View Full Version : Friend going to Kona wants to buy uke

Patrick Madsen
04-11-2012, 12:44 PM
Hello All, My friend is going to Kona for 2 weeks and has been looking for a uke for a while. He thinks perhaps a concert.

Can you give a few good stores or places to check out? He's really looking forward to playing. I think he's thinking around the 2-300dollar range.

04-11-2012, 02:32 PM
I go to Kona couple times a year & look in every shop there & in Hilo and other small towns with local luthiers. I will be there for 3 weeks April 22nd-on. There are a couple shops in Kona town, "Just ukes", "Holualoa Ukulele Gallery"(no low end ukes there but nice to visit Sam Rosen there, if you have 2 weeks you can build your own with him instructing, worth it), There is another uke store just BEHIND the Kamahmaha? hotel by waterfront. Over in Hilo there is Hilo Guitars & ukes, good place, on Front st in hilo there is Joys Gift Shop(lots of low end ukes there) she can help you with one. One more is at Waiamea shopping center but not much in ukes there, mostly guitars. Good luck, don't buy the first thing you see. Of course there are others tucked away & you will probably hear from others here

Patrick Madsen
04-11-2012, 02:58 PM
Thanks Perep, I sent him this thread to read. We have a fairly large uke community here so there is plenty of opprotunity for him to learn and play. I think he's going to have a great time picking out his first one.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
04-11-2012, 03:36 PM
Honestly, tell him to take the drive to Hilo and go see Brian or Ken at Hilo Guitars. Especially if it's his first uke. These guys are both musicians and know ukuleles inside and out. They have the largest selection on the Big Island, everything from high to low range, and he'll get the guidance he'll need. Outside of Sam Rosen's shop (custom ukes) in Holualoa, it's the only store I'll recommend to people. Your friend will want to get out of Kona anyway and see the pretty side of the island. :)

04-11-2012, 03:46 PM
Look up Kona Bob and He can help you find your ukulele. Also they have a group that plays at the shooping center on the weekends and you can play with them. Very friendly group and a lot of fun. I ordered a ukulele from Sammy at Larry's music on Kaui in Kapai and he sent it to the hotel on Kona. It was there waiting for me
Jim Hannon

04-11-2012, 05:17 PM
been there done that, not a whole lot In Kona just your run-of- the -mill ukes. i do however highly recommend Sam Rosen's Uke gallery. otherwise, theres about 67 ABC stores up n' down Alii drive that sells $14 souvenir ukes. lol.

04-11-2012, 05:30 PM
If he can spare a day fly over to Oahu and visit some of the shops here!

I was just over on big island and stopped in the just ukes at shops at mauna lani (north of airport konaside about 20 minutes). Real nice manager there, giving anybody who walked in lessons and letting people play as long as they like. Decent selection of price range you're talking about.

Patrick Madsen
04-12-2012, 01:10 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. I trust he's been to the thread and will say that " Ukulele Undergound sent him; we said they would treat him right."
This is a cool site. I've learned a lot, bought a few and try to pass on information where I can. I learn something everyday from here.

rar jungle
04-13-2012, 09:19 AM
Soundwave Music definitely has the best deals, and a good selection of Kalas. Also they carry some really nice ones made on Kauai. In the past they had a nice selection of stuff made on Oahu, but not sure now. If you need a setup they are probably the only place I know of in Kona, or at least the most professional. They've been at the same location, and setup up one of my instruments over 20 years ago.

04-13-2012, 10:19 AM
There's also Music Exchange in Kailua Kona.

04-15-2012, 04:43 PM
I was just there and checked out Just Ukes(2 locations) Soundwave and Kieran Music up in Capt Cook(I think it was Capt Cook). Just ukes is a big Lanikai dealer the other 2 had lots of Kala. Soundwave had a huge inventory of every kind of Kala I could think of and good prices. The shop in Mauna Lani for Just Ukes had some interesting ukuleles from Vietnam that looked and sounded great at a good price but there isn't much info on them other than what you can see and hear.

04-15-2012, 10:14 PM
I suggest calling Sam Rosen and seeing what he has in his little shop in kona....he usually has some great interesting stuff made by big island local builders

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
04-16-2012, 06:03 AM
I suggest calling Sam Rosen and seeing what he has in his little shop in kona....he usually has some great interesting stuff made by big island local builders

Not in the $200 to $300 range! Good place to visit anyway. (He's in Holualoa, not Kona). Beyond that, it's your money and your time but I would head directly for Hilo Guitars.

04-16-2012, 07:28 AM
The ABC Stores always have a couple of ukuleles on hand, usually with stickers of Hawaii or a hula dancer on them. They're typically back by the styrofoam visors and the flip flops. Be sure to grab a case of beer as you walk by the cooler--for some reason, beer makes the ukuleles sound better. Must be a bellyful of hops and malt deadens the eardrums.

If you mention Ukulele Underground there, you'll get blank stares.