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Mele Ukulele

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Mele Ukulele Review

For a professional quality, authentic ukulele, skip the souvenir shops. Mele's handcrafted beauties are made of koa or mahogany and strung and finished by the store's owner, Michael Rock.

Updated: 02-19-2014

Fodorite Reviews

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    Wonderful experience and outstanding value

    We just went on vacation to Hawaii. I play ukulele--I would say intermediate level--and wanted to find a fine uke that wouldn't break the bank. I did much research we left (about three weeks ago). I visited about 10 different ukulele shops and factories on three different islands and tried out many. The high-end all-Hawaiian-made models started at $1500 and were really not what I needed. But a few companies carefully outsource part of the construction, finishing the ukes in Hawaii. I played on ukes from several of these companies, and they were all good quality. But my experience at Mele Ukulele, just a few minutes from Kahului Airport in Maui, was superb. The shop had the best feel, the kindest folks, the least pressure, and in the end, the best value for what I wanted. Cheryl Rock, who owns the company with her husband, was on hand to help out in addition to Jonathan, the salesperson who guided me to the uke I wanted. No pressure of any kind. Two different professional musicians happened to be in the shop, and we had an impromptu concert! I ended up with a beautifully crafted tenor uke of solid mahogany, made half-and-half in Maui and the Philippines. I played numerous all-Hawaii-made ukes during my ukulele pilgrimage in Hawaii, and I have to say, this one compares favorably with all those I played. The tone is rich and full. In appearance, the uke is one of the most distinctive I have seen. I had them put EQ in and ship it to my home. I got it today, right on time. Now I need to work hard to live up to this fine uke! The shop had plenty of ukeleles at many levels, but it you are looking for something above entry or mid-level ukes, something for serious playing, I don't think you can find anything as exciting for the price.

    by htooley, 8/12/13

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