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Pete Howlett
02-13-2015, 02:35 PM
If you have a problem with a ukulele you have bought go back to the originator, be it company or individual before you seek the unqualified and almost certainly, conflicting advice you may get here. All who post here are well meaning and want to help. However, it really is the blind leading the blind when even the most considered and professional advice is going to be, at best, a guess....

Nickie
02-13-2015, 02:58 PM
I think you might just be right. I think sometimes we ask stuff just to have what they tell us validated by our peers......maybe?

Pete Howlett
02-13-2015, 03:06 PM
I think we are talking about two different things here Nickie... I am not talking about going to the originator of your instrument with shotgun loaded with shrapnel. This is about good consumer conduct. You bought it from "A". Take it back to "A" if it has a fault. Peer to peer assessment is great but advising the advisor is never a good strategy unless you have superior knowledge and expertise. "Borrowed knowledge" is never wholly reliable.

CeeJay
02-13-2015, 03:33 PM
You are not a gunsmith are you ? Clearly . ;) Which is why we should always seek advice from pro's ...

Skagga Skull The Streatford Shooter

of

32 The Twos
A Wing
The 'Ville
London, says "never load your shotgun wiv shrapnel....always use a cartridge.......nah...a blunderbuss ...that's different ....."

Pete Howlett
02-13-2015, 03:41 PM
We're not allowed them here in the UK :) Good point :)

Matt Clara
02-13-2015, 04:05 PM
It's like Car Talk. Better for entertainment than actual automotive advice.

fretie
02-13-2015, 05:16 PM
If you are offended by someone seeking advice about a ukulele on a ukulele forum then perhaps you could choose to not read threads with those types of topics.

Inksplosive AL
02-13-2015, 05:21 PM
I think its more interesting when people ask others (strangers) on forums for life changing advice.

People always tell me they want a simple tattoo implying what I do is a walk in the park, Ive learned that means they dont want to spend much. But closer to Pete's point we also get the well this guy said you did this or that type at which point I ask them then why are they here with me and not there with them. Most get it those that dont get taught what a tattoo is and shown the door. In the automotive industry way back when we called some people spurts for the tiny pieces of knowledge they had to spurt out to us. But now...

I would expect all these tidbits of yours Pete to disappear eventually to be sold in a book anyhow. :) ~zing

Ive asked a few questions here and many were answered by the man going by Blackbear. I trust his knowledge as I do many others but then again I follow nothing blindly. Those I try to help I only give common advice I mean seriously after building pro tattoo machines, soldering needles into different configurations, rebuilding car and motorcycle engines, motorcycle forks, etc and then using said items and doing triple digits on said repairs the mechanics behind a friction/geared tuner or ukulele setup is not rocket science. I also never misrepresent myself giving advice though I do have a habit of confronting undereducated opinions or those based on faith. Such opinions while an entitlement to the person who owns them is only a form of disinformation to further confuse others. So I get where Pete is coming from mostly.

Like anything else on the internet you have to be smart enough to separate the wheat from the chaff. You have to learn advanced Google-Fu.

But of course if you have an issue with a ukulele you purchase new then by all means take it up with the builder, there is nothing wrong with talking to your friends about your experiences and asking for opinions. Only those trying to hide things will have issues with this.

BTW: For giggles I've worked on my guns as well mostly my little LCP changing triggers and trigger springs etc but I know when to call a pro.

Inksplosive AL
02-13-2015, 05:29 PM
I should read the whole forum before writing really. After seeing the reason for this thread I can only agree with both of you.


Go back to the maker every time. Working on it yourself or having someone else mess with it is not only going to embarrass the original maker but is simultaneously going to make him annoyed. And unless you really have to, do not mention you have had a second opinion - you want him to fix it and no-one else and still maintain a professional relationship with them. I'm sorry mate but I cringe when I see these posts and groan when I read the well meaning but misguided advice that is given. Bad enough you are unhappy; even worse you may be forced to beat him over the head with 'advice' from strangers :) Be diplomatic, keep it professional and help him understand that he needs to up his game. I spend as much time finishing an instrument as I do building it - it's no walk in the park, believe me :(


I have no problem with going back to the builder to talk about my uke's finish.

What I intended when I wrote this thread was kind of like talking about my concerns with friends over coffee. Lots of times my friends and I discuss things specific to someone's hobbies. And the conversation and sometimes brainstorming that arises is at the very least information and at best quite creative.

What I was basically hoping for in my query here on the forum was to get some perspective on this drying out of the uke's finish. Asking among friends, so to speak. My real life friends know nothing about uke finishes but here at UU I felt it safe to ask my virtual friends.

I learned quite a bit from the posts here, besides the loud and clear: "discuss it with the maker".

My apologies if I annoyed some of you by putting into print my uncertainty about how my new uke's finish was evolving over time.

