View Full Version : The KALA/LANIKAI Debate...

02-03-2010, 12:08 PM
Hey, I kinda touched on this in a previous post (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?25543-Kala-Vs-Lanikai) when I was trying to decide which uke to buy... a Lanikai LU 21CE or a Kala KA CE. Well I went for the Lanikai and it didn't turn out too well so I've been offered an exchange for either another Lanikai or the Kala. I'm tempted by the Kala but what do you think? I know they're basically the same uke except for the Kala being mahogany rather than Nato but is there much difference and what are the prices like?...

02-03-2010, 12:16 PM
They're pretty similar and both generally pretty good! Judging by your other thread, it's not an issue of Kala vs. Lanikai, as much as Buying from a Good Dealer vs. Buying from a Douche.

Ahnko Honu
02-03-2010, 01:09 PM
Personally I have been more impressed with the quality consistency and out of box playability of KALA over Lanikai. If KALA made a solid wood pineapple I'd own one.

02-03-2010, 01:23 PM
If it's between Kala and Lanikai, I would go with Kala. I'd probably consider other brands before either one actually.

02-03-2010, 01:24 PM
I'm not an expert, but when deciding on which uke to get for my first one I found more positive feelings towards Kala. My brother works in a San Fran guitar shop and has worked with both brands, and felt that Kalas were the better uke. Plus, since MGM carries lots of Kalas I would lean towards that because you know he won't sell you a bad uke. (Not that I've bought one from him, but certainly plan to for my next purchase.)

02-03-2010, 03:01 PM
Kala. I owned an off Lanikai and the ones I've played in the shop (about 6 of them) were out of the box and not pleasant to play, IMHO. Action too high, did not play in tune. Just my experience.

02-03-2010, 04:40 PM
I've owned a couple kalas and a couple lanikais. To me, they've both played about equally out of the box, and if I was hard pressed to pick a favorite, I'd probably lean lanikai. Maybe I just got lucky twice with Lanikai, but they have my loyalty.

02-03-2010, 11:14 PM
I like Kala and own a Kala tenor, but the Lanikais I've played in shops didn't have any obvious issues and seemed ok to me.

02-04-2010, 10:06 AM
I own a Kala KA-T and it plays beautifully. I tried some Lanikai's at the same store but they seemed a bit more delicate. Perhaps this was the Nato vs Mahogany. However that new Lanikai solid Monkey pod with a slotted headstock tenor that jumping flea got looks and sounds pretty good. ... Too bad I can't seem to find them anywhere......

02-05-2010, 04:02 PM

at my price point, i also narrowed it down to a lanikai and kala that were essentially the same instrument with only cosmetic differences. as you can tell from my review above (posted 2x--i know. i posted a review and it never came up. so i posted another one and didn't have the orig to look at so some #'s may be slightly different. then they were eventually both posted!), i really like it. i always get a great reception when i play it. it's solid, well built, looks great and sounds wonderful! i have no experience with kala aside from extensive research before i bought it and a makala cheapie i tried at a store once. it came down to perceived value as to the combo package offered by two top ebay sellers. i went with the lanikai.

but i won't buy one again... i'm saving up for a pineapple sunday!! and i'll be saving and saving for a looong while. argh. :)

02-05-2010, 04:08 PM
I really love my Lanikai. I'm much happier I went with the Lanikai (my friend has a Kala I played with) than the other ones I was looking at.