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View Full Version : not bonding with my Sonny D



steel rider
06-28-2016, 10:37 AM
You guys ever have this happen? It just doesn't feel right right to me. Maybe it's the small almost soprano body with the small scale tenor neck? I don't know. It's too bad because it's my only true Hawaiian ukulele and it's very unique - not to mention I spent what I consider a fair amount of $ for the uke, to have ave it cleaned up and a MiSi installed.

My Cocobolo is a short scale tenor but feels better. I think because of the bigger body. Thinking of investigating trades for a standard tenor but not sure. I'd have to add $ for a Hawaiian made tenor.

Griffis
06-28-2016, 11:20 AM
So sorry to hear this, but I definitely understand. I've been buying, selling and swapping instruments for 40 years, though mainly guitars and basses. This is one reason I almost always try before I buy. I haven't had many bad experiences, and have only bought online/sight-unseen a few times, but there certainly have been times I've shelled out a good bit of change for an instrument only to realize it wasn't really for me.

The one time this happened with a uke I recall was back about 12-15 years ago I custom ordered a Beltona concert resonator uke with a one-of-a-kind finish of my own choosing for what was to me a significant amount of money. Well, beautiful instrument, very well made...can't fault that maker, but turned out the neck was far too thin for my liking and resonators just weren't really for me. So I moved it along.

it's hard when yo want to love something and there's not necessarily anything 'wrong" with the instrument itself, but you just don't get along with it.

I hope everything works out for you and you end up happy.

PTOEguy
06-28-2016, 11:49 AM
I've been there as well. Did my research, bought a Pono MT and just never bonded - it wasn't the sound I was looking for. As a result, I've sworn off buying without trying.

Rllink
06-28-2016, 12:29 PM
Might I ask why you wanted it in the first place? That might have something to do with it.

WCBarnes
06-28-2016, 01:01 PM
I have had this happen a couple times. The first one, a flea, just never felt right in my hands. I tried and tried to like it because it was so versatile and could take a beating (it was intended to be my travel/camping uke), but because I didn't like it I never played it, so I sold it.

The second, my Howlett, felt and sounded OK, but the bond wasn't there. Then I changed the strings... WOW! I added a Fremont soloist low G and it completely changed the instrument! It is now one of my favorites to play. So, if it is a matter of the sound not "wowing" you, you might consider playing around with the strings before you give up. As with everything, YMMV.

bonesigh
06-28-2016, 01:12 PM
It's happened a few of times with me in the last 8 years. I had a Mya Moe and it just didn't feel and sound right to my ear, just not to my liking. Same with a Kanilea I had and a KoAloha pineapple. Beautiful instruments, well made, no issues. Just not for me. I currently have a Moodyville Jazz Tenor that I love and a Gary Gill Tenor that are my favorite ukes of the expensive ones I have. Course I have MANY uke to choose from which all have their own, um, 'personality'?

steel rider
06-28-2016, 01:49 PM
Might I ask why you wanted it in the first place? That might have something to do with it.


Interesting question/comment. I thought it was cool and unique and bound to be a classic.

MARKbOC
06-28-2016, 01:50 PM
obviously hard to do since you paid good $ for it but maybe set it aside and don't FORCE the bonding right away. you could be in a different mood or enjoying a different tone in a week to two. i had one uke that i didnt like at first, ignored it for a while and then one day -- there i was, enjoying it like crazy.

steel rider
06-28-2016, 01:50 PM
It's happened a few of times with me in the last 8 years. I had a Mya Moe and it just didn't feel and sound right to my ear, just not to my liking. Same with a Kanilea I had and a KoAloha pineapple. Beautiful instruments, well made, no issues. Just not for me. I currently have a Moodyville Jazz Tenor that I love and a Gary Gill Tenor that are my favorite ukes of the expensive ones I have. Course I have MANY uke to choose from which all have their own, um, 'personality'?

Those are a couple of nice ones. Hadn't heard of Moodyville before, but it looks like she makes some beauties.

janeray1940
06-28-2016, 01:57 PM
I've sworn off buying without trying.

