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View Full Version : New Lanikai Makau series, made in hawaii. Has anyone seen one in person?



hammer40
11-17-2014, 02:50 AM
I was surfing around and came across the new Makau series uke from Lanikai. It's an all solid Koa, hand built, made in Hawaii uke. It's priced in the "k" range at 1299.00 at Edlerly. Just wondering how it stacks up against the other hawaiian built "K" brands?

http://elderly.com/new_instruments/names/lanikai-makau-series-malibu-hawaiian-made-all-soli--LMSMT.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYSvpYl4gFc

strumsilly
11-17-2014, 03:15 AM
they look nice enough, but You can ger a Koaloha for less, so they would have to be pretty great at that price. I'll test one if they send me one.

UkerDanno
11-17-2014, 03:18 AM
I mean...it might be a fine instrument, but, you can get a Kamaka or Koaloha or Kanilea for about the same or even less $$$'s!

Bao
11-17-2014, 03:32 AM
They should include a slothead option. That would certainly appeal to a fair amount of people.

wayfarer75
11-17-2014, 04:12 AM
I mean...it might be a fine instrument, but, you can get a Kamaka or Koaloha or Kanilea for about the same or even less $$$'s!

Yeah, and honestly, Elderly's sound sample didn't impress me much. Not bad, but I would sooner buy a K for that money.

molokinirum
11-17-2014, 04:14 AM
Looks nice, but at that price, I would get a "K" brand uke, tried and true!!!!

hammer40
11-17-2014, 06:37 AM
I don't think Lanikai is considered ( I could be wrong) a "premium" brand. I'm surprised that they priced it at, or even above the K brands. I would have thought to aim for a more mid price point to start, and build up from there in the future. Similar to how Cordoba is doing it with their new 30 series of ukes.

Nuprin
11-17-2014, 07:05 AM
Our Lanikai rep brought one of these in to show my buyers. Unfortunately there hasn't been demand for a high-end ukulele at the store I work so we mainly just carry some Lanikai, Oscar Schmidt, Kala, Gretsch, Fender, and the Mexican made Martins. I did have a chance to play the Lanikai Makau for a couple of minutes though...first impressions, it played really nicely and sounded great. It reminded me a bit of the G-String that I once had. I've owned a couple of Kamakas, a Kanile'a, a couple of KoAlohas, and a Ko'olau and I don't think that this Lanikai falls in the same range, but if I came across one of these tenors in the $800 range I would seriously consider picking it up. Just my 2 cents.

AndrewKuker
11-17-2014, 08:03 AM
They are made by Imua, if you have ever heard one of them....

hammer40
11-17-2014, 09:48 AM
They are made by Imua, if you have ever heard one of them....

That's interesting. You can just by an Imua, and you'll still be saving a few hundred dollars in the end.

PereBourik
11-17-2014, 10:03 AM
I've had an Imua Concert for a year now. Very fine uke. It gives nothing away to the K Brands. It has a complex sound, bell like and chimey. If Jorma can't get good Koa, no one can.

If Lanikai wants to step up its image well and good. I've no doubt that Imua can use the business. But that's going to be a long campaign for them. They have to beat the established brands and their own entry-level reputation as well.

sonomajazz
11-17-2014, 10:11 AM
They are made by Imua, if you have ever heard one of them....

You plan to carry them in the store, Andrew?

wayfarer75
11-17-2014, 03:51 PM
If Lanikai wants to step up its image well and good. I've no doubt that Imua can use the business. But that's going to be a long campaign for them. They have to beat the established brands and their own entry-level reputation as well.

I agree--a pricey Lanikai just doesn't seem "right." It would be better if they give it a new brand name. And honestly, as hammer40 said, I can buy an Imua for less.

Nickie
11-17-2014, 04:05 PM
By what I've seen from Lanakai, that's overpriced, by quite a bit....IMHO

LanikaiLeon
11-19-2014, 10:30 AM
Hello all -

I read this board all the time and know a bunch of you. Since there may be a little mystery about what we're attempting to accomplish here, etc. - I thought I would share some thoughts.

Members of my own ohana build these ukuleles for us in Hawaii. Despite our higher profile than many uke brands - my family and the family of some of our reps, artists, and support staff are very involved in what we do.

I have the absolute highest respect for the "K" brands (I don't like grouping them like that, though...) and own four Hawaiian made ukes from that group of absolutely talented builders. They are pieces of art and something for any ukulele player to aspire to. My first ukulele was built by my Great Aunt in Hawaii in the 50's, but between that I owned about a dozen import pieces before taking the step up to buy a full-on Hawaiian made uke by one of the popular brands. It was that aspiration to own one of those pieces that inspired us to create our own collection to be built on O'ahu - and we already had the friends/family/contacts to put it all together. It's been a lot of fun!

