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The 6 Best Tenor Ukulele Under 200 Reviews

Best Tenor Ukulele Under 200
Photo by Samuel Ramos

There’s no longer valid reason these days to not get the best tenor ukulele under 200. With the available information you have online, you can find all the best features and weaknesses of whatever product you’re about to get.

This rule also applies to finding the most affordable ukuleles today within your budget. Fortunately, this article has all the essentials you might need to help you find the best deals that suit your taste.

Whether you’re looking for a quality ukulele for a hobby, or you want to go pro, this guide attempts to compile all the information you need to know before you invest in a tenor ukulele. We’ve reviewed some of the best in the market so you don’t have to. Let’s start!

Top 6 Tenor Ukulele Under 200: Comparison Chart

Product Name Material Size Weight View on Amazon
Donner Tenor Ukulele Mahogany body and neck 26 inches 3.24 pounds Check Price
Kala KA-15T Satin Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Mahogany body and neck KA-6 2.79 pounds Check Price
Tenor Ukulele Enya 26 Inch Beginner Kit Mahogany body and neck 26 inches 4.58 pounds Check Price
Kala KA-TEM Exotic Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Mahogany body and neck 10.63 x 4.33 x 28.35 inches 0.088 ounces Check Price
Oscar Schmidt OU28TE-A-U 8-String Tenor Ukulele Mahogany body and neck 24 x 2.75 x 8 inches 1 pound Check Price
Fender Rincon Tenor Ukulele Ovangkol 33.2 x 10.4 x 5.3 inches 0.176 ounces Check Price

Best Picks of Tenor Ukulele Under 200

#1: Donner Tenor Ukulele DUT-3 26

Features
  • Tenor Ukulele with mahogany back&side and spruce top bring you richer and brighter sound.
  • Rosewood fingerboard and bridge provides a comfortable playing feel.
  • Smooth and accurate, Donner patented chrome-plated guitar style tuners to keep your ukulele always in tune.
  • Unique design on fingerboard : Auspicious Clouds and the top mark Sun Logo.
  • Comes with ukulele bag, ukulele strap, carbon nylon string and digital clip-on tuner as gifts.

Last update on 2020-10-18 / Affiliate links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You may not get a complete overview of affordable ukulele options without considering the Donner DUT-3 first. What makes this ukulele a strong contender in your options is that not only is it affordable, it also comes in three different sizes.

Also, a rich tenor sound may not come out from a lower-priced ukulele, but this ukulele appears to be an exception. It has all the basic features, but it’s added with practical accessories that add value to your money, including chrome tuning pegs and spare strings.

The mahogany back and sides of this ukulele also gives it a stylish finish that you usually can just get from an expensive brand. Its comfy rosewood fingerboard may be one of the most beautiful you can get from a ukulele of this price bracket.

Regarding its sound, it is understandably not at par with the sound of the ones you could get from a price range that’s three or four times higher. However, if it’s good value for money that you want, then you’d get more than from the Donner DUT-3 just for its basic features alone.

I could definitely recommend this ukulele for beginners still exploring the craft. This may be the most no-frills, but beautiful and reliable piece of ukulele you could find in the market.

What I Like
  • Beautiful design both on its body and fingerboard
  • Comes in different sizes, with tuner, strap, and case accessories
What I Didn’t Like
  • Strap included could still be stronger
  • Strings are still not top quality, which may not be the best to use for recording or performing

#2: Kala KA-15T Satin Mahogany Tenor Ukulele

Features
  • Satin Mahogany Tenor Ukulele
  • Top, Back, Sides, and Neck: Mahogany
  • Satin Finish, Walnut Fingerboard
  • GraphTech NuBone Nut and Saddle
  • Aquila Super Nylgut Strings

Last update on 2020-10-18 / Affiliate links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The tenor ukulele under 200 reviews you find online mostly include the Kala KA-15T Satin Mahogany Tenor Ukulele because why not? It’s got all the basic, bang-for-buck features plus more.

For starters, the KA-15T is an affordable alternative to a professional grade but expensive ukulele in the market. This finely made-of-Mahogany piece of artwork proves that fine taste can sometimes borne out of frugal spending.

This doesn’t mean, though, that KA-15T shortchanges you. With its high-grade tuning pegs that keep it always in tune for the longest time possible, you may be lugging this with you wherever you want to go.

Accessories are a fun bonus to any purchase. This is the same with the KA-15T as it comes with a gig bag you can lug around comfortably whenever you go out for camping or just a music session with friends.

