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lovemissheather
06-10-2008, 05:10 PM
So I won a bidding this morning for a brand new beautifully inlayed Ukulele made by Antoniotsai. I did research via eBay and saw many good remarks about good craftsmanship, etc... so i went through with my bidding and of course, won the instrument.

However, now after looking more into it I see that Antoniotsai instruments have had pretty much a 50/50 in reviews. half good, half bad. Usually in regards to the craftsmanship of the instruments themselves.. not their inlays.

Anyway, the main point is. I bought one of these, and have not heard anything in regards to their Ukulele's. I believe that maybe making Uke's are a new ground for the company... either that, or maybe the feedback just... hmm. I'm not really sure.

I'm a little nervous about receiving this instrument in the next coming weeks. Excited, still, as it is definitely a beauty. But I hope that it is good quality.

In all fairness, I won the bid for $41 dollars when most of his instruments are going from $500 to $2,000 dollars. So it's not like I'd be completely ripped off.

Has anyone here heard anything about Antoniotsai's instruments? Good or bad? And better yet, what about their Ukulele's?

I will defnitely update you all after I receive the instrument in the next coming weeks. And, of course, play it via webcam on my youtube account. That way, we'll know how the sound quality is as well.

Thanks guys! I always appreciate your help and your feedback :)

Kanaka916
06-10-2008, 05:52 PM
Here's a tenor by Antoniotsai - beautiful inlay. Purely aesthetic, I wonder how it sounds and feels. From the info available, they're made in either Taiwan or Vietnam ...

http://imagehost.vendio.com/a/20613767/aphotoalbum/1211537489555_DSC_0089.JPG

wearymicrobe
06-10-2008, 06:12 PM
Without a doubt wall hangers at best.

And its 41$ plus shipping.

Ukesista
06-10-2008, 09:14 PM
This website here has some major warnings about his guitars and mandolins
and general craftmanship.

http://www.chionline.com/Antoniotsai/index.html

seeso
06-10-2008, 09:23 PM
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1155

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1367

k0konutz
06-10-2008, 09:27 PM
I was the guinea pig on this one.
I won a beautiful one but as far as sound quality....it doesn't hold up. So it's just hung up on my wall for art.
It's too good to be true.

Boozelele
06-10-2008, 09:32 PM
Im not proponent of winning an ebay auction and not paying. But it seems like in this case maybe you should think about it if you havent already paid. I think I would take my chances with a Mahalo or a Makala instead. I hate getting ripped off, and maybe you will end up with a good instrument, but...gosh...it sure sounds risky.

k0konutz
06-10-2008, 11:43 PM
Maybe offer to pay a relisting fee so he's not out a few bucks.
How much was shipping? $90?

lovemissheather
06-11-2008, 11:43 AM
Here's a tenor by Antoniotsai - beautiful inlay. Purely aesthetic, I wonder how it sounds and feels. From the info available, they're made in either Taiwan or Vietnam ...

http://imagehost.vendio.com/a/20613767/aphotoalbum/1211537489555_DSC_0089.JPG

this is the exact one i bought (same inlay in everything)

hoping it turns out good quality wise!

lovemissheather
06-11-2008, 11:51 AM
Maybe offer to pay a relisting fee so he's not out a few bucks.
How much was shipping? $90?

shipping is like $80. so totalling about 120.

i wonder what i could do to fix it up myself (if anything) for better sound quality. ahhh man, i'm nervous.

bummer, i guess it might be a nice collectors item because if the inlay work... but. man.


all in all it was still pretty cheap.

i play a cordoba right now, 300 dollars through musicians friend.
its BEAUTIFUL sounding. it's my number one any way.


maybe i'll be the third to check it out.
like i said, its 50 50
i make a lot of money, so 120 bucks isnt a lot to risk.

hmmm
we'll see.

Woodstocksp3
06-11-2008, 03:06 PM
NOOO! Danget, I just bid on one yesterday before I read this thread... I always check ebay before I come to ukulele underground and I noticed that no one had bid on one of them so I bid $1 and I'm the top bidder. Hopefully someone will outbid me...

Plainsong
06-11-2008, 08:44 PM
Well for a dollar it could at least be wall art. :) Although I guess the shipping would be killer.

Woodstocksp3
06-12-2008, 05:27 PM
Well for a dollar it could at least be wall art. :) Although I guess the shipping would be killer.

Yeah, it would've made good wall art but someone outbid me luckily. :)

lovemissheather
07-01-2008, 09:11 PM
posted a video or two with it on Youtube.
It actually isn't so bad. :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVD9Sjz2YFo


guess i'm just lucky.
:D

14twelve
07-01-2008, 10:04 PM
I'm so glad you got a good one! It sounds really nice, and it has beautiful inlay.

Plainsong
07-01-2008, 10:13 PM
Yeah, it sounds sweet especially with that style of playing. Now that it sounds great, here's hoping it doesn't start cracking up, because now that would be a real shame. Oh, and a shout out to fellow girl with ink! :rock:

Boozelele
07-01-2008, 10:52 PM
So here is what you should do.. just play the shit out of it over the next couple weeks. That way, if it does fall apart, you will have gotten your monies worth out of it. it would be like renting a uke to play for a while, except now you get to keep the remnants to show when you tell the story of the "disposable uke". (wait a minute..."disposable uke".....I might be on to something here.....forget I mentioned that......)

k0konutz
07-02-2008, 07:34 AM
Make sure you have a humidifier! It gets pretty dry up there in the mountains, right?
My antoniotsai doesn't sound as good as yours does. I have Aquila Nylguts on mine, maybe I'll check out some J71's. And you're right: the strings that came with it were terrible!
What strings did you put on?

lovemissheather
07-02-2008, 07:55 AM
Make sure you have a humidifier! It gets pretty dry up there in the mountains, right?
My antoniotsai doesn't sound as good as yours does. I have Aquila Nylguts on mine, maybe I'll check out some J71's. And you're right: the strings that came with it were terrible!
What strings did you put on?

i do have a humidifier (bought a new one SPECIFICALLY for this instrument, becuase of what ive heard!). As for strings, I replaced mine with Martins.

I just moved to Sacramento from Tahoe (yeah, still dry), and went to look around for some new strings. All I could find was Martin Soprano strings. They fit... and they sound fine :)

yay!

Hopefully it doesn't fall apart, though.
How is the body of yours holding up??

k0konutz
07-02-2008, 08:14 AM
My buddy is borrowing it in Sacramento right now actually (Roseville to be exact), but as far as I know all is well.
I don't know of any guitar shops in the area (i'm sure they are there but don't know if they carry uke strings) except for shitar center. So those martins may be the only ones around unless you buy online or I can pick some other kinds up and get them to you next time I visit sacramento, which should be pretty soon.

deach
07-02-2008, 08:18 AM
... except for shitar center......

LOL. There is a large Indian population near a GC my brother goes to. He calls it Sitar Center.

lovemissheather
07-02-2008, 08:29 AM
My buddy is borrowing it in Sacramento right now actually (Roseville to be exact), but as far as I know all is well.
I don't know of any guitar shops in the area (i'm sure they are there but don't know if they carry uke strings) except for shitar center. So those martins may be the only ones around unless you buy online or I can pick some other kinds up and get them to you next time I visit sacramento, which should be pretty soon.


let me know! i might order off of ebay, or from another website with tenor uke strings in stock (preferrably better ones). Even with the Martins, the uke still sounds good quality wise... which i'm still SHOCKED about.

**oh, a question for those of you who have purchased in the past with bad experiences... what style uke did you order?? maybe that has something to do with the difference. or maybe its just a randomized thing. some instruments are great, and some... are.. bleh. horrible

lovemissheather
07-02-2008, 08:30 AM
lol. There Is A Large Indian Population Near A Gc My Brother Goes To. He Calls It Sitar Center.


Lol.... :)

Kanaka916
07-02-2008, 02:24 PM
My buddy is borrowing it in Sacramento right now actually (Roseville to be exact), but as far as I know all is well.
I don't know of any guitar shops in the area (i'm sure they are there but don't know if they carry uke strings) except for shitar center. So those martins may be the only ones around unless you buy online or I can pick some other kinds up and get them to you next time I visit sacramento, which should be pretty soon.
Skips Music in EG carries D'Addarios and Ko'olau, so I was told.

andrew
07-02-2008, 04:45 PM
Skips Music in EG carries D'Addarios and Ko'olau, so I was told.

