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View Full Version : Where Does Kanilea Make Their Islander Brand?



Luke El U
03-31-2014, 06:31 PM
The label in my Islander concert doesn't say where the instrument was made. Neither does the Islander website say anything about location.

We can make educated guesses, of course, but does anyone know for sure?

Tigeralum2001
03-31-2014, 08:39 PM
The label in my Islander concert doesn't say where the instrument was made. Neither does the Islander website say anything about location.

We can make educated guesses, of course, but does anyone know for sure?
for some reason, I thought it was Indonesia or Vietnam, but this article says China http://www.gotaukulele.com/2012/08/islander-mst-4-tenor-ukulele-review.html

stringy
03-31-2014, 08:53 PM
The label in my Islander concert doesn't say where the instrument was made. Neither does the Islander website say anything about location.

We can make educated guesses, of course, but does anyone know for sure?



Hmmm, interesting. I am not familiar with that brand but I thought the law required disclosure.

FrankB
04-01-2014, 02:42 AM
Many items manufactured overseas have a separate sticker to indicate their country of origin. My Kala ukes had a gold label sticker on the back of the headstock which read "Made in China", and they were quickly removed. I've seen new instruments in stores with these labels removed. When I had a bike shop, the Asian made bikes from one manufacturer had a sliver of a sticker which read "Made in Japan" etc. The adhesive was very weak, and the name brand was very well known. Branch I did the same thing, and since we weren't a Bianchi dealer, I don't have a problem naming them. Trek made its reputation by building bikes in Wisconsin, but quickly began manufacturing them in China. Now they like to say "Designed and Engineered in Waterloo, Wisconsin", and they even had a U.S flag on that label for several years.

I haven't seen the Islander label, but it was never a U.S. made product, like Trek and Schwinn were. The FTC was much tougher on the latter two manufacturers regarding labeling, but I suppose Kanile'a appears on the Islander label. That were the water gets murky. Kenny Hill had guitars manufactured in Mexico and then China. The Mexican Hill label ready "Kenny Hill" and other methods were needed to identify where it was made. The made in China guitars are now labeled "New World", but I see them listed as Kenny Hill guitars all the time.

peaceweaver3
04-01-2014, 04:45 AM
And a related question, how is Islander's quality control? Thinking of purchasing the GL6... Still rather undecided.

Brian W
04-01-2014, 05:08 AM
And a related question, how is Islander's quality control? Thinking of purchasing the GL6... Still rather undecided.

I played a few in a small ukulele shop in San Jose recently. The build quality was good for an import, no better or worse than Kala or Ohana. What really disappointed me, though, was the really sharp fret ends, like I so often see on budget Lanikai ukuleles. Every one also needed a professional setup, but that would be the case for most budget ukuleles. I would not buy one site-unseen, unless purchased from a reputable dealer, such as Uke Republic or HMS.

FrankB
04-01-2014, 05:12 AM
There's a YouTube video, showing Joe and family sorting through the Islanders for rejects. If that's of any comfort...

sonomajazz
04-01-2014, 05:37 AM
Call Kanilea and ask..Kris or Joe will probably answer the phone...

stringy
04-01-2014, 07:41 AM
Call Kanilea and ask..Kris or Joe will probably answer the phone...


As a consumer I wouldn't want to have to call the owners of a company to find out where their product is made! Like I said before, I thought proper labeling was the law, obviously I am wrong about that. Whether it is a bike or a musical instrument, anything short of disclosure 'right on the label' is just an attempt to dupe the potential buyer.

Tigeralum2001
04-01-2014, 09:53 AM
As a consumer I wouldn't want to have to call the owners of a company to find out where their product is made! Like I said before, I thought proper labeling was the law, obviously I am wrong about that. Whether it is a bike or a musical instrument, anything short of disclosure 'right on the label' is just an attempt to dupe the potential buyer.
From what I know of the Souzas, they are not trying to "dupe" anyone. I understand your frustration about labeling, but I think there is a leap between that and fraud/trickery.

Islanders are good ukes, on par with (at the very least) most imports. I think the best import brand is Pono, which, IMHO can be on par with the K brands (at least the high- range Ponos).

What are you looking for with sound and quality? Are you looking for something made in Hawaii? Not every uke made in Hawaii is great, by the way, but I understand the desire to have an instrument handmade in Hawaii.

stringy
04-01-2014, 10:13 AM
I can only see one reason for not labeling a product as "made in China" when it is made in China.

Consumers should have that information up front. I don't care if it is food or clothing. Just saying....

Peace.

Luke El U
04-01-2014, 01:03 PM
Okay, I'll email the good people at Kanile'a and ask. Then I'll post their response here.