I recommend this tenor ukulele for those who have been looking for the most affordable option in the market for many hours already, and could still not make up their mind. Your search could end here, as this already has most, if not all of what you need from a basic musician’s standpoint, and yet it’s still made for professional use.

What I Like
  • Beautiful mahogany wood body and walnut fingerboard
  • Fantastic, rich and warm in sound and looks
  • Comes with accessories, such as gig bag
  • Sound quality exceeds customer expectations
  • The tuner that comes with it is of superior quality
What I Didn’t Like
  • Tuning pegs appear to be buzzing
  • Decorative finish affects sound quality in some units

#3: Tenor Ukulele Enya 26 Inch Beginner Kit

Features
  • ♫ Great quality and durability guaranteed with HPL KOA materials. Just grab and play wherever you like without worrying about temperature and humidity.
  • ♫Unique BT Neck Junction ,Premium sound & Comfortable holding. Designed to optimize playing experience.
  • ♫ [Stable Voice] Mahogany neck and advanced fluorocarbon strings ensure the quality of voice.
  • ♫ Acoustic Mahogany Tenor Ukulele with technology's ebony fingerboard, high-end tuning pegs, matte finish, and Daddario Tenor strings – Tuned G C E A
  • ♫ Free accessory package includes EVERYTHING you may need! (case, strap, extra string set, capo, sand shaker, picks, polish cloth)

Last update on 2020-10-18 / Affiliate links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If  what you want from your ukulele is great quality and durability, you could start your search with the Tenor Ukulele Enya 26 Inch Beginner Kit. However, it’s a stand out among your options because it’s guaranteed to come with HPL KOA material.

Temperature and humidity are a villain to a ukulele. Fortunately, such material quality of the ukulele protects you against such travesty to your investment.

Add to this is the fact that the Enya 26 has a unique, BT neck junction to give it a premium sound and comfortable holding area to optimize your playing experience.

The fingerboard is worthy of special mention. It is built with a mahogany body and an ebony fingerboard technology made even more special with its matte finish. This also comes with high-end tuning pegs and Daddario tenor strings.

The additional accessories will make it a complete package. From its case, strap, extra string set, sand shaker, its picks to its polish cloth, you may find this ukulele to be the all-in-one package set you need when you want to play it on your next vacation.

What I Like
  • Beautifully built and smooth design, shape and look lures players to use it
  • Gorgeous, high-end tuning pegs
  • Daddario Tenor strings that are tuned G C E A
  • A completely packed accessories
  • Ukulele voice quality made even more crisp because of its mahogany neck and advanced fluorocarbon strings
What I Didn’t Like
  • Customer complains of high action issues, making chords difficult or impossible to engage.
  • Intonation can be majorly off in the low strong, and slightly off on one of the upper strings

#4: Kala KA-TEM Exotic Mahogany Tenor Ukulele

Features
  • Sides; Mahogany Neck; and Walnut Fingerboard - Natural
  • Tenor Ukulele with Mahogany Top
  • Back

Last update on 2020-10-18 / Affiliate links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The best sounding tenor ukulele can be a challenge to find in a low-cost price range, but surprisingly, the Kala KA-TEM Exotic Mahogany Tenor Ukulele seems to be an exception.

The laid-back vibe design of this Kala tenor ukulele makes it your go-to companion when you want something light and less costly to carry around in your travels. It’s an upsetting feeling to lose your expensive ukulele, and so this low-cost one may be a wise alternative.

This doesn’t mean that you are being ripped off by its lack of great features. This model has a beautiful mahogany neck and a walnut fingerboard that gives off a natural tropical feel that just reminds you of the summer holidays.

You can also feel the sound of expensive, boutique-grade ukes in this less expensive alternative. Why shell out that extra money you can use for your travels when the less expensive ones are just as practical and gorgeous?

I recommend this to you if you want an amazing bang for your buck deal. Sure, it’s not a signature brand and it doesn’t have the fancy hype that the more expensive ones have, but if you want a uke to play with your friends, then this is more than enough.

What I Like
  • Beautiful mahogany exterior
  • Sounds as lovely as the boutique-grade ukes in the market
  • Unique-looking, pretty Satin finish
What I Didn’t Like
  • Soundboard looks like an artificial, plastic laminate
  • Grain patterns in the design are poorly matched

#5: Oscar Schmidt OU28TE-A-U 8-String Tenor Ukulele

Features
  • Fine Mahogany top, back and sides
  • Alternative/engineered/Tech wood Fingerboard and Bridge
  • Eight strings with two octave and two unison tuning
  • Built-in EQ
  • signature "aloha" on head stock

Last update on 2020-10-18 / Affiliate links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The one thing that makes this Oscar Schmidt uke a stand-out is its fine mahogany top, back and sides. Not only that: it is designed with an alternative, tech wood fingerboard and bridge, giving your uke a robust, expensive feel minus the cost.

