Mahalo Ukulele

3.92/5 (109)

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Mahalo are a very cheap ukulele made originally in China and now in Indonesia. They’re most popular in the UK.

Their bright colours and low price tag mean that they are very popular with schools and ukulele groups. They’re not the world’s greatest uke by any means but, considering the price, it’s a decent ukulele. The Mahalo is often the choice for new ukers just getting started with the ukulele.

There are rumours that one Mahalo in five sounds absolutely great. I’m not sure about that, but if you get to try a bunch of them out and pick one, that’s a good way to go.

Mahalo’s two most popular ukuleles are their pink ukuleles (insanely popular with girls) and the Flying V ukulele (which I would strongly warn you against buying – it’s the worst ukulele I’ve ever played).

On Video

David Beckingham plays Baby Elephant Walk on his Mahalo tenor.

On Amazon UK

On eBay US

Mahalo U320C Ukulele Review

This is my ukulele. He’s a 4 year old Mahalo U320C made, as far as I can tell from solid mahogany.

He was the 4th or 5th ukulele that I bought, is now part of a good medium sized collection, is one of hundreds of ukuleles I have played, but he still remains my favourite. Every favourite instrument should have a name and this one is known as “Escape Plan B”*.

Mahalo ukulele review

Us two have been all over together and are pretty much inseparable. We crossed the Atlantic to play in New York, flew to Sweden to play at pop festivals and have played at least 300 gigs up and down the UK. We’ve played live on the BBC, Xfm and 6music, recorded in Maida Vale, took the stage at Bestival & Lattitude festivals, gigged on boats and steam trains and never once let each other down.

He’s even had his photo in The NME! He’s not a shy uke, and I’m not a jealous guy…he has been played live by Robert Newman (of Newman & Baddiel fame!), Jens Lekman and Erlend Øye (from Kings Of Convenience).

He wasn’t an expensive uke, cost me under 60 quid (complete with what is now a well worn, battered and bruised hard case) but with just a little tweaking he has proven to be invaluable. Firstly I had the saddle filed down under the “A” string to sort out an intonation problem (that only the luthier who could hear!). Giving the screws on the tuning pegs a little quarter turn sorted out any tuning/slipping difficulties there may have been, (I have to do this once every few months) and a nice set of Aquila strings really brought him to life.

I chose a concert sized uke for that wee extra bit of volume when playing acoustically and also with my clumsy old fingers this has been a wise choice. Last year I had a SHADDOW pick up installed by a good friend, this cost more than the ukulele, but has been another good investment. I usually plug straight from the uke into a D.I. box, to the mixing desk, or if I am being over anxious about my sound I will go through my wee DanElectro “Fish & Chips”EQ pedal, knocking off the bassier frequencies and being careful with the top end, though I usually find that if I let the sound engineer know what my ukulele sounds like acoustically then we get along fine! I’m no technical expert or sound master (as I am all too often reminded by my double bass player, who is!) but I have a whole wealth of empirical evidence that lets me know that this little Mahalo** ukulele is all any ukulele player could need (And the “Solid Mahogany” bit impresses my dad!)

Review by Jimmy McGee

*His full name is “Ghetto Escape Plan B”, it was written on the side, but rubbed off due to over use…one day I will get it inlayed in Mother of pearl. Escape Plan A was University….that didn’t go “as planned” so, Escape Plan B is the ukulele.

** “Mahalo” means “Thank You” in Hawiian…so;
“Mahalo” Mahalo for my lovely little instrument and all the great times I’ve had playing with him!!

You can watch Ghetto Escape Plan B in The Bobby McGee’s A Dog At All Things.

Mahalo Ukulele Video Reviews

A decent sound from a cheap ukulele

Mahalo U30 review by Jack

Video review by JimmyUke

MY UKE IS FANTASTIC! I bought it a little over 4 months ago from a person on eBay. It cost me £20 and is an awful sounding, disgusting looking and very badly made Mahalo. The reason I bought a uke was that I had seen a busker in the street playing ‘trail of the lonesome pine’ and felt inspired to buy this beautiful sounding instrument, learn how to play it and take It around Europe with me for the three weeks I was going backpacking for. I decided to give it a shot. I went home, onto eBay looked for the next to cheapest one and bought it.

When the Ukulele arrived, I eagerly tore the bubble wrap off and opened the complimentary hard case (WHAT A BARGAIN). At first sight I was a little disappointed, the grained and aged wood in the tiny photo had now dissolved into balsa wood painted brown and the stylish logo on the head was just a sticker. But this still didn’t put me off I found a tuner online and tuned it. I then found a chord sheet and began playing a 12 bar blues I was immediately surprised at how hollow it sounded and flat. Nothing like the sweet, mischievous sounds the busker could tease out of his.

