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View Full Version : You Won't Believe Why I Have to Return My New Martin Uke



ukuraleigh
03-31-2012, 01:32 PM
Take a look at the new Martin S1 I was so excited to receive. Can you spot why I have to return it to Elderly?

35740

In case you didn't notice, I will put you out of your misery. There is no "E" in "Est. 1833"

I didn't immediately notice, but now I'm left feeling that the Mexico made ukuleles are inferior to those made in the US.

I mean, how did Martin's quality control &/or Elderly miss this?

I'm hoping Elderly will pay for the shipping to return this, but now I'm not sure if I want my money back or a replacement.

Is this just an unfortunate isolated incident, or has anyone had a similar experience? If isolated, I'll put it down to bad luck and get a replacement.

Thanks!

foxfair
03-31-2012, 01:41 PM
To me it is a tiny decoration flaw.
Missing a E word won't hurt the playability, and in fact I won't even notice because it is so small on the headstock. Unless you have any physical problem to get the sound/play right from the instrument, I would say keep it. Or you are wasting time to enjoy it, and you also run the risk to "WHAT IF" the new Martin uke you'll get in next, doesn't sound as great as this one?

barefootgypsy
03-31-2012, 01:42 PM
That's really disappointing! Commiserations.......

ukuraleigh
03-31-2012, 01:43 PM
To me it is a tiny decoration flaw.
Missing a E word won't hurt the playability, and in fact I won't even notice because it is so small on the headstock. Unless you have any physical problem to get the sound/play right from the instrument, I would say keep it. Or you are wasting time to enjoy it, and you also run the risk to "WHAT IF" the new Martin uke you'll get in next, doesn't sound as great as this one?

That's a fair point, but if you pay for the Martin brand, shouldn't you expect to have 100% of the brand. Not just the headstock logo, but the quality.

Hippie Dribble
03-31-2012, 01:54 PM
I sympathise. Even though just a cosmetic flaw it would still irritate me.

Pondoro
03-31-2012, 01:56 PM
I agree you need to send it back. Too bad.

ukuraleigh
03-31-2012, 01:59 PM
That's really disappointing! Commiserations.......


I sympathise. Even though just a cosmetic flaw it would still irritate me.


Thanks! I'm glad I'm not over-reacting. I thought long and hard about this purchase and wanted a Martin mostly because of their great reputation of building solid ukuleles, so even a small flaw is crushing. I'm hoping either Martin or Elderly will do the right thing.

Gmoney
03-31-2012, 02:00 PM
I wouldn't take it back for the missing "e" - but... I would on principle if the people you bought it from actually mis-strung the two outer strings that way! The "g" & the "A" should be strung with the string coming from the inside of the tuner like the other two are. It keeps the string angle breaking over the nut correctly.

ukuraleigh
03-31-2012, 02:02 PM
I wouldn't take it back for the missing "e" - but... I would on principle if the people you bought it from actually mis-strung the two outer strings that way! The "g" & the "A" should be strung with the string coming from the inside of the tuner like the other two are. It keeps the string angle breaking over the nut correctly.

Funny you should notice that. I started tuning the ukulele and it freaked me out that it was different to all of my others. I thought perhaps I was either stringing my ukes wrong or it was a "Martin" thing.

benjoeuke
03-31-2012, 02:03 PM
hmmm... are the top and bottom strings wound backwards on the posts?

ukuraleigh
03-31-2012, 02:05 PM
I wouldn't take it back for the missing "e" - but... I would on principle if the people you bought it from actually mis-strung the two outer strings that way! The "g" & the "A" should be strung with the string coming from the inside of the tuner like the other two are. It keeps the string angle breaking over the nut correctly.

According to an image on the Martin Guitar web site, that's how they string their ukuleles, I guess.

35741

wickedwahine11
03-31-2012, 02:05 PM
That would irritate the heck out of me. I would definitely send it back. Elderly is a great company I think they will probably let you exchange or return it.

ukuraleigh
03-31-2012, 02:07 PM
That would irritate the heck out of me. I would definitely send it back. Elderly is a great company I think they will probably let you exchange or return it.

That's what I am hoping--on their dime I hope.

Gmoney
03-31-2012, 02:13 PM
According to an image on the Martin Guitar web site, that's how they string their ukuleles, I guess.

35741

That's pretty odd. If you look at a few of the other models, some are strung correctly & a few like yours. But... it will take some getting used to if you ever get another one. Elderly is a good vendor though, so it shouldn't be a problem exchanging it.

Raygf
03-31-2012, 02:24 PM
That's pretty odd. If you look at a few of the other models, some are strung correctly & a few like yours. But... it will take some getting used to if you ever get another one. Elderly is a good vendor though, so it shouldn't be a problem exchanging it.

The tenors and concerts are strung inside the post, but the 5K soprano photo on the Martin website shows the g and A strings wound outside the post and the 5K is definitely not a Mexican factory ukulele. It would be interesting to hear from someone who knows why the sopranos are strung that way.

gokidd
03-31-2012, 02:46 PM
_v_ryon_ would sur_ly miss th_ _!

ukuraleigh
03-31-2012, 02:52 PM
_v_ryon_ would sur_ly miss th_ _!

LOL! Th_y sur_ would!

janeray1940
03-31-2012, 03:06 PM
I would be totally annoyed by that! So, so annoyed. But if I liked the sound and feel of the uke a lot, rather than send it back I would ask Elderly for a significant price adjustment. I don't know how it goes with Martins, but with the ukes I'm accustomed to (Kamaka, Koaloha, Kiwaya) I've found that when I get the chance to try several of the same model, one always stands out as best to me. So if you exchange it for another, you may not like it as much.

ukuraleigh
03-31-2012, 03:11 PM
I would be totally annoyed by that! So, so annoyed. But if I liked the sound and feel of the uke a lot, rather than send it back I would ask Elderly for a significant price adjustment. I don't know how it goes with Martins, but with the ukes I'm accustomed to (Kamaka, Koaloha, Kiwaya) I've found that when I get the chance to try several of the same model, one always stands out as best to me. So if you exchange it for another, you may not like it as much.

