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MartinLil
12-16-2009, 10:56 AM
I love KoAloha more and more all the time! First, their ukes are a-m-a-z-i-n-g! There is not doubt about that. Second, you can find quite a few great stories on this forum about their customer service. I had spoken to Brain a couple weeks ago to inquire about when KoAloha strings. He was very nice!

Skipping to the important part:
Last night I was admiring the beauty of my concert Sceptre. :drool: But! I noticed a crack of some sort. I thought: "Is it through the finish? Is it the wood? Has the glue failed?! What could have happened?" I keep all of my instruments humidity and temp controlled. So, I knew that wasn't the problem. I decided to inspect her a bit more but I have no expert eye on cracks. So, I kept playing away. I called KoAloha this afternoon and spoke with Brain. This uke is not under warranty as the original owner bought her this past October and I traded it for a classical guitar I had. I've had her for three weeks and two days now. Becuase it is so new and because it is on the seam, Brian said that they will cover it as though it is under warranty! (Thank you so much Brian!!!) So, I will be sending the Sceptre, aka Lady Lucy Leif, to Honolulu tomorrow. I pay shipping there but all other charges, including shipping it back to me, will be covered by KoAloha!!!

The bad news:
I will be without my uke for one to two months!!! I do have a little Hilo soprano that I will be able to play, but it is going to be horrible! This uke has spoiled me!

Anyway, I just wanted to share this story and how incredibly amazing KoAloha is!!

Below are pitctures of the Sceptre before the crack gets fixed and she potentially gets a new finish :eek:

-Lil

Ronnie Aloha
12-16-2009, 11:06 AM
Can't see the crack. Is it on the back?

I would never expect less from KoAloha. You may notice that there are many "KoAloha for Life" peeps on this forum. I know a few of us own more than one KoAloha for the very reason that you are stoked by them.

Howie1947
12-16-2009, 11:20 AM
I cant see nay crack either??

haolejohn
12-16-2009, 11:32 AM
That is a pretty grain pattern on that sceptre. You know KoAloha broke me from my Mele addiction (except for the need for a mahaghany one). Where is the crack at?

Poke
12-16-2009, 11:45 AM
That's sweet! I love your Koaloha too.

MartinLil
12-16-2009, 01:08 PM
I couldn't get any pictures of the crack. It's on the seam above the bridge and just below the soundhole. I woke up this morning and looked her over again just to make sure it was really there. I couldn't see it at first but then I turned on a brighter light. It's still there and I can still feel it. The uke still sounds better than ever!

Thanks for the compliments! It really is a beautiful grain pattern! I posted some pictures because I had yet to do so when I posted on the forum about getting this uke and I wanted to share! :)

dkcrown
12-16-2009, 02:37 PM
Spectacular sceptre. That is my dream uke right now. Concert size with nice grain and the crown bridge. I hope that Koaloha will continue to make that combination. I have read some threads here recently that said they aren't making that bridge any more. I hope that isn't true. In the meantime, I'll keep an eye on musicguymic's site with hope that one will show up.

experimentjon
12-16-2009, 11:07 PM
Spectacular sceptre. That is my dream uke right now. Concert size with nice grain and the crown bridge. I hope that Koaloha will continue to make that combination. I have read some threads here recently that said they aren't making that bridge any more. I hope that isn't true. In the meantime, I'll keep an eye on musicguymic's site with hope that one will show up.

The crown bridge is really cool, but I think there's a sort of simplistic beauty to the plain bridge too.

http://www.koaloha.com/Signature_Line/SceptreConcert.html

I've got that plain bridge on my Pineapple Sunday, and I actually prefer it to the funky PS bridge pictured on their site. I think the crown bridge matches the personality of the tenor sceptre well, but I think the plain bridge looks great on the Concert too.

And boy, both the Tenor and Concert sceptres sound wonderful and are a joy to play.

experimentjon
12-16-2009, 11:15 PM
I love KoAloha more and more all the time! First, their ukes are a-m-a-z-i-n-g! There is not doubt about that. Second, you can find quite a few great stories on this forum about their customer service. I had spoken to Brain a couple weeks ago to inquire about when KoAloha strings. He was very nice!

