The decision to buy a new ukulele isn’t an easy one, so to help you out, we’ve decided to review some of the best tenor ukuleles in 2022.
It’s important to do research prior to buying a new instrument. An informed decision is a hundred times much better than an uninformed decision, the latter, usually loses you precious time and money. So, without further ado. Let’s look at some of the best tenor ukuleles that you can buy in 2022.
Best Tenor Ukuleles For Starters
The Kala Ka-T Tenor Ukulele is a wonderful instrument, part of Kala’s Satin Mahogany line. Its body is made of satin-finished laminate mahogany, its neck is also made from the same satin-finished mahogany. This design gives the Kala KA-T an exquisite traditional look that we usually associate with ukuleles. Simple, yet elegant.
The look isn’t the only benefit that this ukulele gets from its building material. Thanks to the laminated mahogany, it’s able to endure changes in temperature and humidity much better. Which in turn helps it stay in tune longer, and reduces the wear and tear caused by the passage of time. This finish does by no means strip the ukulele of the richness of tone. It still has that rich tenor sound that we want.
The 18-fret fretboard is made out of walnut, which has a slightly lighter tone than the rest of the body. Giving it a nice flavor by doing so. It also includes a GraphTech NuBone nut and saddle, as well as Aquila Super Nylgut strings in its stock form.
- Great cost for the performance it offers
- Beautiful, traditional look
- Quality materials and construction
- The aesthetic might be too “simple” for some
- Not made of solid wood
- No strap buttons, which might limit you
Another entry from Kala. This one offers the same high-quality design that we’ve come to cherish. It comes with a solid-wood construct that is made entirely out of satin mahogany, as well as a walnut neck. Giving that deep wooden tone that resonates beautifully throughout the body. The strings are made out of nylon, which gives it a lighter sound, yet is further benefited by the fact that they stay in tune for longer once settled.
Its finish is inspired by Swiss folk art from the 1800s, giving it that distinct look that is so pleasing to the eyes. As in the previous entry, the walnut in the neck is of a slightly higher hue, which adds a nice contrast to the whole thing.
Its price tag is also quite attractive, as I’m sure both beginners and professionals will agree. Offering excellent performance for the price.
- Great solid-wood design
- Breathtaking finish
- The kit comes with extra accessories like a padded carry case, a tuner, a Quick Start Guide, and online lessons for those who need it
- Some features were designed to be beginner-friendly. Professional players might find them to be a nuisance
- The paint on the finish fades rather quickly
The Cordoba 20TM is a product of decades of refined craftsmanship that produces only the highest-quality designs. The Cordoba 20TM is made out of solid mahogany on the top and laminated mahogany back and sides. It is all finished with a natural satin polyurethane finish. Giving the Cordoba 20TM that deep wooden tone, with excellent resonance. Perfect for striking all those deep and punchy tones.
Its fretboard is made out of rosewood with pearloid dot inlays. The bridge is also made out of rosewood, and it includes a rosette with dual herringbone patterns. Included in its design are also Aquila Nylgut Tenor strings and Cordoba nickel tuning machines with pearl buttons. All of this brought together gives it that elegant traditional look.
- Beautiful traditional design
- Solid wood top
- Excellent sound and performance
- No strap buttons
- Tuning machines can feel loose
- Doesn’t come with a carry case
The Gretsch G9120-SK Tenor Ukulele is simply one of the best tenor ukuleles that you can buy on the market right now. It’s a design fine-tuned to near perfection.
It’s entirely made out of mahogany, with a laminated body. This gives it a warmer sound compared to other ukuleles. Its aesthetic is adorned with a deep wooden hue, thanks to its vintage mahogany stain with an open pore semi-glossed finish. With the body cut out in such a way that it’s comfortable to hold and play.
The G9120-SK comes with a 19-fret ovangkol fingerboard and bridge, Grover 9NB Sta-Tite geared tuners, bone nut and saddle, and Aquila Nylgut strings. And last but not least, it also comes with a carry bag.
