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JT_Ukes
04-26-2009, 06:53 PM
I searched first, but did not see a thread listing Ukuleles that are made in Hawaii.

My current Ukulele is made in Connecticut, (A Flea) which is better than one made in China, but I want my next Ukulele to have been made lovingly in Hawaii. So I'm doing my research now. and by research, I mean asking you guys, who know more about Ukulele's and Hawaii than I could hope to learn.

So tell ya what, you guys and gals list what companies you know of still make Ukuleles in Hawaii, and I'll try and keep this first post updated with the info you all post below.

Thanks!

JT


Kamaka (http://www.kamakahawaii.com/)

Ko'Aloha (http://www.koaloha.com/)

Kanile'a (http://www.kanileaukulele.com/)

Ko'olau (http://www.koolauukulele.com/)

G-String (http://www.gstringukuleles.com/)

thejumpingflea
04-26-2009, 07:02 PM
Kamaka
Ko'Aloha
Kanile'a
Ko'olau
G-String

That is really the list of big name factories from the islands.

JT_Ukes
04-26-2009, 07:05 PM
list updated...

thanks!

thejumpingflea
04-26-2009, 07:18 PM
Oh, and my thoughts on all that I have played.

Kamaka: I have played a few Kamaka's and I own a Concert Deluxe. Wonderful ukes. Considered the Martins of the Ukulele world. You are paying a little extra for the name, but you are getting a wonderful uke.

Ko'Aloha: I have only played two Ko'Aloha ukes (Tenor and Daniel Ho's DVI) and was very impressed. They are very warm sounding and project nicely. The best ukes for finger picking IMHO. My next Hawaiian uke will be a Ko'Aloha.

Kanile'a: I have only played 1 Kanile'a uke and it is Mango Tenor I own. Wonderful, versatile uke. I really like it. This is a great company that is cheaper then Kamaka for the equal quality and sound IMHO.

Ko'olau: I owned a tenor and while I thought it was a great uke, it wasn't perfect for me. Best sustain of any other of these brands IMO. Great solo uke in a band and for slower songs it works very well due to the incredible sustain.

G-String: I LOVED my G-String. Unfortunately, the intonation was so bad I had to return it. It sounds best when it is being strummed. It had a great feel and I really liked it, but the it was unplayable up the frets due to the intonations.

Here some links of me playing some of these ukes:

Kamaka:
Piano Forte: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_smUm3NAbA
Me & Shirley T: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mSHNxpt0zM&feature=related

Kanile'a:
Dragon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi6-Bjl4HD0

Ko'olau:
(Comes in at 1:02) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEbAsBovuUk&feature=channel
Ode To UAS: (Comes in at 1:02) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQgiLTFtHNc

G-String:
Soggy Socks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3PSwea9Elg
Slack Tides: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgHK5VD7oxk&feature=related


Hope this helps!!

Ahnko Honu
04-26-2009, 11:51 PM
I have both a R&L (Randy & Lenda Wong) Ukulele, and a NICE (Edmund Bacani) Ukulele both small scale luthiers with very nice products. There is also Ceniza by T&K Ukuleles, and Valley Made Ukuleles (Jerome & Debrah Warner) both built in Wai'anae, Oahu. There's also Keilani/Keli'i Ukuleles. Tangi Ukuleles has temporarily stopped production but he still has inventory to sell all Hawaii made according to Tangi (no Vietnam builts). Sonny-D from what I gather retired with no one to continue his legacy, too bad. There are dozens of lesser known but excellent quality ukulele luthiers around Hawaii but not sure if you want all of them.

hoosierhiver
04-27-2009, 12:39 AM
Considered the Martins of the Ukulele world.

Then what are Martins considered?:confused:

deach
04-27-2009, 12:47 AM
There are plenty of smaller shops. Check out UkuleleFriend.com

haole
04-27-2009, 06:49 AM
Keli'i is the forgotten K-brand that still makes really nice solid koa ukes. They're noticeably cheaper than the others too! Don't seem to have a website, but MGM has a couple in stock right now and ukes.com is also an authorized dealer.

And don't forget the local luthiers!

Moore Bettah (http://www.moorebettahukes.com/) (I don't think these need any introduction!)
Island Ukulele, made by Ray Rapozo on Kaua'i.
Maui Music (http://www.ukes.com/ukes.html) by Peter Lieberman
Koa Works (http://ukulelefriend.com/builder_KoaWorks.htm)

dominicfoundthemooon
04-27-2009, 07:04 AM
good thread.. i want to go back to hawaii now so bad.. i know way more about ukuleles then i did just 4 months ago.. i don't even know the brands that i played.. other than Koaloha.. i just liked the way those sounded the best.. when i went into a shop.. i would play EVERY ukulele that was 600-1200.. this thread is cool to see.. and i like the links

d

thejumpingflea
04-27-2009, 07:15 AM
Then what are Martins considered?:confused:

The thing with Martin ukes is the only really good ones are vintage. To my knowledge they only make two at the moment, and they are both sopranos.

