12 Best Tenor Ukuleles Review

 

First things first, let us take a quick look at all of them in general. We`ll get deeper into analyzing each one individually a bit later.

#ModelRatingDimentionsWeight
Our topCheck
1Lohanu LU-T 2 26.5 * 9 * 3.15 inches 2.4 pounds1

2Hricane UKS-3 26 * 8.6 * 4.7 inches3.8 pounds
2

3Cordoba 22C 25.5 * 10 * 4 inches1.5 pounds
7

4Makanu Concert 23.1 * 7.1 * 3 inches2.85 pounds
3

5Donner DUT-1 29.5 * 12 * 5.5 inches3.4 pounds
6

6Tenor HM-127EB+ 27.8 * 10 * 4 inches2 pounds
5

7Luna Tattoo 23.1 * 8.9 * 3 inches2.8 pounds
4

8Kala MK-T Makala 27 *12.2 * 4.8 inches2.45 pounds
4

9Soprano Beginner Ukulele 21.3 * 6.9 * 2.5 inches1.85 pounds
4

10ADM Beginner Ukulele 20.8 * 6.7 * 2.2 inches1.7 pounds
4

11Concert Ukulele Ranch 24.2 * 8.2 * 3.4 inches3 pounds
4

12Fender Venice Ukulele 24.2 * 7.8 * 4 inches1.9 pounds
4

Lohanu LU-T 2
Rating
Dimentions 26.5 * 9 * 3.15 inches 
Weight
2.4 pounds
Our top1
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Hricane UKS-3
Rating
Dimentions26 * 8.6 * 4.7 inches
Weight
3.8 pounds
Our top2
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Cordoba 22C
Rating
Dimentions25.5 * 10 * 4 inches
Weight
1.5 pounds
Our top7
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Makanu Concert
Rating
Dimentions23.1 * 7.1 * 3 inches
Weight
2.85 pounds
Our top3
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Donner DUT-1
Rating
Dimentions29.5 * 12 * 5.5 inches
Weight
3.4 pounds
Our top6
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Tenor HM-127EB+
Rating
Dimentions27.8 * 10 * 4 inches
Weight
2 pounds
Our top5
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Luna Tattoo
Rating
Dimentions23.1 * 8.9 * 3 inches
Weight
2.8 pounds
Our top4
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Kala MK-T Makala
Rating
Dimentions27 *12.2 * 4.8 inches
Weight
2.45 pounds
Our top4
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Soprano Beginner Ukulele
Rating
Dimentions21.3 * 6.9 * 2.5 inches
Weight
1.85 pounds
Our top4
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ADM Beginner Ukulele
Rating
Dimentions20.8 * 6.7 * 2.2 inches
Weight
1.7 pounds
Our top4
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Concert Ukulele Ranch
Rating
Dimentions24.2 * 8.2 * 3.4 inches
Weight
3 pounds
Our top4
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Fender Venice Ukulele
Rating
Dimentions24.2 * 7.8 * 4 inches
Weight
1.9 pounds
Our top4
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As you could have noticed, there are several pieces of criteria I was sticking to:

  • Reliable manufacturer

All the manufacturers in the list are extremely reliable. They are time tested and known worldwide for making musical equipment of high quality. I will not talk about each of them specifically, but if you want to you can check them out yourself.

  • Compactness

Well, ukuleles are meant to be compact, but these specific ones will be comfortable for any type of player. Children, women and beginners will be able to handle them easily.

  • Quality-to-Price ratio

You are not overpaying for any of this models, that`s for sure. Each ukulele in the list was tested properly. Every model sounds properly.

 

Well, now that you know which ukuleles are presented and how I picked them for this article, the time has come to take a more detailed look at each of them individually.

Lohanu LU-T 2 Ukulele

Lohanu is a manufacturer from Canada. It`s a comparatively young company, which managed to gain reputation of a reliable and innovative equipment producer.

Material

The body of Lohanu LU-T 2 is made of sapele and mahogany. The body is paired with rosewood fingerboard and neck. The material combination is a bit unusual for Europe, but overall durability and comfort of holding this item are impressive.

It`s worth mentioning that this very model has handmade ABS-bindings and chrome tuners. This stuff is pretty basic to be honest, nonetheless it is really valuable, both externally and in terms of comfort of playing.

The model comes with pre-installed Aquilla strings. It has a set of tuners and small accessories as well, which makes it a great pick for the beginner.

What it feels like to play LU-T 2

There are three things I would like to talk about, which differ this exact model from the others. Here is what I noticed:

Tip:Lohanu LU-T 2`s back is shaped like an arch. It feels a bit weird first, especially if you were playing guitar before, but after several attempts you start realizing how convenient it is. The shape of body affects sounding as well, making it louder and clearer.

