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haolejohn
01-17-2010, 11:31 AM
First I'd like to say that I am a makala dolphin fan. I have noticed a trend in the new makalas and was wondering if anyone else has noticed this. Three of my students have encountered cracking along the neck or heel where the neck join the body. i took pictures of one of them and have posted them here. These cracks do not appear to effect the sound or anything else. It seems that it might be where the paint broke when the necks were joined to the uke. My dad is a painter and the best way I can describe it is that if someone forgot to place caulk in a joint and the paint was to pull away. It doesn't affect the ukes ability to stay in tune or the sound. It just affects the looks of the uke.
Now before I get slammed I have contacted the dealer that i got these from and I feel like there is no need for him to deal with this issue. I'm not contacting Kala because the flaw isn't affecting the sound or playability of the ukes. For all I know the kids could have dropped the ukuleles and caused this but I'm not sure. They all told me (except for one upon further interrogation) that they didn't drop them but you know how kids are. I'm just curious if anyone else has experienced something similar with their dolphins.

haolejohn
01-17-2010, 11:31 AM
More pictures of these cracks.

phanzo
01-17-2010, 11:35 AM
Well that's the last thing I want to hear right now!! I hope mine doesnt do that!!!

Does Mike accept these as returns??

haolejohn
01-17-2010, 11:39 AM
Well that's the last thing I want to hear right now!! I hope mine doesnt do that!!!

Does Mike accept these as returns??

He would have if I had wanted to bother him with it. I ended up trading two of my personal ones for two of the students. The third one informed me that she dropped it and i didn't trade her. It has nothing to do with Mike. I'm not sure if it is a defect or if it is just kid wear and tear.

haolejohn
01-17-2010, 11:41 AM
Well that's the last thing I want to hear right now!! I hope mine doesnt do that!!!

Does Mike accept these as returns??

dustin out of the fifty that I have bought from him only three have done this. You can see the reputation that these ukes have here so i would not worry about it. I think it is just the paint in those joints is coming loose.

For what it is worth, My orange burst one is perfect:)

phanzo
01-17-2010, 11:46 AM
dustin out of the fifty that I have bought from him only three have done this. You can see the reputation that these ukes have here so i would not worry about it. I think it is just the paint in those joints is coming loose.

For what it is worth, My orange burst one is perfect:)

nah I know, I wouldnt bother him with a return either, unless it was really bad. It's all good. It's a called a beater uke for a reason :D

RevWill
01-17-2010, 11:50 AM
I haven't seen anything like that yet, and I hope I don't. If I do however several members of our uke ministry are woodworkers and could no doubt fix it right up.

haolejohn
01-17-2010, 11:51 AM
nah I know, I wouldnt bother him with a return either, unless it was really bad. It's all good. It's a called a beater uke for a reason :D

When I got the first one like this he offered to send it back to Kala but I opted not to. He was willing to take care of me. i was unwilling to bother him:)

haolejohn
01-17-2010, 11:53 AM
I haven't seen anything like that yet, and I hope I don't. If I do however several members of our uke ministry are woodworkers and could no doubt fix it right up.

a little caulk or whatever the equivalent material for instruments would be all that was needed. It doesn't affect anything about the uke. it just looks bad. That is why I'm not bothering the dealer of Kala with it.

cupcake
01-17-2010, 11:54 AM
are these the plastic ones?

haolejohn
01-17-2010, 11:56 AM
are these the plastic ones?

yes they are. some of the older ones had a tendancy to bubble up.

Sir
01-17-2010, 12:01 PM
I bought 34 last week (not from MGM I hasten to add) All but one came out of its box in tip top condition.

One neck had broken free from the body (looked like the pics but much worse!)

I absolutely blatted it with super glue! (That particular neck is going nowhere anytime soon!)

for the money I paid, I was willing to do that.

Clamped overnight, you can't even tell the paint has cracked!

haolejohn
01-17-2010, 12:10 PM
I bought 34 last week (not from MGM I hasten to add) All but one came out of its box in tip top condition.

One neck had broken free from the body (looked like the pics but much worse!)

I absolutely blatted it with super glue! (That particular neck is going nowhere anytime soon!)

for the money I paid, I was willing to do that.

Clamped overnight, you can't even tell the paint has cracked!

