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Thread: What does the Lanikai lu 8e sound like?

  1. #1

    Default What does the Lanikai lu 8e sound like?

    Lately I've been interested in 8 strings but I'm on a really tight budget. (keep in mind I'm only 14 who spends their money quickly)

    Ukes I've been thinking of:
    Lanikai lu 8e (has pickup)
    Kala ka8

    Right now I don't want anything above 270.

    I know kala has a better reputation than Lanikai, but I really want an already installed pick up in it. I've only been able to listen to both through videos, so your input would be great if you have either of them ( mostly on what the lanikai sound like through an amp ) Yes, neither of them are great but I just want to try out an 8 string. None of the stores near me hold any.

    If you were to choose between the two, what would you pick?
    Last edited by Theresaamusic; 09-29-2012 at 05:25 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Near Cincinnati, OH


    I bought a $140 Lanikai and a $60 Lanikai. The $60 one needed a lot of set-up work but it sounds great now. The $140 one sounded good out of the box. Neither of them have electronics so I can't comment on the quality of their electronics, but at the $270 price point I expect they should be good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    near Rochester, NY


    I bought a Lanikai LU-8EK just this week, from Mim's Ukes. It is the laminate mahogany 8 string with the new, improved Fishman electronics package. I am thrilled with it!

    Yes, there are "better" 8 strings on the market. Yes, solid wood may sound better. But this uke has proven to be everything I wanted in an 8 string. This is in no small part due to the excellent job Mim does setting up the ukes she sells. The thing plays beautifully! A uke from a seller who does not do set-ups (and do them properly) is a gamble, at best.

    My uke has the new Fishman electronics. I'm particularly taken with the built-in electronic tuner, which is VERY convenient, and works great. I have not yet had the opportunity to try it amplified, as I have no amp, yet. The Fishman system provides volume, treble, middle and bass controls as well as the tuner.

    I bought a polyfoam case with mine, as I intend to take it with me out and about. The price, with case and including shipping, was $295.

    I think anyone interested in trying an 8 string would be happy with the Lanikai. If you were to decide later to upgrade to a solid wood 8 string, the Lanikai should resell quite well, as they are very popular.

    Hope this helps....
    Things get better with age. I'm approaching magnificent....

    Kala KA-SC :: Sapele /ebony soprano, handmade :: Kiwaya K-Wave Tele Uke :: Big Island KTO-TR :: Lanikai LU-8EK :: Eastman concert prototype :: vintage banjolele :: Mainland gloss mahogany concert

    "And if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there..." - George Harrison

    "Just a few ukulele hooligans getting wild and strummy...." - chindog


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Santa Rosa, CA


    Many people commented upon lanikai 8 string `ukuleles on this recent thread:
    Aloha Royal Soprano | Koa Pili Koko Tenor Cutaway | Eleuke Tenor SL Series Koa | Big Island Tenor Cutaway
    Pegasus 8-string | ʻŌiwi 6-string | Sonny D tenor | Kanile`a tenor |Tangi tenor | Tom Guy tenor cigar box | Eleuke Rosewood Jazz
    Amps : Smokey - Honeytone - Roland Micro Cube - SWR California Blonde - Mesa Boogie
    pahu | `ili`ili | ipu heke | `ohe hano ihu | kamani hano ihu | ipu hoki'oki'o
    Liko Puha

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Beaverton, OR


    I'm not sure which model Uncle Elvis has, but he makes his Lanikai 8string sound fantastic.
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Greenfield, WI


    I LOVE my Lanikai 8 string, it's my favorite of all 6 of mine to play.
    Check out my Etsy store where we sell awesome ukulele gear!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    DFW, TX, USA


    I know a lot of people have been happy with their LU-8E ukes. (I am also reasonably sure some of them have the Lanikai O8 which is a bit better uke, I think.)

    Anyway, I had an LU-8E about two years ago. First, the good stuff - it was set up perfectly out of the box even though I purchased from an eBay drop shipper and it hadn't been touched by human hands since leaving the factory (and possibly not before). It also rocked the house when plugged in. Unfortunately, acoustically it was like playing a wet dog.

    Unless you really intend to use the pickup a lot you might want to spend your budget on a uke that might sound better unplugged.

    Of course, in this price range it really boils down to buying from a reputable uke dealer and, if at all possible, playing before buying - there is a lot of variability in all brands at this price point.

    I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to polish a turd. However, if one were to accomplish that feat one would still have a turd, and one all the more noticeable for being shiny.

    Check out my ukulele-themed "stuff" at - proceeds go to a good cause...UAS treatment!

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