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View Full Version : My new Ohana SK-38 . . . What the?



Ukettante
10-28-2015, 05:14 PM
I just received an Ohana SK-38 from my sister as a birthday present. She bought it from one of the online uke specialists that come highly recommended on the UU forum. But soon as I unzipped the Steady case that it came in and gave it a once-over, my joy turned to dismay. Nonetheless, I've read about how some players initially mistook the vintage look of the 38 for shoddy workmanship, and how the build and finish of Ohana ukes are "nearly perfect," so I'm here for some reassurance.

First, the nut look as if it had been gnawed by a dog. Sorry, I don't know how else to describe it. Second, the four slots, seen from the bottom of the bridge, look unfinished, ragged. Third, the small, truncated oval that the heel narrows down to is asymmetrical. Fourth, there are two clearly visible nicks on the back of the headstock. No need to squint to see them. And lastly, the wood grain on the back of the uke's body runs diagonally, not quite 45 degrees though. My overall impression was the uke looked like a counterfeit.

I'm curious as to where these cosmetic imperfections are all part of the aged look, vintage charm, Ohana is aiming for in this model. I was somewhat reassurred after I revisited the seller's website and englarged the photos for a much closer look, and saw that yep, the nut and the heel of this floor model also looked kind of . . . crummy.

Would love to hear from other SK-38 owners.

chuck in ny
10-28-2015, 06:10 PM
i have an sk38 from mim that plays with great sound. can't ask for more. the neck looks like it has been chewed by a beaver, nearly your same description. at some point the wrong tool was used on it, i can imagine a third world worker with a huge rasp, or whatever nightmare, and then sanded to an acceptable state. if you look closer you will see the little digs. i guess they do down home stuff like that at the factory. it doesn't affect playing but i can't take it and have promised the instrument to my grandson.
certain stuff in woodworking you have to really try to screw up, and they manage to do so on some of 'em.

coolkayaker1
10-28-2015, 09:04 PM
Photos would help us help you.

Bill Mc
10-29-2015, 07:15 AM
No way any of the negative descriptions you have provided apply to my SK-38. You ought to contact the seller and provide photos to substantiate your claim and bring it to a resolution in your favor.

stevepetergal
10-29-2015, 08:52 AM
Photos would help us help you.

I agree with coolkayaker1. If it is as you describe, it's not a "vintage look", it's unacceptable.

kkimura
10-29-2015, 12:40 PM
I had a TK-38 with similar features that I chalked up to the attempt at presenting an artificially aged ukulele.

Kayak Jim
10-29-2015, 01:09 PM
Wow, three out of four with this feature. I had considered a SK-38 and went with a Kiwaya instead. Glad I did. That "aging" would drive me nuts.

johnson430
10-29-2015, 01:19 PM
What is it, the "shabby chic" ukulele?
Did they actually "age" the uke at the factory?
Holy moly!
That sounds crazy.

tigersister
10-29-2015, 01:33 PM
I read a few discriptions where dealers mentioned it has a rustic look or has a distressed finish, which makes me think it's supposed to have some of the "features" you mention. Still, I think you should check in with the seller. I wouldn't be happy about the nut and slots, f'sure. The other stuff though sounds typical of what I heard about this model.

All other Ohana models I've seen and played were very well finished.

whistleman123
10-30-2015, 08:52 AM
This is a shame! I was considering one, now I'm hesitating.

70sSanO
10-30-2015, 08:59 AM
You should really contact the seller.

I think any UU recommended seller will work things out.

John

Ukettante
10-30-2015, 11:47 PM
I'll take pictures with my cell phone and try to post them. I'm not too tech savvy, but I'll try my best. I can't bring myself to look at it when I take it out to practice. Anyway, photos will follow soon, and you guys can tell me whether the highly recommended seller had sent me a dud or I got what I paid for, a sub-300 uke.

ukegirl
11-01-2015, 02:20 PM
This is a shame! I was considering one, now I'm hesitating.