Luke El U
04-03-2014, 03:20 PM
"...The Islander was created and designed by Kanile'a
and is manufactured overseas in China to our specifications. Each instrument
is brought to our facility and inspected prior to being shipped. If you have
any further questions please let me know."
Mahalo,
Chris Salvador
Kanile'a 'Ukulele
Client Relations

Hammond
04-03-2014, 04:29 PM
"...The Islander was created and designed by Kanile'a
and is manufactured overseas in China to our specifications. Each instrument
is brought to our facility and inspected prior to being shipped. If you have
any further questions please let me know."
Mahalo,
Chris Salvador
Kanile'a 'Ukulele
Client Relations
This is an expected quick honest reply from a reputed brand. Neither surprise nor disappointed.:)

stringy
04-03-2014, 04:56 PM
Nice. Now just put "made in China" on the label for the consumer at the point of sale. Knowledge is power.

Hammond
04-03-2014, 05:16 PM
I am curious about the factory location effect people choosing production line ukulele brand.

For me, it is very less, when it comes down to production line level. QC matters more I think.

DaveY
04-03-2014, 05:34 PM
I am curious about the factory location effect people choosing production line ukulele brand.

For me, it is very less, when it comes down to production line level. QC matters more I think.

If you're saying that you wonder why people might judge a production ukulele solely or primarily on where it is made, then I agree; that is, if someone is just curious as to where it is made, sure, I wonder that, too. But I don't assume that something made in China is necessarily inferior to something made somewhere else.

Hammond
04-03-2014, 06:18 PM
If you're saying that you wonder why people might judge a production ukulele solely or primarily on where it is made, then I agree; that is, if someone is just curious as to where it is made, sure, I wonder that, too. But I don't assume that something made in China is necessarily inferior to something made somewhere else.
My broken English, thanks for guiding my question.

I do not know the reason behine the topic, therefore I try not to point my question directly on "judge a production ukulele on where it is made". Then my sentences became confusing.

However, I understand people concern "made in China". This is a deeper problem.

Rick Turner
04-03-2014, 06:27 PM
Hmmm...

It's all about price point and perceived value.

You want China pricing and US labor (yeah, last time I checked, Hawaii was considered US...), then you're living on Mars without oxygen or protein.

I just don't see how a truly US based manufacturer can possibly be expected to make nice playable real wood ukes for under about $800.00 retail. Sure, someone is doing it. Will they be in business in five years? No...they won't. I've seen a number of companies in North America come in low-balling...Garrison Guitars, CA Guitars...or like Emerald Guitars of Ireland, come in below cost to try to stake out a claim. It's no-go.

So for Kanilea to have an import line makes sense. But...it's a musical tool. Are you afraid it won't appreciate like a Hawaiian-made uke might do? Gimme a break. It is what it is, and I don't think that anyone is buying them hoping for some US-made vibe. They are a decent, inexpensive, import uke. Get over it. At least there are real Hawaiian islanders involved...as opposed to so many other import uke brands...whether that matters or not to you.

So how many brands beginning with the letter "K" are actually made in Hawaii? And how many are ersatz Hawaiian? All this talk about "K-brands" and all that, and yet one of the most collectible brand begins with an "M" and was proudly made in Pennsylvania...

stringy
04-03-2014, 06:29 PM
I personally do not judge an instrument (or anything else for that matter) based on the country it was made in. I do care deeply about honest labeling. Not putting the country on the label is improper. If the product is good it won't matter to most people, BUT, we have a right to decide ourselves and can only do that with full disclosure.

For the record, I have nothing against China or the ukulele brand. I am talking only about labeling.

janeray1940
04-03-2014, 06:33 PM
I am curious about the factory location effect people choosing production line ukulele brand.


Hope that addressing this question isn't derailing this thread too far, but it's an interesting point of discussion to me. Not just with ukuleles, but with all purchases, I try to buy things made as close to home as possible as I believe it helps the local economy and helps create jobs, even just a tiny bit. "Home" being the United States, most of my ukes were made in Hawaii, but I do have one made in my home state of California and that factored strongly into my decision when choosing a builder. Of course QC would also be a factor; if the only well-made and well-QC'd uke available was made in (country other than my own), I'd probably opt for that one over a more shoddily-constructed locally made one.

To use a real-life non-uke example to illustrate the point: I work in technology, and depend on a reliable computer to earn a living. When my last computer was about to die, I tried really, really hard to find a computer that was manufactured in the USA. Bottom line, it's impossible; even if I built it myself, the components would all come from the same handful of overseas factories. So I went with what I believed was the highest-quality, best-built computer made in one of those factories. Same goes for other necessities such as cell phones.

So for some things, I have no choice. But with ukes, I do, so I would deliberately avoid buying a uke if I didn't know where it was made, or if it was not made somewhat "close to home."

Hammond
04-03-2014, 06:40 PM
Hmmm...

It's all about price point and perceived value.

