So last year we did a video showcasing 10 ukulele models you can buy for less than $200. We also did a blog review here of those 10 ukes. But there are so many other options that we just had to pick out another 10 to compare. So here ya go, 10 more great ukes that won’t break the bank!
As a side note~ our videos give an idea of tone, but the way things are compressed at every stage of recording and uploading has an effect on the sound. SO, with that said, realize that if you are really going to study the nuances and tonal differences, it is best to do so while personally holding that instrument. For your convenience,we have all 10 available for you in a package deal! 🙂 I’m just sayin’, don’t get all opinionated on Ukulele Underground’s forum just from what you heard on a video.
There is another factor as well. Last week I played an ukulele in a video followed by Corey playing the same model. As you can imagine, it didn’t sound the same. So, a players technique is a Huge factor. I could spend 10 grand on an ukulele and Corey would still sound better than me on some of these under $200 ones. BUT with that $10,000 uke, I bet you I would play ukulele alot more and Love it! And that’s the main thing. So “love the one you got”,(unless you can afford a better one). All 10 of these can give you a good time so let’s check them out-
Kala has been perfecting the art of the affordable ukulele for quite a few years now and they are now leading this price range. The exotic mahogany series is a good example why. This soprano has a big sound and a punchy midrange characteristic of this size. At just over $100 this handsome soprano is ideal for many!
(click the image to go to the post)
Just in the last few months Kanilea has released their new import line – Islander. I did a review on the whole line and Aaron did a full video review here at TheUkuleleReview- Islander By Kanile’a. This one is the only uke from our 10 that is under $100. The Islander’s have a nice voicing, and look at that pin bridge. That must be a first for the under $100 range!
Leolani Soprano Longneck Deluxe
So what is a Soprano longneck? It is a sporano/standard size with a concert length neck. This gives the convenience of a soprano size body but the punch of a concert scale length.
The Leolani’s are braced lightly for resonance and this model has a lot more low end frequencies than most soprano’s. To learn more about the Leolani comany we have an article at this site for you- The Leolani Ukulele Company. Also, go Here to see the specs and pricing on this cool new super soprano!
You can hear in the video the ringing tone and full body of sound this model has. And Solid Spruce warms up and gets quite a bit louder in the first few years it is played, so this model is quite a hard one to beat in it’s price range. It is actually one of the only solid tops available under $200. Most of the solid wood instruments start around $300.
Click HERE to learn more about this concert ukulele!
According to Acoustic Guitar’s Readers Poll Cordoba guitars were second only to Ramirez as the best Spanish classical guitar. Obviously these skilled craftsman carried over their ability to make a high quality nylon string affordable to the masses with their new Ukulele line up. This concert has a solid mahogany top and comes with a very padded gig bag for well under $200. And they sound good!!
Our third of the three concert sized ukes comes to us frome the Luna company. Our last review was on Luna so check that out to learn more about their line of ukulele. This one is the last design to come out from them. It features a laser engraved top with “peace” written artistically in 20 different languages. It has a very deep tone and has been suprising customers for the last few weeks since we got them in. The feel and sound of the Luna ukes is excellent and I recommend them to people that aren’t afraid of the unique designs that adorn them. Click the link to learn more about the Luna Maluhia.
The Islander tenor ukulele MT-4 has a unique and beautiful voicing. It blooms in the lower register and has one of the warmest tones of any laminate instrument out there. It is not as cutting in the mid-range as some tenors like the other two sampled here, but it accentuates the sweeter bottom end with a touch of sparkle on the high.
Kanile’a enters the import market at an amazing price point. This tenor is just over $100 and takes less setup work from us than many more expensive model.
Learn more about the Islander MT-4.
Just like the Cordoba CM we heard earlier, this tenor Cordoba has a mahogany top and packs a punch. Heavier in the high-mid range and low mid range, this super value of a tenor cuts through but still retains a warm body of tone and overtone. It even includes the coolest gig bag on the market and sells for under $200- with change for dinner. This should be a top contender if you have narrowed it down to the tenor size and want to stay in this price range. Read more about the Cordoba 20TM.
The Kala KA-ST is a solid spruce top tenor and comes just in qualifying range for this showcase. Without a case of course, but c’mon man, this is not the time for pinching pennies! Did you hear this tenor?? Bright and complex tones ringing…sustaining! If you get an ukulele you really like, then you will really like playing it, which leads to getting better at it, which leads to having more fun. And by that time, I will have posted a video called “10 Ukuleles OVER $200!”.
Learn about this ukulele at TheUkuleleSite!
