Thursday, November 4, 2010

Arrival of a zebra...

Well, the Lanikai SZW-C I've ordered a few days ago has arrived. I haven't gotten around to playing it or anything but I thought I'd share a few initial observations.

First impression when I took it out of the case is that it's fairly heavy. For some reason I was imagining a fairly light ukulele. But I think I did read somewhere that zebrawood is pretty dense, so it makes sense that it has a little heft to it. One surprise so far is that the fretboard is actually bound with either ebony or rosewood. I've seen some ukes at this price range with plastic bound fretboards, but I don't think I've encountered one bound with wood, so that's pretty nice. The workmanship seems to be pretty good. I'd say above average for an Asian factory instrument. The slotted headstock is extremely chunky, more so than any slotted headstock I currently have, and I consider that a plus because one of the reasons I like slotted headstocks is because they are usually chunkier than solid headstocks. In that respect this one definitely delivers. The neck and headstock are well shaped. I'm guessing the neck is a 5-piece construction with skunk-stripe down the middle made by a 3 piece rosewood/maple/rosewood stack sandwitched by the neck wood (mahogany?) rather than laminated in, but I'm not sure. The heel is not stacked so it has the appearance of a one-piece-neck whether or not the skunk-stripe is laminated in or part of a 5-piece construction. The zebrawood grain pattern looks good and I didn't find any glaring issues upon initial examination.

I will probably comment on sound and go over this ukulele a bit more later, but I'd give it a Ukulele Ghetto thumbs up for initial quality.

Here are a few quick unboxing pics:


Casey said...

How is this ukulele? I am thinking about getting one but I'm not sure on the playing quality.

GX9901 said...

I've been meaning to post a review, or at least some comments, for this ukulele. However the fact is that I have rarely played it since I got it so it wouldn't be completely fair for me to review it now. It is by no means a bad ukulele, quite the contrary, but it isn't quite good enough to keep me from picking up my custom built or high-end ukes instead of it.

On its own, I feel that it is a lot of ukulele for the money. Playability is very good on my copy and the 37mm nut width (wider than the usual factory ukes) is a plus for me as I like a 1.5" nut width. The sound is pretty good, although not loud, it is certainly acceptable in terms of volume.

I will try to post a review or impression of this sometime soon, but in short, I think it is a very good ukulele at its price point.

Which uke should I bring on my next trip to Oahu???

What's the maximum you'd spend on a ukulele case for your best uke?

If you could steal one of my ukes, which one would it be???

How curly do you like your koa? (preferably on a uke)

What's the maximum number of ukes a perfectly sane person should have???

Poll: How often do you play the ukulele???

Poll: Which guitar company's approach to ukes do you prefer???

Poll: What's your favorite type of headstock???

Poll: The new basic Collings concert uke (UC-1) sells for about $1k, your reaction is: