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View Full Version : Your Thoughts on Small Cosmetic Problems?



Kyle23
02-21-2013, 08:20 PM
So I was picking my uke up to play it, and I hit it against my chair that I was sitting in and it caused a little "ding" to the bottom edge. Now it's not a big deal to me at all, I don't mind the small battle wound haha I think it gives it character. BUT it made me think, what would others think if they did what I did to their ukuleles. I think I did the attachment images right, usually I just upload them to tinypic.

Patrick Madsen
02-21-2013, 08:37 PM
First ding is always the deepest. I just call them badges of life

Kyle23
02-21-2013, 11:39 PM
The smallest ding is very important to a buyer who wants to push the price down in a sale that is forced or has only a few interested buyers. Apart from that ten minutes in the buying/selling process, it is not really anything to worry about.

Oh I totally agree. I was referring to more of a "personal collection" uke that you wouldn't be selling.

haole
02-22-2013, 03:24 AM
This is why I like to buy used instruments!

tattoobabaloo
02-22-2013, 03:36 AM
I vote no big deal. The first scratch means no more worries. Now you will really play that uke like you own it!

It will happen to all of your instruments..sooner or later..one day. daa daa dummm...

buddhuu
02-22-2013, 03:54 AM
No biggie. It's mojo, character. As long as the uke isn't actually broken, I'd probably just curse once and then forget it.

I'm a clumsy ass. All my instruments get that custom shop "distressed" vibe pretty quick - by accident. Anyone has an instrument they want given the "relic" treatment? Just lend it to me for a week.

Mim
02-22-2013, 04:12 AM
Man, my first uke... dinged it in the first week. It was a Kala spruce/ spalted maple... so not a high end uke, but I had "went overboard" when purchasing it. It was a bad winter for business (back in my ice cream shop days). I just ached over it. Turns out though... it was the beginning of a series of small dings here and there, I hit the headstock against something a few weeks later... and every little ding adds a bit to the character of the instrument I think. Shows it is played, shows it is loved, I dont hesitate handing it off to a kid to play.

Own it. Find the beauty in it. You are playing :) And it will look hard core the more dinged up it is. Peeps will say. "Man, he is a hard core player! Look at how beat up his uke is!"

That being said... I will probably be sad when I gets a ding in my Imua. So maybe I should shush! Haha!

vanflynn
02-22-2013, 04:20 AM
It may be the first but won't be the last if you play it. If it was a Moore Bettah, I might freak but a player - No problem. It adds charature. Just ask Willie Nelson if small dings matter!

stmace
02-22-2013, 04:27 AM
Problems with intonation and timbre send me over the edge, but not a ding.

Mandarb
02-22-2013, 05:07 AM
It may be the first but won't be the last if you play it. If it was a Moore Bettah, I might freak but a player - No problem. It adds charature. Just ask Willie Nelson if small dings matter!

Does that mean you do not consider Moore Bettahs to be player ukes?

sukie
02-22-2013, 05:14 AM
It may be the first but won't be the last if you play it. If it was a Moore Bettah, I might freak but a player - No problem. It adds charature. Just ask Willie Nelson if small dings matter!

My first ding on my Moore Bettah DID freak me out. Big time. But my Moore Bettah is my player, so I now think of them, yes there is more than one ding, as symbols I play a lot.

wayfarer75
02-22-2013, 05:24 AM
I would say if it doesn't affect the sound, it doesn't bother me. I buy instruments to play, and I don't intend to re-sell them (well, I might sell my beat-up resin clarinet since I have a wooden one, but I doubt I'd get much for it). If I were to buy a used ukulele, I wouldn't be bothered at all by dings, scratches, etc, and I wouldn't expect the seller to be able to catalog every minor issue. But when you buy a new uke, naturally you want to keep it as pristine as the day you got it. So the first boo-boo seems like a big one.

I recently returned a uke for a twisted neck, but it was brand new and I was afraid the twist would get worse. That's totally different from simple cosmetics. There were actually two small finish imperfections I found on the body, but they had absolutely nothing to do with my decision to return the uke. Weren't even worth mentioning.

ukeeku
02-22-2013, 05:29 AM
If you can't stand marks and dings, NEVER have all cedar uke. My All aromatic cedar David Gill, if I look at it wrong it gets a dent or scratch somewhere.
I remember the first time I dinged my Boat Paddle, I hated my self for a bit, but now it is no big deal. Part of life

King David
02-22-2013, 05:35 AM
"if it 'no have scratch, you 'no play it 'nuff."...haha

Buy used, sounds better once wood opens up anyways and the more love/aloha put into those things the better ya play ;)

dkpianoman21
02-22-2013, 06:27 AM
If I knew it was there when I bought it (ie used or B-stock) then it's no big deal. But if I'm buying new online and it arrives with an obvious cosmetic problem, I would be quite upset.

bearbike137
02-22-2013, 07:12 AM
Dings add tone. :D

Paul December
02-22-2013, 07:30 AM
I hate it. It would bother me enough to sell.
I really take care of all my stuff.
On a related note, I find Willie Nelson's guitar repulsive.