I understand how price will always play a factor - but I'm not really interested in being the "cheapest". Our people work as hard as anyone else's and we want to provide our staff here in RVA and in Hawaii with the resources to focus on the quality of their work and build the best instruments and have the best brand possible for the customers that count on us to do just that. We can't do that by cutting corners with price. We are dedicated to providing people with a fun, engaging, quality, and supportive ukulele experience from the time they buy a basic LU-11 on Amazon, to the first time they try a TunaUke, to the day they make an investment in their love of ukulele that will last for generations and buy one of our Makau Ukes. We love what we do and we want to stick with our customers for the whole ride. We're not always perfect - but we do try our best.

We cut our teeth on being a commodity brand and "everything to everyone" - but if you take a closer look, you'll realize that about 90% of our ukes sell for well over $100 now. I also run a brand called "Kohala" which has very much stepped into the place of where Lanikai used to be.

So - if nothing else, I would want to express to this group that we have no interest in "stealing market share" from the wonderful hardworking people at Ko'olau, Kamaka, Kanilea, and KoAloha. We simply have the foundation of customers that we are introducing to Hawaiian made ukuleles for the very first time because we have been lucky enough to build a great foundation all over the USA where most players have never been exposed to this kind of instrument. Our goal is to grow the interest in Hawaiian made ukuleles, provide our customers with our *best* possible instruments, and pay respect to the history and culture behind these little ukes.

So - while in the spirit of an open market I do appreciate the side by side comparisons, it's not really our interest or goal to be above or below others. We do our own thing, and invite anyone interested to come along for the ride.

As for the ukes - anyone interested in trying one out please get in touch! I'll be happy to loan you one if I can - we're still a few months of production away from filling our preorders.

Pueo
11-19-2014, 11:47 AM
Excellent post Leon. Best of luck on your new endeavor. The first ukulele I purchased was a Lanikai LU-21T I bought while on vacation visiting Maui about 8 years ago, and I still have it. I see nothing wrong with wanting to grow your brand to include Oahu-made ukuleles.
I would love to stop by sometime and check one out, anyplace I can go on Oahu to do that?

LanikaiLeon
11-19-2014, 01:09 PM
Excellent post Leon. Best of luck on your new endeavor. The first ukulele I purchased was a Lanikai LU-21T I bought while on vacation visiting Maui about 8 years ago, and I still have it. I see nothing wrong with wanting to grow your brand to include Oahu-made ukuleles.
I would love to stop by sometime and check one out, anyplace I can go on Oahu to do that?

Mahalo Pueo!

I see you're in Ewa Beach, very cool! Spent a few weeks out there this Summer with some old friends. I love that part of the island. I know we have a bunch of ukes just sent to the Big Island but I am going to e-mail my rep that lives in Kailua and ask him if anyone still has them in stock on Oahu and I'll PM you. I know that PuaPua got some in and sold them out immediately and we can't make enough yet! We'll have some really, really cool first-time-ever Hawaiian made new stuff coming out for NAMM too so be on the lookout!

Nickie
11-19-2014, 01:24 PM
Thanks for enlightening us Leon! That's a great story. It's alway nice to know the history of a ukulele maker. I tried to buy a Lanakai once, it just didn't work out, but that was 3 years ago....a lot changes over time.
What does Lanakai mean anyway? It's a pretty name.

greyghost
11-19-2014, 02:26 PM
I have the LU-21P and a solid Zebrawood tenor. The bang-for-the-buck I got in those two instruments actually makes me quite interested in seeing what these new instruments are like!

Pueo
11-19-2014, 02:37 PM
Thanks for enlightening us Leon! That's a great story. It's alway nice to know the history of a ukulele maker. I tried to buy a Lanakai once, it just didn't work out, but that was 3 years ago....a lot changes over time.
What does Lanikai mean anyway? It's a pretty name.
Lani = heavenly
Kai = sea

So heavenly sea, sacred waters, that kind of thing...
Lanikai beach on Oahu is one of the more beautiful beaches on the island, so heavenly waters is a good description of that area.

merlin666
04-19-2018, 10:49 AM
It looks like this series has been discontinued. Too bad.

Kanamari
05-10-2018, 11:56 PM
It looks like this series has been discontinued. Too bad.

This is my speculation...I think Lanikai Makau series were built by Imua because the original head stock design was exactly the same. Imua has only one builder and accepting special order only now not capable to supply enough volume to Lanikai. Or Lanikai dropped Makau line and Imua forced to shrink its operation.