It may surprise many of you who have been on the cusp of ukulele culture for some time but the Nova U has not previously been available in stores here in the UK or much of mainland Europe. Despite that, the Nova U is almost already a legend by this point and we are delighted to welcome this model to the Southern Ukulele Store!
Enya Nova U is a thinline concert ukulele with a body made of a unique polycarbonate and carbon fiber material. The finish is satin which is a nice surprise considering the synthetic materials and it is extremely lightweight in the hands.
The neck profile is similar to the brands we already know and love at this price but with a slight radius which aids many people playing barre chords. The polycarbonate bridge feels a bit strange for the first few minutes... For me, as somebody that looks at ukuleles all day every day; I can't remember a time an instrument at this kind of price offered so much in the overall presentation.
The tuner buttons match the body, the fret dots (start shaped) match the body, the bridge is the same material as the body and also colour matched and the hardware and matching strap buttons feel very good quality. It even comes with a colour matched gigbag although the quality of the gigbag is a bit sketchy. It looks the part but is more of a dust cover than something that could offer any real protection. Still, it's a nice cherry on top of what is already a really cool cake!
The cutaway on this
concert ukulele is really well designed too which a bevel going into the back of the body - this allows real access to the upper frets!
How does it sound? Well actually, surprisingly good. The first time I heard one of these at the NAMM show a year or two back it was a loud room and I thought they sounded overly bright but when I played one of these for the first time in the shop I heard some lovely colourful undertones and even some nice darker sustain on the bass.
Please do understand though that a polycarbonate ukulele at this price will always sound quite bright and the plastic nature of the fingerboard does reflect slightly in the tone.
Even so, colour me impressed - these would make a great present or a quirky addition to a ukulele collection. Have a sneak peak at our video review that will be coming out soon!
Concert size 30% carbon fiber and 70% polycarbonate body, neck and bridge Satin finish Lightweight design Cutaway Gold hardware with colour matching Radius fingerboard 35mm nut width gigbag included