Read the full article
This article was originally published in issue #15
To read the article in its entirety, view the digital magazine
This is a mahogany soprano with a rosewood fingerboard and a nut and saddle made out of "Graphtech Nubone" which is claimed to bring out the bass frequencies. Graphtech has a great reputation in the guitar world, so we'll take their word for it here as we don't have one without a Nubone nut to compare it with - but whatever the reason, the Laka sounds pretty good!
Fitted into the side of this uke is a whacking great big LCD tuner which shows your tuning progress not just by the virtual needle, but by changing colour too. It is very accurate and visible, but I think a tad too visible. It's enormous. That would be valuable if you were gigging this uke, but as it doesn't have a pickup you're unlikely to take it to the stage and I felt a more compact unit would have been a more practical option. Having said all of that, it is a surprisingly inexpensive instrument, and for the money we maybe ought to be grateful for getting any kind of tuning implement at all! The frets on our sample were well finished and the tone is more than adequate for a small soprano body. The logo is carved into the headstock, which makes a refreshing change from a transfer (decal), and it really captures the "fun" element that is what the uke is all about.
In order to produce an instrument at this price, some corners just need to be cut but Vintage have cut the right ones here and produced a very nice instrument for the money.