After 10 minutes of playing it was out of tune. After 3 more tunings and tightening the machine heads twice I lost patience and fit it snugly into its complimentary hard case and slid in under my bed- almost embarrassed of it.

The next time I saw it was about a month later when I was packing for Europe. I decided I might as well take it, as that was the reason I bought it- to lesson the boredom on the long train journeys and maybe even have a bit of a sing along. I printed off a chord sheet and some tabs from the net and strapped it to my back with a screwdriver and some tape (for the machine heads).

After a couple of hours on a train into Paris I pulled it out and began playing immensely enjoying making an extremely public fool out of myself.

This may not sound like a fantastic Uke ‘looks bad’ sounds bad and is generally very unreliable but it had one tremendously redeeming quality, one that I did not expect at all. A social one.

I started to realise that whenever I carried it into a city people would always be friendly, always stop me to talk about anything, suddenly any language barrier separating me from the community is gone. I found that the ukulele seemed to stereotype me as a friendly individual, everywhere I went people were asking me to play things. It didn’t even matter it sounded bad and that I only knew a few famous songs (‘you got a friend in me’ and ‘sexual healing’). People just treated you like genuine guy- which can surprisingly uncommon as a backpacking student.

So to conclude this ukulele has been a great companion. Its been economical – you don’t need to worry about losing or breaking it and opened up many opportunities. It has been a good experience and although it still sounds bad I’m getting better on it and it has made me want to buy a better one from which I can really play properly.

Review by Edward.

I recently bought a ukulele as a spur of the moment thing I suppose, as I was inspired by Patrick Wolf. The chosen ukulele, a blue Mahalo, has served me very well for the first 3 weeks of playing it. The sound produced is of great quality for an immediate beginner, and for only $24.95 you can’t go wrong. The only problem is the fact that the strings go out of tune quite easily, but with a piano nearby it’s not hard to fix. The Mahalo is so compact and easy to play; it’s kept me entertained for hours, and made me very popular when I bring it to parties! I highly recommend to any beginner that they seek out this brand of ukulele for a very affordable price, and get strumming.

Review by Ben.

After playing guitar for several months, my girlfriend bought me a green soprano ukulele made by Mahalo for my 19th birthday. three years later, i still have my Mahalo and i would recommend them to absolutely everyone. firstly, there dirt cheap, mine cost £15 from ebay, this is the kinda price that makes students extremely happy and means that even those with little money can get a ukulele. secondly, my mahalo sounds beautiful. when i first got it i had to re-tune quite a few times but now it hardly ever goes out of tune and i have never needed to replace the strings. thirdly, its bright green! mahalo make ukuleles in variety of colours and even make flying V ukuleles! If your looking for a starter ukulele or just something to mess about with, buy Mahalo, their cheap, sound great, and look cool. so go buy one now dammit! make the uke be with you.

Review by Chris.

Mahalo U320C Review

Me and my Mahalo U320C Ukulele have been together since December 2007. Until then, I was a ukulele virgin. The upright piano – hitherto my lifetime companion – was pushed aside, just like that; and all for a cheap, lightweight, 4-stringed wooden box, with not much tonal quality, and hardly any volume. Was it really worth it? I think so.

Shortly after my first TV exposure to the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, I could no longer resist the stirrings which this had engendered. I went online, googled ‘ukulele’, and was hooked from that moment on. There was absolutely no doubt whatsoever: I just had to have One of Those.

At 9am the following day I was the first customer of the day at Portsmouth’s Courtney and Walker store. There were only two ukes in stock, both Mahalo. both cheap – either would suit a beginner. I quickly bonded with a concert Mahalo, described as “mahogany top, back and sides, rosewood fingerboard, white machine heads, nylon strings”. I’m ashamed to say I only chose it over the other one because it came with a hard case. This meant I could travel with it , unlike my trusty piano, which always stays at home when I go away.

It was love at first sight – but it could have been any uke that liked me really. When you’re as desperate as I was, anything will do. So I handed over my £46, and practically flew out of the door with happiness and anticipation. The outfit came with a book and CD, though I never used the CD. The chord chart in the book was useful enough for getting started with basic chord shapes. It was very exciting to learn new songs, and to try to adapt some of my piano music to the ukulele, an ongoing and never-ending journey. I have had to find the chords for myself for many of the songs I like to play.

