Quick Tenor Ukulele Comparison

This is a bit of a departure for this site, but someone on a forum was contemplating purchasing a ukulele that I happen to own, so I thought I would put a few quick sound samples here. (Please forgive my terrible playing…)

All of these sound samples 16bit wav files, so there shouldn’t be any compression weirdness. They were recorded at the same distance and (at least attempting to) played at the same intensity on a TASCAM DR-40 recorder, so the relative volumes should be about what you would hear if you were in the room with me.

The instruments in question are:

  • Enya X1 HPL tenor with Worth fluorocarbon string
  • Ohana TK-35 mahogany tenor with Fremont Black Line fluorocarbon strings
  • Martin T1K with Martin fluorocarbon strings (this is my wife’s instrument. Don’t tell her I borrowed it…)

These first clips are simply playing each of the strings, gCEA, to get an idea of the sound.

Enya X1 Strings

Ohana TK-35 Strings

Martin T1K Strings


For the next bit, I played a bit of “I’ll Be Seeing You”, one of my favorite tunes to just sit and strum.

Enya X1 Strum

Ohana TK-35 Strum

Martin T1K Strum


Lastly, a bit of finger-picking. This the opening to “Stairway to Heaven”, which happened to be the first thing in my folder when I was making these samples.

Enya X1 Picked

Ohana TK-35 Picked

Martin T1K Picked


This is an incredible unfair comparison, honestly. The Enya goes for around $130 online (only) and is made of HPL (High Pressure Laminate, basically a countertop), while the Ohana is a ~$250 all solid mahogany, and the Martin is a ~$600 all solid koa.

Any of these are fun to play. I personally prefer the Ohana, but I happen to really like the character of a solid mahogany instrument.