Which might lead one to believe their store in Sacto, and ... well, wherever the other location is, might as well. Their website sucks rocks, though, so it's hard to know what they carry without calling. Based on their website, I thought they only offered lessons.

lovemissheather
07-04-2008, 04:39 AM
Skips Music in EG carries D'Addarios and Ko'olau, so I was told.

i'll have to check out skips, then. i think we have a skips in folsom.. and that's about fifteen minutes from me unlike elk grove which is about 45 minutes if not an hour away from me.

sigh.

gotta love living out in the boondocks of placerville :D

Kanaka916
07-04-2008, 05:32 AM
Which might lead one to believe their store in Sacto, and ... well, wherever the other location is, might as well. Their website sucks rocks, though, so it's hard to know what they carry without calling. Based on their website, I thought they only offered lessons.
Yea their website doesn't offer a whole lot of info. Their store in Sac (closer to Roseville) is located at 2740 Auburn Blvd between Fulton and Watt. I know they offer lessons but not sure for the Uke. Kline Music (http://klinemusic.com/) offers Uke lessons and have a somewhat decent selection of Lanikai and Kala's. They are located at 2200 Sutterville Rd. south on 99, exit on 12th Ave, make a right at the light and across the street from Sac City College.

i'll have to check out skips, then. i thi carrnk we have a skips in folsom.. and that's about fifteen minutes from me unlike elk grove which is about 45 minutes if not an hour away from me.

sigh.

gotta love living out in the boondocks of placerville :D
Hey, Hippieguy lives up there in Placerville and this is the site (http://liveukulele.com/) he Slack Key Kid host . . . drop him a PM, maybe ya'll can set up a get together or something. He hasn't posted for a couple weeks. BTW, I don't think there's a Skip's in the Folsom area. One on Auburn Blvd, one in Elk Grove and the other is in Modesto.

lovemissheather
07-04-2008, 06:05 AM
Hey, Hippieguy lives up there in Placerville and this is the site (http://liveukulele.com/) he Slack Key Kid host . . . drop him a PM, maybe ya'll can set up a get together or something. He hasn't posted for a couple weeks. BTW, I don't think there's a Skip's in the Folsom area. One on Auburn Blvd, one in Elk Grove and the other is in Modesto.

my bad, i was thinking of nicholsons. goodmorning to me, right?!?!?! :D

and that's awesome. i thought i was the only person within a 100 mile radius who was part of the UU. I only met one person who even plays the ukulele... that was in sacramento at a music store. awesome girl, though.

wooo PM's here i come!

lovemissheather
07-05-2008, 05:36 PM
so, there are no cracks and the uke still sounds amazing in regards to what i first expected.

but the wood on the fretboard is starting to scuff from playing after only a few days. i wonder if there is something i could put on it to prevent it from happening further? its been around the inlays... but not directly on them. i figured they would put something to seal the wood on the fretboard, but i guess they didn't . and wouldn't.

le' sigh.


other than that, after the first week of having it... it's still in pretty good shape. ;)

shmoo-brunca
01-03-2009, 06:53 PM
the shipping is... $80-$99 ? i understand where it's coming from... but what what really got me was when it said "ALL SALES ARE FINAL" so then i started doing research on them.... let us know what you think

salukulady
01-03-2009, 07:08 PM
hey shmoo, this all happened last July.......

anon_1
01-05-2009, 06:10 PM
Hi! I recently bought a maple tenor ukulele from Antoniotsai. And, yes, the price was $40... with $80 in shipping and insurance! The *concert* ukulele that I received arrived safely in its crate (wrapped securely in a plastic bag, packed with styrofoam inside an oversized soft-sided case). The ukulele smelled very wet. As I live in an area with roughly 50% humidity (and it was currently raining), the ukulele was unwrapped and tuned. While the inlay looks nice, the ukulele sounded very dead. Within a day, there was a crack on the front (adjacent to the bridge). On the second day, a very loud noise announced the splitting of the two halves of the front - from the bridge to the binding at the base. I e-mailed Antoniotsai and offered to send pictures showing them the problems. They encouraged this in their response, and stated that they would make me a "deal". I sent the pictures showing the problems clearly, and they then responded that I should ship the ukulele back. What a "deal"! Not worth $80! And the problem was obviously theirs, not mine. Definitely NOT a well-constructed instrument. Only expect to get a somewhat decorative item from them - and no real support. Buy an instrument from a reputable dealer. Peace!

