/ / The Ultimate List of Tenor Ukuleles 2021

The Ultimate List of Tenor Ukuleles 2021

Tenor Ukuleles

Tenor ukuleles are the most commonly reached for the size of ukuleles when people are looking to get themselves a new guitar. Whether the new owner might be a beginner, intermediate, or an expert player, the tenor’s size makes it easy for anyone to adapt as it’s not too big or too small. With just the right size, it also offers just the right sound anyone would expect off of a ukulele. The size offers some depth and warmth that a soprano or concert cannot provide, while it’s also capable of maintaining the signature twang of the ukulele’s tone that a baritone cannot give. While looking for a tenor has been made easy by the fact that you already know the size of what you’re looking for, we made a quick list to help you out even further in making the correct choice that’s sure to fit you well. So without further ado, here is the list! 

Top 8 Tenor Ukuleles 2021

Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle

Kala brings out all their big guns on this Satin Mahogany tenor, then topping it off with a gig bag + tuner + polishing cloth + instructional DVD to make it hard to say no to. It’s the perfect tenor ukulele, and the only thing that would be stopping you is either the price or the fact that you want a different tonewood.

Read Our Review
4.9 rating
4.9
4.9
4.9 rating
Tenor Ukulele Natural

This Ebony wood entry from Kala comes in a close second, offering an extra layer of luscious warmth on the tenor’s tones. Offering a more balanced than a treble-biased tone, the Kala Ebony Tenor is a true standout that’s worthy of it’s accolades and praises.

Read Our Review
4.8 rating
4.8
4.8
4.8 rating
Tenor Ukulele Bundle

Kala offers an Exotic Mahogany alternative for their famous tenor – fitting exactly for those people looking for a more refined and peculiar mahogany to work on. Offering a brighter and more responsive body, it’s surely perfect for people who are aggressive into playing the ukulele. Strum your heart away on this one!

Read Our Review
4.8 rating
4.8
4.8
4.8 rating
Gloss Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle

Just as good as a normal Kala mahogany tenor, but offered in a different finish and binding. It offers a very sleek modern look but it’s just and punchy and responsive as you want it. No overtones, just full-on crunch and response wrapped in an all-new package for you to feast your eyes and hands on.

Read Our Review
4.8 rating
4.8
4.8
4.8 rating
Solid Bamboo Tenor Ukulele

This one is for those players looking for something more different and exotic, as the bamboo tonewood. As you’d expect, it’s a crunchy and punchy guitar that sits well on the mids. There’s no warmth to it whatsoever, and it’s treble is barely tipping off slightly just from the mid. It’s a fun little instrument to experiment with, but don’t expect it to sound like something you’ve already heard before!

Read Our Review
4.7 rating
4.7
4.7
4.7 rating
Ukulele Tenor Starter Kit

Kala’s Learn To Play Satin Mahogany Tenor is truly a charmer, reminiscent of it’s more expensive counterpart. The Learn To Play line goes for laminated wood options to cut down prices, while the differences on tone and feel are only slightly noticeable. The sound of this guitar lightly treads into almost sinking well into the mids, but the satin mahogany makes sure it offers a swell sound that’s sure to satisfy.

Read Our Review
4.6 rating
4.6
4.6
4.6 rating
Signature Series Tenor Ukulele

This flowery satin mahogany tenor is a Learn To Play alternative for those Mandy Harvey fans seeking to learn the ukulele. It’s a complete charmer of a ukulele, with the price a bit too expensive than usual since it’s a “signature”. Sound-wise, it performs the same as that of a normal Learn To Play tenor, as the only advantage this has is the hand-carved aesthetic.

Read Our Review
4.6 rating
4.6
4.6
4.6 rating
Solid Mahogany

Enya’s sole entry on the list offers a mahogany tenor that’s filled to the brim with accessories. Weirdly enough, they’re giving it away pricier than that of the best Kala to go head-to-head with this Enya competitor. Frankly, the accessories feel too excessive. But nonetheless, the ukulele is as good as anyone would expect it to be, but the tone is a far cry from the response and warmth that Kala offers.

Read Our Review
4.6 rating
4.6
4.6
4.6 rating

1. Kala KA-15T Satin Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle – The Perfect Choice

Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle
Editor’s Rating:  
4.9 rating

Specs:

  • Size: Tenor
  • Material: Satin Mahogany
  • Thickness: 4 inches
  • Weight: 2.29 pounds
  • Outstanding feature: It’s a beautifully made Satin Mahogany ukulele from Kala. Nothing can go wrong.

