View Full Version : Alulu Ukulele? suspicious?

03-03-2019, 11:47 AM

I just notice an eBay listing by seller Taisamlu

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Alulu-Solid-Curly-Hawaiian-Koa-Tenor-Ukulele-Natural-Grain-Hardcase-HU1192/391279732168?hash=item5b1a16e5c8:g:vakAAOSw1vlUtMo R:rk:6:pf:0

all SOLID wood Hawaiian Koa (it claims it is NOT acacia Koa) Tenor Ukulele and a gig bag

is it just me? or. every other all solid Hawaiian koa instrument is over 500$ at least, most are over 700$. So what's the catch? I know that it is made in Vietnam and doesn't have any fancy stuff like pickup/cutaway/multi string but firstly does it affect the quality being made in Vietnam and lastly is this a legit listing of all solid Koa ukulele?

How does it sound most importantly? I've seen no sound demo/video of this particular model anywhere at all, I wonder if anyone has any sources or personal experience with this.

I am debating between getting a Kiwaya solid Acacia Top/laminate sides tenor with cutaway and pickup for 400$ or get THIS at about 320$ inc. shipment.

Very hard choice !

thanks for helpers/responses

03-03-2019, 12:04 PM
Google them. There are a couple of reviews and they have a Facebook page. Seems a lot are sold out of Taiwan. They are also sold on Amazon. I've seen some sold on Reverb as well.

They do some pretty impressive inlay work on some of their instruments. I wonder how seasoned their wood is?

03-03-2019, 12:32 PM
Alulu has been selling a handful of Hawaiian Koa ukuleles alongside their regular Acacia Koa ukuleles for a number of years now.

I'm not expert enough to say what is what from just the wood grain but those sold as Hawaiian Koa do have a different look from those sold as Acacia Koa.
I have a few Alulu's made from Acacia Koa and they are good value instruments with a nice tone if not perfect instruments.

There is a name of a wood supplier on the invoice. You could do some background checks and ask some questions if you wanted to.

03-03-2019, 12:36 PM
That particular ukulele has some issues. It has been repaired. Just saying, it is a second at best.

03-03-2019, 12:51 PM
The curly koa on the "Curly Hawaiian Koa Tenor Ukulele" image doesn't look to have any curl at all...

03-03-2019, 02:01 PM
What caught my eye was that it is new, but already has been repaired. That is such a red flag as I would not expect cracks to occur during manufacture. That may be why the price is so low. It would also be coming from a very humid environment to a dryer climate, so it may be more prone to cracking. Warranties would likely go unused if you have to pay shipping both ways.

03-03-2019, 02:04 PM
My experience says you should Kiwaya from one of the reputable sellers that have a strong support from people here. Mim, Uke Republic, Ukulele Site, etc. I have quality and ethical reservations about Alulu.

A few years ago, my wife bought be an acacia tenor for Christmas. I think it cost ~$200 at the time. It arrived about New Years. I live in San Diego where the humidty is 45-50% and I used a humidifier. First, the top was sold, but about 3/32" thick. So it's very quiet compared to even my inexpensive Kala S concert. Intonation is very good. But the action is unbelievably high. It's more that 1/8" at the 12th fret. Bar chords about the 3rd or 4th fret are difficult. I appears that the neck angle is probably wrong. And the saddle can't be lowered enough to make a difference because it's already quite low. The finish is pretty thick and seems to have been sprayed over the whole body including the bridge and next after assembly. It's an adequate uke if someone just wants to strum in their living room, but an intermediate player, maybe even advanced beginner, would be better served by something else.

But the bigger problem is that within a week the top started sinking and developing cracks on each side of the bridge. There is no bridge plate under the top, so this isn't surprising. My sent a message to Taisamlu suggesting a price adjustment or replacement uke. They said no. So, she posted negative feedback. Their response on Ebay was to say that we had taken the uke to a local luthier who repaired it. That just isn't true. We never took it to any shop and the uke has not been repaired.

So, to me, the bottom line is that Alulu's have significant quality control problems. They would concern me enough on their own to want to look to another seller, or even something from the Marketplace here. But aside from that, I can't recommend doing business with Taisamlu. If something does go wrong I have no confidence that they will handle things professionally.

03-03-2019, 02:28 PM
From what I can see the ukulele in question was accurately listed and the listing pointed out the repairs and the condition of the instrument.

As a buyer you check the listing carefully and make your own choice.
Taisamlu is listing quite a number of Hawaiian Koa tenors at a spread of prices. There are other instruments to choose from if you have a look.

03-03-2019, 02:54 PM
My first uke was an alulu and it was junk difficult to play and sounded dull. On top of that when I held it up against the light I could see that it had split along the figured wood and was reglued. But the customer service was good and partial refund issued. These are not player grade instruments but can serve as ornamental wall hangers.

03-04-2019, 10:23 AM
In my experience, every single thing I've bought online that I wasn't 100% sure on has turned out badly. Use that information as you please.