Aurora by Luna – Ukulele Review


It’s kind of scary when an import “budget” brand comes out with a cheaper line. Corners have already been cut, affordable has already been the goal. So when a brand like Luna comes out with a sub brand like Aurora, I usually hold off. But these four ukes that Luna showed at the 2013 NAMM were eye catchers and I knew the kids would love them.

We got in a dozen of each model today. As I went through them I realized that not even 1 in the 48 would get past Joel without being marked as a 2nd. Aside from needing extensive setup work, every single one I looked at had bubbles in the finish and all kinds of funky stuff going on. Apparently Aurora was not just made for kids, but also made by kids!The sad thing is that this is what our young ones will start with. Crazy high nut slots and sloppy fretwork are the main issue. Cosmetically it looks like someone gave a 9 year old crack and told them to go as fast as possible. Most likely these will never make it to TheUkuleleSite.com.Nothing we can do will make them unflawed. But we’ll get them to be playable and sell them in our store for $60.

Overall advice to the beginner – Going a little above this in price to the regular Luna Honu or Tattoo is a humongous jump in quality and still under $100.I could have gotten out the macro lens and shown all the flaws, but it’s a nicer view from here. Cool in concept, but like many,  these are just too cheap for their own good.So that’s my review of Aurora Ukuleles. I actually still like them in a way. Just dont look or listen too hard and all will be cool. Ya?Aloha from Oahu. See you next time.

Comments 7

  1. some of these look more like toys than instruments :S but i guess that’s kind of the point?

  2. Post

    Ironically enough, I have one at my house and play it from time to time. I know, I know, the most scathing review I give and…but my daughter really wanted it! I set it up, as good as could be, and she doesn’t care if the finish is imperfect. And I could play it all night if that’s what I had. So there, take it with a grain of salt. Ukulele is for fun. A bit of TLC and these will do the job.

  3. I bought a Makala (the Kala economy line) from MGM a few years back and found it to be a good beginner’s uke. It came setup like HMS does, so I’m sure that made a big difference.
    Previous to that I had built a soprano from a kit, so it was a big step up. I eventually got the kit uke to play in tune by a shortening the the top of the fretboard a bit and moving the bridge 2 times. Fortunately the internet has information about the proper distances between frets, the nut and the bridge and about how to adjust the action. Also, the kit was cheap so I didn’t care much about ruining the thing. It wound up playing in tune okay, but sounded like a little plywood box, even with aquila strings.
    Recently got a cordoba 15cm concert uke from HMS. Plays easy, sounds good and looks good in a spanish guitar kind of way.

  4. It’s a shame that Luna took this route. Their entry level ukes are already quite good and reasonably priced.

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