European 21st c. small importers/distributors click for more

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AMi Sigma Tenor Ukulele
Sigma Tenor
There are a number of European importers and retailers who have a range of Ukuleles they import, usually from China, and then brand with their own name. They are usually better than the budget end, (though may include a budget end model) and some can be quite good quality

AMI Musical Instruments

The company was founded in Munich in 1984 by Günther Lutz, and became Germany's main Martin Guitars distributor. In 1992 they started making single and tricone resonator Guitars in Munich under the branding of Continental (I have not seen any Ukuleles under this branding though?) and having classical Guitars made for them in the far east under the name Antonio Hermosa. In 2011 they brought the name and logo rights of Sigma from Martin and started to use this on all of their wooden bodied instruments, including a Soprano, Concert and Tenor Ukulele, (and it appears they stopped using the Antonio Hermosa branding). Now there was some "fun" with this deal because Martin, who registered and started using the name in 1970 to brand Guitars made for them in the far east, (originally Japan but then moving to South Korea, then Taiwan and finally Indonesia), to compete with people like K Yasuma and Nakanishi who were making good Martinesque copies. Martin, to my knowledge, never used it to brand Ukuleles and stopped using it altogether in 2007. The also let the US rights to this name lapse and it was picked up by St. Louis Music, so when AMI brought the licence for it from Martin they were not allowed to use the name in the US and their products there were since 2014 branded Kindred Guitars (though I have not seen the Ukuleles under this branding?) More "fun" here means the US distributor of Kindred split with AMI in 2015 and is now selling them on their own, so I'm not sure about AMI's products in the US at the moment but they are publicly saying they have nothing to do with Kindred any more. In addition AMI are also the German, if not the European distributor for AXL's Johnson range of resonator instruments, (and presumably the other ones too but it doesn't mention them on the AMI website?)


Not sure if the website works?
Founded in 1992 in Braga by Manuel and José Carvalho The firm makes all manner of Portuguese folk chordophone plus some acoustic Guitars and Soprano, Concert and Tenor Ukuleles. Then of course they make all manner of Ukulele size folk instruments like Brazilian Cavacos and Portuguese Cavaquinhos including Braguinhas, ray mouthed and double coursed ones, that are often mistaken for Ukuleles.
Despite the same family name, the close geographic location and the similar design of their instruments, this does appear to be a separate firm to APC


This appears to be the own brand of the London Guitar Studio and Internet retailer and physical shop in London, (well I've not really seen them on sale anywhere else?) the range is laminate and features Soprano, Concert and a Tenor model. From the "A" style model I would guess some if not all of them were made in one of the QTE factories in China

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