Good Luck on your path

Life's too short to not speak your mind.

VegasGeorge
02-13-2015, 05:36 PM
I have a little Advice on Advice on Advice Questions to offer: Maybe the topic is too broad and varied to be of much use. I mean, people ask for advice on all sorts of issues concerning their Ukuleles. Personally, I like to read the responses, I learn stuff that way.

Inksplosive AL
02-13-2015, 05:45 PM
Wheres the like button?

Hippie Dribble
02-13-2015, 06:08 PM
I was going to ask some advice on the advice for the advice on advice questions but got so confused by my linguistic smartassery that I forgot what the advice was I was going to ask advice for.

Seriously, this issue is clearly a sore point with some of the luthier fraternity and not so with others. It seems obvious that first point of call is to go to your builder/seller before anyone else. That should never preclude a member of a forum such as this to ask for help/opinions/experience/suggestions from other members who may have had similar experiences or knowlege in such matters. That is what the forum is for - the sharing of discussion, knowledge, advice and (hopefully) goodwill.

I think when we are talking about small one-man operations and boutique builders especially, it really is important to seek satisfaction with them where possible before going public, as we are talking about people's livelihoods in some instances. But I maintain my position that, if satisfaction is not forthcoming, one should not feel censored or hamstrung to utilise the forum as that is what it is here for.

Further, just because advice from members may 'conflict' does not make the discussion pointless or those different opinions any less valuable. There is always something to be learnt from such discussions.

Dearman
02-13-2015, 07:40 PM
Perhaps because asking a less thoughtful question on a public forum with thousands of readers is less embarrassing than the ten second pause on the phone where you know he is thinking, "did he really just ask that?" :D

(Not that I would have a recent personal example or anything...)

Pete Howlett
02-13-2015, 11:27 PM
Ahhh discussion at last :) Advice on purchasing is an intelligent way of filtering and helping one make choice. Great advice comes from such. Many voices offering a solution to a problem you cannot physically assess is really less than helpful - I quote "at best, a guess".

I had erroneously assumed that everyone read every post and could make the link between this one and the other one which is dealing with a specific request for advice. My Bad :(

On a completely different tangent and hi-jacking my own thread - eBay made a mistake and charged me fees twice (long story) for the sale of my pin router. I got my money back!!!!

SteveZ
02-14-2015, 04:26 AM
Am one of those folk guilty of sometimes seeking and often providing advice on minor (to me) uke-tech stuff. Many of the questions presented on these string instrument forums fall into the (automobile analogy) "when should I change the oil in my car" and "why did the tire go flat" category. In essence they are user-maintenance questions.

Being able to recognize the difference between user-maintenance and luthier-repair issues, and understanding what's involved with both, is helpful to the user. Packaging and shipping an instrument off for an indeterminate time is highly inconvenient and often unnecessary for many minor tweaks and fixes if the user has the necessary tools and even limited skills with them. Granted, there are times when it is definitely prudent to go through the aggravation of packaging/shipping/waiting, but not every time something seems amiss.

Most (if not all) of the adjust/fix information shared appears on maker-provided internet videos. The "Fender University", "Deering Tech Videos" and "StewMac How-To" have been around for quite a while and geared toward the DIY enthusiast who wants to know what makes their instruments tick and how to maintain/fix them. What they do is demystify stringed instruments and that's a good thing.

I have all the respect and admiration in the world for the skilled artisans who make stringed instruments. I'm lucky enough to have two hand-made instruments (mandolins) made by such artisans (both here in the USA) and would not think twice about shipping the instruments back for repairs beyond my limited capabilities. However, I don't want to waste their time (and my money) if I can do the repair/tweak myself (or locally) with confidence. It's helpful to me to learn new things about my instruments, especially those learned-by-doing from other inquisitive folk willing to share their user-centric knowledge.

Cfiimei
02-14-2015, 05:54 AM
I believe the most talented ukulele luthiers in the world frequent this forum, and I have learned a lot from the posts in this lounge. That being said, I know who those people are from years of reading this and other forums, and by seeing the proof in their instruments. The worry is that some overzealous people without good knowledge often provide advice that can be wrong. This is an issue in ANY forum one might visit. I had a great mentor when I started building folk instruments; one of the best in the craft. I don't have one for ukuleles, so I come here. I take the time to read the build threads and study the tutorials that some post links to. My mentor taught me enough to discern what is good and bad, and to recognize that style differences are not necessarily differences between right and wrong. To those that are the truly talented, I hope you do step in when you see obvious bad advice. From what I have read here I think you do. I think you evaluate answers from less experienced people and step in to advert catastrophe when you can't stand it any longer. Thanks for that.

Steveperrywriter
02-14-2015, 08:54 AM
Depends on what's being asked, doesn't it? If you are looking for general information from people who have experience with it, floating the question seems useful. You have to take anything anybody says with a grain of salt, well, sometimes a boxcar of salt, maybe, but as Dylan once put it, you don't need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Somebody asks you, you can point. Sometimes truth comes out the mouths of babes ...

