Laka Ukulele

4.36/5 (25)

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Laka ukuleles are a range from Vintage ukuleles. Probably a good idea for them to release ukes under a name other than Vintage because anyone searching for vintage ukuleles is going to find a lot of old ukuleles (and the new name is an anagram of Kala). Anyhoo, the ukuleles seem to be only available in the UK at the moment.

The range of eight ukuleles stretches from the VUS70 laminated mahogany soprano to the solid koa tenor electro-acoustic VUT90EA.

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  1. Deanie December 1st, 2009 2:50 pm

    Vintage Laka Concert Solid Koa Uke + EQ VUC90EA – I am considering getting one of these before Christmas (2009) but no local shops are stocking them. The description sounds good (I think) with a solid koa top, grover tuners and fishman sonitone preamp but I would appreciate any feedback one way or the other from anyone who has either bought one or who has any strong opinions about these ukuleles before I blindly spend £132 without having played, touched or even seen one. Thanks – in anticipation.

  2. Deanie December 3rd, 2009 8:36 pm

    After a facebook poll in which everybody said, ‘just go for it’ (probably because it wasn’t their money) I have just gone ahead and ordered one. If anyone is curious just post here and I will let you know what I think.

  3. Woodshed December 7th, 2009 8:45 pm

    I’ve never tried one so I’d love to know what you thought of it, Deanie.

  4. Deanie January 4th, 2010 2:24 pm

    Having gone ahead and blindly spent £132 on one of these I ended up with the spruce top/koa version (due to a manufacturer/supplier labelling error – however on the plus side I was happy with it and managed to blag a free hard case as compensation for the inconvenience). Now please take into account that I am no expert and to illustrate the limited depth of my experience I have only ever held 6 ukuleles in my life – three of these were Mahalos (one blue, one green and my cherry red Les Paulalike, a Stagg soprano, an Ovation Applause and this one. It is a pretty enough instrument and appears to be well built and finished. I do like its matt satin finish and the ‘koa’ is a pretty wood. The electrics and controls are concealed entirely within the body of the instrument which means you have to furtle around inside the soundhole to adjust the volume and tone. The uke itself sounds fine and the intonation, as far as I can tell, is good all the way up the fretboard. I am not keen on the ‘Hawaiian sunset’ motif on the headstock though. It holds its tuning better than any other uke I have played even though it is comparatively new (the Aquila strings did come wound tight which may have assisted). I have played this electrically and my good friend Busby (of the Busby Babes ) after an open mic thing at a local pub said, and I quote, ‘the uke sounds fantastic, even through that s***ty PA’. On the other hand my children and wife hate it with a passion. On the whole I like it and have no regrets. I am glad I didn’t go with an eleuke type thing as I still have the acoustic option as well as electric.

  5. Buster July 25th, 2010 3:26 pm

    Recently bought my first proper Ukulele – Laka VUC 70. It was recommended and I am delighted. It is well made and finished – solid mahogany top, geared tuners and set up with Aquilas. My wife said ” oh, that doesn’t bad” – need I say more.

  6. Amy November 8th, 2010 1:36 pm

    I am looking at buying a VUT90
    Tenor Acoustic Ukulele from Laka for my husbands christmas present …. I’m not a instrument player myself but want to surprise him but not sure what I am looking at!

    Can anyone give me some advice on this instrument and in general about what would be a good starter Uke for him? He plays guitar (acoustic and electric) at the moment.

    Thanks! Any help would be appreciated!

  7. doug November 25th, 2010 2:09 pm

    Bought a Laka concert ukulele with a solid spruce top (VUC90EA). A great buy at around £130. However, the unamplified sound is not unpleasant but nowhere near as good as the spruce top spalted maple Kala at around the same price.
    However, for the money you get a built in fishman sonic under saddle pickup which gives a pretty decent sound.
    Strengths: good pickup; beautiful construction (smooth, well-finished frets and very playable fingerboard); great value for money.
    Weaknesses: slightly flat, disappointing sound (more overtones, resonance and brightness in the Kala).

  8. doug November 25th, 2010 2:29 pm

    addendum – sorry, the Laka model I have is: VUC80EA (spruce top with a Fishman Sonitone pickup). The 90EA has a solid koa top.

  9. Tun December 15th, 2010 11:47 am

    I have a Laka VUT90-EA Tenor, which I bought second hand. I have been playing Uke for a couple of years now. This Uke holds it’s tune superbly well, sound great acoustic of electro and is great to play.
    P.S. I also have a Pete Howlett concert Uklectic, which is totally magnificent.