I got mine from ukerepublic and have been very happy with his willingness to fix problem (that isn't his to fix) b/c these three ukes were being played for 8 weeks by kids. That isn't a dealer issue. I'm not worried about it because it doesn't affect the playability or sound. Did you get yours for a school group Sir?

phanzo
01-17-2010, 12:16 PM
When I got the first one like this he offered to send it back to Kala but I opted not to. He was willing to take care of me. i was unwilling to bother him:)

yea, he's pretty much the most awesome dude alive. He'll do whatever he can to help a brother (or sista!) out.

buddhuu
01-17-2010, 12:25 PM
Maybe it'd be good if one of these did get back to Kala. The plastic ones are a fairly new product (so new that I can't get one in the UK yet) and if they have teething problems with the join between wooden neck and plastic body I expect Kala would like to know what's going wrong so they can fix any problem there might be in production.

I know they're cheap ukes, but I'm sure Kala would want to maintain consistent quality at all levels.

haolejohn
01-17-2010, 12:32 PM
Maybe it'd be good if one of these did get back to Kala. The plastic ones are a fairly new product (so new that I can't get one in the UK yet) and if they have teething problems with the join between wooden neck and plastic body I expect Kala would like to know what's going wrong so they can fix any problem there might be in production.

I know they're cheap ukes, but I'm sure Kala would want to maintain consistent quality at all levels.

That is true and if they want me to send it to them and are willing to pay for shipping i would have no problem. I just figured the amount of money involved with shipping one of these isn't worth it to me. It still sounds great. Since they are new I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this same problem.

I'm not faulting Kala in anyway and no one has accused me of that yet and I am in no way of trying to get a new uke. Just wanted to make that disclaimer before someone tried to make that accusation (former experiences with ukes and warranty issues here)

Sambient
01-17-2010, 12:38 PM
Speaking of caulk, I want to know if anyone else experienced a collection of what I assumed was caulk on the inside of their uke. I was feeling around on the inside (curious about that whole wood and plastic thing) and the soundboard had some cruddies. They were easily removed, but I was really surprised.

Sir
01-17-2010, 12:42 PM
I got mine from ukerepublic and have been very happy with his willingness to fix problem (that isn't his to fix) b/c these three ukes were being played for 8 weeks by kids. That isn't a dealer issue. I'm not worried about it because it doesn't affect the playability or sound. Did you get yours for a school group Sir?

yeah, mine are are for a school group. Secondary UK (High school)

They've already had quite an impact! (well they're pink for a start!!!!)

haolejohn
01-17-2010, 12:47 PM
yeah, mine are are for a school group. Secondary UK (High school)

They've already had quite an impact! (well they're pink for a start!!!!)

LOL!! Last week I took the kids outside before starting and the students placed their ukuleles in their seats. I was proud of the students for selecting all these different ukuleles. It made me think about our world and how all of these ukuleles were different but equally as good as each other just like us folks.

haolejohn
01-17-2010, 12:48 PM
Speaking of caulk, I want to know if anyone else experienced a collection of what I assumed was caulk on the inside of their uke. I was feeling around on the inside (curious about that whole wood and plastic thing) and the soundboard had some cruddies. They were easily removed, but I was really surprised.

Ihaven't looked or felt on the inside. Remember these are budget ukes thrown together on an assembly line so even though the quality is good it isn't going to be as well as a kamaka, kanilea or koaloha or even a kala for that matter.

SweetWaterBlue
01-17-2010, 03:11 PM
These instruments look like the paint coat is really very heavy at that junction - its almost like they were trying to use the paint as a caulk. In my painting experience, when you really lay it on thick, it sometimes cracks, but I haven't noticed any cracking on mine yet.

Ahnko Honu
01-17-2010, 03:47 PM
Now if these came with unfinished body and clear coated top and necks as an option we wouldn't have these problems. Plastic have a different thermal expansion rate than wood and this might explain some of the cracking.
I've worked with allot of different plastics both water lines as well as plastic lumberand allowance must be made for thermal expansion or things usually give.

pdxuke
01-17-2010, 04:44 PM
We have 4 Dolphins new this last month. No signs of trouble, all plastic.

haolejohn
01-17-2010, 05:00 PM
Now if these came with unfinished body and clear coated top and necks as an option we wouldn't have these problems. Plastic have a different thermal expansion rate than wood and this might explain some of the cracking.
I've worked with allot of different plastics both water lines as well as plastic lumberand allowance must be made for thermal expansion or things usually give.

I can understand this phenomanon but these cracks happened back in the fall when there were no extreme swings in weather. I just haven't posted this thread yet b/c of time. I think Sweetwaterblue is on to something though. The plastic itself isn't cracked Ahnko. Just the paint. It seems that too much paint was used in these grooves.

Ahnko Honu
01-17-2010, 05:43 PM
The plastic itself isn't cracked Ahnko. Just the paint. It seems that too much paint was used in these grooves.

I think you misunderstood me, I would not be expecting the plastic to crack it being the tough material it is. If the plastic and wood expand and contract at different rates the weak link will be the paint itself where the wood neck meets the plastic thus the paint cracking. I don't believe the crack to be structural, just cosmetic but some people expect perfection even from a $36 'ukulele. I think the creators of the FLEA/FLUKE foresaw this problem and avoided it by painting just the soundboard making any movement between wood and plastic invisible with nothing there to crack. Don't build on the fault line. ;)

haolejohn
01-17-2010, 06:08 PM
I think you misunderstood me, I would not be expecting the plastic to crack it being the tough material it is. If the plastic and wood expand and contract at different rates the weak link will be the paint itself where the wood neck meets the plastic thus the paint cracking. I don't believe the crack to be structural, just cosmetic but some people expect perfection even from a $36 'ukulele. I think the creators of the FLEA/FLUKE foresaw this problem and avoided it by painting just the soundboard making any movement between wood and plastic invisible with nothing there to crack. Don't build on the fault line. ;)
Your expertise is great. That makes moire sense to me. I understand that these are $35 and there is going to be issues. I just hadn't heard anyone complain about the cracking yet. That is one of the reasons that I don't want to send them in b/c they aren't a koaloha ya know. the good thing is that it doesn't affect the sound or playability at all.

CountryMouse
01-18-2010, 07:49 AM
Speaking of caulk, I want to know if anyone else experienced a collection of what I assumed was caulk on the inside of their uke. I was feeling around on the inside (curious about that whole wood and plastic thing) and the soundboard had some cruddies. They were easily removed, but I was really surprised.

Well, I had a different thing with mine. I have an all-laminate white one. No cracking, no caulk (that I know of). But when it came to me last August, it had a big ole hunk of foam rubber inside it! I don't mean styrofoam--it was foam rubber, about 1/4 the size of the inside of the uke! It was up inside the upper back quarter of the body. With the aid of a pencil, I was able to spear it and get it out (carefully). Why in the world did that get left in there?? Oh well, all's well that ends well. :-)

CountryMouse

Sir
01-18-2010, 10:03 AM
Let's not forget what we're talking about though!

When I got my Ohana TK35G, I found something resembling a dried tuna flake stuck inside the sound hole.
I didn't let it stick around long enough to think about why it was there, or bother to investigate what it was!

That was on a significantly higher priced Uke....

Would I expect to see a dried tuna flake in every Ohana? er no!

Will every Makala Dolphin come out with a bit of gunge on the inside? probably not.

What the hell are we all doing looking at the inside of our 20 uke anyway? They were built to have fun with surely? :cool:

CountryMouse
01-18-2010, 10:11 AM
Let's not forget what we're talking about though!

When I got my Ohana TK35G, I found something resembling a dried tuna flake stuck inside the sound hole.
I didn't let it stick around long enough to think about why it was there, or bother to investigate what it was!

That was on a significantly higher priced Uke....

Would I expect to see a dried tuna flake in every Ohana? er no!

Will every Makala Dolphin come out with a bit of gunge on the inside? probably not.

What the hell are we all doing looking at the inside of our 20 uke anyway? They were built to have fun with surely? :cool:

Um, a large piece of foam rubber inside my Makala made a difference in the sound; I don't think a dried tuna flake would matter to your Ohana.

CountryMouse

Sir
01-18-2010, 10:18 AM
LOL, I take it back! Why the hell do we have chunks of foam rubber and dried fish in our Ukes? I mean what's going on in China?????

Melissa82
01-18-2010, 10:26 AM
LOL, I take it back! Why the hell do we have chunks of foam rubber and dried fish in our Ukes? I mean what's going on in China?????Does this have anything to do with the issue with the dolphins?

