UKULELE BRANDS

My collection of links to ukulele brands of note for those learning how to play the ukulele. If you see one missing, just get in touch!




Anakoneke - Beautiful ukes, handmade to order in San Francisco, USA
Website - http://anakoneke.com

Ana'ole - Stunning looking handmade ukes from Hawaii
Website - http://www.anaoleukulele.com

aNueNue - Taiwan based far eastern manufacturer with a fast grown reputation for making good quality instruments.
Website - http://www.anuenue-uke.com/

Applause - ukes made by the guitar manufacturer Ovation, with similar stylings including the plastic bowl back.
Website - http://www.ovationguitars.com/applause/product/ukelele_uae148_4_5_m

Argapa - Made to order ukes from Stockholm, Sweden. Made by Sven Nyström
Website - http://argapa.blogspot.co.uk

Aria - budget instruments from the US based guitar maker, but ukes made in far east.
Website - http://www.ariausa.com/guitars/au120.html

Ashbury - budget UK maker (assembled in the far east) but considered to be reasonable quality starter ukes.

Ashton - super budget ukes at the bottom end of the market - famed for gaudy colours and patterns such as the union jack uke.

Barnes and Mullins - Old brand name now featuring a range of far eastern quality beginners ukes.
Website - http://www.bandm.co.uk/productSummary.aspx?GUID=147f346e-d699-4bc9-a2c8-da30d203d1ed

Barron River - Quality, made to order guitars and ukes from Cairns, Australia
Website - http://www.brguitars.com

Baton Rouge - A range of ukes made by an independent maker in Germany
Website - http://www.batonrougeguitars.com/index.php?id=87&L=1

Bean Sprout Banjos - excellent quality handmade banjos and ukulele banjos from USA
Website - http://www.thebeansprout.com/Beansprout/Welcome.html

Beau Hannam - Quite stunning handmade ukes and guitars from Australia
Website - http://www.beauhannamguitars.com

Beltona - high quality resonator ukuleles.
Website - http://www.beltona.net/ukulelespecs.htm

Big Rusty - high quality, handmade ukes and resonators by Russ Morin in the USA
Website - http://www.russmorin.com

Blackbird - Quite unique guitars and ukes, made in USA from carbon fibre
Website - http://www.blackbirdguitar.com/ukulele.html

Boat Paddle - high quality American made ukes with distinctive body shape.
Website - http://www.boatpaddleukuleles.com/

Bruko - German maker of quirky looking handmade solid instruments for an amazing price.
Website - http://www.brueko.de/en/

Bushman - US based company importing ukes from the far east - considered to be decent quality solid ukes but customer services have been questioned by many.
Website - http://www.bushmanmusic.com/

DL Cary - Custom Ukulele Luthier, accessories and luthier supplies
Website - http://www.dlccustomluthier.com/index.html

Captain - Mid to higher end ukes, handmade to order in New Zealand
Website - http://www.captainukuleles.co.nz/home.html

Chennell - UK luthier with a leaning towards jazz style ukes, including their Jazz Box Ukes
Website - http://homepage.ntlworld.com/tobias.chennell/ukulele.htm

Clearwater - UK based company importing far eastern ukes of mid level quality and price, including their eye catching Vita shape uke.
Website - http://www.clearwaterinstruments.com/index2.php?uid=4

Cole Clark - High quality ukes made in Australia
Website: http://www.coleclarkguitars.com/products_ukulele.asp

Collings - Extremely high quality ukes from the extremely high quality guitar manufacturer. Sublime.
Website - http://www.collingsguitars.com/ukuleles.html

Cordoba - California based classical guitar company who make a range of mid priced ukes in the far east.
Website - http://www.cordobaguitars.com/guitars/ukuleles

Cursley Ukuleles - Hand made to order in the UK by Darryl Cursley
Website - http://cursleyukuleles.blogspot.com/

Da Silva Ukuleles - Top end, handcrafted US instruments
Website - http://ukemaker.com/

DeVine Guitars - Ultra high end ukes - stock and beautifully handmade instruments.
Website - http://www.devineguitars.com/

Digging Stick Ukuleles - hand made to order in Minnesota by Jeff Burger
Website - http://www.onlyuke.com/index.html