- Excellent materials
- Carry bag included
- Stays in tune longer and produces a warmer sound
- Fret ends can feel shart to some people
- Not exactly cheap
#5: Donner DUT-1
The Donner DUT-1 is notable because of its affordability and utility. Offering a decent quality sound for the price it sits at.
Its body is made out of mahogany sporting a polished finish, while the neck is made out of rosewood. It also includes certain design choices like elevated Aquila strings, which let it resonate better by not touching the mahogany neck as much. Its nut and bridge are made out of cattle bone. Its back is also curved, offering it a boosted sound, but making it heavier in the process. Because its materials aren’t of the highest quality, it’s not uncommon for it to get out of tune more easily.
But the real beauty of this whole package is the utility that it comes with. The Donner DUT-1 comes with its very own carry case, extra picks, a tuner, a strap, a cloth, and video lessons for beginners. Truly the best worth for your hard-earned cash.
- Very affordable
- Great utility
- The curved back enhances the sound
- Not made out of solid wood
- Has issues with staying in tune
- Probably isn’t for professionals
The Martin T-1K ukulele is probably one of the highest quality ukuleles that can be bought on the market right now.
Its body is made out of Hawaiian koa wood, this gives it that exotic tone that can only be achieved with such an exotic wood. Boasting rich tones and unmatched resonance. While the neck of the T-1K is made out of select hardwood, with a 20-fret morado fingerboard giving it that smooth feeling while you play it. The bridge is also made out of morado wood paired with a white Tusq saddle. Its other components include open-geared nickel tuners with white buttons. While the body is graced by a high-quality hand-rubbed satin lacquer finish. To round it all off, it comes with its very own Martin carry bag.
The aesthetic of the T-1K is a traditional Hawaiian look, that is bound to make you wish that you were sitting at a nice beach, chilling under a shade while playing your ukulele.
- High-quality materials and components
- Padded gear bag included
- Pristine craftsmanship
- Doesn’t have strap buttons
- Quite expensive
The Enya EUT-M6 is probably the most alien-looking design on this list. But don’t be fooled by its peculiar design, this was implemented purposefully so as to allow you easier access to the higher frets.
Its body and neck are made out of mahogany. Speaking about the neck. Even though it’s made out of Richlite, a cheaper alternative to rosewood. It has a beautiful abalone inlay finish that goes along the whole neck. The bridge is also made out of the aforementioned Richilite. And although the fretboard and bridge aren’t made out of real wood, they still offer a surprising amount of tone that can match even a higher quality ukulele.
The Enya EUT-M6 comes with three gloss finishes to choose from: black, blue, and natural. It also comes with its very own padded carry bag.
- Unique design
- Affordable price
- Produces a surprisingly good sound
- The materials aren’t of the highest quality
- The fretboard and bridge aren’t made out of real tonewood
What To Look For When Buying a New Tenor Ukulele
Welp, we rounded up a select few ukuleles, and we looked at both their pros and cons. Yet there are some things that are universal to all instruments, so let’s outline those things as focus points that you should always consider when buying a new ukulele.
As with all instruments, you have to do your research into which kinds of woods produce which kinds of tones. Some woods give a lighter, while other woods give a darker tone.
Electric or Acoustic
This all comes down to what you want to achieve with your ukulele. Do you want to just practice with it? Or are you planning on recording something? Then getting an electric ukulele will offer you more versatility than an acoustic one.
This is very important. It represents how similar the same note sounds in different octaves. A note played on the 10th fret should sound as close to a note played on an open string. This discrepancy is most noticeable in cheaper ukuleles.
Size & Weight
Different ukuleles have different sizes and weights to them. Find one that perfectly fits you.
As with all instruments, even ukuleles come in price ranges. Find the ukulele that is perfect for you, the one that offers you the best performance for the price tag it comes with.
Different ukuleles come with different finishes. Some are more simple – while others are more artistic. The aesthetical aspect aside, finishes help protect and extend the longevity of your instrument. Carefully consider which one you’d like to have.