Thats a good point. I may discuss a partial refund with Elderly. It would save on the hassle (and their expense) of shipping this one back and shipping a new one--and not knowing what I'll get next.

OldePhart
03-31-2012, 03:39 PM
I'm sorry but that really unevenly colored fretboard bothers me even more than the missing "E." In fact, I read the first line of your post and immediately assumed the light streak in the fretboard was your issue with the uke. I didn't notice the missing E until I read the rest of your post.

As far as I'm concerned either the missing "E" or the poor selection of fretboard wood is reason enough to return it - I guess Martin just ain't what it used to be.

Another thing to consider is that if you decide to sell the uke later someone may assume it's a bad fake because of that missing E...


John

Ukuleleblues
03-31-2012, 04:14 PM
LOL, Send it back. They added at least 30% to the cost for their name. ARTIN would be have been better.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
03-31-2012, 04:18 PM
That uke's quite pretty, E or no E, light streak in the fretboard and all. If it sounded great, I'd keep it and play it with love.

But of cours if you'r bothrd, I'm sur ldrly will accpt a rturn. I wouln't xpct that thy'd tak car of postag ovr a minor issu, though. Good luck.

mm stan
03-31-2012, 04:25 PM
To me if it sounded good, I would keep it...sound is foremost to me...flaws are secondary...not sure why it
is strung that way for, I wouid try and string it right and see if there is an alignment issue..LOL Don't those
mistake logos worth more like in mis punched coins or misprinted currency....you might have a gem in disguise.. he he

coolkayaker1
03-31-2012, 04:33 PM
Ukuraleigh, your photo seems to show a gradiant in the fretboard coloring, no? Might just be the image. The fretboard looks lighter colored under the E string.

Bill Mc
03-31-2012, 04:54 PM
I own two S-1's and they are both fine. The fingerboards are streaked just like yours and I think that is a feature of the morado wood. Look for the missing "E" inside your gig bag. It is a stick-on and perhaps it fell off. Also contact Martin. They ought to be able to send you a little "E" which might be simpler than the hassle of a return assuming the "E" can be applied effectively. I hope you like the instrument otherwise. They are comfortable to play with the nice neck and fretboard and have a woody sound. I sympathize with your frustration but there might be a simple solution to the problem.

smellofstrings
03-31-2012, 05:55 PM
I got a different thought. That missing E actually adds character to this uke.

If the missing letter appears on the name "Martin", I must return it!

But that missing E is interesting to me. "ST." itself can have meanings too, like "saint" and "street". Also, whenever you introduce your uke to others, you can let them guess what is special about this uke! That makes your uke unique!

smellofstrings
03-31-2012, 05:56 PM
That uke's quite pretty, E or no E, light streak in the fretboard and all. If it sounded great, I'd keep it and play it with love.

But of cours if you'r bothrd, I'm sur ldrly will accpt a rturn. I wouln't xpct that thy'd tak car of postag ovr a minor issu, though. Good luck.

HAHA~ Funny reply!

vanflynn
03-31-2012, 06:15 PM
It's a Martin and I would expect more. You are doing them a favor by pointing out the bad factory QA

GX9901
03-31-2012, 06:16 PM
This thread made me check the headstock of my C1K to see if the "E" is there. LOL!

I missed the defect from the original photo in this thread until it was pointed out. Something like this wouldn't bother me if the instrument sounded great. Heck, I overpaid for my C1K by about $140 over street price because I thought it sounded phenomenal when I tried it in the shop. I would have bought it even if the entire Martin name on the headstock fell off. (well, I would have went for a discount in that case though) But, if the uke is average sounding, I guess I would use the missing "E" as an excuse to return it.

The bottom line is the tolerance level for this type of thing by the buyer though. If you can't stand it, it goes back. If you can tolerate it in the name of superior sound, it stays.

BTW, the streak in the fretboard should not be considered a defect in my opinion. It's just how Morado wood is. I've seen high-end ukes built with Macassar ebony fretbaord with similar type of streak and that's supposed to make the uke "unique".

mybote
03-31-2012, 06:25 PM
If it was a second hand uke, I wouldn't give it a second thought. But, when I pay new prices, I expect Martin quality. That would be an irritant to me. Please keep us updated on the outcome.

Dan Uke
03-31-2012, 07:26 PM
I agree with everyone who says to keep it if it sounds great!!! You would regret it if it sounds worse but had the "e". It's only a sticker

didgeridoo2
03-31-2012, 07:58 PM
I agree with everyone who says to keep it if it sounds great!!! You would regret it if it sounds worse but had the "e". It's only a sticker
yep.........

bbycrts
03-31-2012, 08:11 PM
Thanks! I'm glad I'm not over-reacting. I thought long and hard about this purchase and wanted a Martin mostly because of their great reputation of building solid ukuleles, so even a small flaw is crushing. I'm hoping either Martin or Elderly will do the right thing.

You're not overreacting - at first I thought you were, but it's a Martin - it's supposed to be among the best of the best, no matter where it was produced, right? Sure it won't affect playability, but it'll eat at you. You paid for a uke that passed inspection - this should not have passed.

BlackBearUkes
03-31-2012, 08:18 PM
IMO you should definitely keep this uke. The missing E will make it collectible down the road, especially if more than one is out there.

vanflynn
03-31-2012, 08:58 PM
IMO you should definitely keep this uke. The missing E will make it collectible down the road, especially if more than one is out there.

I would agree if it was inlay but it's a sticker.

chris667
03-31-2012, 09:43 PM
That's rubbish.

You paid a premium price for this item, and for that you should expect a premium finish. Doesn't matter if it was made with cheap labour or not, you still paid extra for a ukulele with the Martin name.

If the glue on that sticker has come off because the surface of the wood hasn't been prepared propery, what's to say the bridge won't come off? Not saying it will, but you do have to think that way.

Teek
03-31-2012, 10:53 PM
I caught the E right away and I love the fretboard color. I prefer the natural wood over wood that is dyed black to look like solid black ebony. I have a lot of old vintage ebony carvings and the prettiest have graining called tiger striping.

