Lanikai Ukulele

3.88/5 (23)

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Lanikai are part of the Hohner music company. Initially their ukuleles, being made in China and laminated, were at the cheaper end of the scale (although they are increasingly moving into higher end ukes) but that hasn’t stopped them getting some high level support.

Lanikai are a bit hit with the indie crowd. The most famous Lanikai uker is Zach Condon of Beirut.The model he uses is an LU-21TE. The LU-21T only costs around $100, which makes it a good buy for a first time uker – particularly if you’re looking to start with a tenor. The LU-21T is also used by tUnE-YaRdS, Scott Matthew and Hailey Wojcik. Other high profile Lanikai supporter are Jason Mraz and Robert Plant (although the only place I’ve seen them with a Lanikai is in promo pictures).

Overall, their LU-21 range is a great place to start for anyone looking to buy their first ukulele.

On Video

Zach Condon strums on his Lanikai LU-21TE

On Musician’s Friend

LU-11: Starter ukulele, nato construction. Price: $46
LU-21 standard: Soprano ukulele, nato construction. (no, I’m not sure what the difference between the LU-11 and the LU-21 is either) Price: $59
LU-21P: Soprano pineapple ukulele, nato wood. Price: $59
LU-21C: Concert size version of LU-21. Price: $79
LU-21T: Tenor version of LU-21. Price: $109
LU-21B: Introductory baritone ukulele. Price: $119

On eBay US

On Amazon UK


More in-depth look at Lanikai’s models:

Cheap-o Range

Kohala C
Kohala Standard
Kohala HU-212

Introductory Range
LU-21 Standard

O Series

O Series & Spruce O-6
O Series & Spruce O-8 8-String
O Series & Spruce S-T
O Series & Spruce S-TEQ

Curly Koa Series

Curly Koa CK-6E
Curly Koa CK-B
Curly Koa CK-C
Curly Koa CK-S
Curly Koa CK-T
Curly Koa CK-TEQ

Custom Series

Custom NK-C
Custom SM-T

Designer Series

Designer LCD-C
Designer LSM-C
Desinger LSM-T
Flame Maple LFM-C
Flame Maple LFM-S
Flame Maple LFM-T

Lanikai LU21 Video Review

Lanikai LU21 ukulele review by Mike.

Here’s the picture showing the thickness of the top which he references in the video:

lanikai LU21

Lanikai Concert Ukulele Review

Review by hoosierhiver

Ode to a Lanikai Ukulele by Stephen Palmer

My Best Ukulele by Stephen Palmer

Chords: C, A, G
Time: 4/4

You get the idea of structure after the first verse:

My favourite uke is a
Concert sized Lanakai
I bought from Ron.

He is man who owns a
Music shop in my
Town Darlington

We had a conversation
About me getting tickets
To see Tom Waits

When I got back I played my
Uke til my fingers ached.

My ukulele has a slender neck
And curves like my girlfriend
She is the only one that
I will ever play, until my ditty ends.
I’ll never treat it bad
Or treat her bad.
This is a promise I’ll tell you.
All I ever want to do
Is sit
And play my uke.

I wanted to make a video
To win the competition
I would have played the song myself
And give a demonstration.
But I don’t have the time,
And I don’t have the patience.
So I will leave the melody
Open to your own interpretation.

I think the ukulele is the best
Everyone should have one
Mankind should strive to reach
This aim of mine, it would be so much fun
There would no terrorism,
Or danger to the world coming from guns.
In the one hand would be a ukulele
The other hand would strum.

So now you know my great plan
To achieve world dominaton
Using only cunning plans
And a four string combination.
The world would be
Such a better place, if I was in charge.
With my army of ukulele players.
We would do no harm.

So this what I think of
When I pick up my uke to play.
And should my enemies try to steal
Her or plan to make her stray.
I will play a song so beautiful


  1. Carson Morgan November 27th, 2009 3:36 pm

    I have a Lanikai S-C Concert Ukulele (same one shown in the video by hoosierhiver) and I absolutely adore it. It’s my first ukulele, and even if I buy a higher quality one, I will always love this one. The sound quality is fantastic – there are no pitch problems, and it has a nice ring to it. I’ve not changed the strings on it, and it still sounds wonderful. A friend of mine compared the sound to Zach Condon’s ukulele, which I think is quite a compliment. It has no problems in terms of the body, and it’s quite attractive.

