Morelli/Santini Ukulele

Morelli ukuleles and Santini Ukuleles are made by the same people. They’re sold very cheap (around $35) and have a very similar shape to other ukueles such as the Fluke, the Roy Smeck Vita uke and the J Chalmers Doane triangular uke.

I haven’t played a Morelli or know anyone who has. There seems to be only one seller of them on eBay and their listings make me very suspicious:

– They claim the instrument is, “Hand Made by a Master Luthier” but it looks decidedly mass produced. In one of the close up photos, you can see a very slapdash job around the bottom of the fretboard. That is not the work of a ‘master luthier’ (if it was, they’d burn it before it had a chance to ruin their reputation).
– The picture of their distribution center looks like it has been manipulated to add their name to the sign.

I’ve never played one, so I could be wrong in my judgment. But there’s no way I’d buy a Morelli ukulele. If you are shopping for a ukulele in this price range, I’d suggest a more reputable brand such as Makala.

Santini Ukulele Review

I have three ukuleles. A novelty one bought in Hawaii,the Univeral Trading type, albeit this was the concert size. I changed out the tuning keys and strings and was able to learn to play on it. My next purchase was the Ohana Vita, a wonderful soprano uke. And last but certainly not least was the Santini tenor. This is actually a great sounding ukulele and thus far, my favorite to play, or at least on par as my favorite with the Ohana Vita. The only thing lacking on the Santini are the missing pearl dots on the fingerboard. Upon receipt, I immediately changed the strings to Aquila nylgut and they are still setting in, so I have to tune it often, but I am confident this will take care of itself…as it becomes less and less of a problem day by day. I am still a novice player, but this uke is a keeper for me.

Review by Rick Robinson.

4 Comments

  1. Alex November 14th, 2010 8:01 pm

    I got a soprano Morelli for Christmas one year a while back. It was a decent starting uke but definitely not something you want to invest in if you plan on playing long term. The neck ended up getting snapped in half a while back and so I’m glad it wasn’t a nicer one. Ive since upgraded to a lanikai concert koa and was simply dumbfounded by the upgrade in sound and feel.

    bottom line.
    good uke if you plan on just screwing around every so often, or for younger children who might destroy it.

  2. Talia November 27th, 2010 3:07 pm

    I am new to the uke. Someone recently gave me their Santini triangular ukulele:
    http://www.saletime.net/ukulele_oblong_boga_06.jpg

    Mine is black.

    I have read that it is very similar to the Skylark Triangular Tenor Ukulele:
    http://www.skylarkguitars.com/skylark-triangular-tenor-ukelele-1383-0.html

    and these Heavy Metal Baritone ukuleles on eBay:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Heavy-Metal-UKULELE-Uke-Baritone-4-STRING-NEW-/290499883179?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a32470ab

    The thing that I am unsure about it whether or not the Santini can be tuned like a tenor. My friend said it was a baritone and it is strung and tuned to G now.

    I read that somewhere that for the size, the Skylark it is sort of hybrid. Since mine is so similar, do you think it can go safely to C or G tuning?

    If I were to tune it to C would you recommend I use these strings?: Baritone Aquila 23UU String Set: Key of C

    I can’t find anyone selling the Triangular Santini’s anywhere. Can you?

    Thanks!

  3. Bucky Maxwell January 5th, 2011 4:27 pm

    I bought a Morelli from a provider on e-bay about 18 months ago. They were a professional outfit. No complaints with product or delivery. I’m an old guitar player and wanted to downgrade, so I was interested in a starter uke. This model does the job. It seems well crafted, stays tuned, and sounds decent. The wood seems to be an attractive koa. One odd quirk: It isn’t a very large uke, but it tunes in DGBE which I think makes it a baritone. Who cares. It sounds fine.

  4. Alan Vanderhoff April 8th, 2011 4:52 am

    I purchased a Morelli F hole (Vita like) on ebay. Fantastic sound rings out many compliments on the sound. Bought the triangle heavy metal one excellent also. Morelli/Santini/No Name all the same manufacture. All tuned GCEA people selling are calling baritone ukes because of the length they are tenors because of the tune.. Do not be afraid to buy.

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