ukulelebadass
05-27-2009, 04:14 PM
Hey All, this been incredibly helpful, I have been eyeing these instruments on e-bay for about a year now. Have heard some demos of his higher priced guitars and they sounded pretty good. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with his more expensive ukuleles, it seems like most of the responses here have been in regards to his cheaper deals... I figure once I'm paying 80 bucks to get the thing shipped I might as well spring for the top of the line model. I kind of figured I'd end up having to upgrade the tuners cause it lookes like he uses pretty crappy ones, and If it needs a new nut or bridge, whatever, but I don't want to deal with a split soundboard. It won't be my main instrument for playing but they just look so cool, still, I want to be able to play it sometimes, I was thinking about going for the baritone, any feedback?

seeso
05-27-2009, 04:23 PM
It won't be my main instrument for playing but they just look so cool, still, I want to be able to play it sometimes, I was thinking about going for the baritone, any feedback?

I would say no. Too many reports of cracking. Don't do it.

ichadwick
05-28-2009, 03:13 AM
...I was thinking about going for the baritone, any feedback?
I have a better idea. Why not just pick a UU member at random and mail him/her the money? Sure you won't have a useless wall-hanger to look at as it splinters and cracks, but you will have an eternally grateful UU member to say good things about you here.;)

HalcyonUke
05-18-2010, 06:21 PM
I've had my AntonioTsai tenor for 8 months now. Heavy build and heavy gloss finish. Exquisite inlay work. Very quiet ukulele, probably because of massiveness of the construction - it even feels heavy. But its sound is extraordinary. Pure and sweet. I had a setup and installed a passive pickup - by a great luthier. So this uke really can shine when amplified. And it is a joy to play when by myself and not concerned about being heard.
Now the bad news - I am constantly switching saddles and rehydrating the uke - low winter humidity in northern climes really made the uke change shape. And I can feel the seams now - on the soundboard. It is not falling apart, I just may have to live with this.....
I hope it will last because I love the sound and the feel of the instrument. Intonation remains pretty spot on even way up the neck. It is very pretty from ten feet away. Up close, it is a toss-up - not a thing wrong with the inlay or binding work. The gloss finish is pretty, but the wood surface appears uneven and even slightly dimpled. But she remains my go-to uke. Wouldn't do it again, but this has been a good ride.

Maiyah888
03-07-2011, 03:37 PM
I Googled antonio tsai guitar reviews about 3 minutes AFTER I won the bid today, but BEFORE I pressed "Pay Now."

Whoa. Scary.

So I wrote his office an email saying "I made a mistake with my bid, please send a Second Chance Offer to the next highest bidder."

The bidder below me is only by $1.

Y'all cross your fingers for me.

I'll report back later.

Plainsong
03-08-2011, 01:38 AM
I'd take the negative feedback and ebay wrist-slap over buying that uke. Good luck!

Maiyah888
03-08-2011, 05:58 AM
Thanks for your support, Plainsong!

They've sent me a message saying "So you want to cancel your bid?"

And I wrote "Yes, please, I know the next highest bidder was only a dollar below me, so I think they will be happy to win a Second Chance Offer!"

And, I'm not paying them. Ever. Bless their little hearts.

the52blues
03-08-2011, 05:54 PM
I bought a soprano uke from Antoniosai even after reading some bad press but I got it for $10 and paid $80 shipping. I was really worried but when I got it, it was OK - nice inlay. It was a bit dull sounding but did have some crummy black strings on it. I had a set of Aquilas I was going to put on it when a guy saw it and said he'd like to buy it for his girlfriend's birthday. I asked what he thought it was worth and he offered me $150.....I took it. He emailed me after her birthday and said she loved it and couldn't put it down. Each to their own I guess. I won't buy from him any more but I have also bought from Taisamlu in Taiwan and Bruce Wei in Vietnam and both have a lot better track record. The ukes were much better construction with Aquila strings and well worth the money I paid.

Plainsong
03-09-2011, 02:28 AM
Yeah, talk about dodging a bullet right? I wonder what makes them crack so easily?


Thanks for your support, Plainsong!

They've sent me a message saying "So you want to cancel your bid?"

And I wrote "Yes, please, I know the next highest bidder was only a dollar below me, so I think they will be happy to win a Second Chance Offer!"

And, I'm not paying them. Ever. Bless their little hearts.

the52blues
03-09-2011, 04:00 AM
Yeah, talk about dodging a bullet right? I wonder what makes them crack so easily?

