Music has always had a way of soothing the ears and relieving the soul. Whether it is an instrument like drums or one like harmonium, each has its own specialty. While it is difficult to choose your own instrument, it is easy to find one if you have already decided on the kind that you want. Whilst guitars and keyboards sound a bit cliché now, ukuleles have always found a way to people’s hearts through the production of nuanced music. If you are a musician and are looking to buy a ukulele, then you are in the right place. You might be aware that ukuleles come in various types and sizes, widely ranging in prices. These kinds include Standard or Soprano Ukulele (21 inches long), Concert Ukulele (23 inches long), Tenor Ukulele (26 inches long), and Baritone Ukulele (30 inches long). Besides their overall length, not only do these ukuleles differ in their scale lengths, but also in their tunings.
We are going to discuss the 10 best concert ukuleles, their buying guide and 2019 reviews in this article.
1. Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
D’Addario Prelude Violin Strings is a solid steel core string that comes in various scales. They provide durability that is unparalleled in its price range, with a warm tone and adjustable tension. It has a quick bow response, which makes it an ideal fit for students and beginners. As far as violin string names go, D’Addario is very well known because of being the Educator’s Choice. It is highly stable when it comes to pitches and tuning, and brings in a unique blend of warm tone with affordability and durability. Moreover, pitch stability makes it easier for users to tune their violins conveniently without any hassles. These strings are an ideal choice for both, beginners, and professionals.
Solid steel core makes it durable and provides a warm tone.
Comes in multiple scales- ½, ¼, ⅛, 1/16, ¾, and 4/4 scale.
Has earned the honor of being awarded the Educator’s choice, making it reliable and go-to option for students and professionals alike.
- The tension can not be adjusted over medium.
- Isn’t as consistent as synthetic strings.
2. Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele with Gig Bag, Satin Natural
This Luna Ukulele is designed according to the traditional body ornamentation of Hawaii. Moreover, the product has a resonate and clear sound that it gets from the Mahogany build and Concert body. The satin natural finish Luna Ukes contain open-gear tuners, walnut bridge, and fretboard, 35 mm wide nut, flat fretboard radius, C neck shape, 15 inches long scale, flat top contour, mahogany body, and set-neck construction. With its harmonious sound, the Uke possesses an extremely attractive appearance. Moreover, Uke also has a fair price tag. This also makes it more common among beginners.
- It has an affordable price.
- It possesses a very unique design.
- It has a great tone.
The strings are poorly adjusted.
There are certain flaws in the finish.
3. Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele
The 24.21 inches long Cordoba 15cm Concert Ukulele is completely handmade with the body, neck and tuning head being made from quality mahogany and the fretboard and bridge made from dark rosewood. With an eye-catching appearance, the Uke has a rosette abalone, satin finish, nut composite, 18 frets, and Aquila Nylgut strings. The tuning machines of the Uke come in chrome with pearl buttons. Although the Cordoba Uke is light in weight, it is known to be durable. The lightweight factor of the Uke also makes it portable.
The sound of the Uke is as loud as a great guitar.
The Uke possesses an attractive look because of the satin finish of the body.
The Uke has a soothing and warm tone.
Since it is easy to handle (hold and play), it is the perfect model of the Ukulele for beginners.
This is available only in the shape of the figure-eight.
A slight hum is produced sometimes but can be removed through servicing.
4. Lanikai Soprano Ukulele Instructional Polishing
The eastern mahogany body of Lanikai LU-21 Soprano Ukulele provides it with a warm tone along with a strong midrange projection. Furthermore, the rosewood fretboard provides the player with a smooth and soft touch. This durable Uke is a ready-to-play model that removes the hassle of restringing the Ukulele. This model comes with a gig bag that makes it easy to be transported from one place to another, unlike other models where people generally face the problem of finding a bag with a unique shape. Moreover, the tuners of the model are also solid.
- The model includes an instructional DVD, a Clip-on Tuner, and a Gig Bag.
- The Uke has rosewood and eastern mahogany construction.
- The Uke has a strong midrange sound with a smooth tone.
The price is higher as compared to various other models, hence reduces the affordability factor.
Generally, soprano ukuleles are quiet.
5. Concert Ukulele Bundle, Deluxe Series by Hola! Music (Model HM-124MG+)
The Hola Lu Ya has a walnut bridge and fingerboard, premium Aquila Nylgut strings from Italy, a compensated bone saddle and bone nut, and a mahogany wood neck and body. The bundle set includes the mahogany ukulele of 24 inches, a colorful shoulder strap, three picks, pre-installed Aquila strings, and a padded gig bag with handle and a strap. Moreover, the buyer also gets the offer of free classes worth $40. This ¡hola! model has a wonderful sound and intonation. Moreover, the price has also been considered as a positive point of the Uke.
- The price of the Uke is reasonable.
- The sound and intonation are great.
- It is made up of strong mahogany.
- The Uke comes with a complete kit, which makes it handy to carry.
- Some notes of the Uke might be required to be a little more balanced.
6. Kala Satin Mahogany Concert Ukulele with White Binding (KA-C)
The Kala ka-c Uke one in satin finish with contrasting, bright cream binding. These features increase the Uke’s demand among the players and the beginners, both. Moreover, these specializations make the model count among the top of its kind. The Concert Ukulele has a walnut fingerboard and mahogany top, back and sides. While the nut and saddle are of GraohTech NuBone, the strings are of Aquila Super Nylgut. The 24.125 long instrument has a scale length of 14.875 inches and a body length of 11.125 inches. With a total of 18 frets, the Kala concert ukulele is an eye-catching instrument.
- The sound and quality of the Uke are unsurpassed.
- The Uke has a high durability factor.
- The Uke has a higher price as compared to various other models of the same size.
7. Oscar Schmidt OU5 Concert Ukulele
The Oscar Schmidt OU5 tops the lists of the Ukuleles of its size. Whether it is a beginner or a learned player, this model of the Uke is suitable for all perfectly. Moreover, this model is the best among all others in the same price range. The concert ukulele has a Hawaiian Koa back, top, and sides. This wood produces the mellowest and the most harmonious tunes that the Ukes are loved for. The nato neck, which is 15 inches long, has a rosewood fingerboard. This makes playing smooth and easy. Last but not least, the Oscar Schmidt Concert Ukulele has known to be durable.
- The Uke has a sturdy construction and is highly durable.
- The Koa wood is durable and provides a rich tone to the Uke.
- The sound of the Uke is consistent and sweet.
- The Uke has a heavy headstock.
- The ABS nut is not as durable as compared to various other Ukes.
8. Luna Concert Ukulele with Gig Bag, Great Wave Graphic
The Luna Great Wave Ukulele has a purely artistic design that is inspired by the Great Wave of Kanagawa, a Japanese artist’s woodblock print. The Uke has a body type of UKE Concert Cutaway, mahogany neck and body, flat top contour, chrome hardware, Pearloid open-gear tuners, twenty frets, walnut bridge and fretboard, 15-inch scale, C-shape neck, graphite nut, MOP moon phase inlays, and a gig bag. The Luna Great Wave Concert Ukulele has a great sound and is durable. The Aquila strings make the tuning of the instrument easier. Moreover, the Uke also holds its tune well.
- The tuning gears of the Uke are efficient.
- The construction of the Uke is durable.
- The Uke stays in tune extremely well.
- The Uke has an artsy look because of the Great Wave art-inspired design.
The frets of the Uke are likely to require filing.
Some glue is likely to run over in certain places.
9. Electric Acoustic Concert Ukulele (UK-24)
The Kmise Ukulele has a well resonant sustainability and performance. The sound of the Uke is full and bright. It is installed with EQ: ¼ Mono Jack Out Put that makes an individual play it like an electric guitar. The UK-24 comes in various styles but all variants (24D, 24C, and 24B) are treated with a natural finish. The Ukulele Origin possesses a solid all-wood spruce construction and neatly filed frets. The semi-electric instrument has perfect intonation due to Aquila strings.
The Uke has a reasonable price and is hence, affordable.
The instrument comes in 4 different kinds of style variations.
It has a worthy sound quality.
It is not durable.
It does not perform really well.
10. Mitchell MU70 12-Fret Concert Ukulele Natural
The Mitchell Ukulele has rosewood sides and back, and a spruce top. The concert ukulele possesses arch back design, an Indian rosewood fretboard, and rosette abalone. The Uke has 16 frets with a scale length of 15 inches. The high gloss body finish makes this particular model look more attractive as compared to other Ukes of the same size and price range. The 1.8 lb. weighted product has a compensated saddle, a Rosewood Bridge, and sealed tuning machines. Mitchell MU70 has a case that is sold separately.
The glossy finish of the Uke as extremely eye-catching.
The Uke is durable and solid.
It comes with Aquila strings that provide great intonation.
It has a full and loud sound.
Some frets of the Uke are likely to sound a little off as complained by various users.
When it comes to buying an instrument you know little or none of, it might be a bit difficult to decide which model, type or size would be the best for you. Nonetheless, this does not just apply for beginners but for experienced players as well. It is necessary to have some knowledge of instruments you are planning to invest those dollars in.
Following are the features you should look for and the types on the basis of which you can decide best ukulele under 100:
#1: Look for Your Budget and the Body Size
The first step to buying a ukulele for yourself includes setting a budget range and checking your body size. Narrowing your search this way can help you decide better.
#2: Select a Price Range
Posterior checking your body size and budget, set a price range for the kind of ukulele you want. Generally, this is $50 to $100 for a majority of beginners. This range also provides certainly good and comfortable models to play. You may also increase your budget above $100. However, it is not necessary to get the best Uke on the first go. Moreover, what if you don’t end up liking the instrument as a whole?
#3: What to Expect from Your Uke
As you spend more, your expectations from the Uke shall increase. Look for the following features as your budget rises:
- Great overall playability and craftsmanship
- Various cosmetic features such as rosettes, inlays, and binding
- Materials and exotic woods
- Solid wood sides, back, and top for improved tone
- Electronics in order to play through an amp
#4: Avoid Extremely Low-Cost Ukes
You might be wondering why to spend $70 when you can buy a Uke for $30 or $40 online. This should not be the case since the cheaper you choose, the worse it gets. The online photographs of these look very attractive. However, when it comes to reality, you would not want to have these hanging on your wall.
#5: Selecting the Body Size
Ukuleles are available in various sizes. The most common of these are soprano, concert, and tenor. Although all the sizes are fine for a beginner, generally, concert and tenor ukuleles are the best.
All three are played and tuned in the same way. The only thing they differ in is their sizes. Therefore, you need not worry much about these.
#6: How the Size of the Ukulele affects Tone
Usually, a bigger body implies bigger tone. The tenor and the best concert ukulele for beginners are likely to be more resonant, richer, and warmer than soprano Ukes. The larger the body size, the more the volume and bass are produced.
Sopranos are not heavy in the treble. They are rather quieter as compared to the other two. This is not a con of these. It is just a feature. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the kind of bass and volume you want when it comes to choosing the body size.
#7: How does the Size of the Ukulele affect its Playability?
As compared to a soprano, tenor and concert ukes have a longer scale length. This refers to the distance between the saddle and the nut. The longer the scale length, the farther the frets from each other. Hence, the frets on a soprano may feel cramped to various players, especially the ones with thick fingers or big hands.
#8: Which Ukulele is the perfect one for Beginners?
Although it is said that any of the sizes would be fine for the beginners, it is recommended to go for the larger ones like the tenor or the concert. Their ease of playability and the rich tone makes it easier for a beginner to learn and handle the instrument well.
Nonetheless, sopranos are also good. They are renowned for their compact sizes and sparkly, bright tone. Moreover, these kinds are also less expensive as compared to the prices of the concert and tenor.
#9: Baritone Ukuleles – What are they?
Another common size of a ukulele is known as a baritone. This is the largest among all four sizes – larger than tenor. The major difference, however, is of the tuning of a baritone. It is slightly different from the other three. This makes it less practical for the majority of the standard ukulele music. This tuning is surprisingly close to the tuning of a guitar.
#10: The need for a Case
There are certain factors that you need to know in order to decide whether you will need a case for your ukulele or not.
- What do you plan to do with your Uke?
When it comes it traveling, you are likely to require a hard case for the safety of the Uke. However, if you need to carry it somewhere like your friend’s place, then a soft case would be fine.
- The amount that you spend on the Ukulele
What matters the most is the price you paid for the ukulele. If it lies in the range of $50 to $100, then it is not worth buying a case due to its costliness. However, if yours costs more than $200, then the next thing on your list should be to get a hard case for your Uke. If it’s costlier than $500, do you even need to ask the question to yourself for buying a case?
#11: What are Specialty Ukuleles?
Have you ever heard of specialty ukuleles? Well, if not yet, then here we go. There are various kinds of variations and refinements that are provided these days. Following are a few kinds that you might have come across:
- Acoustic-electric Ukuleles: Ideal for performers who use ukuleles in band performances, these come with an electronic pickup.
- 6-String and 8-String Ukuleles: These Ukes are generally on the basis of tenor or baritone ukulele scale length.
#12: Plastic, Solid Wood, or a Laminate Ukulele?
The bodies of the ukuleles are made of any of these three – plastic, laminate, or solid wood. Generally, a laminate or plastic ukulele will cost less than a solid wood Uke. Nonetheless, this does not mean that solid wood is a better choice or plastic is not a good choice.
When it comes down to choosing solid wood, then the kind of wood has a great impact on the sound, intonation, and price of the Uke. Therefore, if you plan to go for a solid wood ukulele, you must know the kinds of woods used in various parts and the qualities.
#13: More Tips
- Always buy a clip-on tuner.
- Try all the sizes and scales of the ukulele before buying any one.
- Set your budget according to your affordability.
- Always do your homework.
Now that you have understood about the ukuleles well, you might be excited to shop one soon. Make sure that you don’t buy one in a hurry. Always do your homework properly before spending the worthy money since you are going to enjoy the instrument for more years than you wonder. Furthermore, there are various Ukulele brands to avoid.
We know well that everything that comes to us comes with responsibilities. Similarly, when it is about possessing a musical instrument, you must be aware of factors that may affect it, such as humidity, how to take care of it, etc. Therefore, you should think well before buying anything, not just an instrument specifically.
If you are passionate about music and wish to buy a ukulele soon, the first thing that you should do is go through the buying guide of this article thoroughly. Then you may consider the products mentioned above in accordance with your budget, size, the bass and volume you want, and your choice. This way, you will not only find the best Uke but also the most suitable for yourself.
At the end of the day, it is about getting yourself a ukulele that pleases your ears, mind, and soul. Although you now know more than you did before reading this article, you must let your ears and fingers guide you to the best one for yourself. After all, all you need is a hundred percent satisfaction from your purchase.