Before checking out the best tenor ukuleles, first, let’s find out what a tenor ukulele is; we don’t; want newbies to feel confused and left out. In a nutshell, the tenor ukulele is among one of the four popular sized ukuleles which are ideal for performances as well as hobbies because of its rich, fuller, and higher-pitched sound that can be played on its 15+ fret ukulele neck.
Choosing the best tenor ukulele that serves your purpose might be confusing and time-consuming. Luckily, we’ve decided to do the hard work and find 10 of the best tenor ukuleles out there – so you can make your decision conveniently.
There is a super-fast way and moderately fast way of choosing the best tenor ukulele for you; the super-fast way is to choose the last ukulele one in our list; because we’ve saved the best for the last.
And the faster way is to check all the 10 ukuleles we’ve chosen after rigorous research that would save both your time and money.
A Brief About Tenor Ukulele
Among the ukulele types, tenor model ukuleles are quite famous for their convenient size and tone. As this is the second-largest within the ukulele family, it is comfortable to play with regardless of the hand size, easy to travel with, and produces a bright sound. There’s a lot more than just these basic features, and we’ll explore them as we look at a different brand of tenor ukulele and their best offerings.
Top 10 Best Tenor Ukulele Review
Let’s take a quick look at the following comparison to check the highlighted features of the 10 best tenor ukuleles out there. Once you’re done with it, we’ll dive deeper.
|Brand||Operation mode||Wood Type||Number of frets||Dimension (inches)||Weight pounds||Cutaway||Built-in Tuner/EQ|
|Cordoba 20TM-CE||Acoustic-electric||Cedar, Mahogany||18||32 x 6 x 10||5 pounds||Yes||Yes|
|Fender Rincon||Acoustic-Electric||Ovangkol||19||33.2 x 10.4 x 5.3||.11 pounds||No||Yes|
|Enya EUT-M6||Acoustic||Mahogany||18||30.71 x 12.99 x 7.09||5.35||Yes||No|
|Martin Smith||Acoustic||Sapele||18||28.27 x 11.93 x 4.33||.03||Yes||No|
|Enya EUT-X1||Acoustic||Koa Wood||18||28.27 x 11.93 x 5.79||4.4||No||No|
|Oscar Schmidt OU28TE-A-U||Acoustic-Electric||Mahogany||19||24 x 2.75 x 8||1||No||Yes|
|Kmise KMU26T||Acoustic||Mahogany||18||28.5 x 11.75 x 4.75||1.76||No||No|
|Cordoba 21T||Acoustic||Spruce, Ebony||26 x 8.5 x 3||1.31||No||No|
|Cordoba 15TM||Acoustic||Mahogany||18||26 x 9.25 x 4||1||No||No|
|KALA LTP-MH||Acoustic||Walnut, Mahogany||18||9.5 x 3.75 x 27.75||1||No||No|
Among the well-known ukulele brands, Cordoba is very well known for its quality and aesthetically designed ukuleles; this ukulele is no different. A solid mahogany body with a satin finish and rosewood fingerboard not only makes it look amazing but sound amazing too.
The ukulele’s 4 nylon strings reverberate to make bright, soothing, and well sustained loud sounds. The headstock of the ukulele that contains the tuning pegs offers an aesthetic design.
The Cordoba 20TM has a built-in equalizer with a standard jack-plug that allows you to connect the ukulele play through amplifiers as well as tune the ukulele with ease.
- Great build and sound
- Playable both acoustically and electrically
- Comes with a cool gig bag
- Comparatively heavier (5 lbs)
The Guitar Giant Fender has also prevailed in the market for selling high-quality ukuleles. Among those, Fender Rincon Tenor Ukulele is our favorite pick. The first look of this ukulele will captivate you not because of its iconic Fender-guitar-Headstock on a ukulele but due to its exotic yet rustic look carefully crafted from popular tone wood known as Ovangkol.
The 4 nylon strings of this ukulele are attached to a “No-tie” bridge that enhances its playability and neat look. Also, it comes with a built-in Fishman pre-amp and EQ system that allows you to tune and jack up this ukulele with an amplifier. The amplified sound barely lacks the originality of its tone, thanks to the Fishman Electronic system.
A mind-blowing feature of this ukulele is its unbelievably lightweight – which is only 5 grams (or 0.011 lbs.), therefore, very easy to carry around and play.
- Exotic looking and great sound
- Playable both acoustically and Electrically
- Volume is comparatively low
Just like its name, this fully acoustic ukulele is not only impressive looking but produce amazing tone as well. The Enya EUT-M6 ukulele is popular among teachers and musicians for its warm, resonant, clear, and sustaining sounds which are perfect for teaching purposes as well as live performances.
The solid mahogany body with an aesthetically designed fingerboard and the unique headstock with rose gold tuning pegs offer it an elegant look.