    This is a really great ukulele.

  2. Woodshed December 7th, 2009 8:46 pm

    Thanks for the review, Carson. Your friend obviously has good ears.

  3. Brooks Cruzen December 10th, 2009 7:40 am

    I have a Lanikai LU-21 with aquila strings and I have to say for the price it sounds great. Like the video reviews say it’s absolutely above the toy ukulele price range. My first was a Stagg US20 that i got for $35. A decent start. It was playable, but had awful intonation, and the stock strings didn’t sound good at all. But I sold it and picked up the LU-21 and was thoroughly impressed for the price. The intonation is excellent, tunes quite easily, and looks pretty nice with the binding. With aquilas it sounds quite nice. I’m looking to get a nice gig-worthy concert uke, but I absolutely plan on keeping my LU-21. For the price it’s an excellent soprano ukulele.

  4. Grace February 28th, 2010 4:26 pm

    I run a Ukulele Club at the K-8 school where I teach, so I have new ukers between ages 6 and 14. With no model recommendations from me, all but one student showed up with either a Makala MK-S or a Lanikai LU-11.

    I’ve never been much of an equipment hound for whatever instrument I’ve played, but I have trouble finding any significant differences between these models – they both have a decent warmth of sound and hold in tune fairly well. They even have a remarkably similar appearance. These similarities are unsurprising as the man behind Kala, Mike Upton, started the company after leaving Hohner, Lanikai’s parent company. Throw in the fact that you can regularly find these for $45-50, and they really establish a standard for entry-level ukes.

    As always, the right starting uke for you is best found by going to a music shop and trying different instruments out. However, if you’re shopping in the under-$100 range, don’t be surprised if you’re left holding one of these two.

  5. Loretta Prescott March 4th, 2010 1:00 am

    My husband just bought me an LU- 21 TE. It has aquila strings and a pick up. I am new to uke and only played a little guitar, but this is a really great sounding instrument and the chords are easy to learn and play. We like the deeper soud than the soprano model provides, but it is still rustic and nylon-y sounding. I think it is a good value and a great introduction to the instrument. Walrus productions makes a laminated chord chart that is simple to read and virtually indestructible (

  6. sverre March 19th, 2010 6:16 pm

    i just got myself a lanikai lu-11 soprano and love it. i’ve been stuck with a stagg us10 for about a year, and this is a huge improvement.

  7. Ukulele Wolf April 20th, 2010 12:31 am

    I have a Lanikai NK-T that I had cherry picked thru
    connections at the distributor and it is awesome. My main Uke forever. Also a Gold Tone Tenor Banjo Uke and a Fender Koa.

  8. caio August 1st, 2010 12:12 am

    i’ve got my first uke, i bought a Lanikai – Kohala Soprano kind, i like it a lot but i tought the arm are bigger :( little disppointed but thats fine!
    thanks for the site, helpingm me a lot :)

  9. appleuke August 10th, 2010 2:20 am

    Just got my LU-21P awhile ago. I love it!
    Its my first one and I hope to get more Lanikai in the future

  10. Cristina August 17th, 2010 5:05 am

    I’ve been playing a Lanikai S-C Concert uke for a little over a year now and I absolutely love it. However, I was wondering if someone could recommend a pickup that I could use on my ukulele and perhaps even the future mandolin I’m hoping to own. I just want something simple that wouldn’t damage my instrument when using it. Any thoughts on what I should go with?

  11. Maggie October 16th, 2010 10:57 pm

    I just bought my first ukulele the other day. I got a Lanikai LU-11. It’s a great little uke with a nice sound and an even better price.

    It’s perfect for the person who wants to start paying ukulele, wants to get a nice uke, but doesn’t have much money. I highly recommend it.

  12. Bill October 19th, 2010 1:31 pm

    I just bought my first ukulele two weeks ago after finding myself playing with my daughter’s (age 5 and a half) more than she was.

    After trying the LU-21, LU-11, Makala Dolphin (my daughter’s), and the concert sized Lanikai S-C, I found I liked the feel and sound of the Lanikai S-C the best. It is a well made, good sounding, and attractive uke (I prefer the lighter look of the spruce top) for arround $100 – well worth it.