I'm thinking the same thing

Kayak Jim
11-01-2015, 02:32 PM
If these vintage look Ohanas are really firsts (i.e., the way they are intended), it seems like the sellers should be "managing expectations".

ukuleleden
11-01-2015, 02:56 PM
Still waiting to see the pictures here in this thread. But in the meantime, I found at least one Ohana video that speaks of the aging treatment. It depicts some area where there would be normal wear from contact and use. Sort of like what Aging a new instruments finish is nothing new, Fender has been doing with their Relic treatments on their Telecasters and Stratocasters for years... It should never effect playability though, if it does send it back.

Kiwiohana
11-01-2015, 03:18 PM
That doesn't sound right to me. I have two Ohanas (albeit not vintage ones) and they were both finished really well.

Still, I am patiently waiting for my new Pono ET=PC to arrive as that should be a big step up....! But I still love my Ohanas.

Ukettante
11-01-2015, 05:40 PM
Trying to post photos.

Ukettante
11-01-2015, 05:44 PM
More photos.

70sSanO
11-01-2015, 06:30 PM
I'm sure others with more experience with Ohana will chime in, but I'd send it back. The nut is bad. It really needs to be straight across and that indent at the E string could be an issue with intonation. Relic'd is one thing but that is a mistake. I don't like the texture on the heal. The bridge slots are too rough. The angled grain looks off and I'm not sure there is any vintage uke intentionally made that way. Nicks on back of headstock and glue are not big deals.

John

Ukettante
11-01-2015, 06:48 PM
Darn it! I could live with a big scratch on the body. But if the nut and bridge are problematic . . . !

70sSanO
11-01-2015, 07:29 PM
The bridge slots may or may not be a problem. But a rough surface on a tensioned string could be a problem. But I think there is an issue with the nut.

John

Jerwin
11-01-2015, 08:58 PM
To me, it seems as the poor quality rather than intented features. I've seen a few Ohanas in local store that have issues. For instance, TK-20CE I owned had it's bridge misplaced to one side and the fretwork - well, there was no fretwork.

The back of this uke is quite funny. I'd send it back...

KoaDependent
11-01-2015, 09:00 PM
I purchased my SK-38 two Januarys ago, and it doesn't exhibit any of the flaws you demonstrate in those photos. My nut is cut straight and clean, as are the bridge slots. The heel looks symmetrical to my eye and the back grain is parallel to the neck.

I wonder if the dealer would tell you whether this particular example is representative of the stock they have, or if this one made just slipped by QA.

ukuleleden
11-02-2015, 01:03 AM
The actual surface "wear treatment" looks somewhat consistent with the others I Have seen, but because of the way that nut looks, I'd send it back for that alone. In addition, the sloppy glue work on the inside shows a rushed or neglected assembly process, and that's the first time I have seen that on any Ohana Ukulele.

Hopefully your replacement will be absent of what you received with this one and that this was just an anomaly...

Ukettante
11-02-2015, 01:25 AM
I purchased my SK-38 two Januarys ago, and it doesn't exhibit any of the flaws you demonstrate in those photos. My nut is cut straight and clean, as are the bridge slots. The heel looks symmetrical to my eye and the back grain is parallel to the neck.

I wonder if the dealer would tell you whether this particular example is representative of the stock they have, or if this one made just slipped by QA.

May I ask where you bought yours? If online, which online vendor?

KoaDependent
11-02-2015, 05:33 AM
May I ask where you bought yours? If online, which online vendor?

Mim's Ukes.

Kayak Jim
11-02-2015, 08:37 AM
From the photos it's not as bad as I expected from the description. The nut is a little rough and maybe it should go back just for that, but not what I would describe as chewed by a dog/beaver (and we know beavers up here). But minor glue runs, slight dings and rough spots are consistent with my experience with a couple of off shore ukes in the same price range (both Mainlands, and not seconds either). Your rough spots are a bit rougher, but mine weren't marketed as "vintage". The "defects" bugged me initially, now I just play.

