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View Full Version : Bought a uke on impluse from taisamlu in Taiwan



byjimini
08-10-2011, 07:17 AM
linky (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160628335189&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT#ht_5410wt_907)

It's an Ayers ATK-2, tenor made from 'solid' koa.

I've read some good things about this guy and the uke looks lovely, but I'm absolutely dreading it and am expecting something ramshackle. Hopefully someone else has bought one and can give some insight?

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deadpool
08-10-2011, 08:18 AM
Better you than me. I saw that on ebay and almost went for it myself. Let us know how it is once it arrives. Wishing good thoughts for you!

byjimini
08-10-2011, 08:20 AM
I wish I'd have bought one of those mahogany tenors with the scratch plates and fancy artwork, still kicking myself now.

Tudorp
08-10-2011, 08:28 AM
I have worked with Sam (his name) along with Bruce Wei. Sam also sells Bruce Wei ukes. Both of those guys are good honest guys, and pretty decent ukes..

byjimini
08-10-2011, 08:32 AM
I'm sure they are, I just had this horrible feeling I'd ordered from the wrong guy. >_<

Can't wait to see the uke though, looks fabulous.

PoiDog
08-10-2011, 08:39 AM
Im certain I'm not alone in hoping you put up a full and detalied review once you get it. I've seen a ton of ukes on ebay from Taiwanese luthiers and manufacturers, and have only seen marginal (at best) things said about them. One in particular, I think Antoniotsai (sp?), even has a website created that's dedicated to exposing his shoddy craftsmanship and horrible customer service!

I'll be eagerly looking forward to what you think!

Tudorp
08-10-2011, 08:42 AM
Antoniotsai is a hack. he has ruined the rep of many of the builders over there.. His stuff is junk, and will start litterally coming apart within weeks. Sam and Bruce both have suffered due to Antoniotsai's shotty work. As far as Bruce, and Sams', decent stuff, but I wouldn't pay $400 for one of their ukes. They are nice, but not nice for over $300.

byjimini
08-23-2011, 01:40 AM
Hopefully you can all view my Facebook album - linky (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150771720820313.717023.711835312&type=1).

It came through today - pleasantly surprised. I was on my way out to my local luthier, who was putting strap buttons on my Sceptre as well as lowering the action on it (and researching putting a pickup on it too), so took it with me and had it setup as well whilst I waited.

It is indeed solid koa; we couldn't determine what grade but, in the words of the luthier, it's "bloody lovely". The grain changes in the light and has a real honey glow to it, as well as smelling sweet through the soundhole. It's also loud - haven't had the chance to compare it to the Sceptre's volume yet, and I'm sure it'll be lower, but it's certainly got a warm voice to it.

It's still got the original strings on it, Aquila's, that will be changed to Worth Clears soon, so this should really sing.

I think I've found myself my official busking uke, that's for sure.

raecarter
08-23-2011, 01:44 AM
Hopefully you can all view my Facebook album - linky (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150771720820313.717023.711835312&type=1).

It came through today - pleasantly surprised. I was on my way out to my local luthier, who was putting strap buttons on my Sceptre as well as lowering the action on it (and researching putting a pickup on it too), so took it with me and had it setup as well whilst I waited.

It is indeed solid koa; we couldn't determine what grade but, in the words of the luthier, it's "bloody lovely". The grain changes in the light and has a real honey glow to it, as well as smelling sweet through the soundhole. It's also loud - haven't had the chance to compare it to the Sceptre's volume yet, and I'm sure it'll be lower, but it's certainly got a warm voice to it.

It's still got the original strings on it, Aquila's, that will be changed to Worth Clears soon, so this should really sing.

I think I've found myself my official busking uke, that's for sure.

How many quid was it mate?

byjimini
08-23-2011, 01:49 AM
240. Add on 50 shipping and 30 import tax, and it's still cheaper than the Ohana that kept being delayed time and time again.

Tudorp
08-23-2011, 01:50 AM
keep us posted as time goes on. These are notorious for looking great out of the box, then developing cracks and warpage over from as short as a couple weeks to a year or change of season..

Ataraxia
08-23-2011, 01:56 AM
I've owned an Ayers soprano. I also live in Taiwan and have even visited the Ayers HQ. The company is really big here, they also produce some really nice guitars that are luthier made. As I understand it, the instruments are all designed by an Australian luthier and then produced in Vietnam along with other big brands such as Big Island/Honu, and the solid Anuenue line. The company itself is from Taiwan though, I've met the president and tried out a bunch of their instruments (they're everywhere here).

The factory set-up is pretty good, and they tend to hold their tune quite nicely and play well. I think you'll be pretty happy with it! Be sure to post some pics/video when it arrives! Good luck~!

Ataraxia
08-23-2011, 01:58 AM
keep us posted as time goes on. These are notorious for looking great out of the box, then developing cracks and warpage over from as short as a couple weeks to a year or change of season..

I believe you're thinking of the "no name" builds that Taisamlu has available. Ayers is a really large company that has regional distributors in the U.S. as well.

raecarter
08-23-2011, 01:59 AM
240. Add on 50 shipping and 30 import tax, and it's still cheaper than the Ohana that kept being delayed time and time again.

Fair dos id be too scared to do that.

DoctorFinlay
08-23-2011, 02:09 AM
I have had my taisamlu tenor for well over a year now and it is still immaculate and is played almost every day. I do keep it humidified just in case though!

byjimini
08-23-2011, 02:45 AM
I can't say I've heard of any cracking from Bruce Wei, but I'll certainly say so if it becomes the case.

I thought this was Aussie, the name rang a bell.

byjimini
08-23-2011, 03:40 AM
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Trinimon
08-23-2011, 04:01 AM
Congrats. How does she sing? :)

telebob
08-23-2011, 04:18 AM
Looks gorgeous (in checking the pix)... and sounds good? Price does seem a little steep, but as long as ya like it and play it a lot, that's all that matters. Enjoy the new uke! :)

byjimini
08-23-2011, 04:24 AM
The price seems steep, but it is solid koa, and with a hard case.

Tudorp
08-23-2011, 04:42 AM
I believe you're thinking of the "no name" builds that Taisamlu has available. Ayers is a really large company that has regional distributors in the U.S. as well. I stand corrected. Taisamlu (a.k.a. Sam), is one of the good ones along with Bruce Wei. I made the same mistake as many in confusing him with the other guy in Vietnam that makes horrible instruments that come appart. Sam does build a very nice instrument, and I have had a couple of them. I have worked with Sam and Bruce buying and selling their ukes, and so far every customer has been 100% happy with their purchases. My apologies. I have full confidence in Both Sam's and Bruce Wei's ukes. I own several in my personal collection.

byjimini
08-24-2011, 08:19 AM
I don't mean to keep harping on about this, but I guess it's valuable consumer advice for anyone else looking to buy from Taiwan.

I'm still waiting for my Worth Clears to come from SUS (tomorrow, hopefully), right now it's still got the original Aquila's that have been on since it left Taiwan, so they're a bit battered and bruised. However, despite that I've given it a right going over today, practising my whole setlist on it. My only other experience with koa is my Sceptre, and to be honest it's far off volume-wise, though obviously the KoAloha feels so much better made.

What I would say though is how bass-y this Ayers uke is; it's quite booming and almost guitar-ish, in-fact my dad, a keen guitarist, is picking it up far more than any of my other ukes, as he loves the sound. Food for thought, though it's definitely a keeper. Just got to sort out insurance for busking on Friday.