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Thread: Best ukulele repair folks in the continental US?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default Best ukulele repair folks in the continental US?

    Are there any repair folks out there that are generally recognized as being among the best? I live in North Carolina but given that it's a uke we are talking about, shipping back and forth is not a major drawback. Many thanks!

  2. #2
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    Oct 2009
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    Any specifics? Is the manufacturer definitely eliminated from competition? I would trust any repair shop that is recognized by a major guitar brand, but Gryphon Strings is definitely near the top of any list. Prices might be on the high side, but I trust them to do a great job. That trust is worth a premium.

  3. #3
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    Most large cities and towns will have at least two three great repairers. Many good repairers have plenty of work and only need to use word of mouth to get customers. Some wont even want to be mentioned on places like UU.
    How do you find them then, well ask some real people in person in the area where you live, the people who are likely to know may not even know that there are such things as bulletin boards.
    I like to return my custom and more costly ukes to the maker for repairs. First I send them an email to make sure that they will take on the work and to make sure they realise I am not expecting to get a free job, I am happy to pay. Sometimes they have referred me to someone closer to me who they know, other times they have done the repairs. Recently, I sent an instrument from Perth to Honolulu and it was repaired and returned with a cheque to help cover postage. There was a bit of a wait, but it all went well. Another one is in NZ waiting for me to pick up when I go there soon.
    For older ukes I ask at the uke group or local music shops and track down a reliable repairer. There are several in Perth, so i really would be surprised if most people on mainland USA would not be able to find a reliable repairer with a few hours drive.

  4. #4
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    I agree with Tiger.

    I heard that Willie Nelson sent his beat up, full-o-holes guitar to Rick Turner to have the top glued back on. If true, that's an endorsement for Rick's repair skills, plus he makes pretty good ukuleles.
    Gillian
    **********
    KoAloha longneck soprano (KSM-02)~Kamaka Longneck Concert(HF2-LK)~Eleuke MP3 concert pineapple~Kohala concert (my first uke) ~Compass Rose custom tenor~ Compass Rose custom microjumbo tenor~Kala U-Bass

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillian View Post
    I agree with Tiger.

    I heard that Willie Nelson sent his beat up, full-o-holes guitar to Rick Turner to have the top glued back on. If true, that's an endorsement for Rick's repair skills, plus he makes pretty good ukuleles.
    Yes, Rick is a legend and if he is willing to do the job, I wouldn't hesitate to send it to him.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2012
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    Queen Anne
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    Mass Street Music in Lawrence, KS has a terrific repair staff and shop. www.massstreetmusic.com
    Luis Feu de Mesquita tenor ukaferri
    Mike Pereira Custom tenor
    Ukiyo Vita soprano
    Boat Paddle ML tenor

  7. #7
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    I think the chances of a poor outcome are increased with round trip shipping, and that there must be outstanding luthiers out there in the Doc Watson State..?
    I would ask some of the custom guitar builders who are based in your area

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillian View Post
    I agree with Tiger.

    I heard that Willie Nelson sent his beat up, full-o-holes guitar to Rick Turner to have the top glued back on. If true, that's an endorsement for Rick's repair skills, plus he makes pretty good ukuleles.
    Since you mentioned Rick Turner and Willie Nelson. I think there's a few other people you might have heard from.

    http://www.neelyguitars.com/

  9. #9
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    Rick Turner swears by Franks Ford at Gryphon in Palo Alto...but I would use Rick in a second too...

  10. #10
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    Do all luthiers know how to repair any stringed instrument?

    Is a ukulele build so similar to a guitar that an impressive place like Dave Neely's (in nongdam's link above) could easily do uke repairs, or are there differences that would make one seek out a luthier that has experience fixing ukuleles?
    Gillian
    **********
    KoAloha longneck soprano (KSM-02)~Kamaka Longneck Concert(HF2-LK)~Eleuke MP3 concert pineapple~Kohala concert (my first uke) ~Compass Rose custom tenor~ Compass Rose custom microjumbo tenor~Kala U-Bass

    My YouTube channel

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