispatching them and only you can decide whether the comprehensive check and work carried out beforehand is worth the extra investment.
For many, the difference in price between the two will more than make up for these differences and my hope is that by introducing an actual affordable solid body to Uke players that works (unlike some disasterous models other brands have tried to introduce in the past and failed), Flight will be the spark for an entire generation of loud and proud Electric Uke players... That sounds lovely, but I better buy some earplugs!