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View Full Version : I said I'd never buy off ebay...



the52blues
05-14-2010, 02:58 PM
Yup I always said it was too risky. Hmmmm so....

http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae232/the52blues/Instruments/Samtenoruke1.jpg

I saw this tenor and bid $71 and then found out I won. Comes with a case too! So did I get ripped or not. I guess time will tell. It's $60.00 to ship it from Taiwan to Canada so add them up with the exchange rate and you get $138.96 CDN ($131.00 US). It's solid Koa with really nice inlay....at least according to the pic.

GVlog
05-14-2010, 03:22 PM
Bought it from taisamlu or from someone else?

I've generally been happy with parts purchased from taisamlu. Other folks have been buying parts from him too and some of these go into instruments costing up to $4000. Haven't bought any instruments from him though.

Let us know how you like it. :)

the52blues
05-14-2010, 03:42 PM
Yup I bought it from taisamlu. Sam, I think his name is. I looked at the long list of satisfied customers. Most were only buying parts but I found several that spent over $400 on an instrument from him and were very pleased so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Chris Tarman
05-14-2010, 04:00 PM
I have a soprano from him that is a pretty accurate-looking Martin 5K copy. I got it for about the same amount you paid for yours. It plays ok, although you'll want to make sure you keep it pretty well humidified. I'm not sure how well-seasoned the wood is when they build them. It's very nice looking though. I have played much worse ukuleles that cost much more. I had to have a new bridge saddle put on mine because the strings were fretting out on the lower notes, but now it doesn't play too bad, and it sounds fairly good.

the52blues
05-14-2010, 04:04 PM
I am actually worried a little about how it will handle the flight and the different humidity here in Canada. Since it is all solid I'm afraid of cracking. My other ukes are laminate and I'm quite happy with them but I couldn't turn down the chance on a really nice looking uke. If there is little wrong with it I plan to put a Mi-Si pick up in it and some strap buttons. I will keep this one strung in high G tuning since my Kala Jazz tenor is in low G.

Chris Tarman
05-14-2010, 04:05 PM
Here's a group photo that shows mine. It's the 4th from the right.

DoctorFinlay
05-15-2010, 06:27 AM
I have also bought a tenor from taisamlu this week - will post pictures when it comes. I paid $78 for mine -it's zebra wood with quite detailed inlay on the back. Like you guys, I couldn't resist what looks like a beautiful instrument- time will tell if it was a wise purchase or not!

the52blues
05-15-2010, 06:45 AM
I saw the zebrawood one after I bought mine. I checked all of taisamlu ukes in fact and must say they all look beautiful. The only thing I wasn't sure about is the elaborate designs on the back instead of the front. I would rather have all the pretty stuff on the front so it is visible while playing it instead of having to take it off and turn it around and say "Look at all the neat inlay on the back!"

DoctorFinlay
05-17-2010, 05:56 AM
My uke arrived today - the only problem was that I had to pay another 26.29 customs charges which added another third onto the cost of the ukulele. It was very well packaged and the case is solid. The instrument itself is exactly as it looked on ebay and it is clearly handmade. The tone of the wood is nice, particularly the zebra and it has a nice sound. No buzzing frets noticed, will check how accurate the tuning is up the neck later and edit this post if there are any issues. It is a good quality instrument and the elaborate inlay on the back is beautiful. There are a couple of little imperfections on the fretboard but only if you look very closely. Will put some pics up if anyone is interested. I suppose the main questions are am I pleased with it and would I buy another- the answer to both is a resounding yes!

GVlog
05-17-2010, 06:22 AM
The auctions I've been told to avoid are the ones from Antonio Tsai (they often feature a photo of him playing a violin). Guitarists who took the bait have reported guitars that cracked open shortly after they arrived in the US. This seller has his instruments made in Vietnam.

mackie
05-18-2010, 01:48 AM
i did order too from taisamlu. i was very pleased and would be happy to order again in the future. was quite surprised how light the ukulele is considering it's a tenor. very loud sounding too. i had to adjust the action a bit to my taste. very pretty ukulele with a great sound for its price. its my favorite.

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g77/macmackie/DSC_6694-Version2.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g77/macmackie/DSC_6697-Version2.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g77/macmackie/DSC_6698-Version2.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g77/macmackie/DSC_6712-Version2.jpg

the52blues
05-18-2010, 03:04 AM
Wow! purdy! Lot's of inlay. Almost too much? Nah....never. Can't wait for mine to arrive.

