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Snail Ebony Concert Ukulele Corner
My Snail Ebony Concert
There are a lot of Ukulele factories in China, usually in Guangzhou, and whilst some of them make the famous brands that are distributed internationally, (and some don't respect copyright), they also produce other less famous brands that only get very limited distribution. These may be the factory "house" brands or may be a limited trial run and they never really went into production, (but then a trial run of 500 is more than some luthiers will ever make)? I haven't found the information to be more specific, but some of these brands are as good as the famous ones made along side them so deserve some recognition.
Some of the factories will have used more than one of the brand names on otherwise identical models of Ukulele and I am finding the more I look into it that some of these "manufacturers" are really only Ukulele distributors and by this I mean that a company that specialises in making say Guitars or Violins is asked by a customer to supply Ukuleles as well. Instead of making the Ukuleles themselves, although they probably could, they buy them from one of the other factories and sell them on as their own; making it hard to work out who exactly makes them? Anyway here is what I have found.

Supreme Musical Manufacture Co.

They were founded in 2010 in Huizhou, Guangdong and they started out making acoustic Guitars. In 2011 they started making OEM Ukuleles and in 2012 they decided to launch their own the Snail range of Ukuleles which they say are designed in their Hawaii office and made in their Huizhou factory, along with the OEM Ukuleles. I have not seen Snail Ukuleles specifically in other Chinese manufacturer catalogues so it is possible they actually do make them themselves(?), but then again the Snail catalogue does include some Ukuleles that look quite similar to ones I have seen in other Chinese manufacturers catalogues? Back to the range in the catalogue and it is made up of Soprano, Concert and Tenor Scales only with a greater than usual emphasis on Concerts They use a variety of woods and whilst it doesn't specify in the catalogue I know some of them are laminate, but certainly some of the Acacia and Spruce top models are solid wood. The have told me they will set up a website but this has not yet happened so all I have is an Email Address

QTE Musical Instrument Factory

Some conflicting information with this, it may be called the Weimei Musical Instrument Factory or the Artiny Guitar Factory, I've seen both names used as well. I have also seen a foundation date of 2005, 2007 and 2011, but the head office address is Huashan Town, Huadu Dist., Guangzhou whatever the name and foundation date you choose, (though they do claim to have 2 factories so it may be that Artiny founded 2005 and Weimei founded 2007 got together in 2011 to found QTE?). I believe one factory produces the lower end instruments and the other produced some high end stuff. The house brands are Artiny and Chard but from the diamond emblem that appears on the more quality Chard Ukuleles I think they make Better, Boyale, Dadar Wood, Hawaiian Heartstrings and Yinon (Arts?) plus some if not all of the Freeman (this is an often occurring name, I have seen it with the diamond emblem, on some very budget ukuleles and on a number of Luthiers made guitars that clearly have nothing to do with QTE), brands as well. In addition to producing their own brands they do OEM work and though it doesn't say it directly I am fairly sure they are OEM for Ohana and Bill Tapia, (I think this is the firm that made my Doraemon too). Like a lot of these firms, they do wholesale distribution as well as manufacture so it is likely they did not make all of the instruments that are shown in the various catalogues, some they are just reselling.
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