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View Full Version : Lanikai Lu8 v. Kala Ka8



notgeorgeformby
10-29-2013, 10:47 AM
I'm getting my head turned by 8 string tenors. Does anyone have any experience of the Lanikai Lu8 (http://lanikaiukes.com/laniblog/ukuleles/lu-series/lu-8-tenor-size-ukulele/) or the Kala Ka8 (http://www.amazon.com/Kala-Mahogany-8-String-Tenor-Ukulele/dp/B001LU4VWQ)? Which would you recommend. They seem about the same price and I like both brands so I'm finding it hard to choose between them.

jcarlos
10-29-2013, 11:38 AM
Lu8 is the one I have more experience with, I tried the kala one several times and to me they sound very very similar. I honestly think they might be the made by the same manufacturer and then they just put the Kala or Lanikai name on them. Fretboard felt the same, nut size and scale felt the same, even both of them had black nylon, dont remember the brand but the strings felt the same as well. I would say you go with either one you will be getting a very similar sound from both.

haolejohn
10-29-2013, 11:44 AM
I've only played the Lanikai 8 string ukes. I love them. I am not a lanikai fan, except for the 8 string ukes. The spruce top ones are really hard to beat.

jcarlos
10-29-2013, 12:00 PM
Yes, if you can afford a Spruce top one, I would go for that one.

equina
10-29-2013, 04:31 PM
I prefer this: http://www.ukerepublic.bigcartel.com/product/ohana-8-string-tenor-solid-spruce-mahogany
It's made of all solid woods. If you're willing to stretch your budget a little, this may be a better buy.

haolejohn
10-29-2013, 05:38 PM
I prefer this: http://www.ukerepublic.bigcartel.com/product/ohana-8-string-tenor-solid-spruce-mahogany
It's made of all solid woods. If you're willing to stretch your budget a little, this may be a better buy.

I had no idea Ohana was making 8 stringers...hmmmmmmm

notgeorgeformby
10-29-2013, 09:44 PM
@haolejohn & @jcarlos Is this the one (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lanikai-UO-8S-8-String-Solid-Spruce-Top-Tenor-Ukulele-/271099872641?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instr uments&hash=item3f1ecfc581) you mean?

@equina The Ohana looks lovely but Southern Ukulele only seem to have the 6 string. That's the problem here in the UK, not a great choice.

jcarlos
10-29-2013, 10:14 PM
Yes thats the one.

the Ohana looks interesting too, I would like to hear some samples of it.

equina
10-29-2013, 11:18 PM
the Ohana looks interesting too, I would like to hear some samples of it.

Here: http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=mhEotOwF7V8

PhilUSAFRet
10-30-2013, 01:30 AM
Solid mahogany with a spruce top.....at that price, the Ohana is practically a "no brainer." I have been trying to convince them to make a taropatch based on the CK-35 for a few years now....maybe one day.

notgeorgeformby
10-30-2013, 01:57 AM
It looks like I'd have to buy the Ohana from the US, unless anyone knows somewhere in Europe that sells them.

PhilUSAFRet
10-30-2013, 10:41 AM
It looks like I'd have to buy the Ohana from the US, unless anyone knows somewhere in Europe that sells them.

Ken Middleton would be the best source of info on that I think. http://www.kenmiddleton.co.uk/Pages/default.aspx

Tommy B
10-30-2013, 01:53 PM
So if I understand correctly from that video, the Ohana's C course is tuned in unison, right? Every other 8-string tenor I've played had the C course in octaves (regular C and high C), and I've always liked what that high C did for the overall voice. I wonder why Ohana decided not to do that.

notgeorgeformby
10-30-2013, 09:06 PM
So if I understand correctly from that video, the Ohana's C course is tuned in unison, right? Every other 8-string tenor I've played had the C course in octaves (regular C and high C), and I've always liked what that high C did for the overall voice. I wonder why Ohana decided not to do that.
I'd imagine you can please yourself with the tuning, same as with other ukes. It's bound to make a difference to the character of the instrument.

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I have taken the plunge and ordered a Lanikai UO-8. Managed to find one in the UK at a price within my budget. But I will still have to wait about a fortnight for it. I'll let you know what I think when it gets here.

FiL
10-31-2013, 02:54 AM
Thanks for your comments, everyone. I have taken the plunge and ordered a Lanikai UO-8. Managed to find one in the UK at a price within my budget. But I will still have to wait about a fortnight for it. I'll let you know what I think when it gets here.

I've said it on these boards many times. I love my O-8E! It's my regular player.

