Flight Comet Tenor Ukulele - REVIEW

30 Sept 2023

Flight Comet Tenor Ukulele - REVIEW

The ukulele world doesn't sit still and we now regularly see new models that cause a big buzz in the market. Here's one of those -  the new Flight Comet tenor ukulele.

Flight Comet Tenor Ukulele

The Flight brand needs no introduction on this site as I have reviewed models from their extensive range regularly. The thing I always mention about Flight is that they are constantly working and looking to develop new ideas. And when I first saw talk of this model it was clear that they had done that again. My first impression looking at this one was that they were seeming to take something from their (incredibly popular) Fireball series of ukes, but also apply something of recent popularity of the coloured top instruments like the aNueNue Color or their own Iris ukulele. That seems like a clever choice and whilst those coloured top ukuleles were more towards the value end of the market this one goes up in the seriousness stakes.


The Comet is a double bout shape ukulele with attractive modern curves that is the same shape as the Fireball. We are talking all solid tone woods here and an interesting pairing of solid flamed maple for the top and solid mango for the back and sides. That is immediately going to provide some grain interest and contrast before we even get to the colouring, but the flaming on the maple is just divine here and reminds me of their Anniversary Series models. The mango wood also has bags of interest without looking 'sooty' on this model. I think the woods here work together very well indeed. Great contrast.

Flight Comet Tenor Ukulele  body

The bridge is similar to that on the Fireball and is a pin style made from Indian Rosewood. It carries as similar inlaid wooden purfling strip that sets it off nicely and the whole thing is very tidy. The pins are not capped with a jewelled inlay like some other Flight models, but I think that works here as the focus is really on that colour top. The saddle is compensated and looks to be bone. Spacing here is 42mm.

Flight Comet Tenor Ukulele  bridge

But it's all about the finishing and that colour. The Comet presently comes in two colours, a green or a blue like this one. The staining is more translucent than other colour top ukuleles which allows the flaming of the maple to shine I will say that some of the buffing back seems a touch over-done in parts (see the top cutaway), though that will differ between examples. Kind of gives it a worn denim look.. This also has a black top binding and tail strip, a black comfort edge on the lower bout and a black scalloped cutaway at the top. Around the soundhole is a solid black ring also like the Fireball. They all hang together nicely with the coloured top nicely. This one also goes with a side sound port, but not in the 'jewel' design of the Fireball, but more of an abstract wave type motif that looks great. The body is then glossed which looks nicely done and makes the top colour and back grains really pop. Granted, I know coloured ukuleles are not for everyone, but I really do like the look of these and it grabs me more than the Fireball.

Flight Comet Tenor Ukulele  decor

Inside is very tidy with notched linings and thin braces. A couple of the top lateral braces are also drilled through for weight saving, Kanile'a style.

Flight Comet Tenor Ukulele inside

The neck is made from African Mahogany and like the Fireball is jointed at the heel and headstock, but also down its length with a black skunk stripe. Thankfully this one is also satin so is fast to move around on. The profile is slightly rounded, but comes with a very comfortable 38mm but which is 30mm from G to A.

Topping that is more rosewood for the fingerboard which is in great condition and largely uniformly dark in colour. It is edge bound in black and has 19 semi hemi ended frets (14 to the body) which means absolutely no sharp edges. Position dots match the colour of the top and are offset at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th, double 12th and 15th and these are paired with white dots on the side. If I have on personal criticism it's that I personally think they would look better in white, not blue. Minor point.

Flight Comet Tenor Ukulele neck

Beyond the bone nut is the commonly used Flight open frame headstock which all looks very tidy. It's faced in more flamed maple with a top stain in blue which creates a very attractive 'layer cake' look to the opening where you see both the neck wood, the unstained maple and the blue top. The Flight logo is a small inlay at the top. I think this headstock looks particularly great.

Flight Comet Tenor Ukulele headstock

I've seen these tuners on Flight ukes before and they are good quality open gears by Prowel in black and gold. Good quality and work great too.

Flight Comet Tenor Ukulele tuners

And finishing it off are a set of Worth Brown strings (a string set you don't often see as standard on ukes, but are very good), one of the very nice Flight red padded gig bags and the same sort of active Double brand pickup with controls inside the sound hole edge that Flight have used before. No, I don't go for actives myself, but again, fair play to Flight for not sticking an ugly control panel on the side of the uke. I just wish there was an acoustic only version. And for that you are looking at similar pricing to the current Fireball money at around £599 in the UK. No, that's not a 'cheap Flight' but considering the appointments here it's a pretty fair one I think. I've given it the same value for money score as I gave the Fireball for that reason.

Flight Comet Tenor Ukulele back

So all very good so far and a striking looking ukulele for sure. The build and finishing here are good too and it feels nice to hold in the same way the Fireball did. With the pickup there is some added weight clocking in at 700g but it's not overly noticeable. The setup on this example is decent and it balances well too.

First off, this is not the loudest ukulele I have played and it has a more laid back punch to it. That's not to say it's quiet, just more reflective and soft in the attack. I suspect the maple top will open up over time, but out of the box it was noticeable. Sustain is excellent with a harmonic shimmer to it which tells you the instrument is working with itself. Very nice.

Tone wise I had to go back through my memory banks and realised I'd rarely if ever seen a solid maple top instrument on the channel. The Flight Anniversary model sprung to mind, but other maple instruments have tended to be laminates where the wood is used for looks only. As such I went into this a little clueless as to what to expect. Maple has a crisp clear tone that sits down the middle of the tonal range, but coupling it with the more koa-esque mango creates an interesting mix. The Fireball, being all mango was an instrument that reminded me more of an all koa instrument with a quite broad richness that had both warmth and 'zing'. So what have we here?

Flight Comet Tenor Ukulele side port

This certainly has a more direct and brighter edge to the tone, but I think it's more a case of it batting down the middle on the tone scale without the richer more rounded tones of the mango top instrument. That's not to say unattractive though and in fact with the laid back volume it works very nicely as a contemplative sounding instrument. Stummed it has a clear shimmery edge to the tone with each note staying pronounced and obvious in the mix. Often with tenors I am more impressed with the picked tone (which is very nice here too) but strumming wise I found this extremely pleasing and relaxing. Very pretty

Picked the tone is chimey and clear everywhere on the neck, but again with a more laid back punch which is relaxing too. Kind of a 'late night, kick back and noodle' sounding instrument. 

Overall, it's not as complex to my ears as the Fireball, but it's very pretty sounding in a different way. And, as I say, considering how few solid maple top instruments there are out there, something rather unique sounding too.

Ultimately though there's not a huge amount between this and the Fireball on quality grounds. Clearly the looks do differ widely and I'm in love with the 'playful yet serious' style of this one. Sound wise they differ too with this a more down the middle tone and a laid back feel, but your choice on that will be totally personal. 

Either way though, Flight have cleverly pulled it out of the bag here I think and I've loved playing this. What a cracker. Highly recommended!


Model: Flight Comet
Scale: Tenor
Body: Solid flamed maple top, solid mango back and sides
Bridge: Indian Rosewood, pin bridge
Saddle: Bone, compensated
Spacing at saddle: 42mm
Finish: Gloss
Neck: African Mahogany
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Frets: 19, 14 to body
Nut: Bone
Nut width: 38mm, 30mm G to A
Tuners: Prowel gears
Strings: Worth Brown
Extras: Double sound hole mounted pickup, Flight gig bag
Weight: 700g
Country of origin: China
Price: £599


Gorgeous look
Striking tonewoods
Smooth comfortable neck
Well finished example
Good sustain
Shimmery sweet clear tone


Would like an acoustic only version


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









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