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Thread: Ukulele size buying advice

  1. #11
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    Feb 2012
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    Do you have a music store anywhere around you that does guitar repair? They may be able to do a proper set-up on your Lanikai. I have the same LU-21C and it was very difficult and disappointing to play because the action was so high. I took it to a guitar shop and they were able to lower the action. Now it plays like a dream and with a set of Martin strings on it, it sounds pretty good too. I've since acquired two nicer and more expensive ukes (both concerts) and contemplated selling the LU-21C but I can't seem to bring myself to do it. I enjoy playing it as much as the other two and in some ways, it plays more smoothly and more comfortably than the other two. I really like the feel of it.
    Lanikai LU-21C concert - nato laminate (my starter uke!)
    Ohana CK-42R concert - solid sinker redwood top, solid rosewood back and sides, maple binding
    Kala KA-FMCG concert- solid spruce top, laminate spalted flame maple back and sides, mahogany binding

    Money can't buy happiness but it can buy a ukulele which is basically the same thing.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Would the pono mango soprano be a good chkice? Looks like a standard soprano with more frets? Pono also has a long neck with soprano, whereas this one is marked as just a soprano...thoughts?

    https://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-...no-deluxe.html

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Only you can decide which scale length you want, but you can't go wrong with that or one of the longnecks like this:
    https://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-...rano-assd.html
    Or the Opio longneck:
    https://www.theukulelesite.com/koalo...ge-kso-02.html
    Those are all in the same price range,so really can't go wrong. The Opio will have a little thinner neck and the Pono a little thicker.
    Current Stable:
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    Once upon a time:
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  4. #14
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    I have the Lanikai C-KC. It was my first. I thought about selling it once but I just can't do it. It holds it's tune better than my others and has a nice sound. I probably play it more than my others.

    I have the Pono mango soprano. It is very nice. Great build and sound. I am probably going to sell mine only because I don't care for the friction tuners. I played the soprano Opio at Mim's when I was shopping. It is very nice, too. In my opinion, it is louder than the Pono.

    You can't go wrong with either of them.
    Jan >^..^<
    (AKA Chopped Liver)


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  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chopped Liver View Post
    I have the Lanikai C-KC. It was my first. I thought about selling it once but I just can't do it. It holds it's tune better than my others and has a nice sound. I probably play it more than my others.

    I have the Pono mango soprano. It is very nice. Great build and sound. I am probably going to sell mine only because I don't care for the friction tuners. I played the soprano Opio at Mim's when I was shopping. It is very nice, too. In my opinion, it is louder than the Pono.

    You can't go wrong with either of them.
    How is the width of the fretboard on the mango? I think I prefer the shorter scale length of a standard soprano, but would appreciate the added width for frets like what a concert offers. May need to get one if the long necks (opio or pono acacia) if the pono soprano has the narrow frets...might just pull the trigger on the mango though. Decisions decisions!

    Ultimately, I want 16+ frets with a soprano scale and wider frets than a soprano, I think.

    Edit: I think what I am looking for is a soprano scale length with a wider nut width, so there is more string spacing--is that right? If so, looks like an Opio has 1.5" (slightly more than the LU-21C) and Pono has 1.375" (around the same as the Kala). If that is right, I think I'll go with the Opio longneck...wish it had a shorter scale length, but I really need more than the 12 frets a Koaloha soprano has.
    Last edited by shroomshade; 02-03-2018 at 08:56 PM.

  6. #16
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    Jan 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelz777 View Post
    Do you have a music store anywhere around you that does guitar repair? They may be able to do a proper set-up on your Lanikai. I have the same LU-21C and it was very difficult and disappointing to play because the action was so high. I took it to a guitar shop and they were able to lower the action. Now it plays like a dream and with a set of Martin strings on it, it sounds pretty good too. I've since acquired two nicer and more expensive ukes (both concerts) and contemplated selling the LU-21C but I can't seem to bring myself to do it. I enjoy playing it as much as the other two and in some ways, it plays more smoothly and more comfortably than the other two. I really like the feel of it.
    That is a good idea...we do have a guitar shop, so maybe I will take it in at some point so it's at least playable. Maybe put some new strings on it as well.

  7. #17
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    Sounds like you got your choices narrowed down to two great models, can't go wrong with either a Pono or a KoAloha Opio. In both cases, I'd consider having the friction tuners changed to some Gotoh UPT. That's a sevice offered by the Ukulele Site for a small extra fee, but certainly worth not having to worry about slipping strings.

    A wider nut does not necessarily equal more string spacing and as far as I know, the Opio nut width is not 1.5" (38mm), but more like 1 7/16" (36mm), so not that much more than the 1 3/8" (35mm) on the Pono. From looking at my Opio, I think the extra space is rather added at the edges, which is a good thing too, as it prevents my index fingers from involuntarily muting the first string.

    I think very highly of both Pono and Opio, but for a full-on punchy Soprano sound, out of the models you're looking at, I'd choose the Opio.
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakelele View Post

    A wider nut does not necessarily equal more string spacing and as far as I know,
    No, but it still really helps. I mainly play sopranos and have large hands. The ideal for me is a wide nut and improved string spacing, but even just a wide nut for me can help - it's about how the endges of the board support the fretting fingers as they curl around - hard to descibe.
    4 Strings made of nylon, always put a smile on, anybody's face who's feeling blue....

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  9. #19
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    Nov 2015
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    I usually recommend a concert scale for newbies, & I still do, but in your case, you have basically found out what you like.

    I spent most of my first year on a Kala KA-SLNG long neck mahogany laminate uke, it was perfect for me starting out, & I still have & use it 2 years later.

    But if you want to spend more money, my best uke is a long neck concert solid acacia Opio, & they do a lovely soprano long neck.

    If you want to hear how it sounds, there are videos of it on the internet, as well as one of our members' video, available in another thread.

    P.S. You can put a low G on a long neck, no problem, to increases your finger picking opportunities.
    Last edited by Croaky Keith; 02-04-2018 at 12:58 AM.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.
    Formerly known as uke1950.

  10. #20
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    Apr 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelz777 View Post
    Do you have a music store anywhere around you that does guitar repair? They may be able to do a proper set-up on your Lanikai. I have the same LU-21C and it was very difficult and disappointing to play because the action was so high. I took it to a guitar shop and they were able to lower the action. Now it plays like a dream and with a set of Martin strings on it, it sounds pretty good too. I've since acquired two nicer and more expensive ukes (both concerts) and contemplated selling the LU-21C but I can't seem to bring myself to do it. I enjoy playing it as much as the other two and in some ways, it plays more smoothly and more comfortably than the other two. I really like the feel of it.


    What he said. For a small investment you’ll get a much more useable Uke and one that will be fine for you to use for a couple of years.

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