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View Full Version : Cordoba 25CK IS LAMINATED! Maybe I Shouldn't Believe My "Lying" Eyes! Geeze......



joejeweler
08-06-2011, 09:31 PM
Forget all the previous discussions about whether the Cordoba 25CK
ukulele is real KOA or "Acacia" wood,......It's NEITHER! I'm SO P*ssed! @$%^&*#@

Here is their website where they spout all the same corporate BS we've grown a bit used to. Will it never end???
They clearly state on their website this model is SOLID koa. (acacia to the rest of us since it's not grown in Hawaii)

http://www.cordobaguitars.com/82.php

My reciept from Guitar Center also states it a solid koa ukulele. The hang tag (that GC kept)
also stated it to be a solid koa uke,...

.....and it all means nuthing when it's really a laminated imposter!

EDITED to add: See my post #18 in this thread, wherein i describe why i think the top might very well be of solid one piece construction. The back and sides most definately aren't!

Unless i am the unluckiest buyer who just happened to buy their only laminated goofup,....i feel a bit raped in the
wallet. (but the lying part is worse)

Laminated ukes sell for under $100.00 and sometimes a lot less. With tax this was just over $300.00, and
yesterday i just recieved a Uke-Crazy hard case for it,....at $70.00
I returned the gig bag it came with and recieved a $25 plus credit on my CC, and that brought the uke cost
to $255.00 plus tax. The hard case not included in that figure.

(the Model 25 "CK" means Concert/Koa, and they make a Soprano and Tenor of this also, probably the same BS!)

I bought it as a travel uke, so as not to have a really good ukulele subject to theft,....and maybe bring camping and to the beach. I'm pretty handy and have always done my own setup and some repairs on guitars.

I figured i could tweak this uke along the way, and make it a whole lot better sounding given the fact it was supposed to be "SOLID" Koa! (insert acacia wood here if you will, but i already knew THAT!)

You might remember my post where i replaced the ill-fitting saddle with a hard african ivory one from Bob Colosi, and that cured the major intonation problems i was having. It also improved the overall tone and volumn,. but was still thin and with a muted voice. Here's that thread with pics: http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?50984-Cordoba-25CK-New-Hard-African-Ivory-Saddle-Cures-Intonation-Volumn-amp-Tone

Tonight i decided to put a sound port in it, as in the past it has always allowed the player to hear much more of
what an audience might. I've done 4 already,....all on acoustic guitars but basically the same process.

Imagine my surprise when, after making a cardboard oval pattern and tracing it over the lower bout with a magic marker, i began to cut into the wood and quickly saw a MUCH lighter wood underneath! :wtf:

After i discovered the laminated side, i took a few minutes to calm down before i could go back to work. No backing out now anyway!

I used the lower bout because my intent was to be able to more easily remove the top brace going from near the soundhole and going to the tail block. It's actually a better spot on a ukulele, because the hole ends up closer to your ear than would happen with a soundport on the upper bout. A noted luthier also places his acoustic "flutes" into the
bevel on the lower bout, because it's the more acoustically "active" part of the body.
(Kevin Ryan with his multi-ported version along the armrest bevel)

After rough cutting inside my magic marker line and removing the section, i went back in with a small sanding drum mounted in my Foredom flexable shaft machine to smooth the wood out to the marker line. Carefully hand sanding in finer grits completed the soundport.

The port helped some to get more sound up to my ear, but the brace removal was the other reason i put the port in, and that came out next. I slightly altered a thin kitchen knife to create a small bend in it, and taper the end to a chisel type edge to get under the brace and carefully pry the brace off. This brace went over the bridge pad, bit fortunately
was not glued to the pad. A few minutes later the brace was out, and the uke sounded about 40% louder and much fuller. Still not like a high end ukulele by the better builders, of course, but still a significant improvement from where we started.

.......i can only imagine what it might have sounded like IF the woods used were truly solid! I suspect the top is much the same, but i'm not planning on cutting into that. Virtually certain it's laminated also.......

One last thing i plan on getting done eventually is to slowly sand down and taper the bridge pad a bit. It looks to be about 2 mm thick, and approaches to about 1/2" of the kerfed linings. I'd like to get it to maybe 1 mm thick, and feather the ends back to at least an inch of the linings.

Anyway, here are some pics:

Here's the soundport, eventually i'll stain the inner edge to blend in and make the obvious 3 piece sandwich less obvious. I planned it's position to make the brace removal and future bridge pad thinning much easier.
A soundport access hole trumps working thru the main soundhole or removing the back.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Cordoba%2025CK%20Ukulele/Cordoba25CK001.jpg

....you can clearly see the laminated sections, where a lighter central wood is sandwiched between an outer and inner veneer of acacia wood. The upper 2 sections are more evident in the pic, but there is a 3rd lower darker wood lamination.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Cordoba%2025CK%20Ukulele/DSC02983.jpg
The wide brace is the bridge pad, the thinner one going
left to right is no longer there!

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Cordoba%2025CK%20Ukulele/Cordoba25CK031.jpg

joejeweler
08-06-2011, 09:36 PM
Here the brace is gone! I'll rig a small sanding block on a stick to remove the remnants of the removed brace soon. (at left)
This freed up the top significantly, with maybe a 40% increase in volumn, and better sustain also.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Cordoba%2025CK%20Ukulele/Cordoba25CK037.jpg

Some of the back bracing

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Cordoba%2025CK%20Ukulele/Cordoba25CK026.jpg


Here you can see just how thick the bridge pad is, about 2 mm thick. (before i removed the other brace)

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Cordoba%2025CK%20Ukulele/Cordoba25CK028.jpg


Pic of the tailblock,...a little messy with the glue balls to the right. However, this is one of the "cleaner" builds of this model i have seen.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Cordoba%2025CK%20Ukulele/Cordoba25CK030.jpg

RawrGazzawrs
08-06-2011, 09:59 PM
You seem really picky about your ukes lol..
but you get what you pay for, most solid koa ukes start off around 400 and 500 dollars...
you should call or email cordoba about this :3

joejeweler
08-06-2011, 10:04 PM
One thing i noticed is my Cordoba 25 CK is much cleaner built than that of another member here, where he
is tearing his down to use some parts and gain some incite as to construction.

His was a mess inside, with blocks of wood added to lock down the braces around the soundhole rather than
fitting them under the linings. The linings appear solid also, whereas mine are kerfed. (nothing wrong with solid
linings, btw) It appears there is only a single wide brace running left to right on this other example, unlike
the double "X"-like bracing pattern under the bridge area on mine originally.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Cordoba%2025CK%20Ukulele/Cordoba25CKTopBracing.jpg

joejeweler
08-06-2011, 10:09 PM
You seem really picky about your ukes lol..
but you get what you pay for, most solid koa ukes start off around 400 and 500 dollars...
you should call or email cordoba about this :3

Picky is what made me a quality jewely repairman and diamond setter for 35 years! It's in my blood......

But it's more like i don't like getting lied to. I suspect i am not alone in not getting what i bargained for, and
this kind of s--t has to stop! To discover it and not say anything will only allow them to keep selling a lie and
cheat other folks.

An individual seller may not know what he has, or how it's been made when he offers it for sale.

.....there is no excuse for a manufacturer who falsly advertises their product line. A little fraud goes a long way.

I'm surprised this hasn't come up before now, actually..............

kissing
08-06-2011, 11:36 PM
That's great!

Now all you gotta do is replace the top, sides and backs with solid wood! :D

joejeweler
08-07-2011, 05:26 AM
That's great!

Now all you gotta do is replace the top, sides and backs with solid wood! :D

Funny guy! :agree:

The thought did cross my mind to change out at least the top someday. A lightly braced thin piece of engleman spruce might be in it's future, or maybe a REAL solid wood koa top!

Yep,....really a "kit" from Cordoba to get what they advertise and charge for as a ready made "solid" koa wood ukulele.

BTW,....i just signed up for their mailing list and "warrantee registration", not that they would ever cover
anything with my alterations.

.......it might be interesting if buyers of the 25SK, 25CK, and 25TK all sent their ukes in under warrentee, complaining that they weren't solid koa (acacia) as bargained for and were laminated. (Soprano, Concert, and Tenor variations)

They say,...."prove it",......and then everyone sends in a link to this thread! :smileybounce:

....and we all get a "real" solid koa wood uke back as a replacement.

(when Cordoba actually makes them, that is! :deadhorse: )

Trinimon
08-07-2011, 06:45 AM
Wow, that's pretty shady of Cordoba. Says right on their site "all solid Concert Koa ukulele". I'd call them on it and raise hell. The scary thing is, if I see "all solid koa" going for under $500 new, it raises warning flags.

bdukes
08-07-2011, 08:17 AM
Joe (the Jeweler),

You have every right to be upset. It is a patently false claim of solid koa.

Copied from their website:
"The 25CK is Cordoba's all solid Concert Koa ukulele. With a solid Koa top and solid Koa back and sides, this lightweight ukulele is a unique instrument that embodies the simple charm of traditional Portuguese ornamentations. Completely handmade and comes with a Cordoba concert sized gig bag."

Misleading and false claims like this are type of thing the FTC takes very seriously. There are laws that protect the consumer against this. It looks like the only true piece in the above was the inclusion of a gig bag. Have to wonder about the "handmade" part as well. If it were me, I'd contact Cordoba for sure.

You do seem to like to tinker and tune your ukes and it's fun to read about your progress. What did you use to cut the sound port? Got me thinking about a weekend project...

Ted4
08-07-2011, 08:53 AM
"Soundport"??? I thought it was a cup holder! I was just about to cut a similar hole in a Dolphin to hold my favourite sherry glass. :D I learn something new here every day!

joejeweler
08-07-2011, 08:56 AM
Joe (the Jeweler),

You have every right to be upset. It is a patently false claim of solid koa.

Copied from their website:
"The 25CK is Cordoba's all solid Concert Koa ukulele. With a solid Koa top and solid Koa back and sides, this lightweight ukulele is a unique instrument that embodies the simple charm of traditional Portuguese ornamentations. Completely handmade and comes with a Cordoba concert sized gig bag."

Misleading and false claims like this are type of thing the FTC takes very seriously. There are laws that protect the consumer against this. It looks like the only true piece in the above was the inclusion of a gig bag. Have to wonder about the "handmade" part as well. If it were me, I'd contact Cordoba for sure.

You do seem to like to tinker and tune your ukes and it's fun to read about your progress. What did you use to cut the sound port? Got me thinking about a weekend project...

Thanks,...i do like to tinker!

Time is money to a builder, ...so i like to spend time on my own instruments a factory might not be able to in
order to meet a certain price point. Things like proper saddle/nut materials and fit, .....and setup adjustments with good intonation achieved (once final string selection is decided upon) are all things i like to work on myself.

Structural issues occasionally, but usually on an older instrument not worth having gone over by a top notch "pro".

For the side port i drew out an oval shape of appropriate size on a thin piece of cardboard, and cut it out with scissors.
Once i centered it where i wanted it, i held it down and used a new sharp point magic marker to transfer the shape.

Make sure you don't have any braces inside to worry about where you'll be cutting, and use a ruler to get the
cardboard centered between the top and back, as your eyes can play tricks sometimes.

I used my Fordom flexable shaft machine with a round bur attachment (maybe 2 mm diameter) to carefully score
a line a little inside the magic marker line. Having used it everyday for 35 years in jewelry work, i have a lot of control
there, but i made sure the ball always turned in the direction of the center of the piece i'd be taking out! If you
try to take too much or press too hard, the ball can catch and roll over the wood a little before you catch it. By turning
the uke as you cut keeps any slip on the throw away piece.

Once i got a slight channel outline cut all the way around, i then started to punch all the way thru, but leaving just a
little wood in between each full hole. This supports the piece to be removed, and prevents the bit catching and ripping
the wood possibly. Then those small remaining support pieces are cut away, and the last few cut pretty slow so as
to get a clean breakaway of the removed section.

Since all these punch thru holes have to be cleaned up (and were cut "inside" the marked outline!), i switched over
to a rubber backed 1/2" or so sanding drum attachment that i got at Sears. Used the course grit to get close to the line,
and a finer grit to get up to the line and final shape the hole.

The final step was 3 finer grits to hand sand the sharp edges off,....all the way down to 600 grit as i recall.
Be careful on hand sanding the outer sharp edge of the wood by hand, you don't want to sand in a recess,....just
get rid of the sharpness to the touch.

If you don't have a flexable shaft machine (Dremel will work also), you can hand score inside your mark with a sharp
scribe, and then drill out all the way around with holes as close as you dare. Final removal can be done by working the drill up and down and pressing sideways a little to cut away the pieces between holes, or a small course rat tail file could be used at the final stages of removing the wood section buy getting rid of the connecting pieces.
The file might be a bit safer too!

Always better to leave at least one connection point at each side and end until the final cuts are carefully made.

Anyway, the project is not a difficult one with some patience and a few tools. The extra feedback your instrument will
give you is well worth the effort, and only takes about 1/2 to 3/4 hour of your time. The port can also go on the upper
bout, but i think any future ports will go on the lower bout. I like the added access to the important top braces, and
would make any future transducer pickup installation on the bridge pad a breeze.

In fact, because laminated instruments are less feedback prone, i might just install a good transducer into this one soon. :rock:

joejeweler
08-07-2011, 08:59 AM
"Soundport"??? I thought it was a cup holder! I was just about to cut a similar hole in a Dolphin to hold my favourite sherry glass. :D I learn something new here every day!

Hehehe, not big enough to hold my favorite beer, but might double as an ashtray for you live on the edge smokers!

:smileybounce:

Dan Uke
08-07-2011, 09:21 AM
This is a great thread as I remember reading the original thread and thinking people were acting like congress and holding firm on their beliefs of Koa vs. Acacia regardless of what was presented!!

I would definitely call and shoot an email and ask for a solid replacement one, if there is such a thing!!

PhilUSAFRet
08-07-2011, 09:23 AM
Read some other posts about Cordoba and I emailed them once. Makes me wonder if Customer Service knows what the hell they are selling.

joejeweler
08-07-2011, 09:57 AM
This is a great thread as I remember reading the original thread and thinking people were acting like congress and holding firm on their beliefs of Koa vs. Acacia regardless of what was presented!!

I would definitely call and shoot an email and ask for a solid replacement one, if there is such a thing!!

I don't believe there are any "solid" wood Cordoba 25 series ukes in existance (koa or acacia), and the sad part
is that the only way for anyone to know for sure is to cut into it.

There may have been a time when this model was listed as a laminate, and then a change made to a solid wood instrument. This uke was hanging for awhile high up at Guitar Center,...maybe for a few years out of sight unless
you asked to see it like i did. I did do a lot of google searches trying to find anything that talked of this model
being laminated,.and couldn't find anything.

I took a shot because the build was pretty clean from what i could see thru the soundhole, although sound was pretty
weak and thin. The frets were smooth and the fretboard straight also, but the action needed work at the nut in
addition to the poorly fit crap saddle that i replaced.

I wouldn't send this one back now anyway for an exchange, as it's actually sounding pretty good with the one brace
removed, new quality saddle fitted, and of course the added sound port.

I'm hoping it will get even better over time (opening up), but i hate being lied to from a manufacturer.

But as a travel ukulele,....it will work out OK. A transducer install is next on my list.

Frankly, if Cordoba did what i did to mine and could consistanty have as clean a build and advertise it for what it is,...

......they'd have a good seller and sounding better and louder than anything they have out there now!

raecarter
08-07-2011, 10:08 AM
"Soundport"??? I thought it was a cup holder! I was just about to cut a similar hole in a Dolphin to hold my favourite sherry glass. :D I learn something new here every day!

Loving this!

Huna
08-07-2011, 11:49 AM
Is the top laminated too? sorta glad I didn't get one now.

joejeweler
08-07-2011, 12:13 PM
Is the top laminated too? sorta glad I didn't get one now.

What do YOU think????

Actually, the top might just be of solid (non laminated) construction. I sure hope so because it
might mean another sonic improvement down the line as it "opens up" in a new way from the added soundport.
I'll be playing this a lot to find out.

I'm not absolutely sure because there is not really any distinctive grain pattern that i can see on the
inside that matches the outside, just simpler random grain.

However, this may have a solid acacia top if what i see holds up. Specifically, at the soundhole you can see 3 distinct layers.

1) The top layer consisting of the rosette herringbone pattern material.

2) What appears to be a single koa colored center, of a thickness that would make sense for a top.

3) The bottom layer of what appears to be the rosette re-inforcement support, and which you can feel thru the
soundhole as only about 1/4" or so width.

So at least that helps explain the drastic tone and volumn increase i noticed once i removed the 2nd brace that
sort of gave this uke an "X" bracing. It is quite obviously overbuilt, for even with tenor strings on it i didn't see
any top deformation around the bridge.

Since i removed the one brace and put in the soundport, i also went back to concert scale guaged Aquila nylguts.
Using Tenor strings on it for a few weeks told me all i needed to know about the top being heavier than it needs
to be, and the tone & volumn have improved enough to go back to the proper strings.

For now i'd say it has a solid top at least, but i'm not willing to cut into it to verify that.

The member who was tearing his Cordoba 25CK apart recently, maybe you could let us know what you found once
you have the top ripped off? :drool:

Nuprin
08-07-2011, 12:18 PM
Cordoba really needs to work on their website specs...obvious false advertising on the solid vs. laminate issue, plus there was a thread awhile back about how their site claimed the nut & saddle were bone when they weren't (although, to Cordoba's credit, they updated their site to reflect this). Here's the thread for those interested...

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?45576-Cordoba-uke-buyers-You-may-have-been-HAD!&highlight=cordoba

poppy
08-07-2011, 01:09 PM
All the big manfacturers are this Way Bought an Oscar schmidt OU6LCE Their web site and the distruibuter site claimed Gloss inish and misi preamp Well imagine my suprise when I got a satin finish and a uk2000 Was I pissed. After a run around by both, And OS removing their web page featuring the OU6 and stating I had to deal with the seller and the seller saying it was OS fault .I did like the OP here made the best of a crappy deal I have a good uke now just not what I wanted.

Skitzic
08-08-2011, 03:59 AM
I wonder how much of it is false advertising, and how much of it is lack of quality control? We know they have QC issues, and laminate sides would be a tough one to spot without cutting into it...I would imagine the top is solid though.

I'm not saying it's any less wrong, and you should still call or email them and complain...but I highly doubt they would knowingly lie to their customers.

jm2c

Pukulele Pete
08-08-2011, 04:10 AM
Cup Holder , ........I love that !

Noobie
08-08-2011, 06:47 AM
Why have you not contacted Cordoba about this? The whole thing seems highly suspicious.

joejeweler
08-08-2011, 08:30 AM
Why have you not contacted Cordoba about this? The whole thing seems highly suspicious.

Suspicious??? :wtf:

Frankly, what's the point? You think the folks at Cordoba won't get wind of this at some time?

( Yesterday i did contact them for warrantee registration. I think it's safe to say i voided that sucker!!! :uhoh: )

Considering my time and cost in fitting a nice african hard ivory saddle, (the composite saddle that came will it was a total ill fitted mess!), adjusting the high action at the nut, adding a soundport, and removing a restricting and unnecessary top brace that now gives this uke a pretty decent tone and volumn,.......

............i'm not about to swap it out for a real "solid" acacia wood (B/S & Top) 25CK not knowing what i'll get.

(actually, i have a pretty good idea! :deadhorse: )

I would not get a replacement sounding anywhere near what this one does now. It's my travel ukulele,
after all. The only other change i'll be doing is probably adding a transducer pickup to it, so as to have the ability
to plug in with one of my ukes.

As others have noted, the build quality consistancy has been all over the place with these. The one i have
now is pretty cleanly built for the money, just that the sides (and probably back) aren't what they claimed in their
advertising. I think i have "proven" that,....so where's the suspicion?

My 25CK example has some positive points also, as i think i previously mentioned. It is not perfect, however.
Besides the overall clean build, there are a few minor finish issues such as an area on the lower bout binding that
is a bit rough, and some small voids in some of the rope inlays where glue and/or finish did not fill level. But these
are expected on a moderately priced ukulele.

The fretboard is flat with just a little relief, and frets are level and fairly smooth in a satiny finish.
(although i may polish them to a mirror finish once i pick up some masking tape to cover the wood between frets)
The neck is straight, although it is a little more narrow than i prefer, ....but managable. Overall i got a pretty decent
"build",...with the only quible being laminated parts when i bargained for solid wood.

My original post was simply to convey what i had discovered so that others might be aware,....and yes!!!, to
vent a bit because i WAS really p*ssed! I don't like surprises and being lied to. The money involved is not
the main issue to me, although i'd think a laminated B/S, solid Top uke should be priced at least $100 lower than
what i paid to put it into the area of similiarily constructed ukes. (in materials used)

I'd much prefer Cordoba do a better job at knowing what they're selling! Maybe it's the Chinese (who i've read are the builders of this model) have pulled a fast
one and slid these laminated bodies past Cordoba? You'd think Cordoba would do spot checks to confirm what they were selling was what is presented, since their name is going on them.

The other Cordoba 25CK owners (and also soprano and tenor versions) might
only know for sure if they have a soundport cut into the upper bouts. Only time
will tell if my situation begins to turn up in a LOT of other ukes of these models.

............and i just don't know if this is widespread,.....or just a few instances?

brucemoffatt
08-08-2011, 12:02 PM
I believe that what has been posted is so negative that it is imperative that Cordoba be given an opportunity to respond.

joejeweler
08-08-2011, 12:29 PM
I believe that what has been posted is so negative that it is imperative that Cordoba be given an opportunity to respond.

Nothing stopping them from what i can see..........

.....posting verifyable fact might be just the thing to get them motivated to put their house in order.

Maybe the Chinese pulled a fast one and substituted cheaper materials without Cordoba knowing, but that is
something you still have to take responsibility for as a company. The buck has to stop somewhere.

Johnny's Rash
08-08-2011, 12:45 PM
I agree, their add is totally misleading. I recently purchased my first uke. Sites like this were extremely helpful in knowing what I was spending my money on. Instrument sites and even distributors can be misleading and I've learned that any vague language is never good. It's sad when you have to learn more about the product by what advertisers are omitting than just plainly stating what it is.

Again, reports like this did help me purchase my first uke and I used that knowledge when bargaining. Thanks for posting Joe.

joejeweler
08-08-2011, 01:41 PM
Below is a notification i just sent to Cordoba via their website contact form. I'm hoping they'll respond soon.



Someone suggested i might let you know about a thread i started on the Ukulele Underground Forum regarding a Cordoba 25CK ukulele i recently purchased. I was not happy to discover, when i decided to add a side port, that the side is a laminated 3-piece sandwich. It is NOT of solid koa construction, which this model has always been advertized as being. I suspect the back is also, but i'm not going to cut into it to find out. The top appears to be solid, however.

If you have anything to add to this discussion, it would be most appreciated. I'm hoping (at the very least), you take charge of the quality control and materials being used in your product lines, so that they accurately portray what you are advertizing.

regards,
Joseph Tousignant. .

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?51467-Cordoba-25CK-IS-LAMINATED!-Maybe-I-Shouldn-t-Believe-My-quot-Lying-quot-Eyes!-Geeze......

Cordoba Ukes
08-08-2011, 04:02 PM
Hello,

This is JT from Cordoba:

Thanks to everyone that brought this thread to our attention, especially Tim from www.ukeeku.com who emailed me personally this morning. Thanks to everyone that has contacted us through our website as well.

We were surprised when we saw the pictures of Joejeweler's 25CK, the sides are clearly laminated. We've been making this model for several years, first in Portugal and now in China where we've been able to improve the workmanship, quality, and offer great value to our customers. We're always searching for the best materials and have used various suppliers over the years. We've never knowingly used a laminated material and called it solid. We're investigating this with our suppliers and will do everything we can to understand what happened with Joejeweler's ukulele. For now and until we sort this out, we're changing all the specs on our website and with our dealers to reflect the possibility of laminated sides.

Our goal is to be up front and honest about this issue as we seek to resolve it professionally and with integrity. Feel free to contact Kim White in our Customer Service Department with any questions or concerns. (kwhite@cordobamusicgroup.com / 310.586.1180)

In spite of this mix up, it is nice to read that Joe is happy with the sound of his 25CK. We're proud of our instruments and will stand behind every one of them. Thanks Joejeweler for bringing these points to our attention. We're working hard to address them.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Thomas
Managing Director
jthomas@cordobamusicgroup.com
(310) 586-1180

Dan Uke
08-08-2011, 04:56 PM
Hello,

This is JT from Cordoba:

Thanks to everyone that brought this thread to our attention, especially Tim from www.ukeeku.com who emailed me personally this morning. Thanks to everyone that has contacted us through our website as well.

