Ukuleles are those instruments that some people look at and dismiss them as some toys for kids. Little do they know that they pose the same importance as acoustic, electric, bass, or any other type of guitar out there. A ukulele is not just a mini version of a guitar; you can think of it as a different instrument, because that’s what it is. It isn’t called a ukulele for no reason. If you happen to have some interest in picking up the ukulele but confused which brand to start with, then here are some of the best ukulele brands that you can find on Amazon.
And in case you think that the brand, or quality, for that matter, does not matter, then you should know that you are wrong. You probably know that for a guitar to sound good, it should be made with materials of decent quality. Same case with ukuleles. Just because it’s tiny doesn’t mean that you should be random in your selection.
Without any further ado, let’s get rolling.
Donner Concert Ukulele Mahogany DUC-1
First on our list is the Donner Concert Ukulele. It has a mahogany body with rosewood fret board and bridge. It comes equipped with 4 carbon nylon strings on 18 brass frets. This ukulele is great for beginners and amateur players. The fingerboard is smooth and comfortable to play on.
As far as reviews go, most, if not all, buyers were happy with their purchase. However, I did notice that a big chunk of the reviewers were a bit critical on the strings. Apparently, the strings are not that much of quality compared to the instrument itself. It is said that they go out of tune quickly and are lousy. Just to be on the safe side, get yourself an extra set of strings. I recommend, just like the buyers did, Nylgut strings. They go well with this DUC-1.
On Amazon, it’s available in 3 sizes: 21, 23, and 26 inches. And each size comes with a different price: $55, $65, and $73, respectively. Choose the size you think best suits you or whomever you are buying it for. Also, the DUC-1 comes in a bundle with a tuner, a set of carbon nylon strings, a ukulele case, and a strap. I find it convenient that they made the accessories readily available so beginners can start out immediately.
Kala MK-S Makala Soprano Ukulele
This Soprano size ukulele is a mahogany body, neck, and sides with Walnut fingerboard. It has a nice dark satin finish giving off a sophisticated look. Unlike the DUC-1, the Kala MK-S has 12 frets on its fret board, which makes sense considering its tiny size. The strings on this one are Aquila Super Nylgut strings.
However, there is this debate over which type of strings this ukulele comes equipped with. It seems that some buyers got some different type of strings rather than the Nylgut set. That’s as far as criticism went on this Kala. So again, it’s always a good idea to take precautions and have a spare set of strings handy.
This soprano comes with a bundle that includes a gig bag, tuner, strap, Aquila strings, online lessons, instructional DVD, and a polishing cloth. All of that for just $59.99. That’s a bargain for sure. However, if you feel that the soprano is a bit too small for your build, you have a few other options. This Kala is available in 5 sizes: Baritone, Concert, Pineapple, Tenor, and Soprano. There may be a difference in the materials and shape that make up each size, not to mention that the price differs for each size, as well.
Baritone: $99.99; Concert: $79.99; Pineapple: same as the Soprano – $59.99; and Tenor: $89.99.
Concert Ukulele Ranch
With top, back, and sides made from Sapele wood, this Ranch ukulele exhibits a rich tone and pleasant sound. This one, too, is installed with Aquila strings on its 17 fret fingerboard. It’s a concert size, by the way.
Reviewers warned that you are going to have to tune the strings multiple times to start accustoming to the ukulele. Others were just standard opinions on the sound and tone. A few had got the ukulele but with the wrong strings, which makes up only the minority of the buyers. I also read that one reviewer had trouble with the tuning keys. Apparently, one of the tuning pegs was not tuning the string properly. Besides that, nothing was negative.
Like the Donner Ukulele, the Ranch Ukulele is available in 3 sizes: 21 inch Soprano, 23 inch Concert, and a 26 inch Tenor. Again, the price varies for each size. $49.99 for the Soprano; $54.99 for the Concert; and $59.99 for the Tenor.
Note: The prices are based on Amazon’s price listing.
Hricane Concert Ukulele
The Hricane Concert Ukulele has a Spruce top with mahogany neck, back, and sides giving the instrument a bright and rich sound. It has a comfortable Rosewood fingerboard and bridge which makes it perfect for beginner players. The tuners are chorme-plated and the strings are nylon. The artful drawing on the body gives the ukulele a more valuable look.
Surprisingly, most of the reviews on this ukulele on Amazon were positive. In fact, it is a 4.8 star product, which makes it even more interesting. Perhaps the most critical review this Hricane Ukulele got was from a buyer who got the ukulele with an extremely high action that, as he claims, it’s almost unplayable. Along with that, the edges of the frets were allegedly sharp and unfinished. What made this buyer very negative on this Ukulele was the fact that he returned his first purchase, got another one, but ended up with the same poor quality. However, this clearly wasn’t the case with the hundreds of other buyers.
The Spruce is available only for the Concert size along with the mahogany. The Soprano and Tenor sizes are available only in mahogany. The Concert is for $65.99; Soprano for $59.99; and Tenor for $68.99. If it really is of the decent quality that the brand and its buyers boast, then these prices shouldn’t really be a target for complaints.
Rabing 23 inches Acoustic Ukulele
Would you believe it if I told you that this ukulele has got absolutely no reviews under 5? Yes, its a 100% 5-rated ukulele on Amazon. As you can see from the image, this Rabing Ukulele is made from Zebrawood materials giving it a pleasant artistic look. The bridge and fingerboard are Rosewood, which, again, make it comfortable for playing for arguably all levels. It has Aquila nylon strings with chrome-plated tuning keys and 18 brass frets. The bindings are said to be handmade and it has an in-tuning system with 3 Band EQ – Bass, Middle, and Treble.
As aforementioned, I couldn’t find any negative reviews on this particular Ukulele on Amazon. It seems like the buyers really like it, and they recommend it for beginners especially. Some of the buyers said that replacing the strings with a new set from a quality brand would make this ukulele even more decent-sounding, which happens to be the case with nearly every ukulele mentioned before this one.
The Rabing Acoustic Ukulele is a 23 inch instrument, which is a concert size. As of writing this, I couldn’t find any other sizes for the Rabing Uke. On Amazon, it costs $57.99. Although the product description does not mention any additional accessories that come with the ukulele, the buyers who reviewed this product, however, did say that it comes as a bundle with a gig bag, tuner, and a bunch of other accessories and material. There aren’t any extra strings, though.
Enya OMS 04 Concert Ukulele
Last but not least is the Enya OMS-04 Concert Ukulele. Now this one is a bit on the ‘expensive’ side, but it sure is worth every penny. It’s made from slightly different materials – Koa lamented top, back, and sides and Richlite fingerboard and bridge. The neck is made from mahogany and the strings are carbon nylon. According to the ukuleles description, the tuning machines are 1:18 Die-cast.
There is a slightly different version of the OMS-04: Enya OMS-02. Basically, it’s similar to the OMS-04 but with a Africa solid mahogany top. The strings are polymer carbon fiber and the finish is matte, like the OMS-04.
There wasn’t much complaining on both versions. Some said that the tuning gets slightly off as you move toward higher notes. Others had problems with the accessories that accompany this ukulele. And speaking of which, the ukulele comes with a gig bag, tuner, strap, spare strings, pick, capo, polishing cloth, and finger-shaker, which adds to the fun.
Or if you are interested in the latter, get the OMS-02 from here.
That’s pretty much about it! So, which one do you like the best? And if you happen to own any of the ukuleles mentioned, do you, yourself, think they are worth it? Don’t be afraid to speak up! We would love to hear your opinion!
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See Also: The Best Beginner Acoustic Guitars
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