Below are pitctures of the Sceptre before the crack gets fixed and she potentially gets a new finish :eek:

-Lil

Yes, their service is excellent, the best of any ukulele company I have dealt with.

Also while your KoAloha is down in the factory, since you and you've already paid the shipping costs, you should consider getting it engraved too. They can do it on prebuilt ukes (as they did with my Sceptre) I think it's worth the money (in the neighborhood of $100) especially if you've got something special you want to engrave (like a vectored personal logo), even if it's just your name (like I did). It makes your uke truly one of a kind.

dkcrown
12-17-2009, 03:19 AM
The crown bridge is really cool, but I think there's a sort of simplistic beauty to the plain bridge too.

http://www.koaloha.com/Signature_Line/SceptreConcert.html

I've got that plain bridge on my Pineapple Sunday, and I actually prefer it to the funky PS bridge pictured on their site. I think the crown bridge matches the personality of the tenor sceptre well, but I think the plain bridge looks great on the Concert too.

And boy, both the Tenor and Concert sceptres sound wonderful and are a joy to play.

Jon,
I agree that the plain bridge looks better on the PS, but I love the look of the crown bridge and how it relates to the scalloping on the base of the sceptre. BTW, your sceptre tenor looks amazing!

Hopefully I will get to enjoy playing and hearing that beautiful sound from these gorgeous instruments at sometime in the future.

haole
12-17-2009, 04:53 AM
That's one of the prettiest Sceptres I've ever seen! :eek: And KoAloha is awesome for taking care of you even though you bought the uke second-hand. Extra props to you for not automatically expecting them to cover it under warranty; I'm glad that people aren't abusing the system after the last case. ;)

As far as bridges go, I thought the crown was cool but a little over-the-top for my tastes. Thought about going for a newer super-concert with the bowtie, but then MGM digs up an older tenor with some kind of freakish KoAloha-and-Kanile'a-have-a-one-night-stand bridge. Had to jump on that right away!
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=288&pictureid=4284
I wonder why they stopped making this one. It would look sweet on the Pineapple Sunday.

MartinLil
12-17-2009, 05:07 AM
I just sent the Sceptre to Honolulu USPS Express. It will be there on Saturday by three Hawai'i time. Now back to playing my almost toy Hilo for at least a month :(

MartinLil
12-17-2009, 05:17 AM
As far as bridges go, I thought the crown was cool but a little over-the-top for my tastes. Thought about going for a newer super-concert with the bowtie, but then MGM digs up an older tenor with some kind of freakish KoAloha-and-Kanile'a-have-a-one-night-stand bridge. Had to jump on that right away!
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=288&pictureid=4284
I wonder why they stopped making this one. It would look sweet on the Pineapple Sunday.

I really like that bridge! And it does look like a cross between the two. I really like the bowtie bridges too! That's what's on the pineapple sunday on KoAloha's site. I think all of their bridge designs are really awesome! Except for the plain bridge, but that's because it's exactly that: plain.

haolejohn
12-17-2009, 05:37 AM
That's one of the prettiest Sceptres I've ever seen! :eek: And KoAloha is awesome for taking care of you even though you bought the uke second-hand. Extra props to you for not automatically expecting them to cover it under warranty; I'm glad that people aren't abusing the system after the last case. ;)

As far as bridges go, I thought the crown was cool but a little over-the-top for my tastes. Thought about going for a newer super-concert with the bowtie, but then MGM digs up an older tenor with some kind of freakish KoAloha-and-Kanile'a-have-a-one-night-stand bridge. Had to jump on that right away!
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=288&pictureid=4284
I wonder why they stopped making this one. It would look sweet on the Pineapple Sunday.


I remember your bridge. It was very distinct and cool looking.

Ronnie Aloha
12-17-2009, 11:14 AM
I really like that bridge! And it does look like a cross between the two. I really like the bowtie bridges too! That's what's on the pineapple sunday on KoAloha's site. I think all of their bridge designs are really awesome! Except for the plain bridge, but that's because it's exactly that: plain.

