Small Manufacturers from North America click for more
Throughout the world there are small manufacturing firms, maybe a luthier who has expanded the operation and taken on some staff, maybe a number of craftsmen who have got together in some form of co-operative. However it started these manufacturers usually make very high quality instruments even if the Ukulele is not the firms main output
Luthier Augustino LoPrinzi started building Guitars in 1969 and his daughter Donna joined him as an apprentice in the early 1990's. They now work out of Florida USA and build Guitars and Ukuleles. They offer well over a dozen models of Ukulele and most come in Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone sizes, on top of the there is a Herb Ohta endorsed Concert model. They have also done some Sopraninos they call Bambinos as well. The output seems so great now that I don't think it can just be the two of them but I have no evidence there are more and all of the publicity says it's just them?
He started out with a musical instrument shop in 1963 where he also did repairs. He still has a shop in Berkeley California USA, but in 1992 he started producing instruments in conjunction with some Mexican luthiers and 1998 the output became Marc Silber Guitars. His catalogue now includes a mandolin shaped Concert Ukulele, (though he insists on his website its a big Soprano?) and he calls this particular model the 'Frisco. - He is also a member of the Guild of American Luthiers so maybe he does some manufacture himself?
This is a high quality Guitar maker founded in 1976 by Richard Hoover. It is based in Santa Cruz, (hence the name), California and still predominantly makes Guitars - around 700 a year - but these days it also makes Mandocellos and Concert Ukuleles (though as of 2013 they are out of production with the official line that production will start again some time in the future). The Ukuleles also have a reputation for high quality, though they don't appear on the website. When identifying them, sometimes they say Santa Cruz on the headstock and sometimes they use a stylised scgc
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