View Full Version : Hamano h-100t

08-07-2010, 09:14 PM
This is my first ukulele and review, so please forgive me if I leave something important out. I have been playing acoustic guitar for over 40 years, most of it professionally. I have had the luxury of owning quite a few high end acoustics, so I feel as though I have a sense of what quality craftsmanship is.

I chose to buy my uke from Music Guy Mike as he consistently gets great reviews on the web. After my dealings with him, I can understand why, in a world where customer service seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur, Michael and his staff have made me a customer for life!

This is a solid mahogany tenor uke with rosewood bridge and fingerboard, mahogany neck, bone nut and saddle, grover friction tuners and the strings have been upgraded to Aquila. I'm left handed and MGM set it up for me that way, with new strings, at no extra charge!

The fit and finish on this uke is flawless, the matte finish is smooth with no visible pitting or orange peel effect. On the neck the frets are well seated dressed cleanly with no fret edges sticking out. The only thing I could pick on is the fret board, it appears that they have stained it black to "look" like ebony, I don't think that was necessary. Inside there is no glue showing, the braces are all flush to the body and scalloped. Where the neck meets the body the joint is tight and clean of any finish flaws. The action is perfect for me, ( not too low) with spot on intonation all the way up the neck. The tuners I understand, are not for everyone they require patience, but once in tune they hold it.

I looked on the web and in stores, a long time before I made my choice and what struck me about this uke compared to the others in it's price range was the look. Most of the other brands are spending a lot of effort on binding and inlays, which adds nothing to the sound of the instrument, eye candy is not ear candy. This is a simple and elegant looking uke, I prefer understated beauty. Apparently Hamano made every effort to recreate a Martin uke from the 20's and I believe they got it spot on.
So what about the sound, I am very impressed. String balance is even, there are no dead spots on the neck and 12th fret harmonics ring loud and bell like. With any all mahogany wood body the sound should be warm and "woody" and this uke has that in spades. I'm very impressed by how it sounds fresh out of the box, which only makes me more excited to see how it will open up after a year or two of playing.

The volume from this uke is very strong, never having owned a uke I thought I'd have to work it hard to get enough volume to play with a guitarist, but I was happily surprised when I jammed with a friend and didn't have to dig in to keep up. As I tend to play blues and jazz mostly, when it's time to change strings I'll be putting on a set of Worth low G's.

All in all, my entire experience with buying this uke has been a pure pleasure. I would highly recommend the Hamano uke to any of my friends. With a price tag a bit higher than the Kala and Mainland ukes I tried, I would say it was money well spent.

08-10-2010, 04:21 AM
I had the Hamano soprano and loved it..... It is the best made chinese uke I've had.... Made me move up to Koalohas, Loprinsi and Kiwayas...... Funny how people rave about other brands being great untill they play a real quality instrument.... The Hamano is the real deal

08-11-2010, 09:27 AM
Right you are!

08-19-2010, 10:59 AM
How does this compare to Kiwayas? I'm thinking of getting a nice, solid soprano in the old 20s style and I spy with my little eye a Hamano h-100t for $250....

08-19-2010, 02:23 PM
I bought one for my daughter after doing lot's of research. She is pleased with it. I'm glad to see your review reaffirm my purchase. Thanks.