Entry Level Hawaiian Brands ?

kaimuki

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Aloha .
Would appreciate feedback on entry level Hawaiian brands for a beginner .
I know these are not made in Hawaii but they're Hawaiian brands .
aNueNue (Hawaiian Dream Series), Islander , KoAlana , Leolani
Are there any others ? ( I consider Pono mid level ) .
 

man0a

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There is a company called Mitsuba Gakki Hawaii that partially builds low-to-mid priced ukuleles in Hawaii. I'm not sure how much work is actually done in Hawaii; probably just enough to legally qualify for a "Made in the USA" label. Their ukuleles are sold under the GCEA, Maile Lei, and DOMO brand names. They use Japanese building techniques, so their instruments are lightweight, loud, and vibrant, even when they are made from laminate woods. I've seen them sold at a couple of stores in Honolulu and some of these stores do mail order.
 

merlin666

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I am not sure what you mean with Hawaiian brand. Do they need an office space in Hawaii or is a PO box address enough? Anuenue is a Taiwanese company not Hawaiian.
 

kaimuki

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I am not sure what you mean with Hawaiian brand. Do they need an office space in Hawaii or is a PO box address enough? Anuenue is a Taiwanese company not Hawaiian.
I mean that the brand has some connection to Hawaii .
 

kaimuki

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There is a company called Mitsuba Gakki Hawaii that partially builds low-to-mid priced ukuleles in Hawaii. I'm not sure how much work is actually done in Hawaii; probably just enough to legally qualify for a "Made in the USA" label. Their ukuleles are sold under the GCEA, Maile Lei, and DOMO brand names. They use Japanese building techniques, so their instruments are lightweight, loud, and vibrant, even when they are made from laminate woods. I've seen them sold at a couple of stores in Honolulu and some of these stores do mail order.
Where are they principally made ?
What's the difference among those 3 brands , GCEA , Maile Lei , and DOMO ?
 

badhabits

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Maui ukulele co (Mele's chinese house brand)
Bounty music (another shop brand)
D&D (yet another Maui shop brand)
Kamoa (on par w/ Pono price-wise)
Shima (also might be considered mid level)
Kumu (same as Leolani)
Kamehameha
Koa kalane
There are more that aren't coming to mind right now. None are made in Hawaii. BTW, aNuenue isn't a Hawaiian brand.
 
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kaimuki

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Yes , I realized it's not a Hawaiian Brand but there's aNueNue USA started by Kalei Gamiao and Corey Fujimoto .
 

man0a

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I saw the brand recently at Ukulele PuaPua but didn't try it .
Ukulele Puapua has some of their models listed on their website. I don't know what is the difference between GCEA and Maile Lei, but Domo has more wacky designs.
 

merlin666

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Maui ukulele co (Mele's chinese house brand)
Bounty music (another shop brand)
D&D (yet another Maui shop brand)
Kamoa (on par w/ Pono price-wise)
Shima (also might be considered mid level)
Kumu (same as Leolani)
Kamehameha
Koa kalane
There are more that aren't coming to mind right now. None are made in Hawaii. BTW, aNuenue isn't a Hawaiian brand.
Last uke I bought was cheap from GoodGuys is a HanoHano brand. They also have Hawaii office shared with Leolani. It is a great uke for the price.
 

Wiggy

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Aloha .
Would appreciate feedback on entry level Hawaiian brands for a beginner .
I know these are not made in Hawaii but they're Hawaiian brands .
aNueNue (Hawaiian Dream Series), Islander , KoAlana , Leolani
Are there any others ? ( I consider Pono mid level ) .
I purchased a Kamehameha SP-10 for around $100 delivered CONUS. Go look on eBay. This is their 'budget' line, but it is a great sounding and feeling soprano. Gotta love those pineapples! Very happy.
 
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Kenn2018

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The K-Brands are the best known, Hawaiian-based makers of ukuleles:
Kamaka is the oldest ukulele company. It is family owned and has been in operation since 1916.

Ko'olau only makes custom orders. Their mid-level company is Pono—made in Java, Indonesia.

Kanile'a is another family-owned company. They are heavily invested in sustainable materials. Islander is the affordable line for Kanile'a.

Ko'Aloha Opio is the mid-level. (Around a Pono. $350 - $900-ish.) They are made by The Rebel Guitar Co based in Thailand to Ko'Aloha's specs. And Ko'Aloha helped to train the builders about the way they make their ukes. Rebel also designs their own instruments as well.
KoAlana is their entry-level line. I don't know who makes them, but they get pretty good reviews.

I don't know much about other ukulele companies or luthiers in Hawaii.
 

John Colter

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I recently bought a Koa Kalane soprano pineapple, solid acacia. It is well made, looks very attractive, has a very pleasing tone and adequate volume. I'm well pleased with it and would recommend the brand for your consideration.

John Colter
 

efiscella

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Aloha .
Would appreciate feedback on entry level Hawaiian brands for a beginner .
I know these are not made in Hawaii but they're Hawaiian brands .
aNueNue (Hawaiian Dream Series), Islander , KoAlana , Leolani
Are there any others ? ( I consider Pono mid level ) .
Be sure to check out the different WOW and SUPA WOW at www.ukesahawaii.com. Each of these are handmade in Hawaii by Pops KoAloha as part of his private brand. The Harmony Wow is an outstanding instrument and sells for less than $500. Not only is it an uke made by Pops, himself, but it has incredible playability, great intonation, and is a sound cannon. As a beginner, you want an uke that is easy to play, sounds great, and is affordable. Check it out.
 

taro

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The folks at Hawaii Music Supply (theukulelesite.com) are big fans of Leolani and Kumu -- there are a whole bunch of sound samples on their website and podcast, here's a recent episode that's worth checking out: