North American 21st c. small importers/distributors click for more
There are a number of North American importers and retailers who have a range of Ukuleles they import, usually from China, and then brand with their own name. They are usually better than the budget end, (though may include a budget end model), and some can be quite good quality.
Starting in 1924 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Davitt & Hanser Distributing began as a family-run distribution business serving the retail music stores in the local area. In the intervening years they have become a worldwide distributor and also own a number of fairly famous brand names, including BC Rich Guitars and Premier Drums. Though I have seen a few custom made electric Ukuleles paying homage to the BC Rich designed Guitars, BC Rich themselves don't make Ukuleles; (though they do have a custom shop so If I won the lottery I would be inclined to ask?), but another brand that Hanser own, Michael Kelly Guitars, (apparently founded in 1999 to make Mandolins and Acoustic basses), do. Soprano, Concert and Tenor Ukuleles entered the Kelly catalogue in 2013 in laminate mahogany or spalt maple with a headstock logo that says MK. I have not seen Ukuleles in any of the other Hanser brands though
Jay Buckley is a musician from Ohio in the USA, in 2010 he moved to Lviv in the Ukraine and with some local help built a Harp Guitar. He liked it so much that he founded the Harp Guitar Co. and got the Trembita Musical Instrument Factory to build them for him. He has added Harp Ukuleles to the range, a Tenor scale Ukulele with 6 extra sub bass strings, and is going to add a Harp Mandolin to the catalogue too. Though they are made in Europe they are only really marketed in the US
Founded in 2012 and based in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, this firm specialises in Weissenborn style acoustic lap slide guitars, but in 2013 they introduced a small range of Ukuleles too. The website goes on about how they are hand crafted and without directly saying it sets the impression they are made locally however from the pricing both the Guitars and the Ukuleles are probably imported from China. The Ukuleles come as a zebrawood Soprano or Concert they call Bailer, and a koa Tenor they call Banyan
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