Luna Tattoo Soprano Pineapple Ukulele Review & Demo
Amazon Challenge: Can You Buy A Great Uke on Amazon?
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The pineapple ukulele - what a unique shape! In this review, we will examine the pros and cons of the Luna Tattoo Soprano model with an added twist: Will Amazon deliver an excellent ukulele or will we get a dud? Let's find out!
My first encounter with this ukulele happened years ago, as fellow Rock Class 101 teacher, Stephen, owned one (watch him play "I See Fire" by Ed Sheeran on his Luna Pineapple Uke). I fell in love with its unique shape and the sound and feel. Needless to say, it was a no-brainer choice to purchase this ukulele as our first "Amazon Challenge" review. Unfortunately, I found that his ukulele, albeit the same model, was a bit different than the one I received. More on this in a minute... Let's begin with the positives!
What an awesome looking ukulele! The fit and finish is superb, it's a real beauty, especially with that neat tattoo design on the body. The gig big is also of great quality for this price point. As far as the ukulele's tone, it features a "traditional" uke sound, which is surprising, considering that it has a very unique body shape (made with mahogany). I will say that the tone is average for this price point. It's not the best, nor the worst - but it's good enough to be considered a "pro".
There are 2 gripes that I have with this ukulele:
1) The Excess String Play - As seen in the video review, the strings have too much play. The action and/or fret slots need to be adjusted to correct this issue. As such, executing techniques such as vibrato is difficult.
2) The Intonation - This ukulele progressively gets sharp as you play up the neck (towards fret 12). This creates a problem, as your playing will sound slightly "off" due to pitch issues.
These 2 issues can be fixed with a set-up, but I have played other ukuleles in this price range that did not exhibit the same problems. Furthermore, as mentioned above, Stephen owns this exact model - oddly his uke did not have these two issues (nor was it ever set-up). I also feel that his ukulele has a much better tone. This leads me to question Luna's quality control. Perhaps there has been a decline in production quality over the years (he purchased his over 5+ years ago).
The Bottom Line
This is a wonderful ukulele for someone who already owns 3 or 4 ukes and is a looking to add one more to play occasionally. Since it's relatively inexpensive, it makes for a great knock around uke or a "take it to the beach" or "throw it in the back of the car" uke. If you are an absolute beginner, I would skip this ukulele. For the price point there are better playing and sounding ukuleles out there without the issues listed above. In this case, I would recommend the Makala MK-S.
Street Price: $65.
Article by: Andrew Hardel