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View Full Version : Wow, a couple of years makes such a big difference



Dan Uke
03-26-2013, 09:34 AM
I check guitar center online once in awhile to find some good deals in the used section. If I don't know a certain brand, then I check UU to see reviews so I looked up the luthier.

This is a thread I found out recently and it's a couple of years old. I find it refreshing that people can speak honestly about brands so that we can try to educate people vs. trying to say all ukes are good. This thread is before my time and before many of us as well.

This thread is not intended to say that this brand is bad. They could have improved tremendously but why can't people talk openly on UU like the "good ol days" ??

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?41061-Island-Ukulele-All-Koa-concert-size-made-on-Kauai&highlight=island+ukulele+rapozo

wayfarer75
03-26-2013, 09:57 AM
Oh, I saw that thread, not long after I started here. The youtube link is now private, but I remember the video. The Kamaka not only sounded wayyyy better, but you could see that the guy was "fighting" with the other ukulele more, having to work harder to get a nice sound out of it. I've seen that brand mentioned a little while ago on a thread in the Beginners forum, asking about Big Island-made ukes, I think. A couple of UUers said they still sucked. So there you go.

I think a lot of times bashing a brand isn't cool because there are often so many fans of certain brands here--it's just a matter of personal taste. But then sometimes there are simply duds out there and people should be made to beware.

808boy
03-26-2013, 10:22 AM
Times have changed plus the influx of new members. Sometimes keeping one's opinion to himself is Politically Correct. I've played many hi end brands that my friend has and my opinion was that the price for it was way too high. And all the hype about that brand was exactly it, all hype.
Glad I had the oppurtunity to play them to assess them myself. Now I know what is good and worth the price and what is mehh.
If I were to list the ones I thought was'nt worth it, I'd have a UU lynch mob after me......................Bo...............

Stevelele
03-26-2013, 10:25 AM
It can be very emotional and difficult when people are criticizing an instrument, since the very luthiers who made them might be here, and people are very attached to their instruments and certain brands. I certainly wouldn't want to drive away the luthiers who hang out here, and I also wouldn't want this to become a big ole flame fest where people are being negative for no good reason and raising things that they really ought to be raising one on one with luthiers and manufacturers. But I hear what Daniel is saying--sometimes you really do want to have a real and frank discussion about your experiences. I would like to think that constructive feedback in its best form can help everyone, including people on the seller/maker side. I don't know what the solution is and maybe there's an inherent tension here.

Doc_J
03-26-2013, 10:46 AM
Rayan set up the rules, he's one of the site owners. So, we should be able to follow his lead. I was impressed that he would say what he did.

Don't you think we've confused the rules?

"No bashing" doesn't = "nothing negative". But that seems to be what happens.

Negative feedback is necessary in life, as long as it is factual and constructive, not mean or degrading.

vanflynn
03-26-2013, 10:51 AM
There is personal taste and there is blatant misrepresentation and poor workmanship. The first needs to be addressed tactfully. I have seen the seconded addressed here on many occasions with facts and open dialog, as it should be. A bit ago someone tried to market a $100 solid koa and was quickly called on it. The tought part is keeping it constructive without emotions flaming everywhere, the anonymity of the forum makes it easy for barbs to fly

Dan Uke
03-26-2013, 11:36 AM
Oh, I saw that thread, not long after I started here. The youtube link is now private, but I remember the video. The Kamaka not only sounded wayyyy better, but you could see that the guy was "fighting" with the other ukulele more, having to work harder to get a nice sound out of it. I've seen that brand mentioned a little while ago on a thread in the Beginners forum, asking about Big Island-made ukes, I think. A couple of UUers said they still sucked. So there you go.

I think a lot of times bashing a brand isn't cool because there are often so many fans of certain brands here--it's just a matter of personal taste. But then sometimes there are simply duds out there and people should be made to beware.

Haha, if it's a brand that not too many have or is an import, it's ok to say it sucks! LOL

haole
03-26-2013, 12:51 PM
There aren't any rules saying we can't post critical reviews of instruments or our experiences with dealers/manufacturers/luthiers. It's actually encouraged in the review forum.