Shortly after getting together, me and the uke took a plane to Lisbon, and from there, travelled to the rural area in Central Portugal where my young family live. It travelled well, flying as hand-luggage – the laptop had to go in the hold for the first time. (Get over it laptop, yes, I know you used to be number one on our travels…) And what a friends-and-family-friendly instrument my uke has turned out to be! Now everybody wants one of their own.

I expected to have to tune the uke every five minutes – having read as much on every ukulele site I visited online. So was pleasantly surprised to discover that it stays in tune reasonably well, and rarely requires a full-on tune-up – just the occasional tweak. And – oh yes, it sounds a bit tinny and raw, so it’s probably just as well that it ‘s also a bit quiet…… but me, I just love it to bits – at least for now. But though new to uking, I do know that in real life, my uke’s tone definitely leaves something to be desired! As you too can discover for yourself – check out my transparent and self-conscious, never-before-viewed, one-shot 90-second clip here.

Despite its shortcomings (and of course, my own!), I consider the concert Mahalo a worthwhile buy – in fact I think it among the best buys I ever made! It was cheap as chips and has given me (and others – fortunately of cheerful disposition) hours of good clean-ish fun-and-learning pleasure, from the moment I got it. It travels well in its purpose-built case, mostly stays in tune, though it’s a bit quiet, and a bit wanting in tonality. But would thoroughly recommend it as a starter to anyone thinking of giving the uke a try. It’s given me the opportunity to find out about some wonderful music that I’d never have heard before – not to mention introducing me to a new music community that I never knew existed. Upwards and onwards.

Exhibition Opening at Camara Municipal da Lousa, Portugal, March 2008.

Chad took this photo of me playing my Mahalo ukulele with Steve on his hand-made bass, Darren on drums, and Fran on tapshoes on her special wooden board (which is out of shot). The uke needed an extra mike for this one, but otherwise behaved itself nicely.

Review by Linda Wilson

Mahalo Review

I caught the ukulele itch when, in December of last year, I thought it would add an interesting twist to my job as a youth services librarian. I have since bought two other ukuleles and am aching for another. My enthusiasm has also inspired my mother to revisit her ukulele playing days but she’s in need of a little guidance and, of course, I’m willing to help her out.

Because I’m a beginner, I don’t know much about the instruments themselves. I’m convinced, though, that seeing the instrument, being able to pick it up, manipulate the tuning pegs, play it, this is how to best judge its quality. I want my mom to invest wisely and I have my own needs when it comes to ukuleles. So, I had been going on a quest for different brands at local music shops here in Anchorage to see what our options were. For me, I wanted to find something that I could strap on my back and take hiking and that would travel well with me on my upcoming trips to Michigan and to Nashville. For my mom, I wanted it to be at a mid-range price, and good quality.

I came across a soprano sized Mahalo for $29.95.

The sales guy said, “Hey, this thing could blow up in your face and you’d only be out thirty bucks!”


Why it’s not recommended:
–It doesn’t sound that great. I have to tune it more frequently than I should. I’ll have to invest in a pitch pipe (for some reason this low-tech option seems more fitting than my electronic one).
–There’s a slight buzzing that never seems to go away.
–It often times sounds as if it’s out of tune, even though it’s not.
–I had to file the corners of the bridge down. They were sharp and pointy and jabbing into my forearm.

Why I like it anyway:
–My storytime kids don’t tend to notice (or care about) the tone problems or the buzzing during “If You’re Happy and You Know It”.
–I’ve yet to encounter any dangerous wildlife but I’m interested in seeing if it will have the same affect on a bear that a young boy and his ukulele had on Abiyoyo.
–It’s small. While my tenor ukulele sounds much better but I often times have difficulty stretching my fingers to reach certain chords. This smaller size solves that problem.
–I can travel with it and not worry about it getting smashed in overhead bins on an airplane or having it break my fall should I take a spill off a mountain. I’d only be out thirty bucks!
–I can leave it at work overnight (or over the weekend) without fearing that it will get stolen. It’s like those people who have broken down cars, rusted farm equipment, and vinyl siding all over their yard. I bet no one steals from them. If anyone does then hey, they must be having some troubling times and deserving of a little slack.

Perhaps that’s not a glowing recommendation but it fits my needs perfectly. I’d only recommend it for my mother because it’s inexpensive and she’s thrity.

overall review: perfect for my needs but not good enough for my mom.

The Uke: Mahalo U-30RD

Afterthoughts: My first excursion into the Alaskan wilderness was a hike to Bird Creek and the incredibly beautiful super secret waterfall. There was a threat of bear but no sightings by us. The uke was out of tune almost immediately but I persevered. I probably wouldn’t buy another Mahalo for hiking but it’s still nice for storytime.

Review by Emily Reeve.

