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Thread: Hawaiian made ukulele

  1. #1
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    Default Hawaiian made ukulele

    I am visiting Maui in Sept and want to buy a Hawaiian made ukulele. My price range is in the area of $500. Any brands, tips, sugestions would be great!!

    Mahalo!!

  2. #2
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    You're gonna get deluged with a whole bunch of recommendations, all I really wanna say is you have the opportunity to try before you buy. You'll have a choice to try a number of instruments in different sizes (soprano, concert and tenor) check for playability, comfortability and sound. You can try several from the same maker and each one will probably sound different. In the end, it's your decision cause you're layin down the $$$$ and you might just spend a little bit more. You might also wanna check out this thread . . .

    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.


  3. #3
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    There are a LOT of Hawaiian-made brands. The most popular are the K-brands: Kamaka, Ko'olau, KoAloha, Kanile'a, and Keli'i. They're all about the same level of quality (which is great) and all made on Oahu; the differences are all a matter of personal preference. Take 'em all for a spin. They range from $400-600 for a soprano, $500 to 700 for a concert, and $700 to $1000 for a tenor, depending on where you look. Keli'i ukes are considerably less expensive, but in my opinion just as good.
    If you have a little extra cash, check out ukes by custom builders and indie luthiers in the islands.

  4. #4
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    Welcome to the board, you will have a lot of choices and a few stores on Maui. I have bought both of my Ukulele's there, my first was Tangi I bought at a little store on Front Street in Lahinia called Kula Gold (Sp) its right in the Pioneer Inn on the Front Street side. Mike usually has a good mix of instruments at reasonable prices. On my last trip there I almost bought the Pineapple Sundae he had hanging there but it was a lot more than I was able to spend. Lahaina has a couple of other stores for buying Ukulele's other than the gift store kind. Lahaina Music they are in a strip mall off the highway (they are listed in the Yellow Pages), great place, good selection and they give free lessons on Tuesday nights at the Lahaina Cannery Mall. The last place is a small store off the beaten path. It too is off of Front Street but it's behind a few stores. Cheeseburger in Paradise is across Front Street from it. They had a number of Ukulele's but I didn't recognize the brands and felt the salesperson was pretty pushy. I did get a good deal on some Jake CD's there though.

    On the Kahului side side of the island you have Bounty Music, probably the best selection on the island and a lot of helpful people and finally the Mele Factory Store just up the road from Bounty Music in Wailuku. Eva and Cheryl will take care of you there. My last trip I bought a beautiful Koa Concert 6 string from them.

    Enjoy your trip and have fun shopping!
    Last edited by rossjr; 06-22-2009 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Spelling and add more information

  5. #5
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    Default Thanks

    Mahalo for all of your info. Some great tips and locations.
    Agan....Mahalo!!!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by haole View Post
    Keli'i ukes are considerably less expensive, but in my opinion just as good...

    They're very much a player's ukulele. Solid build, good sound and a great price for a solid koa instrument. No bells or whistles.

  7. #7
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    Default Mele Uke

    So, is the Mele uke a good solid choice. I am leaning heavily towards a koa uke. Doe the Mele people stand behind their uke?

  8. #8
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    Just a FYI, Mele 'ukeleles are basically assembled in the Phillipines and finished (final assembly and setup) in Maui. It's not entirely Hawaiian made.

    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanaka916 View Post
    Just a FYI, Mele 'ukeleles are basically assembled in the Phillipines and finished (final assembly and setup) in Maui. It's not entirely Hawaiian made.
    kinda how all things are made in china, but has USA on it

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by molokinirum View Post
    So, is the Mele uke a good solid choice. I am leaning heavily towards a koa uke. Doe the Mele people stand behind their uke?
    But to answer your question, there have been a lot of great things said here about Mele, including great customer service.
    1:99
    The PoHo Store

    We've got a ukulele cool that can't be faked. -hoosierhiver
    ...if being a good person was easy no one would be a dick. -skitzic
    I have no issues with bluntness, but being an asshat is not being blunt, it's just being an asshat. -austin1

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