Mim
11-02-2015, 08:54 AM
Mim's Ukes.

Before yall read this, this is written in hindsite. I messed up and thought this uke came from me. I am a dork. Ooops... I thought they were talking about me providing the uke. I would contact your dealer. They would probably say the same thing I say below.

Well dang. I was hoping it was not me since I don't sell steady cases. But perhaps she sorced that from somewhere else.

Sorry about the imperfections. These are highly distressed finishes, and the Rosewood nut after being set up always looks weirdly double layered. As far as any other imperfections... I am just sorry I missed them and will gladly make this right for you! I try to be perfect, but alas, sometimes I miss things. I am a one woman show And will gladly take the blame when I miss something. And all I can do is apologize and make it right. Which I am known to do!!! I like me some happy customers! So, let's get this fixed.

But... As everyone knows... I stand behind my Ukes and will replace it or swap it out no problem!!! So Please send me an email at mim @ mimsukes dot com and let's swap it out for something you are 110% thrilled with! It would make me more than happy to do so. Unfortunately today I am out of town for a funeral. But I am anxious to get back to work tomorrow. I need the diversion. So use today to take a peek at what I have on eBay. Also, I have some other models in stock I don't have listed yet. So if you want to call I will be at my shop after 8am and we can discuss it. I send 2 day priority so your new replacement baby will get to you on Thursday, so no need to be disappointed for long! 540-505-5444. I will get ya taken care of! No problem! And of course I will set it up so it plays sweet for you. Thanks for letting me know!

Mim
11-02-2015, 08:55 AM
From the photos it's not as bad as I expected from the description. The nut is a little rough and maybe it should go back just for that, but not what I would describe as chewed by a dog/beaver (and we know beavers up here). But minor glue runs, slight dings and rough spots are consistent with my experience with a couple of off shore ukes in the same price range (both Mainlands, and not seconds either). Your rough spots are a bit rougher, but mine weren't marketed as "vintage". The "defects" bugged me initially, now I just play.

It is the Rosewood nut. They use it to be consistent with the vintage look but for a "like-buttah" setup, I like the nut widths a little smaller and it gives them a weird look, but they play nice.

Mim
11-02-2015, 08:58 AM
Oh wait... Did this come from me? I think I read it wrong and now realize it may not have come from me. If not..
Doh... Carry on. I feel silly. But if it did... Contact me. Someone wrote me and said I was mentioned and I assumed it came from me. But now I see it was a happy cutomer that is in the post I responded to. I will read the whole thread. I am operating from my phone and with funeral brain.

Patrick Madsen
11-02-2015, 10:34 AM
Bless you Mim, you're the best!

vcs700s
11-02-2015, 11:08 AM
Bless you Mim, you're the best!

Yes she is!

Nickie
11-02-2015, 12:23 PM
I know Mim would never knowingly sell a defective instrument. I'm happy to see she caught this thread, even after being at a funeral. She's one in a million.
I've never seen a bad Ohana uke. Some are better than others. I'd never go for the distressed look, unless it was genuine wear that I put there myself. My Kala is kinda ugly, but I did it....

Ukettante
11-02-2015, 02:34 PM
No no, I didn't buy from Mim. Just to clear things up. But I got a good sense of what she's like after reading her replies to this thread. Gotta say I appreciate her integrity. If I need another uke, I'll be sure to give Mim a call.

So everyone, including Mim, no less, is zeroing in on the nut. I'll write my seller and ask him whether the weird look would affect the sound or is purely cosmetic.

Question: should I invite the seller to post his response here for everyone's benefit? Or keep it strictly between me and him? I mean after all there are plenty of sk 38 owners here, some of whom bought from him.

Captain Simian
11-02-2015, 02:43 PM
I bought my SK-38 used and the nut is still a little wonky. My repair guy checked it out and after tweaking the action at the nut said it shouldn't be an issue. A year and a half later it's still fine and I never really worried about it.

