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View Full Version : Kala/Lanakai the same?



jh151399
04-02-2008, 01:04 AM
what is the difference between Kala and Lanakai?

I've heard Kala is *slightly* easier to play, but I've also heard they are made at the same factory... so which is it?

i was looking to get a spruce top lanakai concert ($99), but mgm has a Kala spruce top for sale ($123). The kala comes with a case as well.

I guess what I'm really asking is what would YOU do?

mr_dust
04-02-2008, 03:53 AM
Yooo

I have never tried Kalas so I canīt really tell the difference between them. But I have tried different types of Lanikais. I actually enjoyed them quite much so I would go for those ones!

Hope my reply did some good! =P

uumember
04-02-2008, 07:07 AM
And I've got Kala's so I'd recommend them. But I've never played a Lanikai.... Looks like they're both good. I'd call musicguymic and talk with him about it.

NukeDOC
04-02-2008, 07:18 AM
this subject has been discussed a few times here. apparently, the owner of kala used to work for hohner (mother company of lanikai). he designed the ukes for them. then he broke off on his own and started the kala company and his own line of ukes. this is probably why a lot of the characteristics are very similar between kala and lanikai.

i own a spruce top ovankol side/back lanikai. one of my favorite ukes

i also own a "koa" cutaway kala. not one of my personal favs but its pretty cool.

my sister owns a spruce top mahogany back/sides cutaway kala. an awesome uke for the price.

my bandmate "dafamcallsmebj" owns a lanikai LU-21T. not one of my favorites.

he also owns a lanikai "koa" cutaway. its pretty cool.

i also own a makala (made my kala) concert. for $50 its actually the one i play the most.

so which one is better? the verdict will always be out for this one. but one thing i would suggest with either of the two brands. when you look at the description, look for "solid top". for the most part, both companies use laminates to make the finish on their ukes. so if it says koa... its not solid koa. but if it says solid spruce top, youre getting a solid spruce top.

jh151399
04-02-2008, 08:04 AM
thank you for the information! that post was very helpful.

I knew about the laminates/solids... i play a little guitar, and started out on acoustics so I was already familiar with the "solids" vs "laminates."

How much did that spruce/ovankol set you back?

::edit:::
Did some searching, they only make 6 and 8 string variants with the ovankol models

so... I'm back to the original problem. Maybe I'll give MGM a call like uumember suggested.

NukeDOC
04-02-2008, 09:29 AM
How much did that spruce/ovankol set you back?

::edit:::
Did some searching, they only make 6 and 8 string variants with the ovankol models

haha i forgot to say i converted it to a 4 string. took a little work but it was worth it.

the spruce top mahogany back/sides kalas are real nice though for the money. i would give those the award for biggest bang for the buck IMO.

Dino
04-02-2008, 07:09 PM
I have played with a couple of Lanikai's but they were the laminate models. I was not happy with them. I recently bought a Kala Concert for a friends friend and they seemed happy with it (first time uke player). It was okay for me, but I personally like the real stuff. I have 3 ukes I play with:

1) Koa Tenor - made by an uncle who started when he retired
2) Pono PTK - Koa Tenor made by Ko'olau Ukuleles. bought for about $380+ from musicguymic. Pono's are lower end of Ko'olau line, like Kala is lower end line of Lanikai, toyota is to Lexus, Acura is to Honda.
3) Koa 6-string 2-sound hole tenor - the wood I provided my friend and luthier named Tangi. He built a beauty for me. I bought the Koa on Ebay.

NukeDOC
04-02-2008, 07:38 PM
like Kala is lower end line of Lanikai,
kala is actually a whole company of its own with no ties to lanikai other than the owner of kala being a former employee of lanikai/hohner. matter of fact, the comparable kala ukes are usually a little more expensive than the lanikai counterpart. and kala has their own "toyota" hahaha. its called makala. i have a concert makala, and its actually one of my favorite ukes to play. cheap so i can take it anywhere and not worry about banging her up.

Dino
04-02-2008, 07:51 PM
Das right. Makala (sorry...yuck) made by Kala. Pono made by Ko'olau. I remember the guy breaking away from Lanikai.......still just think of them be associated. Who else makes a "cheaper" line.......Did Lanikai make a cheaper like Ko'olau? I know there are some damn expensive Lanikai's that I cant afford to buy.

jh151399
04-02-2008, 11:59 PM
haha i forgot to say i converted it to a 4 string. took a little work but it was worth it.

the spruce top mahogany back/sides kalas are real nice though for the money. i would give those the award for biggest bang for the buck IMO.

thank you for your opinion. I really wanted to buy from MGM, everyone here seems to think very highly of him, and I'd like to give him business.

Sooo... Uncle Sam, if you're reading this, SEND MY TAX REFUND!!! haha

I'll try to post some videos as soon as I get it. The uke is just easy for me, I don't even own one and I've already got a couple songs under my belt from my various 15-minute "shopping" excursions. MUCH quicker than my guitar experiment.

But I still love me some geetar. I think they'll get along nicely and play well, don't you? :D

UkuLeLesReggAe
04-03-2008, 11:59 PM
I have aways noticed that they look quite simular but i have only heard lanikai in real life so i wouldn't know for sure :S

But i think they are similar.