Browsing our chart on the best ukuleles for beginners you’ll find many very affordable ukes paired with a plethora of equipment. This Protégé U100CM from classical guitar masters Cordoba doesn’t come as part of a big bundle and is a little more expensive than the others – so what’s in it for beginners? Let’s check it out.
Cordoba are well-known for making a good-looking guitar, and their ukuleles are no different – the U100CM is a simple but attractive little instrument, with a concert body that’s a great size for beginners of all ages. It feels very well made, with sturdy laminated mahogany used for the top, back and sides, all in an elegant satin finish that gives the whole ukulele a sleek feel. The mother-of-pearl soundhole rosette finishes things off nicely.
The neck is also satin-finished mahogany, and features a rosewood fretboard with 18 frets (14 in the clear). This feels very nice in the hands, and is perfect for beginners looking for a quality neck on which to learn.
The U100CM comes complete with a set of four open-geared tuning machines with eye-catching pearl buttons, which both look the part and do a fine job of holding your tuning. Naturally it needs tuning up out of the box, but when it’s in tune, it’s very reliable. The bridge is made of rosewood, while it also comes with its own Protégé-branded soft (although not padded) gig bag, which is a good addition for the price, and adequate for transporting this uke to and from lessons.
For a sub-$100 uke, the U100CM has a beautiful sound, offering the traditional ukulele jingle – exactly what a novice would want. An experienced ukulelist would also appreciate the sweet warmth delivered by the all-mahogany body. Perhaps it’s a little thin in tone when compared to higher priced models, but – for beginners especially – there are very few complaints here.
All in all, it’s hard to find fault with the Protégé U100CM, which certainly appeals to beginners thanks to its affordable price and ease of play, while more advanced players would appreciate its tone. The U100CM is not as cheap as some of the other beginner-oriented ukes out there, but it still shows impressive value for money.