There IS, however, a rule about not being a jerk, and that's why so many threads end up pissing people off and getting closed. A lot of members don't get it, and next thing you know we have half of the forum preaching "aloha spirit" and the other half saying "the aloha spirit is crap and we should be allowed to say whatever is on our minds regardless of how tactlessly we want to put it, and the draconian mods are trying to crush any form of discussion." Neither of these approaches are doing us any good. There are plenty of ways to express a concern or offer criticism without being obnoxious and hostile. Wouldn't hurt to use the review forum more, or at least consider some of the review criteria when offering an opinion of an instrument/manufacturer (including what steps were taken to correct the problem before posting the review!)

We're lucky that so many luthiers and uke company representatives hang out on the forums (not to mention how many are lurking!). The good ones are listening to players' concerns, and they're more likely to take us seriously if we're civilized. Sometimes they'll swoop in to address the problem right away. Of course, there are always a few people that will never, ever be happy no matter how much someone tries to make things right for them, so it's best to ignore them.

Hippie Dribble
03-26-2013, 01:12 PM
This, from the guidelines on the reviews board:


General Guidelines;Ukulele Review Submission
Instructions:

Select a numerical rating in each category (10 is the best, 1 is bad). A rating is required for every category.
Add comments in at least one text field (You must enter some comments that go deeper than saying it's good or bad. Surveys without valuable comments will not be used). There are a number of questions below that you can use as a guide.
BE CRITICAL! Nothing is perfect. Superficial, glowing reviews may not get published.
Resist the new product rush! Take some time and really work with the product. If you need to comment right away, make it clear you haven't used it extensively.
Please include some of the specs too, since not everyone will know the model numbers and names alone.


There is simply no reason not to be critical. Indeed, when done in an objective, honest fashion such commentaries are potentially of great benefit.

RichM
03-26-2013, 01:35 PM
I continue to be amazed that people keep saying "we can't be critical here." Nobody said you can't.

If you're saying "I want to be critical and nobody is allowed to contradict me, or disagree with my conclusions," well, sorry, it works both ways. If you want the right to speak your mind, grant others the right to speak theirs.

This is a community, with a breadth of perspectives. There will be times that you post something the community takes issue with. That's just the way it goes, and if you can't take the heat...

didgeridoo2
03-26-2013, 02:28 PM
Wow. a blast from the past. It's hard to believe it's two years ago. I first heard about those ukes when I was in Kauai when I bought my first uke back in 2009, and someone tried selling one on Craigslist locally for a ridiculous amount of money. It was awesome that Rayan, who had local knowledge of the builder was able to speak up and give us his opinion on them. As you can see, most folks were appreciative that he did speak up. Fortunately, he spoke about things that were inherently wrong with the ukes like fret buzzing problems. Rayan also mentioned the ukes to sound bad and tinny, and while I find that can be a subjective opinion, I can trust it because I know Rayan has the experience of playing almost every uke out there. That's an easy one. If there are any real ukulele experts that post here, Rayan can certainly be considered one of them.

What should be considered when reviewing a uke? Or when reading a review of a uke? I know Rayan knows his you-know-what and his opinion of subjective criteria holds water. But, quite frankly, I take almost every opinion on here with a grain of salt and I expect others to carefully consider my opinions. As you can see by that thread from the past, I was quick to suggest what I had heard second hand. It was too much out of my price range to even consider so I hadn't ever played one, but the shopkeeper spoke of the builder as if he were a local rock star. I ended up buying an overbuilt Chinese made uke, but I don't care since it started me on this path. To say I overpaid is redundant since you over pay for mostly everything in Kauai. It's worth it, though.

As far as the conversations regarding the worth of things around here, who really has the right to say? You ask a price and either I pay it, or I walk away. True value.

wayfarer75
03-26-2013, 02:55 PM
Haha, if it's a brand that not too many have or is an import, it's ok to say it sucks! LOL

LOL exactly! But if you're going to come in here and pile on a brand every other UUer has, watch out!

AndrewKuker
03-27-2013, 02:41 AM
You guys broke it down well. I'll add my 2cents even though it will reiterate some of what's been said.
Anyone trying and doing good things can handle some negative reviews. If they're really on it, they'll ponder what's written, and if valid, work on it . Everyone making or selling a product can learn and improve, or just be grumpy know it alls and complain about the consumer. (very common)

On the other hand, sometimes an opinion can mislead, unintentionally. Each instrument is different and builders/companies often go through many changes in design, personnel, procedure, and more. Just be fair and realize this, even for your own sake. On top of that, we all have different criteria, technique, tonal preference, etc. They say opinions are like buttholes, we all have one. But it's a forum and we're in a conversation. So share honestly, but take what you read for what it is. an opinion.