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View Full Version : Lanikai introducing the intouke ? adjustable saddle



MGM
01-08-2012, 06:24 AM
The mongoose is hearing some buzz about a sliding adjustable ukulele bridge from Lanikai....utilizes a sliding saddle that can be adjust in and out using veritcal slots in the horizontal bridge slot....

Nuprin
01-08-2012, 08:46 AM
I was looking through a music trades magazine today and saw pictures of it. I'll take a few pictures and upload them tonight.

PhilUSAFRet
01-08-2012, 10:32 AM
to what end?

bigdog
01-08-2012, 10:41 AM
I am assuming intonation adjustments.

emmaemme
01-08-2012, 11:07 AM
Shouldn't weigh much...

32014
(Shameless photoshop)

;)

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-08-2012, 11:34 AM
I wonder if they'll charge on a sliding scale?

Nuprin
01-08-2012, 01:04 PM
My scanner doesn't seem to be working...so, I had to settle for pictures with my iPhone.

From February's 2012 issue of The Music Trades magazine.

http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac230/Nuprin1030/photo.jpg

Nut:
http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac230/Nuprin1030/photo-1.jpg

Saddle:
http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac230/Nuprin1030/photo-2.jpg

The article accompanying the photos states...


A good decade of uke-mania has produced almost every imaginable spin on the ukulele: from plaid and paisley ukes to ukes with built in compasses, ukes that look like miniature shredder guitars, and even scented ukes. For all of that, no brand has found more success than Hohner's classic Lanikai line. Already holding at least a 40% share of the U.S. market, Hohner embarked about three years ago on a round of market research, asking players which new features they most desired in a ukulele. "Manufacturers have been throwing a lot of ukes at the wall to see what sticks," says Scott Emmerman, Hohner's director of marketing and sales. "We wanted to differentiate our brand and take it in a new direction that would really move the instrument forward."

The players' number one concern: intonation. With its short scale and nylon strings, the ukulele is prone to tuning problems that might have been a nonissue when ukes were seen as toys but demanded attention as they gained credence as a serious instrument. "When you watch a virtuoso like Jake Shimabukuro," says Emmerman, "he's playing the ukulele like a fine jazz or classical guitarist. With the average inexpensive ukulele, you just can't do that stuff."

After pouring two years of R&D into the problem, Hohner will unveil its solution, called the TunaUke, at the 2012 winter NAMM show. A two-part system, TunaUke uses both a compensated nut and a movable saddle that allow uke players to make easy hand-adjustments to the instrument's intonation. "You can make the adjustment on the fly with your fingers," says Drew Lewis, product manager for Hohner's Fretted Instruments division. "The fact that we have compensation on both sides really allows the instrument to shine." As Lewis notes, it took several rounds of trial and error to bring TunaUke to this point. Early solutions, involving either a fixed nut or a fixed saddle, looked promising until the strings were changed. "We'd get the intonation just spot-on," he says. "Then we'd put on a new set of strings, which can really vary from set to set, and we'd see up to 30% swings from sharp to flat. The system need to be able to respond to that."

Hohner plans to offer the TunaUke system on up to 12 existing Lanikai models by the middle of 2012. Within a year after that, the company expects to make it standard on every model in the Lanikai line, which starts at around $70. "Our goal with Lanikai is to produce the finest-playing ukuleles in the world, and we didn't want to offer the system only at the $2000 price point," says Emmerman. "We offer it in a range that's affordable to the average person."

Lanikai's TunaUke-equipped models will ship to retailers with an updated version of its popular "Hang 10" point of purchase display, now to be called the "Hang 12." New Lanikai "Sidekick" uke bags and Lanikai-branded uke strings by Aquila will also be added to the display. Playing off the TunaUke name - a cute pun to match Lanikai's beach vibe - an eye-catching cartoon fish theme has been designed for TunaUke's promotional materials. "'Lanikai Makes Me Happy' is our brand slogan," says Emmerman. "In naming this system, we wanted to keep it fun, silly, lighthearted - nothing too heavy."

Lanikai, introduced in 2002, represents the higher end of Hohner's ukulele range. Its lower-cost Kohala brand, known for its value-added starter packs (which won't get the TunaUke upgrade) was added in 2010. Between the two brands, Hohner charted a 100% sales increase in 2011 - following a 300% increase in the previous year. "We don't expect this level of growth to continue forever," says Emmerman. "But our brands are so strong and so integrated into retailers' shops that our products will remain a strong presence for them even when the uke market does slow down. The ukulele has now become a respected instrument, whereas a few years ago, it was thought of as a novelty. I don't see it ever going back to that stage. We believe it's here to stay."

Gmoney
01-08-2012, 01:27 PM
Chris, thanks for the photos. I have to say that I'll reserve judgement until I see 'em in the stores, but this looks like a bad idea gone worse! They could have totally erased the nut side of the equation by using a zero fret & I'd bet that the saddle side will be more than a bit hard to implement in scale on the cheaply produced ukes in their lineup. The close up of the bridge/saddle shows a multi-piece screwed on bridge w/hard to find elsewhere individual saddle pieces. What happens when one of those pop out during string changes?

