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dianalele
08-26-2010, 07:25 AM
Just how many ukulele brands are made in China?
I dunno, I was just surprised to find out that Kala is made in China.
Then that got me thinking where all the other brands are made.
Im curious now, does anyone know where other brands are from?
What brands are actually made in Hawaii? Or at least in the US?

Kala/makala- China
Cordoba- Portugal? I think

janeray1940
08-26-2010, 07:27 AM
Kamaka, Koaloha, Kanile'a are definitely made in Hawaii (and you can't go wrong with any of them).

solrac
08-26-2010, 07:40 AM
Lanikais are made in China (at least mine is.)

Meles are started in the Philippines and completed in Hawaii, but are made by hand.

rasputinsghost
08-26-2010, 07:40 AM
As is Keli'i and Sonny D.

mm stan
08-26-2010, 07:44 AM
Aloha Dianalele,
Alot of ukes are made overseas as labor and operating costs are really cheap.
I would think most, but not all of asian counties make them now..
There are quite a number of builders in Hawaii, but as it gets more popular
alot more builders are starting to jump on the bandwagon for the ride....
BTW- when can we expect a new song from Dianalele???Jus enjoy your stuff...
Take Care!!and Aloha.....MM Stan..

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-26-2010, 08:10 AM
I could be mistaken but I think MGM had a list a while back pertaining to where most ukulele brands are manufactured. Maybe someone will have the time to dig up the old post. The vast majority of ukes today are produced overseas including China, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and many others. Some are doing a pretty good job at it and they represent a good value. A lot of them use Hawaiian sounding brand names and many may lead you to believe the wood comes from Hawaii or that the wood is similar to koa. Even some of the Hawaiian based companies have a secondary line of imported ukes to offer their customer base a wider selection. In my opinion, the best thing about these imported ukes is that they are able to produce a ukulele that will fit anyone's pocket book and as a result, get them into more hands. The more ukuleles we have, the better place this world is to live.
In the end, the old adage applies in that you usually get what you pay for and for whatever reasons, the Hawaiian built ukulele will probably always be the most coveted (if not the most expensive.)

Ahnko Honu
08-26-2010, 08:17 AM
Chinese made big name 'ukulele are Kala, Lanikai, Ohana, Mainland, Makai, Pono (new) to name a few. Indonesia- Oscar Schmidt, Pono (old). Vietnam- Honu, Tangi.
USA- Fluke, Flea (not counting small scale luthiers). Add Ko'olau to the Hawai'i list.

luvdat
08-26-2010, 08:34 AM
Mainlands aren't made in Indonesia?

Ahnko Honu
08-26-2010, 08:48 AM
Mainlands aren't made in Indonesia?

Made in China by same factory that I believe makes Bushman, Ohana, and Makai.

Regster
08-26-2010, 10:46 AM
how about the kamoa? are those made in china just set up in hawaii? just want to make sure my info is right

Magoosan
08-26-2010, 10:53 AM
Don't be discouraged just because it's made in China. Chinese artisans have been producing great wooden products for thousands of years. I believe a great deal of the quality depends on how closely the parent company oversees things in China. I have a new PONO MPT-E that is just flawless in build quality and I'm very particular. Many Chinese finishes are quite thick to cover imperfections, but the finish on the PONO is perfect, thin enough to still feel and see the grain through the finish. I have 2 chinese built guitars and one other Chinese built uke, but PONO is clearly doing something special with their new series of ukes. It all depends on the company.

haole
08-26-2010, 11:03 AM
how about the kamoa? are those made in china just set up in hawaii? just want to make sure my info is right

Last I heard, this is true.

I used to be biased against imported instruments, but a lot of really impressive ones are made in China and Indonesia and Vietnam these days.

Pippin
08-26-2010, 11:50 AM
Chinese factories are as good as the management. The people are hard-working and do a good job over-all. Quality is improving as raw materials get better. Now is a great time to buy an imported ukulele, because the quality is the best it has ever been. By the way, some of the Oscar Schmidt ukes are made on the Island of Java.