I'd ask them to both send you the E and give you a discount on the uke.

Skrik
04-01-2012, 12:15 AM
Would it irritate me? Yes, a little. Would I send it back? I don't think so -- it's a pretty ukulele. I think I'd go for a better deal on the price -- a markdown of up to $100 would persuade me to keep it, instead of moving hell and highwater to send it back.

pakhan
04-01-2012, 12:21 AM
Just my opinion, if it sounds good, plays good, I would keep it. You know all these cosmetic oddities may become rare collector's items in the future- like those misprint stamps. Of course, it may not, but just sayin'.

coolkayaker1
04-01-2012, 12:41 AM
Would you buy a Lexus that said exus on the trunk lettering?

It does not at all make it more collectible. It DOES make it something you'd have to explain on an advertisement if you'd want to sell it, and judging from the replies in this thread, half the potential buyers wouldn't like it.

Same for the skunk stripe fretboard. I wouldn't want it with that either, even if it is native to the wood. I'd never buy it in the store with that " natural" feature, so I'd not buy it second hand with that either.

If you never, ever plan to resell it none of this matters. But, few of us can ever say that for sure.

If the company has a return policy, straight return, and you're in that time period, with the skunk stripe and the missing E, I'd return the whole thing..even if my dime. That's just me. And, no, I'm not an anal perfectionist. I just know someone I sell it to someday may be. Lol.

Hippie Dribble
04-01-2012, 12:50 AM
Would you buy a Lexus that said exus on the trunk lettering?

It does not at all make it more collectible. It DOES make it something you'd have to explain on an advertisement if you'd want to sell it, and judging from the replies in this thread, half the potential buyers wouldn't like it.

Same for the skunk stripe fretboard. I wouldn't want it with that either, even if it is native to the wood. I'd never buy it in the store with that " natural" feature, so I'd not buy it second hand with that either.

If you never, ever plan to resell it none of this matters. But, few of us can ever say that for sure. The sellers margin on it is far less than $100, so you'll likely only get a 10-20 dollar discount from the seller. Or, they may pay shipping both ways to replace it (they get much better shipping rates than we do...Elderly even told me it costs them $15 to insure and ship a ukulele).

If the company has a return policy, straight return, and you're in that time period, with the skunk stripe and the missing E, I'd return the whole thing..even if my dime. That's just me.
really well said Steve.

The only thing that would tempt me to keep it, funnily enough, is the unique looking fretboard...he he. It's really pretty but this is a defect we're talking about at point of sale. And you bet it would affect resale, no doubt about it. If I had 2 to choose from I sure wouldn't be buying the one with lettering missing from the headplate.

Choweet
04-01-2012, 01:01 AM
I guess Martin just ain't what it used to be.


You're judging a successful, nearly 200 year old company for a missed letter and an unappealing wood appearance (which is purely subjective as it is) on one of their import instrument while as far as the OP is concerned, is fine tonal wise?

I agree to send it back, but ludicrous generalizing statements like these are uncalled for. Everyone makes mistakes, no one is infallible. However I'd suspect you wouldn't say the same thing if the company in question was Kamaka, or Kanilea or another Hawaiian ukulele instrument maker.

austin1
04-01-2012, 01:04 AM
really well said Steve.

The only thing that would tempt me to keep it, funnily enough, is the unique looking fretboard...he he. It's really pretty but this is a defect we're talking about at point of sale. And you bet it would affect resale, no doubt about it. If I had 2 to choose from I sure wouldn't be buying the one with lettering missing from the headplate.

Exactly what he said. It would be like trying to resell a Coach purse missing the C--you could talk all day about how it's legitimate, not that anyone's going to believe you. If I knew I were keeping that thing forever and always, I might hold to it for the ridiculousness. But if there was even one iota of a chance that I'd resell it, I'd send it back and get one I wouldn't have to explain to the next buyer.

barefootgypsy
04-01-2012, 01:46 AM
really well said Steve.

The only thing that would tempt me to keep it, funnily enough, is the unique looking fretboard...he he. It's really pretty but this is a defect we're talking about at point of sale. And you bet it would affect resale, no doubt about it. If I had 2 to choose from I sure wouldn't be buying the one with lettering missing from the headplate.What he said. You've paid for a top-end instrument, top-end money, presumably - it needs to be right - in every way. You don't want it to look like a second or a reject..... even if it does sound good!

UK Paulie
04-01-2012, 01:56 AM
I have to agree with the voices that cry "send it back" and there is no doubt in my mind that if you went to resell it there would certainly be potential buyers who thought like some of the folks on this thread - If they made this mistake, what other mistakes did they make? Think I'll look for another one....

ukuraleigh
04-01-2012, 02:14 AM
Wow, you guys provided some great food for thought while I was asleep!

I'll see what Elderly has to say on Monday. Barring them offering a huge discount on it, I'm inclined to send it back. Based on some of your comments, I'm now not sure I'd want them to send another one. Who knows what the quality will be like of any replacement.

austin1
04-01-2012, 02:23 AM
Wow, you guys provided some great food for thought while I was asleep!

I'll see what Elderly has to say on Monday. Barring them offering a huge discount on it, I'm inclined to send it back. Based on some of your comments, I'm now not sure I'd want them to send another one. Who knows what the quality will be like of any replacement.

Elderly's a really good vendor, I'm sure if you specify you want something of equal sound quality buy with a slightly higher percentage of relevant letters, they'll be down.

ukuraleigh
04-01-2012, 02:28 AM
...I'm sure if you specify you want something of equal sound quality buy with a slightly higher percentage of relevant letters, they'll be down.

Hahaha! Nice!

dakamaainahaole
04-01-2012, 02:47 AM
To me it is a tiny decoration flaw.
Missing a E word won't hurt the playability, and in fact I won't even notice because it is so small on the headstock. Unless you have any physical problem to get the sound/play right from the instrument, I would say keep it. Or you are wasting time to enjoy it, and you also run the risk to "WHAT IF" the new Martin uke you'll get in next, doesn't sound as great as this one?

