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View Full Version : The Torture of Anticipation



Kem
12-09-2010, 08:53 AM
The Mainland I bought from Gmoney just arrived, but because it's so cold outside, I need to leave it in the box for a few hours before I open it. Also, I hate BLOODY EXORBITANT IMPORT CHARGES. That is all.

Dear Canada:

Please get yourself a decent ukulele distributor. LA Music never has anything in stock and takes three hundred years to deliver things it claims ARE in stock (though often, they aren't). Also, it sells only Oscar Schmidts. Long and McQuade is in love with Kalas but absolutely nothing else. I could list the other companies, but that would just be depressing. I think I shall now go mark term papers and gently weep.

fitncrafty
12-09-2010, 08:54 AM
Oh congrats.. I hope it meets your every expectation...

molokinirum
12-09-2010, 08:56 AM
Congrats on your new uke!!!

mm stan
12-09-2010, 09:24 AM
Aloha Kem,
Congrats on the new purchase from Gmoney....do you still have import charges if it's declared a gift or private sold to other countries??Let us know how it turns out....he he the rant about ukulele inacessability
there...don't blame you!! Have Fun and Enjoy! Happy Strummings!! MM Stan..

Kem
12-09-2010, 09:46 AM
You don't get import charges if an item is declared a gift. However, I believe eBay has rules about sellers not trying to get around import charges in this way, as labelling what is actually an imported item a "gift" is against the law. I HAVE had certain international sellers (not eBay sellers) label my items as "gifts" on their own initiative. I do not object when this happens. $100 in import fees is a bit much.

mds725
12-09-2010, 10:22 AM
Congratulations on the new ukulele! Please post photos and vidoes after you have a chance to play it!

Gmoney
12-09-2010, 10:25 AM
You don't get import charges if an item is declared a gift. ...

Glad it got there, but hate that you ended up w/import fees - I waffled over those questions from my UPS shipper when I shipped it & didn't know how to declare it... Hope you end up loving it enough to soften the import blow.

mm stan
12-09-2010, 10:25 AM
Aloha Kem,
I didn't know it was ebay, thought it was a private sale.....you are right $100.00 is quite exhorbant for import fees....

Kem
12-09-2010, 11:49 AM
Well, I finally opened it, and it is certainly a pretty little instrument; oddly enough, it was also almost perfectly in tune when I first tried to play it. One thing is, however, worrying me. Is the pick-up supposed to be floating around freely inside the instrument, occasionally going thump and bang? It seems a little odd that it's doing that. If this is wrong, I have utterly no way of fixing it.

LimuHead
12-09-2010, 12:12 PM
Well, I finally opened it, and it is certainly a pretty little instrument; oddly enough, it was also almost perfectly in tune when I first tried to play it. One thing is, however, worrying me. Is the pick-up supposed to be floating around freely inside the instrument, occasionally going thump and bang? It seems a little odd that it's doing that. If this is wrong, I have utterly no way of fixing it.

EEk! There should be no banging around inside your uke! It might be an easy fix, but you'll have to loosen the strings to get a good look inside.

Good luck!
Aldon

JamieFromOntario
12-09-2010, 12:23 PM
hey kem,
I feel for ya. I had to pay around $80-90 on the Kala I bought from mgm for $300. All I can say is:

"Free trade my a**!!!"

I am considering buying a $1000+ uke from an american luthier but i'm worried that duties will be...what, $200, $300, $400??? Maybe I could just ship it to friends/family in the states and wait till they come to visit.....


I sometimes wish I could open up a good ukulele store here in Toronto which could carry some good brands (Kala, Mainland, Fluke, maybe a "K" brand, a few by good American builders) at less than the prices we are forced to pay buying through American internet sellers or at local big box or specialty instrument stores.
Though, I must say that guitarjunky in Montreal seems to be offering instruments at much better prices than I've seen else where

OldePhart
12-09-2010, 12:42 PM
The Mainland I bought from Gmoney just arrived, but because it's so cold outside, I need to leave it in the box for a few hours before I open it. Also, I hate BLOODY EXORBITANT IMPORT CHARGES. That is all.


