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shores&hammocks
07-02-2009, 01:54 PM
what brand names or ukuleles are made in hawaii?
to me, if an ukulele is made straight from hawaii, then the quality is better, contrary to that of one made in china or new mexico.

but if i'm wrong about that, please tell me so! thanks! :)

Brad Bordessa
07-02-2009, 02:05 PM
Correct. Unless you are buying a custom made instrument from a luthier located elsewhere in the world. All of the handmade/good quality Hawai'i brands are going to be better than something mass produced in China.

Keep in mind that anything handmade is going to cost more. But, they are also of better quality.

That said, the main made-in-Hawai'i brands are: Kamaka, Koaloha, Kanile'a, G string, and Ko'olau/Pono.

There are also a fair share of luthiers residing in Hawai'i who will also build you a grand instrument. Some names that come to mind are Chuck Moore and Sonny D.

shores&hammocks
07-02-2009, 02:09 PM
ah, very cool, okay thanks bunches! really appreciated.

DogBisquit
07-02-2009, 02:21 PM
You will generally pay $500-800 for a "low-end". I put that in quotations, because everything is relative. These are handmade by master luthiers and they are, in most cases, superior. Their nicer ones start around $1500, and then things get REALLY crazy. (Check-out some of the custom builds on this site!)

You might try CraigsList. I've seen a number of ukuleles on the Hawaiian site. It's kind of hard to justify spending that sort of cash without actually playing the instrument. Maybe it's time for a summer trip!

I've been fortunate enough to have a brother who lives on Maui. We were talking about Carlsbad Music on another thread, and the kid there was telling me that they had the largest selection of ukes in the states. I didn't have the heart to tell him about Bounty Music. The must have AT LEAST a hundred on hand.

Bounty Music also has a great website, with commercial and hand-built ukuleles. As I recall, they even post audio files of the instruments being played.

jkevinwolfe
07-02-2009, 03:41 PM
Many of the world best uke makers are obviously in Hawaii, but be careful of Hawaiian names. Doesn't necessarily mean it's made there. If a uke sells in the $300 or less range, you need to check where it was really made.

Also, many of the members of the Ukulele Guild of Hawaii live on the mainland and make some killer ukes too. Seriously investigate before you buy.

nikolo727
07-02-2009, 04:50 PM
Many of the world best uke makers are obviously in Hawaii, but be careful of Hawaiian names. Doesn't necessarily mean it's made there. If a uke sells in the $300 or less range, you need to check where it was really made.

Also, many of the members of the Ukulele Guild of Hawaii live on the mainland and make some killer ukes too. Seriously investigate before you buy.

true true true. Lanikai and kala, seem like hawaiian brands but are really produced in china(i think)

great instruments mind you, but not the quality of the other names listed above.

experimentjon
07-02-2009, 08:53 PM
Generally, ukes made in Hawaii are higher quality than those made abroad. And if you're looking more low end, Tangi makes some pretty decent ukes in Hawaii. And you can get Tangis starting at about $100. I mean, they're not exactly Kamakas or KoAlohas or Kanileas, but they're respectable ukes.

And there is a small difference between Asia made ukes and Asia-made ukes that are set up in Hawaii. The build quality is respectable, the woods are usually nice, but they're not quite up to the top tier K-brands in terms of feel and quality.

Ahnko Honu
07-02-2009, 09:47 PM
There are some lesser known Hawaiian luthiers who make Koa 'ukuleles and sell them at reasonable prices Keli'i, and R&L being two. You can still find Koa sopranos from them at around $300 new, and they are very nice quality in both workmanship, and sound.

Ahnko Honu
07-02-2009, 09:50 PM
true true true. Lanikai and kala, seem like hawaiian brands but are really produced in china(i think)

great instruments mind you, but not the quality of the other names listed above.

Pono, Honu, Mele too are all very fine quality 'ukuleles but they are not made in Hawaii though they have final setup performed here in the islands.