Mahalo U30 Review

It’s a couple of weeks before my eldest daughters 2nd birthday and I am wondering what to get her, she’s taken a keen interest in Grandpas guitars and his Banjo although I’m pretty sure Grandpa’s not so keen on little mits putting things into them, as I wander past the local music shop gaudily coloured tiny instruments catch my eye, they are; pink, yellow, blue, green, red, orange, white or black and they are only £13, they are Mahalo U30 ukuleles. A small price to pay for a birthday present which also doubles as a distraction from Grandpas more expensive instruments, perfectly sized for tiny hands and cheap enough that you need not worry too much about them. So one Pink U30 later and one little girl is delighted with her “ookoolaylay” and one grandpa breaths a sigh of relief as there is now a buffer between his instruments and a toddler. However this isn’t a review of a pink U30 it’s a review of a yellow one, that particular one arrived on xmas morning as a “fun” present from the girls and that is exactly what it is “FUN”.

The Mahalo U30 is so cheap as to be almost disposable, it’s made of plywood, has rather crude friction tuners which are a little trickier than would be expected to tune with but once in tune work fine, the strings stretch as soon as you strum them and the sound produced is rather muted and dull. It’s quite heavy for a uke and quite basic in it finish. Now this may sound like a whole host of negative comments about this little uke and they are however that’s pretty much where the negatives stop.

The techy stuff for this instrument; plywood body, pine neck, plywood fretboard, plastic nut and saddle (nubone?), friction tuners, a nylon gig bag and a choice of colourst. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive, but it all works.

The Mahalo U30 is robust, the two we have are subjected to more than there fair share of; bumps, bashes, scrapes and prangs and they still look as good as they did on the day they were bought, the paint is thick enough to put up with this and does not chip easily. Once the original strings were removed and replaced with some black ones which came with my Bugsgear Eleuke the difference was night and day. The black strings were far too brash sounding for the Eleuke and didn’t fret easily on the tenor scale however on the soprano scale of the Mahalo U30 they are much easier on the fingers and the sound from the uke is louder and the tone has improved, I reckon that the robust build and finish of the U30 softens and rounds the sound of the harsher strings, it’s still a quiet uke and doesn’t have the same punch and brightness as a mahogany uke like my StewMac kit uke but for £13 what are you expecting. The fretboard is plywood painted black and the position markers are black dots on the side of the neck, basic but effective. The intonation on this uke is fine, the scale works as well as any other uke I have, it frets easily enough although the frets are a little high which results in some pitch bending.

Overall they are great little ukes, whilst cheap as chips you can still play a tune on them, you don’t worry about leaving them anywhere and as a result they get picked up and played with. My daughter loves her pink ook and will sit and strum away with grandpa or myself, she’ll then get up and wander around the house dragging her uke with her.

Overall for £13 you can’t go wrong you can go very right though and have great fun with this brilliant beginners instrument.

Review by Martin Smith

The Mahalo U30 Painted Ukulele Review

The strings buzz, it’s hard to tune, doesn’t really sound all that great even when it is in tune, and is impossible to keep there, and yet…it might well represent the best $25 I’ve ever spent.

This uke is probably not for the guy who already plays something nicer, but then again, the guy who already plays something nicer probably already knows that. Nor, by the same token, would this uke be a good way to convince someone who plays another instrument of the ukulele’s many merits.

The proper niche for this ukulele, I believe, is the person who doesn’t play any instrument at all, yet. Twenty-five dollars is a tremendously low entry barrier. I bought my Mahalo on the spur of the moment, and was almost instantly rewarded with pure addiction. Sure, the sound wasn’t great, but it was good enough to keep me entertained and coming back for more. To be honest, I was actually going through a bit of an unhappy time when I bought it, and I distinctly remember the miraculous curative power a little strumming had on my mood.

The amount of happiness and good that has come into my life from playing music makes me quite thankful I ran into this little guy. Likely as not, I would have kept on telling myself that I’d really love to start playing music someday, you know, when I had a spare $100-200 laying around, and that someday would never have come.