Eddy Finn - good quality ukes from quirky US maker - famed for the shark fin sound hole.
Website - http://www.eddyfinnukes.com/index.php

Eleuke - cheaply priced and fun electric ukuleles.
Website - http://www.eleuke.com/

Epiphone - ukes from the far eastern offshoot of Gibson Guitars, including the  Les Paul shaped uke.
Website - http://www.epiphone.com/News-Features/News/2011/The-Epiphone-Les-Paul-Acoustic-Electric-Ukulele-Ou.aspx

Fender - Yes, that Fender - they make ukes too, with the traditional fender shaped headstocks!
Website -http://www.fender.com/products/index.php?section=acoustics&bodyShape=Ukulele

Ferangeli - Handcrafted ukes from a guitar maker in Cebu, Phillipines
Website - http://www.ferangeliguitar.com

Fidra - Fine handcrafted ukes by Simon Overton - made in Scotland
Website - http://www.fidraukulele.co.uk

Flea / Fluke - made by Jim Beloff and the Magic Fluke Company in the USA, these are different looking plastic backed ukes which are renowned for their tone and setup.
Website -http://www.magicfluke.com/

Gill - Handbuilt ukuleles by David Gill - from the USA
Website - http://www.crossroadswood.com/GillUkuleles.html

Glyph - custom, hand made ukes of high quality, from Maryland USA
Website - http://www.glyphukulele.com/

Godin - New line of ukes from French Canadian guitar makers.
Website: http://www.godinguitars.com/godinmultiukep.htm

G-String - a Hawaiian 'K Brand' manufactuer - top of the line ukes from the Islands. If they are ok for James Hill...
Website - http://www.gstringukuleles.com/

Greg Bennett (Samick) - at the better end of the beginner ukes, nicely made and finished by this US based guitar maker.
Website - http://www.gregbennettguitars.com/acousticportal_ukuele.html

Gretsch - new line of ukes from this guitar maker with real vintage - sadly not made in the US factory, but still well regarded.
Website - http://www.gretschguitars.com/products/rootscollection

Griffin - Handmade ukes from Washington, USA
Website - http://www.griffinukuleles.com

Haleiwa - Stunning handcrafted Hawaiian ukes, built by Joe Green
Website - http://joegreenukulele.com

Mark Haley - UK builder of Dobro's and electric ukes
Website - http://www.dobromark.co.uk/page_2400578.html

Honu - a relatively new brand made by the Big Island Ukulele Co. Made and assembled in the far east, these ukes are made to demanding standards and finished and checked in Hawaii.
Website - http://www.bigislandukulele.com/

Pete Howlett Ukulele - ukes of real distinction, handmade in Wales from finest woods.
Website - http://petehowlettukulele.co.uk/

Hummingbird - Handcrafted ukes from Hawaii - made by Dale Thomas
Website - http://www.hummingbirdukuleles.com

Iriguchi - Beautiful, quirky ukes by Dave Iriguchi - handmade in the USA
Website - http://iriguchiukuleles.com

Imua - Highly regarded ukes from Honolulu, Hawaii
Website - http://www.imua-ukulele.com

Islander - 'budget' brand of the Kanile'a uke company in Hawaii - made in far east to their high standards - highly regarded new uke brand.
Website - http://www.islanderukulele.com/page1.aspx

Island Ukulele - handrafted in Hawaii by Raymond Rapozo
Website -http://www.ukuleledirect.com/

Kala - everybody knows the Kala brand - massive range of far eastern made ukes, with everything from the budget models to some rather nice mid priced ukes.
Website - http://www.kalaukulele.com/default.asp

Kamaka - Considered to be the oldest ukulele maker in the world, one of the KBrand uke makers in Hawaii making top of the line instruments for the likes of Jake Shimabukuro.
Website - http://www.kamakahawaii.com/

Kamoa - relatively new Hawaiian ukulele maker - favoured by Pierce Brosnan!
Website - http://kamoaukulelecompany.com/

Kanile'a - another top of the line K Brand uke maker from Hawaii by Joe Souza - superb quality. I play one!
Website - http://www.kanileaukulele.com/

Keli'i - Hawaiian, high end ukuleles from Waikiki

Kepasa - beautiful ukes, hand crafted by Kevin Crossett in Vermont, USA
Website - http://kepasaukulele.com/

