View Full Version : Looks like I just bought a new uke...

03-07-2008, 09:46 AM
I just purchased this ukulele (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230227812558) on eBay today. It was somewhat of an accident. About 5 days ago when the auction was still new, I was looking at ukes and this one caught my eye. It was 16 dollars at the time and no reserve. I figured someone had put a high maximum bid, because this uke looks to be worth hundreds. It's really a work of art. So, I was curious how high the maximum bid was. I put down about 85 dollars for my maximum bid, because I was sure someone had put down much more.
Nope, I became the high bidder right away.
A few days go by and I forget about it, until earlier this morning when I received an email from eBay telling me an item I'm bidding on is ending soon.
Oh shit.
The bidding went up a few more dollars but they gave up at 75 bucks.
I did some more research on the maker of the ukulele and came across this page of warnings about him. (http://www.chionline.com/Antoniotsai/index.html)
He has some decent feedback on eBay, but of course I must take into consideration that most people leave feed back right when they receive and inspect the item, not when they've had time with their instruments--enough time for the quality of craftsmanship to really show.
So we'll see. The biggest shame of this would be to see such a beautiful piece go to waste if it starts cracking like the website says. But I might get lucky and end up with a quality ukulele.

03-07-2008, 10:31 AM
I've often wondered about these instruments myself. Please do let us know what you think once you receive it.

Julie Strietelmeier

03-07-2008, 10:33 AM
Aw man. That sucks. Let us know if or when it starts cracking. Thanks for giving the UU a heads up on that seller.

03-07-2008, 11:12 AM
Unfortunately the reputation is pretty bad on those ukes from Taiwan. The wood they use doesn't appear to be properly dried. Since Taiwan is pretty humid, if you have it in a dry environment, it's very likely to crack. Even if they don't crack, they are reputed to sound bad. The inlay does look nice so at least it will be nice to look at.

Sorry, I wish I could say better things about those ukes as I'm from Taiwan myself, but everything I've heard about them says stay away.

E-Lo Roberts
03-07-2008, 11:13 AM
I agree, sounds like the wood (probably plywood) is not fully dried out, thus, moisture is causing the cracking from the inside out. He's probably crankin' them out like sausage links with no regard for curing the wood. This is a common occurrence when painting or finishing any wood surface. Moisture will cause the finish to raise up off of the surface creating cracks, bubbles, etc.. Moisture is a killer for instruments and causes all kinds of problems....thanks for the heads up on this guy........e.lo.....

03-07-2008, 11:37 AM
u know the shipping is $70 bucks rite? I almost bought this ukulele from thailand, but then i found out it was 100 dollars shipping so i was like forget that.

03-07-2008, 01:36 PM
If you're that concerned about it and have not yet paid for it, just tell him you've changed your mind. eBay will refund his fees, he relists and sells it to somebody else. At worst you'll take 1 neg feedback for the whole affair, and it looks like he's not in the habit of leaving neg feedback anyways.

03-07-2008, 02:45 PM
hay for teh time being it is a nice lookin uke anyway

03-07-2008, 03:04 PM
Hey Kokonutz,
Well....for $75 bucks it looks good. This sellers auction does say you have a 30 day guarantee against materials and workmanship. He does mention humidity changes affect the instrument which is true. Anyway, please give an evaluation of the instrument when it arrives. Too me it looks like a Kala that was made a little fancy. Aloha, Dino

03-13-2008, 08:19 AM
I just got it.
First of all, it's gorgeous.
But, as expected, there are some flaws:
There's a chip on the bridge, not too big of a deal.
However, the nut is loose! It seems to only be in place by the pressure of the strings on it.
And maybe I need to change my strings, but it doesn't project nearly as much as my Kala KA-C with aquilas (whatever MGM put on it)
I have some Martin's lying around that I might put on them.

I've got to go to class and then work, I'll get some pictures up later.

03-13-2008, 09:23 AM
I can't wait to see them pics!

03-14-2008, 03:10 PM
I went out and bought some Aquila Nylgut strings today and glued the nut back on. It projects a bit more, but still not producing much low end. It's a pretty bright sounding uke, even compared to my nice and warm Kala Concert. It sounds like a toy guitar...just not really any depth to it at all.

Click for pics:
1 (http://studentsites.expression.edu/~jharsono/pictures/DSC00419.JPG)
2 (http://studentsites.expression.edu/~jharsono/pictures/DSC00421.JPG)
3 (http://studentsites.expression.edu/~jharsono/pictures/DSC00425.JPG)
4 (http://studentsites.expression.edu/~jharsono/pictures/DSC00426.JPG)

It also appears as if the tuners are used (they show some signs of wear/dirt in the crevices of the plastic over time)
Additionally, case is too big and also appears to be rather old. I had to rig it by putting a towel along an edge to stop the uke from floating around inside. Also, there is some rust on the latches for the case.

The neck doesn't see, to be treated right. Well, I don't know if it's normal, but there's already marks from my fingernails strumming on the neck. My Kala doesn't have this issue.

There was a point after a couple weeks of getting my Kala when it started settling in and sounding much better than when I first got it. I don't know if there's that waiting period with all stringed instruments but hopefully the sound will mature in a couple of weeks.

03-15-2008, 07:53 AM
Sure looks great -- I wonder if there is anything that you can do to help acclimate the instrument to your climate -- any woodworkers around to advise on this?

Hell, even if it doesn't play that well, it's a nice little show piece.

Have fun!

03-15-2008, 08:00 AM
Sure looks great -- I wonder if there is anything that you can do to help acclimate the instrument to your climate -- any woodworkers around to advise on this?

Hell, even if it doesn't play that well, it's a nice little show piece.

Have fun!

Well DaSilva is just a few minutes away from where I live, I was thinking about giving him a call. I did stop by my local independent guitar shop the other day and they said the humidity around here was ideal.

03-16-2008, 07:05 PM
From what I can see from the pictures you posted, it looks nice. I am not suprised about the nut problem.....actually might have been a blessing to have it loose........that way, you would of been able to replace it if you needed too or more so, just to have it adjusted to make the action a little better for you. Does the uke buzz anywhere on the frets? I would definately try many different brands of strings to see which ones work or sound best with your uke. As far as the low sound.......just replace your G string with a Low G. That might work for you. You gonna make a video sample of your uke? huh? Huh? hehehehe. Aloha, from Mililani