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View Full Version : Wanted: Circuit of reviewers?



DewGuitars
02-28-2013, 12:52 PM
This is something done in the guitar world from time to time, and I don't know if it's been done in the ukulele world, but I'm going to propose it here.

I've been toying with the idea of getting more into building ukes than guitars, but other than my Smiley-Ukes, I haven't really built any. I'm going to be making a couple of tenors soon (possibly other sizes as well) and will be looking for opinions on their quality from some of the members of this forum.

What I'm thinking of doing is making a list of willing testers (probably Senior Members here) to give feedback on one of those ukuleles.

Here's how it will work:

I will ship one or both of the ukes to the first person on the list, who will put it through some hard playing for a week or so. They will then ship it to the next person on the list, and so on.

I will cover the cost of shipping in all cases via PayPal or whatever method works for the person shipping.

I would only ask that they give me a review of the instrument posted here on the forum (Review section) in a single thread that I will set up for the project, including a short video of them playing it. I am looking for honest appraisals of every aspect of the instrument, from fit and finish, to tone and playability.

I will have to limit the shipping to the continental U.S. due to shipping costs though.

I will be producing some polls here to get an idea what kinds of things people are looking for in their ukes, and will build the ukes to suit as many of those favorite aspects as possible.

Are there many people out there who would be interested in being on this Reviewer List?

Thanks,

Don Williams

MGM
02-28-2013, 01:10 PM
Well I will take one anytime.....and do a full reveiw...

OldePhart
02-28-2013, 01:14 PM
I'd love to participate. I love tinkering so you can probably count on me trying two or three or ten different string sets before sending it on... :)

John

ScooterD35
02-28-2013, 01:14 PM
Great idea! I'd be happy to participate.

I live in NJ and am a stay-at-home Dad so I have plenty of time to do reviews.


Scooter

remy26
02-28-2013, 01:14 PM
I'd love to be involved and think its a great way to get word out about your product.

DewGuitars
02-28-2013, 01:36 PM
Cool. Please spread the word!

Thanks...

laundromatt
02-28-2013, 01:37 PM
I would love to help out. I write for a living, so I can spare a few (or more) words for a review. :)

Good luck!

cletus
02-28-2013, 01:55 PM
Wonderful idea, and I would be more than pleased to review a uke or two for you.

Best wishes on the project(s).

chrimess
02-28-2013, 02:02 PM
Count me in- I guarantee hard playing, too.

Pueo
02-28-2013, 02:03 PM
Well I will take one anytime.....and do a full reveiw...
I know you said Continental U.S. but if you send one to Mike, I can drive over and pick it up from him, and then send it on its way...I will use it and make a Seasons video or something too!

Tigeralum2001
02-28-2013, 02:04 PM
I would love to participate.

Dan Uke
02-28-2013, 02:18 PM
You should also figure out what market you are trying to reach and find reviewers in that market ie, if you are going to sell your ukes for $2,000, I would like to find reviewers that own or played ukes in that range.

I'm sure Mercedes would never ask me to do a review of their car but if Toyota calls, I'm there! hehe

mm stan
02-28-2013, 02:18 PM
Aloha Don,
Put me on the Honolulu Hawaii list man....mahalo

Pueo
02-28-2013, 02:30 PM
Aloha Don,
Put me on the Honolulu Hawaii list man....mahalo
Yeah, send it to Mike, then I'll pick it up, deliver it to Stan, then I will send it on its way!
There, now shipping to HI is not that expensive when you get THREE reviewers for the price of one!

DewGuitars
02-28-2013, 02:52 PM
Yeah, send it to Mike, then I'll pick it up, deliver it to Stan, then I will send it on its way!
There, now shipping to HI is not that expensive when you get THREE reviewers for the price of one!