The cutaway of this ukulele is deep enough to play high notes with precision and ease. A gig-bag is provided and it also comes with the famous D’Addario nylon strings.
- Unique and elegant looking
- Great for beginners as well as performers
- Gig-bag and strings are of great quality
- Comparatively heavy (5.3 lbs.)
Martin Smith UK- 712T-N
The Martin Smith UK- 712T-N is a meticulously crafted full acoustic ukulele that is one of the best choices for beginners and as well as experts. The sapele mahogany body with synthetic gut Aquila strings (High-quality strings made of nylon) in combination produces an exceptionally good and warm tone that fulfills the sensation of playing the ukulele.
The metal gear heads aim to provide you with a smooth and accurate tuning experience. This is an essential feature for the beginner musicians as they struggle with tuning most of the time.
Although this is a full-acoustic ukulele, it comes with a gig-sack, tuner, strap, spare strings, and a chord book. This is a total win considering the convenience of these accessories, especially the tuner; a lot of uke players prefer an all-acoustic ukulele, so a clip-on tuner is a lifesaver.
- Great built with an elegant finish
- Useful accessories included
- Amazing tone
- Fingerboard/frets might be a bit sharp for the beginners
The Second Enya Ukulele in our list also comes with an accessory pack that includes a ukelele case, strap, extra string set, capo, sand shaker, picks, polish cloth – everything you’d need to playing and maintaining the ukulele.
The body of the ukulele is built with premium koa wood which is unperturbed by temperature and humidity. It doesn’t have a cutaway mainly because it is optimally built for warm and high-quality rhythmic sounds, which you will find alluring.
Moreover, a unique neck junction called BT connection enhances the sound, comfortable holding, and overall playing experience. So, you can take this ukulele anywhere you want, play anytime you want!
- All accessories in a package
- High-end metal tuning pegs
- Premium sound
- High-quality D’Addario strings
- High action (strings are a bit high from the fretboard)
Oscar Schmidt OU28TE-A-U
This could be the most unique ukulele on our list because of its captivating mahogany build and 8 alloy strings. 8 strings paired in 4 enables the ukulele to sound in two octaves and two unison tuning.
Although it produces great sounds with its 8 strings, it might not be suitable for beginners since the tuning is a bit tricky. However, the unique sound produced by 8 strings might entice a beginner to give it a shot.
It doesn’t have a cutaway despite its long neck. Nevertheless, this ukulele makes a profound sound while playing rhythm on it. The built-in EW with a tuner is always a plus for me because it provides more options and makes the tuning easier.
- Suitable for live performance
- 8 strings with 2 unison tuning and 2 octaves
- Reverberant and premium sound
- Beginners might find it tricky to tune and play because of its alloy string
Another all-in-one ukulele pack is this Kmise KMU 26T starter pack. This budget-friendly ukulele has a mahogany-built body with a walnut fretboard and bridge. High-quality carbon nylon strings can be precisely tuned with pure copper tuning pegs with an 18:1 gear ratio, whereas typical tuning pegs offer 15:1 gears.
The accessories that come with this ukulele are a tuner, a strap, a gig-bag, spare strings, and a ukulele lesson booklet for starters. This has low-string action that has gained to favor of beginners as well as music teachers. Since it is an all-in-one pack, it can be a great gift for music lovers.
All the amazing qualities and the affordable price tag that it comes with makes the Kmise KMU26T bundle one of the best ukulele for beginners on top of being one of the best tenors.
- Includes all Ukelele accessories
- Very affordable price
- Great ukulele for beginners
- Body finishing is not as desirable
Again, we find a Cordoba in our list which is elegant in both looks and sound quality. The top body material is solid Engelman spruce and the rest of the body material is made of striped ebony. Finally, the overall matte finish takes credit for its looks and tone as well.
The enthralling tone is backed by the Pau Ferro fingerboard associated with Aquila strings. Mesmerizing abs binding with a rosette wooden seal gives this ukulele a classic premium look.
This amazing-sounding guitar is all acoustic and favored by modern musicians for live performance due to its lightweight and economic features. You can take it anywhere, play it anywhere whether it is on the beachside, in your living room, out while camping with friends, etc., etc.
- Classic premium looking
- Great sound quality
- Robust built and good Portability
- Very few cases of strings action being too high
Another Cordoba Ukulele is among the top 3 choices of our list and easily it could be your choice as well. The thing is, it’s almost impossible to overlook since Cordoba has a plethora of amazing products.
The Cordoba 15TM has a well-spaced fretboard that is beginner-friendly and it produces well-balanced dynamic overtones which are lucrative for intermediate or professional players.
This all-acoustic ukulele has a hand-built mahogany top, sides, and back, enabling the ukulele to produce rich and fuller sounds. Notable features of this ukulele are a lustrous satin finish, shiny tuning pegs, and abs binding. It is a great ukulele for starters as well as intermediate players.