If there’s anyone in your life who (perhaps unbeknownst to them) needs a uke in their life, this would make a wonderful birthday/christmas/hanukkah/whatever gift. That goes double for children, for whom the colorful paint job will likely outweigh the musical shortcomings, and any dings are just another excuse for a cool sticker.

mahalo ukulele review

Review by James Gray


  1. Rayne Blakeman June 21st, 2010 7:57 pm

    I recently got a Mahalo Uke for my birthday, and that was only a few days ago. I’m already addicted. I can’t seem to put my uke down, and I can tell it’s starting to annoy the rents. The tune doesn’t stay long, but I find that it’s okay, I just come back online and tune it again. I even play it when it’s not tuned. I became interested in getting a uke after reading Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, and after listening to countless hours of Ingrid Michaelson, Jack Johnson, and NeverShoutNever. This uke is great for beginners (like myself) and I highly suggest this uke for kids. I’m 13, and this instrument has become my new best friend. The sound is pretty good, I don’t hear any buzzing, like I’ve read from previous reviews, and I like the cute little case it comes in. My friends and family were easily amused by this little instrument. And it all came for the easy price of $30! (:

  2. boudewijn July 19th, 2010 1:33 am

    at first .. THANKS FOR MAKING THIS SITE. i was like… maaaaammmm can i have an ukulele.. she said .. you cant even play anything.. so now i think i know the basics :))

    i got an mahalo u320S. wich isnt mentioned so as far as i know but its awesome to begin with :))

  3. travis August 31st, 2010 7:05 pm

    i got a mahalo u30 painted soprano uke about 3 months ago… i really like how it sounds and how cute it looks:D after reading some of these reviews, i want to argue with some of these people.. my uku sounds great and i love it.. period:)

  4. adam wolters December 22nd, 2010 9:04 pm

    I have lots of Ukes, Some nicer concert ones, for the college where I work I got a £12 GBP mahalo U30 – sounds great, no buzz, intonation is fine. I put a cheap pickup in and it works well as an electric uke. I got my daughter one in pink, and it was AMAZING, no setup needed just great playing action and all of the above. I bought one for a friend and basically the same – again great playing – no intonation problems, the guys who blow one up in the video – what a nonsense. If you tune it once a day for a couple weeks it will keep its tune perfectly well with very little attention. They are no worse than some of my far more pricey ukes and bajoleles. And actually far more robust than a lot of my nicer concert ukes.

  5. brightnes January 16th, 2011 9:04 am

    I got mine of eBay for $35. I love it. It is annoying with the tuning, but it works and it was cheap. Why not get it? Honestly I dont know what model it is and what tune it is (concert, soprano, tenner). But I love it. Great for starters like myself. I recommend buying it as well. Even though I don’t know what model and kind it is, I know the brand is good on all of there ukes. BUY. Sorry if this doesn’t help you at all, I had the same problem choosing off of other peoples reviews to get a uke.

  6. Cláudia February 15th, 2011 1:53 am

    Hello! I’m Cláudia, and I’ve been playing piano for seven years, guitar and bass!
    And I have to say! Despite of my piano adiction, I’m now addicted to the ukulele to!
    I bought today a black mahalo U30G, and I’M VERY HAPPY!
    That’s not that bad, and it is a great value for it’s cost!
    My dream is to have a fender Pai’na ukulele, but until there I’m very satisfied with my mahalo!
    That’s not the best instrumento on the world, but it is a very friendable one!
    Rock on people!
    (I can play ACDC on there!)

  7. Rachel February 20th, 2011 7:21 am

    Im 13 and i got my first ukulele not long ago. Its a pink mahalo soprano and I find it quite decent for a begginer. I must warn people to be careful as some do make a buzzing sound when strummed. MAKE SURE TO TAKE IT OUT OF THE BOX AND TEST IT!!!! if you dont you could have one thats damaged. I do recommend it for newbies but approach with caution

  8. Nat April 1st, 2011 6:17 pm

    Hi there!
    I’ve had guitars for years and have a general love of plucked and strummed string instruments and only decided to buy a uke recently, after many years of being a Jake Shimabukuro fan. He changed my perception of the ukulele and what can be done with it.
    I decided to get a tenor as it was a comfortable size for someone used to guitars. I also like its less ‘plinky’ tone. As a uke beginner, I didn’t want to spend too much so bought a Mahalo UK320T which apparently has a solid mahogany top. It came with a good quality gig bag which was supposed to be worth about $40, but got the lot for $145 AUD.
    It kept going out of tune the first few weeks but finally settled after a few weeks of dedicated tuning and playing.
    Getting very addicted to it! It has a nice tone for the price.
    Happy to keep it and upgrade in a few years’ time once I confirm that it’s not just a passing phase.
    Will re-string with quality Aquila strings in a few months.

  9. CharlieSteven June 12th, 2011 5:35 am

    Hard to tune! Doesn’t sound the same the way i played Obladi Oblada.

  10. Nancy Bowker June 17th, 2011 1:26 pm

    I bought a tenor uke which I gave as a gift and it will not stay in tune. I took it to a local music store where they tried to help me tighten it and finally said it needed ‘geared tuning pegs’ or something like that. Anyway, that will cost more than the instrument is worth. What are my options? Can I trade ‘up’ or can you fix it more reasonably? It’s useless as it is. Thanks,
    Nancy Bowker, Lafayette In.

