Lanikai FM-5CET Electro Tenor Wide Neck 5-String Ukulele
In some ways this Lanikai FM-5CET is quite a niche instrument, covering many of the individual requirements that some discerning players want in a ukulele. Firstly, it has a wide, 37.4mm nut, giving more space, especially useful for the larger fingered! Then, it is a quality 5-string tenor (not that you can't get good inexpensive ones, but those that are more refined are harder to come by). And then, it is a tenor electro with a a cutaway. So, a flamed maple, wide neck, tenor electro, cutaway 5-string ukulele! As well as all these many features, it looks the part too, with attractive flame maple laminate top, back and sides. Yes, it isn't the cheapest uke, but everything about it is refined, well made and pretty.
The FM-5CET tenor electro is fitted with two durable chrome strap buttons, a Nubone nut and saddle for extra sustain and walnut fingerboard. Walnut looks a little strange of some ukes, but really matches well with the pale body of this instrument. Around the body and the soundhole there's some bloodwood inlay which further enhances the looks.
Supplied with D'addario EJ88 strings which add a little punch to the mix, this Lanikai is a very nice sounding tenor. You need that punch as the overwhelming feature of this ukulele is just how mellow and smooth the sound is. It has a lovely, melty wash of ringing depth to it, while still picking out some good trebles. It is an all laminate model, but works out superior in sound terms to a number of similarly priced solid top models.
The Kula system, by Fishman, is one of the better pre-fitted active pickup systems, and comes equipped with tone and volume controls, together wih a built in tuner.
The package is supplied in a great quality gig bag.