View Full Version : Early impressions - Lani maple/spruce tenor

05-23-2011, 07:25 AM
I took the car in for an MOT and so had an hour to spend in the local music shop, and plucked a Lani tenor cutaway down from the rack. It had a solid spruce top with maple back and sides, and some fancy electronics installed. I've never used a built-in tuner before and so disregarded it for the tried-and-tested tuning by ear.

I had the sales assistant watching close by (my reputation must go before me...) and chipping in with comments about the finish, the size, whether the maple was solid or not, that it was a great price etc etc etc every second or so. Grr.

Anyway, it was certainly bright, as you'd expect, but not as loud as I was hoping. I gave it a good thrashing and it didn't sing as much as I'd expect, but gave out a nice sound all the while. My immediate impression as I slid up and down the neck was just how much gloss was on it - the neck felt quite slippery and chunky, almost as if there's about 3 coats too much.

I'm not sure if it was just the strings, but going past the 7th fret sounded a little whiney, as if it didn't like it. I'm pretty sure the action could be lowered a tad to help matters, though purely strumming open chords the action was fine and comfortable. Again though, I think it's the strings.

Aesthetically, it does look good on the eye. The maple is nicely figured and the spruce crisp and clean. Binding is a bit weird, with (presumably) fake abalone on the front with the spruce and a redish, possibly mahogany, on the sides; I'm quite picky on these sorts of things and it would drive me mad, tho both sets of bindings did look lovely on their own. There seemed to be a line of glue around where the neck hits the body, which had been coloured to match the spruce, but off slightly, and so stood out if you looked at it long enough.

The only thing is, despite the looks and the sound, was the 180 price tag. All the time I kept thinking to myself "could get a Mainland Red Cedar for a bit more cash". Personally, I've got Ohana's TK75-CG on order, which seems to be on another planet compared to Lani's effort, but if I hadn't the confidence to order online and wanted to buy locally, I'd have stumped up for the Lani eventually.

This (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/LANI-CONCERT-UKULELE-PICK-UP-AND-BUILT-TUNER-/120726960563?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instr uments&hash=item1c1be339b3#ht_500wt_1156) was the closest I could find to a picture, an eBay listing of a concert size.

05-23-2011, 01:00 PM
Good luck on the Mainland Red Cedar...if you can find one grab it.

05-24-2011, 04:39 AM
A mainland cedar is on my list too, and preferable to the Lani. I already have the tenor version of the Ohanas TK75 and it is a beaut!

The wait is a pain but hope you are happy with it,