Martin, the PS on KoAloha's site actually has the old six pointed bridge. They use the plain bridge (like on their sopranos) now. The new bowtie bridge is on the Imaikalani 6-string uke on their website. The pointed crown bridge is only on their Sceptres now. The good thing is that the pointed crown bridge is showing up on the concert Sceptres too. The concert Sceptre used to have the plain bridge before.

MartinLil
12-17-2009, 12:33 PM
Martin, the PS on KoAloha's site actually has the old six pointed bridge. They use the plain bridge (like on their sopranos) now. The new bowtie bridge is on the Imaikalani 6-string uke on their website. The pointed crown bridge is only on their Sceptres now. The good thing is that the pointed crown bridge is showing up on the concert Sceptres too. The concert Sceptre used to have the plain bridge before.

Thanks for clearing that up! I think that bowtie bridge is quite classy. The pointed crown bridge is definitely my favorite, though!

Ronnie Aloha
12-17-2009, 12:59 PM
Thanks for clearing that up! I think that bowtie bridge is quite classy. The pointed crown bridge is definitely my favorite, though!

Here is some information from Paul:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16824&highlight=koaloha+crown+bridge&page=2

MartinLil
12-17-2009, 02:19 PM
Thanks Ronnie!

MartinLil
01-01-2010, 06:03 AM
Hey everyone. I have an update and I wanted to share it with you. I've been talking to Brian about the sceptre that I sent in for repair. The glue joint had failed but KoAloha is sure they could fix it. After telling me this, Brian said that they had one concert sceptre in the factory right now and that he could offer this to me in exchange. I asked him for pictures and spent the night thinking about it. It took two days to get the pics, so I had plenty of time to think about it. I had decided that I did want a new sceptre rather than having the old one repaired.

I got the pics and this one is a beeeeaaaauuuutttyyyyyyy!!!

Anyway, my NEW concert sceptre was sent out Thursday and will be arriving very soon! Also, Brian told me that this one sounds better than the one I sent in!!!!!!!!!! :D I cannot wait to get this new sceptre in my hands and try it out! I'm absolutely psyched! And it sounds better than the one I previously had?!?! :drool: :drool: :drool:

Here are the pics Brian sent me.

Toucan Mango
01-01-2010, 06:16 AM
Thats awsome! I wonder what will become of the first one, I would like to have it..

pulelehua
01-01-2010, 06:27 AM
That's just gone from great customer service to legendary. Wow.

Must say I prefer the "cooler" tone to the wood on the new one. Someday, when I win the lottery...

MartinLil
01-01-2010, 07:07 AM
Thats awsome! I wonder what will become of the first one, I would like to have it..

I'm not sure what happens to the damaged ukes. Brian looked forward to hearing back about the uke and how I like it. When I speak to him next, I will make sure to ask. They don't sell any seconds so I would assume that they are destroyed. That would be very, very sad though... I'll let you know when I do!


That's just gone from great customer service to legendary. Wow.

Must say I prefer the "cooler" tone to the wood on the new one. Someday, when I win the lottery...

I enjoy the 'cooler' look of the wood on this one as well. I really like the red/purple coloring throughout. Both are gorgeous instruments, but from the pictures, I think this one is more beautiful than the previous one. I love the small knots in the top of this one as well. Brian was surprised that I liked them. But, I really enjoy knots in wood!

I bought the previous sceptre used. So, this one will be new and allllllll mine. Other than Brian playing a few chords over the phone, I will be the first to play it! The warranty will be original, too! Although, KoAloha has really shown that customer care and satisfaction are more important than an original or void warranty. The customer service has been more than I could have ever imagined or asked for. Thank you so sooo much Brian and KoAloha!!! :D I could not be more pleased in any way, shape or form!!

-Lil

Toucan Mango
01-01-2010, 07:14 AM
Oh that would be a shame to destroy it! I hope that is not the case.

experimentjon
01-01-2010, 10:18 AM
Oh that would be a shame to destroy it! I hope that is not the case.

That'd be a real shame.

But wow, they replaced the whole instrument with a new one huh? That's pretty awesome! I wonder what complicated the fix.

koalohapaul
01-01-2010, 11:20 AM
We keep the damaged ukulele in a black safe. The combination is split between my father, brother, and myself.