- FiL

Tommy B
10-31-2013, 05:17 AM
Congratulations, notgeorgeformby. I have the bargain-basement LU-8, and I think it's one of the most satisfying strummers in my collection. Have fun!

notgeorgeformby
10-31-2013, 09:37 AM
@FiL I just took a look at your YouTube channel and you certainly get some sweet sounds out of it! :)

@Tommy B Thanks, I'm looking forward to it! :drool:

notgeorgeformby
11-01-2013, 01:55 AM
Gah! The shop can't supply the O8 until after Christmas. Back to square one.

FiL
11-01-2013, 07:47 AM
Solid mahogany with a spruce top.....at that price, the Ohana is practically a "no brainer." I have been trying to convince them to make a taropatch based on the CK-35 for a few years now....maybe one day.

Despite what it says on the Uke Republic website, I don't think the back on sides of this one are solid. Everywhere else I've seen a description, the back and sides are just listed as "mahogany", which leads me to believe that it has laminated back and sides.

- FiL

equina
11-01-2013, 08:09 AM
Despite what it says on the Uke Republic website, I don't think the back on sides of this one are solid. Everywhere else I've seen a description, the back and sides are just listed as "mahogany", which leads me to believe that it has laminated back and sides.

- FiL

Mims is also selling it. According to her description, the b/s are solid mahogany.

FiL
11-01-2013, 08:55 AM
I'm still suspicious. On Ohana's website, they don't have the TK-70-8, but they have the TK-70-6. The description says:

Solid spruce top
Mahogany back & sides

If the back and sides were solid, they would tout that, no?

On Elderly's website, the TK-70-8 is listed as having "SOLID SPRUCE TOP WITH MAHOGANY BACK AND SIDES".

Maybe Ken Middleton will stop by and give us the final word. If it is indeed all solid wood, that's quite a bargain!

- FiL

FiL
11-01-2013, 09:17 AM
After doing some research, I think I see where I've been mislead. The TK-70-6 on Ohana's website (http://www.ohana-music.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=29825) appears to be an older model, without a slotted headstock. According to a video I found on YouTube, they upgraded the TK-70-6 (and presumably the TK-70-8) in 2013 with the slotted headstock and solid back & sides. I'm surprised Ohana's website is not up to date.

That makes it quite a bargain of an instrument!

- FiL

equina
11-01-2013, 02:49 PM
Ohana's website can be hopelessly outdated. The Ck-90sc is not there but the Tk-90sc is, with an error in the description (top should be spruce-cedar and not spruce-mahogany). The ck-25rt (12-fret to body version of ck-38) is also not there. The latest, which is the soprano and concert Dias-Nunes reproduction, are glaringly absent although they are found in Ohana's recent Facebook posts.

I love Ohana because they (or rather their dealers like UR and Mims and Elderly) offer very attractive prices for their all solid wood models, especially the limited editions. They sound great too!

notgeorgeformby
11-03-2013, 10:52 PM
Others I have noticed in my search:

Oscar Schmidt OU28T (http://www.oscarschmidt.com/products/ukes/ou28t.asp)

and

Luna HTT8 (http://www.lunaguitars.com/acousticproduct/hightidetenor8.php)

Anyone encountered either of these? I haven't had anything by these brands so I'm completely in the dark.

LanikaiLeon
11-04-2013, 04:09 AM
I've always loved our 6 and 8 string ukuleles. They are some of the oldest Lanikai models around, and when they were initially released we were one of the few big brands that even made these amazing ukes. Of the 50+ ukes that are generally hanging around my office, the 6 and 8 strings always get the most attention from me!

If you're having trouble finding an LU-6/8 or an O-6/8 that's because they've been discontinued for a few months now and supply is becoming scarce. Fear not, however, as those looking for such a uke from Lanikai are going to be quite surprised with some new projects that are just around the corner!

:cool:

notgeorgeformby
11-04-2013, 04:37 AM
I've always loved our 6 and 8 string ukuleles. They are some of the oldest Lanikai models around, and when they were initially released we were one of the few big brands that even made these amazing ukes. Of the 50+ ukes that are generally hanging around my office, the 6 and 8 strings always get the most attention from me!

If you're having trouble finding an LU-6/8 or an O-6/8 that's because they've been discontinued for a few months now and supply is becoming scarce. Fear not, however, as those looking for such a uke from Lanikai are going to be quite surprised with some new projects that are just around the corner!

:cool:

Thanks for the info, Leon. I take it you're bringing out a new one then? Any idea how soon?

Flyinby
11-04-2013, 11:27 AM
Others I have noticed in my search:

Oscar Schmidt OU28T (http://www.oscarschmidt.com/products/ukes/ou28t.asp)

and

Luna HTT8 (http://www.lunaguitars.com/acousticproduct/hightidetenor8.php)

Anyone encountered either of these? I haven't had anything by these brands so I'm completely in the dark.

