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Koa Ukuleles (traditional style)...

Koa Ukuleles (traditional style)

Mele Ukulele koa ukes are justifiably famous, both throughout Hawaii and worldwide. They are still the best value to be found in an entirely handmade ukulele of solid genuine Hawaiian koa wood. That's why, all over Maui and throughout the Hawaiian Islands (and now worldwide) you'll see the pros playing Mele. 

Mahogany Ukuleles (traditional style)

Mahogany Ukuleles (traditional style)

Mele Ukulele's handmade solid-mahogany ukes are actually slightly more popular in Hawaii than our koa models! One reason is the lower prices, and the other is the same reason that Martin, Gibson, Harmony, Gretsch and other great uke builders of yesteryear primarily used mahogany wood for building their ukuleles. Awesome tone, great value and high reliability are inherent in a Mele handmade mahogany ukulele.

Koa Double-Hole Ukuleles

Koa Double-Hole Ukuleles

Mele Ukulele was the first manufacturer to produce ukes with the double-soundhole design, also known as "epaulet" soundholes. These models tend to be slightly louder than the single-hole models, due to the slightly greater vibrating area of the soundboard. Other than that, the only major difference is the distinctive appearance of the double-hole design. 

Mahogany Double-Hole Ukuleles

Mahogany Double-Hole Ukuleles

Mele Ukulele was the first manufacturer to produce ukes with the double-soundhole design, also known as "epaulet" soundholes. These models tend to be slightly louder than the single-hole models, due to the slightly greater vibrating area of the soundboard. Other than that, the only major difference is the distinctive appearance of the double-hole design.

Koa Pineapple Ukuleles

Koa Pineapple Ukuleles

The first "pineapple"-shaped ukuleles were built by Sam Kamaka in the 1920s as a souvenir item for the tourist trade. They were painted in bright colors to look like a pineapple. They sounded so good that the locals began requesting that he make them without the paint job.

The pineapple shape results in a larger soundboard and a larger resonator volume than the traditional "little guitar" shape, so that a pineapple soprano sounds almost like a concert and a pineapple concert sounds almost like a tenor.

Mahogany Pineapple Ukuleles

Mahogany Pineapple Ukuleles

The first "pineapple"-shaped ukuleles were built by Sam Kamaka in the 1920s as a souvenir item for the tourist trade. They were painted in bright colors to look like a pineapple. They sounded so good that the locals began requesting that he make them without the paint job.

The pineapple shape results in a larger soundboard and a larger resonating volume than the traditional "little guitar" shape, so that a pineapple soprano sounds almost like a concert and a pineapple concert sounds almost like a tenor.

Cedar & Redwood-top ukuleles

Cedar & Redwood-top ukuleles

Many of the world's finest classical guitars have cedar or redwood tops. Cedar and redwood impart a very rich, warm, resonant tone to the sound of an instrument and are used by some of the world's foremost luthiers. Mele Ukulele offers a growing selection of fine handmade solid cedar and redwood-topped ukes to complement our wide variety of mahogany and koa ukes.

Spruce-top ukuleles

Spruce-top ukuleles

Many of the world's finest steel-string guitars have spruce tops. Acoustic guitarists love spruce for its brilliant, punchy tone and good looks, as do many well-known professional ukulele players. For this reason. Mele offers a selection of fine handmade solid spruce-topped ukes to complement our wide variety of mahogany and koa models.  

Vintage Rope Inlay Ukuleles

Vintage Rope Inlay Ukuleles

To celebrate our retail store's tenth anniversary, in 2007,  we came up with our "rope inlay" models. They serve as a tribute to some of the first Hawaiian ukulele makers, who came to Hawaii from the Portuguese island of Madera in 1879 aboard an English sailing ship called the HMS Ravenscrag. Nunes, Santo and Dias built the first Hawaiian ukuleles with intricate, luxurious inlay work on the tops and sides, much as Portuguese stringed instruments had traditionally been made for centuries.
 Hawaiian and Mainland ukulele builders have used less and less ornamentation and detail work as the years have gone by, making ornately inlaid models relatively rarer and more valuable.
The Mele ukulele models featuring this traditional-style inlay work have sold steadily, and our stock is down to only a few remaining units in several  of the sizes and models we produced. This year may very well be your last opportunity to  own a deluxe Mele model featuring the "rope" inlays until and unless we re-introduce these models.

Cut-Away Ukuleles

Cut-Away Ukuleles

In the ukulele world, just as with guitars and other stringed instruments, repertoire and playing styles tend to become more sophisticated as the years go by. As a result, the "cutaway" body style is rapidly gaining popularity. 
At Mele Ukulele, some of our earliest models featured this body style. Today, we offer cutaway versions of many  of our models. They sound great, have great looks and style, and make virtuoso high-note playing a breeze!  The cutaway affords easier access to the highest frets and imparts a professional look and feel to the instrument which appeals to players of every style and skill level.
To perform your music on a Mele Cutaway Ukulele is to show it to its best advantage. 
  


Mele Slimline Travel ukuleles

Mele Slimline Travel ukuleles

A uke that one can travel with is a great thing to have! Until recently, "travel ukes" were only sopranos, and sounded pretty small and thin. A few makers started offering "thinline" ukuleles, which are larger and sound better than a typical "travel uke".
Here at Mele Ukulele, we decided to offer a half-thickness version of our world-acclaimed handmade solid wood tenor ukulele incorporating all of the great features and innovations of our full-sized models. The result was the Mele "Slimline", the best-sounding and best-playing travel uke we've ever encountered. You must try one to believe the rich, full tone and its great playability and intonation. Some customers are already selecting one of these as their main instrument!

Jumbo Tenor Ukuleles

Jumbo Tenor Ukuleles

A number of Hawaii's foremost professional ukulele players play special custom-made oversized "jumbo" tenor ukuleles (midway between a tenor and a baritone in size, and able to be tuned either way depending on the strings used).
These custom-made jumbos go for anywhere from $2000 to $10,000. Not every pro musician can afford to spend that much. We decided, with the pro in mind who is not independently wealthy, to come out with a Mele handmade pro-quality "jumbo" tenor that wouldn't break the bank. We make them out of mahogany, koa and other fine tonewoods, with single or double holes, in cutaway and non-cutaway models, and we can install any of several world-class pickup systems in any of them.
We don't always have every model in stock, but we always have a pretty good selection. Professional uke players, meet your next ukulele!

Mele Ukulele - online shopping for ukuleles
1750 Kaahumanu Avenue
Wailuku, Hawaii 96793
(808)244-3938
Info@MeleUkulele.com

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