  13. Ukehayley December 25th, 2010 5:23 am

    I just got my Lanikai LU-21P today as an early Christmas present :)

    It’s my first uke and I’m pretty pleased with it. I really like its little pineapple shape and it sounds pretty good for the price.

    I think it’s good for someone like me who is a beginner and wants a fairly nice ukulele for a good price.

  14. Ted March 11th, 2011 8:04 pm

    I have a LU21C and it plays great. The intonation isn’t perfect, but definitely a step above toy ukuleles. It has a rich tone and plays well with Aquila strings.

    I only have 1 complaint: It’s top heavy. The neck is made of a solid hard wood (which is good), while the body is a very light and airy composite laminate. This makes the uke very hard to hold and play without a strap because the neck droops it not supported by your left hand. So, keep in mind that this is a uke to be played sitting, or with a strap addition.

  15. Uke Dave March 16th, 2011 1:13 pm

    I upgraded my sporano Mahalu to the Lanakai LU-21T and I love it.Well made,looks good and a sweet tone.Excellent value-‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ never sounded better!”Probaly the best for a beginner’ is a fair comment but might imply that this is an inferior product which it most certainly is not.

  16. desert uker March 23rd, 2011 8:12 pm

    Have a Lanakai S-T, my first ulalele. I bought it on sale at Musicians Friend for just over $90, including gig bag and tuner. The finish, trim, and action are all outstanding. It’s a tenor, so it was easy to learn on for a reformed guitarist. (Yes, I’ve gone over to the Uke Side big time, Luke.) The round neck is fast and the action and intonation are uniform all the way up it. This was going to be my first uke and I always planned to move up to a more expensive one. But a year later, I don’t see the need.

  17. desert uker March 23rd, 2011 8:15 pm

    Oops. Forgot to rate.

  18. Frank April 6th, 2011 9:49 pm

    I bought a Lanikai Tenor and it sounds sweet. Although it has a bigger body, it doesn’t lose the uke sound. Plugged in it sounds full. I love it.
    The only thing I see in it is that the wood is a bit thin. I am comparing it to one rogue soprano and a mahalo soprano, both have a thicker top wood.
    Mine came broken on the eq side. The wood is raised next to the place where the screws are.

  19. Jan April 27th, 2011 12:08 pm

    I wanted to upgrade from my old and cheap Mahalo soprano to a new tenor and went to the music store to buy one. They only had Lanikai instruments there and I chose the S-TEQ for € 259 (the naked instrument without a case). The uke sounded great, felt well-made and solid and I had almost no complaints. The one thing, though, that made me return it to the store, was a rattling sound the uke made when I played it a little louder and the strings touched the fretboard. I did not get the chance to test the pick-up, so no comments on plugged-in playing. Overall, I think the S-TEQ is a fine instrument and would more or less be worth the money, if it would have been set up without the strings touching the fretboard.

    After returning the Lanikai, I ordered a Kala KA-FMT for € 239 with case but without pick-up, which I am quite happy with.

  20. Serena September 10th, 2011 8:00 pm

    I finally decided to buy a basic Lanikai LU21C (their entry level concert). Was very happy that my local music store carried them.

    I’ve been strumming on my Lanikai for about 2 weeks now and so far it’s been a great instrument. The sound is maybe a little thinner than what I’d prefer, but for a $100 instrument I really can’t complain (and besides, it’s a laminated wood uke, and that’s just how it is with all laminated instruments).

    I can definitely see myself playing on this for a long time before I feel the need to upgrade.

  21. Hobo September 16th, 2011 8:39 pm

    Hello Ukulele people! I recently bought a brand new Lanikai LKP-C Package deal off ebay — included a nice padded gig bag and very cool electronic clip-on tuner. $155 with free shipping!

    The LKP-C (concert sized) is a very well-made and good looking instrument. It’s a beauty! Sounds real good when I play it correctly. My finger tips are killing me… and I’ve been playing a 5-string clawhammer style banjo for several years.

    I’m thrilled that I can frail the Ukulele very similar to the banjo.

  22. Huy Nguyen November 24th, 2011 11:44 am

    I have the Lanikai Lu-22CLK. This uke has a beautiful sound. I got it for $129 and I am very happy with it. It doesnt stay in tune for very long but it gets better after a few days. In my opinion, Lanikai is the best brand out there and mine came with Aquila Strings which I am very happy about

  23. Basement Ruthie November 30th, 2011 2:53 pm

    I moved up from a no-name cheap uke to a Lanikai Tenor, the CTK-EQ, a few months ago. I’ve been nothing other than delighted with it; it has a rich, fruity sound, nice proportions and is very easy to play.