So we had three sopranos, three concerts, three tenor’s and the one slot left will go to the black sheep of ukulele sizes, the Baritone. “Oh, you mine as well play guitar”, I hear people say. Well I don’t need to bust out a ruler to see the portability and comfort of playing difference being huge between a guitar and a baritone ukulele. Plus if you already play ukulele the guitar introduces new shapes because of the lower strings. On the contrary, our Cordoba Baritone is ready for you relaxing enjoyment. Solid Mahogany top, Cordoba super sweet Gig Bag, our setup, and still able to be featured here in the under $200 sampler. That’s a deal! Well here’s another deal –
The first 10 people to comment at this post telling us their favorite model of the 10 featured will get a Free Set of Strings of your choice, including shipping within the US! Just post the comment and we will contact you with details. (you will be able to order it from our parent site -TheUkuleleSite.com with a code voucher). You can start browsing the Ukulele Strings here. Aloha from the HMS crew. (Corey Fujimoto is the player in the video)
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Hey, that is a mouth-watering line-up! I would go for the Islander MT-4, based on my experience with my Kanilea Deluxe Super Soprano. I love its warm tone, and intonation is perfect. From your description, it sounds like the Islander offers similar qualities at a very affordable price.
that ukulele is gorgeous, i need a good set of tenor strings for my ukulele!
Love these videos. I’ll definitely send them to a few colleagues of mine who have been looking for inexpensive, but good quality, ukes.
One of these days – I hope to get the Kala KA-ST ~
I want to get that Kala-ST someday 🙂
Very nice grouping of ukuleles! Considering adding a Kala pocket uke to my collection
I would love to carry these great instruments at my little store. I am just learning to play and love the feel of the tenor. My favorite is the Cordoba 20TM
I agree with HMS’s choices, especially the solid spruce top Kala ukuleles. I haven’t played the KA-ST or KA-SC, but I own a solid spruce top travel tenor uke by Kala. It’s absolutely wonderful! I would like to add a Cordoba Baritone to my collection one of these days. Thanks for the reviews!
Kala KA-SC or the Luna Maluhia would be my choices…the kala interests me in that i have never played a spruce top before, and it looks great! the luna just looks really cool!
I love this line up! I tend to stay on the cheap side myself
Love the peace sign one!
That’s your top ten! I will email you guys tomorrow with the details on choosing and getting a free set. Giving away stuff is fun. 🙂 Thanks!
Thank you, Andrew!
The Kala KA-ST is very nice and I considered buying it.
Hi Richard, Please email your string order to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank You!
Love the samples for each Uke!
Hi Rod, Please email your string order to email@example.com. Thank You!
thank you so much! i hope to be able to visit ur store
Hi Michael, Please email your string order to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank You!
I would like to go with the Kala KA-ST also. I enjoy the sound of spruce over all the other woods right now.
Hi Craig, Please email your string order to email@example.com. Thank You!
I have played my ukulele for a year. I think it may be the time to move on to a better uke, ’cause the current one isn’t great for my finger picking practice. After reading this review, I think I’d like to consider Kala KA-SC seriously. A good deal for a solid top uke.
I read almost all your posts, guys. I thought the Kala Acacia was the one, but I got your sound clip from the other post… So, maybe this one, Kala KA-SC, will be my next uke. But, seriously, what are good choice for a price about $300~400?
So, thank you, guys. And happy strumming.
Thanks for checking out our reviews and updates, we love being able to give expert advice. In the 3-400 range the Kala solid wood models and the Pono mahogany series are definitely the best options. Aloha!- Andrew
Thank you. I found your new video on Youtube, but no updates here, so come on guys!!!
Hi Andrew, I just brought home the Cordoba 20CM as a first ukulele for my 14-year old guitar-playing daughter. It is from “Santa”. I know NOTHING about ukes so was pleased to see that it made your list. It came with a decent case but is there anything else that I should be thinking of adding to her gift (picks, tuners, etc)? Thanks so much for your informative site!
From MICHAEL in UK:..These ukes look wonderful..I like the Kala very much…the range of colours in these ukes are so varied…it is a joy to see them…I have JUST started playing a cheap uke ( and I mean cheap!) just to get the feel….I hope to treat myself very soon to a proper uke ….but I am mind boggled with the choice…!! don’t know which way to go…….probably Kala KA CEM……BUT ON THE OTHERHAND ???….
My first uke was the Kala KA-SC, purchased from you, based on these reviews. I still love it!
A good friend of mine recently purchased an ISLANDER Tenor for just under $200 at my suggestion (I have a Kanilea Koa Tenor) . I couldn’t wait for her to receive it. What a beautiful instrument…and the tone is a knockout. She loves it and others in our ukulele group are considering buying an ISLANDER.
Nice series but I just bought a Kala KA SS It even looks like the Kala KA SC. Did you know something about this uke ? Any reviews ?