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View Full Version : BEWARE of "23" Minstrel Ukulele" on ebay!



hucklelele
10-07-2013, 08:20 AM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Minstrel-Music-23-Ukulele-/251252008608?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item3a7fc966a0#ht_333wt_1018

Just delivered and NOT 23"- it's a 21" sporano

I saw the ad and thought I could get a little bigger bout, even if it didn't have a typical concert size scale.

I even queried them, with several other questions
and when I didn't get an answer, old stupid still ordered anyway

if I return it, I'll be out the postage

it's a typical soprano I guess, and looks nice with the hibiscus design
but friction tuners- the body is a bit thicker than my $20 Badax
and I hate to run everybody around in a return-
cause GLOBAL WARMING IS!
even if jus Jax to Daytona
so for the money, I'm out that much towards a real concert sized

so Caveat Emptor- "let the buyer beware!"

hmgberg
10-07-2013, 08:45 AM
If it is not as advertised, they should refund your postage as well. Send them a note via Ebay under item received not as listed.

hucklelele
10-07-2013, 08:50 AM
I'm sitting here messing with it deciding what to do- the tuners weren't holding-
AHA! I discover the screw on the end of the plastic knob- so I tightened them up, and guess friction tuners aren't so bad-
I can make them as tight as I need-
do they break with excessive screw tightening?

The strings are NOT good-
This doesn't have as much punch as the little Badaxx- which has strings-
the C especially of OBVIOUSLY thicker guage

I'm now wondering if the difference in punch is just the strings then-
There's a difference in string tension even at pitch


shouldn't a thicker body give more volume?
or is it just the strings-

If I keep it, I'll have to replace the strings immediately

Kayak Jim
10-07-2013, 09:01 AM
I think for under $30 shipped one can't expect too much.

bnolsen
10-07-2013, 09:27 AM
I think for under $30 shipped one can't expect too much.

:agree: I think you were very very fortunate with your badax purchase, the intonation is actually pretty decent. Don't expect that to be very normal. Strings on ukuleles that inexpensive are pretty much guaranteed to be junk.

mm stan
10-07-2013, 10:26 AM
Chaulk it up to a learning experience...29.00 dollars is not too bad....I've done way worse... and I just looked at the the link and can tell right away from the pictures and price it
was a soprano....you would almost never get a concert for that price...at that price range you cannot expect too much...if they misrepresented the size though through their advertisment
they should pay for return postage....good luck... to me the best price for a concert would be a Oscar Schmidt OU2 I bought mine 4 years ago for 59.00 now they sell for 65.00 plus and they
they are the best deals for one....only thing get a set up on any budget uke including this one and slap on some Martin M600 strings to improve your tone...Happy Strummings...

Barbablanca
10-07-2013, 10:43 AM
Try tuning it up to D tuning (A D F# B) - the extra tension seems to work well with most cheap Ukes. I got one from Lidl (Supermarket) as a cheap holiday strummer and after a little work it sounded OK for the purpose, but then I read that the Germans prefer "D" tuning, so I tried that on it and it really improved it a lot!

PhilUSAFRet
10-07-2013, 12:55 PM
Especially if you paid using paypal, should easily get your full price refunded. Just don't give it a review. Go to Ebay for resolution....."item not as described" These sellers value their reviews. I recently got a full refund in a few hours for a $1.00 item that didn't work as advertised. I had to return a uke once that I paid for with Paypal and the seller not only refunded my purchase price, but the additional postage for it's return. No reason you should eat the $30 or the return shipping. What the hey, You can use that $30 plus towards your concert. I've even had sellers refund my money and told me to keep the item rather than pay shipping.

ukemunga
10-07-2013, 01:06 PM
Especially if you paid using paypal, should easily get your full price refunded. Just don't give it a review. Go to Ebay for resolution....."item not as described" These sellers value their reviews. I recently got a full refund in a few hours for a $1.00 item that didn't work as advertised. I had to return a uke once that I paid for with Paypal and the seller not only refunded my purchase price, but the additional postage for it's return. No reason you should eat the $30 or the return shipping. What the hey, You can use that $30 plus towards your concert. I've even had sellers refund my money and told me to keep the item rather than pay shipping.