Kayak Jim
11-02-2015, 02:45 PM
Question: should I invite the seller to post his response here for everyone's benefit? Or keep it strictly between me and him? I mean after all there are plenty of sk 38 owners here, some of whom bought from him.

No harm in giving the seller the option.

Ukettante
11-02-2015, 02:54 PM
No harm in giving the seller the option.

I'll do that. Thanks.

Mim
11-02-2015, 04:08 PM
Thanks for the complements yall, even though I completely had the wrong idea. Haha.

A customer warned me I was mentioned in a thread and I automatically thought it was a bad thing. I need sleep and to read the whole thread first. Yall are kind. I will take a little better look at the pictures tomorrow and let ya know what I think. It is hard to assess on a phone screen.

Ukettante
11-02-2015, 04:18 PM
I wrote my seller. Waiting for a reply, either privately or publically here on the forum. Either way is fine with me.

This is my first uke purchase. I'm new to the uke but have been playing guitar for a few years. Honestly, I'm a bit taken aback that this is the quality to expect from this price range in the uke world. As someone pointed out earlier, same thing with Mainland ukes. My first real guitar is a Yamaha FG-700S, which I paid less than USD 200 for. And the build and finish are really impeccable. No glue visible inside the sound hole. Very clean inside. Bought online. My non-musician friends often think the Yamaha is the most expensive of my stable, which includes a Taylor and a Martin. The FG-700S is a Chinese-made guitar.

But if things are this way in the uke world, I'm OK with it. I just needed to know what to expect. I might've been misled by online reviewers who reviewed both Ohana ukes and the K-brand ukes and reported the build and finish of all of them are "flawless." Maybe they received special "review models."

Bill Mc
11-02-2015, 05:17 PM
"It [the SK-38] is supposed to look old and distressed, but poor workmanship is another matter." Thus spake Ken Middleton in his thoughtful review of the SK-38 posted 2/10/11 on youtube. Ukettante, you might profit by reading the review and accompanying comments.

Ukettante
11-02-2015, 06:48 PM
Know what, I just reread my previous post and realized it might sound condescending or snobbish to some people here: Oh no, not another guitar guy making another guitar vs uke comparison.

If I offended anyone, I'm very sorry. Shouldn't have made that comparison. I just wanted to explain where I'm coming from, why I reacted the way I did. I wouldn't be here if I didn't enjoy playing the ukulele.

In fact, I just finished a practice session with the SK-38. Worked on Ukulelezaza's Mr. Sandman. Had a total blast. The uke sounds sweet, feels light and balanced. Now just waiting for the seller to tell me about the looks.

Jeffelele
11-02-2015, 07:49 PM
"As someone pointed out earlier, same thing with Mainland ukes"

I've long (too long) been interested in getting a Mainland and from reading many, many, different reviews and many YouTube vids Mainland belongs in this thread only as an exampled of the opposite.

I see how this mistake evolved in this thread and I see no bad intent but still it calls for correction.

Jeff

Mim
11-03-2015, 04:02 AM
I just received an Ohana SK-38 from my sister as a birthday present. She bought it from one of the online uke specialists that come highly recommended on the UU forum. But soon as I unzipped the Steady case that it came in and gave it a once-over, my joy turned to dismay. Nonetheless, I've read about how some players initially mistook the vintage look of the 38 for shoddy workmanship, and how the build and finish of Ohana ukes are "nearly perfect," so I'm here for some reassurance.

First, the nut look as if it had been gnawed by a dog. Sorry, I don't know how else to describe it. Second, the four slots, seen from the bottom of the bridge, look unfinished, ragged. Third, the small, truncated oval that the heel narrows down to is asymmetrical. Fourth, there are two clearly visible nicks on the back of the headstock. No need to squint to see them. And lastly, the wood grain on the back of the uke's body runs diagonally, not quite 45 degrees though. My overall impression was the uke looked like a counterfeit.