Wood that is native to the land it is grown in usually avoids cracking because the humidity is at the same level it grew up in. Make an instrument out if it and ship it to a faraway land where the humidity level is different and, unless you take extra measures to maintain the humidity, it will crack if the humidity is lower or swell if the humidity is higher. Since ukes are usually a lot thinner in construction than other instruments they are more prone to dry out or swell as the case may be. Keeping ukes from overseas in Canada or USA usually require a humidifier in the case and not leaving the uke sitting out of the case for days. I am a piano tuner by trade and companies like Yamaha and Kawai import their wood from the country they are making the pianos for so that this problem does not become an issue.

Ambrosius
03-09-2011, 09:07 AM
Wood that is native to the land it is grown in usually avoids cracking because the humidity is at the same level it grew up in. Make an instrument out if it and ship it to a faraway land where the humidity level is different and, unless you take extra measures to maintain the humidity, it will crack if the humidity is lower or swell if the humidity is higher. Since ukes are usually a lot thinner in construction than other instruments they are more prone to dry out or swell as the case may be. Keeping ukes from overseas in Canada or USA usually require a humidifier in the case and not leaving the uke sitting out of the case for days. I am a piano tuner by trade and companies like Yamaha and Kawai import their wood from the country they are making the pianos for so that this problem does not become an issue.

In my opinion this deserves a broader debate, and not linked to any perticular brand or dealer. It is not without problems to produce delicate wooden music instruments under one climatic condition, for shipment and use in totally different conditions. We have seen emotionally and high temprature debates on the net on this matter, also in this forum. I guess it's a result of the general development we have seen in the "industrialized" (not any more, as we move the production out) world the latest years. Globalization, isn't it that what it's called? For "plastics" it's ok, but for thin and delicate wooden instrument ...

I have worked in tropical south east asia for longer periods, and know the conditions there. Companies like Kawai and Yamaha knows what they are doing. They have far too high investments to ruin their reputation on varped instruments, - and besides it would be hard to keep a piano in a humidifier :-)

Big D
03-10-2011, 01:41 AM
Hahaha. Most of the things Ive heard about these instruments are negative. Ever since I first saw them years ago on ebay. Especially their guitars. But u know the thought of getting a solid wood semi custom uke for $95(with shipping) is so enticing. So I said the hell with it! I ordered one a few days ago and should be getting it in a couple of weeks. Ill keep you guys posted. Ill let my 13 year old brother break it in. I started teaching him a few months back but the only ukes he has to learn on are my solid mango tenor or my concert Kamaka. He is getting spoiled starting off on such high end ukes so Ill let him have the Antoniosai.

Maiyah888
03-15-2011, 04:53 PM
Wow, Big D, you have some pretty fancypants ukes up in there!

Yay! They cancelled the bid today! Woo hoo!

I am soooooooooooooooooo grateful!

And, I have invested the savings in other instruments, about which I shall report when they arrive next Monday.

*skips about happily*

Big D
05-03-2011, 06:03 PM
Oh my mistake. I ordered the Bruce Wei ukulele with flower shaped sound holes not Antoniotsai. It got to my house on March 16 supposedly but the post office said they left a message on my door telling me to pick it up. I never got the note. About mid April I contacted the builder to see what was going on he told me the post office tried to deliver. On April 20th I went to the post office and it took three postal workers 15 minutes to find it. So before I even got to open it, these ukes that are known for warping and cracking in dryer climates has been sitting in a Northern California post office mail room for a month. I thought for sure the neck would be crooked and the soundboard split. Much to my surprise, after lots of scrutinizing, I found the uke to be in great condition. The fit and finish was clean. The construction solid. The strings were terrible but I changed them to Aquilas and now this thing sounds pretty damn good. I bought this thing just to see how bad these ukes really are. So far I dont have much to criticize. No it doesnt sing like a Koaloha. No it doesnt have the pedigree of a Kamaka. But it only cost $95 dollars with shipping. $95!?!?! For an all solid wood handmade ukulele. I am a firm believer in the superiority of solid wood construction over laminate construction. This uke may not have the amazing out of the box tone of high end Hawaiian made ukes but Ive played many Kala's and Lanikai's over the years and the sound of this Vietnamese made uke is on a whole different level. So first impression was really good. Much to my surprise. Sorry this posting is so long. I dont get a chance to get on this forum often. Ill keep updating when I can. Mahalo. Mauruuruu roa. Fa'afetai lava.