I would keep it...long as you have/have kept something that proves its authenticity then it may actually have MORE resale value due to its uniqueness is factory flaw... IF isolated... anyways, jus a thought to consider

coolkayaker1
04-01-2012, 03:08 AM
Elderlys return policy is 48 hours I don't know when you got he uke, but I'd call them today. Lv MSG or email them if they're closed just to show an attempt to abiding by their return policy. As A1 stated, theyre excellent. But, they do have policies.

Bill Mc
04-01-2012, 03:35 AM
Elderlys return policy is 48 hours I don't know when you got he uke, but I'd call them today. Lv MSG or email them if they're closed just to show an attempt to abiding by their return policy. As A1 stated, theyre excellent. But, they do have policies.

The Elderly Limited Warranty states, "We guarantee that all new instruments purchased from us will remain free from defects in material and workmanship for a limited period of no less than 90 days and up to one year from date of purchase. This is in addition to the manufacturers' guarantee." The return policy addresses buyer dissatisfaction with a product.

Chris Tarman
04-01-2012, 04:05 AM
I'd probably keep it. The logo on new Martins is a plastic piece glued or pressed to the headstock. That letter could have fallen off at any point between the factory and you, so it quite likely isn't a matter of quality control (unless it's on Elderly's part for not noticing it). I seriously doubt that the missing "E" in "Established 1833" is going to cause ANYONE to doubt that it is a real Martin, especially considering that it's a plastic piece that can break or fall off, rather than a decal.

If it absolutely drives you crazy to the point that you can't stand looking at the uke, then return it. But... my Style 2 Martin's stamping inside the sound hole is nearly illegible after 80-some years. It doesn't bother me. No one would doubt that it's a Martin.

I've mentioned before that I collect tobacco pipes. My favorite maker was Bill Taylor, an Englishman who worked for Dunhill for years before he started his own company, Ashton. He died a couple of years ago, and was a good friend of mine, even though I only got to see him once a year at the Chicago pipe show. His pipes ranged in price from about $200 to over $2,000. And he was FAMOUSLY sloppy with the nomenclature. I own 93 of his pipes. Several are mis-stamped: sometimes he stamped the wrong finish name; sometimes he gave them the wrong size grade; sometimes he forgot to stamp the date code; sometimes a stamp was upside-down... There are lots of theories about this, many involving his rather high beer-consumption. He did drink a lot. But I also know his eye-sight wasn't all that great, and he was comically absent-minded. He was a great guy, and well-known and respected in the pipe world. Many of his pipes were not elegant or even pretty. Often they were what you might call "Quirky". But they were Ashtons, and they are amazing. No matter what pipe collectors think of the way Ashtons look, nearly all of them agree that they smoke great, and the quirkiness is part of their appeal. Bill was a quirky guy.

Take a look at some old Martins. Apart from the 5Ks and 3Ks, most of them are not stunningly gorgeous. They're kind of utilitarian in terms of grain, inlay, etc. You're not going to find any figured mahogany (unless that's what happened to be sitting in the factory that particular day). They're meant to be PLAYED. With or without the "E"!

chris667
04-01-2012, 04:22 AM
Just as a thought, I wonder what someone from Martin would say if they read this. It's not good advertising for them, which is a pity because there's no way for them to reply.

Plainsong
04-01-2012, 04:23 AM
I wouldn't take it back for the missing "e" - but... I would on principle if the people you bought it from actually mis-strung the two outer strings that way! The "g" & the "A" should be strung with the string coming from the inside of the tuner like the other two are. It keeps the string angle breaking over the nut correctly.

Oh yikes! I didn't notice that until you said. My first knee-jerk reaction was that the E might not bother me too much. But dunno, that and the strings... with all the greatly built and setup and priced ukes out there, and you have this from a big name company... Hmm, no.

If you don't feel right about it, then it's your right to return it. :)

Chris, would you like your Dunhills to not have the white dot on them? ;)

coolkayaker1
04-01-2012, 05:05 AM
The Elderly Limited Warranty states, "We guarantee that all new instruments purchased from us will remain free from defects in material and workmanship for a limited period of no less than 90 days and up to one year from date of purchase. This is in addition to the manufacturers' guarantee." The return policy addresses buyer dissatisfaction with a product.

"We have selected our merchandise with great care, and made every effort to describe it thoroughly. If you find that you are dissatisfied with anything purchased from us, it may be returned - in unused condition - for exchange or a full refund (less shipping charges). Please dispatch within 5 working days of your having received them any item(s) you have decided to return. Also, for instruments only, please notify us within 48 hours of your intention to return. Ship all items well-packed and insured. "

Sounds like it may be five days to ship back, at least for a full refund, if notified within two days the intention to return. Elderly, actually, does fix instruments, so they may add the "E" for Raleigh.

Bill Mc
04-01-2012, 05:10 AM
"We have selected our merchandise with great care, and made every effort to describe it thoroughly. If you find that you are dissatisfied with anything purchased from us, it may be returned - in unused condition - for exchange or a full refund (less shipping charges). Please dispatch within 5 working days of your having received them any item(s) you have decided to return. Also, for instruments only, please notify us within 48 hours of your intention to return. Ship all items well-packed and insured. "

Sounds like it may be five days to ship back, at least for a full refund, if notified within two days the intention to return. Elderly, actually, does fix instruments, so they may add the "E" for Raleigh.

Dissatisfaction and defects are two different issues. They are handled differently with two distinct policies.

coolkayaker1
04-01-2012, 05:25 AM
A missing "E" is not a defect. A popped bridge is a defect. A loose fret is a defect.

Elderly is not going to give him a refund after almost a year for a missing E.

Raleigh is dissatisfied with the uke. That's the policy in effect here, the dissatisfaction, full refund policy...not the one year defect, Elderly will fix it policy. And the fretboard skunk stripe is similarly cosmetic and customer judgment.

