Huawind Concert Ukulele - REVIEW

18 Sept 2021

Huawind Concert Ukulele - REVIEW

Back with a delve into the Amazon ukulele offerings this week. This is the Huawind Concert Ukulele.

Huawind Concert Ukulele

Whilst I don't recommend my readers purchase instruments from Amazon for a variety of reasons, I look at them every once in a while because I think it's only right to redress some balance and fairness. This is mainly because I have seen many examples of brands who use Amazon  recruiting armies of 'reviewers' to give them five star reviews in return for free instruments (or money). This renders the Amazon review ratings useless (which many of us know, but many more don't..). I am not making that allegation about this brand, because I do not know them and have not come across them before. Yet sure enough, their listing has an impressive number of 5 star ratings.. I should add - not everything I have seen from Amazon only has been terrible at all, but it's still a majority.

The Huawind listing also follows the usual Amazon selling technique of confusing descriptions, the choice of pointing out the overall length (23cm!) when that has NOTHING to do with scale (to be fair, they do call it a concert though), the use of terms like 'small guitar' and lots of gushing terms like 'professional' and 'high quality'. Don't you love marketing?

Huawind Concert Ukulele body

What this actually is, is a low priced laminate concert ukulele with a very traditional look and shape. No complaint from me there. The body is made of all laminate mahogany which is rather plain, but inoffensive and better than some very plain mahogany I have seen. Curiously, the product listing states that top is made of walnut. This is NOT a walnut topped instrument so I have no idea why they say that. It's also telling to note that I can find no reference to this being laminate, though it most certainly is. That's another technique that boils my blood. It has two pieces of laminate on the top and completely flat back whilst the sides are from a single piece. To be fair it looks put together pretty well in the body with no open seams, scuffs or problems.

The bridge is specified as 'scientific wood' which is a new one on me. I suspect it is a translation thing and refers to 'technical wood' which either means a paler wood that has been stained / dyed or a block made of composite strips of offcuts. It doesn't look like the latter. It's a tie bar style, screwed in place with some ugly looking plugs covering the screws made from lord knows what. The saddle is plastic and too narrow for the slot so is leaning forwards - that's not great for accurate intonation. The wood of the bridge is rather scruffy in places, but more worrying is a noticeable gap on the bottom edge where it looks to be lifting. The screws 'should' keep it in place, but it's not right. String spacing here is a bizarrely skinny 34mm..

Huawind Concert Ukulele bridge

There is no decoration to the body other than a frankly awful example of laser etching of the brand name around the sound hole. I don't like laser etching at the best of times, but this takes it to a new level of terrible. Not only does it look cheap, it appears the laser etching machine was either drunk or suffering with the jitters. It's terrible and made me laugh it's so bad! The body is finished in a simple open pore satin and to be fair I can find little in the way of scuffs or bare patches here.

Huawind Concert Ukulele decor

Inside is simple with un-notched kerfind and thin tapered braces. I can't see huge amounts of mess bar a lot of glue around the tail black, but have no idea why the braces don't extend fully across the width of the instrument! In another positive, the top wood here looks to be thin laminate and not chunky plywood.

Huawind Concert Ukulele braces

Huawind Concert Ukulele inside

Moving up to the neck and this is a bit of a horror show. The wood type is not specified, and to be honest I have no idea what it is either. My best guess would be 'random tree branch from my back garden'... It's in three pieces with an obvious joint at the heel and a woeful joint at the base of the headstock. The three pieces are all different colours and the joints highly visible. Not only are they visible, with the neck joint it's clearly not a clean connection either as the gaps have been completed with filler. Ugh. To add to that, the finishing on the neck generally is poor with one side of the heel lacking  finish at all and evidence of scuffs and fairly deep gouges around it. It tapers down to a typically Chinese narrow nut at only 33mm and 27mm G to A. On the plus side it's not overly round on the back, however sighting down the neck from the headstock shows me it is very slightly twisted clockwise. The heel carving is also not symmetrical... Sigh...

Huawind Concert Ukulele neck

The fingerboard is more of the scientific / technical wood and whilst it doesn't look dry at first glance it's pretty poorly finished with areas where it seems to be either splitting or was not sanded flat in the first place. It comes with 18 nickel silver frets, joined at the 14th and they are dressed terribly with sharp edges down both sides. In fact I knew they would be sharp from just looking at it because whatever last stage of quality control there was involving rubbing it down with a cloth has caused that cloth to snag on them and leave fluff hanging off. And they are sharp despite it being edge bound with more dark wood. They are honestly some of the worst dressed fret ends I have ever seen. Basic pearly position dots face out at the 5th, 7th, 10th, double 12th, 15th and 17th, but there are no side dots.

Huawind Concert Ukulele fingerboard

Beyond the plastic nut is a generic looking headstock which isn't faced so is in the same odd pale wood as the neck so it stands out against the more orange body. It also shares that 'tree branch' quality to the neck as there is a darker knot in the face of it. The Huawind logo is laser etched in the top.

Huawind Concert Ukulele headstock

Tuning wise it comes with generic and cheap open gears with enormous black plastic buttons which also have scuff marks in the soft plastic. They certainly grind, but being gears should not slip. Interestingly on the product listing they say if the strings are going out of tune you should tighten the screw. That is plain wrong. That only applies to friction pegs..