  11. Danyell August 11th, 2011 9:27 pm

    It sucks. The strings don’t stay in tune for more than two strums. The plastic-y rubbery strings have a poor quality sound. I was looking for something like a NeverShoutNever sound, but no luck there. It definatley wasn’t worth 35 dollars. Heck no. I wouldn’t reccomend it.

  12. Claire August 26th, 2011 5:13 am

    I recently bought a Mahalo uke (the sparkly kind, U2K). I bought it as a gift for a child, but I chose the ukelele because I know plenty of hitchhiking or trainhopping friends who love their Mahalos.

    I feel like there’s a general misunderstanding of nylon strings – they take forever to keep tune, even on classical guitars. They stretch, and need time to stretch. So, my advice would be to take a few weeks, play every day, and tune every time it goes out of tune until the strings are properly stretched out.

  13. Maddy September 24th, 2011 9:29 am

    My name is Maddy and on the twelfth of March 2011, I purchased my first ukulele, Luka.
    Despite being a ‘cheap soprano by Mahalo’ as he’s been described, there is not much difference in the playing and sound quality compared to more expensive ukes. I’ve spoken to ukulele masters and they’ve agreed with me.
    The fact is Mahalo is offering a good quality ukulele for an affordable price, and some more pricey companies are unset by this.
    The strings are brand new when you first buy them so of course they’ll take a while to stretch! I tweak my ukulele before gigs every Saturday, but every since July-ish, he’s never been out of tune.
    My model (i think it’s the U30) is made solely from Maple, which is one of the best wood’s for ukes, apart from traditional koa.
    Luka travels everywhere with me, and I’ve gotten quite attached to my little Purple uke. I learnt everything I know on him and wrote my best songs on him too. When his original strings break I plan to replace them with black nylon.
    Mahalos have made good ukes in my experience and I’d buy another. I reiterate, talk to a uke pro, they’ll probably tell you the same thing as me. I’ve got a musical ear and I can tell what is good and what is not.
    Don’t put down the little Mahalos guys, just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it sounds it.

  14. Eva Ruth December 1st, 2011 6:23 pm

    Mahalo U320C/G is my first ukulele and maybe my last. I love it and it works well. Even though the price is cheap, it is very affordable! It’s not like those fake cheapo brand. It has an affordable price and the sound is cool and awesome. I love it and will stay loyal with it. Mahalo <3

  15. Claire December 5th, 2011 8:28 pm

    Great for a beginner. You may want to buy new strings with your purchase though because the ones it comes with aren’t the best. It was the first ukulele I bought and great for just learning at a very affordable price (I bought the black soprano for only 20 dollars on Amazon). The soprano is a great size, I can even fit it in my backpack. However, they do go out of tune pretty quickly so I would advise buying a ukulele tuner on your iPod. 🙂

  16. Gage December 25th, 2011 12:24 am

    I recently came across a julia nunes song on youtube (weezer keep fishin) and after hearing her i was hooked. i have been playing harmonica and piano since i was young and have had trouble with guitars in the past but i figured i would take up the challenge anyway and have a go. I purchased the mahalo 320s for around $40 on amazon (originally $70) and i can’t believe how amazing it sounds!! it has geared tuners and a solid mahogany body, no buzzing, doesn’t need tuning..although i bought aquila strings for it i couldn’t be happier!

  17. Nicolás January 11th, 2012 5:22 pm

    Well, when i decided to start playing the ukulele, I decided to bought a cheap one, so I came to the store and buy a stagg ukulele, it sounds great and i stet enjoying it inmediatly, then someday I was passin in front os a music store and there it was, the mahalo u30rd witha very cheap price, so I decided to buy it, when i quit the box the first thing that i notced was that it wasn´t like my old ukulele, the sound wasn´t better and at firt time i have problems when I tune it… By the way,with the past of the time I fix the tune problem and Now I enjoy a lot playing my Mahalo red so I recomend it!!

  18. Stubottle January 29th, 2012 7:27 pm

    I got a nice soprano uke for christmas. Mahogany and Aquila strings, in a hard flight case. Then I thought, I’ll get a cheapo to carry on the motorbike when I go camping, so I don’t spoil it. The black Mahalo fitted the bill, as I was working on “Bat out of Hell”, and I could customize it with a few stickers. Problem now is, my chrissy present is neglected, ‘cos the Mahalo’s so good!

  19. Tony February 8th, 2012 8:37 pm

    Just go the starburst Mahalo uke, was very nervous after reading reviews, but so far so good. My students like the sound better than my Washburn. I guess a uke is like a golf club, it’s the quality of the user and not the price that matters.

