I have been relatively UAS free over the last year or so. Other than a Mainland slotted headstock concert and a Ko'olau CE-1, I have not bought ukuleles at anywhere near the pace I once did. The Mainland was basically bought because I loved slotted headstocks and it was so rare to find one attached to a concert sized ukulele I had to get it. I've since done an incomplete Smackdown comparison of it and the Collings UC-1 and sold it off. The CE-1 was purchased during a trip to Oahu earlier this year. It's safe to say if I did not go to Hawaii this year, I would not have bought that one. I mean, how can you resist buying a uke when in paradise??? So, I think I've been relatively restraint when it comes to UAS.
Lately, however, I've been very interested in a certain Lanikai zebrawood concert. The first reason I noticed this ukulele is the zebrawood body. It is solid zebrawood and that got my attention. My very first ukulele was a Leolani laminated zebrawood supersoprano. I can't say I had any special interest in zebrawood back then, but now when I see zebrawood, it reminds me of that very first ukulele (which is probably collecting dust at a friend's house right now. I suppose I should get it back). That's a pretty fond memory so I was excited to see solid zebrawood ukuleles appearing from Ohana a year or so ago. Since I'm currently more into the concert sized ukulele, I was interested in the concert version of the Lanikai zebrawood. The second thing that got me interested, of course, is the slotted headstock. As far as I know, other than the aforementioned Mainland, this Lanikai and its Monkeypod brother are the only concert sized ukuleles on the market with a slotted headstock. Slot heads are right up my alley and I find the shape of Lanikai's better than the Mainland's slot head (I've come to realize that I'm not blindly in love with all slotted headstocks. The actual shape has to be pleasing to my eyes). The third reason I wanted this ukulele is because that it supposedly came with a 37mm wide nut. That's pretty close to my preferred 1.5" width and most of the imported ukes are 1-3/8", including all other Lanikai's outside of the Zebrawood/Monkeypod family.
So that's basically the weak reasoning I gave myself to pull the trigger on this ukulele. I think I've mentioned around here that I have no excuse to buy any more ukes, and I can't really come up with any now. The main thing is that this ukulele is pretty affordable-I've seen it between $200~$250-so the price is right to experiment. I have no idea how long I will end up keeping this one, but I will plan to review it in some way once I have it in hand. I'm hoping that it will be up to par sonically. To me, it has the looks part covered.