DoctorFinlay
05-18-2010, 11:37 AM
mackie - that is one good looking instrument!

Here are some photos of mine, been playing it pretty much constantly and still chuffed to bits with it.

the52blues
05-26-2010, 02:16 PM
My uke finally arrived from Taiwan (taisamlu). I guess it takes a little longer for the delivery people to find Canada! The good thing was - there was NO ADDITIONAL TAXES OR CHARGES! I'm ecstatic!!! OK now the uke - very well packed I must say. The case is a beautiful hard shell with latches and simulated alligator exterior NOT like the standard Uke Crazy cases. The uke is exactly as pictured and described. I couldn't find a flaw anywhere in the highly glossy finish. The intonation and neck seem bang on. I played and played for hours. I have trouble putting it down to write this note. Here are the pics taken by a terrible photographer - me... Mr. Shakeyhand...just super happy I guess.

http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae232/the52blues/Instruments/hmtenor1.jpg

http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae232/the52blues/Instruments/hmtenor2b.jpg

http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae232/the52blues/Instruments/hmtenorHSF.jpg

http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae232/the52blues/Instruments/hmtenorHFB.jpg

Chris Tarman
05-26-2010, 02:22 PM
I'm glad you like it! Make sure to keep it humidified, since it came from such a humid place and who knows how well they cured the wood. My soprano has some weird neck issue that I hope can be taken care of. But it is a beautiful looking thing and was worth the money I paid.

Spooner
05-26-2010, 06:14 PM
I have been looking at the ukes he puts up on Ebay for some time now.
I have always been hestitant on buying one of them given the obvious variables.
It's nice to know that they are functional instruments as well as being purdy.
Hmm...UAS...
Congrats guys.

DoctorFinlay
05-27-2010, 10:25 AM
That is one good looking instrument, glad you are pleased with it. I have kept mine in its case with a humidifier but the humidity here even in the case with the humidifier never gets above 45%. Hope this won't cause me any problems! What's the issue with the neck on yours Chris?

Chris Tarman
05-27-2010, 02:11 PM
That is one good looking instrument, glad you are pleased with it. I have kept mine in its case with a humidifier but the humidity here even in the case with the humidifier never gets above 45%. Hope this won't cause me any problems! What's the issue with the neck on yours Chris?

When I first got it (in November I think), the action was a little low on the lower frets. I took it to a local-ish guitar builder, and he put a new (taller) nut on it, which helped. But he also mentioned that the neck is somewhat bowed fret-ward (I can never remember if that is called "relief" or "back-bow"). He said he could try steaming/clamping it to flatten it out. But the action was pretty good at that time. I haven't ever really played it much, but I keep it cased with a little humidifier that I refill regularly (same as all my others). I pulled it out the other day and noticed that it is fretting out again on the first few frets. It's quite dry here (high desert climate), but I haven't had much trouble with my other solid ukes. I suppose I'll take it back to the luthier and see if he can do the clamping thing to it. It has a nice sound (although not particularly loud) when it is actually playable, and it is absolutely gorgeous, so I would like to be able to play it! But if not, no huge thing. I don't play all my ukuleles all that often anyway. But I am glad to hear that other people have good luck with his ukes.

luvdat
05-27-2010, 02:47 PM
Beautiful uke, 52!!!

DoctorFinlay
05-27-2010, 07:45 PM
When I first got it (in November I think), the action was a little low on the lower frets. I took it to a local-ish guitar builder, and he put a new (taller) nut on it, which helped. But he also mentioned that the neck is somewhat bowed fret-ward (I can never remember if that is called "relief" or "back-bow"). He said he could try steaming/clamping it to flatten it out. But the action was pretty good at that time. I haven't ever really played it much, but I keep it cased with a little humidifier that I refill regularly (same as all my others). I pulled it out the other day and noticed that it is fretting out again on the first few frets. It's quite dry here (high desert climate), but I haven't had much trouble with my other solid ukes. I suppose I'll take it back to the luthier and see if he can do the clamping thing to it. It has a nice sound (although not particularly loud) when it is actually playable, and it is absolutely gorgeous, so I would like to be able to play it! But if not, no huge thing. I don't play all my ukuleles all that often anyway. But I am glad to hear that other people have good luck with his ukes.

Thanks for the reply, hope you get yours sorted!

brickerenator
05-28-2010, 01:38 AM
Dangit

UAS just kicked in