Kiwaya - Japanese brand making superbly thin and loud ukes in the style of Martin - top quality.
Website - http://takumiukulele.com/kiwayaukuleles.html

Ko'olau - K Brand Hawaiian ukulele maker of impeccable quality. Played by the likes of Lyle Ritz.
Website - http://www.koolauukulele.com/

Ko'olana - 'budget' line from Hawaiian maker Ko'aloha - but still great quality. Assembled in the far east and finished in Hawaii.
Website - http://www.koaloha.com/products/koalana-ukulele/concert-koa/

Ko'aloha - Top of the line ukes from this K Brand Hawaiian maker with distinctive sound hole and headstock shapes. I play one!
Website - http://www.koaloha.com/

Koyama - Quirky looking lower end to mid level ukes from Taiwan
Website - http://www.koyamaukuleles.com

Lag - French in origin, ukes made in far east.
Website - http://www.lagguitars.com.au/2010/products/Ukuleles/babu100sbk.html

Laka - new brand from the Vintage guitar manufacturer - cheap and cheerful.
Website - http://www.jhs.co.uk/New%20Products/lakaukes.html

Lanikai - beginners ukulele brand of renown, particularly their LU21 model which is very popular with schools.
Website - http://www.lanikaiukes.com/

Lehua - Traditional looking wooden ukuleles from Portugal
Website - http://www.lehuaukulele.com

Lichty - handmade custom ukes in beautiful styles from US luthier Jay Lichty.
Website - http://lichtyguitars.com/

Stuart Longridge - High end, hand made ukes, built to order in the UK
Website - http://www.stuartlongridge.co.uk/Welcome.html

LoPrinzi - Extremely high quality hand made ukes from guitar luthier Augusto LoPrinzi.
Website - http://www.augustinoloprinzi.com/

LuLu - Quality looking ukes and customs from CT, USA
Website - http://www.luluukuleles.com

Luna - new far eastern beginners brand who seem to focus more on looks than anything else, but I do hear good reports about sound and build quality.
Website - http://www.lunaguitars.com/acousticproduct/ukuleleseries.php

Mahalo - who HASN'T played a Mahalo - bright, and very cheap. There may be some good ones in their more expensive lines, but I've played too many bad ones to be prepared to test that theory.
Website - http://www.mahalo-ukulele.com

Mainland - great value mid level instruments, made in the far east and finished by hand in the USA - my first 'proper' uke!
Website - http://www.mainlandukuleles.com/

Makala - budget brand from Kala that proves that cheap as chips can actually work. I regularly recommend a well setup Makala Dolphin to new players on a tight budget.
Website - http://www.kalabrand.com/Kala_Makala.asp

Mako - Pretty, handmade ukes from Kahului, Hawaii - named after the shark!
Website - http://www.makoukes.com

Marshall Stapleton - English Guitar maker with a nice line in unique looking handmade fine ukes.
Website - http://www.wix.com/marshallstapleton/guitars#!about

Martin - high end ukes from the king of acoustic guitars. Also make nice strings!
Website - http://www.martinguitar.com/ukuleles/index.html

Maton - Mid to high end ukes made in Australia
Website - http://maton.com.au/product/maton-ukuleles

Mele - high quality ukes factory made in Hawaii and played by the likes of Warren Buffett and Dave Matthews.
Website - http://meleukulele.com/

Moore Bettah Ukuleles - Stunning original ukes, handcrafted in Hawaii
Website - http://www.moorebettahukes.com/

Mya Moe - superb quality ukes, made to order to your own specification, and specialising in stunning wood quality.
Website - http://www.myamoeukuleles.com/

Nalu Ukulele - solid ukes specced in the USA, built in China - mid priced and great looking
Website - http://www.nalu-ukulele.com

National - resonator ukes from the daddy of resonator guitars.
Website - http://www.nationalguitars.com/

Ohana - as ubiquitous as Kala - another good quality far eastern made uke with a massive range of styles and shapes.
Website - http://www.ohana-music.com/

Ortega - mid priced good quality ukes.
Website - http://ortegaguitars.com/en/products/ukuleles/

Oscar Schmidt - range of beginner to mid level ukes from the US guitar maker Washburn.
Website - http://www.oscarschmidt.com/products/ukes/

Outdoor Ukulele - Made in Oregon, USA - totally plastic construction
Website - http://outdoorukulele.com