I'm curious as to where these cosmetic imperfections are all part of the aged look, vintage charm, Ohana is aiming for in this model. I was somewhat reassurred after I revisited the seller's website and englarged the photos for a much closer look, and saw that yep, the nut and the heel of this floor model also looked kind of . . . crummy.

Would love to hear from other SK-38 owners.

Ok... I got to look at the picture on my big old screen of a computer. So I will give my 2 cents since the initial reason of the post was to ask if this is typical. I am Ohana's largest dealer and so I handle a TON of these. But the reason I am Ohana's largest dealer is because I love them. They are great ukes for the price point. But for me, it is not just construction, but SOUND! Ohanas almost always have better tonal quality at their price point. And they really embody the sound of the tone-wood that they are made of. Because believe it or not, I have heard other ukes by other brands that are so overworked they all seem to sound the same, no matter what wood they are made from. An Ohana mahogany sounds like a mahogany. A cedar sounds like a cedar. Etc. Etc.

So lets get to the SK-38. Yeah... whatcha got there is a typical SK-38 most of the time. They all have little nics and gouges in them. None of it effect the play ability and solidness of the construction. But when they say they give it a vintage look, they really commit to it. The binding is slightly yellowish and the wood always looks like it went through a little wear. I will be honest though. I love it. But I REALLY love the tone of these. They are light, airy, punchy, full, warm. The build is super light and it just makes it a very big sounding and resonant uke.

Looking at the picture of the nut. Is it ugly... yeah... sort of. And if you were not expecting it, I can see why you are taken aback. But it is made in the vintage wood style. Using wood for a nut, especially a very grainy wood, makes it where when you file the nut slots it is very easy for it to splinter and therefore you get the little chunks. Again, it does not effect the playability... it is just... not as pretty. But, it does look vintage. And you can carefully sand them down without compromising the playability. But it is meant to look old.

The glue marks on the inside. I will admit, are excessive and are not typical of Ohana. But again, it is an atheistic thing on the inside of the uke and does not effect the playability and unless you say "Hey! Check out my Ohana! And make sure you look really good at the inside!" No one is going to notice. But of course it is your new baby and you notice. And if it bugs you, that is ok. You are not wrong for that. The finish where the neck meets. All that. It is typical of the SK-38, but not of Ohana as a whole. So keep that in mind. The SK-38 is just its own beast in that way. It is very committed to that vintage look. But on the flip side it also has that great sound. I do hope you like the way it sounds. Each does indeed sound different though. So I hope you got one that sings.

Now... this is what it comes down to though...

If you arent happy, you arent happy! And sometimes I am taken aback when customers are not happy with something I personally love. I love the SK-38, but I do believe it is not everyone's cup-o-tea. BUT, my philosophy is everyones eye, ear, feel, and preferences are different. And not everyone can go to a local music shop to try out 300 ukes, so they put their trust in online dealers and I am very glad they do or I would be out of a job and I love what I do. So if they put their trust in making sure they find a uke they love from me. If we need to swap it, we need to swap it. If you got it in your hands and you dont love it, it is a lot of money to settle. And I am almost 110% certain your dealer will make it right for you and make sure you end up with something you are happy with. Check out the SK-35G or SK-35GS, or for a little more, I love me some cedar rosewood so the SK-50G is a great little uke that is new from Ohana. You can get it in gloss and no gloss.

So, in other words, I am not saying you are wrong for having these concerns or misgivings. And if the look, and feel, and sound are not "your uke" then I say by all means go ahead and swap it out! But the answer to your question is, yeah, they are very vintage looking ukes. So it probably is simply not the model for you. But yes, a lot of the things you are showing (besides the glue on the inside) is very common and is supposed to be part of the "charm". But, not everyone will find it charming. And that is ok! That is why there are so many uke models!

Ok, that was long.

But I just want you to know, you dont have a bad dealer. If they were recommended on UU, then you know they will take care of you!

Mim
11-03-2015, 04:04 AM
"As someone pointed out earlier, same thing with Mainland ukes"

I've long (too long) been interested in getting a Mainland and from reading many, many, different reviews and many YouTube vids Mainland belongs in this thread only as an exampled of the opposite.