Tip:This is not a professional ukulele model, so when you decide to develop your skills further, you`ll need to buy a more advanced one.

A short conclusion

Lohanu LU-T 2 is a great ukulele for a person learning to play. It has perfect price-to-quality ratio. Tones and extras are decent. It sits in hands really great. The shape is comfortable, the material and coating are convenient and reliable.

If you are a complete ukulele beginner or even completely new to music, this very model will bring you through the first couple of years.

Pros
The shape of back
The built-in strap buttons
Cons
It`s way too plain
Not a professional sounding

Hricane UKS-3

Hricane is an American manufacturer. It`s super fresh on the market, but is worth trusting. Especially with prices that low.

Material

This model has hollow sapele body. Fretboard and bridge are made of rosewood. The choice of material is similar to Lohanu`s, except there is no mahogany. This, however, doesn`t make the model worse. It has less variation, but more sustainability.

Hricane UKS-3 has pre-installed Aquilla nylon strings. They are good for the beginners and soft-handed players, but are not as efficient in terms of making bright sound. If you are planning to keep on using this ukulele, you`ll need to replace the strings.

It`s important to mention as well, that this model has a slight decorative pattern on it, which allows player to feel a lot of esthetic pleasure.

What it feels like to play Hricane UKS-3

After several playing sessions here is what I have to say.

Tip:It feels like a one solid piece of fresh wood. Despite having hollow body, it has reasonable weight (it`s more a personal thing, as I don`t really like light-weighed instruments “floating” in hands). I didn`t try to break it on purpose, but it feels, like this one can survive several extreme travels.

Well, there are better sounding models to be honest. This one, however, is not bad at all. It`s more suitable for informal performances, like practicing or playing near the fire in the woods. For concert purposes, though, you`ll need a different one for sure.

Tip:Ukuleles for beginners are usually sold in bundles, so that person doesn`t waste time looking for extra equipment and accessories. This model isn`t an exception, but it had no tuner included. This will not be a problem, until the person buying is a complete beginner. If you consider this one as a gift, buy a tuner in advance.

Short Conclusion

Hricane UKS-3 is a durable model, which will be perfect for travelers. The manufacturer made the sound quality good enough too. So, if you are looking for something solid, something that will serve for a long period of time, UKS-3 is your pick. However, keep in mind the fact, that you`ll need to purchase some extra equipment as well.

Pros
The body is crafted perfectly well
The sound is nice
Cons
The set isn`t complete

Cordoba 22C

Cordoba is making ukuleles of higher levels. So here is model, that will be suitable for experienced players.

Material

Cordoba 22C has lots of different wood types mixed in it. There is a spruce top with Indian rosewood back, a machogany neck and fingerboard of classic rosewood. Engineers, who invented this mix must be geniuses, as everything combines perfectly.

Another really important thing is that this ukulele can be electrically amplified. All the electrical components onboard are produced by Cordoba as well, so there is no conflict between ukulele and amplifiers.

The instrument comes with standard strings. It`s good, if you already have trained fingers, but if you are beginner, consider purchasing nylon strings (from Aquilla for example).

What it feels like to play Cordoba 22C

Here are the test results:

Tip:There is no need to smash the strings hard to get the powerful sound due to electronic amplification. On one hand it is really convenient, on the other you should not amplify sound during practicing. Unamplified sound is much more realistic.

I have to say once more, how good the choice of wood is. Solid spruce makes sound especially deep and rich.

Tip:It has only the most necessary things. It is reasonable, as this ukulele is meant designed for experienced players. However, if you still decide to get this as your first, you`ll need to get stuff as pins and straps separately.

Short Conclusion

This one of the greatest models for concert performances. It is durable, solid and sounding really great. It doesn`t even cost much money, so it is pretty affordable as well. This might be considered as the first ukulele as well, but only if you are sure, that you`ll not give up music, as this instrument has a lot of development potential.

Pros
Sort of effortless
Really solid
Nice acoustic sounding
Cons
The delivery bundle

Makanu Concert

Makanu is a manufacturer known for unusual decisions, Here is why.

Material

The concert model has a mahogany body with nut and bone saddle. It is extremely outstanding (even more than Hricane with its` supreme engineer decisions). The construction provides unusual playing experience.

This ukulele has built-in nylon strings. Soft and nice for gentle fingers, but not durable. It`s also important to remember, that nylon strings need to be tuned more often than steel ones.

What was even more surprising is the bundle. It came already tuned, in a zipper gig-bag with all the small stuff one will ever need. This set makes first impression really amazing.