OldePhart
02-22-2013, 07:52 AM
Small dings are just honest signs that you're getting some use of the thing you bought. Now, if you're using it to drive nails...that's a whole 'nother story!

BTW, you needed one more category in your poll "dings and such mean so little to me that I would rather find a deal on a blemished instrument than pay for one that is pristine." :)

John

OldePhart
02-22-2013, 07:57 AM
No biggie. It's mojo, character. As long as the uke isn't actually broken, I'd probably just curse once and then forget it.

I'm a clumsy ass. All my instruments get that custom shop "distressed" vibe pretty quick - by accident. Anyone has an instrument they want given the "relic" treatment? Just lend it to me for a week.

Reminds me of a friend of mine who worked for a small construction company. He told me about the day that the owner added a couple of new pickups to the fleet. The owner gathered all his workers around the new trucks and said something like, "I don't want you to abuse any of my vehicles, but these are work trucks and I expect you to work, not pussy-foot around worrying about scratching something" - whereupon he took the hammer in his hand and put a couple of sound dents in the top of the tailgate on each brand new truck.

John

bearbike137
02-22-2013, 08:15 AM
On a related note, I find Willie Nelson's guitar repulsive.


Honestly? Oh my gosh, I think instruments that are worn from being played are the most beautiful of all! Willie's guitar is a thing of beauty. I saw Springsteen's famous vintage Tele up close at the R&R Hall of Fame and thought the wear was gorgeous. I love every bit of playing wear on all my instruments. I even love the finish being marred on the side of my brazilian Collings dreadnough from all the set lists I taped to it with electrical tape over the years. I would kill any repairman that decided to buff my instruments. The wear is what I add to the insturment....

Kyle23
02-22-2013, 11:57 AM
Small dings are just honest signs that you're getting some use of the thing you bought. Now, if you're using it to drive nails...that's a whole 'nother story!

BTW, you needed one more category in your poll "dings and such mean so little to me that I would rather find a deal on a blemished instrument than pay for one that is pristine." :)

John

I was going to make a 3rd actually, I just didn't know what to call it. That would have been a good one and I would do it, but there's already so many votes that I'll throw those into the "no big deal" category.

AlphaTwinLizzie
02-22-2013, 12:38 PM
I just bought my first ukulele yesterday and I've been so in love with it. But just a second ago, I was placing it down on a small slot between two boxes when I saw it was unstable and as it fell down I did a mini leap to grab it and luckily caught it but the top of the uke still came in contact with the ground. I quickly unzipped the thin gig bag and inspected it.
The top has a small dent and the side too. I swear I was so upset and I still am.
I think it's because I got it yesterday and I'm brand new to the ukulele stuff. Plus I'm OCD with keeping things looking nice but anyway, I guess it's not such a big deal but it will bother me for a long time.

Paul December
02-22-2013, 01:15 PM
I'll even take it one step farther...
...I don't even like wood grain that looks like an imperfection.

mm stan
02-22-2013, 02:09 PM
Yup Badges of honor... hee hee the first ding is the worst...unless you are a good finisher, leave it be...just buff out the nick so it would look less noticable..

Kyle23
02-22-2013, 02:58 PM
Tell me about it. When I first did it I probably said every obscenity in the book haha. But I really don't mind it after I settled down.

buddhuu
02-22-2013, 03:15 PM
I hate it. It would bother me enough to sell.
I really take care of all my stuff.
On a related note, I find Willie Nelson's guitar repulsive.

Really?

I love instruments with character: Willie's "Trigger", Sam Bush's "Hoss" mandolin, Rory Gallagher's Strat, Bill Monroe's Loar. The sounds those guys get/got from their axes show that dings "ain't no part of nothin'", as Big Mon would say.

I don't value "stuff" too highly as stuff. The only value an object has for me is in what I can do with it. I'm kind of attached to my instruments - especially the ones I've modified heavily to make them fit me for playability and sound - but if any got busted up or ripped off I'd just get more and keep playing.

YMMV.

pdxuke
02-22-2013, 08:42 PM
I'd like to say I'm big enough that it wouldn't bother me, but I'm kinda with Paul on this: I like clean instruments. I'll buy them with a few dings and look at it as history, but when I PUT a ding in an instrument, I don't like that at all.

