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brokenwing
05-27-2008, 07:38 PM
With all the people here at UU there are still only a smattering of reviews written in the review area. C'mon folks... a UU database for ukes will help UU become a more complete resource for all uke players.

Two suggestions: 1) You don't need to make it lengthy 2) Keep it as objective as possible. Don't hand out 10's for a $100 uke - that's just not realistic.

People need to hear the good and the bad and if you can help a potential buyer make an informed choice you've done a good deed.

tad
05-27-2008, 08:41 PM
Two suggestions: 1) You don't need to make it lengthy 2) Keep it as objective as possible. Don't hand out 10's for a $100 uke - that's just not realistic.


I totally agree that we should all be posting more reviews.

HOWEVER-- I think that your demand for objectivity is misplaced. Frankly, reviews are inherently subjective. They're assessments of your opinion of the object in question.

An "objective" review would consist of measurements, materials, and maybe some sonic spectrum analysis or something if the reviewer had the tools available to them. Anything much more than that becomes, quite quickly, subjective.

Moreover, I think you're kind of off on your conflation of price with quality. Should reviews consist of, essentially, "This is a one thousand dollar uke, therefore it is good," or "this is a one hundred dollar uke, and one hundred dollars gets you four stars?"

Which deserves a higher ranking-- a one hundred dollar uke that sounds good and is well set up, or a five hundred dollar uke that doesn't sound much better? Personally, I'd prefer the former. I'm more interested in value than I am in purchasing a status symbol.

I think that some of the "unrealistic" reviews you're thinking of consist of the reviewer weighing value, expectations, and overall satisfaction. A cheap uke that plays well is going to make people happier than an expensive instrument that doesn't live up to its price point.

Or to put it another way: think of it like grading. If you get an "A" on a paper, that doesn't mean that the paper is perfect. Far from it. It just means that the paper met or surpassed the expectations of the instructor for the assignment. And you don't get graded to the same standard in second grade as you do in college.

Likewise, as people pay more for a ukulele, they expect more. The worst five hundred dollar solid wood uke might still sound better than the best hundred dollar laminate, (though I personally doubt that's the case) but they shouldn't be evaluated by the same standard. The person who got the worst five hundred dollar uke on the market still has reason to be dissatisfied, and the person who got the best hundred dollar uke on the market has every reason to be pleased.

Honestly, I think the second person has more reason to give a 10 to his instrument than the first guy. I think the first guy just got bilked.

While bigger prices tend to come with better ukes, one shouldn't assume that they're the same thing. To do so is kind of snobish, to my mind, and not really in keeping with the spirit of this community.

GX9901
05-27-2008, 09:21 PM
I for one don't think the rating numbers mean all that much in the review section because everyone is rating their ukes based on a different "scale". For example, I wrote a review of a KoAloha Pineapple Sunday and gave it mostly 8's across various categories. The reason for that is not because the P.S. isn't awesome (it's worth every penny), but because I have another uke that I rate more highly than the P.S., I can't give the P.S. perfect 10's in comparison. Someone who comes along might see a review that rates a laminated Kala with 9's across the board and conclude that the P.S. is not as good as the Kala, and that would be completely wrong. Now, the person rating the Kala with 9's might be extremely happy with the uke, but perhaps he or she has not tried a P.S., so the Kala is being rated on a different scale. That makes the 8's for the P.S. pretty much completely unrelated to the 9's for the Kala in this example.

Anyway, I think the reviews would be more useful if the rating numbers are removed because of the differing "personal rating scales". IMHO, we can learn more about each uke by reading the content of the review than seeing some numbers associated with it.

As for writing more reviews, I guess I'll get my butt going on a couple of them soon.:p

Jack33@
05-27-2008, 10:13 PM
80% of advice is reminicence.

Some of the best stories and advice on this forum come from people who are passionate about thier relationship with the uke.

I'd really like to hear how people feel about thier instruments and I don't really need to have a scoring system, sometimes it's good to let the love (or hate) for a particular instrument shine through.

If individual reviewers feel they need a scoring system to help THEM create a review then that seems reasonable to me.


I think this would be a great thread and one I'd love to contribute to, if only I didn't play a No-Name-Plinker and a Banjo-uke that smells like an old dog and sounds like a duck...

Jack33

PS my interest in a thread like this is that it might solve my current dilemma of what to replace my current pair of duds with.