    The only thing was that as I bought it in a music store, in retrospect I could have got it cheaper off the internet. However, I was happy to pay the price at the time and it’s no reflection on the quality of the product.

  24. Cazteclo February 16th, 2012 7:03 pm

    I bought a Lanikai LU-21CE two years ago. It was my third Uke; the first was a toy, the next was a beginner, and this one is just great.
    I have been playing guitar for over a decade and Ukes for about 4 years and I just love the tone and feel of this instrument (esp. after I fount the proper strings). Although I will probably upgrade in the next year, or two, the LU-21CE is a great instrument and will always have a special place in my heart.
    I give if 5 stars in everything except sound (the sound is excellent but sometimes it feels thin… but only sometimes), looks (looks nice, but also looks a bit like every other uke) and construction (sometimes I think I hear a faint vibrating sound coming from the pickup; but when I actively try and find the sound it is nowhere to be found… )
    Basically the LU-21CE is a great instrument to listen to and brilliant to play.

  25. anxious uker March 12th, 2012 10:31 pm

    I just ordered my first ukulele and it is a lanikai lu-11. I am so excited to get it i can’t wait! My best friend has one and she has been teaching me some. I can’t wait, I will never put that thing down! 😀

  26. Aloha Brian March 26th, 2012 5:05 am

    After some research, headed out to Guitar Center near Seattle. Was hoping to find an LU-21. Found one with only three strings (naughty shopowner!) and also an LU-11.

    For this year, the LU-11 is even more similar to the LU-21. Same Nato top, same Rosewood fretboard, same strings. The only difference I saw was that the LU-11 had brass frets and the LU-21 has nickel frets. The sound is really similar, but it seemed the brass frets made the sound just a touch more mellow. That makes sense since brass is a softer metal than nickel. Still, a tough call.

    I think some of the other reviews online are completely incorrect, calling this an inferior uke when compared to the LU-21. Definitely not. They are more alike than ever right now.

    In the end, I fell for the LU-11. It just seemed to capture the sound I was looking for. I’ll vote this well since I don’t have much experience with other ukes. Definitely easy to play and construction appears good for a sub-$100 instrument. What’s not to love?

    Aloha Ukulelehunt!

  27. Jackson April 9th, 2012 5:08 am


    I bought one and glad I didn’t spend more than 200 delivered. Was really hoping it would be more then what it turned out to be, judging from all the positive reviews. Turned out to be a piece of ….

    Shoddy construction:
    – slapped on binding, uneven, rough, used lots of filler.
    – stain slopped over headstock & uneven
    – frets not filed well, sharp edges
    – had to sand nut down. Edges too sharp made it very uncomfortable
    – Action is too high
    – Sound is a bit dead, but sounds ok through an amp
    – intonation is fair
    – If this is curly koa, then my a.. is, well never mind. Very ugly, gray looking stained whatever kind of wood they claim it is.

    posted originally under the ck-teq link, but is more appropriate here.

  28. Lily May 17th, 2012 12:09 am

    Recently acquired a Lanikai Concert sized. I have not been able to put it down! Such a Sweet sound from this instrument!. I’ve been playing Guitar and other instruments for over 40 years, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what took me so long to start playing the Ukelele. I’ll be getting a Tenor very soon.

  29. Joker the Boxheads July 3rd, 2012 3:51 am

    I picked up the LU-21 a few month ago. It’s a great soprano for a musician on a budget. It is my main songwriting Uke. I did sand the bridge down a bit to lower the action and dial in the intonation. Though most call an entry level Uke, I can see keeping and playing this for a long time to come. I have considered even installing a pickup and preamp for use in performing.