Well......maybe to Hawaii... I'll think about it. You do make a good point.
I have plenty of time to decide I guess.

lakesideglenn
02-28-2013, 03:18 PM
Hey Don,
I'd be more than happy to test and review one of your new ukes :drool:. I won't be buying any for awhile as I totaled my car this week.
UAS is in serious remission and I do have a few nice tenors to compare it to.

ksiegel
02-28-2013, 03:19 PM
I'm over near Albany, NY. If I can be of any assistance, please let me know.

My local Uke group also has several pro and pro-caliber musicians as members, so I can get their opinions, as well.



-Kurt

DewGuitars
02-28-2013, 03:46 PM
I'm over near Albany, NY. If I can be of any assistance, please let me know.

My local Uke group also has several pro and pro-caliber musicians as members, so I can get their opinions, as well.



-Kurt

Wow Kurt, you're just a hop, skip, and a jump away from me. I grew up in the Utica area myself. Have a cousin in Schenectady.

ukeeku
02-28-2013, 03:54 PM
A Lichty uke made the rounds. I would love to see them.
If I am on list just message me.
I will do a full review on my site also

ScooterD35
02-28-2013, 03:56 PM
As for the shipping schedule, once you have a list of reviewers you could ship to the person closest to you. That person will then ship to the next closest person, etc... That way, shipping would be less expensive than criscrossing the country.


Scooter

Dan Uke
02-28-2013, 05:14 PM
A Lichty uke made the rounds. I would love to see them.
If I am on list just message me.
I will do a full review on my site also

I vote for Tim as one of the reviewers as he is a reporter and gives his honest opinion. He goes to NAMM every year so he probably tried most brands under the sun.

Wicked
02-28-2013, 06:08 PM
I'm right up the road from Pawtucket, you wouldn't even need to pay for shipping.

mm stan
02-28-2013, 09:15 PM
Wow Kurt, you're just a hop, skip, and a jump away from me. I grew up in the Utica area myself. Have a cousin in Schenectady.


Wow Fitncrafty is from Schenectady NY too, maybe to kurt then to Fitncrafty too...

hawaii 50
02-28-2013, 09:27 PM
Yeah, send it to Mike, then I'll pick it up, deliver it to Stan, then I will send it on its way!
There, now shipping to HI is not that expensive when you get THREE reviewers for the price of one!



Add me to the list of the Hawaiian Eyes..was that a song or a TV show? if you know the answer you old too..right Stan and Mike

didgeridoo2
02-28-2013, 09:48 PM
I went to school down the road from Utica in Syracuse, although I live here in LA. :) I play mostly tenors and would be happy to give them an honest assessment if needed.

ksiegel
02-28-2013, 10:14 PM
Wow Kurt, you're just a hop, skip, and a jump away from me. I grew up in the Utica area myself. Have a cousin in Schenectady.

I know there are a lot of folks named "Williams" around here. My brother-in-law Tif, originally from Albany County is just one of them, and I used to work with a guy named Wayne Williams on the fire department.

Let me know if I can be of any assistance with the reviews. The only real one I've done so far was for the new Aquila Red strings - video available somewhere here on the fora, and on my YouTube channel.

-Kurt

DewGuitars
03-01-2013, 12:05 AM
I'm right up the road from Pawtucket, you wouldn't even need to pay for shipping.

You weren't one of the guys who showed up for the NEL Uke-a-Palooza a few years back, were you?

Sporin
03-01-2013, 01:03 AM
I'd love to be involved! I'm in Vermont.

www.ukemafia.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Uke-Mafia/213115458767589

Wicked
03-01-2013, 01:52 AM
You weren't one of the guys who showed up for the NEL Uke-a-Palooza a few years back, were you?

No, not me. I have confined my social uking to Boston Metro. I live on the South Shore.

DewGuitars
03-01-2013, 07:10 AM
No, not me. I have confined my social uking to Boston Metro. I live on the South Shore.