Palm Tree - Quality ukes, hand built to order in Colorado, USA
Website - http://palmtreeukuleles.com

Pepe Romero - Well regarded guitar luthier - now making ukuleles
Website - http://www.peperomero.com/luthier/?page_id=286

Po Mahina - beautiful handmade ukes from Hawaii
Website - http://www.konaweb.com/mahina/ukulele.html

Pono - 'budget' line from the Hawaiian maker Ko'olau - costs reduced by assembling in far east and finishing in Hawaii - great quality and looks.
Website - http://www.koolauukulele.com/pono.html

Pukanala / Puka - Relatively new brand from the far east with a range from beginner ukes to higher end solid models.
Website - http://www.tomandwill.com/searchnonpub.asp?b=Pukana-La&p=0

Quex - British ukes handmade by Ukulian
Website - http://ukulian.com

Riptide - ukes from the Boulder Creek Guitar Co, famous for odd placement of sound holes, and use of sound ports on the sides.
Website - http://www.bouldercreekguitars.com/uk_index.html

Risa - German brand famous for their headless (and bodiless) stick electric ukulele, but now also make traditional acoustic ukes

J Romero - Handcrafted ukulele banjos, made in Canada
Website - http://www.romerobanjos.com/specialtybanjos.html

Shimo Guitars - handcrafted guitars and ukes from Japan
Website - http://www.shimoguitars.com/

Spruce House - Simple, yet quality handmade ukes from Oregon, USA
Website - http://www.sprucehouseukuleles.com

Stagg - UK based distributor of cheap end far eastern ukuleles. I can never get past the name myself..
Website - http://www.staggmusic.com/en/products/guitars/traditional_stringed_instruments/ukuleles.html

Fred Stevenson - UK builder of replica Ludwig Wendell Hall Banjoleles
Website - http://www.ukuleleman.co.uk/handmadeukes.htm

Tangi - top of the line handcrafted ukes from Hawaii.
Website - http://tangiukulele.com/

Tanglewood - good quality beginner ukes from the UK guitar maker.
Website - http://www.tanglewoodguitars.co.uk/products/banjomanduke.html

Tin Guitar - handmade ukes made to order by UK Luthier Rob Collins.
Website - http://www.tinguitar.com/

Tom and Will - British makers of instrument bags and accessories, including ukulele gear
Website - http://www.tomandwill.com

Uluru - relatively new brand of quality instruments made in Taiwan based on Australian luthier designs.
Website - http://www.uluruukulele.com/

Stuart Wailing - UK builder of resonators and ukulele resonators
Website - http://www.wailing-guitars.co.uk

Wise - quality ukes, hand made to order by Scott Wise in Western Australia
Website - http://www.wiseukulele.com

Zemaitis - ukulele range from the famous UK guitar maker
Website - http://www.zemaitis.net/zemaitis-ukulele.htm


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32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am Susan. I know nuts about ukulele but am keen to learn. For a start, I need to get a good ukulele. However the many choices gave me a headache! Haha... So would need your assistance to recommend a few good brands from the list above so it is easier for me to source for it. Thanks much! :)

Barry Maz said...

Hi Susan, there are certainly lots to choose from. For a beginner though, go to the beginner tips section at the top menu and you will find articles about buying ukes. Also check reviews section for some ideas too!

Unknown said...

What? No Keli'i?

Barry Maz said...

Can't find a website for them?

Unknown said...

Seems that 'Quex' by Ukulian are missing!

mike mulqueen said...

Hi Barry-don't forget about Moku Ukuleles in SF,CA
www.mokuukes.com

Anonymous said...

Also, Captain Ukuleles - hand made in NZ!
http://www.captainukuleles.co.nz/home.html

Anonymous said...

I have an old Le Domino, natural wood finish with the domino images around the sound hole. Can someone help with some research tips. This belonged to my father and no idea how old it is.

Anonymous said...

Whatever uke you choose, I recommend a hands on trial at a music store before you buy. You can buy online but make sure you play that model (probably at a music store) before you order.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget APC ukuleles from Portugal! You can wacth videos about them in youtube! And the site is http://apc-instruments.com/.

Giles said...

