View Full Version : Recommend ukulele shops in the LA area?

06-28-2011, 09:32 AM
Apologies if this has already been covered (I couldn't find any threads when I used the search), or if this is in the wrong section.

My question is basically the title: does anyone have recommendations for good shops that sell, repair, and tinker with 'ukuleles and accessories? And, by extension, any horror or love stories with those shops as well? Positive or negative experiences in purchasing & setup? Selection and stock refills?

I ask because I hope to soon be able to afford one of the top-tier makers, and would really like to get my hands on and test strum before plunking down the big green.

I'm familiar with McCabe's, and the fact that it really can be hit and miss as far as customer service and attitude. Beyond that, the only real shop I've been to is Boulevard Music in Culver City (who were quite friendly and open), but they don't have a huge stock of 'ukuleles (aside from a couple of Kanile'a models).

McCabe's does have a bigger stock of "quality" marques (loads of Collings when I was there a week or two back, and a few Kamaka and Koaloha), but their prices seem artificially inflated. And neither shop have a wide range of accessories, and what they do have seem similarly inflated in price (bee-tee-dubs, is it just me, or is the correct pronounciation of Aquila to be "Ah-Kwill-Ah" and not "A-Kee-Lah")

Am I missing any hidden gems or is this a totally Quixotic mission? I've tried the googles, but quickly became overwhelmed with results and websites that have less than worthless information.

Mahalo nui loa in advance.

06-28-2011, 09:46 AM
Try Island Bazaar in Huntington Beach, if you're heading south you can try Buffalo Brothers in Carlsbad. Never been to BB but it looks like they have a large selection.

06-28-2011, 09:47 AM
McCabe's is really it, in terms of the best selection, IMHO. There are a few decent shops further afield - Folk Music Center (http://www.folkmusiccenter.com/) in Claremont is super uke-friendly and has a good selection (Koaloha and Martin, but no Kamaka, IIRC), and Island Bazaar (http://www.ukuleleparadise.com/) in Huntington Beach is good to great depending on what's in stock (they carry all the K brands but often are sold out). Kaye's Music Scene (http://www.kayesmusicscene.com/3.html) stocks Kala but I don't think they carry anything else.

And yeah, I've been told it's a-kwee-la too, but - it's kind of like oo-koo-le-le. When I'm in Hawaii I'll say it correctly, but on the mainland I usually don't just so as not to confuse people. So, I'll start saying a-kwee-la if I ever find myself in Italy :)

06-28-2011, 10:11 AM
Ukulele Stores - USA (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?16519-Ukulele-Stores-USA) - stores recommended by UU members.

06-28-2011, 10:15 AM
I'll second the motion for McCabe's. Great store all the way around, and a healthy selection of ukes!


Harold O.
06-28-2011, 05:17 PM
[QUOTE=janeray1940;713959]... Kaye's Music Scene (http://www.kayesmusicscene.com/3.html) stocks Kala but I don't think they carry anything else.

Kayes has a fairly wide selection beyond Kala. They are in Woodland Hills. If you come out to Kayes, be sure to alos go over to Guitar Merchant at 7503 Topanga Canyon Blvd. That's where the Canogahana Players meet twice monthly. There's a few ukes in there, too (no K's). As well as a nifty uke display case.

06-28-2011, 06:44 PM
+1 to Island Bazaar.
super friendly, all things ukulele!

10-25-2014, 01:48 PM
Kaye's Music Scene has been in business since 1970. We stock over 150 different ukuleles including Kanile'a, Islander, Kala, Ohana, Luna, Cordoba, Estrella, Makala, Fishuku, Godin, Fender, Epiphone and more. Personal service is our forte.

10-25-2014, 02:42 PM
U-Space in downtown, Little Tokyo at the Japanese Cultural Center, on San Pedro St. between 2nd and 3rd. Brad and Jason really know. They have a selection of high end ukes and Brad does the work on them, some accessories. Daniel Ho is tight with them. I got lessons there a few weeks ago, uke and bass. https://www.facebook.com/ukespace

Rick Turner
10-25-2014, 02:49 PM
Buffalo Brothers is gone, gone, gone. Sad tales there, too...

But the go-to store for ukes in San Diego is the Blue Guitar, owned by uke player DeForest Thornburgh.

disclaimer: He carries my Compass Rose ukes.

10-27-2014, 05:28 AM
U-Space in Little Tokyo
The Fretted Frog in Pasadena
Folk Music Center in Claremont

10-27-2014, 07:51 AM
U-Space is the same owners as Anacapa Ukulele in Ventura. I live in the West San Fernando Valley and Ventura is in some ways easier to get to than downtown LA. Further but no traffic.

Ukulele Eddie
10-27-2014, 08:25 AM
People do realize this thread is over three years old? Not sure how it got restarted but I trust the OP's original query was satisfied a long time ago! ;-)

10-27-2014, 10:50 AM
Oops, didn't pay attention to that... never mind.

10-27-2014, 11:21 AM
People do realize this thread is over three years old? Not sure how it got restarted but I trust the OP's original query was satisfied a long time ago! ;-)


Yes...d'oh. (Damn you "too short message" notice.)

10-27-2014, 12:41 PM
I remember Harrold O said they sold 'ukulele at:


You might want to call ahead of time 818-884-5905 to ask. Ric