What it feels like

Again, the test was hold and the results are here for you:

Tip:It is hard to spoil an ukulele, if it is built all of the same material. And, indeed, guys from Makanu didn`t spoil a thing. Moreover they added an unusual saddle, which compliments the main part of the instrument perfectly.

Some tones were good, some were not that good, but the tenor in this one was just perfect. There is probably no other ukulele in this price range, that has such a deep and musically correct tenor.

Tip:Things should be said straightly. Pre-installed nylon strings in this very model are bad. They are not durable and get detuned fast. They are OK for the first month or so, but if you want to make the progress and feel it, you`ll need to have the strings replaced.

Short conclusion

Makanu`s concert ukulele is good for beginners, who plan to keep playing the same instrument for several years at least. As the model comes with the perfect bundle, the start will be easy and as it has potential, you`ll be able to keep it without switching. Keep in mind though, that this ukulele will need extra investment.

Pros
Decent build
Great tenor
Convenient build
Cons
Bad strings

Donner DUT-1

Donner company is old. It makes classical equipment mainly.

Material

So, classical ukulele it is. The body is made of mahogany, the fretboard and neck are nothing other but rosewood. It is a well-known fact that the more simple something is, the more durable it is as well. This rule applies perfectly to Donner DUT-1, there is simply nothing to break.

The strings are classical too. Carbon-nylon, simple, almost unbreakable. They are not easy to tune, but once you`ll have tuned them, you can forget about tuning forever (until you need to retune).

What it feels like

Donner DUT-1 was tested in the woods, as so turned its` fate.

Tip:This one is comparatively heavy (which as you already know I really like). It is still easy to handle even for women and children. It`s solid build, though, feels outstandingly good and durable, it can even survive a little contact with water with no consequences.

While some companies pays attention to small things, Donner cares about the most important and basic ones. Carbon-nylon strings are comfortable and soft. They are still harder than simple nylon strings, which gives the best experience of tuning I`ve had so far.

[tIt`s like a spoon. Does its` job, but nothing more than that. It does its` job good enough, so you`ll never want to replace it just for being bad. But if you are looking for some exotic experience, this s not the best model.

Short conclusion

Donner DUT-1 will be nice for players, who are planning to buy one ukulele for the whole life. They will carry it around sometimes, sometimes it will be standing still for several months. But it will always be the same ukulele the player is used.

Simplicity and constancy are both the main advantages and the main disadvantages of this ukulele. This will be a good pick, if you want an ukulele for fun, not for becoming a world-known master.

Pros
Really solid
High quality of strings
Simple to use
Cons
Little development potential
A very plain model

Hola! Music HM-127 EB+

Hola is one of the most recognizable ukulele manufacturers. 127 EB+ is a part of its` deluxe collection.

Material

Engineers of Hola did try hard to find this combination: a body of mahogany, a neck of nato wood, bridge and fingerboard of classical rosewood. It is more complicated combo than it seems, at it was designed specifically for serving for a long time.

All the other parts are as deluxe as you might imagine them. The set includes silver nickel frets, chrome tuners and Italian nylgat strings of the highest quality. This is exactly what you are looking for, if you want to invest a lot of money once and forget about spending any extra afterwards.

How it feels

Playing Hola 127 EB+ was a pleasure. Here are the things I memorized the best:

  • Nice intonations and tones

  • Nice playability
  • Great value

The quality of sound this ukulele produces is beyond all praises. All the intonations are played absolutely correctly, all tones (tenor especially) sound exactly as they have to. The sound is deep and smooth.

Playing this ukulele isn`t hard at all. First of all, it has nice construction. It doesn`t weigh much, and it is balanced perfectly. Tuning and re-tuning aren`t hard, every little part works exactly as it has to.

This model is an improved version of one of the first models Hola has ever made. Basically, they took the product that they made the most effort on and re-worked it using all the experience. The final product turned out to be both affordable and of high quality.

Tip:Well, the quality is corresponding to the price. However you expect such an ukulele to have more possibilities for further development.

Short conclusion

Hola! 127 EB+ is a great choice for the beginners and mid-range players. There are still better models on the market, but this one is easily the best in this price category. Still, if you are planning to develop your skills further, you`ll need a better instrument later on.

Cons
Little development potential
Comparatively high price

Luna Tattoo

Luna is a medium-sized manufacturer, producing themed ukulele.

Material

The tattoo ukulele for example is devoted to Hawaiian Islands. It has a mahogany body and neck with traditional tattoo art on it. Classical rosewood fingerboard and frets compliment it, making the ukulele one solid thing.

