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pdxuke
02-11-2011, 03:18 PM
Friends:

I recently bought a KoAloha soprano (pikake) used that arrived today--not from the factory, but purchased through a previous owner. After letting the box adjust for several hours I opened and inspected it.

It is beautiful, as you KoAloha fans know. It plays beautifully. There is a problem, and I need your advice.

There is the slightest raise at the seam in the back of the instrument, from midway down to the heel at the bottom. It is barely noticeable by eye, but there by touch. What do you think it represents, is it in the range of normal or is it a potential problem?

I have an email to our friends at KoAloha to ask their opinion.

I want to stress that I believe the seller to be a person of good will, and should I need to return it, that will not be a problem.

What would you do?

SweetWaterBlue
02-11-2011, 03:34 PM
Thom. I would probably do as you have done. First contact the seller to inquire whether this is something that may have happened in shipping and let them know that you have contacted Koaloha to see if they think it is a problem. Then, I would wait to hear from Koaloha and/or other Koloaha owners of that instruments here. It might be nothing to worry about, or it might be a glue seam lifting a bit during shipping.

pdxuke
02-11-2011, 03:47 PM
Thom. I would probably do as you have done. First contact the seller to inquire whether this is something that may have happened in shipping and let them know that you have contacted Koaloha to see if they think it is a problem. Then, I would wait to hear from Koaloha and/or other Koloaha owners of that instruments here. It might be nothing to worry about, or it might be a glue seam lifting a bit during shipping.

Seller didn't notice it before. Could very well be a shipping issue. Hope that others can shed light on whether this is a big deal--if not, I'm sure KoAloha can tell me.

pdxuke
02-11-2011, 04:15 PM
As I wait for more info, I just have to say how much I love this instrument. I've played nothing but mahogany ukes, many of them classic, vintage ukes like Martin, Gretsch, Gibson. This KoAloha plays first class--action and set up great.

I also absolutely adore the satin finish, leading me to ask--has anyone ever ordered their other ukes (like the pineapple, for example) in a satin? Anybody have one?

pithaya9
02-11-2011, 05:03 PM
got any pics that we could take a look at to compare?

pdxuke
02-11-2011, 05:16 PM
got any pics that we could take a look at to compare?

Pics won't do it. It's very subtle. The rise in the seam is most noticeable to the touch. When you run your finger down the back seam starting where the neck meets the body, it's smooth; get about half way down, it's not smooth. Like a teeny tiny version of a speed bump. Barely noticeable--but there. Then it vanishes again at the bottom. The way to compare is to run your finger down the back seam of you pikake--is it always smooth--as if there is no seam at all? Not sure if all KoAlohas are bult the same--with a back joining of two pieces?

SweetWaterBlue
02-11-2011, 05:36 PM
I would also make sure I am giving it a lot of humidity, just in case it dried out a bit in shipping. I know when my SK-35G was shipped last winter it got very dry and it took me several days to re-humidify it.

haolejohn
02-11-2011, 05:47 PM
above post makes since. Where did the uke come from? East Coast? Was there insurance on it?

mm stan
02-11-2011, 06:01 PM
Aloha Thom,
Sounds like you may have had a slight seam separation...and the seller may have not noticed it.....because it is kinda tight...keep an eye on it if it worsens have it fixed...

70sSanO
02-11-2011, 06:11 PM
My KoAloha KSM-00 had a one piece front and back.

I am wondering, is it where the U brace is placed and does it also go across perpendicular to the seam as if the brace is making the bump?

If everything is solid my first thought is that it should be fine.

But like others have said, it would be best to hear from KoAloha.

John

hottoddy
02-11-2011, 07:51 PM
I just checked my new pikake soprano (born stamp 1/2011) carefully, and the back looks like one piece to me. If there's a seam down the middle, it's the best I've seen.

I hope you get it figured out. It sure is a great little instrument.

pdxuke
02-11-2011, 09:11 PM
Build date August 2009, and it's a two piece back, because the tone of the wood is different as in a mirror. If I put my eye at the heel and look down the back to the neck, I can see a thin white line of several inches long running up that seem. Inside the sound hole I can see a strip of wood about 1/4 inch wide running down the center of the back, which is probably how the sides are joined.

I am blasting it with humidity and it's in the case now. When I hear from KoAloha I will let you know what they think. The fact that no one else here has experienced this makes me lean towards returning it to the seller, but I'll wait for word from the makers.

pdxuke
02-13-2011, 09:13 AM
I've reflected on this situation and I've decided to return the uke to the seller, even without KoAloha's opinion. I worry that I'm going to have to nurse this instrument along, even more than one has to be careful with a fine quality instrument. It just isn't worth the worry to me. I'd rather pay more and start with an issue free instrument.

Now, for somebody with more courage than me, it may turn out to be worth the risk.

The real disappointment for me is that this instrument has the old style, classic looking knot bridge. I really don't like the new bridge, so that is going to preclude me replacing this instrument with one from the factory.

But I understand the love of Koaloha's now, and I'll have my eye out for another!

Thanks for all your help!

didgeridoo2
02-13-2011, 09:36 AM
Long neck soprano is available in market place, Thom. I love my KoAloha tenor.

pdxuke
02-13-2011, 09:47 AM
Thanks Jeff. I like the Pikake because of the satin finish. I saw that long neck and it looks beautiful, but I only use about 7 frets anyway--the rest I'd have to rent out!