Laka VUC80EA Solid Spruce Fishman Electro Concert Ukulele
This is a solid top, electro concert ukulele from Laka. I confess that my purchasing decision in this case wasn't as precise as it normally is. I'd had a customer in the shop asking for a concert electro between 2 and 300 pounds and didn't have a huge amount to offer. So, when I next needed to order from distributor JHS (who produce the Laka brand), I popped one of these in.
Normally I research, choose my brands carefully, check reviews and specification for value. This time, none of that. And by happy accident it really sounds good - powerful, sweet, loud and forward. The solid spruce top and Aquila strings really push the sound out. This is a concert electro you'll hear, even in a big uke group.
Visually, it is very neat and tidy, with an evenly grained top, rope purfling, maple binding and laminate back and sides - the latter having a really lovely, striking pattern. The soundhole rosette features more of the rope style inlay - with a tiny repetition also delicately placed into the bridge.
The VUC80EA is equipped with a Fishman Sonitone pre-amp and undersaddle pickup, which features tone and volume controls tucked neatly inside the soundhole.
Any complaints? Well, personally the palm tree etching on the headstock, while very well done, isn't to my taste on a Chinese ukulele, but that is nit-picking! I also will adjust the action a little - not that's it is unplayable... but just a touch. Anyway, you needn't worry about that - consider it done! On that note, I have seen these a little cheaper, offered by companies who will have it sent direct to you from the distributor. Imagine that - not even looking at what they're selling you! Rant over.
So, to conclude, this is a neat little uke, with a decent pickup, at a reasonable price, which when set up, plays very nicely indeed.