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jdmcnasty
07-09-2009, 05:28 AM
I recently retrieved my very first tenor (a Lanikai LU-21TE) back from my girlfriend's house. I left it there many months ago and pretty much forgot about it.

Now mind you I've been playing a Kanile'a K-1 tenor for the past few months.

So I started messing around on the old Lanikai and for some reason it sounded fantastic! So crisp and clear. I would actually compare the tone to that of my Kanile'a. I mean it sounds substantially thinner but the thing is made out of laminate nato..

So how is it that an old Lanikai made out of the cheapest plywood money can by can almost stack up to an $800 solid koa tenor?
Is it just me?

specialmike
07-09-2009, 05:47 AM
I play a Koaloha tenor and when I pick up my first uke, the Hilo .. soprano that just about everyone starts out on, it doesn't sound as bad as when I first got it. I changed the strings on the hilo but I agree with you how the ukulele doesn't sound as bad. It's that Hilo that is made of plywood, the crappiest thing ever.. but still, when I play it now, it sounds better, but I can't compare it to the beauty that I call LeeLa

I think that you and I have just gotten to become better players of the instrument. And in the end, it is not the instrument that makes the music, but the musician that does so.

but hey, it might just be you and me. Although I know that my mitchel concert still sounds.. well, like crap.

Thumper
07-09-2009, 06:06 AM
Yeah, those cheap Lanikai's rock. :nana:

I've got a nice Flea and Fluke, and while I play them most of the time, I occasionally pick up my LU21 soprano, and it always amazes me how great it sounds. Its intonation isn't as flawless as the Flea/Fluke, but its tone is utterly delightful, and it has a great "feel" to it.

Definitely the best 50 bucks I ever spent!

RevWill
07-09-2009, 06:10 AM
Good tone has more to do with craftsmanship than materials. Bob Taylor has built some amazing acoustic guitars from plywood and pallet wood. You probably just got hold of one of the good ones.

NukeDOC
07-09-2009, 06:22 AM
Good tone has more to do with craftsmanship than materials. Bob Taylor has built some amazing acoustic guitars from plywood and pallet wood. You probably just got hold of one of the good ones.

i agree with this to an extent. if you were to play different instruments back to back EXACTLY the same way, then yes, this would be the case.

but in this case, i believe that it is now the player that has extracted the sweeter sound of their instrument.

like for example, if i were to play mika (aldrine's kamaka)... i will play one song. just strumming. then give it back to aldrine and he will play the same song with the same strumming pattern. there will be a NOTICEABLE different in tonal quality... in the same instrument.

this is one reason why i still havent brought myself to buy a super expensive instrument... other than my taylor guitar (which i bought to be a family heirloom, pretty much). over the years i have found that as i improved my technique, so did the tone of some of my cheapest instruments.

so, jd and mike, IMO you guys should just pat yourselves on the back for finding out just how much better youve become, and didnt even notice hehe.

Pueo
07-09-2009, 12:05 PM
My wife just told me this past weekend that ever since I got my Pono in February, she does not like the sound of my Lanikai anymore :eek: I think it still sounds fine, noticeably different from the Pono, it is less expressive, if that makes sense, but I feel it's a great travel uke!

Ahnko Honu
07-09-2009, 12:33 PM
I've been strummin' my $45.00 laminate Mahalo pineapple for over 10 years and she still sounds decent to me. She is an old friend who helped me thru rough times, I shall not be parting with her any time soon. :)

jkevinwolfe
07-09-2009, 02:15 PM
"Family heirloom." Hmmm. Maybe I can use that one to justify buying a Ko'Aloha. Thanks.

seeso
07-09-2009, 02:21 PM
There's something about those nato Lanikais. It's not just you. I love the tone of my nato Lanikai, and I don't care who knows it! :p

I've played other Lanikais, and I still like the warm nato tone better than most of them.

DeG
07-09-2009, 03:38 PM
Maybe it is just you... maybe you have improved as a player since the last time you picked it up. So now, it naturally sounds better when you play it. :)

jdmcnasty
07-10-2009, 05:29 AM
I don't think it has so much to do with improvement. I mean that is a big factor, but I have plenty of other d-class ukes that just don't sound good. And some of them cost twice as much as the ol' Lanikai. I agree with you, Sesso....there's just something about those nato Lanikais.

cpatch
07-10-2009, 07:04 AM
My wife just told me this past weekend that ever since I got my Pono in February, she does not like the sound of my Lanikai anymore
Translated to man-speak, this means she's giving you permission to sell the Lanikai and buy something more expensive. ;)

PoisonDart
07-10-2009, 07:46 AM
It's not just you. I love my lani nato baritone, and I recognized the sound of seeso's tenor at ukulele world congress as I stepped out of my car, well before I could see him.

A friend of mine seems to have caught the uke bug after I played some for her and started her on some chords and I'll probably recommend a Lanikai for her to start on after she picks a size she likes.

What strings does everyone like on them? I'm using D'Addario strings right now on the bari and they have a nice warm sound. I've still got a few different sets I'm going to try out once these wear out.

seeso
07-10-2009, 08:02 AM
I like Worths on mine.

Thumper
07-10-2009, 08:04 AM
I've got Aquilas on my soprano. MUCH nicer than the black GHS strings that come on most starter ukes.

jdmcnasty
07-11-2009, 07:23 AM
Although I'm a major advocate of Worth, I've never tried them on my Nato tenor. I love the crisp clarity Aquilas give it. I tried D'addarios and didn't like them very much. Too mellow.

Pippin
07-11-2009, 12:26 PM
I had a Lanikai nato bari that I used on my last album, along with guitar and a kurly koa concert.