14twelve
05-28-2008, 01:25 AM
I've reviewed all four of my ukes, and reviewed them not long after getting each one. I wrote how I felt about them at the time, but of course, having not experienced anything better than what I was playing at the time, as I play better ukes, my opinions of the earlier ones change. I gave my Greg Bennett a pretty good rating, but have since become the lucky owner of a Kala Tenor and Ohana Soprano (both reviewed as well), and if I had played those before I rated my Greg Bennett, it wouldn't have done so well. Having said that though, if I now played a Kamaka or something, my ratings of my new Kala and Ohana may not be so good. So yeah, ratings are subjective, and also based on whatever you've had experience with at the time.

ps. The Kala solid cedar top with koa back and sides rocks!! :D:music:

Rubbertoe
05-28-2008, 03:37 AM
I for one don't think the rating numbers mean all that much in the review section because everyone is rating their ukes based on a different "scale". For example, I wrote a review of a KoAloha Pineapple Sunday and gave it mostly 8's across various categories. The reason for that is not because the P.S. isn't awesome (it's worth every penny), but because I have another uke that I rate more highly than the P.S., I can't give the P.S. perfect 10's in comparison. Someone who comes along might see a review that rates a laminated Kala with 9's across the board and conclude that the P.S. is not as good as the Kala, and that would be completely wrong. Now, the person rating the Kala with 9's might be extremely happy with the uke, but perhaps he or she has not tried a P.S., so the Kala is being rated on a different scale. That makes the 8's for the P.S. pretty much completely unrelated to the 9's for the Kala in this example.

Anyway, I think the reviews would be more useful if the rating numbers are removed because of the differing "personal rating scales". IMHO, we can learn more about each uke by reading the content of the review than seeing some numbers associated with it.

As for writing more reviews, I guess I'll get my butt going on a couple of them soon.:p

You're right, if you haven't played a variety of ukuleles, your opinions will be very limited to your personal field of experience. There is a definite difference between someone playing their first uke (remember that ecstatic feeling of learning your first song regardless of how the uke sounded?), someone who's played the uke for a number or years and someone who's played for a long time AND with a bunch of different sizes, styles, brands, etc.
I've seen other review sites provide a sections for experience and similar equipment used by the reviewer... that way the person reading the review will know how much knowledge of equipment (other than their own) the reviewer has. That's what I would suggest here: add what other ukuleles you've played and how long you've been playing for.

Ebonyks
05-28-2008, 09:38 AM
I'll throw out a review for my ukulele. I think the concept of keeping it as objective as possible is an attempt to reduce the level of personal bias in a review, as well having a limited basis to compare the uke against.

I've got a Ohana CK-50 cedar top concert uke. The uke has a nice tone to it, it has the characteristic bright ukulele tone but has a certain warmness that i haven't heard in the limited experience i've had with koa and mahagony top ukes. It's fairly priced for a totally solid wood instrument (street is about 225-250, retail is 350). I've had the uke for about 9 months now, and it's held up to the abuse of everyday use.

There are a few problems, however. The tuners accompanying it are cheap, and frequently go out of tune, even when tightened regularly. There is also a problem with intonation, particularly when played openly (!) and anything above the 12th fret runs flat. This instrument could be improved easily with insertion of a zero-fret (open strings are a bit flat on mine), but I don't have the tools or skills to fix it myself.

Overall, i'd rate the uke a 7.5 out of ten. The uke feels solidly built, has held up to the abuse of daily life (and i'm not particularly kind to my ukes), and the tone is quite enjoyable, with a sweet sound and smooth long decay. However, intonation problems hold back this instrument. At this price range, however, I would have no problem recommending this model to a newer player. My opinion is that it's a high end student uke.

nikolo727
05-28-2008, 10:58 AM
alas my video camera has broken.


:(


but when i get a new one i will makea da vids!


:nana:

14twelve
05-28-2008, 03:10 PM
Just a thought - some new members who haven't searched the forum may not know where the review section is - it's on the main website (www.ukuleleunderground.com (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com)), then click on "Ukulele Reviews" on the bar at the top of the page. You just click on the brand, and add a review for your model.

Howlin Hobbit
05-28-2008, 03:16 PM
Thanks, 1412. I had looked over the list of forums and wondered how I'd missed that!

deach
05-28-2008, 03:34 PM
Thanks, 1412. I had looked over the list of forums and wondered how I'd missed that!

It took me forever to find that too.

14twelve
05-28-2008, 04:00 PM
Thanks, 1412. I had looked over the list of forums and wondered how I'd missed that!


It took me forever to find that too.

No problem! It was a couple of months ago that the original post about the review section was sent, so anyone who joined after that may have missed it.

Any chance of it being a sticky post for new members mods? :)

brokenwing
05-28-2008, 04:52 PM
yea, maybe the numbering system idea is a bit misplaced. I have just read too many guitar reviews (online and magazine) that miss the point of reviewing - to point out the good and the bad. Almost all instruments have some limitation and I'd like to hear about it (even if it is only an opinion).

bsting
05-28-2008, 06:05 PM
i think numbers are helpful when you have a large volume of reviews, where they tend to average out. also, from what i've noticed people tend to review things when they are either very pleased with the thing they're reviewing or very displeased. which again i think just means the more reviews the more helpful the reviews are :D

but maybe that's more difficult with the uke since it might be harder to find a lot of people that play the exact same model instrument?