You want China pricing and US labor (yeah, last time I checked, Hawaii was considered US...), then you're living on Mars without oxygen or protein.

I just don't see how a truly US based manufacturer can possibly be expected to make nice playable real wood ukes for under about $800.00 retail. Sure, someone is doing it. Will they be in business in five years? No...they won't. I've seen a number of companies in North America come in low-balling...Garrison Guitars, CA Guitars...or like Emerald Guitars of Ireland, come in below cost to try to stake out a claim. It's no-go.

So for Kanilea to have an import line makes sense. But...it's a musical tool. Are you afraid it won't appreciate like a Hawaiian-made uke might do? Gimme a break. It is what it is, and I don't think that anyone is buying them hoping for some US-made vibe. They are a decent, inexpensive, import uke. Get over it. At least there are real Hawaiian islanders involved...as opposed to so many other import uke brands...whether that matters or not to you.

So how many brands beginning with the letter "K" are actually made in Hawaii? And how many are ersatz Hawaiian? All this talk about "K-brands" and all that, and yet one of the most collectible brand begins with an "M" and was proudly made in Pennsylvania...

Can't agree more.


I personally do not judge an instrument (or anything else for that matter) based on the country it was made in. I do care deeply about honest labeling. Not putting the country on the label is improper. If the product is good it won't matter to most people, BUT, we have a right to decide ourselves and can only do that with full disclosure.

For the record, I have nothing against China or the ukulele brand. I am talking only about labeling.

I respect your care about labeling.

And thats why I was trying not to point the question on judging the ukulele on where it is made.

Hammond
04-03-2014, 06:48 PM
Hope that addressing this question isn't derailing this thread too far, but it's an interesting point of discussion to me. Not just with ukuleles, but with all purchases, I try to buy things made as close to home as possible as I believe it helps the local economy and helps create jobs, even just a tiny bit. "Home" being the United States, most of my ukes were made in Hawaii, but I do have one made in my home state of California and that factored strongly into my decision when choosing a builder. Of course QC would also be a factor; if the only well-made and well-QC'd uke available was made in (country other than my own), I'd probably opt for that one over a more shoddily-constructed locally made one.

To use a real-life non-uke example to illustrate the point: I work in technology, and depend on a reliable computer to earn a living. When my last computer was about to die, I tried really, really hard to find a computer that was manufactured in the USA. Bottom line, it's impossible; even if I built it myself, the components would all come from the same handful of overseas factories. So I went with what I believed was the highest-quality, best-built computer made in one of those factories. Same goes for other necessities such as cell phones.

So for some things, I have no choice. But with ukes, I do, so I would deliberately avoid buying a uke if I didn't know where it was made, or if it was not made somewhat "close to home."
I would consider where it is made when I concern the below factors:
The humidity of the environment;
The transporting cost of my purchase;
The currency exchange (some place selling the same item at higher price than other)

stringy
04-03-2014, 06:50 PM
I respect your care about labeling.

And thats why I was trying not to point the question on judging the ukulele on where it is made.


Thanks Hammond :) We should know where a product is made without contacting the owner. If I choose an Ukuleke made in China or anywhere else, that is my decision. If I think I am buying an ukulele made in Hawaii and it is not...that is deception. It has nothing to do with how good the quality is. Trust me, not all Hawaiian made ukuleles are better than all Chinese made ukuleles. IMHO of course.

Luke El U
04-03-2014, 07:28 PM
Hope that addressing this question isn't derailing this thread too far, but it's an interesting point of discussion to me."

I agree that it is interesting, and I'm probably among a small minority of folks who don't care if people go off topic.

Also, I should say I love the Islanders regardless of where they are made and recommended them to 3 friends who bought them. My home is in China and I try to attend the Music China Music Expo in Shanghai each year. They always have great deals there, but I don't recall seeing the Islander brand there. Hopefully, they will be in the future, and maybe I could get a good deal on some of their ukes.

hawaii 50
04-03-2014, 07:39 PM
Nice. Now just put "made in China" on the label for the consumer at the point of sale. Knowledge is power.

I was at HMS today and looked at an Islander Ukulele,there is a gold label on the back of the headstock that says Made in China....maybe it is removed at your ukulele shop for some reason.....

Hammond
04-03-2014, 09:29 PM
I agree that it is interesting, and I'm probably among a small minority of folks who don't care if people go off topic.

Also, I should say I love the Islanders regardless of where they are made and recommended them to 3 friends who bought them. My home is in China and I try to attend the Music China Music Expo in Shanghai each year. They always have great deals there, but I don't recall seeing the Islander brand there. Hopefully, they will be in the future, and maybe I could get a good deal on some of their ukes.
Sorry for my broken English messed up the thread. The Islander high-end spruce top model with armrest did attracted me, nice ukulele. Its just matter of time I click that buy button.