I'd contact Elderly post haste if I was him. That is my simple advice. Perhaps he already has, and they will work with Raleigh. Keep us posted as to your remedy. It'll likely be satisfactory.

imabuddha
04-01-2012, 05:53 AM
Just as a thought, I wonder what someone from Martin would say if they read this. It's not good advertising for them, which is a pity because there's no way for them to reply.

Surely they can post here just like anyone else.

Raygf
04-01-2012, 05:59 AM
Oh yikes! I didn't notice that until you said. My first knee-jerk reaction was that the E might not bother me too much. But dunno, that and the strings...

Every soprano from the OXK to the 5K on the Ukulele Page (http://www.martinguitar.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=category&id=63:ukulele&Itemid=93) of Martin's website has the g and A strings strung outside the post. There has to be a reason for it. I just sent an email to Martin. Hopefully they will respond.

Canoe Lady
04-01-2012, 06:01 AM
A missing "E" is not a defect. A popped bridge is a defect. A loose fret is a defect.

Elderly is not going to give him a refund after almost a year for a missing E.

Raleigh is dissatisfied with the uke. That's the policy in effect here, the dissatisfaction, full refund policy...not the one year defect, Elderly will fix it policy. And the fretboard skunk stripe is similarly cosmetic and customer judgment.


The missing E would be a defect. If he didn't like the appearance of the fretboard, that would be dissatisfaction.

estreya
04-01-2012, 06:05 AM
If this were a used instrument, i would expect flaws. When i purchase something new, i fully expect perfection. That's not what you got. Send it back.

Just adding my snoot to the soup. :)

ukuraleigh
04-01-2012, 06:06 AM
I sent Eldery an email the day after it arrived (the moment I noticed it). I also let Martin know about it via Twitter.

I disagree that the missing "e" is not a defect. How is it not a defect? A defect is when something is different from what it is supposed to be. The "e" is supposed to be there, so this is definitely a defect.

I'm trying not to second guess what Elderly will do, until they actually get back to me. I'll let you know when that happens.

Thanks all!

rook
04-01-2012, 07:08 AM
I disagree that the missing "e" is not a defect. How is it not a defect?

I agree 100%, it's totally a defect

JT_Ukes
04-01-2012, 07:44 AM
I agree 100%, it's totally a defect


It sure is... how can you play a uke with out an e string?

sheesh

OldePhart
04-01-2012, 07:58 AM
You're not overreacting - at first I thought you were, but it's a Martin - it's supposed to be among the best of the best, no matter where it was produced, right? Sure it won't affect playability, but it'll eat at you. You paid for a uke that passed inspection - this should not have passed.

Yeah...that was my point. You pay a hefty premium for that Martin name and it should mean something.

OldePhart
04-01-2012, 08:04 AM
You're judging a successful, nearly 200 year old company for a missed letter and an unappealing wood appearance (which is purely subjective as it is) on one of their import instrument while as far as the OP is concerned, is fine tonal wise?

I agree to send it back, but ludicrous generalizing statements like these are uncalled for. Everyone makes mistakes, no one is infallible. However I'd suspect you wouldn't say the same thing if the company in question was Kamaka, or Kanilea or another Hawaiian ukulele instrument maker.

Sure I would. When a company charges a premium price for their product I expect to receive attention to detail equal to that premium. It doesn't matter whether their name is Martin or KoAloha or Kamaka or Mercedes or what have you. Companies like Martin can legtimately charge a premium price for their product based on the perception that their quality supports a resale value that makes the name worth something. When you let them slide on that quality you are giving them a free ride. After a while the bean counters in charge figure they have a blank check.

John

benjoeuke
04-01-2012, 08:21 AM
Not trying to tell you what I think you should do here, but this is what I would do just because blems don't bother me that much.
1. find out how much a "shop worn" discount is on the uke from Elderly.
2. ask for the difference refunded to you in cash or even credit.
3. ask Martin to send you a gold stick on letter 'E' in the mail.
4. use credit to stock up on your favorite strings for the new Martin uku :)

ukuraleigh
04-01-2012, 09:54 AM
Not trying to tell you what I think you should do here, but this is what I would do just because blems don't bother me that much.
1. find out how much a "shop worn" discount is on the uke from Elderly.
2. ask for the difference refunded to you in cash or even credit.
3. ask Martin to send you a gold stick on letter 'E' in the mail.
4. use credit to stock up on your favorite strings for the new Martin uku :)

That's pretty sensible, thanks! I'll keep that solution in mind. I'm still leaning towards just returning it. If the missing "E" can make it past quality control, I'm a little concerned at what else might not be up to par with this ukulele.

Chris Tarman
04-01-2012, 10:26 AM
I still seriously doubt that it came from the factory with the missing "E". Looking at my S-O, I think it would be fairly easy for it to have come off in shipping, or when someone played it at Elderly. At least on my S-O (and I believe on the new Martin Concert I saw a few weeks ago), the logo isn't a decal, but raised plastic. Pretty easily snapped off I would think.

Chris Tarman
04-01-2012, 10:31 AM
Oh yikes! I didn't notice that until you said. My first knee-jerk reaction was that the E might not bother me too much. But dunno, that and the strings... with all the greatly built and setup and priced ukes out there, and you have this from a big name company... Hmm, no.

If you don't feel right about it, then it's your right to return it. :)

Chris, would you like your Dunhills to not have the white dot on them? ;)

Actually, the earliest Dunhills didn't have the white dot. I would LOVE to have one of those! I have one from just a few years later, but not one of the factory "dot-less" ones.

Also, as for the "Lexus with the missing L" comment... It's not like it says "artin". It's more like a Lexus with a part of the model designation missing. And yeah, if I could get a discount for that, I sure wouldn't care even about driving an "exus"!

But like I said, if it's a big deal to the OP, then he should try to exchange it (or at least get a partial refund). It just really wouldn't be a deal breaker for ME (if I otherwise liked the uke).

ChrisRCovington
04-01-2012, 10:38 AM
Just a few thoughts that echo benjoeuke's:

1. If Elderly is willing to knock some money off I'd keep it. I got my S1 at Guitar Center for a hefty discount because there was a small dent in the back. It is purely cosmetic much like your "E" sticker. I don't think I'm gonna find an S1 much cheaper than I paid and it is something I'm willing to live with. Heck I've added a bunch more small dents to the thing since I play it daily.