This offering from Kala boasts the best possible look and sound the mahogany can offer for a ukulele. With a satin finish that is as elegant as it is classy, this ukulele boasts punchy tones, great overall response, and amazing sound projection. There is warmth imminent in it’s tone, but it simply can’t be beat by how crunchy playing through it is. With a 17’ scale length for the mahogany neck with walnut fingerboard, it feels just right to hold and super easy to play. The gig bag, tuner, polishing cloth, and Learn To Play DVD may be a bit excessive if you ask me, but the price makes it seem as if it’s such a steal so I’m not really going for any complaints!

Pros

  • Elegant satin mahogany laminate tonewood
  • Beautiful and classy aesthetic 
  • Well-thought of and not overly excessive accessories 

Cons

  • People may prefer a different, more peculiar tonewood than mahogany 
  • People may prefer to ditch the accessories for a lower price
  • The 17” scale length may be restricting for big handed players

2. Kala KA-EBY-T Ebony Tenor Ukulele Natural – The Darker Choice

Tenor Ukulele Natural
Editor’s Rating:  
4.8 rating

Specs:

  • Size: Tenor
  • Material: Ebony wood
  • Thickness: 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.34 pounds
  • Outstanding feature: great aesthetic, luscious warm tone, amazing sound projection

Kala’s ebony wood offering is a true shocker – boasting a warm and lusciously deep tone that’s quite hard to match. Shying away from the mahogany’s typically punchy performance, the Kala Ebony Tenor offers the same response and sound projection but with a bit of bass for those people looking to complete the spectrum in the ukulele. It’s really hard to go wrong with a Kala, as this Ebony just might be the elusive sound you’ve been longing for so long.

Pros

  • Exquisite ebony wood finish
  • Luscious warm and deep tones 
  • Well put together build

Cons

  • Some may still prefer the mahogany sound and tone over this
  • The finish may be too dark for some

3. Kala KA-TEM Exotic Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle – The Exotic Choice

Tenor Ukulele Bundle
Editor’s Rating:  
4.8 rating

Specs:

  • Size: Tenor
  • Material: Exotic Mahogany
  • Thickness: 5 inches
  • Weight: 2.13 pounds
  • Outstanding feature: interesting tonewood, unique aesthetic, complete inclusions

This exotic mahogany offering is peculiar in more ways than one – as it offers quite a spectacle of a finish (just look at those grains!) and a brighter, punchier tone than we’re used to from that of a normal mahogany ukulele. Also boasting Aquila Super Nylgut strings and a GraphTech NuBone nut, and saddle, the ukulele basically leaves it’s buyer to ask for nothing more. But then it surprises you by offering a clip-on tuner, gig bag, instructional DVD, and polish cloth to come with it. Now, if you still don’t think this is a steal that I don’t know what will!

Pros

  • It’s a beautiful looking ukulele  
  • It offers a  brighter and punchier tone
  • The inclusions make it quite a steal

Cons

  • Some may prefer the sound of non-exotic mahogany better 
  • `7 inch scale length may be too limiting for some 
  • Some may opt for a cheaper ukulele sans the inclusions

4. Kala KA-TG Gloss Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle – A Classy Choice

Gloss Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle
Editor’s Rating:  
4.8 rating

Specs:

  • Size: Tenor
  • Material: Gloss Mahogany
  • Thickness: 5 inches
  • Weight: 2.13 pounds
  • Outstanding feature: classic (and classy!) finish and binding, great set of inclusions, and a great build

Kala truly made sure to create a ukulele that’s hard to say no to – offering one of the most natural looking finishes that’s glossed out and accentuated by cream binding to make things even more irresistible. Of course it offers more than that, as the guitar also comes with a GraphTech Nubone nut and saddle along with Aquila Nylgut strings that well accentuate the punchy, high-response nature of mahogany. It also comes with a strap, gig bag, a clip on tuner, online lessons, polishing cloth, and DVD – which more or less pushes it’s price upwards.

Pros

  • There are great inclusions and accessories in the package
  • The mahogany is well accentuated by the finish and binding
  • Superb and on-point sound quality

Cons

  • It may be better with a pre-amp included 
  • The inclusions can easily be ditched for a cheaper price if the player buying it is an intermediate or expert

5. Kala KA-BMB-T All Solid Bamboo Tenor Ukulele – The Peculiar Choice

Solid Bamboo Tenor Ukulele
Editor’s Rating:  
4.7 rating

Specs:

  • Size: Tenor
  • Material: Bamboo
  • Thickness: 5.1 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Outstanding feature: super peculiar tonewood in a well crafted body

Kala made sure to shock with an entry that no one else would dare try – by doing a guitar clad in bamboo. It’s usually a problem to use bamboo for acoustic guitars since padding up several pieces of wood doesn’t usually make a good sound, but using it for the size of the tenor seems to work perfectly. The tone sounds like it’s falling too much on the mids, cutting off the trebles and also negating depth and warmth. Nonetheless, the Kala Bamboo Tenor is a stunner, offering the standard Aquila Super Nylgut strings and GraphTech NuBone saddle and nut that can be seen all throughout Kala’s ukulele releases. Their edge for the guitar is it’s eco-friendliness, as bamboo is easy to plant and regrow.