The Oscar Schmidt OU28t is a real bargain; I hadn't suggested it earlier as it looked like you were being steered toward the pricier models, but I've had one for a bit under a year, and really enjoy it. Setup was fine as it came from Amazon, and everyone that plays it likes it, in fact it has sold itself a couple of times now. There is a nice review of it in the reviews section, and there was a recent discussion of it here on the forum, though I don't remember the subject line.

I'm not so sure I'd want the C strings in unison as mentioned on the Ohanas; perhaps you can change them as long as the nut slot isn't too wide for that high C string. I'd probably go for a 5 string with octave tuned G, and just single strings the rest of the way, before I'd want unison C on an 8 string.

Oscar Schmidt ukes and guitars etc. are made by Washburn, and covered by a lifetime guarantee, which at least means if they develop a serious issue you have some recourse. For a (US) $100 uke, that's pretty amazing to me, and I'm very happy with the one I've got. 8 strings are not for every music piece, but for some they really sound nice. Of course it's laminated if that bothers you, but it's not all one-sided, as laminates have their advantages also, and the sound and intonation are good on the Oscar.

haolejohn
11-04-2013, 12:00 PM
@haolejohn & @jcarlos Is this the one (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lanikai-UO-8S-8-String-Solid-Spruce-Top-Tenor-Ukulele-/271099872641?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instr uments&hash=item3f1ecfc581) you mean?

@equina The Ohana looks lovely but Southern Ukulele only seem to have the 6 string. That's the problem here in the UK, not a great choice.

Yes that is the one. I've only played ones that Mim had sold to friends of mine. Well, DeG bought his from Elderly I think, but they were all set up. That uke sounds really well for the money.

Nickie
11-04-2013, 12:05 PM
I heard Uncle Elvis play an 8 string this weekend at TBUG....wow what a full sound! I loved it!

notgeorgeformby
11-04-2013, 10:21 PM
The Oscar Schmidt OU28t is a real bargain; I hadn't suggested it earlier as it looked like you were being steered toward the pricier models, but I've had one for a bit under a year, and really enjoy it. Setup was fine as it came from Amazon, and everyone that plays it likes it, in fact it has sold itself a couple of times now. There is a nice review of it in the reviews section, and there was a recent discussion of it here on the forum, though I don't remember the subject line.

I'm not so sure I'd want the C strings in unison as mentioned on the Ohanas; perhaps you can change them as long as the nut slot isn't too wide for that high C string. I'd probably go for a 5 string with octave tuned G, and just single strings the rest of the way, before I'd want unison C on an 8 string.

Oscar Schmidt ukes and guitars etc. are made by Washburn, and covered by a lifetime guarantee, which at least means if they develop a serious issue you have some recourse. For a (US) $100 uke, that's pretty amazing to me, and I'm very happy with the one I've got. 8 strings are not for every music piece, but for some they really sound nice. Of course it's laminated if that bothers you, but it's not all one-sided, as laminates have their advantages also, and the sound and intonation are good on the Oscar.

Thanks, @Flyinby. It looks pretty good in that review, I must say. I'm not especially bothered about being laminated - I'd always assumed solid wood was best, but maybe it's not so clear cut. So long as it's relatively easy to play and doesn't sound like fingernails on a chalkboard I'll be happy.

And the price is very tempting.

notgeorgeformby
11-04-2013, 10:21 PM
I heard Uncle Elvis play an 8 string this weekend at TBUG....wow what a full sound! I loved it!

I thought Elvis was dead? :confused:

FiL
11-05-2013, 04:48 AM
If you're having trouble finding an LU-6/8 or an O-6/8 that's because they've been discontinued for a few months now and supply is becoming scarce. Fear not, however, as those looking for such a uke from Lanikai are going to be quite surprised with some new projects that are just around the corner!

Well, you've certainly piqued my interest! Are we talking in time for the holidays, or sometime in the new year?

I love my O-8E--best bang-for-the-buck uke I own--but there are three things I wish were different:

1) It's an older model, with the Shadow electronics, and it is a PITA to replace the battery.
2) The placement of the jack is in a non-standard position on the lower side of the lower bout instead of in the standard endpin location, and I've occasionally had plugs come partially out due to gravity.
3) I wish it came with strap buttons! (Easy enough to fix aftermarket, I know, but it would be a nice touch.)

Due to nos. 1 & 2 above, I've thought about getting a plain O-8 and having something like a MiSi Acoustic Trio pickup installed. But now I'm curious to see what Laniaki is coming out with next.

- FiL