Any experience of ukes from Skylark guitars - look well-made and reviews of the guitars are very positive? Appear good value for money e.g.....

http://www.skylarkguitars.com/skylark-ukuleles-731-0/skylark-uk18n-ukulele-1897-0.html

Barry Maz said...

Not personally Giles. They may be great but in my experience good guitar makers do not necessarily make good uke makers. There are of course exceptions!

Gilly said...

Hi, Barry,

Can you add Rick Turner to this list?

(http://www.rickturnerguitars.com/tenor-ukulele.php

You have a brilliant website.Cheers!

Fellow UUer,

Gillian

Barry Maz said...

Of course (amazed I didn't have him to be honest! ) oops!

Anonymous said...

I have been very happy with my Koa Pili Koko. www.pilikoko.com

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous. I have a Koa Pili Koko and am amazed with the quality. These little gems are great solid body ukes that are affordable and sound superb.

Anonymous said...

I've just bought a Giulkiari soprano, ever heard of this - seems good qulaity and has nice sound...
SteveW

Anonymous said...

How good are the ukes from Taiwan or Vietnam? I see them on ebay selling anywhere from 99 cents to 45 dollars. Are they a good deal? I want a uke that's inexpensive but on par in quality with the best Martin or Kamaka.

Anonymous said...

Brunswick is missing. Apparently UK based but can't find a website or anything on them.

Barry Maz said...

They probably should be added, but not really UK ukes - beginner far eastern imports.

Chris Cochems said...

Snail Ukuleles deserve a mention. They are relatively new, designed in Hawaii and made in China. They are priced like a Kala or lower, but are much better. They selection is heavily biased toward concert size. They now have some distribution in the US.

Anonymous said...

I have a kealoha bought for 80 australian dollars, tuning can drift and the gears aren't terrific. One is pulling out of the tuning key head so will have to glue it in!

Anonymous said...

What about Korala, I've had a UKT-70 for a year now and it's a great instrument. It looks good with it's high gloss finish I believe that is is solid wood, it sounds really great and holds it's tune brilliantly. Check it out !

Pam Trump said...

Ever hear of Pacific Island from Honolulu? I just went to a large flea market in Honolulu and they have a permanent tent with lots of ukes. I've just not heard of that brand. Prices were good and at first glance, they seemed to have an ok sound.

Pam Trump said...

I just went to a large flea market at the Aloha Stadium and there was a vendor with Pacific Island Ukuleles from Honolulu. Anyone hear of this brand? Good prices but....

Ian said...

I've got one of these and it's great, but it's not on your list:

http://saigonguitars.com/ukuleles/

Barry Maz said...

Yes Ian I will add them. They make Noah brand ukes and I know the guy behind them. If you check out the reviews section of this site you will see I reviewed one of their tenor ukes. Got a review of a concert coming soon too

Anonymous said...

Great site, thanks for the info, clicked :-)

Manea Ukuleles said...

Hi Barry Would you add our brand to your list. We're Manea Ukuleles. Handcrafted ukuleles from the South Pacific. Our small fledgling company is based in Kapaa, Hawaii on the island of Kauai. We specialize in handcrafted Hawaiian style ukuleles and we also are purveyors of the rare and hard to find Tahitian/Cook Islands style ukuleles from the islands of Tahiti, Rarotonga and Rapa Nui. Our website www.maneaukuleles.com and our FB page is https://www.facebook.com/maneaukes

Anonymous said...

Hi
I'm Luna and (15). And I’ve want to buy a uke for some time but for I am a beginner I have no idea where or how to look for one. I am playing guitar for almost a year now and I was wondering if should buy a tenor or a soprano uke. Me and a friend of mine went to a shop (Alphenaar) and they had different size ukes and I liked the tenor size but I don’t know if it’s good to start learning. I also wondered if you knew anything about the brand Korala. And if you do, would you recommend it?

Barry Maz said...

Don't let anyone ever tell you one size is better than others. Scale sizes dictate sound only. Sopranos are brighter and more percussive, tenors are more resonant. Check out the beginners tips section of this site. There is a Korala review in the reviews section too!

Anonymous said...

I come across a ukulele I can't find any history or knowledge about wondering if u may be of help it says inside koa handcrafted by melvin e lopez moa o mele #57 dated 12/31/1999 and where the hole is there is the letter m carved out please respond to me if you could thanks so much

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