Pros

  • Great build quality 
  • Rare tonewood (no one really makes bamboo guitars!)
  • Charming finish 

Cons

  • Some players may not appreciate the tone it delivers 
  • May be hard to fix in the future since the tonewood is pretty rare
  • The pale aesthetic may not be appealing to some people 

6. Official Kala Learn to Play Ukulele Tenor Starter Kit – A Beginner’s Choice

Ukulele Tenor Starter Kit
Editor’s Rating:  
4.6 rating

Specs:

  • Size: Tenor
  • Material: satin mahogany
  • Thickness: 4.25 inches
  • Weight: 2.12 pounds
  • Outstanding feature: great tone, clean aesthetic, wonderful neck intonation

This Learn To Play satin mahogany ukulele is enough to satiate any who’s looking to get their hands on a satin mahogany tenor ukulele of great quality. Even with the apparent use of laminated wood, the sound still strikingly resembles that of a pure mahogany ukulele. But of course, it comes with its own caveats. It’s undeniably a bit less responsive and punchy, but if you’re just starting out the difference is very hard to notice. It’s not that bad of a ukulele to pick up because at the end of the day, it’s still super hard to go wrong with a Kala. Just realized this entry is geared more to be maximized and utilized by beginners.So if you’re an intermediate or expert player you may want to read back a bit and pick from there instead.

 

Pros

  • Great, approachable price point
  • Never-go-wrong build quality 
  • Classic aesthetic

Cons

  • May be too simple for some 
  • People may prefer for the non-laminated wood mahogany
  • People may opt for a non-mahogany tone

7. Mandy Harvey Learn to Play Signature Series Tenor Ukulele – The Signature Choice

Signature Series Tenor Ukulele
Editor’s Rating:  
4.6 rating

Specs:

  • Size: Tenor
  • Material: Satin Mahogany
  • Thickness: 3.75 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Outstanding feature: very unique (and signature!) aesthetic

This Learn To Play is made extra fun by ukulele musician Mandy Harvey, as she let’s her name be a part of Kala’s Learn To Play line to become an ambassador. The partnership offers a Satin Mahogany tenor with a hand-carved vine pattern with birds and flowers upfront – created by none other than Mandy Harvey’s sister. If this Season 12 America’s Got Talent artist isn’t enough to get your attention to start on learning how to play the ukulele, then we don’t know what will!

Pros

  • Super unique aesthetic 
  • Great satin mahogany finish
  • Super sound quality and build

Cons

  • People may opt for a cheaper non signature ukulele
  • Some may want to opt out of buying mahogany ukuleles for a different tone
  • Not every ukulele player is a Mandy Harvey fan

8. Enya Tenor Ukulele 26″ all Solid Mahogany – The Different Choice

Solid Mahogany
Editor’s Rating:  
4.6 rating

Specs:

  • Size: Tenor
  • Material: mahogany
  • Thickness: 6.5 inches
  • Weight: 4.49 pounds
  • Outstanding feature: great finish, clean build, great sound quality

The sole Enya entry for this list proves to steal the show, offering a beautifully made mahogany piece that comes with a ton of accessories and inclusions that offer it a huge fighting chance against its competitors. This Enya entry knows how to close a list – offering punchy tones and great sound projection despite it’s laminated build. Also, the ukulele is perfect for anyone looking to pick it up at any level – as they include a proper gig bag, a clip-on tuner, a strap, some extra D’Addario J87 strings, a capo, polish cloth, a sand shaker, and some picks. For the price, it’s actually not that bad anymore!

Pros

  • Great finish and sound 
  • Amazing inclusions and build quality
  • The guitar feels super great to play on

Cons

  • People may opt for more peculiar tonewoods
  • People may want a Kala instead (since it’s trusted)
  • People may want a different finish

Tips

If this list of tenor ukuleles seems mighty overwhelming for you, you probably need to read through to get a better idea of which one to pick and purchase! Don’t worry – we had made sure that by the end of this you’d be playing through your favorite songs in no time. 

What’s your sound?

Ultimately, you’re choosing over an array of ukuleles that all more or less sound the same. These ukuleles only differ by intricacies, and you’d really need to pay attention very well for you to catch those small differences.