  10. alow September 8th, 2011 8:17 pm

    i got one and there better than any other i tried

  11. Eimear November 11th, 2011 8:52 am

    I got the Laka VUS50 uke about a week ago and I’m not exactly an authority on the subject since it’s the first I’ve ever owned but the guy in the shop recommended it incredibly highly.
    It was €95, including a padded case, and I know his job is to make a sale but he seemed incredibly enthusiastic about it. I believe his exact words were that with the built-in tuner, the Aquila strings and the overall quality of the uke that they could charge twice that for it and it would still be value and I have to say I agree from what I’ve felt playing it.
    Admittedly I only tried one other uke before buying this one (one of the cheap Dolphin ones) but it felt like an absolute toy in my hands, whereas this feels and plays like a real instrument, and a quality one at that. In fact the tuning pegs are so well calibrated that the E and A strings stayed at perfect pitch for a full day and a half after I first tuned them, which is more than my old steel stringed guitar ever gave me before I stopped playing it.
    My only complaint about it is the fact that all of the strings are very hard to press down fully on the first fret, and even that may just be my fingers need toughening back up after two years away from a string instrument.
    Overall a great buy for my first uke and I have a feeling I won’t be replacing it for a good few years, if at all.

  12. Ailsa November 22nd, 2012 9:17 am

    Hello, I’m considering buying the Laka VUT90 EA with Fishman pickup. Ive been playing for 2 years and I have an aNuenue concert which is very bright and reponsive, but I’m after a bit more of a mellow sound with the new tenor – does anyone have one? Intonation is really important for me. Any thoughts gratefully received

  13. Jez Quayle February 4th, 2013 11:14 am

    I’ve owned my Laka VUC80EA for about 2 years now. I liked it from the moment I first tried it out in the shop. It’s very nicely finished off, and it sounds great both acoustically and electrically – I use it often at open mike events, acoustic sing-arounds, and the occasional paying gig (as well as during hours of home playing). Importantly, it keeps its tuning extremely well (unlike a number of ukes I’ve owned in over 30 years of playing). I’d recommend it very highly, and more highly than many more expensive ukes I’ve tried out in shops in recent times. I know this review sounds a little ‘gushing’, but I’m simply giving an honest opinion.

  14. Davey February 8th, 2013 4:02 pm

    Recently bought a Laka VUVS6 and am well pleased with it. Good quality instrument with a reasonable sound from the piezo pick up, it also sounds quite good accoustically.

  15. steve January 1st, 2014 4:33 pm

    Got a Laka vuv2 electric on offer cheap and really dislike the supplied steel strings. Can anyone recommend something decent as not too well up on steel strings for ukes

  16. Susanna September 8th, 2014 11:04 am

    I’m new to ukulele but have background training as a classical musician. I wandered up and down Denmark St in London (where all the guitar shops are) and tried pretty much every sub £200 ukulele in the street (didn’t want to spend too much on my first ukulele!). Personally I’m not a fan of the “honky-tonk” sound that quite a lot of the cheaper ukes have, and tuning is a MAJOR bug bear of mine. I was torn between the Laka VUS70 in one shop and the Lâg “baby” U100S in another (much crossing of the street ensued!). Both sounded rich (surprising considering the Lâg’s size!) but the Laka stayed in tune when I played it, and that was the clincher. I tried other Laka models and they didn’t seem as rich. I’m still hankering after the Lâg because it’s soooo cuuuuute, and the thinness of the body made it very comfortable to play. But sound over style dictated the Laka. I am really enjoying learning the ukulele on the Laka, which if I had an instrument that continually went out of tune I wouldn’t. I paid 129 pounds for it, but it can be bought cheaper online. I was happy to pay the extra as all the shops were really good about letting me play all their ukes – and for me what it sounds like and how comfortable it is to play is of tantamount importance and you can’t experience that online.

  17. John November 17th, 2015 10:03 pm

    I came home this lunch time with a Laka Joe Brown Concert Uke. Having read all I could find, on the various makes on dozens of internet sites, over the past 3 weeks. I have played Guitar since 1963 but I have not touched a ukulele in over 50 years. The ukulele was not on display in the store but one was brought out from the warehouse and duly tuned for me. I gave it a fair old strumming for a good 10 minute and was amazed to find that only the 1st string had dropped about a quarter of a tone. Back at home I played constantly from until 4.15pm and only had to re-tune once. I then played for 1/2 an hour and put her to bed for the night. I may be just lucky but I think this is exceptional for any ukulele straight out of the box! I must be honest and state that as yet I have not been down the neck past the 9th fret. The instrument appears to be wall made and the finish is very good with no rough spots at all. Obviously the solid Mahogany top and Aquila strings contribute to the beautiful tone and resonance that it produces. ( Other than when mi fingers don’t work as fast as mi brain.)The Grover open tuners are firm and solid. The intonation is also excellent. I have purposely ignored the aesthetics as every one of us have our own perception of beauty. I appreciate this is day one and if things change I will let you know. For the price I think this is worthy of anyone’s consideration. Best wishes John, York, England.

  18. Steve January 21st, 2016 6:11 pm

    Thank you all for your comments. I am about to try and then highly probably commit to swapping my Lanikai Tenor (first ever uke and instrument) in a deal for a new Laka VUT90EA, electro-acoustic tenor and this is the final blog I feel the need to consult. All my gleaning of info and feedback has been very fruitful.
    Once again, thanks. S.

  19. LM May 26th, 2021 4:10 pm

    I was given a VUT-40 as a birthday present earlier in the year and I’ve been really pleased with it. I’m new to ukeleles but have played guitars before. The intonation isn’t bad, the sound’s pretty good and it stays reasonably in tune. For the price (about £50-55) it’s great. I’m a convert to ukes now.

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