One name that is fairly common in our world is that of Lanikai Ukulele. Backed by Hohner, a company known for its production of high-quality harmonicas and accordions, Lanikai has developed a reputation for quality and affordability.
Most know the Ukuleles from Lanikai for their very good selection of beginner and intermediate models. This only covers half of it though, as Lanikai has a full range of quality instruments that any ukulele lover will enjoy.
The Lanikai Hawaiian-made Solid Koa line of Ukuleles holds its own with any other instruments you’ll find. In fact, many of the high-end Lanikai Ukes are made in Hawaii even today.
Lanikai also has some very innovative technology that you won’t find with any other brands. The Intonation Innovation technology allows you to move the nut up and down the neck, allowing you to play open chords anywhere! The Kula-equipped models come with a three-band EQ, making switching between low, mid, and high range as simple as could be. The Kula preamp also comes equipped with a tuner which makes one less item you’ll need to carry in your gig bag. Finally, the UkeSB models make recording yourself playing as easy as plugging a USB cord from your instrument to your computer!
In this article we’ll talk about the four different sizes that Lanikai make in the ukulele, then we’ll review different Lanikai ukuleles from each of these sizes!
Lanikai Ukulele Sizes
Lanikai is like many of the larger Ukulele brand manufacturers in that they cover all the popular ukulele sizes, plus some hybrid models like the banjolele. What are the popular sizes? Glad you asked! We will cover the four main sizes and then give you our Lanikai ukulele reviews!
Lanikai Soprano Ukulele
The smallest of the offerings from Lanikai is the Soprano. They make it in both the standard “8” shape and the popular pineapple shape as well. Just because they are small doesn’t mean they lack in quality or features, though! You can find the TunaUke, the UkeSB, and the Kula EQ setup on these models.
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Lanikai Concert Ukuleles
The concert ukulele size is the perfect starting point for many. It’s not as small and fragile as the soprano, yet still holds true to many of the traditional Ukulele qualities. This is often the size that I recommend for adults who are picking up the ukulele for the first time.
Like all of their sizes, you can go with something simple, like the Lanikai MAS Ukulele which we show below to the left, or an instrument that is stage-worthy like the MASCET, pictured below and to the right. The MAS is a wonderful first instrument for both kids and beginners alike, while the MASCET is a joy to play and any artist would be happy with this instrument.
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Lanikai Tenor Ukulele
The Tenor sized Ukuleles tend to be the most popular in today’s market. They are the great compromise between size and sound. Lanikai is well aware of this and generally produces the most selection in this size. As of the writing of this article, they have 19 different models to choose from.
Lanikai Baritone Ukuleles
In many ways, the baritone ukulele is the “mini” guitar. It’s very similar to the size of a travel guitar and because of this has a much deeper sound. If you are a guitar player this may be the perfect size to transition to. Start by tuning it to the highest 4 strings of your guitar and slowly work to comfort with the traditional Ukulele tuning.
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Not Sure About Lanikai Ukes? Check Out Our Other Recommended Ukulele Brands!
Lanikai Ukulele Reviews
This wasn’t easy. Lanikai has so many quality instruments that it is hard to pick a bad instrument. We’ve picked out a winner and a runner-up in each category and we’ve tried to spread out the price range so every budget has a great choice! Each of our reviews was done by several people, so you are getting a well-rounded opinion on each instrument!
Lanikai Soprano Ukulele Recommendation: Lanikai ACSTS Acacia Soprano
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The Acacia wood used for the top of this instrument not only produces a wonderful light, springy tone for this instrument, but the wood grains are really eye-catching. Not a flashy instrument, this Soprano probably won’t turn too many heads until you start playing it!
Lanikai makes the necks on their smaller ukuleles a little wider than standard, which is great to help to finger difficult chords and shapes. We think this makes the instrument much more beginner-friendly. Not to say better players won’t enjoy this instrument, the sound quality and tone make this great for experts as well. This was by far the top Lanikai Soprano Ukulele reviewed!
Runner Up: Lanikai MAS Ukulele
The perfect Ukulele for a kid or as a first instrument. The MAS used to be the LU-21, which has always been one of our entry-level recommendations. This instrument provides plenty of quality to last while not carrying a significant price tag.
Lanikai Concert Ukulele Recommendation: Lanikai Solid Acacia Concert Ukulele
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It is hard to be a class look and wood tone, which makes the solid Acacia possibly our favorite Lanikai as far as looks go. As we mentioned above, the Acacia wood used for this instrument sounds amazing and we wish more ukulele brands would use it!
While the price tag likely makes it more than many beginners will want to spend, any musician will love to have this in their bag. This instrument rivals anything you’ll find from Kala, Martin, Luna, or other mainstream ukulele makers!
Runner Up: Lanikai MAC Concert Ukulele
We pictured this Ukulele above when talking about the size of the Concert Ukes, One of our favorite Lanikai’s for the price-sensitive musician (Aren’t we all!). Classic and high-quality, I have recommended this instrument to many students and the reviews are always positive!
Lanikai Tenor Ukulele Recommendation: Lanikai Blue Quilted Maple Tenor Ukulele
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Made from Quilted Maple and stained an ocean blue, this tenor ukulele is the first we’ve shown to offer the top-of-the-line Fishmann EQ that Lanikai often puts on their acoustic-electric models. Just like the Solid Acacia we listed above, this is a phenomenal instrument that even professional-level musicians will enjoy.
An 8-string slotted headstock design and no-tie bridge pair with a naturally finished walnut neck and fretboard for a great instrument that will see plenty of stage time. Keep an eye out for it, not that it will be easy to miss!
Runner Up: Lanikai Legacy Collection 8-string Tenor
The closest thing you’ll find to a 12-string guitar, the depth of tone and range of sound this instrument produces is amazing! 8 String Tenor ukuleles have been getting rave reviews lately and we are seeing more and more pop up. We love and fully support the trend!
Lanikai Baritone Ukulele Recommendation: Lanikai QMNACET Baritone Ukulele
A classic look and stain finishes this maple ukulele. The QMNACET is equipped with a cutaway to make the lower frets more accessible, and Fishmann electronics to make it sing! The Walnut fingerboard feels great under your fingers and as with so many other Lanikai ukes, the classical guitar headstock adds a style to the instrument.
There are a lot of good baritone ukuleles on the market today, but we the sound, look, and feel of this instrument has me putting it on my Christmas list for this year!
Runner Up: Lanikai ACST Baritone Ukulele
Another amazing Solid Acacia Ukulele from Lanikai, if you don’t want the cutaway or the electronics of the QMNACET, you will love the simplicity and light, fun sound of the ACST!
The Final Note
Lanikai Ukulele has a rich history and a well-deserved reputation for quality. Add in their impressive line of innovations and goal to keep the ukulele fun and you’ve got a manufacturer you can trust!
A ukulele player pretty much from birth, Edward has gone on to play banjo, lead guitar, and bass for a number of bands and solo projects! Edward loves talking, teaching and writing about music!