  20. Ikmal February 28th, 2012 6:01 am

    I bought my U320C, a concert sized Mahalo ukulele on January 2012.

    The sound is quite good although the intonation is slightly off at the first fret of the 3rd (C) string. The tone is balanced but not as rich as i wish it could. The sustain is tremendous, maybe because it is equipped with a nubone saddle, I have tried equip it with different saddle, and the stock saddle sounds the best.

    Built quality is not an issue since it is a cheap laminated top, side and back ukulele, but somehow the finishing is lack of aesthetic value. It is just varnished with a layer of wood lacquer.

    Although I dreamt of buying a high end ukulele, this ukulele is sufficient enough for me. Planning to buy an undersaddle pickup for this uke.

  21. Unclekenny March 17th, 2012 11:28 am

    I have a Mahalo U320C. It cost just £50 with a decent hard case and I am very pleased with it.
    As pointed out in the previous review, the build quality isn’t great but it’s ok considering the price.
    As far as sound is concerned, it isn’t great but it’s pretty good considering the price. It arrived well set up, the intonation isn’t perfect but it’s not too bad and it doesn’t stop the uke from sounding warm and tuneful {especially if you upgrade the strings).
    If you’re looking for a practical instrument that you can take anywhere without worrying too much about it, a decent starter uke or a base model for a home customisation project, you could do a lot worse for the money.
    Good Value.

  22. Joey April 19th, 2012 5:36 pm

    I learned to play on a £15 Mahalo U30G which came with equally cheap multi coloured strings. I have found no problem with it at all, it stays in tune and sounds fine. Maybe mine is the one in five that sounds great, might not sound as good to a pro but works for me. I have had a slight upgrade to a £50 Kala but will still be playing my purple Mahalo.

  23. Paul Torrance April 20th, 2012 2:52 pm

    Been a brass player all my life and own a very expensive cornet. This is now collecting dust. I now have 2 Mahalo ukes! Uk30bk and my new uk320c. Love them both. It has now become a serious habbit.

  24. Happy Tom May 4th, 2012 11:00 pm

    I’ve been playing for a few years. I have 2 Uke’s and I wanted to buy another one to bring with me when I go on vacation. I also, must of got the 1 out of 5 that play well, because this green model U30-GN is AWESOME! The frets are dressed nicely, the intonation of the neck is great. The bridge is nicely secure. The “nu-bone” synthetic saddle had enough underside on it to properly sand it down “if” I want to lower the strings.
    Currently the string height is ok. It has open tuners in the back. The strings seem a bit on the “thin” side as thickness. I am going to replace those with some nice martin Uke strings.
    The strings have to stretch a bit then the Uke will keep in tune. I also tightened the screws in the tuner gears themselves as they were a little bit loose. It’s a good idea “not” to over tighten them. I’ve bought $70+ Uke from companies that had defects on them and/or intonation was off, but this Uke is perfect. A really joy.

  25. Trinh Trousdale May 29th, 2012 2:38 pm

    Great write-up! When you plan a trip to Woolacombe you should you should definitely check out the Wooalcombe Fryer fish and chip shop. They actually do the very best fish and chips in the neighborhood therefore you should head over to them, then you should take your fish and chips right down to the beach and savor. Will usually get somewhat busy there nonetheless its really worth the wait! Thanks 🙂

  26. a kid June 13th, 2012 8:45 pm

    a month ago i went to my local music shop and got a mahalo uk-51 for 50 bucks. i love it. i bring it to shcool every single day since i got it exept for one. i even go to the skate park with it. i dropped it at least 4 times. it is totaly beat up. sraches and stuff. aniways this thing can hold up. i could not play any music at all i was tone deaf.
    but since i started playing i can sort of play piano and guitar and even the agarina. it actualy sunds good to. by the way im 13.

  27. Joebob June 30th, 2012 11:12 am

    I’ve played guitar for 2 years and i recently started playing my mahalo ukelele i got for 65 bucks. I love that thing. i often take guitar songs i know and make it into a song for the ukelele. Its a wonderful little thing that i love.

  28. Panda July 10th, 2012 7:37 pm

    I actually have a U-320P Soprano pineapple shaped Mahalo Ukulele, it’s my starter Uke and I adore it! Haha If it’s good or not, I’d have a warped opinion because I’m just so thrilled. Put on some Aquila strings and away I went.
    I would not suggest getting the crappy $30 ones, mine was about $80 (I’m told) So, perhaps mine is of slightly better quality?
    Anyways, anyone interested in a beginners Uke, I think this one is perfect. 🙂

  29. a kid August 26th, 2012 2:44 pm

    i posted a reweuw erlier when i first got my uk-51
    and i said it was good but ive been playing it for 4 months and it is faling apart. please dont buy one just get a makala or something at the same price.

