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Experience the island sound, wrapped in luscious koa wood.
The CK-B baritone ukulele uses Hawaiian koa that is especially prized for its curly grain. Lanikai makes use of this exquisite wood by handcrafting all CK series uke's to exacting specifications. Grown mostly on the island of Oahu, the gorgeous red-hued wood used for the curly koa series make these Lanikai ukuleles look as beautiful as they sound.
In its most traditional form the CK-B is a baritone ukulele that owes its existence to Portuguese immigrants bringing their craft of music instrument building to Hawaii in the 1870s. The baritone ukulele body offers deep, loud tone with full, balanced projection in a large ukulele body. Ready for the stage, the thick, loud sound is ideal for rhythmic strumming, and its size lets you take it wherever you feel inspired to play.
The curly koa body on this Lanikai baritone uke offers tremendous beauty and a soft, but pronounced tone that sounds big and bold. The 20-3/8" scale provides smooth, comfortable access all along the instrument's 19 frets. The rugged mahogany neck adds strength to the instrument's construction, while the rosewood bridge and fingerboard complement each note's sustain and decay. The Lanikai CK series comes with die-cast tuning machines geared 14:1 for those players who demand greater control over their tuning.
Dressed with a natural finish and featuring chrome die-cast tuners and chrome hardware, this Lanikai baritone uke is a model of easy playability. If you've never played ukulele before, get ready for a world of fun. The ukulele is an addicting instrument that can and should be taken everywhere.
Pick up a Lanikai uke today and see why people are saying, "Lanikai makes me happy!"
Reviewed by 2 customers
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Comments about Lanikai CK-B Curly Koa Baritone Ukulele:
After reading the lengthy rave review posted here for this instrument I am baffled. The example I received had the following flaws:
- A "wavy" warped back which had two "humps" over two of the interior braces.
- A crack in the midline (back of ukulele) binding
- A hump in the fretboard where the neck joins the body (15th fret).
- Sand, dirt or ? embedded in the deep open grain of the unfinished Koa. How Hawaiian.
- Gaps/voids in stain around mahogany neck heel and fretboard.
- A mismatched and unfigured Koa top on a ukulele called, "Curly Koa". That's a fairly gross misrep-resentation.
I received this instrument on christmas eve with very high expectations for my new, "Curly Koa Baritone ". Wow, the photos showed a breathtakingly beautiful figured (curly) Koa instrument with immaculate fit and finish. The claimed msrp was many times what I had ever paid for a uke. I thought that this was going to be my first "professional" quality uke. Wrong.
What I received (not from Musician's Friend BTW) was literally a piece of rubbish. And a hideously ugly one at that. One side of the "book-matched top" had dark chocolate blotches on it which created a night/day contrast with the other side of the top which had none. The back of the uke was unfigured (not "curly") as well. Hint: Not all pieces of figured wood will split into usable (matching and pretty) book-matched halves. You are supposed to throw away the ones that don't produce an attractive match. Apparently Lanikai uses every piece of wood they can find, regardless of the quality or appearance. Maybe that's due to the scarcity or cost of Koa?
There was no setup done on the uke whatsoever. The strings were about 1/4" above the 15th fret and that is not a playable instrument in my opinion. My entry-level Kohala tenor uke has a compensated bridge but this high-end Lanikai does not. I asked Lanikai about getting a compensated bridge for this uke and they said, "Sorry, you'll have to buy one of our new ukes with our new "Tunauke" compensated saddle and nut on it."
Thank's anyway Lanikai. Never more.
The inlays and bindings have alot of black filler around them which means that they are loosely and crudely fitted. Perhaps the huge open grain voids in the Koa wood make fit and finish a difficult undertaking? But even the inlays in the Rosewood fretboard have the same issues.
The uke came strung with Aquila Nylgut strings which use two wound strings (D & G)with two nylon strings (B & E). On this uke, the bass string (D) had a completely different sound than the other 3 strings. The D string was steel guitar-like with a long ringing sustain and a bright timbre. The other three strings sounded nylon (classical guitar/uke). This might work well in a strumming type of playing but anything with a melody line would sound like two different instruments as you move from the D string to the others.
Oddly, I have two entry-level Lanikais and they are good quality for their price-point. What happened with this supposedly professional quality ukulele is beyond me. I'm so disgusted by this instrument that I won't be buying Lanikai again. Oh yeah, of course I'm sending it back immediately so I won't do a setup so as to enable me to actually play it. I would say that my entry-level Kohala sounds better than this uke did during the few minutes that I tried to play it. What a disappointment.
Comments about Lanikai CK-B Curly Koa Baritone Ukulele:
Some stuff that isn't clear in the description:
The finish is natural. That means there's no glossiness. The finish is very, very thin. It almost seems like there's no finish at all. Such a super light finish is found on many of the world's best instruments and allows the wood to resonate freely, resulting in a full, rich tone that is soft and well balanced, yet projects wonderfully well. The instrument has a BIG voice for a ukulele without a hint of harsh brassiness. Sweet highs, rich mids, and resonant bass. Just a beautiful tone. The instrument has excellent sustain (for a uke) and is very responsive. A heavier gloss finish would show off the grain a little better, but that also dulls the tone, volume, and responsiveness.
If you're not used to koa wood, you're in for a treat. Traditional Hawaiian Koa is THE wood for ukuleles! Nothing sounds like it or looks like it. But be aware that, if you're used to spruce or mahogany, koa is a highly figured wood with lots of streaks and specs. This is perfectly normal and signifies a good piece of koa.
It comes well set up. It's important to remember that Musician's Friend doesn't set up instruments, they just sell them at fair prices. But the set up is fine right out of the box. A professional set up might make it better, but not that much.
The tuners aren't labeled, but they look and feel like Grover Mini-Rotomatics (I'm not saying they are, but they seem like it). They are quality tuners that work perfectly for a baritone uke, no matter who made them. Remember to let the strings stretch in for a couple of days before you pass judgement. All ukes are like that, at any price.
You'll want protection for an instrument of this quality, and the Musician's Gear baritone case is a perfect fit. For quality solid-wood instruments you also need to keep them humidified. Laminated ukuleles and bargain-priced plywood instruments can take a beating, but fine instruments need a little love in dry weather. Any of the case humidifiers offered at Musician's Friend will work, but I personally like the Planet Waves products.
In a nutshell, you just aren't going to get much more at such a reasonable price than the Lanikai CK-B Curly Koa Baritone Ukulele.
The Lanikai CK-B Curly Koa Baritone Ukulele is a full-featured, high-level instrument. Quality woods, professional finish, beautifully crafted, but very simply appointed without a lot of decoration and fancy inlays.
A little stray glue seen around the kerfling (the inside bracing around the edge) earns it a 9, but that doesn't hurt anything or show.
By their nature, ukuleles reach their 'Point of Diminishing Returns' pretty quickly. That is to say, there comes a point where you have to spend a LOT more money to get just a little bit better quality. This uke is right at that point. While it might seem a bit pricey compared to the other baritone ukes you'll see around, this is the best value you'll find in an affordably-priced instrument. Not a penny is wasted, and every bit of effort and money has gone into making a great sounding uke. There are no fancy decorations here; all the value has gone into materials and workmanship where they really count.