Second that, after having the not-bonding experience happen when I ordered a custom.

Rllink
06-28-2016, 04:44 PM
Interesting question/comment. I thought it was cool and unique and bound to be a classic.Interesting response. I notice that you did not include that you thought that it would be fun to play. Anyway, I just wondered why you bought it. That's all. Obviously it didn't meet your expectations. That's okay. I've bought many things for one reason or another, that did not meet my expectations. There is no such thing as a sure thing. If it were me, I would just get rid of it, and chalk it up to the experience. That's worth something. :)

Post Script: I signed up to win a Waterman last year and won it. I really wanted it because I just thought that it was cool. Not unique though, but I did think it would be cool. It showed up, I played around with it a couple of times, decided that I didn't like it at all, so I gave it to my Sister-in-Law. It just wasn't that cool once I got my hands on it. So you aren't alone.

CeeJay
06-28-2016, 05:28 PM
In instruments ,particularly guitars and ukuleles I have found one thing to be true.For me anyway. The instrument "picks" you . not the other way round . I always wanted a flash good solid body electric like a Mexican or USA Start or a Gibson SG...I ended up with an epiphone ES 175...because it just went slsurrrrp ...and fitted ... no brainer.. ukes have done the same ...in fact the ones I have NOT gone to buy but bought mail order have not worked ...the ones that I have bought in the shop did the same ....sluuurrrrp and just fit ..I don't have many ukes but they have nearly all "picked" me . You may be trying to fight Town Hall.

steel rider
06-28-2016, 05:37 PM
Interesting response. I notice that you did not include that you thought that it would be fun to play. Anyway, I just wondered why you bought it. That's all. Obviously it didn't meet your expectations. That's okay. I've bought many things for one reason or another, that did not meet my expectations. There is no such thing as a sure thing. If it were me, I would just get rid of it, and chalk it up to the experience. That's worth something. :)

Post Script: I signed up to win a Waterman last year and won it. I really wanted it because I just thought that it was cool. Not unique though, but I did think it would be cool. It showed up, I played around with it a couple of times, decided that I didn't like it at all, so I gave it to my Sister-in-Law. It just wasn't that cool once I got my hands on it. So you aren't alone.

Good points. I tried a Waterman and felt the same way. I may try the trade or sale route.

steel rider
06-28-2016, 05:40 PM
In instruments ,particularly guitars and ukuleles I have found one thing to be true.For me anyway. The instrument "picks" you . not the other way round . I always wanted a flash good solid body electric like a Mexican or USA Start or a Gibson SG...I ended up with an epiphone ES 175...because it just went slsurrrrp ...and fitted ... no brainer.. ukes have done the same ...in fact the ones I have NOT gone to buy but bought mail order have not worked ...the ones that I have bought in the shop did the same ....sluuurrrrp and just fit ..I don't have many ukes but they have nearly all "picked" me . You may be trying to fight Town Hall.

A Nalu ukulele picked me once, but the $1,000 price said "Put me down"!

greenie44
06-28-2016, 05:46 PM
The story of my first 'good' uke might shed some light. This was the uke I bought a couple of years into my uke journey. I felt I was committed enough to have a good uke. I went to HMS and did a "backwards" test with Music Guy Mike, where he played a few instruments with my back turned. I picked one and started to see if I could find a used uke of the same model.

I eventually did and bought it. But I never really bonded with it, try as I might. It still played well, but it did not call out to me. A year or so later, I bought another good uke, so I was ready to pass this instrument on. But before I was going to sell it, I changed the strings and made it a low G instead of a re-entrant. Boing! Everything changed! The uke was way better!

I still have the uke, although another low G has replaced it as my most playable uke, so it may be up for sale soon. But I would have missed out if I had not put on the new strings. So don't be afraid to experiment a bit - if you are going to sell at some point anyways, it can't hurt to try a few things.

mm stan
06-28-2016, 08:23 PM
Change the strings, lighter guage.. oasis, worth, living water
And check the intonation, get a setup while you're at it if needed

steel rider
06-28-2016, 08:45 PM
I've changed the strings several times and switched from low g to high g. DaSilva did a setup for me while installing the pickup.