I see how this mistake evolved in this thread and I see no bad intent but still it calls for correction.

Jeff

YES! Mainlands are top-notch with high quality control.

So I dont think they should be added to this thread unless it is to speak highly of their tone and quality control. And because Main Mike is awesome and always takes care of his customers!

Pukulele Pete
11-03-2015, 04:49 AM
What about the grain on the back being at a 45 degree angle ? Is this acceptable ? I think I could live with the other "problems?" but the grain being so far out of line on the
back , that would bother me.

70sSanO
11-03-2015, 05:12 AM
Yeah that angled back is a mistake, doesn't effect the sound, but really odd. And for anyone who drinks, it would be really tough on the equilibrium.

What I don't know about the nut is if the surface under the E string is straight across or if there is any indent below the string. I realize that the surface area above the string is of no consequence, (Boat Paddle nut pins), but it seems really odd to put that notch on the fretboard side of the nut.

Just my opinion.

John

Mim
11-03-2015, 05:22 AM
What about the grain on the back being at a 45 degree angle ? Is this acceptable ? I think I could live with the other "problems?" but the grain being so far out of line on the
back , that would bother me.

Totally a normal thing for a uke in that price point. To be honest. Again it does not effect that sound or stability. Heck, my sopranino makes a whole semi circle on the back. I think it is the coolest thing. I love nature. I love wood. But the top is strait.

That is why I take individual picture of every uke I sell. So you can see whether things like the angle of the grain bothers the person purchasing it and they can pick out which they like.
But really, it is just aesthetic. If it sounds amazing, it sounds amazing.

But honestly, I learned real quick this last week... that trivial things like grain angle is the least of my life worries. (Now that sounds snobbish... but it isn't meant to be. But life is kind of like that. There is a hierarchy of importance. Even with ukes. So... if it sings. If it plays amazing. If you can musically express yourself with it and close your eyes and love the sound coming out of it... isn't that what matters? So it is with life... if our lives sing. If we leave a legacy of love and hard work. Then the little petty slightly imperfect things really don't matter... but... I digress...)

It is the back of the uke. Unless you play the uke backwards, most of the tone is from the top. So they use the most linear strait grains for the top. The curved pieces if ever used are used on the back. It keeps costs down. It is a $219 all solid mahogany uke that sounds amazing.

But like I said, if it bothers ya, it bothers ya. And I don't know a uke dealer yet that does not accept exchanges.

The other problem is this is a gift. Unless he specifically asked for an SK-38, you are sort of at the mercy of what a relative picks out for you. If he had his druthers he may not have picked out a pre-distressed uke in the first place. Though, I think his sister is the best ever! None of my siblings ever bought me anything over $20 ;)

Ukejungle
11-03-2015, 12:16 PM
I was buying this exact model ukulele online and the pictures of the uke were just like these. Turned me off. Hope it works out for you.

hollisdwyer
11-03-2015, 01:09 PM
What about the grain on the back being at a 45 degree angle ? Is this acceptable ? I think I could live with the other "problems?" but the grain being so far out of line on the
back , that would bother me.

I had a look at the Ohana web page for this model and the photos show that same angled grain back. If it were me, I'd ask for the nut to be fixed. The rest of the distressed areas of the instrument are intentional IMO. You either love it or you don't.

Ukettante
11-03-2015, 03:59 PM
Guys,

Over the last few practice sessions, I've really bonded with my SK-38. Are you surprised? Heck, I surprised myself. This little mojo machine convinced my ears and fingers that it's worthy of being played, loved, and kept. Through playing it, I was transported past its pocked surface and into the sweet swirl of sound emanating from its core. Now I think it's absolutely brilliant that this magic is sheathed in such a rugged body, and the wood grain on the back is defiantly slanted. I've never named my instruments before, but I'm compelled to name my SK-38 "Wasabi," because just like wasabi, the 38 is an acquired taste, and I know it will add spunky punch to any bland proceedings. I can't put it down, and can't imagine parting with it. I'm going to look into how I can safely engrave "Wasabi" on it.

