View Full Version : new uke what to get

03-01-2009, 01:07 PM
hi, i am buying a new uke and dont know what to get. i want to get an electric-acoustic and here are my options: i also want to spend around 150-200 and have been playing for about 6 months


Lanikai LU-21TE

or applause uae-20

03-01-2009, 02:36 PM
i like the lanikai.i tried it b4 and with the amp its good also if its acoustic

Brad Bordessa
03-01-2009, 05:09 PM
If you are loooking for a "good" acoustic-electric, the odds are slim that you will find one under $200. I would if I were you, I would buy the best non electric you can get for $200. You will probably get more "uke" instead of "little uke, little pickup". You want lots of both, but for now go with "uke". Acoustic-electrics start getting better at the next level up and start at $300-400. Just get a good $200 'ukulele, play more and get experience. Once it's time to upgrade again you should save more for something better and you will have more knowledge to work with. Knowledge is king, the more you know the better your money will be spent.

That being said, my pick would be the Lanikai

03-01-2009, 06:55 PM
I would generally choose a Kala over a Lanikai unless I was able to play the one I would actually be buying. I base this choice on the company brand.

Mike Upton started the Lanikai line while at Hohner but was limited in what he was allowed to do and make it progress like it should have. Thus he went off on his own and started the Kala line a few years back. It seems the Lanikai line has floundered ever since- a hit or miss in product. Whereas, the Kala line has been getting better year on year offering more and more options, at all different price ranges, with overall good quality in all their instruments. Kala has been more committed to the ukulele than Hohner ever was. A bit more "grass roots" shall we say, and that is based on the commitment level of the owner and founder of the company.

Although I think Hohner finally got a clue and realized the ukulele was here to stay so has been a little more committed to the Lanikai line, but that certainly wasn't the case when Mike originally started the line way back when.

But when you are ready to spend the few extra bucks for a good quality solid koa, don't forget about the Honu Ukulele from Big Island Ukulele Co.!

And remember- there are so many things that go into choosing a particular brand of uke other than just a price.

Hope that info helps!

03-01-2009, 08:35 PM

Musician's Friend will save you $20 on the price of the uke and it will ship for free.

03-01-2009, 08:39 PM
My Lanikai LU21T is a very loud instrument, with nice and bright tone. It doesn't have a lot of sustain on the other hand. It was my first ukulele and I still play it a lot because I like the sound. If TE have Shadow nanoflex pickup I would pull the trigger on this one - I have this Shadow pickup on my other Lanikai and it gives a really great, very natural sound.

03-02-2009, 03:10 AM
Hohner doesn't always seem to take their ukulele line seriously.They are often out of stock on some items and take a long time to restock.

03-02-2009, 04:45 AM
While I like the look of the arch-top, its design makes it more muted than most of the traditional styles. It's also a laminate. However, I have two other Kalas and really think they're quite good, so I'd suggest one of their models - look at what they offer to see if you might like something with a bit more volume.

I've owned an Applause and I liked it, but it's heavy and it's easier to dock the shuttle at the space station than it is to change the battery. I have no complaints about Lanikai except that they are slow to try new designs and woods, but they make decent ukes.

03-02-2009, 05:35 AM
Ken Middleton just posted a GREAT review of the Kala archtop on Youtube. There's a link to it somewhere on this forum.

03-02-2009, 05:59 AM
I was just gonna suggest Kens review also. Here is the link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5dqcRpOiac&feature=subscription) to the youtube vid

03-02-2009, 08:23 AM
I've owned an Applause and I liked it, but it's heavy and it's easier to dock the shuttle at the space station than it is to change the battery.

The UAE-20 does not have a battery, the tenor Ovation has (and I agree about the difficulty with the battery there).

@Hippy Guy, I never bought really expensive ukuleles, the most were between 200€ and 300€.
I played some more expensive ones, but could not see what they really brought more for the money.
It's the player that counts, and not the instrument. You will get very good instruments in this price segment.

I had the Ovation once too (actually both, the soprano and the tenor), and it was a very good instrument. This one is my recommendation. I don't know the Lanikai, but I had the chance to play the Kalas. As much as I love my own two Kalas (Mango Tenor and a soprano with a tenor neck) and as much I like the look of the Archtop and as much as I appreciate Ken's opinion, as much I hated this instrument. It looked cheap, bad finish, it sounded worse (of course I just could hear the GHS strings it came with, I really wonder why these trash strings come n so many ukuleles).

If you want to go for the look, get the Kala, else get the Ovation..

Captain Google
03-02-2009, 08:44 AM
Ken Middleton just posted a GREAT review of the Kala archtop on Youtube. There's a link to it somewhere on this forum.

You mean here? (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10322)