I think specific questions about specific instruments get a little trickier, but again, as SteveZ points out, knowing when to bother your busy luthier or not could save everybody time and energy. It's a passing parade, and not everybody has been down the block before. A newbie's question is base on his or her knowledge, or lack thereof. Contrary to the popular saying, I believe there are stupid questions, but those aren't necessarily the same as ignorant questions ...

lauburu
02-14-2015, 10:23 AM
A newbie's question is based on his or her knowledge

The readers of this forum are at stages of learning. Some don't know what they don't know; others know what they don't know; others don't know (realise) what they know; and a very few highly experienced ones know what they know.

I don't think anyone here sets out to give poor advice on purpose. However, if you see advice which you believe is poor, it's best to challenge it (as charitably as possible, of course)
Sorry, I don't mean to sound pious but it is Sunday morning.
Miguel

Pete Howlett
02-14-2015, 11:49 AM
|Drift - it always happens when you aren't looking :)

Booli
02-14-2015, 12:24 PM
Like anything else on the internet you have to be smart enough to separate the wheat from the chaff. You have to learn advanced Google-Fu.


people ask for advice on all sorts of issues concerning their Ukuleles. Personally, I like to read the responses, I learn stuff that way.


That should never preclude a member of a forum such as this to ask for help/opinions/experience/suggestions from other members who may have had similar experiences or knowlege in such matters. That is what the forum is for - the sharing of discussion, knowledge, advice and (hopefully) goodwill.... one should not feel censored or hamstrung to utilise the forum as that is what it is here for.

Further, just because advice from members may 'conflict' does not make the discussion pointless or those different opinions any less valuable. There is always something to be learnt from such discussions.


Perhaps because asking a less thoughtful question on a public forum with thousands of readers is less embarrassing than the ten second pause on the phone where you know he is thinking, "did he really just ask that?" :D


Ahhh discussion at last :) Advice on purchasing is an intelligent way of filtering and helping one make choice. Great advice comes from such. Many voices offering a solution to a problem you cannot physically assess is really less than helpful - I quote "at best, a guess".

I just wanted to say that I think that all of the above are wise words, and I am happy to be a member of this community. :)

Booli
02-14-2015, 12:28 PM
Am one of those folk guilty of sometimes seeking and often providing advice on minor (to me) uke-tech stuff. Many of the questions presented on these string instrument forums fall into the (automobile analogy) "when should I change the oil in my car" and "why did the tire go flat" category. In essence they are user-maintenance questions.

Being able to recognize the difference between user-maintenance and luthier-repair issues, and understanding what's involved with both, is helpful to the user. Packaging and shipping an instrument off for an indeterminate time is highly inconvenient and often unnecessary for many minor tweaks and fixes if the user has the necessary tools and even limited skills with them. Granted, there are times when it is definitely prudent to go through the aggravation of packaging/shipping/waiting, but not every time something seems amiss.

Most (if not all) of the adjust/fix information shared appears on maker-provided internet videos. The "Fender University", "Deering Tech Videos" and "StewMac How-To" have been around for quite a while and geared toward the DIY enthusiast who wants to know what makes their instruments tick and how to maintain/fix them. What they do is demystify stringed instruments and that's a good thing.

I have all the respect and admiration in the world for the skilled artisans who make stringed instruments. I'm lucky enough to have two hand-made instruments (mandolins) made by such artisans (both here in the USA) and would not think twice about shipping the instruments back for repairs beyond my limited capabilities. However, I don't want to waste their time (and my money) if I can do the repair/tweak myself (or locally) with confidence. It's helpful to me to learn new things about my instruments, especially those learned-by-doing from other inquisitive folk willing to share their user-centric knowledge.

THIS ^ a thosand times over, is a HUGE part of my education with regard to my instruments, and thus a HUGE part of my satisfaction in owning/playing and maintaining them properly. I could not have said this more eloquently myself.

sequoia
02-14-2015, 06:40 PM
I once worked for a company whose motto was: "Art to Science" and that is what I love about ukulele building; the intersection of art (wood, music) and the hard physics of sound and engineering. I have learned a lot on this forum and have asked the ignorant (stupid?) question myself a time or two. My favorite ignorant question was when I asked how thick to make a spruce top. Answer: There is no answer. It might be nieve and the blind led the blind, but it is still a legitimate question. On the other hand, there is an answer, just nobody has it.

The only thing I object to on this forum are examples of failures by specific builders posted by customers. This is rare, but I've seen a few. Ouch. Remember the Golden Rule of UULL:

1) GOLDEN RULE: DON'T BE A JERK
All members are equal. Your fame/experience/expertise does not give you the right to disregard the golden rule.