Islander Ukulele by Kanilea Review

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​Islander ‘Ukuleles is the more affordable line of Kanile’a ‘Ukuleles. Every Islander `Ukulele is accurately measured, fitted, and built to the specs of a Kanile’a uke.

Kanile’a is considered a high-end, high-price, Hawaiian-made ukulele manufacturer. Recently they launched the less expensive, solid and laminated Islander ukuleles.

With each Islander sold, Kanilea will plant a koa tree to help save and preserve this wonderful and amazing species of wood for generations to come.

Year of Launch

 

1998
Where Islander Ukuleles are Made

 

Islander ukes are made by a third party distributor in China.
Islander Ukulele Price Range

 

$150 – $620
Types of Ukuleles Islander Offers

 

Soprano, Concert, Tenor, Guitarlele, Mini Guitar, Six String
Recommended Skill LevelBest for Intermediate, Advanced, and Professional players, Great for beginners who want a quality instrument to start with.

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  • Great for the beginners
  • Master Half Notes, Quarter Notes, and Eighth Notes
  • Develop amazing right hand strumming technique
  • Learn how to play in ‘time’ and keep a solid rhythm
  • Memorize essential major, minor, and 7th chords

Best Islander Ukuleles Reviewed

The Islander range of ukuleles come in two styles, either the cheaper laminate wood bodied versions, or the more expensive all solid models, each in soprano, concert and tenor scales. The Islander offers the traditional looks of the Kanile’a brand at a more affordable price.

Kanile’a control the design and the quality of these ukes, but they are not made in Hawaii, but in China. They look very similar at first sight, with the same shaped headstock and distinctive Kanile’a bridge.

In case you need to use the warranty, you’ll be glad to know that Islander offers a one year manufacturers warranty if purchased directly from Islander.

Some Islander tenor and concert series are available with a pickup. The electronics on the acacia-bodied ukuleles feature a built-in tuner, volume, and tone controls.

The concert and tenor models from the mahogany-body line, receive the same treatment.

Islander also updated its top-sellers with a new glossy finish. The spalted maple series now has a glossy finish across the entire line, which includes a soprano, concert, tenor, and guitarlele.

Also, Islander upgraded its attractive and affordable Mini-Guitar line to include pickups.

Before we dive deeper into the wonderful world of Islander ukuleles, we’d like to mention that this review focuses on a few unique models that captured our attention.

Don’t worry if the one you are interested in isn’t mentioned here! We’d review every single ukulele produced by Islander  if we had time, but for now, it’s worth mentioning that this company offers reliable, nice sounding ukes.

Islander Soprano Ukulele Mango Mos-4 “Amelia”

 

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Kanile’a have well and truly joined the mango movement in 2019 with the introduction of a new laminate mango range of Islander Ukuleles. This Islander model is part of the ANO’E Islander line and offered at an affordable price.

This lovely looking and practical Soprano bridges the gap between vintage specification and the modern players needs perfectly by keeping the instrument at a Soprano scale but extending the nut width to the wider and much sought after 38mm.

Features

  • Laminate mahogany soprano body
  • 1st gen. Kanile’a bracing system
  • Walnut fingerboard and bridge
  • Bridge pin technology
  • Open geared tuner
  • Aquila corde strings
  • Satin finish

Sound wise it’s great, looks the part and more than holds it own against the other Sopranos out there at this price.

Islander Tenor Ukulele Solid Acacia SAT-4 “Gorda”

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The Islander Tenor Ukulele SAT-4 is a traditional tenor ukulele with all solid acacia (top, back, and sides) The acacia wood has beautiful brown and red hues that are complemented by bold dark lines.

One of the most attractive things about this model is the slightly wider fretboard, which at 1.5 inches or 38mm at the nut makes getting your fingers into the right shapes simple. Combine that width with a slinky neck profile and you have an easy to play ukulele.

Features

  • All solid acacia front, back and sides
  • Black bridge pins
  • Walnut fingerboard and bridge with nickel fret wire
  • 19 silver-nickel frets
  • Satin finish
  • Aquila strings
  • Mahogany Neck
  • Chrome geared tuners with cream buttons
  • Nubone nut and saddle

This Islander uke is part of the POHAKU line and packs a huge sound and stunning looks into a great price for an all solid Acacia ukulele.