2. I've heard that Martin is very careful with their logos and probably won't send you one in the mail. However an authorized Martin repair shop can get them in and apply it for you. Maybe Elderly or Martin will cover those costs?

3. I think you're feeling a little paranoid about their QA process. The labels are gold stickers. I've scratched mine a little bit by accident and noticed a little bit of pealing at the ends where I did it. I try to push it back down really good. There is a good chance it had the "E" when it left the factory and in transit it just came off. I sort of doubt a sticker that likely fell off will translate into some sort of fatal flaw opening up in the instrument.

4. As for the fretboard being the distinctive colors, it's wood. I think the colors look nice and I'm sure they will darken with age and use over time anyway. Just in the few short months I've had mine the wood has gotten much darker. I've seen some K-brands with some pretty crazy woods, too. I doubt you'd have a hard time reselling it based on natural wood colors.

Whatever happens let us know what Eldery says. It is always good to hear about customer service experiences people have with different companies.

bynapkinart
04-01-2012, 10:42 AM
The missing E is definitely a QC thing and should be taken care of. As far as the strings are concerned, the reason Martin has done that from the factory for the last 50 years or so is because it keeps the string angle straight behind the nut. It looks a little strange at first and takes some getting used to for tuning, but the huge benefit is that if you're a heavy strummer (like myself) there is less of a chance of that top string popping itself out of the nut. If it is tuned normally, the string is being pulled down and to the right behind the nut, so that it only takes a little upward force to lift it from the slot and out onto the next string. Strung the way it is with the G and A strings outside, the only pressure being exerted on the string behind the nut is downward force, so even if you do strum hard and pull it out of the slot, the only place the string goes is right back down into the slot.

An older gentleman who sells lots of vintage Martins in a shop back where I'm from has a Style 2M that hasn't been altered in any way including string changes since the 1940's, and it is strung the same way. It makes a whole lot of sense, but it does take some getting used to. I actually really like that about Martin ukes, though...when I get a Martin I plan on doing the same thing. Call it one of those quirks that Martin has.

Letters falling off of the headstock is bad though...

Plainsong
04-01-2012, 11:05 AM
TIL something about other ways to string. :)

I quoted Chris firstly because my pipe-crazy husband had a different take on Ashtons, but that would be for the (much needed?) pipe smokers subforum. :D But Chris to me summarizes the divide at least as I see it. If you bought something... be it a pipe or a uke... to use that sucker, to really milk that thing as much as you can, then a missing bit of decal won't make a difference and might add some character.

But if you bought it, well yes play it of course, but specifically because it was a "MARTIN" or a "LEXUS" or a "KAMAKA" - then maybe logos and titles and decals might start to mean something.

A guy like Chris buys his pipes to smoke em, buys his ukes to play em, so a flaw within reason like that isn't going to make a hill of beans of difference if it sounds good or smokes good. But that's not everyone. I can't even say if it would bother me. Maybe it would.. maybe I wouldn't care. I can't really honestly pass judgement on it.

If Elderley won't come up with a solution that is agreeable, I'd suggest selling it. I DO know what it's like to have a uke with some negative feelings attached to it, and it probably won't change. No one would blame you.


Actually, the earliest Dunhills didn't have the white dot. I would LOVE to have one of those! I have one from just a few years later, but not one of the factory "dot-less" ones.

Also, as for the "Lexus with the missing L" comment... It's not like it says "artin". It's more like a Lexus with a part of the model designation missing. And yeah, if I could get a discount for that, I sure wouldn't care even about driving an "exus"!

But like I said, if it's a big deal to the OP, then he should try to exchange it (or at least get a partial refund). It just really wouldn't be a deal breaker for ME (if I otherwise liked the uke).

bigchiz
04-01-2012, 11:30 AM
8 pages about the missing E? It's all good.

By no means is it a fair comparison, but while on the topic of QC our $99 Epiphone Les Paul came with a bonus. A piece of sandpaper inside. Decided not to drive 8 blocks back to Guitar Center for a return. Was able to fold the paper in on itself and pull it out the sound hole without making scratch. It was like playing the old Operation game when the board buzzes if you touch the hole while pulling out the funny bone.

Good luck with getting that


E

coolkayaker1
04-01-2012, 12:34 PM
I sent Eldery an email the day after it arrived (the moment I noticed it). I also let Martin know about it via Twitter. I disagree that the missing "e" is not a defect.

My point earlier: one poster was quoting a warranty that says you have one year of coverage for a defect and that the missing "e" is a defect, as such.

I would argue, wait 11 months and then see if Elderly would take it back under the defect policy for the missing "e". It is likely not a "defect" under that policy and under that policy's time frame.

You contacted Elderly quickly, which is truly key. They will make it right. And, you seem not to mind the fretboard colors (which are hard to judge in the photos) or haven't mentioned it, Euraleigh, so I guess the only issue is the "e" sticker. Elderly will come to the rescue with a new sticker, or a new uke swap, or a small reimbursement to you or a full refund under the satisfaction policy, I'm guessing. But you have a point about who pays the shipping each way...that'll be interesting.

That is very informative about Martin's string winding on the pegs. That information is good to know. I have Martin copies from Kiwaya, and they don't string them like Martin does. Some things, I suppose, are uniquely Martin.

ukuraleigh
04-01-2012, 01:29 PM
Thanks all for your comments. The fretboard is definitely NOT an issue for me and the strings can always be re-strung. ;)

webby
04-01-2012, 03:18 PM
you are gonna feel really silly in a few decades when a martin uke with that anomaly fetches 10 times what a normal martin uke does because it was a fluke, a one off.

Do you have any idea what one off mistakes of elvis records, beatles posters, rare stamps, add to the value of things.

You anal retentiveness may well have cost you a fortune.