We were surprised when we saw the pictures of Joejeweler's 25CK, the sides are clearly laminated. We've been making this model for several years, first in Portugal and now in China where we've been able to improve the workmanship, quality, and offer great value to our customers. We're always searching for the best materials and have used various suppliers over the years. We've never knowingly used a laminated material and called it solid. We're investigating this with our suppliers and will do everything we can to understand what happened with Joejeweler's ukulele. For now and until we sort this out, we're changing all the specs on our website and with our dealers to reflect the possibility of laminated sides.

Our goal is to be up front and honest about this issue as we seek to resolve it professionally and with integrity. Feel free to contact Kim White in our Customer Service Department with any questions or concerns. (kwhite@cordobamusicgroup.com / 310.586.1180)

In spite of this mix up, it is nice to read that Joe is happy with the sound of his 25CK. We're proud of our instruments and will stand behind every one of them. Thanks Joejeweler for bringing these points to our attention. We're working hard to address them.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Thomas
Managing Director
jthomas@cordobamusicgroup.com
(310) 586-1180

What about giving him a free uke as well or do a give away to build up trust with us again!!

Bill Mc
08-08-2011, 05:09 PM
And how about a big drop in price of the 25 CK, Mr. JT Cordoba ? Also, makes me wonder about my 20TM Cordoba that is advertised as solid mahogany top, back, and sides.

saltytri
08-08-2011, 05:16 PM
What about giving him a free uke as well or do a give away to build up trust with us again!!

Perhaps that is best addressed privately by Joe and Cordoba. If he wishes to do so, he can let us know how his issue is addressed as a matter of customer service between him and Cordoba. With respect to his situation, he is the one who has to be satisfied. Cordoba isn't required to grovel. That isn't to say, though, that Cordoba shouldn't explain how this problem happened and what they intend to do about it beyond Joe's particular case. At this point, it really hasn't been shown that this is anything other than an unfortunate screw-up without wrongful intent on Cordoba's part. The real measure of a business isn't whether it makes mistakes, because we all get plenty of chances to do that, but how well it fixes its mistakes.

joejeweler
08-08-2011, 05:24 PM
What about giving him a free uke as well or do a give away to build up trust with us again!!

Appreciate the thought,....but i'm not looking for a freebee,......just want whatever happened to get sorted out.

joejeweler
08-08-2011, 05:38 PM
Hello,

This is JT from Cordoba:

Thanks to everyone that brought this thread to our attention, especially Tim from www.ukeeku.com who emailed me personally this morning. Thanks to everyone that has contacted us through our website as well.

We were surprised when we saw the pictures of Joejeweler's 25CK, the sides are clearly laminated. We've been making this model for several years, first in Portugal and now in China where we've been able to improve the workmanship, quality, and offer great value to our customers. We're always searching for the best materials and have used various suppliers over the years. We've never knowingly used a laminated material and called it solid. We're investigating this with our suppliers and will do everything we can to understand what happened with Joejeweler's ukulele. For now and until we sort this out, we're changing all the specs on our website and with our dealers to reflect the possibility of laminated sides.

Our goal is to be up front and honest about this issue as we seek to resolve it professionally and with integrity. Feel free to contact Kim White in our Customer Service Department with any questions or concerns. (kwhite@cordobamusicgroup.com / 310.586.1180)

In spite of this mix up, it is nice to read that Joe is happy with the sound of his 25CK. We're proud of our instruments and will stand behind every one of them. Thanks Joejeweler for bringing these points to our attention. We're working hard to address them.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Thomas
Managing Director
jthomas@cordobamusicgroup.com
(310) 586-1180

Hi,...this is "JT" also,....... funny coinsidence! :cool:

Thank you for checking in. I sent you a note this afternoon only because i wasn't sure if you were aware of the problem, or if anyone else had contacted you.

The important thing is to be correct in what you offer, and how you promote it. Tracking down the reason it happened will probably be difficult to near impossible, as will knowing for sure whether mine was a fairly isolated incident, or a more widespread error.

You have your work cut out for you! :cheers:

Rick Turner
08-08-2011, 05:53 PM
Some of the most sought-after guitars in the world have laminated parts...sides or backs or both. Try Irvin Somoyi or Greg Smallman, for instance. Or go find a Selmer-Maccaferri for less than ten grand... Of course, that doesn't sit well when "solid wood" is advertised and is so (undeservedly) acclaimed as being superior (in some cases, and not in others...).

Take comfort, though. The top layer of wood is solid koa!

And you're going to get what you pay for. I don't want to tell you what we luthiers have to pay for nice koa uke sets these days... I'll just say that it's more for the wood than many of you want to pay for a completed uke.

edo
08-08-2011, 07:31 PM
Composite is good for travelling as solid wood may be fragile, and I would not carry a precious solid wood in winter in a non climate controlled hardcase.
But by removing the bracing you have rendered the top pretty fragile. If it's a laminated top which is most probable regarding the company sells BS you are OK with rigidity, but if it's a solid one, I would fear about the overall rigidity. The maker doesn't seem anywhere as reputable when allowing BS like this, sorry to read a thread like this!

Dan Uke
08-08-2011, 08:29 PM
Joe, I know time is money but I think you could replicate it with another solid wood Cordoba and there is a much better chance it would sound better. Ends don't justify the means.

joejeweler
08-08-2011, 09:14 PM
Composite is good for travelling as solid wood may be fragile, and I would not carry a precious solid wood in winter in a non climate controlled hardcase.
But by removing the bracing you have rendered the top pretty fragile. If it's a laminated top which is most probable regarding the company sells BS you are OK with rigidity, but if it's a solid one, I would fear about the overall rigidity. The maker doesn't seem anywhere as reputable when allowing BS like this, sorry to read a thread like this!

Hi,....you're mistaken in this case, as the top is not fragile in the least. It was simply overbraced to begin with, based on the top thickness/stiffness combination. I only removed one of the 2 braces in the bridge area, and the much smaller of the two. The bridge pad is massive, and much wider than a similarly positioned single brace in the same location on my Ron Saul concert. I looked at the Saul uke and used that as a guide that helped me decide to remove the one brace.

In fact, a few weeks before i decided to do the work i strung it up with a Aquila nylgut "tenor" C regular string set, and as i carefully tuned it up watched for ANY sign of the top being stressed from the slightly higher total string tension. There was none. Since i did the brace removal, i went back to a set of Aquila concert guaged nylguts, as it's
easier on the fretting hand and now produces suffecient volumn. (and easier on the top long term)

You might remember the pic in post #4 of this thread, of another member's uke of the same model. (pic below)

He was breaking it up for parts, and to gain some incite into construction. Notice there is only ONE brace crossing the bridge area on his, although it is in a different direction. It seams to me the bracing pattern and build quality on this model depended on who was actually building it.

Mine is a much cleaner build overall, which is the main reason i went to so much trouble. Maybe mine is a Portugese factory built one before they went to China for production, as it has the lazer inscribed logo on the peghead that i don't see on the new ones currently offered? (although not sure if this model was ever made in Portugal?)

cheers,
Joe T



http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb200/joejeweler/Cordoba%2025CK%20Ukulele/Cordoba25CKTopBracing.jpg

joejeweler
08-08-2011, 09:22 PM
Joe, I know time is money but I think you could replicate it with another solid wood Cordoba and there is a much better chance it would sound better. Ends don't justify the means.

Time is something i have more of right now. When you do work for your personal instruments, i don't look at is as a
"time=money" equation. (more like: time=challenge=satisfaction)

Not that much time spent anyway, ...maybe 1 1/2 hours total to make a new saddle, cut the
soundport, and remove the brace.

I wanted the Cordoba for my knock around travel uke. When i want higher tonal performance, i'll reach for one of my
individual luthiered custom ukes.

Huna
08-08-2011, 11:11 PM
I get the impression the Chinese just have a different mindset or something like they just don''t get it. I know for example that SAGA music gave up on the Hamano because of problems with the Chinese factories. From what I have heard, all the Hamano's that are out there for sale now are all there's going to be and there won't be any more. I don't know if its right to generalize like this but maybe its something in what is considered ok in China by that culture?

micromue
08-09-2011, 12:47 AM
I get the impression the Chinese just have a different mindset or something like they just don''t get it.I don't know if its right to generalize like this but maybe its something in what is considered ok in China by that culture?

Since Cordoba has quite a history with "misunderstandings" in their advertisement, I have a lot more trust in the Chinese than in Cordoba.

edo
08-09-2011, 12:56 AM
Chinese culture has nothing to do with money makers and asian factory made instrument pushed by international companies, or the lambda money makers buying a brand franchise and selling low cost instrument.

austinlee
08-09-2011, 03:23 AM
I'm sure Cordoba saved a bunch when they moved production from Portugal to China, but now you know why. It's tougher to have quality control/oversight from thousands of miles away and the suppliers can get away with this crap.

While they are in the process of correcting the errors on their website, maybe Cordoba will change the wood they make the ukes out of from Koa to Acacia or Blackwood or whatever they are made from :confused:. I'm sure they don't know that either!

Skitzic
08-09-2011, 03:42 AM
I feel like everyone is being super harsh with Cordoba for something that can be a simple misunderstanding.

I understand being pissed at the laminate sides when you paid for solid. I do.

I don't think it should have taken someone suggesting you contact Cordoba for you to contact them. Voided warranty or not, they should know if they have a bad product out there. But that's neither here nor there because they did find out, and they changed the website. I feel like this is an acceptable short term solution. They didn't intentionally lie to anyone, but they supply the big box stores. Big box stores are PUMPING out ukes right now. Even with awesome QC, when you're pumping out that many ukes things are going to slip by.

We don't know if this is an isolated case or not, and there is no way we'll ever know. I don't know about you guys, but I'm not going to cut into my uke because it may or may not be laminate.

And I still think insinuating they intentionally lied on their website is just ludicrous.

austin1
08-09-2011, 04:40 AM
Suspicious??? :wtf:

Frankly, what's the point? You think the folks at Cordoba won't get wind of this at some time?



No need to bite the hand of someone who's trying to help you.


What about giving him a free uke as well or do a give away to build up trust with us again!!

What? What? Seriously? For starters, joejeweler presented a problem, Cordoba came on here and announced the best short-term solution they could come up with, and frankly, I don't feel they should be asked to do more. They're clearly doing everything in their power. I understand joejeweler is upset, and rightly so, but he took it to the company, and they're addressing it. I don't believe more can be asked for. As Skitzic said, it doesn't matter how good the quality control is, when a company as successful as Cordoba is producing that many instruments a day, something will slip by. It happens. In the meantime, it sounds like they're doing their best to seriously address the issue.

Second, nongdam, I find your suggestion inappropriate. Suggesting that Cordoba hand out free ukes to "build up trust" is absolutely ridiculous. The fact that Cordoba personally came on here to address joejeweler's concerns is enough to build up my trust. Secondly, one uke slipping through quality control does not mean that the entire company is bust. Third, you're marching into territory best handled quietly, and personally, between joejeweler and the company. Calling them out on a public forum and making them out to be the bad guys because they didn't jump with twelve ukes in hand is childish, and frankly, makes me want to apologize on your behalf. It's unnecessary and rude.

In addition, as a general Public Service Announcement, I would just like to point out that judging the entire nation of China because one ukulele came out of one factory incorrect is moronic. Virtually all of us have owned a Chinese import at some point or another, while the vast majority of the us still do, and love them. Those that don't play a different instrument. To suggest that a quality control issue reflects upon the character and work ethic of the entire Chinese population is absolutely ludicrous.

Joe, from what I understand, is happy with his modified uke. Cordoba is working on the problem, which is all you can ask of them. I'm sure this situation will end happily for all parties involved.

csibona
08-09-2011, 05:10 AM
They're clearly doing everything in their power.

How would anyone know that they are "clearly doing everything in their power?" That appears, to me, to be a bit hyperbolic. I think we may have different opinions about what Cordoba may do to address this issue. If I were concerned about the quality of the product with my brand name on it I would randomly sample existing ukeleles to determine if it is a problem (I also might do a purposive sample to ensure different lots had enough presence in the sample - it depends on the population characteristics of the ukuleles in question). If I started to find that this was not an isolated incident then I would start the recall. Sample size would be determine by the number of ukuleles in existence and something that Cordoba should be able to determine. I would think that anyone with a PhD in social sciences could help Cordoba with the research method and sampling issue. All of that would be within my power as the brand. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

I might say, "Cordoba is addressing the issue," but it would take a much stronger AND public response to say they are doing everything in their power.