Case in point, the situation offers not much to think about, but mostly a few things to keep in mind. Since we’re looking at ukuleles of the same size, the differences would more or less come from the sound (which is dependent on the tonewood) and the feel (which is dependent on the scale.) 

Tonewoods usually offer sounds at both ends of the spectrum, with some offering deep, warm, and luscious tones reminiscent of an acoustic guitar and then there’s the sparkly, jangly tones that ukuleles are well known for. It may not be an easy thing to spot for beginners, but once you get used to them the differences would easily show up. Then there’s also the case of the scale, in which players usually prefer a neck length wherein they can easily fret on. Some players tend to find some necks too short with frets too slim for their play style (like that of a telecaster or a Les Paul), while others find the necks too big and hard to do chords on (like that of a classical guitar or a stratocaster).

Go with your gut

What really matters in the end is that you get the instrument you want. All of these tips are just but mere guides. At the end of the day, you having fun and being happy with the instrument you availed is all that matters. As long as you’re comfortable with how you play on it and it produces sounds that you love, then you’re fine and good to go. Sometimes logic fails to stand true when the heart speaks out regarding something that it wants. 

Looking more closely 

To make the list above even easier to segregate for you, we decided to create this short list that easily categorizes all of them per specification or build type they have. So without further ado, let’s zoom in on these tenor ukuleles’ intricacies! 

What makes or breaks a ukulele is mainly the tonewood. It’s what comprises most of the ukulele and takes up for its build quality and overall sound performance. Most ukuleles are known to be made from mahogany but are offered in different finishes. It offers a very punchy tone with great sound projection and response, as it can be seen from the Enya Tenor Ukulele 26″ all Solid Mahogany . A gloss finish of this can be seen for the Kala KA-TG Gloss Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle , while the satin finish can be seen from Kala KA-15T Satin Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle , Mandy Harvey Learn to Play Signature Series Tenor Ukulele  and Official Kala Learn to Play Ukulele Tenor Starter Kit. There’s also some people opting for a more exotic counterpart, such as that of the Kala KA-TEM Exotic Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle which is known for it’s brighter and punchier tone. On the other hand, there’s the Kala KA-EBY-T Ebony Tenor Ukulele Natural, which offers more low end than what the mahogany can give out. Then of course there’s the Kala KA-BMB-T All Solid Bamboo Tenor Ukulele, which has a tone that plays mostly in the mids. 

Since these are all of the same size, the general tone and resonance would almost be the same. So we’re going to the last thing one should consider: the aesthetics. This is mostly reliant on the finish or the design of the product, like the Kala KA-TEM Exotic Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle’s existent wood grain, the Kala KA-TG Gloss Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle’s apparent gloss, or the Mandy Harvey Learn to Play Signature Series Tenor Ukulele special hand carved vine pattern on its top. I bet you can also recognize the Enya Tenor Ukulele 26″ all Solid Mahogany’s rather matte finish, which also offers a different feel of the ukulele’s body that accounts for the player’s liking. 

Verdict

Let’s circle back and talk about our top 3 tenor ukuleles for this year, the Kala KA-15T Satin Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle, Kala KA-EBY-T Ebony Tenor Ukulele Natural  and the Kala KA-TEM Exotic Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle .

First off the list is the Kala KA-15T Satin Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle, the epitome of all tenor ukuleles to be made. Aside from the fact that it’s manufactured by Kala (one of the most sought for ukulele makers), the guitar is just perfectly splendid. Kala made sure to bring out the mahogany sound well on this one, and it plays just as beautiful. In fact, the added accessories to the bundle are just icing on top of a very tasteful cake.

Up next is the Kala KA-EBY-T Ebony Tenor Ukulele Natural, which offers a ukulele with more low end than that of the mahogany build that everyone is more or less used to. This addition of the bass tone is well complemented by the Ebony tenor’s darker finish – overall making up for such a splendid ukulele that looks handsome and plays just as wonderful. We’re putting it up second since it’s a close fighter to the Satin Mahogany offering and it’s easily the best alternative pick. 

Lastly, we have the Kala KA-TG Gloss Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle, a mahogany ukulele made to look dashing with a cream binding and gloss finish. This Kala entry offers the same crunchy and punchy tone of the mahogany along with the great response, low overtone, and great sound projection is known for. This pick primarily differs only through aesthetic, but offers the same quality and feel that Kala is known for globally.

We do hope you get to have your fill on tenor ukuleles with this quick bit and we wish you find yourself the ukulele that you seek! Moreover, this list has only been but a guide so feel free to still follow your heart and go for that ukulele that you feel like you’d have the most fun of making music with. At the end of the day, what really matters is that you have the time of your life with your instrument, making beautiful sounds that are sure to last a lifetime.

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