I think I will sell it. Need to look and see if it's possible to take out the MiSi without leaving a hole. Otherwise sell with the MiSi.

Mivo
06-28-2016, 09:17 PM
I've had that happen a couple of times -- there just wasn't a "spark" after the newness wore off. In one case, love and appreciation set in almost a year later, which I attributed to my changing preferences and trying out different tunings. In the other case, there's still no spark. In a third case, the spark was lost after my preferences were altered by exposure to new soundscapes that I hadn't experienced before.

Having seen my preferences wildly change over the past three years (went from small ukes to tenors to concerts, back to sopranos, and now I'm back at liking tenors and especially baritones, which I never expected, yet since I bought the baritone a month ago, it's almost all I play anymore), I decided not to sell anything in the first year of getting it. Right now I feel I have a pretty good idea of what I want, with really only one thing I might like to get later in the year. If I do, and if it works out, I'm somewhat confident that I'll sell several of my ukes, but I want to be really sure as otherwise I might regret it.

I could make an argument for selling things you don't connect with right away, too. Peace of mind, extra funds to try something else, etc. It's certainly a sensible approach, too.

Rllink
06-29-2016, 04:16 AM
Good points. I tried a Waterman and felt the same way. I may try the trade or sale route.The problem that I have sometimes is if I spend a crazy amount of time researching and agonizing over what to get, I build up some image in my mind that is not real. Then I get whatever it was that I spent so much time anticipating, and it never seems to live up to what I thought it would be like. It is like I set myself up.

Griffis
06-29-2016, 07:43 AM
I realize the OP said he had tried string swaps, but I have to echo the sentiments of others who have found that a simple string swap can have a profound effect on the overall sound, feel and playability of a string instrument, particularly with acoustic instruments, although I've had this experience also with electric guitars and especially electric bass.

Mivo
06-29-2016, 08:01 AM
Changing the tuning was the key to success for me.

Griffis
06-29-2016, 08:04 AM
Changing the tuning was the key to success for me.

Ah--yes, this is another matter that plays a huge role. I used to have an A/E soprano Ovation uke. I didn't care for it much at all until I tuned up to D (A D F# B) then it really came alive and was a pleasure to play.

bonesigh
06-29-2016, 02:08 PM
They were ALL nice but just not for me. Not surprised you haven't heard of the Moodyville. She a guitar builder mostly but got into ukes recently. Makes a darned nice one. Zero fret, intonation wonderful (:

Those are a couple of nice ones. Hadn't heard of Moodyville before, but it looks like she makes some beauties.

steel rider
06-29-2016, 02:12 PM
A note about playing vs buying unseen. I just left Ukulele Sourcenin San Jose. I really liked a Cordoba ("designed by Pepe Romero") 32T CE. A cutaway spruce top with I think mahogany sides and back, LR Baggs 5.0 for $599. I would never have considered Cordoba if I hadn't played it.
Oh and I'll probably just keep the Sonny D. What the heck right?

mm stan
06-30-2016, 04:24 AM
As you get better, you learn to play it better with techinque, different strings and different tunings
Why does this uke not appeal to you?

JackLuis
06-30-2016, 09:34 AM
I bought a travel tenor when I started to play an really loved the way it sounded. However since it is a thin line it's not too loud. So I thought I'd get a standard sized tenor to see if I'd like that better. My full sized tenor just didn't sound the same, despite being made by the same shop. Not that it was bad, but it didn't have the 'chime' that my travel tenor has.

I've had the big tenor about 6-7 months and changed strings and tuning on it and find I beginning to appreciate it's tone more. I think now, that I just got very luck with my Rubin travel tenor to get a unique instrument. I switch between them and still marvel at how nice the Rubin sounds in it's quiet way.