  30. Paul September 19th, 2012 5:29 pm

    my wifes U30R is great mines a uy50 not as resonate i bought a french made LAG Baby Sop.very sweet i still play the others i love the diff. Checkin’ out Mahalo with more frets cut away body very sexy my wife was a little green over the LAG wait ’til shes sees this baby but ill never stop playing the others I just learnt my first Led Zep on the U30R Wooo-hooo

  31. Steve Reed October 9th, 2012 1:20 pm

    Utter piece of junk! My wife bought me one of these a while back, because I was keen to get into Uke for a change, having played guitar for 15 years – what a disappointment. I kept tuning it up which was fine, but on the 3rd day (I think), the bridge completely cracked in half, narrowly missing my eye. I returned it to the seller for a refund, which they were kind enough to give me. I then bought a Fender U’uku, which is a lovely little Uke, stays in tune and plays really nice. I wouldn’t recommend this Uke, but the one I had must of been a Friday afternoon, Monday morning Uke at the Mahalo factory (Nice green colour though).

  32. Chany November 4th, 2012 10:01 am

    Despite all the negative reviews, I love the Mahalo! I used it at school last year to play Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours for a music exam. It was a cute little thing! I know it’s a soprano uke and the tune is beautiful and warm. Not only does it sound good, it looks good as well. Believe or not, the bright pink ukuleles were very popular with the boys in my class!

    As with the tuning, all those negative comments about how “it can’t stay in tune for more than a few minutes” is not true. I played the whole song and it stayed in perfect tune for the whole lesson. They were a little out of tune at first but after tuning the ukes, the gears never slipped. I definitely recommend the Mahalo for any beginner or those who want to play the ukulele for a hobby or even any advanced player!

    I’m thinking of getting a Mahalo from the “art” series some time soon because I’m very interested in ukulele at the moment and I really want to pick up on it again :)!! Plus the “art” series contain a bunch of awesome looking designs that make the ukulele totally unique!

  33. Aweman March 15th, 2013 9:27 pm

    Dang, this thing is AMAZING! I’ve had a red Mahalo U-30 since last August (7 whole months!) and the thing only gets better with age. At first, I’ll admit it had trouble keeping in tune, but now it can hold the tune for a week or so before I need to fiddle with it. It sounds pretty darn good and is easy to store and carry around. I don’t disarm landmines with it, but it’s pretty durable. The dolphins that hold in the tuning pegs pretty much made the whole thing for me. As I stated, I’ve only been playing on and off for 7 months, and as this is my only uke I really don’t know if it’s good if you want one for performing at sold-out shows. I do know it’s great for beginners, and worth the cheap price!

  34. alexandra May 22nd, 2013 4:31 am

    I love my mahalo U30G in purple, though it is covered in butterfly and ladybird stickers cos i didnt like the shade of purple (too dark for me, i prefer violet), though i do adore the silly little thing, i cant put it down, and have learned more about the uke in 8 months than i did in 8 years with a guitar, such fab value for money.

  35. Alan June 21st, 2013 10:01 am

    mahalo ukuleles are very cool

  36. nicholas martin September 10th, 2013 5:55 pm

    i have the mahalo u30/pp it’s a good ukulele to play but if you buy one try to play good on it.

  37. Johnson March 20th, 2014 2:15 pm

    Mahalo has moved, No longer made in China.
    From Youtube video:

    Published on Mar 18, 2014
    With the aim to supply the world with the ukulele in even better quality and at more competitive price, in July, Mahalo’s own factory, named PT AKT INDONESIA, was official registered in Surabaya, Indonesia, in 2011.
    3 years passed by. In January, 2014, mass production commenced, which represents a new quality standard for the market.

  38. Mimi May 22nd, 2014 3:50 am

    Guys the bridge of my uke broke :((((((( I don’t really know why… But it was my friends I was “borrowing it” should I repair the bridge or just get a new uke ???? Idk…

  39. Adriela Railey October 23rd, 2014 5:51 am


    by any chance do you know a good brand/model of soprano ukulele with 14 frets?

  40. Therese Pavone October 30th, 2015 1:03 am

    I am terribly disappointed with my Mahalo sparkly uke. There is no projection of sound. It is very dull and muffled sounding. After weeks of frequent tuning it now stays in tune but there are bad intonation problems. Also the neck is quite chunky. I would not recommend them.

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