UncleElvis
08-09-2011, 05:14 AM
How would anyone know that they are "clearly doing everything in their power?" That appears, to me, to be a bit hyperbolic. I think we may have different opinions about what Cordoba may do to address this issue. If I were concerned about the quality of the product with my brand name on it I would randomly sample existing ukeleles to determine if it is a problem (I also might do a purposive sample to ensure different lots had enough presence in the sample - it depends on the population characteristics of the ukuleles in question). If I started to find that this was not an isolated incident then I would start the recall. Sample size would be determine by the number of ukuleles in existence and something that Cordoba should be able to determine. I would think that anyone with a PhD in social sciences could help Cordoba with the research method and sampling issue. All of that would be within my power as the brand. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

I might say, "Cordoba is addressing the issue," but it would take a much stronger AND public response to say they are doing everything in their power.

I guess YOUR ukulele company is run very, very well, then.

What was the name of it again?

joejeweler
08-09-2011, 05:20 AM
I get the impression the Chinese just have a different mindset or something like they just don''t get it. I know for example that SAGA music gave up on the Hamano because of problems with the Chinese factories. From what I have heard, all the Hamano's that are out there for sale now are all there's going to be and there won't be any more. I don't know if its right to generalize like this but maybe its something in what is considered ok in China by that culture?

Differen't mindset for sure in business. Can't help but recall that most all the bootleg "everything" that is offered somewhere originates in China. (Rolex and other replica watches, "Martin" logo'd guitars, Designer handbags,...etc....)

.....and then a while ago the lead paint scandel on kid's toys coming out of China.

.......i wouldn't rule out that "someone" in China "decided" to slip a few (or a lot!) of these thru figuring who was gonna know? I can usually tell if it's a solid body or not by identifying a noteworthy grain shape outside that matches inside, but on this one there wasn't anything really noteworthy. I just never studied it too close anyway, because of the way it was described at the website.

Anyway,.....hopefully some of you will calm down a bit, as i have. (not you Huna)

:cheers:

csibona
08-09-2011, 05:24 AM
I guess YOUR ukulele company is run very, very well, then.

What was the name of it again?

Thank you. I'm a fourth year student working on my PhD in Information Systems. I don't have an ukulele company - I do know something about research methods and business responses to quality concerns (I also have an MBA and the IS degree is from the business school). I also understand the semantics behind the phrase "everything in their power."

UncleElvis
08-09-2011, 05:29 AM
Thank you. I'm a fourth year student working on my PhD in Information Systems. I don't have an ukulele company - I do know something about research methods and business responses to quality concerns (I also have an MBA and the IS degree is from the business school). I also understand the semantics behind the phrase "everything in their power."

Ah, so no REAL experience then.

I'll take that into account when reading your posts on what people should do with THEIR company and what people actually mean when they say something.

Skitzic
08-09-2011, 05:35 AM
How would anyone know that they are "clearly doing everything in their power?" That appears, to me, to be a bit hyperbolic. I think we may have different opinions about what Cordoba may do to address this issue. If I were concerned about the quality of the product with my brand name on it I would randomly sample existing ukeleles to determine if it is a problem (I also might do a purposive sample to ensure different lots had enough presence in the sample - it depends on the population characteristics of the ukuleles in question). If I started to find that this was not an isolated incident then I would start the recall. Sample size would be determine by the number of ukuleles in existence and something that Cordoba should be able to determine. I would think that anyone with a PhD in social sciences could help Cordoba with the research method and sampling issue. All of that would be within my power as the brand. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

I might say, "Cordoba is addressing the issue," but it would take a much stronger AND public response to say they are doing everything in their power.

Has there ever been a recall on ukuleles? I'm not trying to be snarky, I've just never heard of such a thing and I'm curious.

If there was a recall on one of my instruments (I own many, and not just ukes) I would ignore it...unless it was something like it mutated into Godzilla and tried to eat owners...

Dan Uke
08-09-2011, 06:17 AM
No need to bite the hand of someone who's trying to help you.



What? What? Seriously? For starters, joejeweler presented a problem, Cordoba came on here and announced the best short-term solution they could come up with, and frankly, I don't feel they should be asked to do more. They're clearly doing everything in their power. I understand joejeweler is upset, and rightly so, but he took it to the company, and they're addressing it. I don't believe more can be asked for. As Skitzic said, it doesn't matter how good the quality control is, when a company as successful as Cordoba is producing that many instruments a day, something will slip by. It happens. In the meantime, it sounds like they're doing their best to seriously address the issue.

Second, nongdam, I find your suggestion inappropriate. Suggesting that Cordoba hand out free ukes to "build up trust" is absolutely ridiculous. The fact that Cordoba personally came on here to address joejeweler's concerns is enough to build up my trust. Secondly, one uke slipping through quality control does not mean that the entire company is bust. Third, you're marching into territory best handled quietly, and personally, between joejeweler and the company. Calling them out on a public forum and making them out to be the bad guys because they didn't jump with twelve ukes in hand is childish, and frankly, makes me want to apologize on your behalf. It's unnecessary and rude.

In addition, as a general Public Service Announcement, I would just like to point out that judging the entire nation of China because one ukulele came out of one factory incorrect is moronic. Virtually all of us have owned a Chinese import at some point or another, while the vast majority of the us still do, and love them. Those that don't play a different instrument. To suggest that a quality control issue reflects upon the character and work ethic of the entire Chinese population is absolutely ludicrous.

Joe, from what I understand, is happy with his modified uke. Cordoba is working on the problem, which is all you can ask of them. I'm sure this situation will end happily for all parties involved.


HYPERBOLE!! You don't need to apologize on my behalf as you don't represent me.

Can't we make suggestions? I don't expect Cordoba to give a free uke to US and it was just in jest. Are you the only one that can "joke" about a topic and if people disagree, you get upset at everyone? I believe they should call Joe and offer any solutions even though he says that he is happy with the result. For instance, they can offer to keep the warranty valid even though there was material alterations. They can send a replacement that is solid and he can keep both. They can offer different types of strings to try. Who knows, until Joe and Cordoba lets the community know what was offered as a solution, there will be doubters of this company. Even the whole issue of "MISLEADING" information about Koa had people arguing.

All in all, it's great to have a forum where we can give different opinions, not like China...HAHA. Everything is made in China except for babies, they are made in vachina

poppy
08-09-2011, 08:16 AM
I get the impression the Chinese just have a different mindset or something like they just don''t get it. I know for example that SAGA music gave up on the Hamano because of problems with the Chinese factories. From what I have heard, all the Hamano's that are out there for sale now are all there's going to be and there won't be any more. I don't know if its right to generalize like this but maybe its something in what is considered ok in China by that culture?

I think it is a symptom of todays culture "buyer beware " "as long as we make money its ok to do what ever is necessary" The world is becoming a different place, the days when a mans word was his bond are gone and it is much easier to say "well how were we to know" than to insure it never happened. Just look to our money lenders they were once removed by a fairly wise being but there back abusing power again. just my .02 . Getting cynical as I get older once upon a time -----

austin1
08-09-2011, 08:43 AM
How would anyone know that they are "clearly doing everything in their power?" That appears, to me, to be a bit hyperbolic. I think we may have different opinions about what Cordoba may do to address this issue. If I were concerned about the quality of the product with my brand name on it I would randomly sample existing ukeleles to determine if it is a problem (I also might do a purposive sample to ensure different lots had enough presence in the sample - it depends on the population characteristics of the ukuleles in question). If I started to find that this was not an isolated incident then I would start the recall. Sample size would be determine by the number of ukuleles in existence and something that Cordoba should be able to determine. I would think that anyone with a PhD in social sciences could help Cordoba with the research method and sampling issue. All of that would be within my power as the brand. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

I might say, "Cordoba is addressing the issue," but it would take a much stronger AND public response to say they are doing everything in their power.

Where is your evidence that they are not doing everything in their power? You mean you don't have any? Well, I'm an optimist. :)


Differen't mindset for sure in business. Can't help but recall that most all the bootleg "everything" that is offered somewhere originates in China. (Rolex and other replica watches, "Martin" logo'd guitars, Designer handbags,...etc....)

.....and then a while ago the lead paint scandel on kid's toys coming out of China.

.......i wouldn't rule out that "someone" in China "decided" to slip a few (or a lot!) of these thru figuring who was gonna know? I can usually tell if it's a solid body or not by identifying a noteworthy grain shape outside that matches inside, but on this one there wasn't anything really noteworthy. I just never studied it too close anyway, because of the way it was described at the website.


Every time I thought this couldn't get any more ignorant, it did. Bravo, sir. What I like the most is how the second Cordoba stepped up to the plate, you shifted the blame from them to the Chinese. It's almost impressive, how quickly your complaint went from anti-Cordoba to stereotyping.



Can't we make suggestions? I don't expect Cordoba to give a free uke to US and it was just in jest. Are you the only one that can "joke" about a topic and if people disagree, you get upset at everyone? I believe they should call Joe and offer any solutions even though he says that he is happy with the result. For instance, they can offer to keep the warranty valid even though there was material alterations. They can send a replacement that is solid and he can keep both. They can offer different types of strings to try. Who knows, until Joe and Cordoba lets the community know what was offered as a solution, there will be doubters of this company. Even the whole issue of "MISLEADING" information about Koa had people arguing.
[/COLOR]

I take your hyperbole, and raise it by a half. http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/

The time for suggesting things passed as soon as Cordoba got involved, and unless they somehow drop the ball, or Joe finds his problems escalating, we have nothing to do with it. As far as I'm concerned, the problem is solved until Cordoba proves otherwise. And as for people doubting the company, that is for the company to worry about, without making amends by passing out ukes to the first person that raises a hand. One ukulele came out bad. I don't believe that reflects on a company that large. These things happen, in every company, not just music ones. The company, of course, is responsible for fixing it, which it appears Cordoba is attempting to do. For that, I commend them.

And yes, I am the only person in the entire world allowed to make jokes, with the exception of alternate Tuesdays and All Hallow's Eve, when I allow the people to jest. You got your days wrong, it's NEXT Tuesday that's joke day. :D

haolejohn
08-09-2011, 08:52 AM
What about giving him a free uke as well or do a give away to build up trust with us again!!

There is no need for that. I think if they are being honest, we let it run their course. THey may have offered to make it right already without us making them feel like they have too.

haolejohn
08-09-2011, 08:59 AM
HYPERBOLE!! You don't need to apologize on my behalf as you don't represent me.

Can't we make suggestions? I don't expect Cordoba to give a free uke to US and it was just in jest. Are you the only one that can "joke" about a topic and if people disagree, you get upset at everyone? I believe they should call Joe and offer any solutions even though he says that he is happy with the result. For instance, they can offer to keep the warranty valid even though there was material alterations. They can send a replacement that is solid and he can keep both. They can offer different types of strings to try. Who knows, until Joe and Cordoba lets the community know what was offered as a solution, there will be doubters of this company. Even the whole issue of "MISLEADING" information about Koa had people arguing.

All in all, it's great to have a forum where we can give different opinions, not like China...HAHA. Everything is made in China except for babies, they are made in vachina

buhahahahaha!! that was a good one:)

Dan Uke
08-09-2011, 10:01 AM
Austin1...thanks for the hyperboleandahalf link...funny. Shoots, I forgot joke day is NEXT Tues!! My bad...btw, love your contributions!!


Haolejohn, I was wondering if someone would figure it out!! ;)

crowsby
08-09-2011, 10:32 AM
The big problem here for Cordoba is that there are lots of quality ukulele manufacturers out there to choose from. This may have been an isolated incident, they might be tracking down the issue, and heck, maybe it's still a darn good instrument regardless whether it's solid or laminated.

But as a consumer, why should I take a chance with a company that's been found selling bogus goods, when I can buy from one that hasn't? That's the question that Cordoba is going to need to find an answer to.

Susie A
08-09-2011, 11:09 AM
The big problem here for Cordoba is that there are lots of quality ukulele manufacturers out there to choose from. This may have been an isolated incident, they might be tracking down the issue, and heck, maybe it's still a darn good instrument regardless whether it's solid or laminated.