Kamaka is one of the oldest quality uke manufactures, has been steadily making ukes for 90 years and has a wide selection of models to choose from. Martin Guitars is the same deal with Guitars. Martin ukulele just doesn't live up to that.

bbycrts
04-27-2009, 07:39 AM
Maui Music? MGM has three right now...built in Lahaina, Maui.

Ahnko Honu
04-27-2009, 09:49 AM
Puapua Ukulele shop located in Waikiki caters mostly to visiting Japanese tourists (who LOVE ukuleles) and they sell among other makes Keili'i/Keilani ukuleles and the prices are fair. Only thing is they are out of stock of most Keli'i ukulele models with the exception of this one: http://ukulele.pua2.com/details/kes00.html
http://ukulele.pua2.com/photo/uke/kes00_1.jpg
$339.00 for a solid Koa Hawaiian made ukulele is actually quite a bargain. :shaka:

hoosierhiver
04-27-2009, 02:08 PM
The thing with Martin ukes is the only really good ones are vintage. To my knowledge they only make two at the moment, and they are both sopranos.

Kamaka is one of the oldest quality uke manufactures, has been steadily making ukes for 90 years and has a wide selection of models to choose from. Martin Guitars is the same deal with Guitars. Martin ukulele just doesn't live up to that.

I agree 100%,
The mexican martins of today are not much different from any number of imports. Kamaka is undisputed with it's solid reputation and history.

Kekani
04-27-2009, 10:06 PM
Pegasus (Bob Gleason)
Island Traditions (Robin Gleason)
Dennis Gomes
Kawika (David Hurd)
Lymana (Lyman Ashikawa)
Kula (Crist Pung)
I`iwi (Charlie Fukuba)
Richard Nunes
Leslie Nunes (if he's still building)
Guitarsmith (Nathan Ching)

Kaneohe til the end
04-27-2009, 11:13 PM
Oh, and my thoughts on all that I have played.

Kamaka: You are paying a little extra for the name, but you are getting a wonderful uke.


i gotta say i read this a lot nowadays, but their instruments are high quality. its not that you're paying for the name, you're actually paying for what you're buying, a well made, high quality instrument.

i havent seen anyone mention Keith Ogata. definitely check out ukulelefriend.com. i think most of the custom builders are in hawai'i.

Ahnko Honu
04-27-2009, 11:17 PM
Pegasus (Bob Gleason)
Island Traditions (Robin Gleason)
Dennis Gomes
Kawika (David Hurd)
Lymana (Lyman Ashikawa)
Kula (Crist Pung)
I`iwi (Charlie Fukuba)
Richard Nunes
Leslie Nunes (if he's still building)
Guitarsmith (Nathan Ching)

I heard this guy by the name of Aaron Oya makes pretty decent ukuleles too. ;) His recent Milo wood ukulele was a real work of art.

deach
04-28-2009, 01:12 AM
...

i havent seen anyone mention Keith Ogata. definitely check out ukulelefriend.com. i think most of the custom builders are in hawai'i.

I own two Ogatas and have played a third. Awesome ukes.

Here's his site http://www.asdhawaii.com/ but Shawn from ukulelefriend.com has a couple available.

Lanark
04-28-2009, 01:39 AM
Puapua Ukulele shop located in Waikiki caters mostly to visiting Japanese tourists (who LOVE ukuleles) and they sell among other makes Keili'i/Keilani ukuleles and the prices are fair. Only thing is they are out of stock of most Keli'i ukulele models with the exception of this one
$339.00 for a solid Koa Hawaiian made ukulele is actually quite a bargain. :shaka:

We've got a Keli'i soprano (from MGM) that my lovely wife has taken control of. It's a very simple, loud and very bright little uke. And a great player and sounding better all the time. They are a bargain for what you get for sure. I played it all the time.

bbycrts
04-28-2009, 05:18 AM
Pegasus (Bob Gleason)
Island Traditions (Robin Gleason)
Dennis Gomes
Kawika (David Hurd)
Lymana (Lyman Ashikawa)
Kula (Crist Pung)
I`iwi (Charlie Fukuba)
Richard Nunes
Leslie Nunes (if he's still building)
Guitarsmith (Nathan Ching)

According to Kawika's site (www.ukuleles.com), they are no longer building ukes. The site is still up and is a phenomenal source of uke-related info, though!