(Disclosure: there is still one Lanakai LU-21 hanging on the wall among my other ukes & it does get occasionally played. Its a good basic uke. Its not listed in my signature because it belongs to my daughter. She plays her KoAloha soprano or Mainland Honeybee, or one of her three dolphins now.)

ukeeku
01-08-2012, 02:36 PM
Chris, thanks for the photos. I have to say that I'll reserve judgement until I see 'em in the stores, but this looks like a bad idea gone worse! They could have totally erased the nut side of the equation by using a zero fret & I'd bet that the saddle side will be more than a bit hard to implement in scale on the cheaply produced ukes in their lineup. The close up of the bridge/saddle shows a multi-piece screwed on bridge w/hard to find elsewhere individual saddle pieces. What happens when one of those pop out during string changes?

(Disclosure: there is still one Lanakai LU-21 hanging on the wall among my other ukes & it does get occasionally played. Its a good basic uke. Its not listed in my signature because it belongs to my daughter. She plays her KoAloha soprano or Mainland Honeybee, or one of her three dolphins now.)

The string changes are where I see nightmares. I will have to check it out at NAMM. I will have to do a full review as they go to market also. thanks for showing this to us Nuprin

bazmaz
01-08-2012, 10:57 PM
Just don't get this at all. The highest end, handmade solid ukes I've played, costing thousands don't need such a saddle and play perfectly well with a plain straight one. Add to which there are other issues that can be addressed to sort intonation.

In summary, a well made uke just doesn't need this level of adjustment? Or am I missing something?

AcousticBuckeye
01-23-2012, 04:05 AM
It's interesting that within the article above they mention they plan to do this to every model. Seems a bit risky doesn't it? They must be 100% sold on this. I just don't know if the typical beginner uke player is going to go through the intonation process will they? That's what would be required to tune it right? Maybe they have it down and it's a simple process using an electronic tuner.

I would love to hear from someone that got to see this firsthand at NAMM to get their thoughts.

AB

AcousticBuckeye
01-23-2012, 04:17 AM
Just don't get this at all. The highest end, handmade solid ukes I've played, costing thousands don't need such a saddle and play perfectly well with a plain straight one. Add to which there are other issues that can be addressed to sort intonation.

In summary, a well made uke just doesn't need this level of adjustment? Or am I missing something?

Well I think that's what they are saying that their models are not the high end/costing thousands of dollars. So with the Tunauke system they can bridge the gap in terms of tuning/intonation for lower cost instruments.

AB

gokidd
01-23-2012, 04:35 AM
I wonder if they'll charge on a sliding scale?

Ooooo ... nice.

itsscottwilder
01-23-2012, 04:42 AM
It's their version of Gibson's tried and true bridge design.

I think it's an acknowledgement that many uke players are people coming from guitar. And adjusting intonations with adjustable saddles is far more palatable than the idea of having to move the entire bridge.

Something as simple as changing from one brand or gauge of string to another is enough to throw intonation off.

I notice a lot of Uke players check intonation by ear. But to really get it right, you need an accurate tuner like a strobe tuner. So for people who want that level of accuracy, Adjustable saddles are going to be like mana from heaven.

mm stan
01-23-2012, 04:45 AM
Well they sorta stole my idea in my head..ha ha I was thinking of a dove tail channel for thr bridge it with
sliding individual saddles..and piece of backboard to keep the individual saddles from ppping out from the
sides....

strumsilly
01-23-2012, 04:53 AM
seems like a solution in search of a problem. none of my ukes are off by that much, and there is no cure for my voice. they probably ought to go slow on this.

itsscottwilder
01-23-2012, 05:00 AM
seems like a solution in search of a problem. none of my ukes are off by that much, and there is no cure for my voice. they probably ought to go slow on this.

They are the only ones doing this. So they are taking a very bold step a la Steve Jobs and Apple. Get in early, get behind it 100% and even if the industry doesn't follow along, you're now an interesting niche brand for those looking for no compromise intonation flexibility.

bnolsen
08-20-2013, 07:16 PM
thread resurrection!

tunauke page:

http://lanikaiukes.com/laniblog/2013/03/lanikai-labs-tunauke/

elderly has the lutu21s for 74usd and the lutu21p for 84usd. the plastic looks sort of flimsy to me and height adjustment might be trouble (if even needed).

http://lanikaiukes.com/laniblog/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/tunauke-slider1.jpg

Flyinby
08-20-2013, 07:29 PM
Sounds and looks like a decent idea, despite the negativity expressed. A straight-across saddle is always a compromise, and compensated saddles don't necessarily correct for anything but general differences. This allows those interested to get each string intoned more accurately. Perhaps if it were one of the more pricey brands, the idea would get more appreciation, but I say kudos to Lanikai for their efforts; if it works out, we may see similar bridges all over the place in a few years, if not, at least they tried to improve on something that does have at least some room for improvement.