Kekani
04-01-2012, 06:35 PM
I agree with Duane and Webby, keep it for the defect. Les Reitfors had a slew of instruments where the feet spacing on the higher frets was reversed. Now they're mildly sought after,if you know where to get them.

Really, the thing that would drive me nuts is the octave is placed on the 7th fret. But, I'd keep that mistake too.

What I wouldn't keep is the string wind on the 1st & 4th.

BTW, sorry to say, but you didn't buy a "real" Martin. You just overpaid for a MIM version with a marketing director's name all over it. Their heyday is gone, and they didn't do it right by trying to bring it back. From their perspective they did though.
Think about it, if someone wanted to take apart a Martin (money no object) to spec it out and duplicate it, you think it would be a new one? My current Tenor body has elements of a 12fret Martin (not the 14). Guess how old that one was.

My suggestion? Document the error.

Aaron

ChrisRCovington
04-02-2012, 03:00 AM
"you are gonna feel really silly in a few decades when a martin uke with that anomaly fetches 10 times what a normal martin uke does because it was a fluke, a one off.

Do you have any idea what one off mistakes of elvis records, beatles posters, rare stamps, add to the value of things.

You anal retentiveness may well have cost you a fortune. "

Maybe if the label were upside down or something odd but it is just missing a letter. If a missing "E" will make the thing worth a small fortune I'll be happy to pull the "E" off of my S1 (pretty easy to do, btw) and sell it to you :)

ukuraleigh
04-02-2012, 03:40 AM
Maybe if the label were upside down or something odd but it is just missing a letter. If a missing "E" will make the thing worth a small fortune I'll be happy to pull the "E" off of my S1 (pretty easy to do, btw) and sell it to you :)

My thoughts exactly! This is not an inlay that has an error, it's a sticker. And yes, I know stickers can come off at any time, but I'd rather start out with a fighting chance of keeping it pristine.

And Webby, I'd appreciate it if you left my rectum out of this conversation. :stop:

Hippie Dribble
04-02-2012, 03:56 AM
you are gonna feel really silly in a few decades when a martin uke with that anomaly fetches 10 times what a normal martin uke does because it was a fluke, a one off.

Do you have any idea what one off mistakes of elvis records, beatles posters, rare stamps, add to the value of things.

You anal retentiveness may well have cost you a fortune.

with respect webby, I don't think ukuraleigh really gives a s#*t about what the uke will be worth in a few decades time. What he cares about is paying money for a uke that has arrived not as it should have. Simple as that mate. He wants to play it and enjoy it now as a new instrument received "new" and with the makers sticker intact. And, judging from his previous posts, look after it and try to keep it in as good a 'played' condition as is possible. In that sense his expectations are totally legitimate. Not everyone is a mad collector worried about projected values in some far off time. Some people just want to get what they paid for mate.

ukuraleigh
04-02-2012, 03:59 AM
with respect webby, I don't think ukuraleigh really gives a s#*t about what the uke will be worth in a few decades time. What he cares about is paying money for a uke that has arrived not as it should have. Simple as that mate. He wants to play it and enjoy it now as a new instrument received "new" and with the makers sticker intact. And, judging from his previous posts, look after it and try to keep it in as good a 'played' condition as is possible. In that sense his expectations are totally legitimate. Not everyone is a mad collector worried about projected values in some far off time. Some people just want to get what they paid for mate.

Thanks!

Webby, BTW, I have a really rare Martin S1 ukulele that I am looking to sell to a keen collector. Let me know if you are interested. ;)

Kayak Jim
04-02-2012, 04:15 AM
...and by that same argument if someone really wanted to increase the value in future they could just pop the "M" off.

It is true some anomalies add value (for those who care about such things) but they tend to be things like dates printed backwards or double struck coins.

AcousticBuckeye
04-02-2012, 04:26 AM
I would want it corrected myself as well. Just a mental thing that would bother me.

AB

ukuraleigh
04-02-2012, 04:39 AM
I just spoke to Elderly.

They are going to send FedEx to pick up the ukulele tomorrow afternoon. I think I'm going to return this and NOT get a replacement at this time.

It just seems that I would run the risk of getting another defective ukulele or, based on some of your comments, may not be happy with the sound of any replacement. I've had a lot of good fortune with ordering ukuleles online--HMS and UkeRepublic ship great ukuleles--but in future I'll try to buy only if I can physically inspect and play it first.

Thank you all for your advice!

bigchiz
04-02-2012, 04:46 AM
Sounds like a good plan, ukuraleigh.


And a question for you and others, what's the problem with strings 1 & 4 being wound differently? It keeps the string straighter coming past the nut onto the post. The design calls for it because of the placement of the running posts due to the width of the neck and the and the headstock. So, I don't get it. :confused:

ukuraleigh
04-02-2012, 04:52 AM
Sounds like a good plan, ukuraleigh.


And a question for you and others, what's the problem with strings 1 & 4 being wound differently? It keeps the string straighter coming past the nut onto the post. The design calls for it because of the placement of the running posts due to the width of the neck and the and the headstock. So, I don't get it. :confused:

That's a question for someone more knowledgeable than me. As far as I can tell it just ruins my muscle memory of which way to turn the tuners. ;)

Ingrate
04-02-2012, 06:06 AM
Having perused this thread, I'm amazed at the tolerance of most respondents. Had I paid the inflated "Martin" price for this thing and received it with a defective cheap decal, I'd not only return it for full refund (incl. shipping), but I would scratch Martin off my list for future purchase. It's a sad day, indeed...

austin1
04-02-2012, 06:32 AM
Having perused this thread, I'm amazed at the tolerance of most respondents. Had I paid the inflated "Martin" price for this thing and received it with a defective cheap decal, I'd not only return it for full refund (incl. shipping), but I would scratch Martin off my list for future purchase. It's a sad day, indeed...

hahaha, for Martin, for decals, or for tolerance?

chrimess
04-02-2012, 06:34 AM
they do sound nice, though...