Ahnko Honu
08-26-2010, 12:35 PM
Mahalo, Leolani, and Eleuke are also Chinese made. Anuenue is made in Taiwan. I know at the time my interest in 'ukuleles rekindled all I could afford was an import Mahalo and probably would have been discouraged from pursuing the 'ukulele if I had to invest in a Hawaiian made 'ukulele they being priced way beyond my means at the time.

luvdat
08-26-2010, 02:38 PM
Made in China by same factory that I believe makes Bushman, Ohana, and Makai.

Thanks. Believe me, not complaining. Had the day off today and went to Chinatown NYC with my wife...after lunch I got a $5 (not joking here) haircut better than haircuts in NJ costing 3 times the price (I tip that lady almost the price of the haircut). Do I have to post pics, LOL???

Later went to a vintage shop in Teaneck and played a Martin 5K (used, sale price $3300)...I joked with the owner of the shop, "I'm looking for a Martin 0.05K."

I'm happy with my Mainlands.

Chris Tarman
08-26-2010, 03:18 PM
Of the well-known Chinese manufactured brands, I have a Mainland and three Kalas, and I have played some Lanaikais and Ohanas, as well as a newer Pono. All of them are very nice, very well-made instruments. As mentioned above, I think the management has a lot to do with the quality, as well as how much input and Quality Control the parent company has. For example, I believe Mike Upton from Kala has really worked hard to assure that Kalas are really nice instruments for the money.

Mr Bill
08-26-2010, 03:28 PM
Hi Dianalele,

The Martin S O ukulele is made in Mexico, not flashy but a nice instrument.
Cordoba's are made in Portugal. Just my 2cents.

Cheers.

urcuzzn
08-26-2010, 04:55 PM
Please don't forget the Crispy Critter
Post-Fire Pete @ Maui Music Ukuleles
thx,
urcuzzn

dianalele
08-26-2010, 05:29 PM
Aloha Dianalele,
Alot of ukes are made overseas as labor and operating costs are really cheap.
I would think most, but not all of asian counties make them now..
There are quite a number of builders in Hawaii, but as it gets more popular
alot more builders are starting to jump on the bandwagon for the ride....
BTW- when can we expect a new song from Dianalele???Jus enjoy your stuff...
Take Care!!and Aloha.....MM Stan..

That makes sense. thanks.

Probably no new videos for a while. Classes start up again next week and I'm busier than ever. I appreciate you asking though!

shrink9
08-26-2010, 05:35 PM
Kiwaya ukes are made in Japan. These instruments are very highly regarded. I have a KTS-7 that looks very Martin-esque and sounds outstanding. I certainly would not be afraid of buying another Kiwaya even if it is imported.

Allen

dianalele
08-26-2010, 05:36 PM
Don't be discouraged just because it's made in China. Chinese artisans have been producing great wooden products for thousands of years. I believe a great deal of the quality depends on how closely the parent company oversees things in China. I have a new PONO MPT-E that is just flawless in build quality and I'm very particular. Many Chinese finishes are quite thick to cover imperfections, but the finish on the PONO is perfect, thin enough to still feel and see the grain through the finish. I have 2 chinese built guitars and one other Chinese built uke, but PONO is clearly doing something special with their new series of ukes. It all depends on the company.

I'm certainly no discouraged. I bought a Makala concert for my bro for his birthday for 50 bucks. I was really happy with the sound and qualitiy especially for that price! So when I took it home and noticed that little sticker that says "made in China" I was like NOW WAY. Like someone said earlier, I thought most of the hawaiian named ukes were made in Hawaii.

But yeah, I'm not discouraged. I'm very pleased with my purchase. Personally, I know a little more about violin manufactures. I know violins made in China are far from good. I guess ukes are a whole different world though. And my wallet is thankful for that.

hoosierhiver
08-27-2010, 04:28 AM
Made in China by same factory that I believe makes Bushman, Ohana, and Makai.

Bushman changed their suppier last year. I don't know where they are made now or how they compare to the old ones.

Balsa Dust
08-27-2010, 04:51 AM
The craftsmanship of the Chinese ukes is mostly quite good. The question to ask is the quality of materials that go into the ukes they make. I know everyone is having fun with their Dolphins, but has anyone or any agency checked for lead in the paint of the uke? I'm not saying there is a problem, but they don't have a good track record with the materials they use. I might be able to use my Eleuke as a pencil!

janeray1940
08-27-2010, 10:31 AM
Not sure if this has been posted before, but I just ran across this list of ukulele makers (http://www.hawaiianmusichistory.com/ukulele/makers.htm). The information for each manufacturer isn't always equally detailed, but the country of manufacture is often included.

cocohonk
08-27-2010, 02:18 PM
Some things made in China are great. Some things made in China are not.