I want to thank Mim for her thorough and candid explanation. I agree with and accept everything she said. In fact I think her explanation should be posted on Ohana's own site, cos it'll help "move units."

I also want to thank my uke dealer, who quickly wrote back. His explanation essentially matched Mim's, which was very reassuring. He's offered to ease my mind in a way that's above and beyond. He stands behind his products 100 percent. I want to thank him for restoring my faith in online uke specialists. I know he's probably going to read this, so a shout out to him: "Thanks for not letting me down!"

To those sitting on the fence, again, I say the 38 may be an acquired taste. But if you're a contrarian like me, or if you want to make a statement with your ukulele, the SK-38 is for you. But the name "Wasabi" is already taken. Sorry.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who's been following this thread, my personal emotional rollercoaster ride. I'm so glad I'm getting of the ride in love with this precious gift from my sister. This could be my NUD thread!

molokinirum
11-05-2015, 05:10 AM
Glad to see you and your uke are happy!!! I agree with Mim 100%.

Pier
02-14-2016, 04:11 AM
I'd continue this topic, introducing myself :)

Hi! I'm an italian musician, and I'm a singer and bass/guitar player. I fell in love with the ukulele years ago, but never took it seriously. I started studying it for real just two months ago, having some time to spend on it, and thanks to the wonderful "Ukulele Aerobics" book by Chad Johnson.

let's go to the point: I'm using a cheap Arrow soprano, which sounds good but it's really cheaply made (I bought it new for 30 euros years ago, and it came with a padded gig-bag that would probably cost 20 euros alone...), with rough frets on the sides, laminated wood with really bad finish.
however it's intonated and has a decnt fretboard and nice action, so is playable. it's friction tuners are really cheap... they keep the tuning, but the mechanism is really cheap.
I changed strings to Aquila Super Nylgut (which I like).

now I'm starting to consider a new ukulele, all solid wood and a good quality, and my eyes were caught by this Ohana SK38. I love the vintage look, the binding, the friction tuners on the back (I don't like gear tuners on the sides :D ), the rough finish...

but this and other topics led me to think that the finish is somewhat "random", due to the vintage/distressed look, and someone talked about issues with intonation and action.

I can't buy it in person, trying it, so I'll have to order it online, and I'm a bit afraid to recieve a "bad" Uke.

what can you tell me about it?

Kayak Jim
02-14-2016, 04:50 AM
Pier, it's probably better to start a new thread since this was about a particular problem rather than general opinion.

Welcome to UU.

Pier
02-14-2016, 05:03 AM
Thanks!
I'm used to a bass forum where we prefer upping topics rather than opening new ones. I'll ask in a new one :)

Nickie
02-14-2016, 05:07 AM
I'd continue this topic, introducing myself :)

Hi! I'm an italian musician, and I'm a singer and bass/guitar player. I fell in love with the ukulele years ago, but never took it seriously. I started studying it for real just two months ago, having some time to spend on it, and thanks to the wonderful "Ukulele Aerobics" book by Chad Johnson.

let's go to the point: I'm using a cheap Arrow soprano, which sounds good but it's really cheaply made (I bought it new for 30 euros years ago, and it came with a padded gig-bag that would probably cost 20 euros alone...), with rough frets on the sides, laminated wood with really bad finish.
however it's intonated and has a decnt fretboard and nice action, so is playable. it's friction tuners are really cheap... they keep the tuning, but the mechanism is really cheap.
I changed strings to Aquila Super Nylgut (which I like).

now I'm starting to consider a new ukulele, all solid wood and a good quality, and my eyes were caught by this Ohana SK38. I love the vintage look, the binding, the friction tuners on the back (I don't like gear tuners on the sides :D ), the rough finish...

but this and other topics led me to think that the finish is somewhat "random", due to the vintage/distressed look, and someone talked about issues with intonation and action.

