Unexpected NUD: Lanikai CKTU-T TunaUke Curly Koa Tenor


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Sep 23, 2010
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East Bay, CA
Unexpected NUD: Lanikai CKTU-T Curly Koa TunaUke Tenor

So I walked into the Starving Musician in Berkeley to specifically look at a Seagull acoustic guitar. Then I saw this uke on the wall with this crazy looking bridge. Never heard of the TunaUke before. I thought an adjustable saddle on a uke was a pretty cool idea, hey all my electric guitars had 'em…

So I took it down and played it. I was quite surprised. The big bridge did not comprise the sound. I got to compare it to the exact same uke without the Tuna bridge and they sounded the same to me. The action was nice low. Took out my iPhone tuner and checked the intonation all the way up the 12th fret for each string and it was just about perfect. Not sure if the shop adjusted it beforehand or if it came this way from Lanikai. Then I checked the internet to see what the going price was. The Starving Musician had everyone beat by 50 bucks. Yeah it's a plywood Koa uke, with a bridge that might be marketing bs or the best thing since sliced bread. Well I couldn't resist…

First thing I did when I got it home was change the strings to Worth Clears. Intonation was still good except for the E string at the higher frets. I'll mess with the saddle for that string later. Oh and I also picked up this cool Fusion gig bag for it too.

Here are some crummy iPhone pics for ya…




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Wow, that actually looks pretty good. How's the sound?
Congratulations eric looks great, let me know that bridge works, happy strummings :)
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Thanks for the replies guys!

Jim it's not bad for a laminate. We have a 4 year old Lanikai laminated soprano that's all beat up but sounds terrific. I'm sure this new one will sound better once broken in. It's a bit on the mellow side, but I'll be experimenting with different strings to find the right match. Keep an eye out on my YouTube channel, I'm sure I'll record a video with it soon.

Stan I adjusted the E string saddle a bit. I'm 2 cents off at the fretted 12th fret. I don't play that high anyway. I'll keep messing with it. Could be the string too...new and still stretching, though the other strings are fine.
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Congratulations! That's one of the better looking Lanakais I've seen. What's up with the bridge and the nut? Why did they do that?
Thanks Nickie! The compensated nut and adjustable saddles are utilized to obtain "perfect" intonation.
Nice looking uke! I like the idea of the adjustable saddle (and nut). These adjustments are typically made by a luthier by file. I believe the additional fine tuning might be accomplished at the nut if the saddle is fully adjusted, but haven't had the opportunity to mess with one of these before to be sure. It sounds like you'll be having fun with this one!
Thanks Bill! I'm pretty inept when it comes to setting up a uke, so it's kinda neat to be able to do the adjustments myself.
Thanks Campbell! I just gently tap the saddle with the edge of a screwdriver that's padded with painter's tape to move it. Here's a video that explains how it's done:
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