Ultimately it boils down to the individual company and the management/quality control of their own production lines - in China, or anywhere else.

mm stan
08-27-2010, 02:58 PM
Not sure if this has been posted before, but I just ran across this list of ukulele makers (http://www.hawaiianmusichistory.com/ukulele/makers.htm). The information for each manufacturer isn't always equally detailed, but the country of manufacture is often included.

Mahalo JaneRay, I've seen one list before with 675 ukes ..jus can't remember which one....shucks!! MM Stan..

mm stan
08-27-2010, 03:01 PM
Some things made in China are great. Some things made in China are not.

Ultimately it boils down to the individual company and the management/quality control of their own production lines - in China, or anywhere else.

Aloha CocoHonk,
Just noticed that you have a captain backpacker too....cool!!! which woods do you have....I bought a Honeytone amp for mine....MM Stan.....

mm stan
08-27-2010, 03:07 PM
nothing wrong with chinese ukes or any ukes made elsewhere...My first uke and my first uke I pick up now is the same..
Just you gotta try them out before buying them....consistancy issues, but there alot of gems there tooo....
to me, it's not where it's made first of all...it's sound preformance always first... MM Stan....
I try not to be shallow, because you can miss out on some great things in life!!!

Steve vanPelt
08-27-2010, 07:16 PM
Mahalo JaneRay, I've seen one list before with 675 ukes ..jus can't remember which one....shucks!! MM Stan..

TikiKing has it. http://www.tikiking.com/uke_database.html

Ahnko Honu
08-27-2010, 08:41 PM
Some things made in China are great. Some things made in China are not.

Ultimately it boils down to the individual company and the management/quality control of their own production lines - in China, or anywhere else.

cocohonk is my favorite thing made in China. ;)

mm stan
08-27-2010, 09:59 PM
TikiKing has it. http://www.tikiking.com/uke_database.html

Mahalo, Two dogs plucking for covering my back......

Ahnko Honu
08-28-2010, 06:42 AM
TikiKing has it. http://www.tikiking.com/uke_database.html

I was going to post Tiki King except for several omissions or inaccuracies- he fails to mention several brands as being made in China including Kala, and Makai, and says Tangi (Viet Nam), and Kamoa (China) are made in Hawai'i when they are not. These are just some inaccuracies I caught but I'm sure I missed a few. Not a 100% reliable source but interesting read.

hoosierhiver
08-28-2010, 08:07 AM
I thought Tangis were no longer made in Vietnam, but I could be wrong.

jtafaro
08-28-2010, 03:20 PM
Fender and the Lanakai zebrawood are made in Indonesia. I have 6 chinese violins from 3 small workshops in China. They are good boxes but the setup is terrible. You have to change strings bridges shim chinrests and sometimes tailpieces break. Other than that the cost makes up for the inonvienence of setting them up when they arrive. Some fiddle players want their fiddles set up a certain way and go from there. I played a set today in a festival in New Orleans using a fiddle that was unplayable on arrival. Now its one of the best ones I own. You can never tell!

mm stan
08-28-2010, 05:42 PM
I thought Tangis were no longer made in Vietnam, but I could be wrong.
That's what I heard too, but not sure either, I know he got sick, but recovering and closed up shop. Now he is at a new location, I think selling his last inventory at 1/2 prices...

UkuLeLesReggAe
08-29-2010, 02:45 AM
Doesn't bother me where they are made. I mean, probably everything in my house is made in China. And I love every inch of it. I understand why some people get shocked as to why most things are made in asian country's. But I don't mind, if I lived in China and had trouble finding a job. At least these opportunities add to your options.

Not sure about over in America, but almost EVERY single phone service, such as Telstra, Optus, Virgin (services that are associated to your mobile phone service), w, when you call these companies to get answers about bills etc, you get directed to the philippines, india etc. Don't mind it at all !!