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Nelson-Fritata
08-26-2010, 08:41 PM
So my brother just moved to Hong Kong and i was wondering what kind of ukuleles they manufacture in China. If there are any decent ones, i guess the prize is pretty low there and then he could bring one or two home to me. What brands made in China are worth a buy?

Ahnko Honu
08-26-2010, 09:28 PM
Check HK resident UU'r Coco-Honk, she buys 'ukuleles there.

luckydog
08-26-2010, 09:41 PM
Just yesterday found a soprano in a little music shop in Heng Fa Chuen - east side of HK island - for HK$168 (about US$15), with soft bag. No brand name but not at all bad for the price, with good action and smooth frets. Going to put some Aquillas on it later today. Don't expect to find any of the top line made in China ukes in HK - you've a better chance of finding them in the USA or Europe. Tom Lee's stocks the Fenders (don't like 'em) and some Arias (don'e like 'em, either). Keep you eyes open for the small back street music shops for something cheap and, if you're lucky, quite playable. Otherwise, stick to the internet.

Luckydog

Nelson-Fritata
08-26-2010, 09:44 PM
After googling a bit i found that the decent brands i know of is quite expensive over there, so to get a good uke for a small buck means i just have to take a chance, wich i might do! :)

Ukuleleblues
08-27-2010, 06:59 AM
Anyone here old enough to remember when "Made in Japan" meant it was cheap junk?

molokinirum
08-27-2010, 07:17 AM
Anyone here old enough to remember when "Made in Japan" meant it was cheap junk?

Yep!! If you had a "Made in Japan" it was an embarasmnet

lindydanny
08-27-2010, 10:20 AM
Luckydog, you should make your quest to find the most expensive strings you can to put on that uke. I love the juxtaposition there of having a really cheap uke and a really nice strings!

~DB

Nelson-Fritata
08-27-2010, 10:27 AM
Anyone here old enough to remember when "Made in Japan" meant it was cheap junk?

Hehe, good thing Hong Kong is in China then ;) But then again, made in china wasn't the coolest either...

cocohonk
08-27-2010, 01:50 PM
Here's what I know:

There are two pure ukulele shops that I know of in HK:
1. Hong Kong Ukulele Service. I've actually never been to this one before (because they're all the way out in Sai Kung, and I think appointment based), so I'm not too familiar with their stock, but I know they carry a bunch of Hamanos, and they could order Kamakas for you - presumably from Japan - if you wanted one. (This info is kind of old, so I'd recommend checking out their facebook page and contacting the guy there directly. I really don't know too much about this store, but from the facebook page the guy seems quite passionate about ukuleles.)

2. ukehk.com They've been opened since spring last year, and recently moved to a new and more convenient location in HK in TST. They now carry Kalas, Ohanas, Eleukes, Honus, Mahalos, Makalas, and then maybe one or two Gstrings. They also carry a bunch of uke accessories - strings (worths, aquilas, hilos, etc), tuners, gig bags, stick on pickups, etc, and I think they've recently started some uke classes for adults and children as well. (so, yes, they are quite passionate about ukuleles too, which is always good to see.) I've purchased ukes and accessories from them, and they've always been very helpful. Definitely recommend checking this one out.

And yes, Tom Lee does carry a stray ukulele or two (usually Fender, which I didn't like when I tried it), and sometimes guitarleles (Yamaha) which are generally a bargain compared to the US prices. But it's more of a crapshoot as to whether the TL you're visiting will have any ukuleles.

As for other music stores. Again, crapshoot, some have them, most don't - but I did buy my first uke - an unbranded one - from a small music store in HK for about 10US about 2 years ago. It had horrible intonation and was more of a toy than an actual uke, but did pique my interest enough to find a proper uke to actually play from. But glad to hear that luckydog's is faring much better.

Pricing in general: I think certain models are a little cheaper than the US, but it really depends on the model. It is Hong Kong and not mainland China (where the factories actually are) we're talking about, so while they're generally on the cheap side and are very reasonable, don't expect some kind of crazy bargain. For example, A Makala Dolphin is about US$40. An Eleuke Mahogany tenor is about US$200. A Honu Tenor is about US$515. Pretty in sync/on the low end with US prices, though one good thing is that you won't have to pay 50 bucks or so for shipping.


Phew, that was a long post. Hope it helps!

Nelson-Fritata
08-27-2010, 08:18 PM
Yes cocohonk, this really helps! Thanks a lot!
Guess i won't be sending my brother out scoping for ukulele bargains ;)
Hopefully i'll be able to pay my brother a visit during his stay there, and then i might have a look around...

bazmaz
08-31-2010, 10:07 PM
If you can get factory direct (which I am not sure you can), it is sad to say that I would wager more ukes are made in China than anywhere else these days - not just junk either, but Ohanas, Kalas etc

ichadwick
09-01-2010, 01:40 AM
Check out Samwill. They're a small shop with, it seems, limited production, but nice quality ukes. One of their reps frequents this forum. Might start a thread and ask about visiting them.

SuzukHammer
09-01-2010, 02:07 PM
Check out Samwill. They're a small shop with, it seems, limited production, but nice quality ukes. One of their reps frequents this forum. Might start a thread and ask about visiting them.

I travel to Shenzhen which I believe is 100 km from GZ and I was thinking about visiting their shop. If you can porvide contact email, I can look at proposing this to her.