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niwenomian
01-16-2015, 10:55 AM
So my first real uke is a Kamaka soprano, built in 07 and purchased from Hilo Guitars and ukes.

Over the years, and despite humidification, the top has sunken. I had some buzzing on the C string, chases a solution by trying various strings, but the intonation was not great and the tone was....not great either.

Although this is not my daily player, mostly because I prefer the concert scale, it just bums me out to have this uke that doesn't sing. The more depressed the top would get, the more depressed I would get just looking at the case.

The top just got more and more dished. To the point where the corner of the saddle was starting to separate from the soundboard.

Finally, I called Kamaka. They had me send it in, and just this week I got the news that they would replace the top for free. They said they've changed the bracing since my uke was made, which means that the uke I get back should be something I can play for the rest of my years and then pass down to my kids.

So, now I wish I had called them sooner, buy am excited for my upcoming NUD, or maybe New Top Old Uke Day?

Nick

stevepetergal
01-16-2015, 10:59 AM
The big name makers are really great. Good for you.

DownUpDave
01-16-2015, 11:18 AM
In the long run it ALWAYS pays to buy quality. That is so cool they would do that for you after all those years. I bet they have a customer for life now. I want to buy a Kamaka just because of your story.

wayfarer75
01-16-2015, 12:18 PM
Stories like that is why I bought my Kamaka pineapple. More than one UUer has had a vintage/damaged/defective Kamaka renewed. Stuff happens, and it's good to know that I can send my uke back to its birthplace to get fixed if I ever get too clumsy with it. Of course, it's not just Kamaka who stands by their products, but they've been around long enough for some of their ukes to have really gone through the wringer, and the transformations can be dramatic.

It's also good to know that they see when they don't build things right and make changes for the better.

niwenomian
01-16-2015, 12:36 PM
This ties in to the other thread running about K-brands and their consistency. Consistency in quality of production is only part of the story. If that was it, I would be SOL.

When I bought the uke in the first place, the story of the company was a big pull. I was lucky enough to have a chance to play a handful of kamaka sopranos and picked the one that sounded best to me.

I was going to have it fixed whether out of my pocket or otherwise, so it was great to hear that they were not happy with what was going on with the uke. It did not meet their standards. This is where consistency of the K-brands really should be measured.

stevejfc
01-16-2015, 02:49 PM
This is one of those experiences that makes me feel good about the world......................it gives me a UKULELE smile. I had a much smaller problem with a Kanile'a and they took care of it no problem/no questions asked. And more recently I had a similiar problem to yours with a Mya Moe and Gordon and Char went above and beyond, again, no questions asked, and took care of the issue. I will always hold them in the highest esteem.
Good people = Ukuleles........... Ukuleles = Good People .

IamNoMan
01-16-2015, 03:01 PM
It just goes to show that you should consider the reputation and longevity of the ukulele maker when considering a purchase. I am not slamming younger luthiers or companies here. A older outfit which has benefited from its developments and mistakes, will produce in general a high quality machine. As such they have a reputation to maintain, not build.

Phuufme
01-17-2015, 01:57 AM
Very cool.

mm stan
01-17-2015, 05:36 AM
Glad to hear the good news you are getting your uke fixed...happy strummings

Tigeralum2001
01-17-2015, 05:53 AM
In the long run it ALWAYS pays to buy quality.

Absolutely!

PhilUSAFRet
01-17-2015, 06:03 AM
Congrats on the fix. I never particularly wanted a Kamaka soprano..........until I had one! Sweet little players.