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Iza
11-03-2017, 05:11 AM
So, I started a thread a couple days ago about my 10-year-old sister learning the ukulele, in which I mentioned that I ordered a Tanglewood TU6 soprano. I know I guy who has the same model and is quite satisfied, so I went mostly for the colour, because light blue is her favourite.

It arrived today... I can't make a full review because I haven't used many ukuleles, so I can't compare the action etc. But I'll give my two cents. I wasn't expecting great quality, as it costed only 40 euros (~45$), I just wanted a basic beginner instrument that did its job.

It turned out to be way worse...

1) It comes with geared tuning pegs but they were faulty. 2 out of 4 don't work, and when I tried to screw one of them a bit further in because it looked loose, the screw broke in half. So, I can't tune it. But ok, I can change those easily.

2) The finish is pretty bad too... The colour is cute but there's some paint on the fretboard.

3) Speaking of the fretboard, it's probably the worst feature of it all, although my sister doesn't seem to notice. It looks worn out, on the first fret, like the top layer is broken. Fortunately this doesn't affect playing... In general it looks like a thin worn out slab of old dry wood.

4) The action seems pretty high on the lower frets, comparing to my ukulele, but I don't know if I can compare, cause it's a concert.

5) It's supposed to be wooden but it feels like plastic, even my sister asked me if it was made of metal. Mine is made from laminated wood as well, but it feels and looks like wood.

So, yes, I'm pretty disappointed. I was expecting cheap materials, for sure, but at least not the faulty pegs, and a decent fretboard. Now I feel bad because I wanted to make a nice present to the little one and it turned out to be crap. And I'm not rich enough to not care about 40 wasted euros either.

Iza
11-03-2017, 05:27 AM
Update: I complained to the shop about the broken fretboard and tuning pegs and I'll return it and be sent another one... Hmm I hope it turns out better.

Tootler
11-03-2017, 01:25 PM
You seem to have been unlucky. I've bought ukuleles at similar price and while weren't wonderful, they were reasonably well finished and playable with acceptable tone and intonation. I have a couple in my collection that I keep as loan instruments.

I've also had a couple that cost half as much and they were pretty awful - the kind of thing you described your tanglewood to be.

Let's hope the replacement is OK

Graham Greenbag
11-03-2017, 10:54 PM
I’m glad that the shop agreed to accept return of the instrument and think it very admirable that you’re happy to spend what funds you have on buying your little sister a Uke. The problem with Ukes of this price is that they are almost too cheap, there isn’t enough money in them to cover the sale and or production of something worth having. A rare exception is the Octopus Soprano which is about 25 in the U.K. (google search for Baz Maz’s review) but they might not be available where you live.

If it’s possible to get then I think that you’d be best getting a full refund and starting again, under distance selling laws you might well be eligible for a full refund - worth checking out. I know nothing about you but a younger person might be glad of some older person’s help in dealing with a supplier reluctant to return funds. If you start again then you might pick up something nice but second hand off of eBay for your €40, and if you save a bit then a new Dophin comes within reach (searching should find them currently on offer for about 45). I had a Dolphin, sorted the nut and the saddle, fitted Martin 600’s (an optional expense) and then understood why so many folk like them as a beater/beginner/outdoor/travel Uke.

Good luck with sorting something out.