Hilo by Bruko


Well-known member
Dec 7, 2009
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New England, USA
Saw this one on eBay, and a sold one on Reverb. Apparently, Bruko once sold ukes to Hilo, who relabeled them for sale. Like 50s Brukos, they say Made in West Germany inside. They also have that trademark Bruko non-adjustable bridge. I'd expect then to sound...like a Bruko!

Hilo vintage soprano ukulele made by Bruko https://reverb.com/item/35848588?ut...are&utm_campaign=listing&utm_content=35848588
Yup I had one of these for a while. I got it for a song through CL. It was light as a feather and projected nicely. The fretboard had an unusual gloss finish.

I eventually give it away as a prize during one of the UU seasons weeks. I forget who ended up with it but it was in great shape.

I only recorded a few videos with it. This was my favorite with it.

I'd expect then to sound...like a Bruko!
The older Brukos sounded pretty different from the current ones. Several years ago, very early in my playing, I briefly owned a 1980s Bruko 6. It much was mellower in tone then the current Brukos. I should’ve kept it but sold it. Still have this video I took though.

I was checking out a vintage Hilo that I got pretty cheap. A recondition project which is then sell. Maybe make a few bucks for my sweat equity. They said it was a German Brüko build - and I have one of those I bought on the Marketplace - so I figured worst case scenario is I end up with another sweet Brüko, right?

I received it and started cleaning it. I found nothing to indicate Brüko or Germany. Then a close examination of the rear of the headstock revealed a very light stamp that reads “JAPAN”. Well, that cannot be a German Brüko, can it? I sent a message to the seller asking where they ascertained that it was made in Germany. She said she’d ask her husband who is a historian and then came back with a link to that eBay listing. That was his research. A historian. 😮🤷‍♂️

Well, I’m not mad. Caveat emptor and all that. It’s still a pretty sweet looking rig. It’s clearly vintage and in great condition. I don’t know if it is solid wood or not without the Brüko provenance.

I don’t have it strung yet as I’m eating on my new pegs to arrive. As soon as they get here I will do that and decide what to do next. And I’m not really sure what my point is but I thought it serendipitous that this thread came along now and thought I’d offer what I know.

And I had considered contacting the seller of that ukulele with the cracks. But my message would pretty much be, “ it’s gonna cost some money to have those cracks repaired so I could give you $20 - but not $85.” I decided that would probably be perceived as insulting so went with the whole discretion/valor thing and kept my yap shut. Aloha. 🤙
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