August 23, 2020

5 Budget-Friendly Tenor Ukulele Under $200

"I'm skint. Trifling income robs me of the chance of owning a swag tenor ukulele. And definitely without it, life is a real bore."

This is a perennial problem for passionate, yet penniless ukulele players.

Understanding that, we’re very excited to present to our beautiful readers five best tenor ukulele under $200.

Cordoba 15TM Tenor Ukulele

Cordoba 15TM Tenor Ukulele

Cordoba is a teenagers' go-to ukulele manufacturing brand since it is where affordability meets quality. Going for quite an attractive price under $200, this music player is handmade - a renowned uniqueness, and it sends out a rich, pleasing sound.

Let's say because it's naturally built with the material being the famous, budget-friendly mahogany, its sound, thus, is mesmerizingly soft and full. The beautiful notes are also a product of the combination of silver tuners, pearl buttons, and the premium Aquila strings, all working harmoniously towards a rich, clear sound.

At first, I tried my hands on the ukulele to see how it can stand with my old concert ukulele, and it was just incredible. I no longer faced the same recurrent problem in my old player, which is that the string action was too high, and my unskilled fingers kept mixing around on the A string, while the bridge saddle required some lowering to play better.

However, it takes time for the strings to stretch out, which is also a problem in other guitars, basses, etc.

Pros

  • Handmade
  • Sleek, good-looking design
  • Durable
  • Rich, precise tone

Cons

  • The strings may take multiple tries to stretch correctly.

Tenor Ukulele Enya

Tenor Ukulele Enya

I would recommend Enya Tenor ukulele to those who value durability in a tenor ukulele. Besides, it also comes with many freebies  - look at its name. That's a plush offer.

How thoughtful it is to offer all the extras we may need while playing the instrument. Let's name it. The brand provides a case and strap to pack your ukulele and take it out for a picnic celebration, extra string set, customized gig bag just to put anything inside.

This instrument is also well-made. The HPL KOA material is optimal. Check it out, and you'll see your ukulele may sound exactly like a solid wood instrument or even better. The matte finish blesses it with a clean, soft feel, contributing to your enjoyment of the experience.

Wait, those high-end tuning pegs are gorgeous, too.

The G-string might be a bit crusty as sometimes it slips, so the player is off the track and gets difficulty in staying in tune. But then again, I believe it's a matter to overcome by daily practice. Understand your ukulele and be familiar with the way it works so that you can sail through these troubles and have a whale of time.

Pros

  • Smooth feel
  • Decent sound
  • Excellent quality and durability thanks to HPL material
  • Free offering of necessary accessories

Cons

  • Troubles dealing with the strings

Kmise Hawaiian Tenor ukulele

Kmise Hawaiian Tenor ukulele

Kmise tenor ukulele is an awesome gift for ukulele beginners. It hits all the right notes and stays in tune better than ever. Equipped with the 18:1 gear tuner, this ukulele delivers outstanding sound and poses no challenges to even unskilled beginners.

Also, the manufacturer pre-tunes it at lower action and gives it carefully sanded frets, which adds flexibility and superb playability to the instrument. You can press down the string with ease, play on the fingerboard, and meddle with the fret wire ends without a hitch as they have been manicured.

It's well-crafted, with pure copper gear being less rusty, less corrosive, and more robust, a mahogany top, back, sides. The fingerboard comes in smooth walnut wood so that there's no need for fear of scratches, inevitable smudges.

Though this is the well-known master on "getting in tune," at first, don't be surprised if your ukulele slides out of note a bit since new strings need time to be more flexible.

Pros

  • 18:1 ratio tuner
  • Playable, comfortable touch
  • Starter accessories kit included
  • Lower action
  • Solid construction

Cons

  • Strings being too tight at first

Kala KA-15T Tenor Ukulele

Kala KA-15T Tenor Ukulele

It's fascinating that your family forms a band with each member being a ukulele artist. For this new band to get off the ground and go mainstream, you need a ukulele that can work in harmony with your beloved people regardless of generation gap and levels. Kala KA-15T Satin is the best bet.

