Black Bear, Hudson, Ukulele Photos

A question to anyone who has ever played a harp ukulele, does that extra bit make any difference to the sound? I suspect the sound is rather besides the point since they look so great. Black Bear have come up with a great looking Concert Harp ukulele.

Another question: Does anyone know anything about Hudson ukuleles? They’ve been all over eBay UK. All being sold by the same seller (whose website you can visit here). They remind me of Kala ukuleles. Compare the Hudson HUK-SMC to the Kala KA-SC.

The Ukuleliana section of Buy a Ukulele has to be my favourite. There’s always some strange and wonderful junk in their (between the hula dolls and Lilo & Stitch stuff). Some of the photos are just great: chimp with uke, Oliver Hardy with uke, women with ukes, sailors with ukes. My favourite of them all, despite it being mislabeled ‘ukulele’, is this one. I’d love to know why the dapper gent on the left has a yo-yo.

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12 Comments

  1. Cardboardfrog June 20th, 2008 7:07 pm

    hudson make bowl back acoustics of a very good quality for a fair price,
    I have a hudson acoustic bass and i have to say for the price i paid it was a steal.
    this is definately worth investigating.

  2. pam June 20th, 2008 9:59 pm

    Those sailors are oddly menacing, save the smiley guy on the left.

    One of my favorite things is a vintage pic of a little girl in a gypsy scarf holding a uke. It was a housewarming gift from a friend, I just LOVE it.

  3. Jason June 21st, 2008 6:11 am

    For some reason harp ukuleles conjure up visions of conjoined twins, a bit too disturbing…

  4. Luapelele June 21st, 2008 7:56 am

    Large retail outlets often have their own chosen name branded on generic factory items. Hudson seem to be sold exclusively by one shop, so I guess that’s the case here. I brought my daughter a lovely little lilac coloured uke for her birthday and it arrived well packaged, in-tune and playable straight from the box. I imagine this is done before dispatch from them, as I now run a music shop and spent a large amount of my days tuning Mahalo, Lanikai and Kala ukes.

  5. Woodshed June 21st, 2008 11:28 am

    CBF: Thanks for the info.

    Pam: Definitely. I wouldn’t want to mess with those guys. I’m going to start wearing my hat at the same angle as the guy with a cigarette.

    Jason: I really love the look of them (harp-ukes and conjoined twins).

    Luapelele: Thanks, good to know.

  6. Liam June 21st, 2008 12:21 pm

    Interesting, I was under the impression that harp instruments (harp guitars, etc) had to have extra strings strung from that arm, that being the whole point of it. Without that, it’s just a funny shape, I doubt the sound would be affected at all.

    Dyer Harp Guitar

  7. Woodshed June 21st, 2008 3:28 pm

    They do have extra strings sometimes, but they don’t have to. Smaller harp instruments often don’t. There’s a variety of harp mandolins and ukuleles here. I got an email from a guy who’s friends with John Doan and according to Doan, “yes, even though there are no additional strings inside or out, the extra volume of the body will make a noticeable difference in the sound it produces.” Which is good enough for me.

  8. MoUke June 21st, 2008 7:24 pm

    Harp uke sound sample at http://www.wailua-instruments.com/harpukulele.mp3 . Image of instrument at

  9. ritchie June 23rd, 2008 1:09 pm

    “A beautiful Hudson Guitar Company concert ukulele.Model number TU-4523. Made from highly polished curly koa wood from Hawaii. It has koa wood top, back and sides with a mahogany neck (which is nice and straight),guitar-type machine heads and quality GHS strings. It sounds fantastic when played and will only improve with age because of the high quality of wood used.I paid £120 ten months ago because I thought an expensive uke would make me a better player. Turns out the bum notes do actually sound better on this one but i’m no George Formby. Condition is as new (just because i’m not very good doesnt mean I don’t appreciate just how nice this little uke is ! ).No scratches or scruffs adorn this little work of art.” … even though I had said I would never buy another uke without seeing or hearing it, I went back on my word and bought the one adverised above on ebay. I could find very little info about it other than it was made by the Hudson guitar company … but it is very nice indeed and keeps in tune remarkably well. The sticker inside the uke is the only thing that lets it down as it’s plastic rather than paper …but that means of course I can change it easily….. as the seller pointed out to me… ” You’ve got the bargain of the year” and I think he was right.

  10. Woodshed June 24th, 2008 9:46 pm

    MoUke: Thanks for that.

    Ritchie: Thanks for the info. Glad to hear it’s a good uke.

  11. Patrick February 23rd, 2010 11:11 pm

    I had a Hudson solid top concert uke bought for me before Christmas, it cost £79. I must say I am impressed with it. It is quite loud and now I have fitted Worth brown strings it is an improvement on the GHS strings supplied. This instrument has lovely tones. I tried it with Aquilla strings but I think they were a bit too strident. It is nearly three months old now and after quite a bit of playing it is opening up nicely. It is very neatly finished and the factory setup is spot on, It also came with a gig bag and spare strings, good value. Although it is described as having a solid top and laminated body, it looks and sounds very much that the back is also solid, perhaps that is why it sounds so good, It is very light and pleasant to play – I like it!

  12. Woodshed February 25th, 2010 6:53 pm

    Patrick: Thanks very much for the info. Good to hear some info about Hudson.

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