- High quality structure
- Great quality sound
- Great value for the price
- Some has reported fret-buzzing
Kala is one of the most sought ukulele brands out there. And the most uniquely stylish ukulele on our list is the Kala LTP- MH that is mahogany build with white floral body art reminiscing of Swiss folk art.
The fretboard of LTP-MH is made of walnut, which gives a very seamless smooth feeling when you’re playing. Kala is well known for its near-perfect measurement, and all the features of this ukulele reflect that trait.
This ukulele is perfect for beginners due to its reasonable price, efficient build, great looks, and bright tones. It comes with a few necessary accessories such as a gig-bag, clip-on tuner, and a beginner’s guide booklet. You can take the help of the free Kala app to learn songs in the ukulele as well.
- Great looking with unique artwork
- Fine built, durable
- Great tone
- Nothing worth mentioning
What Features of Tenor Ukulele Define the Best Selection Criteria: How to Choose the Perfect Tenor Ukulele
It’s not necessary to be an expert to determine the best ukulele for you. Just carefully check some of the selection criteria, and you should be good to go. Other than the cost, some factors determine the sound, durability, loudness, and overall performance of a ukulele.
You can totally go for one of the ukuleles from our list as they are carefully screened and picked for you. Nevertheless, if you are interested in double-checking these criteria for buying your perfect ukulele, those criteria/factors are mentioned below.
Of course, the type of wood used to build the ukulele should be the primary factor to consider for evaluating the ukulele. The most common type of woods used in the ukulele is mahogany, walnut wood, spruce, rosewood, Koa, Maple, Ebony, Mangowood, etc.
Now, Mahogany is natural-looking and lightweight that’s why it is mostly used in ukulele bodies. It is also sweet-sounding and good for mid-range tones. Ebony is darker as well as a bit heavy, hence it is mostly used for the fretboard or bridges whereas the mahogany neck is not that common; so is walnut wood.
Spruce is bright-colored as well as produces a brighter and balanced tone. For a more beautiful sound, Cedarwood could be used. Koa wood is native Hawaiian wood so this gives a Hawaiian sound, at the same time, protection from temperature and humidity.
There is a lot to dig into if you wish to know more about how the wood types affect the tone and weight. So, it would be easier to go for common wooden-bodied ukeleles, such as spruce, Cedarwood, or Mahogany. Don’t go for mango wood or such even if those are cheaper.
Build quality determines durability as well as ensures rich sound. As a beginner ukulele player, the rich-sounding ukuleles are essential for upholding motivation. Good build quality also allows you to play with ease and efficiency, with a fuller sound.
Tuning Peg Material
Usually, expensive models of ukuleles are built with high-end materials. So, it won’t be necessary to pay heed to that part. For a budget ukulele, try checking out the material of the tuning pegs as well as its gear. Usually, the material is copper, other times, it is plastic. Not that, the plastic tuning pegs are bad, but it might be a bit inconvenient for beginners.
A standard tenor ukulele that comes with accessories might be a good choice if you are buying an acoustic instrument for the first time. So that, you would get the tuner, the gig bag, learning DVDs or booklet – which you’ve never had before.
Solid Wood Ukuleles
Solid wood ukelele simply refers to the ones that are built from a solid piece of wood; it wasn’t built by integrating several layers of wood, making wood joints. This makes a significant difference in ukulele sound quality as well as the price. If you have enough budget, you can go for an expensive ukulele made of solid wood. The beautiful sound of such a ukelele might feel worth the price.
Check the Originality
Make sure to check the features of the ukulele from its original and authentic websites. For example, two types of Fender Rincon ukulele caught my attention; one is the original one with the iconic fender headstock, the other one is with a normal headstock other than that, everything is claimed to be the same. I’m pretty certain the latter one is a fake. Therefore, keep an out from originals to duplicate ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Tenor Ukulele Good for Beginners?
The Tenor Ukulele is the perfect size for a beginner to start with. To be honest, tenor ukelele, soprano ukelele, and concert ukelele; all three ukuleles are beginner-friendly. Only baritone ukuleles are a bit different tuning, and it is the size of an acoustic guitar. In any way, the tenor ukulele is a perfect choice for a beginner who wishes to get into string instruments.
What Is the Best Brand of Tenor Ukulele?
There is no best brand; it is all about individual preference. Some prefer one brand more than the other. Some of the well-known ukulele brands are Kala, Cordoba, Oscar Schmidt, etc. and they have a wide range of differently priced products. Once you get used to a brand that serves you the best could be your best choice of the tenor ukulele.
To sum it up, choosing the best tenor ukulele for you isn’t that much of a challenge unless you prefer to dig deep into it. The wise choice would be to get your musical journey started right away with one of these amazing tenor ukuleles mentioned and then learn more about it along the way; that’s how most musicians thrive!
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Last update on 2021-06-19 at 15:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API