Lanikai LBU-C Concert Reso Banjo Uke Full Review

11

April 23, 2011 by Tim


 Are you sick of playing with a bunch of people and you can’t hear your own uke in the crowd? Then you need this Lanikai LBU-C banjo uke. You will never be lost in the crowd again. I guarantee that you will be noticed, whether you are good player or not!!

I am not allowed to play this unless I am in a room with a closed door on the other side of the house when my wife is home, no joke. This thing is as loud as it gets and it throws the sound out with great force, and it demands to be heard. I am not sure if this is a good thing or not.

 

 

 

Specs:

Lanikai LBU-C
Concert : 18 Fret
Tuners: Antique Brass Open Geared
Maple & Ebony  3-Leg Bridge
Bone Nut
Head Material: Synthetic skin
Head Size” 8″
Rim: 6 Layer Flame Maple
Tone ring: Yes
Back: Flame Maple Resonator
Neck: Mahogany, Rosewood Fretboard
String attachment: Wrap Around  a post
# of J-Hooks: 12
Coordinator: Metal
Finish: Matte rim, resonator, and neck, Antiqued Brass hardware
Weight: 4.5 LB
Case: Fitted Bag
Full Specs:
http://lanikaiukes.com/laniblog/ukuleles/stage-series/

Looks

First look: (5) Of all the banjo ukes I have seen this one comes the closest in looks to an aged banjo. When you first look at it, it looks really pretty and rich. There is nothing shinny on the whole thing, and it is the matte look that’s makes it stand out because it it not actually all blinged out with chrome.

Fit and Finish: (4) It is very pretty with its old-time charms and finish. All in all it has a lot of really nice choices like the antiqued brass and the flamed maple, but it has some finishing issues. some of the maple is not stained evenly and the screws that hold the resonator are not even at all. Also the flat black paint on the rim scratches really easy. Besides that the unstained maple binding is really nice.

Sound:

Sound Type: LOUD and the most like banjo.

Intonation: (5) If the intonation is off, it is your own fault for the most part. most banjo ukes are shipped with the bridge laying down and you have to set it up, or find someone to do it for you. This one didn’t come setup and ready to play, it was very easy to setup.

Volume: (5) there is only one way to make it louder without adding a pick-up, an uncoated plastic head. The fact that it has a tone ring and a resonator make it almost too loud. If you want to drown out everyone, or play with a guitar player, this is the ukulele for you.

Resonator Seperate from the Rim

Sustain: (5)  It just keeps ringing and ringing forever.

Feel:

String Height: (Me-Low) Not low but not high either. a very playable setup. The nice thing about having it as high as it is it makes it so you can really attack it without any issues of buzz.

Neck Radius Depth: (7/8″) Thick, just like a banjo maker would make it. I think this is a necessary evil since the head is so heavy. You would not want a thin neck if you are grabbing it or holding it from the neck all the time.

Frets: (5) Perfect. Well dressed and low as can be. And as I always say, a bound fret board is the way to my heart. I like the added touch that it is bound with maple.

Tuning: (4) The geared tuners are nice but a little stiff even after I loosened them a little.

Comfort: (5)  I play it sitting down, and that is the best thing to do with it. holding it or straping to yourself may not be the most comfortable thing to do, but the resonator makes up for that issue. since it adds about an inch or so the rim it seems in the right place resting on your lap while playing.

Sound Hole Smell: What sound hole? Paint?

Final Thoughts

Of all the banjo ukes this is the nicest looking, but I don’t think it is for me. It is a little too heavy and way to loud. I would have a hard time singing with it, but that does not make it a bad banjo uke, it is just not my style. I think this would a great ukulele for someone in a band that needs to have the banjo uke front and center. it looks cool, it sounds really nice and full, and it will blow the socks off anyone expecting it to be a timid instrument since it is a ukulele at heart.

I have to say this is the only ukulele that I have ever reviewed that I truly believe that you could beat someone to a bloody pulp, wipe it off a bit and play them a happy little ditty. it is a tank.

I will have this one at the Mighty MO Ukulele Fest this May if you want to try it out.

 Review 5 done, 1 more to go.

All Rating on a scale of 1-5
Click here for an explanation of reviews

First Look 5
Fit and Finish 4
Sound Type LOUD and most banjo like
Intonation 5
Volume 5
Sustain 5
String Height Med-Low
Neck Radius Depth 7/8″
Frets 5
Tuning 4
Comfort 5
Sound Hole Smell What sound Hole? Paint?

 

HD Audio Clips:

 

Places to buy on the web:

Elderly – $489

Gallery:

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11 thoughts on “Lanikai LBU-C Concert Reso Banjo Uke Full Review

  1. Terry says:

    Thanks for banjo-lele week! I might like this resonance very much!

  2. Eric says:

    Tim, this has been a fantastic week of review. You are inflaming the UAS for a whole community of folks.

  3. Chris Blood says:

    Great review! This sounds like the perfect banjo uke for someone who is a parent of teenagers. Loud so you can drown out their voices with it. Aged looking so they won’t want to have anything to do with it. And the beating to a bloody pulp part is self explanetory. Oh don’t forget to play them a nice lullaby afterwards. Brilliant!!!

  4. Sue Williams says:

    Have to tell you I am enjoying your reviews especially since I was lucky enough to see each of these. Keep up the good work

  5. ck says:

    This is great! You have show-cased so many banjo ukes i’m really keen to go out and find out how to get one in my area right now!

  6. […] so I can really spread the uke love Here is what I am going to do. I have 3 ukes to give away. A lanikai Banjo resonator, and 2 Tall grass ukes. Write a ukulele poem and post it on the Ukeeku.com Facebook page. I will […]

  7. GeorgeHC says:

    From the clips I have seen and heard, these seem to be the best sounding resonator banjo ukes in the price range… much better than the Gold Tone Banjolele DLX, or any of the other Gold Tones for that matter. I’m wondering how suitable these would be for Formby-style strumming – can the action be successfully lowered on these? Also, are these playable with the resonator removed? I’m assuming the answer is no, because it looks as though the metal resonator plate still stays on when you take the back off. Does anyone know?

  8. test says:

    Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case

  9. mickeyj4j says:

    I saw a youtube video of this http://youtu.be/WL9CMUkissw and you can remove the back and resonator ring and play it. that way. it does change the sound and also would make it a bit lighter.
    I would like to hear what you think after playing it with the back removed.

  10. PAUL MICHAEL MYERS says:

    Where can I get a owner’s manual and parts for my concert banjo uke?

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