It helps, too, that it has a built-in EQ in its design so even the professional uke players can still have at it without isolating the beginners who just want to have fun. The eight strings with two octave and two unison tuning installed give you extra leniency to get the right tuning that lasts a long time.

If you want the right neck dimensions, then its neck tapers’ 242 mm length may be for you. Its width at the nut end is around 35 mm, which makes it still a good choice for those who are worried that fingering chords could be difficult for lack of space.

There is a strap hook near the plug on the bottom of the body, whose other end reaches around the head. I recommend this unit for you if you want to use a ukulele in a performance, and not just when you’re lounging around with friends, in which case you don’t need a strap.

What I Like
  • Beautifully fine mahogany top, back and sides
  • It has eight strings with two octave and two unison tuning for better sound quality
  • It has a built-in EQ for sound dynamics or tune variation 
What I Didn’t Like
  • There is a complaint of a warped face of the guitar from the tension even when it is climate-controlled
  • There is a complaint about a missing battery door in the uke

#6: Fender Rincon Tenor Ukulele

Features
  • Tenor sized ukulele
  • Solid ovangkol top, ovangkol back and sides
  • Fishman Kula pickup system with built-in tuner
  • Bound top, back, and fingerboard; abalone rosette
  • No-tie bridge; bone nut and saddle
  • Includes gig bag

Last update on 2020-10-18 / Affiliate links (#ad) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The main reason why the Fender Rincon Tenor Ukulele appears in some lists of best ukulele brands in the market could be because of its distinct solid Ovangkol material. While others are made of bold mahogany, this ukulele’s Ovangkol material on its back and sides gives it a beautifully rustic look.

You may also find it valuable that this comes with a no-tie bridge, a bone nut and saddle with a bound top, back and fingerboard. These features and the ukulele’s abalone rosette material of its fingerboard all give it a stylish, timeless feel.

Fender is known for its time-tested brand in the guitar industry. This Fender ukulele seems to live to that reputation as it is packed with not only a super portable design, but with a Fishman pickup/preamp system that has a variety of onboard controls.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that what you get from this instrument’s amplified sound is a rich, pure and resonant tone you rarely can find elsewhere. Fender describes the rich, deep voice of its sound to be “electrifying” and “inspiring”, and so for that alone, it’s worth for you to check it out.

What I Like
  • Solid Ovangkol material type
  • Unmistakably classic Fender look
  • Eye-catching abalone rosette fingerboard
  • It has a rich, deep voice that’s described by official statement to be “inspiring”
  • 4-in-line Tele® headstock with vintage-style closed-back tuning machines
What I Didn’t Like
  • Lack of accessories
  • Fretboard could be small for larger hands

What is a Tenor Ukulele?

A Tenor Ukulele is the type of ukulele that is bigger than concert ukes and the largest kind among the three most common uke sizes in the market: soprano, concert tenor. Tenor ukuleles have more volume, bass and warmth because of its larger size.

Unlike a concert uke that has a 15″ scale, a tenor uke is designed to have a 17″ scale.

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Tenor Ukulele Under 200

  • The Size of Your Ukulele – when you choose a tenor ukulele, you are getting a more robust, large sound. See to it if this is the one you’re looking for because if it’s not, maybe the less bold sounds of a concert tenor is for you.
  • Compatibility with an Amp – an acoustic or electric ukulele are good for some performances, but bad in some. If you want an electro-acoustic tenor uke, then you need to make sure that the uke you’re purchasing is compatible with an amp speaker.
    I suggest you purchase a tenor uke that’s compatible with an amp, so that should you decide you want an acoustic version, you could still use it for such acoustic setting.
  • Tuning Pegs – there are brands of tenor ukes that have exceptional tuning pegs. These are important if you want your uke to stay in tune for a long time.
    Accessories can be expensive, so I suggest you also consider getting a $200 piece of tenor uke that already comes with tuning pegs, gig bag, picks and other essential accessories.
    Quality tuning pegs are critical in making sure that your tenor uke can last long plays without going off-tune. Get the kind of tenor ukes that come with tuning pegs already  reviewed by customers to be of high quality and precise in their measure.
  • The Brand – whether you like it or not, brand recognition is a critical decision-making factor. The right brand can make your investment in your uke even more  financially rewarding.
    The more recognized and time-tested the brand is, the more likely that you’d be getting the best product in that price range since the brand has more to lose if their product is inferior.

