Noah Tenor X Ukulele - REVIEW

8 May 2023

Noah Tenor X Ukulele - REVIEW

It's always a happy ukulele time here when I get to look at a new Noah Ukulele. This is the brand new Noah Tenor X Ukulele.

Noah Tenor X Ukulele

And when I say 'brand new' - I mean that this is only on the cusp of being launched and this is serial number 001!! Noah will be well known to my readers as the British business of Matt Cohen who has been having instruments made in his name by a luthier in Vietnam for ten years now. That 'ten years' is relevant because it's ten years since Matt moved back from living there and set up the Noah Ukulele brand. As such, to mark that milestone he has decided to make a ten year (X) anniversary model. What a nice story! It's been a fun ten years for me as a reviewer too going back to Matt's first forays and they've always done rather well. It's also been nice to see Matt take on board constructive criticism as they have got better and better the more I have seen them. Let's dive in.


The Tenor X is an attractive double bout tenor ukulele with a Florentine cutaway which, like all Noah ukuleles, is made from solid tone woods. In this case Matt has specified a solid spruce top and solid Indian rosewood back and sides. That's a real classic combination of woods for stringed instrument on both looks and tone grounds so I am delighted to see it here. The woods are not what I would call AAA grade but are neat enough, particularly the stripy back and sides which are particularly attractive and nicely bookmatched. Interestingly, the looks, decor and wood combination here comes from inspiration taken from a guitar that this luthier built for Matt a few years ago which he adores. He thought it would be nice to use those designs for this anniversary ukulele model. Nice.

Noah Tenor X Ukulele body

The bridge is made from the Vietnamese hardwood Gõ gõ mật and takes on a new style for Noah with a wavy, asymmetric bottom shape with an interesting notch cutaways. It's extremely smooth and tidy and I think looks great. It's a pin-bridge style and is fitted with a bone straight topped saddle. Spacing here is 42mm.

Noah Tenor X Ukulele bridge

Decoration is subdued but effective with Indian Rosewood top and back bindings trimmed with paler wood purfling, a rosewood sound hole rosette and a Ziricote bottom bout 'comfort edge'. Those paler purfling strips create attractive 'box' edgings to the side faces and inside the cutaway and there is another pale inlay down the back joint. You also get a side sound port in the upper bout. As I always say with Noah these are hand made and not made by robots so you do see some hand tooling edges on the inlays where things are fitted in by eye. It's never bothered me, but they are there. If anything they remind me that this is made by a person. If you want pixel perfect purfling lines, go to a factory build but also remember that Noah ukuleles are always priced very keenly for hand made instruments. The body is then finished in a deep gloss which I can't find any fault with though does show off the purfling flaws more than satin would I suspect.

Noah Tenor X Ukulele decor

Inside is pretty tidy with notched linings and shaped braces. The top is vertically braced, and whilst there is no bridge plate I think the strength there is being afforded by the top braces that run from sound hole to tail.

Noah Tenor X Ukulele inside

The neck is made from a dark maple and has been pleasingly left in satin so is super slick. There's a single joint in the heel which is fairly well hidden and the heel is capped with rosewood It tapers down to a pretty rounded profile that reminds me of Pono chunkiness, but I can ignore that as the nut width is lovely and broad at 39mm, 32mm G to A. Certainly roomy for guitar players fingers!

That is topped with more Gõ gõ mật for the board which is in superb condition, evenly dark and oily. It's fitted with 19 frets, joined at the 14th which have a vintage flat top dressed feel. The sides are edge bound and the fret ends are hand dressed to small points with no sharp edges. Position dots are inlaid at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th, double 12th and 15th and these are paired with side dots. Like some of the purfling you can see these are cut and inlaid by eye as some edges are a little rough, but there you are.

Noah Tenor X Ukulele neck

Beyond the nut is an open slot headstock which I know Matt really likes. It's tidier than some other Noah headstocks I have seen and is faced in more Indian Rosewood and carries the Noah logo in a pearl inlay.

Noah Tenor X Ukulele headstock

The tuners are unbranded rear facing open chrome gears which look to be good quality.

Noah Tenor X Ukulele tuners

Finishing things off are a tail strap button, a padded gig bag and, on this example a set of Fremont Blackline strings (though Matt advises that you get a no cost option of either Aquila or Fremont). And like other Noah instruments it's very reasonably priced at only £329 including UK shipping. Bear in mind this is hand made with a lot of craftsmanship involved. No, it's not flawless in all the decor, but come on.. £329... Cor.

Noah Tenor X Ukulele back

So much to like here so far and I'm smitten with the looks. It's a hefty-ish ukulele at 785g but balances just fine and is very nice to hold both on the neck and on the arm on account of the comfort edge. Setup is good too.

Volume and sustain are both excellent with no complaints on me with either. It's a very punchy instrument that will suit all play circumstances.

Noah Tenor X Ukulele sound port

The tone has a brightness that I would expect from a spruce top, but balanced off by the rosewood back and sides giving it a broad range of mids and lots of character. Strummed it has a complex harmonic sound that is interesting and enjoyable with lots of jangle that shimmers with itself. It's not a bassy ukulele (a low G will give you more) though is still a rich sound which I am really liking. 

Fingerpicking is zingy and crisp right up the neck and again comes with bags of character and is extremely comfortable to play that way on account of the fingerboard space. It really chimes on the higher notes and sounds extremely pretty to my ears. No matter how i've played this I just keep going back to that price as the tone here is punching WELL above the ticket price. It's a lovely balanced sound.

Matt has long been on to a good thing with his choice of luthier and, as ever, I find the Noah ukes get better and better as he goes along. This is a fitting model to mark his ten year anniversary I think - a great looking, characterful sounding ukulele for not a lot of money at all. Very highly recommended!


Model: Noah X
Scale: Tenor
Body: Solid Spruce top, solid Indian Rosewood
Bridge: Gõ gõ mật pin bridge
Saddle: Straight topped bone
Spacing at saddle: 42mm
Finish: Gloss
Neck: Maple
Fingerboard: Gõ gõ mật
Frets: 19, 14 to body
Nut: Bone
Nut width: 39mm, 32mm G to A
Tuners: Unbranded chrome open gears
Strings: Fremont Blackline (choice of Aquila too)
Extras: Gig bag, tail strap button
Weight: 785g
Country of origin: Vietnam
Price: £329 (inc delivery in UK)


Wonderful looks
Excellent volume and sustain
Very comfortable to play
Rich, characterful tone with lots of range
Excellent price


Just the minor decor marks


Looks - 9.5 out of 10
Fit and finish - 8.5 out of 10
Sound - 9 out of 10
Value for money - 9.5 out of 10









  1. Baz,
    Firstly, thank you for the review and for introducing me to the brand.
    All 3 of my ukuleles are Noah for the reasons you listed! They are super instruments, which sound brilliant, look great and are amazing value for money. This Noah X hits all those spots and I would buy it but for the tricky explanation to my wife. (She has a point)

  2. That’s a super looking uke. I’ve got two Noahs, a pineapple soprano and 8-string concert (both on the back of your reviews), and love ’em. If Matt produces one of these in a soprano version he’ll have his third purchase from me.


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