  30. Smitty July 26th, 2012 4:14 pm

    OK, here we go…. I purchased a LKP-T Package and have fount the following:
    1. Volume: Great Projection
    2. Sound: A nice, Warm type of tone
    3. Construction: Well Made, exudes quality at a low cost.
    4. Cosmetics: A beautiful instrument even though a Laminated Curly Koa. Dressed it up with a fancier set of tuning knobs (Faux Tortise Shell) and a couple of other minor things.
    5. Complaints: NONE, I feel this Uke to be Well Worth the Money!!!
    6. Modifications (To ensure the ability to plug into an amp if needed): Installed a Mi-Si Acoustic Trio Set Up

    Recommended: U Betcha

  31. Bilbo August 22nd, 2012 6:17 am


    I have only recently started playing the ukulele.
    As a starter I bought a Lanikai Tenor S-TEQ,
    attractive and sounds great. I have retrung it with an Aquila Red Series G sting and tuned it to the low G. Wow it is so mellow. I love the way it ‘harmonises’ with other uku’teers I play with.

    So not to be left out, today I got myself a Lanikai Concert S-C, and the sound is delightful. (Of course now I have a pigeon pair) I chose it as it looks the same as the Tenor but smaller and without the ‘cut-out’.

    A word of warning, not all ebay sellers are selling ‘A’ game ukes, some are seconds and frankly sound like a wet cardboard box even though they carry reputable labels. If possible play before you buy.(Been stung!)

    Happy strumming.

  32. a kid August 26th, 2012 2:35 pm

    im 13 and i got a lu-21ce by lnikai it is concert sized and electro acoustic. it sounds great acousticly and in medieum and big amps. it works good with an overdrive pedal too. it runs of a twelve volt baterry and it comes with aquila strings. the best part is the cost 140$ U.S

  33. Kat August 27th, 2012 6:53 pm

    I’m a rather new uke player, and my Lanikai LM-C is my first uke, so take my comments with a grain of salt…

    I decided on the Lanikai solid mahogany concert uke as my first ukulele, because I liked the sound so much more than the laminate/composite ukes that I had played that I couldn’t bear to buy a uke that wasn’t solid wood. This uke is a very attractive and well-made instrument, with nothing rough or shoddily-made on it. The frets are well-dressed and the action doesn’t seem too high or too low out of the box. Intonation was better than I’d expected out of the box.

    Overall, this is a really nice instrument. It might not be right for many beginners because it’s at a slightly higher price point than people might want to pay, but I feel that the better sound quality is well worth it. I’ll be able to keep playing this uke for years, and it sounds great with my voice and with my and my friends’ other instruments.

  34. Ry October 10th, 2012 2:02 pm

    I picked up a LU-21C after readin this and a few other articles as well as a test play. It was a toss up up between the 21 and 21C, but the concert version seemed to give a better range and sound for $20 more. I haven’t tried replacing the strings by I have no doubt that it would improve the sound. Over the last 6 months ive noticed some dead spots, but for a beginner instrument that to be expected.
    The action is nice and after the strings are stretched it stays in tune well. Perfect beginner uke and great for travel or throwing on a backpack.
    The ratings below are for beginner ukes, I’m sure compared to a high quality it would get significantly weaker ratings.

  35. ChrisP October 15th, 2012 4:53 am

    I couldn’t be more please with my Lanikai SM-CEK Spalted Mango Acoustic/Electric Concert Ukulele. For starters this Ukulele is freaking GORGEOUS. The spalted mango wood has a randomly bold and beautiful black grain on a blonde background that is borderline sexy. The black edges really make the mother of pearl inlay POP! The gloss finish only make it more stunning. The sound is surprisingly full and bright, having that classic cheery Hawaiian ukulele sound, which I love. The electric pickup is sweet, the 3 band equalizer only accentuates that awesome tone coming from this ukulele and stock aquilla strings. Lanikai, you’ve made an Awesome Ukulele!

  36. Maddy R. October 17th, 2012 1:23 am

    I’m 14 years old. Before uke, I played guitar and piano. I never really picked up guitar very well, even though I played for about a year. The LU-21T was my very first uke and after 10 minutes with it I was a natural and now I can play Blackbird-picking and all! The uke is a quite wonderful instrument, I’m actually in love. I think this uke is definitely excellent quality, it has great sound and tone, and I’m very, very happy with it. However, I’m not a fan of the way it looks. It’s very basic and frankly a bit boring :/ It also isn’t coated all smooth and shiny (a look I definitely prefer). The look doesn’t affect the quality, but it does make me want to get a different uke. Still an excellent quality instrument. It’s also a great deal. Mine’s a baritone (the largest) and was only $130! For the quality, it’s an amazing deal.

