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Thread: Lanikai introducing the intouke ? adjustable saddle

  1. #1
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    Default Lanikai introducing the intouke ? adjustable saddle

    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....
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  2. #2
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    I was looking through a music trades magazine today and saw pictures of it. I'll take a few pictures and upload them tonight.

  3. #3
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    to what end?

  4. #4
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    I am assuming intonation adjustments.
    Doug

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    Shouldn't weigh much...

    pc3_ofr.jpg
    (Shameless photoshop)

    Ohana mahogany tenor, Kala mahogany tenor, Eleuke tenor.

  6. #6
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    I wonder if they'll charge on a sliding scale?
    Chuck Moore
    Moore Bettah Ukuleles
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  7. #7
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    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.



    Nut:


    Saddle:


    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."

  8. #8
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    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.)
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gmoney View Post
    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
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  10. #10
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    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?
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