Sir
01-18-2010, 10:31 AM
umm... I think so....? :confused:

Ahnko Honu
01-18-2010, 10:45 AM
Suddenly I'm hungry for dried tuna.

haolejohn
01-18-2010, 10:47 AM
Well, I had a different thing with mine. I have an all-laminate white one. No cracking, no caulk (that I know of). But when it came to me last August, it had a big ole hunk of foam rubber inside it! I don't mean styrofoam--it was foam rubber, about 1/4 the size of the inside of the uke! It was up inside the upper back quarter of the body. With the aid of a pencil, I was able to spear it and get it out (carefully). Why in the world did that get left in there?? Oh well, all's well that ends well. :-)

CountryMouse

That could have been residue from packing. When ever I get a Mele they always stuff the inside of the uke with styrofoam or something for added support I guess.

haolejohn
01-18-2010, 10:48 AM
lol, i take it back! Why the hell do we have chunks of foam rubber and dried fish in our ukes? I mean what's going on in china?????

lol!!!!!!!!!!!

euchre
01-18-2010, 01:22 PM
I don't understand the point of this thread. If the flaws or manufacturing defects bother you this much, send them back.

Personally, I didn't have very high expectations when I ordered mine from an unknown dealer on eBay--they're starter ukes, mass produced in China. I paid $25 plus shipping. Mine has one bum tuner, rough edges on the fretboard, minute specks of foreign matter, dirt and/or air bubbles in the paint, not to mention the string saddle was installed backwards. The paint has chipped off the edges where I've banged it into objects. But it's a $35 uke for petessake. Considering the complexity in building one of these and the lack of quality in many products sold nowadays, especially at this price point, these things are a bargain...warts and all.

They're cute as hell, play in tune, stay in tune, sound pretty darned good and have a fun factor off the charts.

It's not worth fretting about, imo. ;)

haolejohn
01-18-2010, 02:30 PM
I don't understand the point of this thread. If the flaws or manufacturing defects bother you this much, send them back.

Personally, I didn't have very high expectations when I ordered mine from an unknown dealer on eBay--they're starter ukes, mass produced in China. I paid $25 plus shipping. Mine has one bum tuner, rough edges on the fretboard, minute specks of foreign matter, dirt and/or air bubbles in the paint, not to mention the string saddle was installed backwards. The paint has chipped off the edges where I've banged it into objects. But it's a $35 uke for petessake. Considering the complexity in building one of these and the lack of quality in many products sold nowadays, especially at this price point, these things are a bargain...warts and all.

They're cute as hell, play in tune, stay in tune, sound pretty darned good and have a fun factor off the charts.

It's not worth fretting about, imo. ;)

Perhaps you should go back and read the original post. The POINT of this thread was to see if anyone else is having issues with this crack along the neck where it joins the body. I could have mentioned multiple problems that are minor but these are $35 ukes. The neck issue that I am experiencing could be a major problem if it affected the sound and playability which luckily it doesn't. It might be something that Kala needs to look into like buddhu says but I'm not wanting to spend $50 in shipping to hae them look into the problem unless others are haveing same issues.
I normally wouldn't fret over it but when you got 10 year olds bringing their ukes to you wanting them fixed it becomes a problem that I needed to research here.

whetu
01-18-2010, 03:26 PM
It's not worth fretting about, imo. ;)

I see what you did there, you made a pun ;)

I agree though, I don't expect either of my dolphins to sound like my Oscar or my Kala, but I get just as much fun playing them. No problems with either dolphin, they're the older non plastic ones.

kenikas
01-18-2010, 06:11 PM
I had to hurry and check my grandkids ukes as soon as I got home, and they're both fine. We have a Purple (plastic) and a Red (laminate) and there's no sign of paint cracking at the neck joint on either. We get pretty wild swings in temp and humidity here and they are holding up quite well. They get played (and played with) by the 5 and seven year olds as well as their 18 month old brother so they don't get the best of care sometimes. Great little ukes, and unbeatable for the price!

AcousticMonster
01-18-2010, 07:24 PM
LOL, look and see what happened with my pinky dolphin! I've only had it for about two months and the paint bubbled off! Now I have Mutant Dolphin!

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=9030&d=1263881401

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=9032&d=1263881494

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=9033&d=1263881541


I have a few more shots in my photo album here: http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/album.php?albumid=505

I had to use a razor and sand paper to get off all the bad paint. :(

buddhuu
01-18-2010, 10:40 PM
You're lucky! I once deliberately stripped the paint off a green dolphin. It was HARD to get off. I used sandpaper, paint stripper, files and - eventually - a wire brush attachment on a drill!

When I stood back to admire my work, was it worth the effort? You bet it... wasn't. All those wasted hours I'll never get back.

iDavid
01-18-2010, 11:58 PM
How can I tell if my makala dolphins are plastic or wood?


didn't know they had different kinds

david

haolejohn
01-19-2010, 02:09 AM
How can I tell if my makala dolphins are plastic or wood?


didn't know they had different kinds

david

Newer ones are plastic and older ones are laminate. I started getting the plastic ones in August I think.