Actually, we fix what we can assuming that the repair is relatively simple. If we happen to have a replacement on hand, it's usually quicker to send a new one out. Brian comprises our entire repair staff, in addition to his other duties as service/showroom manager. It's more economical for us to fix what we can, but time is the issue.

MartinLil
01-01-2010, 03:29 PM
We keep the damaged ukulele in a black safe. The combination is split between my father, brother, and myself.

Actually, we fix what we can assuming that the repair is relatively simple. If we happen to have a replacement on hand, it's usually quicker to send a new one out. Brian comprises our entire repair staff, in addition to his other duties as service/showroom manager. It's more economical for us to fix what we can, but time is the issue.

Thank you for the info Paul! But what happens to the abandoned ukes that get exchanged for news one rather than get repaired?

koalohapaul
01-02-2010, 03:36 PM
We usually repair them at some point, if they can be brought back to almost new condition. The refurbished ukulele are either sold as "as-is" specials, or given away to those in need. As for repairs that need major work, we destroy them. Unfortunately, there are people who do try to take advantage of our warranty policy, so anything that can't be fixed is destroyed. We've had more than a fair share of people who brought in instruments obviously not damaged by warranty issues, who try to get a free fix. We've also had people dumpster dive and make their own franken-lohas, try to have the instruments made new.

ChamorroDT
01-02-2010, 03:41 PM
Wow, how generous of them to do that. That is some great customer service.

MartinLil
01-03-2010, 05:42 PM
The more I know, the prouder I am to be a KoAloha customer, owner and player! The uke I sent in for repair will now be fixed and given to someone in need! That's so awesome!! :D

MartinLil
01-04-2010, 04:36 PM
My new sceptre arrived today!!!!!! Everything was fine and I was loving it! I couldn't put it down. I decided to inspect it even more than i had before and noticed that the bridge is lifting. :( I don't understand why I keep getting damaged sceptres.

Anyway, here is a pic of the bridge. I called Brian and am waiting for a call back. I guess this one will be going back too...... :(

kaipo13
01-04-2010, 08:31 PM
Bummers maybe next round you can possibly do a culy koa upgrade? How far in does the paper go? Is it bottoming out in the pic? Does the other side have the same unglued gap? Have you tested every fret and string with good hard plucks for any buzzing? Might as well give the whole uke a good check around.

I had a koaloha that was given to me from a freind, the bridge was lifting and slowly a super fine crack started to appear on the face and got bigger. The frets had a buzzing problem. About 9 years ago my aunt took it to koaloha for possibly warranty. We were turned down from any warranty. My aunt somehow mentioned to them that the ukulele was in the lasvegas for a couple month's when we were on a trip. We were told it was the normal for there ukulele's to crack and lift. We didn't have a receipt because it was gift. Even before the trip to vegas there was a problem with buzzing and slight dimples on the face of the ukulele and the bridge gap like your on the picture. Eventually the ukulele was trashed . Its pretty cool that Koaloha Honorerd your warranty without a receipt, I guess the internet changes things...

experimentjon
01-04-2010, 10:58 PM
My new sceptre arrived today!!!!!! Everything was fine and I was loving it! I couldn't put it down. I decided to inspect it even more than i had before and noticed that the bridge is lifting. :( I don't understand why I keep getting damaged sceptres.

Anyway, here is a pic of the bridge. I called Brian and am waiting for a call back. I guess this one will be going back too...... :(

That's a bummer, Martin, just a case of bad luck I guess. I'm sure Brian will take care of it. But it sounds like they've been pretty swamped over there recently.


Bummers maybe next round you can possibly do a culy koa upgrade? How far in does the paper go? Is it bottoming out in the pic? Does the other side have the same unglued gap? Have you tested every fret and string with good hard plucks for any buzzing? Might as well give the whole uke a good check around.