The New England Luthiers group usually meets in Medford, just over the border from Somerville, pretty much in your social uking circle. We did that event back in '04 and had invited a few local players to check out the ukes at the event. We had some pretty cool ukes there, including the prototype of my Smiley-Uke, and a ukulele version of an 1830's Stauffer guitar, which was incredibly done by luthier Steve Spodaryk of spodarykguitars dot com.
The South shore is awesome... I'm particularly fond of the Halifax area.

ukeeku
03-01-2013, 09:09 AM
I vote for Tim as one of the reviewers as he is a reporter and gives his honest opinion. He goes to NAMM every year so he probably tried most brands under the sun.

Thanks for the vote of confidence.

DewGuitars
03-01-2013, 12:23 PM
Yes, pure honesty is what this is all about. For me, this is a learning experience. I don't expect to be making world class ukuleles right from the start...I'm sure there's a learning curve much like there was and continues to be for guitars. Of course I'm from the school that says you never truly master something like this, you're always learning something new, or you should be. I know some of the reviews (maybe all!) may be hard to hear, but that's what I want to hear if I need to hear it. Unless you know your weaknesses, you can't turn them into strengths. That said, I'm going to do my best to put the best product out there for testing. I'm still somewhat of a perfectionist (under-statement) so that usually aids in getting the final instrument looking and sounding/playing good.

I guess I will need to document the build process as I go. I normally do that via facebook, like I did with John Pak's Smiley-uke this past year, but I'll try to link it up to a new website also so folks here can keep an eye on the progress to build the excitement (dread/loathing/terror?) for getting it in their hands to put it through the critiquing process.

Jon Moody
03-01-2013, 02:11 PM
I'd be happy to fiddle with it, shoot a vid and write up a review. I do a lot of that in the bass world, and love working with/helping out the small builder.

mm stan
03-01-2013, 02:46 PM
Aloha Don,
I am sure I talked to you on Facebook one time, on Keones thread of his smiley uke man...tell me I am right :)

DewGuitars
03-02-2013, 09:49 AM
Hi Stan,

Stan, I believe you are indeed correct! :D I am the guy who built it for him, and was indeed honored to do so.

I'm thinking now that I'll have to send the Circuit Uke out to Hawaii after all. The more I think about it, the more I realize that if a ukulele is going to pass muster, then it has to go to the place where the instrument originates and get some degree of acceptance.
Not to mention that there may be several folks here who can check it out and give their input on it. Heck, maybe it will also go to John to get a test drive as well.

Dan Uke
03-02-2013, 11:07 AM
Yes, pure honesty is what this is all about. For me, this is a learning experience.

HAHA...You better not send it around UU since it's about Aloha Spirit and every instrument out there is fantastic. If it isn't, then it's never stated publically.

strumsilly
03-02-2013, 11:17 AM
HAHA...You better not send it around UU since it's about Aloha Spirit and every instrument out there is fantastic. If it isn't, then it's never stated publically.
I'dl be honest. and nice.

OldePhart
03-02-2013, 11:55 AM
I'dl be honest. and nice.

Exactly! You don't have to be unkind to be honest - I've yet to see a uke or guitar that didn't have some good points and some things that I would like to see improved, or at least changed. Heck, even that blue sparkle Dolphin that was absolute crap out of the box became enough fun after I set it up and tuned it up to D that I bought a couple of sopranos (including my now-favorite uke) after I passed it on in the contest a while back. So, if it had no other redeeming quality, it was at the very least a "gateway soprano!" :)

John

greyghost
03-02-2013, 12:18 PM
I'm certainly willing to help, if you need anyone else in the New England Area (I'm in CT). If the opinion of intermediate players is of any value, count me in.

hawaii 50
03-03-2013, 02:44 AM
HAHA...You better not send it around UU since it's about Aloha Spirit and every instrument out there is fantastic. If it isn't, then it's never stated publically.



I don't know about Aloha spirit..
no one likes to admit they made a mistake

connor013
03-03-2013, 03:31 AM
I'm certainly willing to help, if you need anyone else in the New England Area (I'm in CT). If the opinion of intermediate players is of any value, count me in.

I'm in the same boat and happy to help if you want another NE reviewer.