Congrats on the uke but I'm floored that you had to pay that kind of import tax - that amounts to what, 30% of the new retail cost - on a used item??!! I though most countries didn't charge import duties, or charged much lower duties, on used items. I know I've ordered used stuff from Europe and Asia a couple of times and never got charged import duties.

We need a UU-er who lives close to the border to drive ukes over and ship them from inside Canada for our brothers up north, eh?

John

v30
12-09-2010, 01:25 PM
Anything you fellow canucks buy from the US needs to be sent via USPS. That way you pay a flat $5 + hst.....that's it.

Guitarjunky.ca has some nice ukes

Ukuleleblues
12-09-2010, 02:08 PM
If it's an active pickup it might it be the battery bag, might need to be put back on the velcro.

OldePhart
12-09-2010, 02:26 PM
If it's the Mainland with factory pickup it's probably a Mi Si and they don't have a battery bag (the preamp uses a capacitor and you just charge it up by plugging it in to the power supply for about a minute, so, no battery).

If the pickup is working then it's probably the wire between the pickup and the preamp (which I believe is mounted on the jack) slapping against the top or whatever.

John

Kem
12-09-2010, 02:35 PM
If it's the Mainland with factory pickup it's probably a Mi Si and they don't have a battery bag (the preamp uses a capacitor and you just charge it up by plugging it in to the power supply for about a minute, so, no battery).

If the pickup is working then it's probably the wire between the pickup and the preamp (which I believe is mounted on the jack) slapping against the top or whatever.

John

No, it's like...there's something HUGE loose in there. Every time I move the instrument at all, the...thingy...goes sliding and banging and thumping around, like a bar of soap rattling in the bottom of a bucket. If I squiddle my eyes around, I can see something large attached to some wires; it's sitting loose inside the uke. I don't know if the pickup is working or not because I don't have the proper equipment at the moment. And yes, it's a Mi Si.

OldePhart
12-09-2010, 05:18 PM
That doesn't sound promising at all because I think the preamp, including the capacitor that powers it, are soldered directly to the endpin jack and it sounds like that has broken free. I'm pretty sure the Acoustic Trio at the top of this page http://mi-si.com/products/ is what Mike is using.

Just guessing, of course, but I can't think of anything else it would be...unless maybe the charger slipped into the sound hole? (Just kind of hoping against hope; I'm betting it was packed too well to let that happen.)

John

OldePhart
12-09-2010, 05:21 PM
I guess it's also possible that the "simple jack" retaining nut loosened completely and let the jack/preamp fall inside the instrument - but that should be obvious because there will be a hole on the heal instead of a strap button/jack.

Sure would be nice if that is all that's wrong though, because that's a fairly easy fix.

John

Kem
12-09-2010, 05:48 PM
I guess it's also possible that the "simple jack" retaining nut loosened completely and let the jack/preamp fall inside the instrument - but that should be obvious because there will be a hole on the heal instead of a strap button/jack.

Sure would be nice if that is all that's wrong though, because that's a fairly easy fix.

John


It's not the charger; that was packed neatly into the inner compartment of the case. I fear your first idea is correct. There's definitely no hole in the instrument.

So you're basically saying that I'm screwed, then? Will taking it in for repairs help? Am I going to be forking out yet MORE hundreds of dollars?

This was supposed to be a happy day. Sigh...

OldePhart
12-09-2010, 06:15 PM
Worst case would be about a hundred bucks for a new unit, I guess. Though you should fill out a report and see if you can get reimbursed by the shipper if it was insured.

If there are any good instrument techs in your area they might be able to repair it. It might be something as simple as the board assembly coming desoldered from the jack. Solder is not very strong - it is actually just used to make good electrical contact between components (the reason you should always wrap or bend wire around a pin before soldering it, etc.). So, I haven't seen one of these in person, but if the board is just soldered straight to a jack without good mechanical support I can see it breaking loose in shipment if the package took a hard knock. There wouldn't necessarily be signs on the outside of the package if it landed flat.

