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View Full Version : Whats the word on Leolanis?



Moby
12-29-2009, 09:29 AM
So I've been looking around, but I can't really find anything on the Leolani brand, can someone help me out? I picked up an extremely cheap tourist-y one when i was in Hawaii a few years back (it was my first uke), but I am aware that they sell some "real" ukuleles as well, and would just like to know more about the brand.
Thanks!

ukeCANjam
12-29-2009, 09:54 AM
Leolani are usually made to attract turorists when they visit Hawaii. Most of them are really cheap and just basic wall hangers. My friend has one that he got a while back in Hawaii for 20 dollars. It's horrible, the strings and tuners, he just puts in on his piano for decoration.

Although they do make some "real" ukuleles, I don't suggest you buy them. They wouldn't be that great, and in that budget, you should look toward different brands. You don't really see much support or information on Leolani. :p

Other brands you should look out for for "real" ones are Makala, Kala, Lanikai, or Oscar Schmidt.

Moby
12-29-2009, 10:13 AM
haha Thanks, Yeah, I know what he means, mine sits on my dresser now too, although my replacement wasn't much better (a Mahalo ULP1E), but I'm ordering a Mainland as soon as my next paycheque comes in. :D I was just curious because I hadn't heard anything about them, and it surprised me.

ukeCANjam
12-29-2009, 10:38 AM
Yup, everyone says good things about Mainlands, can't go wrong with that and Leolani. Its a big jump!

And may I ask what model Mainland your interested in buying?

rogue_wave
12-29-2009, 12:04 PM
I don't know what the whole story is with them. I have played an very inexpensive Leolani that is just what you described. My first ukulele however was a Leolani zebrawood/spruce concert. It always stays in tune, has a very nice voice and was a real pleasure to play. I recently added a Kala acacia tenor and while I like playing this new ukulele, I definitely find myself picking up the Leolani almost as often.

I agree with the previous poster though- I don't know if I would have sought out/chosen the Leolani if I had spent any time here and know what I know now. There are some amazing instruments that I have come to know about that I wasn't exposed to before.

Last thought- My Leolani was given to me by my wife after a trip to Hawaii. She specifically had inquired after "real" ukuleles (in a price range) and was lead to the Leolani. I always hope that it wasn't someone just taking advantage of a tourist, but if it started with any cruddy mojo, I feel like I have played the heck out of it, loved it, found inspiration and in general been lifted by its arrival and hope by doing so to have given the instrument new spirit.

Moby
12-29-2009, 02:57 PM
Hmm. Thanks. I'm glad you're happy with yours!
And CANjam, yeah, its a pretty big jump. Not enough ukulele dealers in my area, otherwise I think I wouldn't gone with a quality ukulele ages ago. I'm looking at the Mahogany Tenor W/MiSi at the moment.

Ahnko Honu
12-29-2009, 04:29 PM
Pricilla Ahn uses a Leolani in her song "Way Back Home". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJzYy5encCk
The first Zebra wood 'ukulele I ever saw was a Leolani at the ALoha Stadium swap meet, and it sounded and played fine. I don't think I'd buy one sight unseen but if you can play one first you may be surprised.