But as a consumer, why should I take a chance with a company that's been found selling bogus goods, when I can buy from one that hasn't? That's the question that Cordoba is going to need to find an answer to.

Just because a company hasn't been "found" selling bogus goods doesn't mean they aren't.

As for a ukulele recall? Really? Really? I for one won't be cutting holes in my ukes to determine if I got cheated. Heck, might start a fad, then eveyone will have side sound ports .. hmmmm ..

crowsby
08-09-2011, 11:46 AM
True, but there's a world of difference between affirmative proof and nebulous unfounded concerns. Cordoba is the former category, the other quality manufacturers are the latter.

If you have an apple that you know has a worm in it, and another that looks fine but may have a worm in it, which one would you eat?

Ted4
08-09-2011, 11:52 AM
Crowsby has nailed it. Whatever happens here, the name 'Cordoba' will spring into my mind as being at the BOTTOM of the list of any ukulele makers that I would spend serious money with in the future.

brucemoffatt
08-09-2011, 12:08 PM
Crowsby has nailed it. Whatever happens here, the name 'Cordoba' will spring into my mind as being at the BOTTOM of the list of any ukulele makers that I would spend serious money with in the future.
Which is precisely why a more measured post in the first place, after an approach direct to Cordoba, would have been the appropriate response, not pages of emotive diatribe before a reluctant approach to Cordoba, after having been prompted by others to do so.

I can't help feeling this thread would have been locked, and early, if it had been another company on the butcher's block. The fact that is wasn't, and isn't, makes me lose more faith in UU than in Cordoba.

Disclaimer, I have a Cordoba uke, which plays beautifully, sounds great and was bought cheaply.

Tack
08-09-2011, 12:47 PM
Which is precisely why a more measured post in the first place, after an approach direct to Cordoba, would have been the appropriate response, not pages of emotive diatribe before a reluctant approach to Cordoba, after having been prompted by others to do so.

I can't help feeling this thread would have been locked, and early, if it had been another company on the butcher's block. The fact that is wasn't, and isn't, makes me lose more faith in UU than in Cordoba.

Disclaimer, I have a Cordoba uke, which plays beautifully, sounds great and was bought cheaply.


Thanks Bruce - I for one appreciate you measured response . I should warn you that I may now come to Adelaide and give you a man hug :)
(deleted reference to my doctorate, 2 degrees and double testamur from one of the Royal colleges... I couldn't see it's relevance. :p . )


Now let's all play 5'2" :D

OldePhart
08-09-2011, 01:02 PM
Crowsby has nailed it. Whatever happens here, the name 'Cordoba' will spring into my mind as being at the BOTTOM of the list of any ukulele makers that I would spend serious money with in the future.

They were pretty close to the bottom of that list for me anyway just based on the number of "damaged in shipping" Cordoba ukes that were being sold by one outfit on eBay... Most of them had the bridge pulled loose and that just never added up for me... Why would "shipment damage" always involve the bridge pulling off?

That and, oh, yeah, Guitar Center carries them - LOL

John

Susie A
08-09-2011, 01:43 PM
True, but there's a world of difference between affirmative proof and nebulous unfounded concerns. Cordoba is the former category, the other quality manufacturers are the latter.

If you have an apple that you know has a worm in it, and another that looks fine but may have a worm in it, which one would you eat?

Me? hmmm ... I would cut a sound port in the wormy one, throw the worm away and eat 'em both.

joejeweler
08-09-2011, 03:21 PM
Me? hmmm ... I would cut a sound port in the wormy one, throw the worm away and eat 'em both.

A creative thinker! :smileybounce:

haolejohn
08-09-2011, 04:14 PM
True, but there's a world of difference between affirmative proof and nebulous unfounded concerns. Cordoba is the former category, the other quality manufacturers are the latter.

If you have an apple that you know has a worm in it, and another that looks fine but may have a worm in it, which one would you eat?

Neither. I'm allergic to apples.

joejeweler
08-09-2011, 04:43 PM
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

Folks,....i have recieved a few PM's from Jonathan Thomas (Managing Director at Cordoba) that i didn't notice, until i checked my regular email where he also contacted me and let me know about the PM's.

I have calmed down a lot, and i would ask that this not develope into a "Bash Cordoba" at all costs thread.

It seems like a sincere effort by Jonathan and the Cordoba Company to try to find out how this could have happened, and try to make sure it doesn't happen again. Bigger companies cannot always control every aspect of production, when that production is located in another country. This is one of the realities of doing business in the world of outsourcing.

I have been offered a replacement uke, or something else out of their line, and for that i am greatly appreciative.
However, i would not feel right about accepting anything as a replacement, because this was never about posting
the problem in an attempt to gain something in return. To accept would appear otherwise, but it was most generous to have offered.

Maybe some good can come of this after all. Jonathan Thomas has asked me to loan them my altered 25CK ukulele, so that they can evaluate the tone and volumn improvements i have made, as well as the brace removal. If the
structural integrity of the top has not been compromised, they may use this in the future. The soundport was never
mentioned, but personally once they hear it with the soundport, i doubt they will want to build them any other way!

I will be sending it out for their evaluation as soon as i can confirm the proper shipping address to make sure it
gets to Jonathan Thomas. Pray i get it back! (kidding!!!!)

Anyway, i'm hoping anything further discussed on this thread will be positive in nature as the problem is resolved, or i will request the thread to be closed. Jonathan was concerned over the late additions to the thread and the company bashing it was turning into.

I was asked to delete the thread because of the direction it was heading, and i thought about it seriously. However, i couldn't locate a way for a member to delete an entire thread, and the more i thought about it it probably wouldn't do much good anyway.

A lot of folks have been following the thread, and if it was gone could just start up another one slamming Cordoba for trying to hide a problem.

I'm hopeful that Jonathan and the Cordoba Company will discover what happened, and i would ask you all to give them a chance (and some time) to find out what happened and to take steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.

.......a fair plan i think.

regards,
Joe T

Dan Uke
08-09-2011, 05:07 PM
I agree...All we wanted to see was how they would step up. ONLY sympathizing with you is not the response we wanted to hear. I know you don't want another uke but do it for us, the followers as well as giving Cordoba a chance to respond. I'm sure you'll make a soundport on that one too so it would be great to hear what you think about the tone of the next one. Think of it as you are doing a sacrifice for the rest of us. HELP ME HELP YOU!!

Skitzic
08-09-2011, 05:07 PM
Which is precisely why a more measured post in the first place, after an approach direct to Cordoba, would have been the appropriate response, not pages of emotive diatribe before a reluctant approach to Cordoba, after having been prompted by others to do so.

I can't help feeling this thread would have been locked, and early, if it had been another company on the butcher's block. The fact that is wasn't, and isn't, makes me lose more faith in UU than in Cordoba.

Disclaimer, I have a Cordoba uke, which plays beautifully, sounds great and was bought cheaply.

I'm in this boat with you. I think it would have been locked if it was a different brand. It doesn't make me lose faith in UU though...it just makes me sad that a company can get thrown under the bus like this. There are known QC issues in other brands, but no one is throwing them under the wheels.

I have a Cordoba, and I love it.

Dan Uke
08-09-2011, 05:14 PM
Hmmmm...I just checked their website and it doesn't say solid sides (see below). I never looked at their website before so I wonder if they just changed it?????? Does that mean they checked a few other CKs and noticed they were laminate sides? What do you think guys?


The 25CK is Cordoba's Concert sized Koa ukulele. With a solid Koa top and a solid Koa back, this lightweight ukulele is a unique instrument that embodies the simple charm of traditional Portuguese ornamentations. Completely handmade and comes with a Cordoba concert sized gig bag.
Solid Koa Top • Solid Koa Back • Matte Finish • Ebony Fingerboard • Mahogany Neck • Wengé Veneer Headstock

joejeweler
08-09-2011, 05:35 PM
Hmmmm...I just checked their website and it doesn't say solid sides (see below). I never looked at their website before so I wonder if they just changed it?????? Does that mean they checked a few other CKs and noticed they were laminate sides? What do you think guys?


The 25CK is Cordoba's Concert sized Koa ukulele. With a solid Koa top and a solid Koa back, this lightweight ukulele is a unique instrument that embodies the simple charm of traditional Portuguese ornamentations. Completely handmade and comes with a Cordoba concert sized gig bag.
Solid Koa Top • Solid Koa Back • Matte Finish • Ebony Fingerboard • Mahogany Neck • Wengé Veneer Headstock

That is a change on their website. Once they got notified that the sides on mine were laminated, they immediately made
the change on their website until they could look into it further.

ksiegel
08-09-2011, 07:52 PM
Well done, Joe.

When I was looking at my first uke, I looked at the 25CK at my local Guitar Center. They had two of them, and they were completely different instruments, from the shape of the headstock to the intonation, neck width, and overall sound/feel. At the time (November), they werre on sale at Musician's Friend, a sister company, for $219, and the GC was going to match it. However, that GC didn't have the (included) gig back in stock, so I offered to give them a deposit (they declined) and I asked that I be called as soon as a gig bag was located - I watched them put my name in the system.

I'm still waiting for a call. In the interim, I ordered a 20TM from my local independent music store, and it came with a marvelous setup, great intonation, actual bone saddle and nut, and the gig bag - which the shop manager tried to sell me for $30, until I told him that it was included ("Look at the web site!"). I'm very pleased with my 20TM - it is my only mahogany uke, and has a terrific sound. So I'm glad that you weren't bashing Cordoba, and I'm horrified with what you found when you drilled the port, and I'm pleased that the company is being responsive. When I think of Cordoba in the future, I'll think of a responsive company, not the negative aspects of what you have gone through.

But I will probably take the specs of all mass-produced instruments with a grain of salt. (g)

..... -Kurt

joejeweler
08-09-2011, 08:44 PM
Well done, Joe.

When I was looking at my first uke, I looked at the 25CK at my local Guitar Center. They had two of them, and they were completely different instruments, from the shape of the headstock to the intonation, neck width, and overall sound/feel. At the time (November), they werre on sale at Musician's Friend, a sister company, for $219, and the GC was going to match it. However, that GC didn't have the (included) gig back in stock, so I offered to give them a deposit (they declined) and I asked that I be called as soon as a gig bag was located - I watched them put my name in the system.

I'm still waiting for a call. In the interim, I ordered a 20TM from my local independent music store, and it came with a marvelous setup, great intonation, actual bone saddle and nut, and the gig bag - which the shop manager tried to sell me for $30, until I told him that it was included ("Look at the web site!"). I'm very pleased with my 20TM - it is my only mahogany uke, and has a terrific sound. So I'm glad that you weren't bashing Cordoba, and I'm horrified with what you found when you drilled the port, and I'm pleased that the company is being responsive. When I think of Cordoba in the future, I'll think of a responsive company, not the negative aspects of what you have gone through.

But I will probably take the specs of all mass-produced instruments with a grain of salt. (g)

..... -Kurt

Hehehe,...small world, i also live in the "Capital District" in New York.

.....i probably have one of the ones you were looking at! I live on the Schenectay/Colonie border, (Lisha Kill Road), and bought this one at the Guitar Center on Wolf Road. I picked this one because it looked a bit nicer overall. The other one (same model), had a few dimples in the side finish that i didn't want.

They have an extra gig bag now,.....i returned it when i got in my Uke Crazy hard case from Elderly Instruments. :D They price them separately on the reciept anyway ($255.00 for the uke, $24.99 for the bag), so it's easy to separate them.

....and yes, mine did have an intonation problem initially, as i posted about the saddle having a triangular shape
causing it to tip forward in the slot and sharping notes up the fretboard. The intonation is just about as perfect as
you can get it now. Not a biggie, as i always figure i'm going to upgrade the saddle from a factory build.

cheers,
Joe T

joejeweler
08-09-2011, 09:06 PM
I agree...All we wanted to see was how they would step up. ONLY sympathizing with you is not the response we wanted to hear. I know you don't want another uke but do it for us, the followers as well as giving Cordoba a chance to respond. I'm sure you'll make a soundport on that one too so it would be great to hear what you think about the tone of the next one. Think of it as you are doing a sacrifice for the rest of us. HELP ME HELP YOU!!

Funny stuff,....you a comic in real life? :smileybounce:

austin1
08-09-2011, 09:40 PM
Did I not say that everything would be fine and they would be good to you? You see? I'm always right. :D

buddhuu
08-09-2011, 11:58 PM
Edited highlights for latecomers...