Wish I had better news for you, but I just can't think of anything else that would be banging around in there. (And now, with a Mi Si equipped tenor arriving tomorrow, I'm crossing my fingers!) Actually, when mine gets here I'll see if I can find my inspection mirror to get a good look at the way the board and jack are attached to see if the board coming off the jack seems a likely scenario.

John

Gmoney
12-10-2010, 02:28 AM
Well, I finally opened it, and it is certainly a pretty little instrument; oddly enough, it was also almost perfectly in tune when I first tried to play it. One thing is, however, worrying me. Is the pick-up supposed to be floating around freely inside the instrument, occasionally going thump and bang? It seems a little odd that it's doing that. If this is wrong, I have utterly no way of fixing it.

Glad you finaly got into it & that it arrived in good shape. When I bought it her on UU, it was in tune on arrival as well - I think that was largely due to the Savarez strings. As to the pickup - it is an Mi-Si pickup w/under-saddle LR baggs which was factory installed. The only thing that "I THINK" could be loose or "flaoting around in the instrument" would be the wire from the pickup to the Mi-Si "preamp" module that is hard attached to the end pin jack. If you loosen the strings a bit; tie them out of the way w/a bit of string or even tape (I've seen photos of doing this on UU), you should be able to either feel inside w/your fingers or peer inside w/a small mirror & see where the wire may have come loose from being taped or otherwise attached to the body of the uke. "Hoosierhiver" (Mike Hater of Mainland) may be able to tell us how he usually ties down the wire inside.

WAIT!!! Dumb me! I think that it has an OASIS uke humidifier that normally hangs from the strings that is likely what you hear bumping around! You should be able to tilt the uke around until you see it & fish it out w/your fingers.

Let me know what you discover.

Hippie Dribble
12-10-2010, 02:51 AM
Anything you fellow canucks buy from the US needs to be sent via USPS. That way you pay a flat $5 + hst.....that's it.

Guitarjunky.ca has some nice ukes

agree with v30 here. All my experience with UPS has been bad. All with USPS has been great. For example, 2 months ago I was quoted $300+ minimum shipping on a tenor resonator by UPS. USPS quoted me $78 and to get there quicker. What's the deal there? I could give other examples...

Kem
12-10-2010, 02:58 AM
Heh...well, THAT'S embarrassing. Yes, it was the humidifier. It was apparently jammed right into the end of the instrument, to the extent that this morning, it wasn't moving at all, even when I shook the thing. I've managed to remove it. Sorry about that; I couldn't see it properly yesterday, and I had no idea what it was.

Otherwise, I have no complaints. The sound is quite different from that of my mango Lanikai, and the low G is interesting to play around with. Also, again, it's a very pretty little thing. The mahogany is beautiful. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to buy it, despite the stupid, STUPID Customs problem.

Mandarb
12-10-2010, 03:07 AM
Congrats on the new uke. Glad to hear everything is okay.

OldePhart
12-10-2010, 07:03 AM
Heh...well, THAT'S embarrassing. Yes, it was the humidifier.

Woo-hoo! That kind of embarrassing I can handle, considering the alternative!

This is indeed good news. I had just logged in during my lunch break to tell you that mine arrived from Mainland and that you should be able to see the excess lead from the pickup (a fair amount of it) bundled and stuck to the inside of the back with a plastic tie-wrap and adhesive cable anchor. I was hoping that all that had broken loose on yours was that anchor - but this is even better!

John

Kem
12-10-2010, 07:53 AM
Woo-hoo! That kind of embarrassing I can handle, considering the alternative!

This is indeed good news. I had just logged in during my lunch break to tell you that mine arrived from Mainland and that you should be able to see the excess lead from the pickup (a fair amount of it) bundled and stuck to the inside of the back with a plastic tie-wrap and adhesive cable anchor. I was hoping that all that had broken loose on yours was that anchor - but this is even better!
John

Well, thanks for the help, and congratulations on your new Mainland. It is apparently New Mainland Week at UU. Hurrah!