Chinese Brands with Limited Distribution click for more

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Samwill Rope Walnut Soprano Ukulele Corner
My Samwill Walnut
There are a lot of Ukulele factories in China, usually in Guangzhou, and whilst some of them make the famous brands that are distributed internationally, (and some don't respect copyright), they also produce other less famous brands that only get very limited distribution. These may be the factory "house" brands or may be a limited trial run and they never really went into production, (but then a trial run of 500 is more than some luthiers will ever make)? I haven't found the information to be more specific, but some of these brands are as good as the famous ones made along side them so deserver some recognition.
Some of the factories will have used more than one of the brand names on otherwise identical models of Ukulele and I am finding the more I look into it that some of these "manufacturers" are really only Ukulele distributors and by this I mean that a company that specialises in making say Guitars or Violins is asked by a customer to supply Ukuleles as well. Instead of making the Ukuleles themselves, although they probably could, they buy them from one of the other factories and sell them on as their own; making it hard to work out who exactly makes them? Anyway here is what I have found.


The Samwill, (sometimes misread as Sawmill), Handmade Ukulele & Mandolin Musical Instrument Co. is a small Chinese manufacturer trying to work like a luthier. They have a small output that are largely handmade with a range of standard models, a custom department, and usually a wait if you order for them to build the Ukulele. they are also very fond of "Rope" inlay binding and purling, (and its proper hand made inlay not decal strips). I believe the company is owned in Taiwan but the work is done on the mainland.

YongChun Musical Instrument MFG Ltd.

From Hui Zhou, GuangDong Province, they started out making the standard selection of electric Guitar clones in 2004 which they currently brand Fantastic as well as Yongchun. They have introduced a selection of solid body nylon strung electric Ukulele designs in a variety of woods and finishes and according to their website they are all Concerts, (and all branded Yongchun). I have seen the whole range in East-Start's catalogue without headstock logos so I am unsure if this firm is the manufacturer or just a distributor?

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