Honu Ukulele

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Honu means turtle in Hawaiian. A fact that won’t be lost on you once you’ve seen their ukuleles. Their turtle motif can crop up on the headstock, the body, the fret-markers and even the bridge. The instruments are made by the Big Island Ukulele Company and are distributed by Kala. They used to be made in Hawaii as well, but they are now made in Vietnam with Hawaiian wood. This puts them at the higher end of the mid-range price ukuleles with their cheapest ukulele (the soprano SP-KRGT) at $400 and their most expensive (the Deluxe XXX tenor ukulele) at just over $1,000.

Hawaiian turtles seem to be quite a match for ukuleles so there are ukuleles around that go by the name ‘Honu’ but aren’t Honu ukuleles – for example Luna have a Honu ukulele. So be careful to check you’re getting what you think you’re getting.

On Video

GX9901XX covers Jake Shimabukuro’s Crosscurrent on his Honu Super-Deluxe concert ukulele.

On eBay


  1. Dustin March 20th, 2011 8:33 am

    I bought a Honu Concert at a nearby music shop, and it’s simply amazing. There isn’t a single flaw I can think of. The wood is gorgeous, the sound is outstanding, it holds a perfect tune for weeks at a time. The only times I’ve had to retune it are when I’ve taken it places and left it in my car on cold nights. For $375 (which is cheaper than you’re likely to find) it was well worth the money.

  2. Damon May 19th, 2011 11:19 am

    When I saw one of these pop up at my local music store I knew I had to have it, it was priced at $299 and after a little wheeling and dealing got it for $269, it was “used” but its literally in flawless condition. Showed it to a friend who is more versed in ukuleles than I and he was amazed by the quality and especially the price. Tried out a great many ukes with friends and this sounds the best, even better than ones that cost much more. Even came with a very nice case. If you can find one (I have never seen one in Southern California) I wouldn’t think twice about buying it.

  3. Damon May 19th, 2011 11:22 am

    Sorry, forgot to add the model was a CT-KRGT.

  4. Rich June 6th, 2011 1:48 pm

    Got a Deluxe Soprano. Clearly the best ukulele I got. Easy and pleasant to play, sweet sounding and beautiful. I’m considering to get a Deluxe Concert as well.

  5. steve bowers August 9th, 2011 7:54 pm

    I bought the tenor Honu about 2 years ago and I absolutely could not be more pleased. I have the low g and it sounds very rich, mellow and clear. It is my very favorite ukulele. Workmanship is perfect and not a single flaw.

  6. jay May 1st, 2014 12:59 am

    I have the discontinued Kayha Mahogany Tenor A/E in satin. Very traditional looks and a very beautifully made instrument.

    Mine is now around 5 yrs. old and the satin has worn smooth and glossy in the forearm area and in the cut away, but it is beautiful and people know it’s been played.

    After all this time, I’ve dinged it and it’s fallen at least once on the floor from the stand while I was carrying too much and it never did a thing to it.

    It’s clear, chimey, and loud, what more can you ask for? I did however change from Aquila strings to GHS standard Hawaiian tenor strings with the wound aluminum third and the tone got deeper and louder, even if it is a tiny bit stiffer. I love this instrument.

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