View Full Version : New Uke has fret buzz, do I simply send it back?

12-28-2011, 01:54 AM
Hello all, I treated myself to a kala spruce top for crimbo (KA-ST) and there is fret buzz on the c string around the 1st, 2nd and 3rd fret. The action is fairly high (which isn't unusual for a new uke) which brings me to the conclusion that it is down to uneven fret work.

Basically am I correct in simply sending it back and getting another as if I start messing about with it in order to resolve the issue it could void the warrantee?

I have spoken to the company I bought it from and they are more than accomodating. I was maybe going to spend a wee bit extra cash and exchange for a KA-FM concert, the flame maple? Or even get a Kala KA-M Curly Mango. I don't know, I'm feeling confused now as a bad experience tends to put one off a uke but I may just get like for like.

12-28-2011, 02:50 AM
I would send it back. As soon as you start tweaking it, you will own it. Does the company you bought it from do set ups? I would bet that the one they send you to replace it would be perfect. Most companies will want to please the customer and put the issue behind them.

Dan Uke
12-28-2011, 05:42 AM
I would wait a few days and see how the strings settle.

12-28-2011, 07:07 AM
i have had buzzing issues on a few of my ukes when new, but like nongdam has stated give it a few days to let the strings bed in and you may see a difference, i own a kala flamed maple and i was on the verge of sending it back, then the buzzing mysteriously disappeared, so try stretching the strings by pulling them gently but firmly out from the soundboard and retuning for a few days, also check the action at the 1st and 12th fret for height, hope this helps

12-28-2011, 10:48 AM
Thanks for the feedback, i may give it until monday and if no change send it back, Interesting about the flame maple as i was thinking about exchanging it for that with a wee bit extra cash.

12-28-2011, 12:42 PM
I have a step by step guide on my site here http://www.gotaukulele.com/2010/09/buzzes-and-rattles-on-ukulele.html

The way I figure it, with a new uke you are entitled to fiddle about up to and including a string change. If it still buzzes then, id request an exchange, but I would try the string change first.

Many buzzes are easily rectified.

If the buzzing requires a physical change in setup, your warranty rights will depend on how much work you do and the service level of the store,

If in ANY way worried or unsure beyond a string change, then I'd request an exchange or refund. That said, if you fancy it, many many buzzy ukes can be sorted quite easily

Just follow the steps logically to avoid going too far too soon

12-28-2011, 01:14 PM
I'd have a shop check it out, if in doubt send it back.
Consider an Ohana, Mainland or aNueNue, or one of the new Islanders they all seem to do a better job on finishing the frets.

Setup/action is so subjective that usually needs to be done to a players liking.

mm stan
12-28-2011, 07:58 PM
It is good you bought it from reputable store or dealer who is willing to take it back...buy from a dealer who does setups for free...sure you will pay more, but it will be cheaper and better if you do
That is why your uke may have been a good price.. if you return it..you probally get another uke not set up... here on the forums we have a few great members/dealers... MIM, Uke Republic,
Mainland Mike.. MGM/Hawaiian Music Supply... who includes set up with your new uke...Good luck and Happy Strumming... Oh buy for sound not looks..What good is a nice uke that sounds bad??
It ends up with dust and in the closet...you certainly dont need that...can be very unmotivating to start with a bad uke..

Ken Middleton
12-28-2011, 08:57 PM
Setup/action is so subjective that usually needs to be done to a players liking.

I absolutely agree.

12-28-2011, 11:15 PM
Once again, thanks for the feedback (also the link on set up's). It's one of those situations where you're thinking, is it worth the time and effort? To be fair the uke does have an interesting bright and sharp sound and let's be honest, we're not talking mega bucks here, but I don't think that matters with Kala as in my experience they are the best pound for pound (slight pun on currency there) ukes on the market. Once again that is only in my experience and as I've only ever bought Kala (and one oscar schmidt) that doesn't say a lot. The whole point of the exercise for me was to try a spruce top. In hindsight I'm thinking the tenor is too big for a spruce top as the sound does travel and ping so perhaps a concert would be more appropriate for my playing, but that's by the by.

In relation to the saddle, well the action is fairly high which has always been my experience with new ukes, everyone I've had to lower, so I don't think the problem is coming from there. I'm more suspicious of the nut and uneven fret work, the latter of which I should definitely simply send it back for. Nevertheless, as I've already alluded to, I think I'll give it until monday then bite the bullet either way. It's just a wee bit annoying because in my experience, with each new uke I've owned (unlike my guitars bar one, maybe two) you bond with a uke in those initial moments of play and I haven't bonded with this wee man. Sorry for sounding like a hippie but I know what I mean. Anyways, thanks for the help!