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View Full Version : Tell Me Not to Return This Uke! (Need Advice)



wayfarer75
02-07-2013, 02:52 PM
Okay, so I got my second ukulele yesterday. I was sooooo excited. It had taken a while for it to get here (this model of LoPrinzi sopranos is on backorder, like, everywhere). I wanted to be sooooo in love with it. Well... I was really enamored with it until I saw that the neck looks twisted, up by the headstock. I've attached two pics, one from the headstock and one from the bridge.

I'm so bummed. I wasn't expecting the uke to be perfect, of course. I can deal with finish flaws and all that (if all I wanted was bling, I could have spent a lot less on a new uke, or just bedazzled my Kala). But if the neck is twisted, what to do?

I have emailed the same pics to the dealer, who is very reputable, does setups with all ukes, etc. I'm well within the return window, as the uke just arrived yesterday. It sounds fine, but gets out of tune--of course, it has new strings, plus there's the fact that I'm new to friction tuners. Hard to say if there's a resulting intonation problem.

Feel free to convince me I'm crazy, the uke's fine, just ignore it. I need advice from the folks in the know, so that's why I'm here. Believe me, I'd much rather be posting a happy "New Uke Day" thread. I feel sad for the poor li'l uke, whatever happened to it. :(

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Hippie Dribble
02-07-2013, 03:10 PM
No, you're not crazy. The uke's not fine. Just looking at the angle of the nut, there's got to be resultant intonation issues. You can't ignore that I'm afraid, a replacement is in order. No way that one should have made it through a QC check.

Doc_J
02-07-2013, 03:17 PM
A friend told me if you're not in love with new uke the day you get it, it is not for you.
Plus, that new uke has a twisted neck, send it back. Surprised that wasn't noticed by the dealer.

d-mace
02-07-2013, 03:18 PM
Ditto what Jon said. Get a replacement. Loprinzi's are fantastic. Elderly has some cherry sopranos in stock.

lakesideglenn
02-07-2013, 03:27 PM
No doubt a major flaw...I'm surprised Augie and Donna let it leave their shop with that neck. Return it ASAP!
FYI I have a Loprinzi concert in my arsenal and it's a real sweetheart! Find another Loprinzi...they do make great ukes!

BlackBearUkes
02-07-2013, 03:29 PM
Actually, the uke is fine and there should be no intonation issues at all. Don't think of all the strings together, try to think of each string in its own plane. It doesn't not matter that the neck has a slight twist, each string acts independent of the others. As long as the fret spacing is fine, which it is because a slight twist does not affect this, the distance from the nut to the bridge saddle is correct, again it is for the same reasons, the uke will play fine. The only reason you should return it is because you don't like the slight twist. The neck can actually be twisted twice as much the uke should still be fine intonation wise. Check the intonation on each string, you will see that I am correct.

I have made ukes where each string has a different fret spacing and a different distance from the nut to the bridge saddle. This was a fan fret instrument and it played just fine.

southcoastukes
02-07-2013, 03:38 PM
Actually, the uke is fine and there should be no intonation issues at all. Don't think of all the strings together, try to think of each string in its own plane. It doesn't not matter that the neck has a slight twist, each string acts independent of the others. As long as the fret spacing is fine, which it is because a slight twist does not affect this, the distance from the nut to the bridge saddle is correct, again it is for the same reasons, the uke will play fine. The only reason you should return it is because you don't like the slight twist. The neck can actually be twisted twice as much the uke should still be fine intonation wise. Check the intonation on each string, you will see that I am correct.

I have made ukes where each string has a different fret spacing and a different distance from the nut to the bridge saddle. This was a fan fret instrument and it played just fine.

Daune, I find what you're saying very hard to believe. We did some R&D on neck twists. It's a bigger problem than many realize, and we wanted to see if we could come up with a construction that would eliminate the possiblilty altogether. We think we did, but that's another story.

At the very least, the saddle on this needs to go down on the 1st string to get it to intonate correctly. And then who's to say it's finished moving?

p.s: often a neck doesn't move until after it's left the shop

mm stan
02-07-2013, 03:43 PM
Send it back.....pronto...

Nicko
02-07-2013, 03:49 PM
Regardless of intonation -- even if it's intonation is perfect -- who wants to spend hundreds on an instrument with a twist in it? Might as well buy it with polkadots. They don't impact intonation, either. That needs to be replaced.

Skinny Money McGee
02-07-2013, 03:53 PM
Regardless of intonation -- even if it's intonation is perfect -- who wants to spend hundreds on an instrument with a twist in it? Might as well buy it with polkadots. They don't impact intonation, either. That needs to be replaced.

No doubt about it :agree:

1300cc
02-07-2013, 03:59 PM
I have a Lorenzo app as well, my only complain is the feet wire at bit sharp,,,otherwise I like the sound n volume

Paul December
02-07-2013, 03:59 PM
:confused: Possibly it is an optical illusion but the strings don't look centered over the sound hole... are they?

BlackBearUkes
02-07-2013, 04:08 PM
I am not saying he should not send it back if the twist bothers him, I am saying because the neck does have a slight twist, there may not be any problem with intonation and if there is it is an easy fix. I have encounter this problem with many older guitars and banjos in the past. This is a new uke and something happened, so send it back. Don't have a cow man!

There was a luthier in years past (can't remember his name) that actually made the neck with a very radical twist in it, claiming that is was actually easier to play because it suited the hand position better, especially with barr chords. It does work, but apparently people got too freaked out by it, much like the fan frets on some instruments.

southcoastukes
02-07-2013, 04:27 PM
I am not saying he should not send it back if the twist bothers him, I am saying because the neck does have a slight twist, there may not be any problem with intonation and if there is it is an easy fix. I have encounter this problem with many older guitars and banjos in the past. This is a new uke and something happened, so send it back. Don't have a cow man!

There was a luthier in years past (can't remember his name) that actually made the neck with a very radical twist in it, claiming that is was actually easier to play because it suited the hand position better, especially with barr chords. It does work, but apparently people got too freaked out by it, much like the fan frets on some instruments.

No bovines here, Duane; I'm just thinking you may have a handle on something I don't?!

I understand on the fret spacing, but the action is obviously a lot higher on the 1st string. Why would that not be a problem?

I've never seen that twisted neck build you mention, but I have seen wedge guitars - on those however, the whole soundboard is angled to match the angle of the neck.

You're right about it being correctable on older instruments, but on those, you assume they've stopped moving, and your saddle adjustments take care of the problem. I still think on such a recent build that there's no guarantee it won't continue to move.

OldePhart
02-07-2013, 04:35 PM
Absolutely needs to be replaced regardless of whether current intonation is okay or not.

1) That absolutely affects resale value.

2) That may affect playability, even if intonation is acceptable.

3) That probably didn't leave Loprinzi that way, meaning it has twisted since it was built, meaning it will likely continue to twist.

A twisting neck can happen to any luthier, sometimes there are demons hiding in the wood that don't manifest for some time. But, when they do manifest, they pretty much never fix themselves and often continue to just gradually get worse and worse.

John

BlackBearUkes
02-07-2013, 04:36 PM
No bovines here, Duane; I'm just thinking you may have a handle on something I don't?!

I understand on the fret spacing, but the action is obviously a lot higher on the 1st string. Why would that not be a problem?

I've never seen that twisted neck build you mention, but I have seen wedge guitars - on those however, the whole soundboard is angled to match the angle of the neck.

You're right about it being correctable on older instruments, but on those, you assume they've stopped moving, and your saddle adjustments take care of the problem. I still think on such a recent build that there's no guarantee it won't continue to move.

Well, the neck could continue to move, no guarantees there. As to the action being higher on the first fret, it de[ends on where the twist is. The slight twist that this uke has, looks to be even and only sight. Each instrument is different so they have to judged on their own merits. I would like to examine this uke but my best guess is that is plays fine right now.

Hippie Dribble
02-07-2013, 04:36 PM
but the action is obviously a lot higher on the 1st string. Why would that not be a problem?



yes, this is my issue about it. I had exactly the same thing happen on a reso I owned and the intonation was off, the action on the 4th string (mine was twisted in opp. direction) was high and tuning became a nightmare. The saddle at very least would need adjustment wouldn't it. Besides if I ordered a cow I wouldn't want to get sent a donkey.

pdxuke
02-07-2013, 04:36 PM
Send this uke back. It will never give you the pleasure it should because it will bother you. Send it back.

barefootgypsy
02-07-2013, 10:03 PM
You're never going to be happy with that uke...... when you can't say yes, you have to say no...... send it back.

wayfarer75
02-08-2013, 02:41 AM
I really appreciate everyone's responses. Honestly, though, I was hoping you were all going to agree that I'm loony and I should keep the uke. It was picked up for me by the seller at NAMM (to avoid a 2-3 month backorder), so they had it for a very short time before sending it to me. There's no completion date on the label, and I don't know what this uke's journey was between LoPrinzi's shop and Anaheim. It has spent a lot of time traveling on planes recently, no doubt. The uke's body is totally fine, looks pretty darn close to perfect, actually. Very well built, and the wood is lovely. I have no qualms in getting another LoPrinzi--problem is, the mahogany sopranos aren't really available. The seller doesn't have another, so I can't just exchange it.


Absolutely needs to be replaced regardless of whether current intonation is okay or not.

1) That absolutely affects resale value.

2) That may affect playability, even if intonation is acceptable.

3) That probably didn't leave Loprinzi that way, meaning it has twisted since it was built, meaning it will likely continue to twist.

A twisting neck can happen to any luthier, sometimes there are demons hiding in the wood that don't manifest for some time. But, when they do manifest, they pretty much never fix themselves and often continue to just gradually get worse and worse.

John

All of those are my worries. (Well, naturally I wasn't planning on reselling the uke, but I guess it's in the back of my head.) I wouldn't imagine that this was how LoPrinzi built it, either. I am mostly concerned that this just started and is going to get worse.


Well, the neck could continue to move, no guarantees there. As to the action being higher on the first fret, it de[ends on where the twist is. The slight twist that this uke has, looks to be even and only sight. Each instrument is different so they have to judged on their own merits. I would like to examine this uke but my best guess is that is plays fine right now.

Thank you for weighing in on this--you're absolutely right that the fretboard itself looks fine. It plays fine (as much as new strings can be in tune, anyway). If I had owned this uke for a while and this just started appearing, I would watch it, get anything fixed if it needed it and not complain.

Plainsong
02-08-2013, 03:24 AM
Its the kind of thing that not even box corporate music shops like selling. You paid a lot of money for this thing, it shouldn't have a twisted neck.

ukuhippo
02-08-2013, 03:32 AM
Ukes come with straight necks, this one didn't. Return it. Simple.

stevepetergal
02-08-2013, 03:42 AM
Return it post-haste.

BlackBearUkes
02-08-2013, 04:14 AM
This is an excellent reason to always install a graphite truss rod in the neck, it keeps thing stable.

ukuhippo
02-08-2013, 05:00 AM
This is an excellent reason to always install a graphite truss rod in the neck, it keeps thing stable.

? I thought you said the ukelele was fine?

bazmaz
02-08-2013, 07:38 AM
Return it. I would return ukes far far far cheaper than this one for less.

Twisted neck - major fault.

byjimini
02-09-2013, 12:50 AM
Yep, send it back and get ready to fall in love all over again. :)

Tonya
02-10-2013, 02:51 PM
And keep us posted--whatever happened to this instrument (whether a mistake, bad wood or ?) shouldn't keep you from enjoying another LoPrinzi. If you contact Donna/Augie directly and tell them about your shattered dream (*after* getting your refund from the dealer), they might have something special for you without the long wait.

consitter
02-10-2013, 11:55 PM
I am not saying he should not send it back if the twist bothers him, I am saying because the neck does have a slight twist, there may not be any problem with intonation and if there is it is an easy fix. I have encounter this problem with many older guitars and banjos in the past. This is a new uke and something happened, so send it back. Don't have a cow man!

There was a luthier in years past (can't remember his name) that actually made the neck with a very radical twist in it, claiming that is was actually easier to play because it suited the hand position better, especially with barr chords. It does work, but apparently people got too freaked out by it, much like the fan frets on some instruments.

Not trying to steal the thread here, but I think it's funny that the "twisted neck" luthier be mentioned. His name is Leo Burrell. His shop was about a 15 minute drive from where I live, up until he retired. It should be noted that the twist in his neck was intentional and the entire guitar was twisted. Below is a link to the old shop website. I'm surprised it's still active. On it it has pics of the guitars. Should be quite interesting to some of you luthiers out there.

http://www.burrellguitars.com/index.html

wayfarer75
02-11-2013, 08:05 AM
And keep us posted--whatever happened to this instrument (whether a mistake, bad wood or ?) shouldn't keep you from enjoying another LoPrinzi. If you contact Donna/Augie directly and tell them about your shattered dream (*after* getting your refund from the dealer), they might have something special for you without the long wait.

I'll post about what happens eventually--things are still being worked out as to a replacement uke vs. just a refund. The LoPrinzi is going to be shipped back tonight. I'm sad about it, really; the uke is absolutely beautiful. I hope it finds its real owner. :D

I thought getting a LoPrinzi from this particular seller was a no-brainer, and I couldn't go wrong with this decision. I don't want to post who the seller is--my situation is kind of unique, and it seems they were just trying to get a ukulele to me ASAP after they picked it up at NAMM. I guess I should have told them I'm not in a hurry! LOL

Thinker
02-11-2013, 04:58 PM
Okay, so I got my second ukulele yesterday. I was sooooo excited. It had taken a while for it to get here (this model of LoPrinzi sopranos is on backorder, like, everywhere). I wanted to be sooooo in love with it. Well... I was really enamored with it until I saw that the neck looks twisted, up by the headstock. I've attached two pics, one from the headstock and one from the bridge.

I'm so bummed. I wasn't expecting the uke to be perfect, of course. I can deal with finish flaws and all that (if all I wanted was bling, I could have spent a lot less on a new uke, or just bedazzled my Kala). But if the neck is twisted, what to do?

I have emailed the same pics to the dealer, who is very reputable, does setups with all ukes, etc. I'm well within the return window, as the uke just arrived yesterday. It sounds fine, but gets out of tune--of course, it has new strings, plus there's the fact that I'm new to friction tuners. Hard to say if there's a resulting intonation problem.

Feel free to convince me I'm crazy, the uke's fine, just ignore it. I need advice from the folks in the know, so that's why I'm here. Believe me, I'd much rather be posting a happy "New Uke Day" thread. I feel sad for the poor li'l uke, whatever happened to it. :(

4856048561

Y'know - I bought a Kamaka pineapple last year. It came with a sizeable - but not huge - ding on it. I thought about it and eventually sent it back the next day. I haven't regretted it. It was bothering me and there was no need of it. (Coincidentally, I'm in the market now for a new one!) So...if it is on your mind, send it back. It looks like a real issue.

wayfarer75
02-15-2013, 04:59 PM
I know you've all been waiting on tenterhooks for an update. ;) Well, after some hemming and hawing, I opted for a refund instead of a replacement (which would have been a really good deal, by the way). Not exactly sure what I'll get now. Just wait and see what the tide brings in, I guess. I'm discouraged by the whole online shopping experience in general--I don't mean just this seller. I wish it weren't a day trip for me to the nearest stores that sell nicer ukes.