No wonder it checks the industry standard. The design sends off a sense of tradition - delivering the feel of classic Hawaii, but a satin finish brings out the elegant, modern beauty. The all-mahogany body augments its self-worth by ensuring the full, warm sound. Together, these qualities make this ukulele super resilient to fickle weather conditions and humidity.

Better still, it is heralded as the staple for generations because it comes in three different sizes, featuring Aquila Bionylon strings for easy manipulation while playing.

Furthermore, what I find strikingly impressive is that the vibe of this player is an intriguing combination of Petaluma's gold rush history and modernity. So, all in all, it's a sense of nostalgia.

We expect this ukulele comes along with a case Sadly, this ukulele is lacking in a case. Also, strings may have sharp tones, especially when you play solo.

Pros

  • Suitable for adults and children alike
  • Rich sound
  • Solid build, durable
  • Both classic and modern look coming into one

Cons

  • Lacking in a case
  • The strings are not cooperative when soloing.

Oscar Schmidt OU28TE

Oscar Schmidt OU28TE

Oscar Schmidt usually stays at the cheaper end of the price scale, but it is a potential contender for quality.

I recommend it to those who have larger hands, so other little ukes are just unfit. At about 37/17/8 inches, this is just a further-reaching out than average. The first time fiddling with this model, the experience is all but pleasantly rewarding. The tones are vibrant. It also feels nice under my fingers.

I love the active electronics that this model focuses on, together with the pearl dot fret inlays as the sound it produces resonates well with plenty of depth.

Besides, the satin finish gives it a nice touch. There are eight strings with two octaves and two unison tuning. The top of the neck is longer than average for the extra frets, and more room on the fingerboard.

It's worth an investment except that in this model, keeping in tune can be a chore. But, I genuinely believe you can conquer it with regular practice!

Pros

  • Handcrafted quality
  • Ful mahogany construction with satin finish
  • Excellent performance with both highs and lows

Cons

  • Staying in tune can be a challenge at first.

Buying Guide 

The three main constituents: material, size, budget, will define the best tenor ukulele.

Material

Material is the factor that influences your overall feel over the ukulele. It also speaks volumes about how your tenor ukulele sounds. Will the melody be mellifluous like birdsongs, warm and smooth, precisely like how an electronic guitar piano feels? Does it provide enough resonance, with sweet highs and fancy lows?

Usually, ukulele comes with a mahogany top, sides, back, and neck, and sometimes it can also be from monkeypod, mango, koa, etc.

Manufacturers usually pick koa as the best bet for classy, high-end ukuleles as it originates in Hawaii. Thus, very likely, the sound it produces will wash the listeners to the beautiful beaches of its hometown.

Solid mahogany has a smooth sound and is more affordable, which is why it is considered the commercial material.

Solid and laminated wood is way different. The former is more expensive, yet it ensures the high-quality wood in both internals and externals. Meanwhile, the latter means good wood on the surface but second-rate one deep inside.

Size

Ukulele family has its "debut" with four official members: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.

In terms of size, baritone ranks first at 30 inches, followed by tenor at 26. The second and third place call out concert (23 inches) and soprano (20 inches).

Soprano receives tons of compliments for its classic ukulele sound, while the concert requires no complex maneuvers - tailored for unskilled fingers.

The most favorable one by ukulele connoisseurs is tenor, which sounds deeper and more professional.

Besides, the biggest sibling is not very portable, but it has the deepest tone to enjoy.

Budget

With under $200 and you are fully capable of having a trusty ukulele player. The average price range from 50 to $100 is reasonable; at the same time, it doesn't compromise quality. A ukulele of this budget will do well for those who have just kicked off on the journey. These models will be particularly easy to handle, and they sometimes go with extra accessories to assist beginners.

A Sum-Up 

This is the battle of 5 best tenor ukulele under $200. If you still wonder, you could check our blog best brand of ukulele to reinforce your choices.

And to my concern, the undisputed winner is Kmise Hawaiian Tenor ukulele since it will be supportive enough for a beginner player. It will not be much of a trouble maker. Besides, it aims for the sweet, pleasant sound, precise notes, and the finish is durable enough. If your main worry is staying in tune, this Kmise ukulele can’t be a nicer option.

The feedback for this player is mostly glowing, so it gives me the confidence to have a shot at it. Now, it’s your turn!

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