View Full Version : Would a crack stop you from buying?

Dan Uke
11-16-2011, 07:02 PM
I just bought a uke w/ two cracks. The pics weren't clear but I've read many threads stating cracks are repairable. Of course, I'm not a luthier so I hope I got lucky. Sorry for being clandestine but will provide more details after I get it.

Would you buy a uke w/ cracks if the price is right?

11-16-2011, 07:20 PM
No. Then again, I'm picky and finicky like one of those cats. Not even if the price is right since I don't know to what extent the damage could be. Might be nothing or might be serious.

11-16-2011, 07:25 PM
yeah, I would and have.....but I guess the answer is.....it depends on what the uke is.

I bought an early 30's Kamaka pineapple with the bridge off and a big crack on the soundboard. I had it repaired no problem, especially since the original bridge was with it.

11-16-2011, 07:34 PM
I bought a new uke and I found a crack in it. I sent it right back since it was under warranty. The crack was at the sole where the neck attaches to the body, which is a critical area. In a new instruments, no cracks!

11-16-2011, 08:02 PM
I had a crack in my ukulele when i bought it. I'm assuming it was due to the dramatic humidity change since it got shipped from Hawaii all the way to Australia and not because of the shop that I bought it off.
Either way, I didn't want to have to wait so I just followed some instructions on how to fix the minor crack and it is now good as new.

Rick Turner
11-16-2011, 09:22 PM
Depends on how it sounds, how old it is, and/or what kind of shop conditions it was made under vs. where you live.

I go for sound first. If it's got a crack and sounds great...well, get it fixed and love it.

If you're someone who cares more about what it looks like than how it sounds or how well it plays...well, I can't possibly tell you what you value or what to do.

Some of the best sounding violins in the world are a wonder of repairs, fixed cracks, etc. Yet the instruments fulfill their #1 purpose...they are music making machines. You want a perfect looking uke forever? Take a photo of your new instrument; have it framed; hang it on the wall. Looks great, right? How does that photo sound?

It sucks.



The rest is really not important.

mm stan
11-16-2011, 09:47 PM
Yes I too...it would depend on the sound foremost, then playability...and asthetics last... cracks are repairable, sound not so... in rare vintage ones, sometimes you gotta go for what you
can get and afford...

11-16-2011, 11:58 PM

I did buy a Gretsch with three tuning pegs, the bridge had popped off and the front and backs were coming off and some of the braces were loose otherwise it was in good condition ;)

It was complete and it was a good price I knew a good luthier and now after some time in the shop it sounds sweet.

11-17-2011, 12:42 AM
Everyone has given good advice, especially Rick -- sound counts the most so then it is reduced to whether you can play it or get a recording before purchasing. Unless it was a great price and an unusual uke, I wouldn't take a chance on a uke with a crack bought from the internet sound unheard. But if it was in a shop and I could play it... well then it's a possibility. But then you have to ask yourself, why didn't they repair the crack and ask a better price? g2

11-17-2011, 12:52 AM
I would buy a Kanile'a K1 with a crack for 200$, I wouldn't buy a Mahalo Soprano with a crack for 20$. Do the math.

11-17-2011, 02:12 AM
My Kamaka has a repaired crack in the soundboard. You can barely tell, and it doesn't affect the sound at all. I prefer the sound of mine over the sound of any other that I've heard actually. I also got a very good deal on it. So the answer is no, but it depends on the instrument. In this case, it was repaired, didn't affect anything really, and got me a steep discount on a relatively new instrument.

11-17-2011, 04:26 AM
Absolutely! But as has been said, depends on the uke. I've heard of ukers buying a Kamaka with cracks for a really low price, sending it back to Kamaka for renovation (which they seem to do at an incredibly reasonabe price) and get back a vintage uke that looks and plays like "NEW" for hundreds and hundreds of dollars less han one in mint condition to start with. I think this is just plain "smart" IMHO.

11-17-2011, 04:32 AM
I just bought a uke w/ two cracks. The pics weren't clear but I've read many threads stating cracks are repairable. Of course, I'm not a luthier so I hope I got lucky. Sorry for being clandestine but will provide more details after I get it.

Would you buy a uke w/ cracks if the price is right?

I have bought 4 ukuleles with repaired cracks. Best deals I ever got and they sounded just fine. Couldn't even tell they were cracked.

11-17-2011, 05:52 AM
Depends on the price, where the crack is.

Back or side cracks are much less likely to affect the sound. A crack on either side of the bridge, and it better be a great deal.

That said, I am one of those folks who bought a severely damaged Kamaka, and sent it to the factory for repair. But that's because I considered the $400 total investment to be a great deal for a vintage Kamaka soprano.

Dan Uke
11-17-2011, 06:32 AM
Thanks for everyone's response so far. I have no idea on the sound as I bought it from the web and I perceive it as a good price but it all depends on the price to stabilize the crack. Being a new player, I really didn't ask too many questions as I really wanted to get another uke!! I am on a waiting list for a custom and UAS overtook my patience.

I would love to start a new thread "Check out my great find" but won't know until I get it. If it's very costly, I'll just let this thread die and SULK. HAHA

11-17-2011, 07:52 AM
Since you don;t tell us the % discount, the location of the cracks, or even the make/model of the uke, it's hard to answer you.

11-17-2011, 08:00 AM
Only at a steep discount, and only if I knew I was never going to sell it.

11-17-2011, 09:42 AM
If I liked the sound of the ukulele, and it had a cross-grain gaping hole in it the size of a golf ball that wasn't compromising its structural integrity, I'd buy it, and call the crack a "personal soundhole".

If it was a wonderful ukulele with a small hairline crack along the grain, I wouldn't buy it without being able to see it up close. Not a chance.

There are very different kinds of cracks. You need to know what you're dealing with.

Sorry to play Devil's advocate, but cracks CAN be a nasty business.