View Full Version : Lanikai SM-CE : Who has it? Do you like/love/hate it?

01-18-2010, 06:18 AM

I'm totally new to the ukulele scene, but I decided to learn a musical instrument this year and uke seems like a good choice.

So, far I've only found 5 ukes that I can hear/strum in person. Of the 5, the SM-CE had the sweetest sound by far to my ears, however it's $399, which seems high for a beginner's uke.

Since I'm determined to learn, I don't mind paying the price if it's actually worth it. And I'll play it for a long time.

If not, I'd like to know some good sounding beginner ukes.

If you've have an SM-CE or experience of one, please post your thinking about it and maybe a mini-review. Or a good alternative,


01-18-2010, 06:57 AM
I played one at guitar center. I really liked the sound of it plugged in. The acoustic sound of it was very good, though I've heard better. It was strung with High-G Aquilas so it was very loud and very clear. Seemed to have good volume but only so-so sustain. I have heard better sounding, less expensive ukuleles, but I may have more choices around here than you do. If you have to get something you've played in person it's probably a good choice. But if you're not too wary of buying on the internet there are some others that may be a better value for your dollar. I'm sure you'll be happy with it if you do buy it, though.

01-18-2010, 10:32 AM

Thanks for your reply.

If you have any suggestions for better sounding/better value ukes, I'd love to know what they are.

I don't have to get something I've played in person, over the internet is fine.

My knowledge level is low. I'm definitely a newbie, so I thought I'd see what I could find locally. I wasn't aware of a great resource like UU.

Thanks for any suggestions you have.

01-18-2010, 11:06 AM
Alot of people on this forums would suggest a Mainland for that price. They are all solid, and come in a lot of varities.

Check it out at : www.mainlandukes.com

If you don't like them, be sure to check out MGM's shop. I purchased my first ukulele there and his setup is great.


He has a lot of ukuleles to look at, and he is also extremely helpful. Don't be scared to call him or email him!

01-18-2010, 12:34 PM
If you've have an SM-CE or experience of one, please post your thinking about it and maybe a mini-review.

I was in a similar boat. I ended up buying a Lanikai NK-C (which is the top Lanikai in Koa) without touching it. I really didn't know how it compares as ukes are hard to find where I live. However, yesterday I met someone with a uke and played hers. After comparing I am very pleased with the tone and quality of the instrument. Knowing what I know now, I would have kicked in an extra 50-100 and bought an entry level "K" brand. (KoAloha, Kanile'a, or Kamaka). KoAloha entry is around 500 new from MGM. Kanile'a and Kamaka are significanly more, but can be found on eBay.

The good thing about the expensive "K" brands is that their resale value is really good should you choose not to pursue the uke. I'm not sure the same can be said about the Lanikai, even the high end ones.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

01-18-2010, 03:27 PM
Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

Lots of new info. That's always good. I'm looking around online based on your ideas.

Anyone else have any other suggestions?