:agree: Ab-so-lute-ly!

hucklelele
10-07-2013, 01:55 PM
I was comparing strings today- the "minstrel" that's a 21 and not a 23", the Badaxx I have, and my classical guitar strings-

I'm not familiar with the guage numbers otherwise, and it's strictly visual and by feel- so someone correct me or say if you think different-

it appears the C string on the Badaxx is even thicker than all the rest if the nylon- ebven thicker than the G strings on my classicals-

to match that- I'd have to buy a set of uke strings for the "minstrel"- although I could cheat in some used classical strings- just ready to change one- and beef up the guages on a couple of minstrel strings-

still haven't decided whether to return the uke- but already gave them bad feedback- I was mad and just feel like there's intent to decieve-
it says 21" right on the outside of the box next to the "pur" denoting the purple color- bet they don't change the "23" ad heading after negative feedback either-

but you're right- I COULD be that much money closer to a real concert size- and I'd have to replace the strings- more time and expense- just to match the Badaxx string guages

the Badaxx, by the way, even has a nicer fretboard and cleaner frets with real inlay dots- not bad for such an inexpensive price

mm stan
10-07-2013, 02:31 PM
I am not sure matching guages of strings off another cheap uke will work or is even a good idea... that is why you buy already made sets...trying to match the string guages from a cheap uke may prove fruitless.. buy name brand sets as Martins M600 and Oasis... where you get quality strings sets which are proven to work together and tested ....

hucklelele
10-07-2013, 03:15 PM
I've been looking at the guages now- and there's a thread on strings in the beginners section listing the various guages on one page- it's on page 2 I think

What I'm thinking right now- just by comparing these two cheapp ukes is that I'm going to go with large guages- that probably means the daddario 92 concerts

the Badaxx has more punch and more voulme- with a thinner body the punch could be the thinner volume, but not the volume-
the noticeable difference must be the string guages
I saw some cheap chinese sets- and they are thinner, like the new Minstrel/soprano- the outers listed at .o22 and I can't recall the inners

Some people are of the opinion the thinner guage sound better- but with these small bodied ukes I want some punch and volume
AND I don't want to change strings all the time- thinner unwound nylon strings would have to be changed more frequently I think by their very nature
maybe the corporate conglomerate just wants to sell us strings as often as they can....

anyway- no need to fuss with the Baadaxx ($20, AND a pitch pipe! FAR OUT!)
still deciding on the others
probably order another set of strings anyway, to compare

GET TO WORK!

hucklelele
10-07-2013, 03:35 PM
Comparing more now-

just checked the guages against daaddario normal tension classical guitar strings-

seems the concert sized strings #92 are virtually the same guages as the unwound nylon strings on my classical guitar -E-B-G strings-
.022, 028, .040

interesting-

the C on the Badaxx looks even larger, but I could be wrong

SO, how many people here put concert sized strings on a soprano?
By this experience I'm led to believe you might get better punch and volume, if that's what you're after.
Probably better for video or multi-tracking especially with cheap mikes

Tootler
10-07-2013, 10:32 PM
Comparing more now

.......

SO, how many people here put concert sized strings on a soprano?
By this experience I'm led to believe you might get better punch and volume, if that's what you're after.
Probably better for video or multi-tracking especially with cheap mikes

Some brands of strings come as soprano/concert - they simply supply the same strings for both sizes. IIRC the Worth strings I bought were labelled as soprano/concert.

So, there shouldn't be a problem putting concert strings on a soprano. Also consider Berni's suggestion of D-tuning. It will make the uke sound brighter. Certainly worth a try.

I looked at the eBay page and I noticed

Price of the uke $30
Shipping to UK $35

Hmmm!

hucklelele
10-11-2013, 02:07 PM
So I had the soprano- not 23" "Minstrel Uke"-
back in the box and all set for a return-
the man in Daytona said he'd refund plus return shipping refund.
He even finally changed the ad heading to 21"- as it said clearly on the box next to the color-

If I hadn't been sick I'd have taken it to the post two days ago, and that would have been that. But I started playing with it again-

and as I 've said, I've been sick, very literally sick AND tired, very tired- it all caught up to me at summer's end just when I want to get some things done anyway-

and I suddenly realized- this uke was taking NO EFFORT at all to play- the soft thin little strings don't project much for recording, but it has a sweet little sound and is no strain on my fingers which have been sore (and I'm not sure why)

so I decided, since I'm not getting any younger, I'd just keep this around and NOT EVEN WORRY about changing the strings-

so I emailed the man that I was keeping it, and retracting my negative feedback

Today I even painted it a bit- thoroughly enjoying it and the "souvenir" aspect of it, because I've always loved hand painted souvenir art.

Here it is:;)

all's well that ends well.....