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Thread: Lanikai LU-21T and LU-21P Review

  1. #1

    Default Lanikai LU-21T and LU-21P Review

    Hey Ukers!!

    Given the option of either buying a nice solid wood Soprano or two half decent Ukulele's in different sizes, I opted for the latter. Following various reviews and watching youtube, I decided on the Lanikai LU-21 series.

    My rationale for this purchase was based purely on reviews, how they sounded in the shop, and quality of build. I had heard that this series were hit-and-miss regarding quality, but glad to say mine are fine.

    Starting with the LU-21P (Pinapple),

    Made of Nato. No tree I've ever heard of, but looks quite pretty. I'm unsure if it's a laminate, but whatever it is it has a lovely tone. Other reviews state that they are built in China, but the only mark on mine to determine origin says Hawaii?

    Intonation, as with many cheaper soprano's it isn't fantastic, but adequately does a good job almost to the highest fret. If playing alone, I find tuning it high helps the intonation. This may be remedied by lowering the action? It comes with Aquila strings, which saves re-stringing. Winders are geared, and seems to stay in tune pretty well.

    Build is very nice. Feels solid and of good quality. Simple white banding around the edges and pearl inlays on the frets. No scruffy bits on either uke, except for a spot of glue on the body.

    All in all, I'm happy! A lovely sounding uke at a good price. 60.

    LU-21T (Tenor).

    As with the Pinapple, the quality is equally as nice, but the intonation is spot on. The winders on the Tenor are of all metal construction, and quite small considering. Lovely chrome finish, and no problems staying in tune.

    The sound is stunning for a cheap Uke, (90) lovely bright tone, with a good level of sustain. Folks at my club are surprised, as it sounds better then ukes around the 200 area.

    Two great ukes for 150, and one very happy ukulist with a growing collection!! I'm a happy man.
    philxbx's youtube videos

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    1930's Keech Banjolele. Sweet and lots of fun!
    Lanikai LU-21 Pinapple.
    Lanikai LU-21 Tenor.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Honolulu, Hawaii 5min away from waikiki


    Aloha Phil,
    Congrat on your two purchases of lanikai's...I'm glad to hear your happy with them..
    I've got a nato baritone and Nato is a very dense and hard wood that projects sound very well. mines a cheap uke too
    but sounds awesome...many times better than expensive ones ..I am speechless but very happy with mine...
    isn't sound quality comes first before anything else...certainly before price and looks and name brands....I'm not that shallow...he he

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Silicon Valley


    I still want a LU-21P and will probably pick one up eventually.
    Lanikai LU-21
    Kala KA-SSTU (low-g)
    KoAloha Soprano Pineapple
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010


    I recently picked up a Lanikai LU-21P at a local music shop for $59 US. It is all laminate and is made in China, or atleast mine is. I may have just gotten lucky but the fit and finish, intonation, tuners and action were all spot on on mine. Way better than I had any right to expect at this price. It makes for a great knock around uke.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Warsaw, Poland


    I bought a LU-21P as my first uke, rather accidentally - I really wanted to get an uke quickly, and it was the only one in the shop in my price range. Since then, I have compared it with many more expensive instruments, but it still suprises me with how good, loud and clean its sound is. Sadly, intonation is far from perfect, although acceptable. But it's still a really good instrument at this price.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Near the base of the thumb in the mitten state.


    My LU-21T was my first new ukulele. I had a couple of used sopranos (50+ years old) prior to that. I bought the tenor with the idea that the larger size would fit my fingers better. I've since discovered that I prefer the Concert size the best. I purchased mine through My only negative is that the wood has an interesting flaw in it, right above the between the sound hole and the bridge on the high side. It is a natural occurring type of knot, but it has sort of soured me on ordering anything that says "actual look may vary" in the description. I want to see it before I purchase.

    I still play it regularly, and it sits near my primary chair in a stand ready to go. My guitar playing daughter prefers it to any of the other ukes, so she often picks it up and plays it as well. I even used it for my 30 seconds in A Ukulele Tribute to Paul McCartney, pt 1. as the sound and tone seemed to fit the song best.
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