I had a koaloha that was given to me from a freind, the bridge was lifting and slowly a super fine crack started to appear on the face and got bigger. The frets had a buzzing problem. About 9 years ago my aunt took it to koaloha for possibly warranty. We were turned down from any warranty. My aunt somehow mentioned to them that the ukulele was in the lasvegas for a couple month's when we were on a trip. We were told it was the normal for there ukulele's to crack and lift. We didn't have a receipt because it was gift. Even before the trip to vegas there was a problem with buzzing and slight dimples on the face of the ukulele and the bridge gap like your on the picture. Eventually the ukulele was trashed . Its pretty cool that Koaloha Honorerd your warranty without a receipt, I guess the internet changes things...

If by the bold part you mean: "We were told it was normal for their ukuleles to crack and lift," I'm almost 99.9999999% sure you're totally wrong on that. KoAloha builds good heirloom quality instruments like all of the other major Hawaiian ukulele makers. I can't personally comment on Sonny D since I have never had any experience with one, but you seem very fond of that brand, so I'm sure it has its own merits for you. I personally own four KoAlohas currently, one of which is about 7 years old. I've had no problems with any of them, other than high action on two of them which they adjusted down for free. And let me tell you that the oldest one is the best sounding of them all, with the wood aging.

However, if what you meant by your post was that you were told that it is normal for solid wood ukuleles to crack and lift when unproperly humidified in environments like Vegas, then yes, I would totally agree with the people at KoAloha who told you that.

And you're also right, the internet has changed everything. I can't imagine life without gmail, hulu, youtube, amazon, ebay, twitter, wikipedia, twitter, xbox live, scottrade, pandora, facebook, etc. Can you?

Ronnie Aloha
01-05-2010, 09:07 AM
I have to agree with Jon on this. I have two Kamaka sopranos that had the tops crack at the joints. These never left Hawaii so they were not affected by low humidity. Both are at Kamaka now with a one year and 1 1/2 year wait, respectively. The cost for repairs are $200 and $300, respectively and I'll gladly pay it. I think it is evident that KoAloha goes above and beyond any ukulele manufacturer in existence when it comes to repairs.

MartinLil
01-05-2010, 09:53 AM
The warranty was honored because it was less than two months old and it was obvious that the glue joint had failed. Brian said because it's so new and becauseKoAloha was at fault, he'd be willing to take it back under warranty.

The bridge is coming up. There is no buzzing everywhere and the uke sounds AMAZING. I haven't apoken with Brian about it yet, but this is a definite problem. The other side of the bridge is perfect. Also, Brian played it over the phone. I'm surprised he didn't catch this problem before sending it to me.

The customer service is awesome!! Now if I could only get a sceptre without major faults... I'm not sure why that is so difficult for me.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that KoAloha does not take back ukes under warranty that are from 1995 or before. The uke that you had kaipo13 may have been made in the year or before.

MartinLil
01-05-2010, 10:52 AM
I just got off the phone with Brian. Papa KoAloha will be making a new batch of concert sceptres soon and I will be getting one of those. For now, I will continue to jam out on the one with the lifting bridge (which has a very beautiful voice!) until this new batch is completed. Then, I'll send it back and get a new one! I hope my third try at this will be lucky and result in a perfectly built uke! :D

I've had some bad luck with the sceptres but KoAloha is incredible! The customer service couldn't be any better. Their instruments are great and have one of the greatest sounds, at least to my ears.

I would also like to say that although I have had this horrible strike of luck with the sceptres, I do not think less of KoAloha or their ukes. In most cases, the ukes are built very well, are very near perfect, and of course, they always sound fantastic!! If there is a problem, they're there to fix it right away. It's a top notch company for sure!

pithaya9
01-05-2010, 02:41 PM
I have had no problems with the old style concert bridge. One thing for sure Papa and da crew take care of customers.

koalohapaul
01-05-2010, 07:50 PM
kaipo13,

I'm sorry if you feel like we wronged you. While our warranty is almost all inclusive, we do treat them on a case by case basis. The only instruments that we deny coverage to are those that are clearly damaged from neglect or abuse. The repair you described sounds like something that would be covered. I don't know who spoke to your aunt when she came by, but I suppose there was a misunderstanding on our part.

I do agree that the internet changes things. It allows people a forum to speak freely about how they feel, good or bad. I can't control what people have to say, but I can offer my perspective.

dominicfoundthemooon
01-05-2010, 08:50 PM
KoAloha is #1 is just about everything... I have been a fan for over a year now. They are all about class at every step of the way! I LOVE my CUSTOM! Just had to post something..

