Lanikai FM-CEB Electro Cutaway Baritone Ukulele
This Lanikai FM-CEB ticks several boxes for me as a ukulele retailer. I remember several years ago having a number of electro cutaway baritones which went down very well - they were always popular and in demand. Those Korala instruments are no longer available in the UK, and for years I have had my eye out for a good quality baritone ukulele, with a built in pickup and a cutaway. Thankfully, that wait is over!
The FM-CEB has an ample, 37.4mm nut, and feels solid and well made, with lots of pretty features, of which the lovely laminate flamed maple is the star. This is highlighted by the bloodwood binding and soundhole rosette, for a striking, but not-too-showy look.
It is fitted with a Fishman Kula active preamp and pickup, one of the much better pre-fitted systems, which I have heard used by some great ukulele players at festivals to great effect. Two strap buttons are fitted too, which is a welcome addition, and not just because it saves me from doing it!
As it should be, the sound is the star, with this FM-CEB really impressing me. With baritone ukes, you intrinsicaly get a deep, rolling tone by virtue of the low, wound D and G strings - but sometimes this can become a little muddy in character. However the D'addario nyltech strings in the B and E positions have a real bite to them, and present a really quite punchy tone at the treble end, which competes really well with all that driving bass. The result is one of the better balances baritones I've come across.
The package is supplied in a great quality gig bag.