Best Ukulele

Wish to experience the sand on your feet and the sea breeze on your face? Strum away on a ukulele and hear the sounds of summer. Ukuleles were originally adaptations of stringed instruments from Portugal, but given a distinctive Hawaiian feel. Alongside flower garlands, ukuleles are one of the most recognizable symbols of the island life.

Being similar to the guitar, ukuleles are subjected to the same quality standards. Laminated woods are used for lower-end models, while the ones at the higher spectrum use solid woods like mahogany. Nevertheless, a well-made ukulele sounds clear with every strum.

Fender Tenor Ukulele Nohea

This tenor ukulele was christened by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation as “Nohea” to match its design. In Hawaiian, nohea means lovely.

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It rightly goes with a Hawaiian name because it is made of koa, which is a hardwood only found in Hawaii. Koa is known to be a sturdy wood, and it is used to build canoes in Hawaii.

In addition, the koa used for the ukulele is treated and laminated. The laminated koa used for the ukelele’s body evokes a sleek and shiny look.

The neck of the Fender Tenor Ukulele Nohea is made of mahogany, which is another superior hardwood. Mahogany is well-known for its strength, color, and beauty.

The rosette, on the other hand, is made of acrylic abalone. The rosette’s design draws attention to the sound hole by providing a stark contrast against the koa top.

Left-handed musicians who wish to play this instrument will be saddened to know that Fender did not come up with a left-hand edition for the Nohea.

Customers who wish to buy a bag for the Nohea might have a hard time looking for a perfect fit because most ukulele bags are too short for it. Others resort to using guitar bags instead.

Those who wish to own a traditional ukulele made of superior and beautiful wood will be attracted to the Fender Tenor Ukulele Nohea.

Pros
  • It is made of sturdy koa wood.
  • Laminated koa gives off a glossy look.
  • It has a mahogany neck.
  • It has an acrylic abalone rosette.
Cons
  • It does not have a left-hand version.
  • It does not fit in most ukulele bags because of its length.

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Kala KA-TE Mahogany Tenor Electric Ukulele

This tenor ukelele from Kala Brand Music Co. can be played electronically or acoustically. You can create island strums throughout its 19 frets made of silver nickel.

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The Kala KA-TE boasts of having a mahogany neck and mahogany body. This ensures that the lightweight ukulele is durable.

The mahogany used for this ukulele has a rich satin finish. This classic look is accented by traditional white binding on the top and back.

The bridge and fingerboard of the Kala KA-TE, meanwhile, are made of rosewood. This timber is known to be heavy duty just like mahogany.

In terms of sound, this ukulele has a full tone. The Kala KA-TE gives off a rich sound whether it hits the high chords or mellow chords.

The sound quality, however, may be affected when this ukulele is played electronically. The electronic sound will greatly depend on your amplifier.

Those who are particular with the color and style of their ukulele might not be fond of the reddish hue and thick stripes of a mahogany surface.

Pros
  • Its neck and body are made of mahogany.
  • The mahogany has a classic satin finish.
  • Its bridge and fingerboard are made of rosewood.
  • It has a full tone and it produces a rich sound.
Cons
  • An amplifier may affect its sound quality.
  • Its reddish hue and thick stripes might be turnoffs for some.

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Oscar Schmidt OU5 Concert Ukulele

One of the prime items of the Oscar Schmidt Company is the OU5 Concert Ukulele. It stands out with its sophisticated design and premium sound.

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Its top, back, and sides are made of select Hawaiian Koa, which is a type of wood that is native to Hawaii.

Its rosette and binding are made of abalone. The abalone stands out against the natural gloss finish of the Koa.

The neck of the Oscar Schmidt OU5 is constructed out of Nyatoh wood while its fretboard is made of rosewood.

The OU5, which is meticulously handcrafted, goes through an intense quality control procedure. Skilled technicians are assigned to inspect and adjust every single OU5 ukulele before it hits the market.

It has to be shipped individually even if you ordered ukulele accessories. There may be no extra shipping fees involved, but there could be a problem if your ukulele and the accessories do not arrive at the same time.

Meanwhile, some potential buyers might have second thoughts on purchasing a ukulele with a Nyatoh neck because they are not familiar with Nyatoh. This wood is sourced from Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines and Indonesia.

Those who are looking for high quality ukuleles will appreciate the Oscar Schmidt OU5 because it is handcrafted. Moreover, all OU5 ukuleles go through rigid inspections and adjustments.

Pros
  • Its body is made of select Hawaiian Koa.
  • Its rosette and binding are made of abalone.
  • It has a Nyatoh neck and rosewood fretboard.
  • It is handcrafted and carefully inspected.
Cons
  • It needs to be shipped individually.
  • Those unfamiliar with Nyatoh might have second thoughts on buying the OU5.

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Epiphone Les Paul Ukulele

Epiphone has added a modern touch to the traditional ukulele by coming up with the Les Paul Acoustic/Electric Ukulele Outfit. It has an edgy look with its AAA Grade Flame Maple top.

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Epiphone does not only put a premium on design. It also values durability. That is why it made use of solid mahogany for the makeup of its Les Paul Ukulele.

Epiphone also made sure that its hardware is as sturdy as its wood composition. The Les Paul Ukulele hardware is made of solid nickel.

Another special feature of the Les Paul Ukulele is its piezo film pickup which captures the sounds coming from the body and strings. These sounds are transmitted to an output jack.

In addition, the Les Paul Ukulele package provides a gig bag with heavy padding. This will save you a lot of time from looking for the perfect ukulele bag.

The Epiphone ukulele comes with a pick guard. This is something that can be done away with because most ukulele players do not use a pick. If they do, they only use felt or soft rubber picks.

This modern take on the ukulele might not attract buyers who still prefer the traditional wooden look and feel of the miniature Hawaiian musical instrument.

The Epiphone Les Paul model is for those who want the traditional sound and durable quality of a ukulele but prefer to have a modern twist in its design and appearance.

Pros
  • It is made of solid mahogany.
  • Its hardware is made of silver nickel.
  • Its piezo film pickup captures sounds from the strings and body.
  • It already comes with a gig bag.
Cons
  • It has an unnecessary pick guard.
  • Its modern look might not cater to those looking for a traditional ukulele.

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Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele

The Cordoba Music Group offers a vast array of acoustic ukuleles. The Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele is among its well-known products.

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It is an instrument that is created with craftsmanship and care because it is entirely handmade. This ensures that the ukulele is of high quality.

Mahogany was used to create the top, sides, and back of the Cordoba 15CM. Mahogany is one of the timbers that craftsmen use when they want to create something that is beautiful and durable.

The bridge and fingerboard of the Cordoba 15CM are made of rosewood, which is another popular hardwood among ukulele manufacturers.

The ukulele has an elegant and classic look because it has a matte satin finish and ivoroid binding for the fingerboard and body. Its silver tuners even come with pearl buttons.

Some buyers, however, prefer their ukuleles to have white binding instead of ivoroid binding. For them, the white binding provides a better contrast to the wood compared to ivory-colored binding.

Others, on the other hand, might not like the matte finish of the ukulele. These are the buyers who want their ukuleles to have a glossy appearance.

The Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele is for those who are looking for a ukulele that is classic for its looks and traditional for its craftsmanship.

Pros
  • It is wholly handcrafted.
  • It is made of mahogany.
  • Its bridge and fingerboard are made of rosewood.
  • It has an elegant and classic look.
Cons
  • The ivoroid binding might not be attractive for some.
  • The matte finish might seem bland for those who want a glossy look.

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