I can't buy it in person, trying it, so I'll have to order it online, and I'm a bit afraid to recieve a "bad" Uke.

what can you tell me about it?

In order to insure that you receive a good instrument, just buy it from Mim. You see here that she will take good care of you. No worries when you buy a MIMS UKE!
I have an Ohana that was an impulse buy, and I'm sorry to say it didn't come from Mim. My bad, bad, bad. The seller will not help me with it's issues, and I've contacted Ohana directly, but have probably waited too long, hoping the problems would just go away. (I'm done buying from that other dealer forever).

Mivo
02-14-2016, 06:31 AM
It's strange that we don't hesitate to name and celebrate dealers that we are pleased with, but are extremely polite when it comes to vendors that we weren't happy with or that made us feel let down. Both are, in a way, equally useful and helpful for others. I think I'm torn about the "not naming names" when we're unhappy: On the one hand, I think that is very fair and considerate, and genuinely well-mannered, on the other hand it would assist others and probably benefit everyone also (I recall the incident with Uluru and how the criticism here really had an impact).

We're pretty nice people compared to other communities. :)

Pier
02-14-2016, 09:16 AM
I red about her, and saw her video showing the ohana. However I live in Italy, and it would not be useful buying from Mim.

Here we have a famous online shop selling almost only Ukuleles, and they are really kind. They are somehow related to Aquila Strings.

I hope they'd send me some pictures before the purchase, to be sure of the finish and woods.

coolkayaker1
02-15-2016, 12:33 AM
It's strange that we don't hesitate to name and celebrate dealers that we are pleased with, but are extremely polite when it comes to vendors that we weren't happy with or that made us feel let down. Both are, in a way, equally useful and helpful for others. I think I'm torn about the "not naming names" when we're unhappy: On the one hand, I think that is very fair and considerate, and genuinely well-mannered, on the other hand it would assist others and probably benefit everyone also (I recall the incident with Uluru and how the criticism here really had an impact).
:)

Agree, Mivo. One-way street on this forum in that regard, for the most part.

I've learned so much from PMing fellow members, a fabulous aid; their candor in private conversation is beyond anything they'd be permitted to post online. When serious about a uke brand or seller or custom builder, PM someone with experience for a real eye-opener. ;)

Mim
02-15-2016, 04:12 AM
In order to insure that you receive a good instrument, just buy it from Mim. You see here that she will take good care of you. No worries when you buy a MIMS UKE!
I have an Ohana that was an impulse buy, and I'm sorry to say it didn't come from Mim. My bad, bad, bad. The seller will not help me with it's issues, and I've contacted Ohana directly, but have probably waited too long, hoping the problems would just go away. (I'm done buying from that other dealer forever).

Did I ever fix that uke up for you? If not PLEASE bring it to Tampa and I will take care of it for you! Free! K?! Cause we be buds. But I thought I looked at it, but maybe I didnt. That weekend was a bit of a blur for me.

ukuleleden
02-16-2016, 02:30 AM
I purchased the Ohana CK-38 last year from MIM and my expectations of both MIM's service and the Ohana Uke were both exceeded in every manner. The vintage patina on the Ohana 38 series was expected and the one I received from MIM was perfectly set-up and is hands down an amazingly great sounding instrument that holds it own with Ukes I have played costing thousands more.

Mim
02-16-2016, 04:35 AM
I purchased the Ohana CK-38 last year from MIM and my expectations of both MIM's service and the Ohana Uke were both exceeded in every manner. The vintage patina on the Ohana 38 series was expected and the one I received from MIM was perfectly set-up and is hands down an amazingly great sounding instrument that holds it own with Ukes I have played costing thousands more.

Awwww shucks :)

I do love the sound of those ukes! They are really great and fun to set up and play before sending them to their new homes!
Usually those get an extra song or two played on them before being sent out!

jfalconc
07-23-2016, 07:13 PM
My SK-38 was bought from Mim and it arrived in perfect conditions. Great sound!!!