Review Details

Islander - Tenor Mahogany - MT-4

Product Review (submitted on December 24, 2012):
I have a Ko'olau tenor that I absolutely love, but I wanted a uke that I could keep in the office. I heard so many good early reports on the Islander that I decided to pick on up from HMS.

It is an incredible uke for the price. Obviously, this laminate is not going to be as resonant or alive sounding as the solid Koa uke, but I am pretty happy with the consistency of the tone throughout its range. The intonation is accurate and tuning is smooth and stable although lacking the precision feel of the high-end K-brand ukes.

The HMS setup was good, although the fret ends are pretty rough. I have a very early (2011) model, so I do not know if this is just an issue with mine or if it's prevalent in other models. I note that laminate Kala ukes, which are roughly in this price range, do not have this issue. I would have given quality 4 stars if it were not for the rough fret ends and I debated whether I should have knocked off yet another star, but ultimately felt that would have been too strong a knock on an otherwise impressive entry level model.