Chris Tarman
02-23-2013, 03:43 PM
I guess for me, it depends. I remember when I put the first ding in my first "real" instrument in high school: I smacked the headstock of my three-week old Rickenbacker bass into a pipe running along the ceiling of the basement we were practicing in. It put a 1/8th inch ding in the paint. I was so mad at myself, but my guitarist friend said "It's a battle scar", and that made it all better. My current main bass is a 1977 Fender Jazz bass that I bought in '99. When I got it (from Elderly Instruments), it looked like someone had bought it new and put it in the case six months later. It had one ding on the body, and one little place where the orange case lining had discolored the white paint. Now, there's a place where my arm is wearing the paint off, and I LOVE it! This picture was taken a little over two years ago, so it's progressed a little since then. 49341 That wear is ALL from me. You can't really tell from this photo, but there's a bigger area around the bare wood where the undercoat is showing (I guess that's what it is).... The whole area where my arm rests along the top edge is a slightly different shade of off-white from the rest of the bass.
On ukes, it's kind of the same... the first ding is hard to take, and I would never deliberately artificially "distress" an instrument. But honest wear and knocks from playing are okay by me.

okidiver
02-23-2013, 08:47 PM
Can't believe anyone would mind a ding or two. Museum pieces maybe, but most of us buy instruments to soothe the soul, and no stinking ding is going keep that from happnin'

Paul December
02-23-2013, 08:56 PM
Memo to myself...
...don't lend your uke to a UU member, most don't take care of their stuff! :eek: :D

coolkayaker1
02-23-2013, 09:16 PM
I don't mind small cosmetic flaws.

But, when the instrument is sold, buyers go ape.

roxhum
02-24-2013, 04:39 AM
Memo to myself...
...don't lend your uke to a UU member, most don't take care of their stuff! :eek: :D


When I was a girl a friend had pristine dolls on a shelf in her bedroom where she could admire their beauty. I remember her saying I did not take care of my dolls. I looked at my doll with the new haircut I had given it and the faded blue eyes from so many bathes. I loved that doll. I suppose my friend also loved her dolls high on a shelf beyond her reach.

pdxuke
02-24-2013, 06:43 AM
There's another thing that comes into play for me. As someone who buys --and plays--vintage instruments, I don't consider myself as owning them. I consider myself the custodian of them. They will someday pass on to someone else, and they aren't making any more of them, so I have a duty to care for them. They are as much works of art as they are something to play.

That's my attitude. Even when an instrument I have is not perfect (and few are) I feel a duty to play and enjoy it, but to be careful with it. Now, there is always a cost to actually playing an instrument rather than just storing it. I don't want to be a repository of these things, I want to play them--that's what they were made for.

But I simply can't shrug my shoulders when an instrument in my care suffers some sort of damage. It's the cost of playing, and that's worth it--but it still bothers me. :-)

Paul December
02-24-2013, 06:51 AM
There's another thing that comes into play for me. As someone who buys --and plays--vintage instruments, I don't consider myself as owning them. I consider myself the custodian of them. They will someday pass on to someone else, and they aren't making any more of them, so I have a duty to care for them. They are as much works of art as they are something to play.

That's my attitude. Even when an instrument I have is not perfect (and few are) I feel a duty to play and enjoy it, but to be careful with it. Now, there is always a cost to actually playing an instrument rather than just storing it. I don't want to be a repository of these things, I want to play them--that's what they were made for.

But I simply can't shrug my shoulders when an instrument in my care suffers some sort of damage. It's the cost of playing, and that's worth it--but it still bothers me. :-)

Many posts make it seem it is a zero sum game...
...I contend you can play/use an instrument an still take very good care of it. My wife's shiny black grand piano still looks perfect 15 years later though she plays it daily and has students around it all the time. She teaches her students to *respect* it and their own instruments.

pdxuke
02-24-2013, 07:01 AM
Many posts make it seem it is a zero sum game...
...I contend you can play/use an instrument an still take very good care of it. My wife's shiny black grand piano still looks perfect 15 years later though she plays it daily and has students around it all the time. She teaches her students to *respect* it and their own instruments.

I am of a similar mind. There was a collection of instruments up for sale on ebay recently that had been owned by a pro in the 60s. You know he played them, that was his job. And they were still in beautiful condition.

I don't fault anyone for having a different opinion on this--that's what makes horse racing. But I feel as Paul does about it. My instruments are in my care, and I have a duty of care, and I try to live up to it while still enjoying and playing them.

Paul December
02-24-2013, 07:31 AM
Memo to myself...
...only buy used ukes from pdxuke ;)

Rubio MHS
02-24-2013, 05:27 PM
I have a ding on my aNueNue Khaya Mahogany III. I rarely think of it, and I doubt anyone would notice it unless they were buying it, which is not going to happen.

Kyle23
02-24-2013, 09:51 PM
I am of a similar mind. There was a collection of instruments up for sale on ebay recently that had been owned by a pro in the 60s. You know he played them, that was his job. And they were still in beautiful condition.

I don't fault anyone for having a different opinion on this--that's what makes horse racing. But I feel as Paul does about it. My instruments are in my care, and I have a duty of care, and I try to live up to it while still enjoying and playing them.

Well yeah, of course you want to take care of your things, but accidents do happen. When I dinged mine, I wasn't just tossing it around, it was an honest mistake.

Chris Tarman
02-25-2013, 05:20 AM
Obviously, I don't go out of my way to ding or scratch my instruments, and I try to take very good care of them. I just don't sweat small dings and the like. Well... Not after the first couple, at least.

sukie
02-25-2013, 06:01 AM
Obviously, I don't go out of my way to ding or scratch my instruments, and I try to take very good care of them. I just don't sweat small dings and the like. Well... Not after the first couple, at least.

This. exactly.