Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lanikai TunaUke Review

Lanikai sent me their new Lanikai TunaUke Concert Ukulele (LUTU-21C) today.  I remember how excited I was when I first saw they were developing their new "TunaUke" technology, so naturally, I was pretty excited to rip open the box and start playing around.  The innovation on this new technology is pretty much amazing!  You can actually adjust the intonation for EACH string!  Awesome!  This is accomplished by four "miniature" saddles on the bridge that slide in and out.  Lanikai claims that this can improve intonation up to 90% and then are absolutely correct.

Here's my complete thoughts on this uke....

Intonation - A+

Obviously, the tunauke technology makes this ukulele the closest thing to perfect intonation that I've heard yet.  Enough said about that.

Tone - B

I do like mahogany, but honestly, I've heard better sounding mahogany ukes.  This is not to say that it sounds bad by any means.  It does have a very pleasant tone, just not the best I've ever heard...which was my expectation so I'm really not disappointed by it.  You can hear it for yourself in this video review (the sound sample is a couple minutes in)

Finish and Appearance - B-

There are some finish issues (not many) and minor blemishes.  Again, this is to be expected with any uke in this price range.  I did like the black tuner buttons and thought that made it look a little more classy.  Also think that the color looks very nice.

Innovation/Ingenuity - A++++

This is where this uke really shines.  The concept of the new technology and how it's been executed make this ukulele standout above anything in similar price range...not only does it standout just shatters everything else.

Feel and Playability - B-

I was a tad disappointed by how it feels and plays.  This is probably because I have owned a LU-21C for years (my 3rd ukulele).  I love how the LU-21C feels and plays for being a beginner concert.  That being said, I like at this TunaUke concert as a step up from the LU-21C and I expected to feel and play a bit smoother.

Overall - A-

A very solid ukulele and the BEST one that could be grabbed up by a beginner without question.  I was very pleased with it and my only gripes were pretty nit picky.  I'm excited to see how this technology develops Lanikai higher priced stuff.  BUY IT!


  1. As a lefty, I am extremely happy to see this. I'm so glad to see Lanakai step up and do something that i had wondered about for quite some time now.Thanks for the review.

    1. You know, I didn't even think about the benefit that this would have for a left handed player. Any compensated bridge would be an intonation death sentence for a left handed player. Great point! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I've been saving up to buy a soprano TunaUke. It'll be the first ukulele I ever buy and I'm really excited to start learning this instrument. Thank you for posting this review though. I've been doing much research about various ukuleles in order to figure out what to buy but haven't found many reviews on the TunaUke series considering it is still fairly new so this was extremely helpful!

    1. Awesome! Glad that this helped. I think this new technology is really cool!

  3. Dont know gentlemen. As for me new technology is blackbird clara.