Luna developers consider strings to be one of the most important aspects. Therefore, Luna Tattoo has deluxe Aquilla nylgut strings (same as in Hola! Deluxe series). I`ve already described these exact strings before, so I`d rather not repeat myself.

The overall body quality though is mediocre. It will not break immediately, however you`ll need to handle in a really careful manner.

How it feels

While playing this ukulele, I noticed that process makes me super happy. Might ne the magic of this very ukulele. However, I tried to rate it as cold-blooded as I always do:

Tip:There are lots of ukuleles with unusual stylings, but little of them look both as simple and attractive as this one. Traditional ornaments have always been among the best ones, so Luna made absolutely correct bet here. Hawaiian tattoo looks amazing.

Strings are super good. However, strings themselves don`t create all the sound. This is where the problem of the body appears. The body is average, so it cannot resonate accordingly. The potential of the strings opens up only partly.

Maybe it`s more a psychological thing, but it doesn`t matter at all how bad a player you are. Listeners will always smile and sing along if you are playing this very ukulele.

You can live with those cons, as they look minor in comparison to the advantages.

Short conclusion

This is not a professional instrument. It was never meant to be professional. Hawaiian series were designed exactly for light-hearted evenings in a nice company. So, if you are looking for something to fresh your friends up, this ukulele model might very well be the thing you need.

Pros
Great appearance
Good sound quality
Good playability
Cons
Not a professional sound
Average build quality

 

Kala MK-T

Kala is making a lot musical equipment, including guitars. This one is an ukulele though.

Material

Material used in this one is a bit unusual. It has an agathis body and mahogany neck, with rosewood fretboard and fingerboard. The wood itself looks darker, than wood used for classical ukuleles, so it looks a lot like a small guitar.

There is a satin finish on top of the body, which increases the convenience of playing process a lot. It is soft, so your fingers and hands will feel more relaxed after a playing session.

The basic strings are average nylon ones. They are soft and all, but if you want to make progress, you`ll need to replace them. Especially because this model has a bit more guitar spirit in it than an average ukulele.

How it feels

It started feeling unusual since the very opening.

Tip:Except all the basic stuff a DVD for learners was there. It was a great surprise to be honest. I remember the times when I was learning ukulele. It was quite hard to find decent materials. It is much easier now, but I still believe that video course recorded by the guys, who made this very ukulele remains valuable.

Another innovative piece of equipment is a digital tuner. Again, a helpful thing for a beginner (as you don`t really need it as an experienced player). It shows all the tuning process on the screen, making things easier to understand.

Tip:The sound was not bad, don`t get me wrong. It was simply the sound you`d expect from such an ukulele. Probably I spent a lot of time testing more expensive things, so I expected a bit more, than I should have. Still, nothing outstanding.

Short Conclusion

It`s one of the cheapest models in the list, so there is not much to complain about. It is definitely worth it`s money. Manufacturers added a lot of love and attention to making a kit of accessories that comes with it, so it is definitely more than a commercial sort of thing.

Pros
The kit
Digital tuner
Cons
Average sound

ADM Soprano Beginner Bundle

Well, we are done with individual models. Now let us take a look at several bundles, which contain of an ukulele and important learning stuff. We`ll start with ADM` bundle.

What it consists of

The bundle has an ukulele, a gig bag, a tuner, pick-ups (for preventing finger damage), notes, a strap, some stuff to clean an ukulele, several pins. That`s more than you`d expect from a classical kit.

Material

As ukulele still remains the most important thing in the kit, I`ll describe it as I did before. It`s quite a simple-built ukulele with basswood body, rosewood fretboard and mahogany neck. Nothing outstanding, just a casual ukulele.

The strings are simple as well. They are easy to play and tune, but will probably not serve too long.

How it feels

Unpacking the kit feels exciting, playing feels mediocre.

Tip:I expected all the stuff inside to be of low quality, pretty much disposable. I was wrong. There are decent pick-ups, a waterproof bag, even notes are printed on a paper of high quality.

Tip:Again, average is not bad. It might very well sound like an arp from heaven to you, of you have little experience in music. So, if the quality of sound is the only thing bothering you, than you should stop worrying. The sound is OK.

Short conclusion

The beginner`s bundle is a nice thing. I am not a huge fan of things like this, but I can appreciate them. So if you are all into learning something new, an ukulele bundle from ADM will help a lot. There is a couple of other bundles below, if you don`t like ADM specifically.

Pros
Quality of details
Cons
Average sound

 

Everjoys soprano beginner bundle

Everjoys is another manufacturer focusing on bundles. This exact bundle has a lot of stuff inside. There is an ukulele, polishing cloth, pick-ups, a spare string, a digital tuner, a beginner`s manual and a bonus – harmonica. It`s a shame for me, that I did not give harmonica a try, I`ll review it later probably. For now let us focus on an ukulele.