  37. Peter November 17th, 2012 10:58 pm

    I just bought a Lanikai LU 21C as a gift for my niece. It came with Aquila strings (which as not specified in the ad). This is a great little instrument. Cost me $64 and plays like a $150 uke. I’m very impressed. I have a Greg Bennett that ran me $5 more and is not nearly as nice.

  38. petrina callaghan December 11th, 2012 12:13 am

    I went to kingdom music and played all the uke in the shop and this was the one i feel in love with it an bought it great sound.

  39. JimmyLee Smith April 4th, 2013 7:52 pm

    After receiving a little diamond head soprano for Christmas last year I became intrigued with the ukulele… got a Lanikai SM-CEK today and love it! as a professional musician who has played guitar for over 30 years this is(for me)a great first serious uke. Solid woods, great action and the fishman pickup/preamp make for a great combonation that sound great and is usable in a variety of venues. The tone is articulate and warm, super stable tuning and timbre is punchy, warm and crisp. oh… and by the way, it’s gorgeous!

  40. steve crounse May 17th, 2013 2:10 am

    Just bough a lanikai lu 21B Baritone uke from austin bazzare i started playing back in the 60s with folk music. still got my Martin tenor which still play some times. but i’ve got to tell you this lanikai with NYLGUT strings blow me away if i had to choose between the martin and this uke i think i!d go with this lanikai. for a little over $100 bucks,what a deal.

  41. Tim May 20th, 2013 6:07 pm

    I’ve rated the LU-21C (I have two) and the CK-C under their individual listings. They are three of five ukuleles I own, the other two are cheaper models that aren’t as good.

    Five are enough for me (right now at least). If I buy another, it will be a Lanakai, too. I believe in sticking to tried and true. The quality, tone, and playability are better than their price point suggests.

  42. Tim May 22nd, 2013 12:27 am

    Somehow, Tracy Wilson of Hohner caught one of my positive posts about my Lanikai ukes, and emailed me. As a side, I asked her about obtaining some spare tuning machines. Turns out they have varied some over the years.

    She went above and beyond examining tuners in their warehouse and coming up with some very close matches, that should mount using the original screw holes in the peghead.

    My thanks to Tracy, and to Hohner for hiring such a friendly, helpful lady. Excellent customer service.

    I’ll rate her five stars overall. She has a nice voice. She plays well with others. She’s worth more than she’s probably paid. And I’ll bet her looks and “construction” are top-notch, too…….:)

  43. nanung borang July 13th, 2013 4:14 pm

    what is the difference between lanikai LU-21,Hohner Lanikai ULU21S Ukulele and Hohner Lanikai ULU21CS Ukulele?

  44. Justin August 3rd, 2013 7:31 am

    HI i love your site. just wanted to see the difference between the LU-11 and LU-21 is one thing, there is binding on the side of the LU-21 and seems to be a little more aesthetically please than the LU-11. For the extra couple bucks i thinks its worth just to have a prettier looking uke.


  45. Wiremu Pita August 13th, 2013 6:08 pm

    I have had much dificulty in finding another bridge pickup for my Lanikai the original one has failed for some unknown reason and would like to know where I can buy one from, I live in Las Vegas Nevada USA.
    Would appreciate some help.
    I love this Lanikai

  46. Alice August 19th, 2013 6:31 pm

    I have a Lanikai LU-21 Tenor Ukulele (It doesn’t actually belong to me, it belongs to my Grandad) and I really like it. It’s the first uke I’ve ever owned and I think it sounds brilliant :) Goes out of tune a lot though. :(

  47. Meg September 2nd, 2013 4:11 am

    I have had absolutely no musical background when I decided to purchase a ukulele. I did hours of research and settled upon buying the Lanikau-LU21 concert uke. I could not be more pleased. I LOVE this ukulele. I’ve had it for a few months now, and have completely self taught myself how to play it(I’m 15). It has a great sound and it just as loud if not louder than I expected it to be. it’s held up perfectly (and I can be a bit hard on things 😮 ) at first I had to tune it every 30 min or so but now it stays in tune for sometimes days at a time. My friends all love listening to me play and even strumming it themselves. Again, I LOVE this ukulele!

  48. Matt October 23rd, 2013 12:55 am

    The Lanikai LU-11 is a lot simpler-looking than the LU-21 – the 21 has a plastic binding and slightly better tuners. Other than that, they’re very similar.