A Cordoba uke was found to have a spec that varied significantly from that published and advertised.
OP posted here before contacting the manufacturer
OP contacted manufacturer
Manufacturer apologised, claimed that they had been unaware of the variation from spec and promised to investigate
Manufacturer offered replacement product
Manufacturer showed interest in OP's modfications (apparently from an R&D point of view)
OP is happy with his treatment by manufacturer


Is that about right?

In light of all that, it is probably not appropriate to further criticise the manufacturer at this time, as he seems to be behaving professionally and helpfully. We will, of course, be interested to know what the manufacturer's investigation turns up, and to know how that affects current and future instruments from that company.

Obviously, if a company puts their name to a product it is their responsibility to make sure that what gets delivered by suppliers and then sold to customers conforms to advertised spec. But that is probably tricky to police remotely, so it is fair to allow a little time for the manufacturer to see what his suppliers have been up to before passing further judgement without additional information.

IMHO, it is generally a good idea to contact a manufacturer or supplier before posting critical threads. In this case, the OP has worked to keep a fair balance to the thread (sadly that's not always the case.).

joejeweler
08-10-2011, 05:17 AM
That sounds about right to me Rick, ....thank you for the "Cliff Notes" edition! :D

Seriously, in hindsight i really should have contacted Cordoba first.
No excuse except i was angry and a bit frustrated.

Wonderful thing about the past is we can all learn from it........

ksiegel
08-10-2011, 05:27 AM
Hehehe,...small world, i also live in the "Capital District" in New York.

.....i probably have one of the ones you were looking at! I live on the Schenectay/Colonie border, (Lisha Kill Road), and bought this one at the Guitar Center on Wolf Road. I picked this one because it looked a bit nicer overall. The other one (same model), had a few dimples in the side finish that i didn't want.

They have an extra gig bag now,.....i returned it when i got in my Uke Crazy hard case from Elderly Instruments. :D They price them separately on the reciept anyway ($255.00 for the uke, $24.99 for the bag), so it's easy to separate them.

....and yes, mine did have an intonation problem initially, as i posted about the saddle having a triangular shape
causing it to tip forward in the slot and sharping notes up the fretboard. The intonation is just about as perfect as
you can get it now. Not a biggie, as i always figure i'm going to upgrade the saddle from a factory build.

cheers,
Joe T
Joe, I bet we were looking at the same instrument! One had the headstock logo, and the other didn't. And no one there knew which one had been in stock longer.

BTW, I know Lisha Kill Road well - My sister used to live on Cabernet Court.

You don't do watch repairs for Sondra's by chance, do you?

-Kurt

joejeweler
08-10-2011, 06:15 AM
Joe, I bet we were looking at the same instrument! One had the headstock logo, and the other didn't. And no one there knew which one had been in stock longer.

BTW, I know Lisha Kill Road well - My sister used to live on Cabernet Court.

You don't do watch repairs for Sondra's by chance, do you?

-Kurt

Hi Kurt,...no, i was a bench jewelry repairman for 35 years,...never did much with watches except remove movements to weigh the gold cases sometimes. Semi-retired now......

BTW, i bought the one with the lazer engraved logo in the headstock,....might have been an older, one as i don't
see that on current offerings on this model when listed somewhere.

cheers,
Joe T

Johnny's Rash
08-10-2011, 06:58 AM
All is well that ends well. Who knows? Might this result in a job with Cordoba in structural design or as a consultant? Glad to hear they're treating you well and looking at new ways to better their product.

Susie A
08-10-2011, 02:24 PM
I'm in this boat with you. I think it would have been locked if it was a different brand. It doesn't make me lose faith in UU though...it just makes me sad that a company can get thrown under the bus like this. There are known QC issues in other brands, but no one is throwing them under the wheels.

I have a Cordoba, and I love it.

I live near a GC and every chance I get I pop in to play the Cordoba's. They have one 25CB on the wall that sounds really sweet! If I was into cutaways I might just get one :)

joejeweler
08-10-2011, 02:34 PM
All is well that ends well. Who knows? Might this result in a job with Cordoba in structural design or as a consultant? Glad to hear they're treating you well and looking at new ways to better their product.

I'm not an structural engineer by any means, so that's not going to happen,.......just a lot of common sense and being mechanically inclined. My jewelry repair over 35 years forced me to be.

However, i will say if i ran a R&D for a uke or guitar company, i would approach it like this:

Build your prototypes successively lighter and lighter, .....down to a level where they sound great,.....but soon experience instrument suicide.

......then :stop: , and just go up one or two steps above THAT! :D

So simple,.....but oh SO hard to get consistantly. Darn wood won't cooperate. Simple dimentions aren't enough.
Individual weight/stiffness ratios come into play, among other things.

.......and then there's "MOJO" ! http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?51617-Mojo-What-is-it

It's a sanity robbing........................CONSPIRACY! :smileybounce:

uuuuke
08-10-2011, 04:36 PM
Hey Joe
I not sure what all the anger is about!!! I looked at the Cordoba web page it looks like Cordoba did not steer you wrong you bought exactly what they described on the website. The description reads "Solid Koa top" and "solid Koa back". I don't see anywhere in the description where they mention solid koa sides. I think you misinterpreted the description. If they don't mention anything about the sides so they are then laminate.

Skottoman
08-10-2011, 04:41 PM
Hey Joe
I not sure what all the anger is about!!! I looked at the Cordoba web page it looks like Cordoba did not steer you wrong you bought exactly what they described on the website. The description reads "Solid Koa top" and "solid Koa back". I don't see anywhere in the description where they mention solid koa sides. I think you misinterpreted the description. If they don't mention anything about the sides so they are then laminate.

Apparently you did not read the entire thread... Cordoba changed the specs on their website... Apparently the original site said "Solid Koa", thus the anger by the OP in being "mislead"...

I have just read this entire thread though, and am glad that things are working out for the OP and Cordoba.

I also have to say (no harm intended), that if you buy a $300 uke from Guitar center, you get what you get.
If you bought a "K" instrument for $500+ I would think you are entitled to be upset if it's laminated.

As it stands, I find this somewhat sad that it was blown to this proportion over a $300 Guitar center purchased uke. Just play it and move on.

Cheers,
Skottoman

Bill Mc
08-11-2011, 05:18 AM
Skottman, there is a principle called truth in advertising that is relevant here. If Cordoba knowingly or not advertises the CK-25 to be solid koa at a price lower than Lanikai offers the NK-T which is advertised as solid koa top, laminated koa back and sides, don't you think that could draw customers away from Lanikai ? And what does where you buy an instrument have to do with a consumer's right to receive a product as advertised ? Maybe your notion of fair business practice should be extended to K brand products. Why not ? Or does paying a few hundred dollars more for a product entitle a customer to more truth ?

csibona
08-11-2011, 05:23 AM
And what does where you buy an instrument have to do with a consumer's right to receive a product as advertised ? Maybe your notion of fair business practice should be extended to K brand products. Why not ? Or does paying a few hundred dollars more for a product entitle a customer to more truth ?

Hear, hear.

Skottoman
08-11-2011, 06:00 AM
Skottman, there is a principle called truth in advertising that is relevant here. If Cordoba knowingly or not advertises the CK-25 to be solid koa at a price lower than Lanikai offers the NK-T which is advertised as solid koa top, laminated koa back and sides, don't you think that could draw customers away from Lanikai ? And what does where you buy an instrument have to do with a consumer's right to receive a product as advertised ? Maybe your notion of fair business practice should be extended to K brand products. Why not ? Or does paying a few hundred dollars more for a product entitle a customer to more truth ?

I agree, false advertising is not a good thing, and the OP is correct to be upset, and it appears Cordoba has been "called out" and has updated their website. What they did may or may not have been malicious, but it happened. Lots of claims are made for lots of products that aren't true. You think the "Shake weight" will make you look like a bodybuilder model? Where's the truth in that? Buyer beware.

But comon.... you think you are going to get a solid koa instrument at Guitar Center for $300? Common sense to me says no.

Cheers,
Skottoman

bdukes
08-11-2011, 06:20 AM
I guess that's the issue at hand. We've already been through the long discussion of "what is koa?" and if I remember it ended up with a "well, it's 'Portugese Koa' answer. Fair enough, but slippery slope number one. So if it's advertised as such, I'd believe it and thought it was a bargain nonetheless. Especially when it involves two large retailers of this size. I've bought from both GC and Cordoba and have been extremely satisfied in those cases. I think that's why this incident has struck a nerve. Again, we'll have to wait and see how it all plays out and I for one, definitely believe Cordoba DID NOT knowingly attempt to mislead and do think they're going to do all they can to resolve this ethically. These things take time for one thing as there are lots of departments and organizations in play. I was surprised by how quickly they did update their website. That alone tells me they're involved.

Huna
08-11-2011, 07:32 AM
now I am wondering if my Martin OXK is REALLY 100% SOLID FORMICA? I do agree though that I hate being misled. Was kind of like those WMD's that GW fooled us about lmao

haolejohn
08-11-2011, 07:37 AM
Hey Joe
I not sure what all the anger is about!!! I looked at the Cordoba web page it looks like Cordoba did not steer you wrong you bought exactly what they described on the website. The description reads "Solid Koa top" and "solid Koa back". I don't see anywhere in the description where they mention solid koa sides. I think you misinterpreted the description. If they don't mention anything about the sides so they are then laminate.

That in itself is misleading b/c it is actually acacia.
Koa is acacia also but we all have heard the koa argument before so I'm not going into it.

I will never buy a Cordoba and it has the fact that back in 2002 I contacted them about the koa and was told that it wasn't actually koa but acacia or portugese koa. IT was never changed. That is stinky IMO.

joejeweler
08-11-2011, 08:48 AM
That in itself is misleading b/c it is actually acacia.
Koa is acacia also but we all have heard the koa argument before so I'm not going into it.

I will never buy a Cordoba and it has the fact that back in 2002 I contacted them about the koa and was told that it wasn't actually koa but acacia or portugese koa. IT was never changed. That is stinky IMO.

The Koa/Acacia debate never influenced my decision to buy or not buy this model. I was aware of the discussions, but
figured using "home grown koa" (technically acacia but of the same family) was part of the reason it was priced
so reasonably. (even more so when i returned the gig bag, bringing the cost before tax to just $255.00 )

Generic drugs are STILL (usually) the same chemical makeup, and figured the cost savings was because they were using Acacia over Hawiian grown "true" Koa. Does bringing the seeds of a Koa tree from Hawaii to Portugal and planting it produce a "real" Koa tree? Common sense says yes,...although some will argue the trace soil elements are part of the equation. Next is a discussion of the rainfall differences between the two producing definable tonal differences???

I'm not a stickler for this kind of minutia, but if the "word" KOA came into being solely to identify Hawaiian grown Acacia,
then that could be argued perhaps, to protect a native resource,

Is Acacia real "Koa"?......depends of what your defination of "is",...is? (hehe,....couldn't resist, thanks Bill Clinton!)
Calling Acacia,....KOA would bother me more if the ukulele was created initailly in Hawaii. We all know it derived from
the Portugese braguinha. (some discussion here: http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?16828-Does-Braga-Portugal-deserve-more-credit-in-ukulele-history& )

.......the old Brazilian Rosewood/Indian Rosewood debate still rages on. Notice they are identified by their countries of
origin first, and then as a type of rosewood. Yet they are from a different family altogether,....probably far more
than can be found over Koa/Acacia. From a practical point of view they even look the same! (unlke the two rosewoods)

I "prefer" Brazilan Rosewood for a far different reason than it's sonic benefits/attributes, of which there are many. That reason is it's shear beauty! I especially prefer the wonderful swirling grain that only comes from "STUMPWOOD"!
(what a derogatory, discriptive name for such a beautiful material). Yes stumpwood is less stable and more prone to
cracking,....i can live with that! (the "eye candy" penalty)

Yep,....the slight tonal edge might go to the more simple looking, straight grained quarter sawn Brazilian, but i'll
pick the wonderous, eye pleasing beauty of stumpwood anyday. Indian rosewood in the hands of a master luthier
can produce an alluring instrument, but the wood will always be rather boring to "me".

..........as a practical matter, i would submit that in the hands of a master luthier a nice piece of Acacia could be made into a woundrous sounding and looking instrument. What you want to call it is up to you,......and matters less to me than some folks.

