|Body And Neck:|
We feature several Luna ukuleles on GuitarFella, all differing in size, design and price range. One of the most interesting is the Maluhia, which is an electro-acoustic concert ukulele coming in at under $200. With Luna’s reputation in the affordable market, this is sounding an interesting proposition so far – let’s check it out!
Anyone familiar with Luna Guitars and their instruments could probably tell the Maluhia is a Luna from first glance. Mainly due to the oddly-shaped soundhole which resembles the peace symbol – no coincidence as Maluhia means peace in Hawaiian. The top features a unique laser-etched swirl of text, comprising the word ‘peace’ in several languages. This starts at the lower bout, then works its way around the soundhole to eye-catching effect.
With a 23” concert size, the top, back and sides of this uke are made from mahogany, as is the neck (with a little nato thrown in), which features a rosewood fretboard and 19 frets (14 in the clear). For a sub-$200 ukulele, the Maluhia feels well-made and nicely finished.
Setting this uke apart from some others in our chart is the fact that it comes loaded with a pickup and preamp for easy amplification – just plug in and go. It’s all quite simple and stock in its setup, but the preamp allows for some sound shaping, with volume, presence and bass controls.
The uke also comes fitted with a set of chrome open-geared tuning machines, with pearloid buttons, while the bridge is rosewood, with a graphite saddle and nut. Finally, on some marketplaces, the uke arrives with a couple of accessories including a soft case and a clip-on tuner, although this will depend on where you purchase from.
The slightly restricted soundhole design doesn’t detract from the Maluhia’s projection or tone, and you’ll find it offers good volume – certainly comparable to some other concert ukes in this price range. The mahogany construction means the sound is warm and mellow, and very ‘relaxed island’ in its feel. The Luna-designed electronics are pretty good in amplifying the natural tone, and retain the vibrancy of the acoustic sound through an amp.
Ultimately the Luna Maluhia offers players the traditional tone and feel of a Hawaiian concert ukulele, but with a few unique touches that never fail to catch the eye. It’s not a high-end instrument, but this sub-$200 uke still offers solid craftsmanship, a good tone, reliable electronics, and overall great value.
Looking for a sample of the Maluhia’s tone? Check out the video below: