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View Full Version : Interesting thoughts from Mya Moe



cletus
05-27-2012, 09:26 AM
Fascinating:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrqAGFnCX5A

:cheers:

ChrisRCovington
05-27-2012, 10:06 AM
That is an interesting video. I would one day LOVE to own a Mya Moe (along with about a dozen other top makers). They are out of my price range at this point in my life. Going to their website is like visiting a candy shop! I wonder if people go there and order what they think they want instead of what they really want? I'm sure the team does a good job helping them select woods and sizes and sounds but maybe people get set on X wood and really they would have been happier with Y wood? you can't really blame anyone for that. I've heard too many choices make some people unhappy because then they always second guess their final choice no matter how good it is. With all of the awesome woods alone they sell I would go crazy at night thinking about what I should order lol.

The video does show the commitment the company has to their product though. Each ukulele is special to the builders. That's pretty cool.

Hippie Dribble
05-27-2012, 02:36 PM
thanks Mark. saw this in my email box this morning. Not surprisingly I've had this conversation personally with Gordon several times before, since I've sold more than one on myself. They are a superb bunch of craftsmen, but they are great people first with a high level of integrity to their work and invested in their customer relations. I was wondering what week this was gonna come out. I think they saw that sweetheart in the UU marketplace at the moment and the heads must have started shaking again. If I ever can afford another one of their ukes it will be at a time when I have the financial capacity to keep it, rather than sell the thing again in a desperate grab for cash to pay bills

Eyeguy
05-27-2012, 03:05 PM
Thanks for posting this video, I really enjoyed what appeared to me to be a very honest assessment of not just a business plan, but a business plan with a genuine human component to it. It's exactly the way I would feel if I were selling a handmade product, or any product for that matter, that I had poured my heart and soul into. I recently placed a deposit down on a Mya-Moe which won't start until November, but information like this really solidifies my gut feeling that I have made a very intelligent decision in choosing these folks to craft my instrument for me. Does this personal touch ensure that my finished product will absolutely positively meet or exceed my expectations, not at all, but I do think I have hedged by bet considerably. And you know, if it ends up the uke I commission does not completely flip my switch for some unknown reason, at least I'll know it wasn't because they weren't trying to make me the happiest uke owner in the world, and there's at least something to be said for that.

Patrick Madsen
05-27-2012, 03:12 PM
Amen to that, Eyeguy.

Loz
05-27-2012, 03:22 PM
This is a great video. It's nice to see people who are so attached to the products that they sell and the customers that they sell them to. You don't really come across that very often anymore (man, I'm starting to sound old). Regardless, its a nice testament to Mya Moe...

itsme
05-27-2012, 04:15 PM
Something Gordon said about being filled with trepidation when they ship off an uke and await its safe arrival and hope the recipient will be happy with it... these ukes are their "babies" and represent their blood, sweat and tears, in addition to their livelihood.

Made me think of some years ago where I worked, we had a big regional meeting and ordered hundreds of custom printed articles of clothing from a small supplier we had used for some other meeting giveaways. When they arrived, we inspected them, and saw they were done exactly to our specifications. (I had designed the graphics and given them the artwork for it.)

I suggested to the boss's secretary (who had been their main point of contact) that she call the owner and let him know it arrived in good order. She said, why? they'll get delivery confirmation. I said this was a huge order for them and it would be nice to let them know we were happy with the finished product.

After she called him, she said "You were so right! He said he was on pins and needles hoping we were happy with the order and that calling him to say we were absolutely made his day."

So, yeah, trepidation.

rem50
05-27-2012, 04:41 PM
When you pour yourself into your product, especially if self employed, You want it to be accepted. It is a reflection on you. I am a portrait photographer and when I had my studio I always had my wife do the sales. I did not want the rejection if they didn't like it. Thankfully those times were few. But just like Gordon said, you cannot please everybody.

redheadedali
05-28-2012, 11:06 AM
I know this is not the point of the video, but I can't get past the idea that someone got a custom Mya Moe as their tryout uke, just to see if they took to it. Do they also have pet unicorns and a private island?

njukeman
05-28-2012, 11:15 AM
I know this is not the point of the video, but I can't get past the idea that someone got a custom Mya Moe as their tryout uke, just to see if they took to it. Do they also have pet unicorns and a private island?

I was thinking the same thing. That's like buying a Bentley or a Rolls just to see if you'll like driving.

Hippie Dribble
05-28-2012, 11:31 AM
I know this is not the point of the video, but I can't get past the idea that someone got a custom Mya Moe as their tryout uke, just to see if they took to it. Do they also have pet unicorns and a private island?
it's all relative isn't it...some people are wealthy, some aren't. some have lots of disposable income, some don't. the rich get richer and the poor get poorer as capitalism collapses in on itself. be content with your own path whatever that may be. buy what you like, don't buy what you don't. love your neighbour, pat your dog or your pet unicorn, smile at the sunrise. buy a MyaMoe or don't. da dee da da....

luluwrites
05-28-2012, 11:33 AM
it's all relative isn't it...some people are wealthy, some aren't. some have lots of disposable income, some don't. the rich get richer and the poor get poorer as capitalism collapses in on itself. be content with your own path whatever that may be. buy what you like, don't buy what you don't. love your neighbour, pat your dog or your pet unicorn, smile at the sunrise. buy a MyaMoe or don't. da dee da da....

Will you set this to music, please?

tigersister
05-28-2012, 11:53 AM
It's really hard to try out the higher end and custom ukes. I don't know about you, but I haven't met a lot of other uke players that have myrtle, walnut, sycamore, maple, and cherry ukes. Also, the local music stores here usually don't have any of the higher end ukes or ukes with less common tone woods in stock even if they are an authorized dealer. I know I have had to go on reviews and sound samples to pick my builder and narrow down choices in tone woods. Then I have to trust the luthier to translate my description of the sound I'm looking for into the instrument they're going to build for me. I really hope I love my custom instrument, because it will probably be the only time I'll be able to go custom. However if for some reason it doesn't turn out to be the end-all, be-all uke for me; so be it. I'm sure many of the owners who sold their customs had high expectations, but for some reason the reality didn't live up to those expectations. I think in cases like that it's better to cut losses and try to recover some of the outlay to fund something else that might be a better fit.

pulelehua
05-28-2012, 12:02 PM
I suppose the logic in starting on a Mya Moe is that at least you'll know whether or not you enjoy the process of playing. Playing a cheap Brand Thank You can take all the joy out of playing. Fret a chord and the intonation is all over the place. Play a note, and it just dies.

I decided to play the trumpet, and eventually decided on a German-made flugelhorn. It was expensive(ish), but I'd played around a little on cheap trumpets, and they're just hard to get sound out of. So, I wanted to get an instrument that would help me through the process.

I eventually decided that brass wasn't for me after all (at least at this point in life, living in a 2-bedroom terrace), sold the flugelhorn and bought my custom ukulele. Sold the flugelhorn to a student for a 200 loss. In my mind, that was the rental costs for the time I had it. No regrets at all.

I should point out that I am a teacher, and my wife at the time wasn't working. We have 2 young kids. No private islands. No pet unicorns. :)

luluwrites
05-28-2012, 12:12 PM
I hope someday to own a Black Bear uke and I'm pretty sure I won't have the opportunity to try it out first. It will be a leap of faith based on youtube videos, forum praise, and dang pretty pictures. Should my leap prove less than satisfying (for reasons more likely due to my own playing rather than to anything having to do with the instrument itself) I will do my best to see that it gets in the hands of someone who IS worthy of it -- and I'll try to do that at a minimal hit to my bank account as well.

That said, I love the whole Mya-Moe philosophy and the fact that it matters so much to the builders that their customer loves their specially made ukulele says volumes about who they are and the product they produce.

Goats Can Eat Anything
05-28-2012, 12:16 PM
I know this is not the point of the video, but I can't get past the idea that someone got a custom Mya Moe as their tryout uke, just to see if they took to it. Do they also have pet unicorns and a private island?

Ukes aren't expensive compared to other instruments. A custom Mya Moe starts out at less than a grand. Additionally, they seem to be picked up instantaneously on the secondary market. In that sense, it's a safe investment. Spending a grand (or even two) on an instrument doesn't even compare to a private island, a Bentley, or a Rolls... It's a pretty modest indulgence.

kvehe
05-28-2012, 12:33 PM
That was quite touching, and I have wondered about that very issue. Great to hear.

Eyeguy
05-28-2012, 12:33 PM
Goats,

I agree with you completely, it's all relative. For those of you who gasp at the mention of a $2000 uke, I invite you to come on over to the vintage guitar section of the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum where 2 grand might represent only the repairs on a $20,000 or $30,000 instrument. As well, I tend to balk at the frequently offered assumption that only rich folks can and do purchase higher end custom ukes. Speaking personally, I do not drink, smoke, eat out at expensive restaurants, like to wear jewelry of any kind, drive an expensive car or live in a luxury gated community, and I work hard to take care of my God given body through daily exercise and a healthy diet, which translates into medical maintenance costs that are next to nil - meaning when you add up all the potential savings there, I don't see spending $1500 on a ukulele to be an extravagant purchase in the least. For example, I have a friend - who is also not wealthy - who happens to like to hang out once a week with some of his buddies at a particular local establishment and in the process drops $40 or $50 on drinks and food. Now, I certainly don't begrudge him his choice of entertainment, but you take $50 a week over the 28 weeks or so I am going to have to wait on my Mya-Moe build, and you've got $1400 socked away, which is most of the cost of the uke I'm ordering. Yet, if I were to simply mention I was ordering a custom Mya-Moe uke without providing any other background info, some would automatically lump me into the rich capitalist snob category without blinking an eye. Not that I have any problem with capitalism per se, but that's a whole 'nuther conversation.

mds725
05-28-2012, 02:24 PM
I have two Mya-Moes but I'm not rich by any definition. I like to think I spend my money carefully, and I played more than one Mya-Moe (including the famous #500, a myrtle tenor cutaway) over the span of two Wine Country Ukulele Festivals, and I had a long chat with Char at the 2011 WCUF before making a deposit for a myrtle tenor. At the time I made my deposits (I ordered a myrtle baritone a few months later), and later, when we selected woodsets andwhen I watched the ukuleles being built via MM's uke tracker, I wasn't thinking about selling either ukulele someday. However, part of the decision to commit to two MMs was knowing that there's a hot secondary market for them, meanng that I could sell my MMs if I didn't like them for nearly what I paid for them. So what might have looked to others like a blind and impulsive $1,200 (tenor) and $1,500 (baritone) splurge was actually carefully calculated to minimize risk.

njukeman
05-28-2012, 02:48 PM
Nobody said you have to be rich to purchase a custom high end uke like a Mya-Moe. All I'm saying that to purchase something that expensive for your first try at the instrument seems like a foolish and unpractible thing. Just because a uke is $200 doesn't mean it's a bad player. As everyone here is aware, it all depends on the brand and who you buy it from. I don't care whether you make $100,000 a year or $30,000, it's just doesn't make sense. Just my two cents.