........It better be a pretty set of "Acacia" though! :D

haolejohn
08-11-2011, 09:57 AM
The Koa/Acacia debate never influenced my decision to buy or not buy this model. I was aware of the discussions, but
figured using "home grown koa" (technically acacia but of the same family) was part of the reason it was priced
so reasonably. (even more so when i returned the gig bag, bringing the cost before tax to just $255.00 )

Generic drugs are STILL (usually) the same chemical makeup, and figured the cost savings was because they were using Acacia over Hawiian grown "true" Koa. Does bringing the seeds of a Koa tree from Hawaii to Portugal and planting it produce a "real" Koa tree? Common sense says yes,...although some will argue the trace soil elements are part of the eqaution. Next is a discussion of the rainfall differences between the two producing definable tonal differences???

I'm not a stickler for this kind of minutia, but if the "word" KOA came into being solely to identify Hawaiian grown Acacia,
then that could be argued perhaps, to protect a native resource,

Is Acacia real "Koa"?......depends of what your defination of "is",...is? (hehe,....couldn't resist, thanks Bill Clinton!)
Calling Acacia,....KOA would bother me more if the ukulele was created initailly in Hawaii. We all know it derived from
the Portugese braguinha. (some discussion here: http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?16828-Does-Braga-Portugal-deserve-more-credit-in-ukulele-history& )

.......the old Brazilian Rosewood/Indian Rosewood debate still rages on. Notice they are identified by their countries of
origin first, and then as a type of rosewood. Yet they are from a different family altogether,....probably far more
than can be found over Koa/Acacia. From a practical point of view they even look the same! (unlke the two rosewoods)

I "prefer" Brazilan Rosewood for a far different reason than it's sonic benefits/attributes, of which there are many. That reason is it's shear beauty! I especially prefer the wonderful swirling grain that only comes from "STUMPWOOD"!
(what a derogatory, discriptive name for such a beautiful material). Yes stumpwood is less stable and more prone to
cracking,....i can live with that! (the "eye candy" penalty)

Yep,....the slight tonal edge might go to the more simple looking, straight grained quarter sawn Brazilian, but i'll
pick the wonderous, eye pleasing beauty of stumpwood anyday. Indian rosewood in the hands of a master luthier
can produce an alluring instrument, but the wood will always be rather boring to "me".

..........as a practical matter, i would submit that in the hands of a master luthier a nice piece of Acacia could be made into a woundrous sounding and looking instrument. What you want to call it is up to you,......and matters less to me than some folks.

........It better be a pretty set of "Acacia" though! :D

Good points. I do want to say though is that Cordoba's response to you has made me second guess myself. I still won't buy one but that is b/c I am a uke snob:)

Cordoba isn't the only company to do this with the koa thing. If I am not mistaken (seems like I either read or was told) that a very influintial guitar company (that I would want one if I played) advertised koa guitars but they were in fact acacia.

Also, Not sure if you can go back but that free uke they offered, why not take it and give it to someone that can't afford one?

Dan Uke
08-11-2011, 10:06 AM
It would be great if an uke maker would tell us how much more Koa costs vs. Acacia...Obviously, they don't have to say in dollar amoung but by multipliers ie Koa costs 3x more than Acacia. If there truly is a major cost difference, then I tend to believe it's not the same wood.

brucemoffatt
08-11-2011, 12:23 PM
Guys, you do understand that the Koa grown in Hawaii is from the acacia koa tree, don't you? If wood from the same acacia koa tree grown anywhere else in the world is 'technically acacia' as you put it, so is that same wood grown in Hawaii. Just like any of the very large number of plant species grown in other countries not their place of native origin.

Are apples really pears if they are grown somewhere else? Are grapes really blueberries? All I see in your argument is a mixture of confusion, bias and bad feeling.

As for there being an 'argument' as you put it, what else is acacia koa if it is not acacia koa? No-one could change the genetic structure of the plant simply by planting it somewhere else, even if they wanted to and tried.

I'd love to hear a reasoned, objective unemotional discussion on this, but in all that has been posted I've heard none of those attributes.

haolejohn
08-11-2011, 12:30 PM
Guys, you do understand that the Koa grown in Hawaii is from the acacia koa tree, don't you? If wood from the same acacia koa tree grown anywhere else in the world is 'technically acacia' as you put it, so is that same wood grown in Hawaii. Just like any of the very large number of plant species grown in other countries not their place of native origin.

Are apples really pears if they are grown somewhere else? Are grapes really blueberries? All I see in your argument is a mixture of confusion, bias and bad feeling.

As for there being an 'argument' as you put it, what else is acacia koa if it is not acacia koa? No-one could change the genetic structure of the plant simply by planting it somewhere else, even if they wanted to and tried.

I'd love to hear a reasoned, objective unemotional discussion on this, but in all that has been posted I've heard none of those attributes.

Not the most scientific but you asked for it:)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia

acacia is a family of trees that contain many different species that are similar but different. Think of the human race and different ethnic groups. At least that is the way I look at it. So in essence koa is the acacia wood that grows in Hawaii. It is native to Hawaii.

Koa is a sought after wood b/c of its beauty and i think its rarity. companies are building with acacia and calling it koa. Why? b/c they know folks will buy it.

Dan Uke
08-11-2011, 01:19 PM
Not the most scientific but you asked for it:)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia

acacia is a family of trees that contain many different species that are similar but different. Think of the human race and different ethnic groups. At least that is the way I look at it. So in essence koa is the acacia wood that grows in Hawaii. It is native to Hawaii.

Koa is a sought after wood b/c of its beauty and i think its rarity. companies are building with acacia and calling it koa. Why? b/c they know folks will buy it.

There's only 1300 species. I don't know how people can confuse them. lol

joejeweler
08-11-2011, 01:40 PM
There's only 1300 species. I don't know how people can confuse them. lol

Wow,....i wonder how many of THEM are on Hawaii? :D

Edited: I guess i wasn't too far off, there ARE more than one variety of Koa in Hawaii.

Taken from here: http://www.koawoodhawaii.com/2.html


Koa- Acacia Koa- Koa is endemic to Hawaii and grows no where else in the world, it is also a fast growing tree when compared to other Hawaiian trees. It can grow an inch in diameter per year and it can grow to more than 100 feet tall and 6 feet in diameter. Although it is very rare to find trees of that size because of the high demand for koa. The early Hawaiians used koa for making canoes and other things. Today it is used for furniture and many other woodworking and craft items including calabash bowls. Koa has a color that ranges from dark to light brown as well as nice red colors and it can have very curly grain. The wood is heavy, stable and works well. Koai'a- Acacia koai'a- Is another Hawaiian koa that is very rare and it is federally endangered, it resembles koa but it is much shorter, it is a lot like a dwarf version of koa. The wood from koai'a is noticeably harder and denser than koa, the wood has a nice brown color to it.

Ant then there's a picture os a large Hawaiian Koa tree that FELL OVER, but is still Growing!

OMG,....it doesn't want to GO!!! hehe,....decided to wait it out until it could hit the chiropracter to straighten up. :D

http://www.koawoodhawaii.com/2.1.html (2nd row, 3rd picture over)

haolejohn
08-11-2011, 03:11 PM
There's only 1300 species. I don't know how people can confuse them. lol

buhahaha!! I was thinking the same thing.

But i guess the whole koa/acacia thing is the same thing like sitka spruce vs. bear claw spruce? Or is the spruce determined by the grain patterns?

webby
08-11-2011, 04:53 PM
To the OP, I think you have the skills patience and ability to build your own uke from scratch, maybe you could do a uke building workshop with an experienced luthier just to learn a few tricks of the trade so to speak, but from the way you seem to passionately enjoy modifying and tinkering in the way you have described I think you would end up being a very good uke builder.


good luck with it all, keep tinkering, you have inspired me.

webby

joejeweler
08-11-2011, 05:14 PM
To the OP, I think you have the skills patience and ability to build your own uke from scratch, maybe you could do a uke building workshop with an experienced luthier just to learn a few tricks of the trade so to speak, but from the way you seem to passionately enjoy modifying and tinkering in the way you have described I think you would end up being a very good uke builder.


good luck with it all, keep tinkering, you have inspired me.

webby

Thanks for your thoughts. I believe i could build a quality uke at some point,.....the main problem is tooling and
machinery. Working with hand tools i will, most likely, build one for myself someday. That way i'm not trying to compete with the already plentifull independant luthiers building for a living. Without a joiner, thickness sander, drill press, router, band saw, table saw, side bender...and in some cases on a factory level...CNC technology,... building for resale is not a realistic possibility.

I simply don't have the room in my home for them, and the garage is already pretty full with motorcycles and storage,....not to mention in the northeast it gets pretty cold 4 or 5 months a year!
Using a one piece back and top eliminates the need for a planer-joiner machine. Final thicknessing shouldn't be bad
with a flat surface and flat sanding block. Fret slots can be hand sawn accurately with the right jig.
A side bender can be hand made and not take up a lot of room,......so it's all possible on a small scale for personal satisfaction.

Building one for myself by hand however,.....would still be quite a challenge using mostly hand tools. That would be
a project i think i would really enjoy. In the meantime,....i will continue to tinker, and would encourage others to
practice on an orphan uke whenever you can get your hands on one.

brucemoffatt
08-11-2011, 09:53 PM
Not the most scientific but you asked for it:)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia

acacia is a family of trees that contain many different species that are similar but different. Think of the human race and different ethnic groups. At least that is the way I look at it. So in essence koa is the acacia wood that grows in Hawaii. It is native to Hawaii.

Koa is a sought after wood b/c of its beauty and i think its rarity. companies are building with acacia and calling it koa. Why? b/c they know folks will buy it.

...and the point here is that companies like Cordoba are building with acacia koa grown in Portugal, not Hawaii, and being pilloried as liars for calling it koa. The argument put in this thread and others is that acacia koa grown not in Hawaii is not koa, but can only be called acacia.

joejeweler
08-11-2011, 10:07 PM
...and the point here is that companies like Cordoba are building with acacia koa grown in Portugal, not Hawaii, and being pilloried as liars for calling it koa. The argument put in this thread and others is that acacia koa grown not in Hawaii is not koa, but can only be called acacia.

....so do "African Americans" not have characteristic racial traits because they weren't born in Africa?

They are simply Americans who have their "roots" (ancestry) from Africa many generations ago. Genetically we are ALL what was passed on to us by our parents......

.....regardless of where the "seeds" were planted or where we grow up! :D

Trees are trees,......and IF the end result isn't discernable unless you were told where it came from, what's the point
in arguing over it? I suspect, much like Bob Taylor discovered when he made a good sounding guitar out of
a shipping pallet, that a skilled luthier is the most important detail to worry about.

(on that i think we can all agree)

austin1
08-11-2011, 11:35 PM
....so do "African Americans" not have characteristic racial traits because they weren't born in Africa?

They are simply Americans who have their "roots" (ancestry) from Africa many generations ago. Genetically we are ALL what was passed on to us by our parents......


Woah, woah, woah, hold your offensive horses. First the Chinese work ethnic, now African-American faces. God help me.

For starters, what you're referring to as "characteristic" is anything but. 88% of human genetic variation exists on the African continent alone, which means that if the entire world except Africa was destroyed in Armageddon tomorrow, all but 12% of human phenotypic variation would survive. And by phenotypic variation, I am referring to all the external physical variation in humans that has been associated with race: eye shape, eye color, skin tone, hair color, hair type, height, body build...everything.

Secondly, when you bring up "characteristic racial traits," you're picking and choosing which traits you're looking at, based on hundreds of years of racism, both institutionalized and otherwise. If you chose different traits, you would find that your "races" would be dramatically different. For example, if you decide to go with eye shape, then you need to group the Inuit and the ethnic groups of sub-Saharan Africa into a single race. Or if you decided to go with blood type, then the vast majority of Australian Aborigines and Northern Scandinavia would be a race. There is not a single phenotypic trait in existence that belongs solely to one group, and not another. That race has been traditionally determined by a handful of outer phenotypic variation is neither coincidence nor "natural."

Let me break down the history of race in North America for you, very briefly. Our American view of race as a stark black/white dichotomy was imported from the British, who in turn, got it from the fact that the only people they had to colonize were the Irish. The Portuguese and the Spanish, on the other hand, colonized half of Africa and South America, came in contact with people of all different physical traits, and as a result, have a much more fluid view of the characteristics that define race. In Brazil alone, for example, there are over five hundred races. Not so for Britain, who basically had to invent a racial system to distinguish them from the Irish.

