Resonator Ukulele Builders and Manufactures

Resonator ukulele builders, links and resources. The ukuleles with the hub cap ;-)

Resonator Ukulele Luthiers, Builders and Manufacturers

HowlettPeter_Resolele.pngA resonator ukulele or "resophonic ukulele" is a ukulele whose sound is produced by one or more spun aluminum cones (resonators) instead of the wooden soundboard (ukulele top/face). These instruments are sometimes referred to as "Dobro ukuleles," however the term "Dobro" is currently trademarked by the Gibson Guitar Corporation.

The resonator ukulele is a descendant of the resonator guitar. The resonator guitar was originally designed to be louder than conventional acoustic guitars, which were overwhelmed by horns and percussion instruments in dance orchestras. A resonator ukulele is generally somewhat louder than a standard wooden ukulele, and has a different tone quality and distinctive appearance.

Though resonator guitars are often played flat in the lap steel guitar style, resonator ukuleles are almost exclusively played in the conventional manner.

A Peter Howlett Resonator ukulele

Beltona Resonator Instruments

Beltona Resonator Instruments

Old Parua Bay Road, R.D.5
Whangarei, New Zealand Northern Hemisphere contact:www.northpacificproductions.com

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from the Beltona Resonator Instruments web site

Beltona began as a partnership between Steve Evans and Bill Johnson in the UK in 1990. A luthier and engineer respectively and sharing an interest in resonator instruments, they set out to produce a couple of instruments for themselves replicating the best features of the originals but also making adjustments and improvements where they were needed.

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Black Bear Ukuleles

Black Bear Ukuleles

Duane Heilman
Yakima, WA
USA

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from the Black Bear Ukuleles web site

My name is Duane Heilman, and I am a luthier and owner of Black Bear Guitars and Ukuleles, a one man shop located in Yakima, Washington, in the U.S. I have been designing, building, and repairing stringed instruments since 1991, and creating ukuleles since 1998. My designs and construction techniques have grown out of years of study and observation of vintage and modern ukes. I try to incorporate my own artistic sense into each instrument as well, and sometimes the results can be quite different and full of surprises -- even to me!

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Donmo Resonator Guitars

Donmo Resonator Guitars

Don Morrison
Adelaide, **South Australia
**USA
Phone: (08) 8362 1317 International Phone: 61 8 8362 1317

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from the Donmo Resonator Guitars web site

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Fine Resophonic

Fine Resophonic

Mike Lewis / Pierre Avocat
3 voie Coypel
94400 Vitry sur Seine
France
Phone & Fax : 33 (1) 46 77 86 17

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from the Fine Resophonic web site

 Les fabricants de guitares à résonateurs de type National ne courent pas les rues. On les compterait presque sur les doigts d’une main. L‘un des plus réputés en Europe est installé à Vitry sur Seine (94). Originaire de Grande-Bretagne, Mike Lewis a fini par consacrer toute sa vie aux fameuses guitares en métal.

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Hoosier Maid Ukulele Works

Hoosier Maid Ukulele Works

Geoff Davis
1337 Hannibal Street
Noblesville, IN 46060
USA
Phone: 317 313 4763

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from the Hoosier Maid Ukulele Works web site

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Peter Howlett

Peter Howlett

Pete Howlett Ukulele
Unit 8 Capel Salem
Ffordd Bryncleyn
Talysarn
Gwynedd
LL54 6AB
Unither Kingdom
TEl: 07811 054584 The International Ukulele Building School
South Wales, United Kingdom
UK Phone: 07870 677754

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from the Peter Howlett web site

A prophetic photograph of me age 4 used to form the background, Bowman style, to my labels. Clutching my plastic Woolworth‘s ukulele, standing in the tartan kilt of my mother’s Scottish clan, in front of the wall my dad built, is a constant reminder that I really was born to do this job! My whole philosophy is one of care in the selection of materials and attention to detail. I learned these qualities from my toolmaker father whose exacting eye taught me to take notice of the small things. I remember when our neighbors painted their houses; it took a couple of days with a gallon can of Dulux. It always needed re-doing a couple of years later. Dad took a week applying 3 coats of Mangers lead based oil paint over 2 coats of red lead primer. He only did it once. It lasted years.

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Kala Brand Music Company

Kala Brand Music Company

pronounced Kah’ la

P.O. Box 751149
Petaluma, California 94975-1149
USA

tel:1 877 Uke Duke

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Funky Frets, Boyertown PA USA

Our family store, Funky Frets is an authorized dealer and carries the Kala Brand Music Company brand.

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from the Kala Brand Music Company web site

Mike Upton is the founder of Kala Brand Music Company in northern California. Established in 2005, Kala builds 120-plus models of ukulele, including travel and bass variations. Kala amd Makala brand of ukuleles.

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National Reso Phonic Guitars

National Reso Phonic Guitars

871 Via Esteban #C
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
USA
Tel: (805) 546-8442
Fax: (805) 546-8430

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from the National Reso Phonic Guitars web site

These instruments were first created in the era of the Hawaiian and Jazz Bands, prior to electrical amplification. All sorts of musicians, Hawaiian, jazz and blues, wanted louder guitars: to be able to be heard alongside horns; to project out into music halls or smokey night clubs; or, to be the loudest guitar on the street corner. In response to this need, the mechanically amplified resonator guitar was created.

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Pohaku Ukuleles

Pohaku Ukuleles

Peter Hurney
937 Grayson Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
Tel: 510-845-5055

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from the Pohaku Ukuleles web site

Pohaku Ukuleles are built by master craftsman Peter Hurney who began creating his Pohaku brand ukuleles in Hawaii in the early 90’s. This one person shop, now in Berkeley, California, produces a limited number of high quality instruments which have found their way all over the globe and are enjoyed by prominent musicians worldwide.

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Republic Guitars

Republic Guitars

American Folklore Inc.
3526 Lakeview Pkwy. Ste. B # 221
Rowlett, Texas 75088
USA

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from the Republic Guitars web site

When Texas teenager Frank Helsley heard Johnny Winter playing acoustic blues on a resonator it signaled the start of a lifelong obsession, both as a player and designer. In 2007, frustrated at the affordable options available to the modern resonator enthusiast, Helsley founded Republic Guitars.

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Stapleton Guitars

Stapleton Guitars

Mondo Mando
Providence Place
Lyme Regis
Dorset
Great Britain
eMail: [email protected]

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from the Stapleton Guitars web site

I got my first guitar when i was about 13.A cheap and extremely nasty plywood model with metal strings about 1/2in off the fingerboard (got me started on slide mind!) First thing I did was shave down the floating bridge to save my soft little fingers - it was the start of a long journey

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Historical Manufacturers

  • Dobro Manufacturing Company (USA)
  • Regal Musical Instrument Company (USA)
  • Del Vecchio (Brazil)
  • Johnson/Ashbury (China)
MyaMoe_Resonator

Resonator Ukulele Links and Resources

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