  49. richard November 18th, 2013 1:14 am

    i bought a lanikai lu-21t having never played uke before,about $120 had to do some fretwork and was never intonated quite right.that being said have since bought 2 higher priced ukes which given are intonated better,but,i still give the lanikai equal play time,it’s the one that got me hooked.if only they had tunauke then!!

  50. Arthur June 28th, 2014 5:16 am

    I recently picked up an SMP tenor which is made from solid monkeypod. Its my first uke so I can’t compare against others but on its own merits its a nice instrument. It appears to be well made and very playable with good intonation all over the fretboard. I have no prior experience with monkeypod as a tone wood but this uke sounds nice. It goes slightly out of tune each day but that could be because the Nylgut strings are still new – not a big issue. In all, its a decent solid wood uke, fun to play and a good overall value.

  51. Doc Craft August 27th, 2014 4:53 am

    Do yourself a favor and put a set of Aquilla Red Series strings on your ukulele. They take two days to carfully put on but well worth the wait . They will give you the sound you are looking for especially noticed on mahogany models but they maximize any instrument. Wait until you see the difference in tone , projection and all around feel.

  52. Paul R. September 10th, 2014 8:16 pm

    Just got a Lanikai concert CKCGC at my nearby Guitar Center and love it. Sounds so sweet and appears well made (in Indonesia). My first Ukulele. Compared it in the store to a variety of other makes and models. At 239.99 it hit the sweet spot for me along the savings/quality axis.

  53. Chris February 7th, 2015 11:45 pm

    If it helps anyone, I’ve played all manner of guitars for many (OK over 40) years and became very adept at setting them up properly. I still own and play a custom Fender Strat and a beautiful vintage Washbourne semi. A couple of years ago I had a yearning for a uke and settled on an above average (in my opinion) Lanikai LU21-C. A great buy and I love it but…. it needs setting up to get the best from it. Having said that, so did my two infinitely expensive guitars. You either have to put in the time (and the risk of mistakes) or pay to have it set up by a pro. My use benefited from a very dress (not much required) a lowering of the bridge saddle by over 1mm and some work on lowering the nut grooves. Not easy but a huge difference and the Aquila strings suit it even better now. In a nutshell, no mass produced uke is going to give its best of of the box. You have to get it set up and I am fortunate that I can do that. If you can’t then please be prepared to pay in order to really get the best enjoyment from a decent but relatively cheap instrument. And have fun!

  54. Jan May 13th, 2015 2:11 pm

    I play my Flame Maple LFM-S regularly.
    It sounded great when I got it, and it sounds even better now.
    I think it likes to be played.
    Has a pretty quick action, plenty of dynamics in the voice and is easy to get audibly textured strum patterns from.
    I am using Aquila strings with a low G (guitar D wound nylon)and I avoid any hard plecrtrums as they shorten string life!

  55. Ralph May 20th, 2015 3:50 pm

    Reading these reviews I caught the bug and ordered a SMP-T hope its as good as the what everyone says of their models on here.

  56. Juli June 24th, 2015 2:19 am

    Has anyone tried the new Tunauke system? Have anything to say about it? I am looking into it- does it really help all that much?

  57. Craig Manning December 20th, 2015 8:56 pm

    I recently picked up a Hohner HU – 19 (baritone, made in Japan) ukelele at an auction. I’m trying to determine its (approximate) vintage. The case suggests it’s a bit old-ish! Would you happen to have any information on these ukes? (Google isn’t helping me at all) Alternately, do you know when Hohner ukes became Lanakai? Anything offered would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much – Craig

  58. Christian December 29th, 2015 2:24 pm

    When I first started to learn the Uke, I bought the LU22CGC for around 87 U.S. (Originally 99.99 U.S. But I had a 20% discount,) and what I can say for it.. It is aha amazing Uke, and the first one I purchased. I’ve owned it for about 2 years now? And it’s still plays as if I had just bought it. It has a nice finish to it, personally, I also love the gold tuning pegs, it brings the whole thing together. I also have two other ukes (O.S. OU2 and OU2E) but I still prefer my good ol Lanikai. If you need an affordable Uke, but don’t want to spend more than around 100 U.S. Then I suggest the LU22CGC.

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