SweetWaterBlue
01-19-2010, 02:41 AM
How can I tell if my makala dolphins are plastic or wood?


didn't know they had different kinds

david

Look inside the sound hole at the body. If it is plastic, you won't see any wood grain - it just looks like plastic. I am not sure how to better describe it.

AcousticMonster
01-19-2010, 03:02 AM
How can I tell if my makala dolphins are plastic or wood?


didn't know they had different kinds

david

Just do what I did...wait for the paint to bubble off. I thought my dolphin was plastic; turns out its wood. :p

SweetWaterBlue
01-19-2010, 03:14 AM
I think the place where the bottom meets the sides is another good place to look. Shine a light inside it. On my plastic Dolphin, the corner is very clearly rounded because the plastic bottom and sides were molded in one piece. On a wood one, I would expect either a much more square corner or some sort of reinforcement at those corners. Unfortunately, I don't have a wood one to look inside.

Sir
01-19-2010, 03:20 AM
Acoustic monster, I think your Uke looks cool like that!
It makes your mass produced instrument unique!

AcousticMonster
01-19-2010, 03:42 AM
Acoustic monster, I think your Uke looks cool like that!
It makes your mass produced instrument unique!

Yeah, I like it too...looks punk rock or something. It still sounds good. I just hope the neck doesn't pop off like those other guy's dolphins.

Blrfl
01-19-2010, 04:19 AM
I'll throw in a contrary opinion: I think the crack in John's uke(s) looks like the neck was subjected to excessive string tension (doubtful with nylons) or got yanked/pushed. The crack gets bigger the further away you get from the fretboard, which is consistent with radial stress.

I could see a noob applying too much stress to the back of the neck while trying to figure out how to hold the instrument any play it, so it might not have even been intentional abuse.

--Mark

Ahnko Honu
01-19-2010, 06:21 AM
I used to work at a local elementary school, and every Wednesday after school they had 'ukulele classes on school premises for interested students. Students provided their own 'ukuleles. I was an adult supervisor. and special Ed tutor. Among other things my job was making sure the kids behaved while on school grounds. After 'ukulele classes many of the students would wait for their rides home sitting on the benches in front of the office. While waiting these kids out of boredom would be hitting each other with their 'ukuleles (in gig bags) or have them on the ground and kicking them unintentionally. These 'ukulele took allot of wear & tear. Just the shock of impact from abuse alone could cause cracks to form at neck/body junction.

haolejohn
01-19-2010, 05:20 PM
I'll throw in a contrary opinion: I think the crack in John's uke(s) looks like the neck was subjected to excessive string tension (doubtful with nylons) or got yanked/pushed. The crack gets bigger the further away you get from the fretboard, which is consistent with radial stress.

I could see a noob applying too much stress to the back of the neck while trying to figure out how to hold the instrument any play it, so it might not have even been intentional abuse.

--Mark

This is a good point. Like I stated earlier I have no idea how or what caused these three ukes to crack like that. I will say though that I took one of mine and applied a lot of pressure on the neck. Nothing. I was afraid to put anymore in fear of snapping. I think it is just where the paint came undone. Ahnko has a good theory but in my sight ukes are treated respectfully. I don't tolerate rough play or banging the ukes;) I tuaght them from day 1 that ukes are like babies. So my verdict is more than likey operator error and maybe bad painting. I'll never know unless it happens to one of mine.

Acoustic monster I saw your problem last year and UkeRepublic swapped it out for me. He didn't have to do that but he did. I ended up giving that uke away because he let me keep it.

So morale of story is that even with a big crack onlock heel joint, the makala dolphin keeps on tickin.

kenikas
01-19-2010, 06:28 PM
I think the place where the bottom meets the sides is another good place to look. Shine a light inside it. On my plastic Dolphin, the corner is very clearly rounded because the plastic bottom and sides were molded in one piece. On a wood one, I would expect either a much more square corner or some sort of reinforcement at those corners. Unfortunately, I don't have a wood one to look inside.
Like SweetWaterBlue said the plastic ones are obviously molded when you look at the corners, on the wood ones if you look at the corners where the back is attached to the sides it's easy to see the linings used to increase the surface area for glueing the back on, and the grain of the wood can be clearly seen.