View Full Version : Epiphone Ukulele or Lanikai LU-21C ?

08-19-2011, 12:54 PM
I'm getting a ukulele for my birthday.I'm also a complete beginner,it's
the first instrument I'll learn but I'm stuck between these two models : The Lanikai LU-21 C Concert Ukulele (which I heard is a very nice instrument) and the Epiphone Les Paul Ukulele (this one I'm not so sure about,I've heard mixed opinions). So I need to know which one is better ?

Please help.
Looking forward to your opinions,

Lyanne from Puerto Rico.

08-19-2011, 01:08 PM
Hmmmm, you'll get lots of opinions. Apples and oranges really. The Lanikai a more "traditional" uke, the LP more of a "specialty" uke. The LP has a pickup, the Lanikai doesn't unless you buy the more expensive one. Want/need a pickp?
Lanikai perhaps a better "learner's" uke.

08-19-2011, 01:14 PM
Hmmmm, you'll get lots of opinions. Apples and oranges really. The Lanikai a more "traditional" uke, the LP more of a "specialty" uke. The LP has a pickup, the Lanikai doesn't unless you buy the more expensive one. Want/need a pickp?
Lanikai perhaps a better "learner's" uke.

Well I really like the way the LP looks,it's kind of my style.But then again everybody tells me the Lanikai is for learning.
So I'm a little bit frustrated in that part..

08-19-2011, 01:29 PM
You can learn on any uke that is set up decently. The nut was a little high on my LU-21C (my first uke and I too bought it because so many people online recommended it for a "first uke"). It wasn't terrible, though, and was certainly playable. Of course, I've set up my own guitars for years so I just grabbed the nut files and set it up. Still, if I hadn't have had that ability it still would have been an acceptable uke.

I haven't had my hands on the Epiphone LP model uke - but most of the comments I've seen from people who have are along the line of "looks nice, sounds okay plugged in, is a complete dog unplugged." (I'm paraphrasing.)

So, my first choice would be the LU-21C.


08-19-2011, 01:35 PM
That Les Paul may look cool, but it seems like it is overcompensating for something...as if it is supposed to be "shredded".
I would go for the Lanikai- it's subtle and classic, while the LP is a bit obnoxious for my taste.

08-19-2011, 01:46 PM
I agree with Oldephart on the set up. My first Uke was frustrating to play until I brought it into a local music shop that had someone to adjust the action. He charged me $15 and made the Uke a pleasure to play. If yours hasn't been set up, ask your guitar playing friends if you have a shop like that near buy.

If you have a chance to try both, go with your heart. If you like it, you will play it.

Hope you have fun. That's what it's all about

08-19-2011, 05:13 PM
There is no law against buying more than one uke either, heheh. My first Uke is an Oscar Schmidt OU2. I got to mess around for a few minutes with a Lanikai Concert, not sure what model . . .but If the guy had offered to trade me even, No question, I'd keep my Oscar.

That being said, I also recently bought the Epiphone Les Paul. While my Oscar Schmidt was fine out of the box, The Les Paul wasn't. It was "alright" but it was pretty quiet acoustically and the strings felt 'mushy' being so high off the fretboard. BUT . . . .

I found a discussion about it on here on UU, and they talked about pulling the neck off and shimming it.. . .an EASY feat with the Les Paul Uke, and simply shimming the neck a little to make the action a little lower. Just pull 4 screws, shim a bit, put the screws back on, and presto, a much better action and sound.

I've never taken an instrument apart before, I proceeded cautiously, and the modification still took under ten minutes, including retuning it. It can also be completely reversed if you don't like the outcome.

So, with that ten minute modification, this uke would be a GREAT first instrument, in my opinion. I'm basically a beginner myself, and if I had it to do over again, I'd have bought the Epiphone first. The sound got louder after the mod, though still not as loud my Oscar, but close enough. Most of what I've read as far as folks thinking the sound is 'just okay' acoustically or under juice I find puzzling, though maybe those "mushy feeling/sounding strings didn't make a great first impression. It sounds quite smooth unplugged, and under power, sounds kinda like . . .well . . . a Les Paul. Folks not liking the electric sound must be Telecaster fans, heheh.

08-19-2011, 05:17 PM
I should point out that had I bought the Les Paul first, I probably wouldn't have ever bought an OU2, I'd have just saved my money for awhile and bought a professional quality Acoustic Ukulele. But, I still love my little, cheap OU2, it actually plays and sounds better than a number of Ukes that cost quite a bit more than the 65 dollars I paid for it.

08-20-2011, 06:30 PM
Thanks everybody! I think I'll go with the Lanikai. :)

08-21-2011, 04:58 PM
Hey, they're all fun, heheh.

08-22-2011, 06:25 PM
Here is what the Les Paul sounds like acoustically. I messed with the left channel a bit in Audacity, but the right channel is just the raw recording, directly into my computer microphone :


08-23-2011, 09:42 AM
Here is the same piece of the song, but played through my Amp, with a little gain . . .


08-23-2011, 11:24 AM
I just wanted to add that if it is at all possible to play your first ukulele before you buy it, do it. Other people's opinions are just that, opinions.

My first ukulele was a Lanikai LU21-T - a tenor. I still have it. I still play it, and now it is my autograph-collecting ukulele. It is a solid instrument and I do recommend it for a first ukulele.

I also have purchased a Les Paul, just because of the way it looks (and the price!). Get what will make you happy and want to play. It won't be long before you buy more anyways... :)

08-29-2011, 10:00 AM
How about a Fluke or Flea? I like my Flea :)

08-29-2011, 10:31 PM
Of the two you mention, I would definitely have chosen the Lanikai. I tried one of the LPs and was pretty underwhelmed.

09-02-2011, 12:00 PM
The Epiphone looks cool, but I'm not so sure about the bolt on neck. I'd go with the other. It has a better design.

09-03-2011, 08:54 AM
I bought one of the Les Pauls . . . and it's just dandy.