Tenor Ukulele vs Concert Ukulele

As a supplement to the definition of tenor ukulele above, let’s elaborate here the distinction between a concert ukulele versus a tenor ukulele.

Other than the size and volume of sound that we mentioned, both types also differ in terms of string tension. Tenor ukes have a higher string tension that concert ukes, which means you’d feel a tight string set in tenor ukes than in the concert type.

What this results is that professionals can master the art of uke instrument more precisely when using a tenor uke since its tight strings can build memory muscles in the fingers better.

For fret board length, tenor ukes usually have a designed fretboard that joins at the 14th fret. What this gives you is a better clearance to access the higher frets compared to the concert uke.

In terms of price, you can expect tenor ukes to be more expensive than a concert uke of the same category. The difference can go as high as 25%, so it helps to get a good price comparison online across a variety of sites to give you the best price.

Top Tenor Ukulele Brands

The top tenor ukulele brands in the market are the ones that offer extremely reliable uke material quality and longevity. Some brands are also famous because they are prolific in innovating new features of otherwise basic uke designs.

Another factor that makes a tenor uke brand a top-notch company is its ability to offer a variety of sizes, material options and expertise levels of the ukes they sell in the market.

For example, Donner is a brand that’s founded in 2012, and so it still doesn’t have a long history behind its production. However, because of the variety of sizes and designs of ukes it offers to the public, it remains a prominent brand.

Here are some of the other top tenor ukulele brands in the market today:

  • Fender
  • Kala
  • Hola! Music
  • Ranch
  • Lohanu
  • Aklot
  • Huawind
  • Hurricane
  • Diamond Head
  • Everjoys
  • Mahalo Ukuleles
  • Donner
  • Cordoba

How to Restring a Ukulele

The first step to restring your ukulele, whether a tenor or concert type that’s made of nylon or metal strings, is to make sure first that the headstock is directed away from you. You don’t want to be in the direct line of fire should the string accidentally breaks.

Second, it may be wise if you wear eye protection. A pair of eyeglasses or, if you’re in a well-lit area, a pair of shades will be a good added protection for your eyes should things go south in restringing your uke.

Whether your tuning pegs are facing backwards or forward or your uke has a tie-bar bridge or a standard type, you should first restring one at a time. This prevents you from being muddled on what string goes on which.

If you are about to replace all your ukulele strings, a good tip is to start first with the C string then the E string to be followed by the A string and G string respectively.

The next step is to loosen the string or strings until they slide easily off the tuning peg. Then you can now remove the string out from the bridge and once they’re fully detached, you are now ready to string your replacement strings.

When the new string is securely fastened to the bridge, continue fastening them at the headstock of the ukulele. You can then slip the string’s other end in the tuning peg or slot.

The next part is you pull the string taught, tighten it with the tuning peg and then snip off the remaining string by the headstock with the wire cutter you prepared. You can also use a scissor. Finally, you can then tune your ukulele using online ukulele tuners.

How to Measure a Ukulele  200

To measure the size or length of your ukulele, you have to determine its scale length. This can be done by measuring the length of the part of the string you play, which is the distance between the nut and the bridge.

The size or measure of the ukulele will help determine the type of uke you’re using. If it’s a soprano uke, you are most likely getting the kind you imagine from a standard uke.

This is the perfect size to choose for people who want to do a lot of varying, chord strumming and for those who just want a traditional uke sound.

A concert uke is measured to be just the right size: not too big, not too small. It’s even referred to as the Goldilocks ukulele, as it gives a little extra room on the fretboard.

FAQs

 

What is the best ukulele size for a beginner?

 I suggest you go first for a soprano ukulele as a beginner. This has the standard design, feel, sound and soft tone that you normally expect from a ukulele.

Are cheap tenor ukuleles worth buying?

Yes, they are! As you can already see in the list of tenor ukuleles we made, there are quality tenor ukuleles under $200 that can sound and feel like expensive, boutique-style ukuleles.

 Final Verdicts

As a conclusion, I can confirm here that there are many quality, professional-grade tenor ukuleles in the market that you can buy for less than $200. But for me, the Fender Rincon Tenor Ukulele is my clear winner because it has all the other essential features of its contenders but it’s the only uke that’s not made of a mahogany body, making it the most distinguished.

This Fender ukulele fulfills my checklist in getting the best value for my money in terms of style, sound quality and reputation. Fender is a Number One brand already, and I can definitely trust that when I need to repair my ukulele, the brand’s reputable history can offer quality customer service.

Truly and confidently, I choose the Fender Rincon as my best tenor ukulele under 200.

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