Huawind Concert Ukulele tuners

Finishing it off are a set of strings that look like Aquila, but there is no mention of them or a string tag so they will be copies (in fact they took so long to settle I think they are white nylon), a useless thin gig bag (dust cover) and.... nothing else. Now, I don't pay much heed to the brands that throw the kitchen sink in with their instruments as being a 'sales point', but if you are choosing to sell at this price point I think you stand out if you don't (I'm looking at you Kala)..  This one is £39.99 in the UK and $42.99 in the USA. Now, that is not a lot of money for a uke and no doubt some people will see my scores and question why i've marked down the value for money element. The key word there though is 'value' - put simply I can think of many other instruments at this sort of price point that come with a much better fit and finish or possibly some accessories. As such, whilst it is certainly cheap, it isn't compared to several others.

As you can probably tell I am not impressed here. The basic core body is about the only thing I am not having an issue with (and in fact it's pretty good!), but there are problems in literally every other department. Lifting bridge, poor laser etching, ugly narrow neck, scruffy neck finish, scruffy fingerboard, sharp frets, cheap tuners... Who knows though - it might sing like an angel.....

Huawind Concert Ukulele back

Whatever it is capable of sounding like though, it will need a setup first. The string height at the 12th is far too high which may affect intonation, but certainly would make play beyond first position uncomfortable. The nut to be fair is not too bad. It's not too heavy at 410g and balances ok at the 12th too.

To play, the first thing that surprised me is the volume, which is pretty decent to be fair. Maybe 'surprise' is the wrong word there as I had already noted that the body laminates were thin, the braces small and the whole thing fairly light. Make any ukulele soundbox that way and you will be off to a good start on volume projection. Sadly though the sustain is only average which shows there is more to making a ukulele than just putting strings on an empty box.  This is where the skills of bracing and holding the soundboard in tension in the right places come into play, and it's not working that great here. It's not terrible to the point of dead by any means, but a bit lacking. The play is rather uncomfortable on account of that narrow nut (for me) and the high strings (which would affect everyone). Not really that enjoyable.

Compared to other instruments, ukuleles are never that big on sustain, but little lifts in this area are what can change an instrument from sounding flat and boring to having some character. Sustain allows frills and accents in your play rather than pure staccato notes. So the poor sustains means it's no surprise that the character isn't great here. Sure, it works as a ukulele, it plays GCEA, and despite the poor action doesn't seem to have glaring intonation issues (maybe the tilted bridge is compensating for the high action?), but it's pretty one dimensional. Strumming is certainly pretty bland for my ears, though it's functional - it works. But then 'it works' is hardly high praise. There are no harmonics going on between the notes leaving it all very flat, and it has that trademark echo to the sound that is common with very cheap laminates. It seems more spritely when fingerpicked where it chimes a bit more and sounds rather, dare I say it, 'pretty'. It's such a shame it's so uncomfortable to play that way particularly up the neck. But I really am getting ahead of myself here and am not suggesting that there is a hidden gem inside that could be brought out with the right setup and strings - I think it's beyond that. Or equally, I don't think there is an absolute howler of a ukulele inside either, just a very generic one. Which begs the question, 'why would you bother trying to upgrade and improve it?'

All in all this one got off to a bad start from when I opened the box and went downhill from there. From a distance it looks like your common or garden laminate mahogany ukulele for a keen price, but get into the details and there is just too much wrong here with build, fit and finish. The volume is ok, and it plays like a ukulele I suppose, but the question really comes down to 'why would you bother with it'? The market at this price point is stuffed with instruments of a similar spec with many of them easily beating this. I appreciate that is where it looks like a minefield, but that is also where I hope my full review list helps you. It's not the only bad ukulele at this price point and for sure there are many much worse - but equally there are some decent offerings in the rough. The Flight Travel Concert is not a great deal more and blows this out of the water. The Donner DUC-1 springs to mind too, as does the Octopus Concert (which costs less!). So it CAN be done at the lower prices... Huawind don't appear to have figured out how though. And that's a big part of why this one has annoyed me, only added to by their flowery marketing language. Professional Ukulele made of high quality materials? I beg to differ. 




Model: Huawind Concert
Body: Laminate Mahogany
Bridge: Technical Wood  - tie bar
Saddle: Plastic
Spacing at Saddle: 34mm
Finish: Open pore satin
Neck: Unspecified
Fingerboard: Technical wood
Frets: 18, 14 to body
Nut: Plastic
Nut width: 33mm, 27mm G to A
Tuners: Unbranded open gears
Strings: Unspecified
Extras: Dust cover gig bag
Weight: 410g
Country of origin: China
Price: £39.99


Thin laminate top
Decent enough volume


Poorly done laser etching
Various bridge issues
Narrow bridge spacing
Horrendous neck looks and finish and slight twist
No side dots
Scruffy fingerboard
Sharp frets
Grinding tuners
No character to tone


Looks - 6 out of 10
Fit and finish - 4 out of 10
Sound - 7 out of 10
Value for money - 6 out of 10









  1. Ukuleles such as this one probably do more to discourage new players from enjoying and pursuing the instrument than anything else. Too many people, including well-intentioned gift-givers, are swayed by the included "goodies" and pay proportionately less attention to the actual instrument they're getting for their money. Thankfully, your in-depth reviews help to keep many folks well-informed. Good job, Baz!


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