Seven57
01-05-2010, 09:27 PM
Koaloha is a great company that produce first class ukes...I love my tenor and haven't had any problems with it ...I plan on buying a pineapple Sunday ..keep up the great work guys.

PeformanceUke
01-06-2010, 01:05 AM
Koa are sensitive to drastic weather changes. If it was me instead i would of called the manufacture fist thing instead of posting online.

MartinLil
01-07-2010, 04:57 PM
Koa are sensitive to drastic weather changes. If it was me instead i would of called the manufacture fist thing instead of posting online.

To whom is this directed, PerformanceUke? I contacted Paul and called Brian before posting a thing. You'll see that I did speak to Brian first if you read my first post of this thread.

Also, a failed glue joint and a raised bridge on arrival are not due to temp or humidity changes. All woods are sensitive to drastic temp and humidity changes, not just koa.

MartinLil
01-13-2010, 10:23 AM
I wanted to share some great news with my fellow UUers. I just got a call from Brain and couldn't be any happier with what he had to tell me. Papa KoAloha has just completed MY new sceptre. Instead of having me wait until a new batch is made, he made only one that is for only me. I am soooo excited!!! And the news was unexpected, which makes it even better! Brian will be sending pics of my new sceptre and I will sending my current replacement sceptre back to Honolulu tomorrow. So, I should have my new sceptre some time next week. He assured me that this one is perfect and I won't be having any problems with it. It's going to be a keeper!! I can't wait!!! :D

Just when I think KoAloha's customer service couldn't possibly get any better, they completely outdo themselves! This company and those that make it what it is are truly, incredibly AWESOME!!! :cool: Not to mention how exceptional their ukes are :drool:

wickedwahine11
01-13-2010, 10:30 AM
I wanted to share some great news with my fellow UUers. I just got a call from Brain and couldn't be any happier with what he had to tell me. Papa KoAloha has just completed MY new sceptre:

Congratulations, I'm happy for you and can't wait to see the photos of your new sceptre. Hopefully it will be perfect. :)

MartinLil
01-13-2010, 12:33 PM
Congratulations, I'm happy for you and can't wait to see the photos of your new sceptre. Hopefully it will be perfect. :)

Thanks! I hope it will be perfect too. Brian has told me that it is, and I can't wait to have it in my hands!

By the way, I'm still jealous of your new Pineapple Sunday. It's absolutely gorgeous!

wickedwahine11
01-13-2010, 02:02 PM
Thanks! I hope it will be perfect too. Brian has told me that it is, and I can't wait to have it in my hands!

By the way, I'm still jealous of your new Pineapple Sunday. It's absolutely gorgeous!

Thanks! I've been playing it all afternoon -- I can't get enough of it.

haolejohn
01-13-2010, 02:20 PM
And you're also right, the internet has changed everything. I can't imagine life without gmail, hulu, youtube, amazon, ebay, twitter, wikipedia, twitter, xbox live, scottrade, pandora, facebook, etc. Can you?
Ummmm, You forgot UU:)

Toucan Mango
01-13-2010, 02:27 PM
Thanks! I've been playing it all afternoon -- I can't get enough of it. I've been kinda busy lately but last I read that Pineapple Sunday was going under lock & key! :cool:

wickedwahine11
01-13-2010, 02:38 PM
I've been kinda busy lately but last I read that Pineapple Sunday was going under lock & key! :cool:

Sniffle, it is. As soon as the Ameritage case arrives on Friday. So I'm playing the heck out of her until then...

haole
01-13-2010, 03:48 PM
Sniffle, it is. As soon as the Ameritage case arrives on Friday. So I'm playing the heck out of her until then...

If that's the only condition, you should be there to receive the case and then hide it somewhere really good. Claim it was lost in the mail and you can play your PS to your heart's content. If the husband gets suspicious/threatens to contact the company/mentions ordering another one, have the original one suddenly "arrive a little bit late." This will buy you a few extra days with your KoAloha, at least. ;)