Material

The body is made of basswood, the neck is blackwood. The bridge is pure maple, which was quite surprising to find out. The ukulele is generally durable, the body`s quality is high.

Strings in this ukulele are unusual. They are manufactured by Everjoys as well, which means, that the synergy between the body and the strings is supreme. Another attractive thing, is that these strings are colorful, which is both attractive and heart-warming. I almost forgot to mention that they are made of nylon.

What it feels like

Honestly, it feels like any another qualitative ukulele for beginners. There, however, are several things worth being pointed out:

Tip:Tuning gears in Everjoys ukulele are styled like the guitar ones. This is super convenient both if you are new to music (you`ll learn how to tune the guitar with this) and if you are already experienced (you`ll already know how to tune this ukulele then).

It`s not super small, but a bit smaller than a usual ukulele. I (as a grown up man) didn`t really feel the difference, but smaller weight and smaller size might be suitable for anyone with small hands.

Tip:The set contained all the advertised things, but some necessary stuff, like pins and straps. I think these accessories are a “must-have” for the beginner, so it was a pity not to see them included.

Short conclusion

A bundle from Everjoys is good for kids mainly. Compactness, quality and components of the set are not good enough for an adult player. This ukulele is good enough to get child interested in music, but not good enough for a player, trying to develop a talent.

Pros
Comfortable tuning
Compact size
Cons
Not all the required things were included

 

Ranch concert ukulele bundle

The previous bundles were designed for children, this one is made for adult players.

Material

Ranch ukulele has a body of sapele wood, a neck of mahogany and classical rosewood bridge and fretboard. Sapele wood is not the material you usually expect an ukulele to be made of, but it is a decent sort of wood for sure.

This model has pre-installed Aquilla nylon strings. They`ve been mentioned several times in this article already.

Finally, the bundle has several bonuses, like a gig-bag, a digital tuner with battery, a full set of extra strings, a strap and polishing cloth. I would say, this set is very conservative as there are no pins, pick-ups and manuals. Just the most basic stuff.

What it feels like

Long story short it feels nice. Here is what I have to say specifically:

Tip:The tuner in this bundle was qualitative. It looks like a basic electronic tuner, nut somehow it was working more accurately than its` analogues from the alike sets.

I love minimalistic things. The design of this ukulele is exactly what I believe a nice design should be. It doesn`t have any excessive paintings, just a nice and simple round ornament near the sound hole.

Tip:I`ve already emphasized, that body shape and material affect the sound. In this veru case sapele makes the sound deeper and a bit darker in comparison to the same-shaped ukulele, but made of mahogany.

Short conclusion

Ranch concert ukulele bundle is the thing you should buy, if you are looking for developing your skills during the long period of time. It is simple enough for the beginners, but at the same time has enough potential to keep an intermediate player interested in it.

Pros
High quality tuner
Nice design
Cons
Dark tones

 

Fender Venice ukulele

I am finishing this list with the product of the most recognizable music manufacturer in the World – Fender.

Material

Fender Venice soprano ukulele is made of spruce (body), mahogany (neck) and rosewood (bridge and fretboard). The body has a black satin finish, which makes playing process much more comfortable.

It has the basic set of strings, produced by Fender. They are made of nylon, they are durable and are convenient in terms of tuning.

What it feels like

Testing Fender`s material always feels good.

Tip:This ukulele is one of the easiest ukuleles to play. The strings act obedient, and being soft, they do not hurt the fingers. So, instead of smashing, player can concentrate on techniques more, which speed up the learning process.

I didn`t pay much attention to the bundle while ordering it. It turned out a CD is included. It`s an album by a singer from Holland, which was recorded with accompaniment by this model of ukulele. I am not a huge fan of that sort of music, but it steel felt nice.

Tip:It`s so called “no-tie” bridge. Holding it is slightly unusual. You`ll get used to it though.

 

Pros
Easy playability
It comes with a musical album
Cons
An unusual bridge

A large conclusion

In this article I`ve described main features of all the best soprano ukuleles for the beginners. For learning even more about any of them try contacting owners through the internet forums. Finally, here is a list of things, I recommend you to memorize:

  • Don`t spend much money on the first ukulele. You`ll never guess whether you`ll enjoy music or give it up. So, if you are only about to enter, consider purchasing a cheap instrument.
  • Practice a lot. Practicing is a key to musical success. Therefore, you should really be practicing a lot.
  • ntrcn

This was it for this article. Thank you for reading and good luck.

 

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