However, the British only made a habit of enslaving non-Christians (i.e., the Irish), not black people. And with indentured servitude all the rage in the early American colonies, all you had to do was convert to Christianity, regardless of skin color, work your allotted time, and then voila, freedom. Black or white, if you were brought to the colonies as an indentured servant, you could earn freedom, and people did. In fact, in the earliest colonies, there were more black people by numbers in politics than exist today. But the problems started when more indentured servants started surviving to earn their freedom, and the colonies were running out of land to give to them, thus posing a thread to the elite landowners. The indentured servants were, naturally, not particularly thrilled about it, and burned downed Jamestown in 1676. Sad Virginia. What were they to do? And thus they created race, thereby solving a lot of problems for them: indentured servants were expensive once they got their freedom, and slaves were cheaper. Also, creating differences between black and white separated those two indentured groups, giving status to one, and removing all incentive for the status group to help the non-status group. Plus, Virginia saw black skin as an easily identifiable feature, that you would always know who was status and who wasn't.

So, 1) race is biologically a myth and culturally an institution with a purpose, and 2) the fact that you used the so-called "characteristic racial traits" of African-Americans to clarify your point on trees makes my insides shrivel up.

wolfybau
08-12-2011, 12:04 AM
Generic drugs are STILL (usually) the same chemical makeup, and figured the cost savings was because they were using Acacia over Hawiian grown "true" Koa. Does bringing the seeds of a Koa tree from Hawaii to Portugal and planting it produce a "real" Koa tree? Common sense says yes,...although some will argue the trace soil elements are part of the equation. Next is a discussion of the rainfall differences between the two producing definable tonal differences???




I have to disagree with this, having taken generic vs non generic there is a big difference and for some things my doctor wont allow substitution for generic. They put filers on them , dont coat them well and the chemical makeup is not the same based on what fillers etc.

as someone who is an organic gardener, I see the difference in how the same plants from same genetic sources can turn out very different in different soils. 'You are what you eat' holds true for plants very much. I can see how a tree grown on a base of Hawaii's volcanic soils should be quite different than if grown elsewhere. That whole tree is built directly from the minerals of that soil. I dont know the composition of volcanic soil but I would wager it is what give the koa it brilliant light reflective properties, and vibrational properties too.

I still think acacia is a beautiful wood no matter where it is from, and the not a bad substitute if hawaiian koa isnt in the budget. But advertisers should be honest about what they are using. If it is not from hawaii dont give it the hawaiian name 'koa'.

on topic of Cordoba, I have frequently seen them for sale on ebay as a parts/repair item with the bridge broken off them. Is this a common defect?

joejeweler
08-12-2011, 12:50 AM
Woah, woah, woah, hold your offensive horses. First the Chinese work ethnic, now African-American faces. God help me.

For starters, what you're referring to as "characteristic" is anything but. 88% of human genetic variation exists on the African continent alone, which means that if the entire world except Africa was destroyed in Armageddon tomorrow, all but 12% of human phenotypic variation would survive. And by phenotypic variation, I am referring to all the external physical variation in humans that has been associated with race: eye shape, eye color, skin tone, hair color, hair type, height, body build...everything.

Secondly, when you bring up "characteristic racial traits," you're picking and choosing which traits you're looking at, based on hundreds of years of racism, both institutionalized and otherwise. If you chose different traits, you would find that your "races" would be dramatically different. For example, if you decide to go with eye shape, then you need to group the Inuit and the ethnic groups of sub-Saharan Africa into a single race. Or if you decided to go with blood type, then the vast majority of Australian Aborigines and Northern Scandinavia would be a race. There is not a single phenotypic trait in existence that belongs solely to one group, and not another. That race has been traditionally determined by a handful of outer phenotypic variation is neither coincidence nor "natural."

Let me break down the history of race in North America for you, very briefly. Our American view of race as a stark black/white dichotomy was imported from the British, who in turn, got it from the fact that the only people they had to colonize were the Irish. The Portuguese and the Spanish, on the other hand, colonized half of Africa and South America, came in contact with people of all different physical traits, and as a result, have a much more fluid view of the characteristics that define race. In Brazil alone, for example, there are over five hundred races. Not so for Britain, who basically had to invent a racial system to distinguish them from the Irish.

However, the British only made a habit of enslaving non-Christians (i.e., the Irish), not black people. And with indentured servitude all the rage in the early American colonies, all you had to do was convert to Christianity, regardless of skin color, work your allotted time, and then voila, freedom. Black or white, if you were brought to the colonies as an indentured servant, you could earn freedom, and people did. In fact, in the earliest colonies, there were more black people by numbers in politics than exist today. But the problems started when more indentured servants started surviving to earn their freedom, and the colonies were running out of land to give to them, thus posing a thread to the elite landowners. The indentured servants were, naturally, not particularly thrilled about it, and burned downed Jamestown in 1676. Sad Virginia. What were they to do? And thus they created race, thereby solving a lot of problems for them: indentured servants were expensive once they got their freedom, and slaves were cheaper. Also, creating differences between black and white separated those two indentured groups, giving status to one, and removing all incentive for the status group to help the non-status group. Plus, Virginia saw black skin as an easily identifiable feature, that you would always know who was status and who wasn't.

So, 1) race is biologically a myth and culturally an institution with a purpose, and 2) the fact that you used the so-called "characteristic racial traits" of African-Americans to clarify your point on trees makes my insides shrivel up.

Offended???? Get real,......always someone wanting to play a race card. I was simply making a light hearted
analogy, nothing more. Any comments earlier with mention of the way some of the Chinese businesses have conducted
themselves on the world markets is based in fact. They are the prime producers of counterfeit goods, and their
communist government generally supports these activities also. There have been many documentaries on this
subject,......do a little research before you come on with such an "offended" stance.

BTW,...go back and read my post again,.....nowhere did i mentain "African-American faces"! I purposly left out
any specific racial trait because of nitwits who might take offense. And for the record, i and my family are not
racists, bigots, or unreasoning sorts you seem to infer in your diatribe here.

I have played many a competive chess game with a friend who just happens to be black. We've taken casino trips together, and i have loaned him quite a lot of money over the years which i don't ever expect to be fully repaid.

He's a friend, you help your close friends if you can, and understand when and if they can't pay,....same as for
family.

....oh,....and my brother has been married to a wonderful black woman for maybe 20 years.
(she is an ex-school teacher). They live in Florida and i'm up in New York State, so we don't see each
other much,......but i love her as much as if she were blood.

.......hope you understand now a bit better, although it might appear that more than your insides might have
"shriveled" up.

Get out your "Thinking Cap" next time. :rolleyes:

webby
08-12-2011, 12:51 AM
And if it's the right acacia you can extract DMT from it.

webby
08-12-2011, 12:55 AM
the British, who in turn, got it from the fact that the only people they had to colonize were the Irish. The Portuguese and the Spanish, on the other hand, colonized half of Africa and South America,

There is this one place the British Colonized, I think it's called India, Oh and a fair chunk of Africa, oh and Australia, Oh and China and Malaysia, Borneo, Belize, Canada.

Shall I go on.....

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

joejeweler
08-12-2011, 01:04 AM
I have to disagree with this, having taken generic vs non generic there is a big difference and for some things my doctor wont allow substitution for generic. They put filers on them , dont coat them well and the chemical makeup is not the same based on what fillers etc.

as someone who is an organic gardener, I see the difference in how the same plants from same genetic sources can turn out very different in different soils. 'You are what you eat' holds true for plants very much. I can see how a tree grown on a base of Hawaii's volcanic soils should be quite different than if grown elsewhere. That whole tree is built directly from the minerals of that soil. I dont know the composition of volcanic soil but I would wager it is what give the koa it brilliant light reflective properties, and vibrational properties too.

I still think acacia is a beautiful wood no matter where it is from, and the not a bad substitute if hawaiian koa isnt in the budget. But advertisers should be honest about what they are using. If it is not from hawaii dont give it the hawaiian name 'koa'.

on topic of Cordoba, I have frequently seen them for sale on ebay as a parts/repair item with the bridge broken off them. Is this a common defect?

I did say generics are "usually" the same chemical makeup (as name brands), but sure, there are bound to
be minor differences sometimes. Folks with a sensitive stomach may not react well to a generic without a heaving coating, etc.

.....but for the most part, generics serve a much needed lifeline to those who can't afford the name branded, heavily
advertized drugs. Some doctors "push" a certain brand of a drug for less than nobel reasons. (incentives or other
monetary rewards)

I've been on a generic blood pressure medication for about 15 years,....costs $10 for a 3 month's supply. Since i
lost about 30 pounds 3 years ago i started biting the single dose pill in half, and get 2 days out of it. The 90 pills
cover me for half a year, and my lighter body mass is well served by the reduced dosage to where i run at a normal
blood pressure.

BTW, the medication is a 2 part mixture: "Lisinopril / Hydrochlorothiazide"
The 1st part is an ACE Inhibitor (AKA: Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitor), the 2nd part,....well,....
....that gets rid of excess fluid! (just makes you pee a LOT!) :D

Arguing over whether volcanic minerals in the soil create "exclusive" benifits to Hawaiian Koa that are always lacking in
acacia grown in another part of the world is just conjecture. In a "blindfolded " sound test i doubt anyone could tell the difference between the two given a quality build by a competent builder.

........and boy, have we strayed from the original topic!

austin1
08-12-2011, 01:15 AM
There is this one place the British Colonized, I think it's called India, Oh and a fair chunk of Africa, oh and Australia, Oh and China and Malaysia, Borneo, Belize, Canada.

Shall I go on.....

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Of course they did. But they did all this after they had already developed their racial ideology from their contact with the Irish.

I'd recommend the book Race in North America by Audrey Smedley if you want a really good examination of the subject.


Offended???? Get real,......always someone wanting to play a race card. I was simply making a light heartd
analogy, nothing more.

I'm not playing any race cards. You used black people to demonstrate your point about trees. Trees. It's so far from the same thing, I don't even know what direction to suggest you go in.

On that note, I am out of this conversation. Back to trees.

SuzukHammer
08-12-2011, 02:15 AM
I really have enjoyed this thread. It has made me laugh.

My first uke I bought was a Cordoba 25CK about 5 years ago . I am pretty sure the label said "made somewhere else other than China" . It was ok for not having any uke experience; but, then when I got more ukes, I wanted to give my Cordoba away but the problem was with a tuner. One string wouldn't stay in tune; so my new adopted son gave the Cordoba back to me and I bought him a Martin.

But now I know how somebody put a sound port in and takes away bracing, this sounds like something I'd like to do. I may go find that Cordoba and get to tinkering myself.

joejeweler
08-12-2011, 02:22 AM
...........I'm not playing any race cards. You used black people to demonstrate your point about trees. Trees. It's so far from the same thing, I don't even know what direction to suggest you go in.

On that note, I am out of this conversation. Back to trees.



....so do "African Americans" not have characteristic racial traits because they weren't born in Africa?

They are simply Americans who have their "roots" (ancestry) from Africa many generations ago. Genetically we are ALL what was passed on to us by our parents......

.....regardless of where the "seeds" were planted or where we grow up! :D

Trees are trees,......and IF the end result isn't discernable unless you were told where it came from, what's the point
in arguing over it? I suspect, much like Bob Taylor discovered when he made a good sounding guitar out of
a shipping pallet, that a skilled luthier is the most important detail to worry about.

(on that i think we can all agree)

Throw out a bomb,...hit and run,....not fair. Just take a moment for a closer look at what i said earlier. (above)

I think you will find, when broken down to it's essential truth, that all living things grow up to become part
of the same family that contributed to their makeup. Trees, human being, and yes,....even you and i.

......that's all i was trying to say regarding planting a Koa seed in another part of the world. For all practical
purposes,...... it becomes a Koa tree. If you then want to exclude it being called "Koa" just because it wasn't
sprouted and grown in Hawaii, then that's another matter.

...........and then there's the situation where you start a Koa seedling IN Hawaii, grow it to 8 or 10 feet tall, and
then transplant it into another part of the world???

What do we call it then.......Koa?.......Acacia?,.......an "Immigrant"??? :D


:cheers:

austin1
08-12-2011, 02:35 AM
What do we call it then.......Koa? Acacia?,.......an "Immigrant"??? :D
:D

:cheers:

No way, here in my neck of Middle Earth, we call those things Ents. :D

Kanaka916
08-12-2011, 04:24 AM
Since it's gotten way off the subject . . . consider this thread http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v486/hawhyen51/locked.png