Islander Tenor Ukulele Mango Mot-4 “Milos”

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This Islander uke is made from Mango laminate and a beautiful abalone rosette. The colors range from vibrate yellows to lush orange to chocolate brown and may have some gorgeous flame or curl to finish them off.

The build quality shows in the smooth edges, a neat finish, quality geared tuners, pin bridge and really nice attention to detail like quality rosettes and binding.

Features

  • Laminate mango front, back and sides
  • Black bridge pins
  • Walnut fingerboard and bridge with nickel fret wire
  • 18 silver-nickel frets
  • Satin finish
  • Okume neck
  • Aquila strings
  • Nubone nut and saddle
  • Abalone rosette

This Islander tenor ukulele is a very decent sounding laminate instrument with a fairly unique 38mm nut width and shallow neck profile. Can’t say fairer than that!

Islander Soprano Ukulele Spalted Maple MAS-4 ‘Butterfly”

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The Islander MAS-4 is constructed with spalted maple laminate but has an open sound reminiscent of solid wood ukuleles. The stunning black lines in the wood is why it’s called spalted. These spalted maples are part of the ANO’E Islander line and pack a huge sound into a affordable price.

This uke also features elegant bridge pins and the nut width is slightly wider than average on Islanders.

Features

  • Laminate spalted maple soprano body
  • 17 silver-nickel frets
  • Nubone nut and saddle
  • Walnut fingerboard and bridge
  • Bridge pin technology
  • Open geared tuner
  • Aquila corde strings
  • Satin finish

Spalted Maple is a really beautiful wood to look at and offers a consistent and quality sound.

Islander Concert Ukulele Mahogany Turtle MS-4-HNS “Glider”

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The Glider soprano is part of the entry level range from Islander, with a body made from laminate mahogany sheets. It uses two sheets for the top and flat back and as single piece for the sides.

The bridge is similar to Kanile’a heritage in shape, and is a pin bridge style as well. This one has etchings of turtles on the front.

Features

  • Mahogany laminate
  • 1st Gen. Kanile’a Bracing System
  • Satin finish
  • Open Geared Chrome Tuner
  • Aquila Corde Strings
  • Pearloid Position markers
  • Engraved Hawaiian Islands Design
  • Walnut Fingerboard and Bridge

This is a nice beginner soprano, very well made, well finished and warm sound.

Islander 6 String Guitarlele Solid Spruce/Acacia GL6-SA “Flash”

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The Islander GL6-SA is a hybrid instrument that Kanile’a Ukuleles developed to bring the convenience of the ukuleles’ size with the chord playability of a guitar. The baritone scale length and almost 2 inch nut width gives you plenty of space to play as you move up the fretboard.

This guitarlele has the unique Super Tenor body in combination with a 20 inch Baritone scale joined at the body on the 16th fret with 22 frets total. The tuning is “A D G C E A” or the same tuning as a guitar with a capo at the fifth fret.

Features

  • Spruce Guitar-Ukulele Top
  • Acacia Back and Sides
  • Red Tortoise Binding Top and Back
  • Open Geared Tuners
  • 22 silver-nickel frets
  • Kanile’a GL6 Strings
  • Satin Finish
This hybrid instrument comes with a bigger, deeper sound than a common ukulele and it is convenient for travel.

How much do Islander Ukuleles Cost?

As with other brands, prices vary. You can sometimes find entry-level Islander models on sale for less than $150, while the higher quality ukes may cost you $600 or more.

Overall, are Islander Ukuleles a good choice?

​Islander Ukuleles is the affordable option to Kanile’a ‘Ukuleles. Every Islander Ukulele is accurately measured, fitted, and built to the specs of a Kanile’a uke so you know you are getting a quality instrument.

With a comfortable neck, surprisingly good tone, nice construction and great selection of ukes, the standout is the low price. Sure, you can get an Ohana or Kala laminate uke for less, but they won’t have the same features or sound as Islander.

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