What You Get
For around $150 you get a
solid laminate mahogany concert ukulele, rosewood fretboard and bridge, built in Luna preamp with a laser etched lizard/leaf pattern on the top. It comes strung with Aquila (what else?) and has pearl moon phase fret markers on the fingerboard. Oh and there’s a slightly padded gig bag too. It’s probably not a ukulele that I would seek out to buy on looks alone (this one is on loan to me) but that said, I can see why people would go for a Luna. It’s probably worth pointing out that being a 37 year old male, I very much doubt that I fit into Luna’s core target audience.
In the hand it feels pretty good and it’s well put together – there’s a different feel to this one, it doesn’t have a super smooth finish to it. It’s unusual – or at least it is to me. I quite like the feel – it’s a bit more tactile than some of my other ukes.
On the whole I think it’s been put together very well, the fretboard in particular stands out to me. It looks and feels very good to play and the edges are really quite smooth. There’s something about a well finished fretboard that goes a long way to making a uke look and feel like there’s been some care in the build.
The onboard preamp is fitted well onto the lower bout and it does the job. It’s a bit tricky to get your hand to it quickly (should you need to) and maybe would have made more sense to have it located on the upper bout – but maybe that’s just my own personal preference.
Time for the acid test – what does it sound like? Well, that’s a difficult one and I’m a little bit on the fence. There’s nothing wrong with the sound but there’s nothing great about it either. It’s perfectly playable but it does suffer from a lack of note separation, which is something I always look for (or should that be listen for) in a ukulele. When playing an open C chord for example it can be quite hard to hear the difference when you play an open C with the 7th fret of the A string fretted rather than the 3rd. Perhaps I’m being a bit picky there, and to some I doubt they’d notice. I tend to play quite a bit of chord melody style songs on my ukulele so note separation is important to me. If you’re more of a strummer and singer then maybe you could let this slide.
Beyond that the sound is fine, once you string a ukulele with Aquila you can be pretty confident that you know what it will sound like. Rather than me try and describe the sound which is always a difficult one – here’s a few sound samples (all recorded with a Blue Snowball) so that you can form your own opinion.
When it comes to playability I like this uke, it feels good in the hand, the setup is good. I can’t really fault it.
Overall I think the Luna Mo’o Concert is a decent ukulele that will have obvious appeal in the looks department to a certain audience, and, when it comes down to I don’t think they would be disappointed with their choice. It’s built well, the finish is great and for the large part it plays just fine too.
Luna Ukuleles are available direct from Luna’s website…