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Author Topic: The FedEx man arrived yesterday  (Read 223 times)

SeilerBird

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The FedEx man arrived yesterday
« on: September 12, 2018, 07:38:03 AM »
And Tom Jones knows exactly what that means, another ukulele. But not just any ukulele, THE ukulele. I have finally found the ukulele that I am in love with. It is my sixth uke and this is the one that will inspire me to play my fingers off. After only one day I am shredding my fingertips, see photo below. It is a Lanikai 8 string electric tenor ukulele.

http://lanikaiukuleles.com/product/acacia-8-string-kula-preamp-ae-ukulele/

Of my five ukes my go-to uke was my Oscar Schmidt 8 string. I loved the fuller sound of an 8 string so much I have sold my 4 string soprano and my 4 string concert. I never played them. Leaves me with three ukes, a micro, a bass and the OS. While the OS was my go to uke there were a few things about it that really bugged me. So I went shopping every few months to see if something new was on the market that would appeal to me. Sunday night I went shopping and I found the Lanikai and fell in love with everything about it but the price. $469. That is more than I paid for all three of my ukes total, $436. So I decided I would wait until I get my tax money back in February.

I bookmarked the page and kept going back looking at it and drooling. Then I did a search on Google shopping and they listed seven music stores all selling it at the exact same price, $469. But Amazon was not one of the sites listed so I went there and searched for it. I found one for $329. I figured it must be a second or a mistake but either way the thought of saving over $150 was too much and I whipped out my plastic and pulled the trigger. I ordered it at 10 pm Sunday evening. It was suppose to arrive next week. It arrived Tuesday afternoon at 4 pm. A day and a half. It came from a music store in Fort Myers, 150 miles south of me. I inspected it very closely and I can find no defects at all. Must have been a mistake. It is back to $469 on Amazon now.

There are six reasons why I like the L better than the OS.

1) The headstock on the OS is solid and is slotted on the L. The OS was neck heavy and hard to hold when playing. A strap was mandatory.

2) The OS was the cheapest 8 string with electronics built in. Unfortunately that meant I had to use a clip on tuner with the OS which made it even more unbalanced. I hate clip on tuners and much prefer built in tuners.

3) The OS is very plain (read ugly) and the L is just stunning looking. I am vain. I much prefer to play beautiful looking instruments. I keep all my instruments out of the case and on display in my living room. I am more likely to pick one up if it is pretty.

4) The upper bout is cut away giving greater access to the upper frets. I play lead occasionally such as the lead in Stand By Me:

https://youtu.be/vfP2uyhtvbk

5) The EQ device on the OS was in a bad location and the controls sucked. Really hard to use. On the L the unit is in the logical location and the controls are easy to use even when not looking. The volume control is gigantic.

6) The OS uses mahogany laminate on the top. The L uses acacia solid wood on top. Laminates sound duller than solid tops due to the glue absorbing some of the sound. Acacia sounds brighter than mahogany. So the L sounds brighter and a bit louder than the OS and I like the sound a lot better. I recorded a video of me playing the same piece on both ukes back to back and as I suspected a tiny microphone played through computer speakers I can't hear a difference but live there is a large difference. That is Jane helping me out:

https://youtu.be/OI9HaTdB_6s

There are a few things that I don't like about the L. It was advertised as having a wider nut but it is exactly 1.5 inches the exact same as the OS. So they must have been comparing the size to that of a four string tenor. I don't like the tuners on the L as much as I like the tuners on the OS. But once the strings are stretched I will not have to tune it very often. One good thing I can say about the OS is it rarely went out of tune. I also don't like the left strap button being located on body. It doesn't work but fortunately moving it to the headstock will not be a problem once I am sure I am not sending it back.

So please Tom, do not assume I am trying to talk you into buying one and replacing yours. I doubt you would appreciate the difference like I do. But for me the differences are monumental.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 12:15:54 PM by SeilerBird »
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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SeanAndKaty

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Re: The FedEx man arrived yesterday
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2018, 12:10:12 PM »
Ive held off on buying a ukulele for quite a while but this 8-string model sounds reeeeeally attractive. I can imagine the much fuller sound and richness you get with 8 instead of 4. I just wish you could find a decent USA-made uke! Anyway thanks for the tip and info... Iíll be looking!

SeilerBird

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Re: The FedEx man arrived yesterday
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2018, 12:47:53 PM »
Ive held off on buying a ukulele for quite a while but this 8-string model sounds reeeeeally attractive. I can imagine the much fuller sound and richness you get with 8 instead of 4. I just wish you could find a decent USA-made uke! Anyway thanks for the tip and info... Iíll be looking!
The best ukulele makers are all in Hawaii, which is USA. My Lanikai is made in the USA. And Martin is located in the USA, so is Gibson, but they would be old ones.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 12:54:13 PM by SeilerBird »
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Favorite 2017 shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/y0HbMU5KYa2hx02E3
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
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Tom

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Re: The FedEx man arrived yesterday
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2018, 10:34:39 AM »
I almost missed this topic. Congrats on the Lanikai. My first uke was a 4-string Lanikai that I sold, because of size, quality and sound. But that was an inexpensive model, and I wouldn't compare it with anything higher up the line. You can definitely tell the difference in sound between the two 8-string ukes in your video.

Quote from: SeilerBird
So please Tom, do not assume I am trying to talk you into buying one and replacing yours.


I'm quite happy with my 8-string Kala, and have no plans to replace it. I chose this over several other makes/models after playing them at my favorite uke store. Tough to compare its 'live' sound with the sound on the video, so no way to compare.
« Last Edit: Today at 11:59:14 AM by Tom »
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SeilerBird

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Re: The FedEx man arrived yesterday
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2018, 10:53:03 AM »
Thanks Tom. I had my first meet up where I am the teacher yesteday. Eight raw beginners. Should be fun. At one point they were all talking among themselves and I was not involved in the conversation so I was noodling around on my 8 string when I absently mindedly played the opening to Stairway to Heaven. It reminded me of the old 'when EF Hutton talks people listen' commercials. They all whipped their heads around and stopped talking. Then they asked me to play it so I played the first one minute of the song and were they impressed. That song wins or places in the top five in every greatest song of all times poll I have ever seen. After almost 50 years it is still iconic. They won't be playing it for quite a while. They really struggled with basic songs but they were all enjoying themselves immensely. My new Lanikai has really inspired me. I am playing much more than my old one. I got out my Ukulele Aerobics and Ukulele for Dummies and started practicing much more seriously than before. This uke is worth the money to me just for the inspiration it provides me. And it has killed my desire to buy any more ukes. This is going to be my go to uke. I will still be playing my bass uke but I don't consider that a real ukulele.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Favorite 2017 shots:
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My portfolio:
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SeanAndKaty

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Re: The FedEx man arrived yesterday
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2018, 11:33:33 AM »
The best ukulele makers are all in Hawaii, which is USA. My Lanikai is made in the USA. And Martin is located in the USA, so is Gibson, but they would be old ones.

Good to hear! Iím of course aware that Hawaii is in the US (!) but have never seen any model in-person that indicated any other manufacturing location than China. But still really like the idea of that 8-string, so Iíll be doing some hunting...

Tom

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Re: The FedEx man arrived yesterday
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2018, 11:36:05 AM »
Congrats on the class of 8; Pretty soon you'll have a band. Aye, STH must have been an attention getter.

We recently had 10 graduate from our beginners class, and I'm still receiving emails from folks wanting to take classes; Folks saw us in concert, read a newspaper article about us, or stumbled on our web site. Meanwhile, there's always some turnover in the band; Two members recently passed away, a couple moved out of the area, and there were no-shows when we resumed after our Summer hiatus.
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Tom

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Re: The FedEx man arrived yesterday
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2018, 11:42:51 AM »
Quote from: SeanAndKaty
... have never seen any model in-person that indicated any other manufacturing location than China.


Having met in person with owners and employees of several ukulele manufacturers, I get the impression that less than $350 is the threshold for moving manufacturing to China. OTOH the same manufacturers have much higher price tags on their U.S.-built (Hawaii or Bay area) ukuleles. I haven't spoken with Lanikai, so I don't know where their threshold is.
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SeilerBird

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Re: The FedEx man arrived yesterday
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2018, 12:03:00 PM »
Personally I much prefer Chinese guitars over USA guitars. Better quality control and a much lower price. All my guitars are Asian. The last band I was in I was playing an OLP MM1 which was a Chinese copy of a guitar Eddie Van Halen designed and played for Music Man. I was getting some crap for playing a Chinese guitar from the forum I was on (Harmony-Central) and I was told how inferior the OLP was. So I eventually went to the local music store to try out a 'real' EVH. I sliced my hand on the frets that were sticking out on the top of the fretboard, they were not cut properly. $1900. When I mentioned this on HC I was told the frets expanded due to the humidity. Well my OLP was in the same humidity and they never stuck out. Anyway I saved $1600 by buying the OLP and never regretted it. I am not saying all US guitars are junk and all Chinese are fabulous, what I am saying is that I don't subscribe to the urban legend that US guitars are superior to Asian guitars. The Chinese have been working with wood 4500 years longer than the US has and they use the exact same CNC machines that they use here and the exact same computer program.

Same line of crap from HC when I bought a $250 Hofner Beatle bass. It is junk and sounds horrible compared to the 'real' German made one that costs ten times that amount. It is still a fantastic playing and sounding bass and I love it. I cannot imagine how the German one could be worth ten times the price. Reminds me of the people who use really expensive guitars. It costs a lot more so it has to be better. ::)
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 12:27:06 PM by SeilerBird »
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
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SeilerBird

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Re: The FedEx man arrived yesterday
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2018, 06:21:36 PM »
This is what I am talking about. A direct quote from a thread of mine on TalkBass.com from 2012:

"Beatle Bass" IS a specific reference to the bass Macca is "known" for playing, which wouldn't include Rogue, Epiphone, Klira, or the multitudinous other Hofner clones - clones and/or copies being the give-away.

Wouldn't the title "Beatle Bass" imply something a Beatle would have played?? That "misnomer" is bad enough (since the only Beatle to play the Hofner 500/1 violin bass was McCartney), but to include anything that remotely resembles the Hofner violin bass in appearance is simply a joke! Not to mention there being NO similarity in sound between a German made Hofner and any of the "wanna be" copies. Including the Chinese made Hofners!

I feel sorry for this guy. It takes a $2500 bass to make him happy. ::)
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Favorite 2017 shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/y0HbMU5KYa2hx02E3
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
My Grand Canyon shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1