Having perused this thread, I'm amazed at the tolerance of most respondents. Had I paid the inflated "Martin" price for this thing and received it with a defective cheap decal, I'd not only return it for full refund (incl. shipping), but I would scratch Martin off my list for future purchase. It's a sad day, indeed...

wickedwahine11
04-02-2012, 06:38 AM
That is good news, I am glad Elderly took care of the issue. Better luck with your next purchase.

bynapkinart
04-02-2012, 06:39 AM
Here's why...sorry to just quote and repost, I didn't want to type it all over again!


That's a question for someone more knowledgeable than me. As far as I can tell it just ruins my muscle memory of which way to turn the tuners. ;)


Sounds like a good plan, ukuraleigh.


And a question for you and others, what's the problem with strings 1 & 4 being wound differently? It keeps the string straighter coming past the nut onto the post. The design calls for it because of the placement of the running posts due to the width of the neck and the and the headstock. So, I don't get it. :confused:


The missing E is definitely a QC thing and should be taken care of. As far as the strings are concerned, the reason Martin has done that from the factory for the last 50 years or so is because it keeps the string angle straight behind the nut. It looks a little strange at first and takes some getting used to for tuning, but the huge benefit is that if you're a heavy strummer (like myself) there is less of a chance of that top string popping itself out of the nut. If it is tuned normally, the string is being pulled down and to the right behind the nut, so that it only takes a little upward force to lift it from the slot and out onto the next string. Strung the way it is with the G and A strings outside, the only pressure being exerted on the string behind the nut is downward force, so even if you do strum hard and pull it out of the slot, the only place the string goes is right back down into the slot.

An older gentleman who sells lots of vintage Martins in a shop back where I'm from has a Style 2M that hasn't been altered in any way including string changes since the 1940's, and it is strung the same way. It makes a whole lot of sense, but it does take some getting used to. I actually really like that about Martin ukes, though...when I get a Martin I plan on doing the same thing. Call it one of those quirks that Martin has.

Letters falling off of the headstock is bad though...

OldePhart
04-02-2012, 06:41 AM
Sounds like a good plan, ukuraleigh.


And a question for you and others, what's the problem with strings 1 & 4 being wound differently? It keeps the string straighter coming past the nut onto the post. The design calls for it because of the placement of the running posts due to the width of the neck and the and the headstock. So, I don't get it. :confused:

Not really a problem, and maybe an advantage if the grooves in the nut are very shallow (as someone noted before). Really just an annoyance because now you have to remember which way to turn each knob and if it's different than all your other ukes...some of us have memories that aren't so flexible anymore. :)

Still, I could live with that - and even plan to keep it in mind in case I every have a uke with really shallow grooves where the string wants to pop out (never seen one personally, but I do recall a fella had exactly that problem here on UU a while back).


John

UKISOCIETY
04-02-2012, 07:32 AM
Notice the fallen "1"

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=35826&d=1333387805

ChrisRCovington
04-02-2012, 08:13 AM
I'm really glad to hear Eldery is taking it back and covering the costs. I've heard very good things about them and I'm glad they are living up to it. I hope you aren't soured on Martin's forever. I really love my S1. I am looking to add an older S0 and a new S1K to my collection at some point, too. As for the Martin way of stringing their ukuleles I really like it for some reason. I've changed all my other ukuleles to the Martin way on the 1st and 4th. It just sort of feels more natural for me. I dunno. Try it you might like it.

Anyway thanks for the story about Eldery. Hope you get something else that makes you really happy (and has the whole label on it) :)

WhenDogsSing
04-02-2012, 10:57 AM
Notice the fallen "1"

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=35826&d=1333387805

Good "1"...Hee! Hee! Hee!

Jake Wildwood
04-02-2012, 11:03 AM
...is there anything wrong with the uke itself?

...because... a label is the last thing I'd give a hoot about as far as an instrument is concerned.

hapuna
04-02-2012, 08:01 PM
I think the problem is that the missing "e" is indicative of a quality control issue. If the "e" is missing don't you wonder what else may be off that may not be so easily seen. I agree that if its new it should stand up to the Martin standard. Get the discount and the "e" sent to you so you can put it on and then you would be made whole.

consitter
04-02-2012, 09:38 PM
Just clip off a tiny bit of your 'E' string and paste in the empty space. See if anyone "gets" it!

keliiyama
04-02-2012, 10:31 PM
Actually, the earliest Dunhills didn't have the white dot. I would LOVE to have one of those! I have one from just a few years later, but not one of the factory "dot-less" ones.

Not to be SUPER off topic but are you a smoker of Dunhill pipes???? I collect and smoke pipes and I never thought I would find a pipe smoker in the ukulele forum:) BTW, send it back if you can't stand it. Plain and simple. No hard feelings:)

coolkayaker1
04-03-2012, 01:25 AM
It's funny. When any thread is over twelve posts long, any new poster never reads the old stuff. Lol

ukuraleigh
04-03-2012, 02:39 AM
Hey mods. Elderly has made good on the defective uke (shipping it back today) and I'm happy with that.

It looks like this thread's gonna drift off topic - or get stuck in a loop - so please close it. Thanks!

Plainsong
04-03-2012, 02:41 AM
It's funny. When any thread is over twelve posts long, any new poster never reads the old stuff. Lol

I think it's worse than that. I think it's like more than 5 posts. People generally would rather have their say, than listen to someone else. Some forums are worse than others when it comes to this. On this specific reading comprehension issue, the forums that are best at it have really strict rules about it, like instant probations for an obvious lack of reading, or probations for posting huge walls of text no one would actually read.

I'm not saying I'm for that, just my experience on several sites and how other sites handle it... or don't.

The worst thread that really lept out at me was one that was a basic chord question. It was answered in the first three or so posts, and then proceeded to get pages worth of people not realizing the question had been answered. It's a human nature thing I guess.

Skitzic
04-03-2012, 02:44 AM
Hey mods. Elderly has made good on the defective uke (shipping it back today) and I'm happy with that.

It looks like this thread's gonna drift off topic - or get stuck in a loop - so please close it. Thanks!

I'm glad to see Elderly is taking care of it. :)

Tah tah

wickedwahine11
04-03-2012, 03:39 AM
Closing per OP's request.