I have personally purchased about a dozen different brands to evaluate their quality and service.

How I evaluated the different brands.

As in everything else in life there are trade offs. Musical instruments are no exception. And like everything else you get what you pay for.

First was the build quality of the instruments.

Fit and finish, the set up from the source, and the overall feel of the instrument.

Sound. The overall sound of the instrument, the resonance and the tone of the instrument.

The "value" of the instrument. This takes into accounts all the factors, and are you getting the best possible instrument for your money.

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Kamaka HF-3 Tenor
All solid Hawaiian Koa.
This is one of the originals, founded in 1916 and in constant production ever since.
If there is a "Sound of Hawaii, this is it.
No "Bling" no foo foo, just beautifully warm and lush sound.
It has a stunning Nitro finish for the best possible tone (my $.02), no bindings or rosette just a wonderfully simple elegance.
This has be become my favorite look, classic, traditional and timeless.
http://www.kamakahawaii.com/products/42-tenor-4string.html
Demo by appointment, kept off site.

 

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KoAloha KTM-10R Tenor, the  R is for the new "Royal" series.
All solid Hawaiian Koa.
Not one of the oldest but also a "Family" business. They have kept many of the traditional designs and made a big change, the Unibrace.
Rather than try to explain it all, here's a link with the technical and pics.

https://www.uke-fan.com/blog/koaloha-ukulele-shop-tour-pictures/

These come in Gloss and Pikake (satin), again, I prefer the satin.
While on paper this and the Kamaka should sound the same.
They don't.
Not huge differences but noticeable.
They both have they loyal following, which will you like better ?????
Demo by appointment, kept off site.

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Ko Aloha Opio KTO-10 Tenor
The Opio series are built to the same specs and design as the Hawaiian instruments but they are built in Thailand in a factory that KoAloha created, with Luthiers that KoAloha Luthiers trained.
They use more budget friendly materials than Hawaiian Koa.
This is all solid Acacia, the same family as Koa, just not grown on Hawaiian soil.
While not everyone can justify the expense of their Hawaiian Ukes, the Opio's are within reach of a much broader market.
That said they hold their own pretty well.
They have a satin finish similar to the Pikake.


 

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KoAloha Opio KTO-10S, the "S" is for Spruce.
This is a solid Acacia body with a solid Spruce top.
The Opio series are built to the same specs and design as the Hawaiian instruments but they are built in Thailand in a factory that KoAloha created, with Luthiers that KoAloha Luthiers trained.

They use more budget friendly materials than Hawaiian Koa.
The Spruce top on this is amazing, crystal clear and resonant.
Sustain to die for with clear bell like harmonics, and loud.
To be sure this will not be everyone's "cup o' tea"but it is very well suited to finger picking as every note comes through clear and balanced.
It could be "toned down" a bit with mellower strings, it has Living Water Strings on it now.

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Twisted Wood all solid Acacia Tenor.
(just a note of clarification, the company states Koa. While every Koa tree is accacia, not every Acacia tree is Koa. It should only be called "Koa" if grown on Hawaiian soil.)
That said its is a wonderfully built and enjoyable instrument.
a bound ebony fret board feels very nice in the hands.
It also is free of "bling" which gives it a clean traditional look.
It has a hand rubbed finish that feels very nice to the touch.
It is built on the heavier side similar to a Pono and some Kala's.
While not as bright and chimey as some Ukes, it has a wonderfully warm sound that is very forgiving and enjoyable to play.
On paper it's identical to the Kamaka. While no one would mistake one for the other, it's about 1/3 the price.

Ohana 14 series Mahogany laminate in all four sizes

Baritone, Tenor, Concert and Soprano

Ohana PKC-10

Pineapple

Mahogany (laminate)

Ohana 70R Solid Spruce top Laminate B & S in

Tenor and Concert

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Ohana 50 ME Solid Cedar top Laminate Macassar Ebony
B & S. Tenor and Baritone. These are some of my favorites, the combination of fine Spanish Guitars.

Ohana TK-39 solid premium Mahogany. Very similar to early Martins, very light and resonant. With a hand rubbed finish.

Ohana CK-70 RB This has a solid Spruce top and a composite back & sides, think Ovation. It is amazing with a bright clear projection and great sustain.

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Stored off site, available by appointment with advance notice.

 

96 ART. Nate is a custom Luthier and he builds them to my specs or spec'd out by the customer.
Keep in mind they are custom orders and can take months to complete. I have a few that are my personal Ukes and they won't be going anywhere, but I'm happy to let you try them. He specializes in woods native to north America. They are not inexpensive but I believe they are very reasonable for their quality and sound. The sound? Mind blowing.

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Ohana TK-80D Solid Sinker Redwood top and Solid Myrtle back and sides in Tenor.

Very exotic and unique.

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Ohana TK-350 G All solid Hawaiian Koa in Tenor. Everything you would expect from a real Koa Uke, the sound of Hawaii.

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Ohana TK-80 Tenor Solid Port Orford White Cedar top with solid Myrtle back and sides.

Ohana BK-50 G in Baritone and Tenor. Solid Cedar (Cedro) top with solid Rosewood back and sides.

Ohana BK-35GC all solid Mahogany Baritone with a cut out in a rare non electric version.

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OK, just to show off a bit, OK a lot, these are some more "Limited Edition" they showcase just how amazing Ohana's world class artisans and craftspeople really are.

Limited Edition 75CG Series features an all solid build in spruce and solid flamed maple.  We've used mahogany binding paired with generous abalone inlay at the purfling, rosette and headstock.  A sharp Florentine cutaway adds drama and allows for easy reach of the upper frets.  Far more than just another pretty blonde bombshell, these ukuleles sound every bit as wonderful as they look!
I've posted extra pics of this series to show just how amazing Ohana's Ukes truly are.

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Our all solid -470G is made to be played in spruce and rosewood. This tenor scale limited edition features a beveled comfort edge to ensure you’ll be able to play all night long. A perfectly elegant rosette in abalone and rosewood matches the overall aesthetic and is finished in high gloss.
There are only a couple of these left in Concert and are some of the finest Ukes you will find. Posting extra pics to show off a bit. These are Ohana at their finest.
NOTE: Only a few left in Concert and when gone they are gone. I have a Tenor and two Concerts that will not be going anywhere.

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Lanaki All solid Acacia. Koa species not grown in Hawaii.

Tenor and Concert, they have a wider than usual neck and fret board.

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