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maikii
02-06-2014, 08:20 PM
I just received a Cordoba Guilele CE ordered from Zzounds.com. It was supposed to be new, not advertised as a second, used, demo model, refurb, or anything like that. (For those not familiar with it, it is the size of a tenor uke, but a six string guitar.)

I was surprised in unboxing it, that the three wound metal strings are very rusty, right from the box.

Have others encountered something similar? (I don't mean that instrument or that retailer.) Bought a new instrument online, and the metal-wound strings on it already quite rusty?

If it was in stock in their warehouse for a few months, packed away in its box, is it possible for the strings to rust that way?

Or was mine more likely hanging out in the store as a demo model, handled a lot, etc.?

bborzell
02-06-2014, 08:42 PM
It is not all that uncommon to find stringed instruments hanging on the wall at stores with rusty strings. All it takes is some wanna be shredder who has active sweat glands to play with it and not wipe down the strings when they are done. I have also seen inexpensive string formulations that seem to draw moisture out of even average humidity environments and begin oxidation rather quickly.

Perhaps the instrument you ordered had been out and played and then placed in the box for shipping. More than a few shops who sell on the internet do that regularly.

Macmuse
02-07-2014, 02:06 AM
While I can't judge what very rusty is without seeing... I've had exactly the opposite experience to bborzell (meaning no shredder involved). A boxed untouched instrument with totally oxidized strings. Probably not touched since being strung originally. The strings got shiny where I strummed them and stayed oxidized for the rest of the length.

2 observations - (1) seems most vendors put on some stock string they probably have a bulk deal for and likey assume end user will be swapping off in short order (except the revered Mr. Timms who would be happy with people keeping the Aquilas in place) ;)

(2) if the environment is right (or rather, wrong?), wound strings get funky pretty fast.

Not that you should accept badly corroded strings. I'd see if the vendor, if they are reputable, would provide a set of strings if you like the Guilele overall. Cheap to ship if they carry strings as well as instruments.

RichM
02-07-2014, 02:16 AM
+1 on Macmuse. The only time I've seen strings go rusty is when the instrument has sat untouched for a long period of time. My guess is that your uke sat in a warehouse for a long time before it was shipped to you, quite possibly in a humid location. Assuming the uke is otherwise okay, you're certainly entitled to a new set of strings, and I imagine Zzounds won't have a problem supplying them to you. For all we complain about the big box retailers, they are usually pretty responsive to customer service issues like this.

Ukejenny
02-07-2014, 04:30 AM
I bet they rusted in the box, in the warehouse, and unbeknownst to the seller.

OldePhart
02-07-2014, 08:10 AM
I'm for rusting in the warehouse (or on the ship) too. Cheap wound strings will corrode if you look at them crosseyed. I think zzounds is a drop-shipper, so they probably never had their hands on the box, even.

John

PhilUSAFRet
02-07-2014, 10:36 AM
It's crying out for a new set of Southcoast Guilele strings.

stringy
02-07-2014, 11:33 AM
+1 on Macmuse. The only time I've seen strings go rusty is when the instrument has sat untouched for a long period of time. My guess is that your uke sat in a warehouse for a long time before it was shipped to you, quite possibly in a humid location. Assuming the uke is otherwise okay, you're certainly entitled to a new set of strings, and I imagine Zzounds won't have a problem supplying them to you. For all we complain about the big box retailers, they are usually pretty responsive to customer service issues like this.


ITA, Ask for a set of new strings. A reputable dealer should not have a problem with that.

strumsilly
02-07-2014, 12:01 PM
or you could lightly sand them. A Lanikai gambler special had some [moderately ] corroded wound strings. I just touched them up with some steel wool. they worked fine.When they are crossing the ocean, they are bound to get a little salt air. arr

maikii
02-07-2014, 01:13 PM
They aren't cheap strings. They string the Cordoba Guileles with Aquila guilele strings, which sell for at least $15 a set.

I reported the problem to Zzounds, and they already sent me a UPS label for an RMA. Nice customer service. (I haven't shipped it back yet though.)

(By the way, it does not look like it was drop-shipped from Cordoba, but was sent from Zzounds warehouse in Nevada.)

The only thing I am concerned about is--if it really is an issue of rusting in the warehouse while sitting in its unopened original box, then my replacement guilele might have strings just as rusted. (If from the same batch, in their warehouse the same length of time.)

Of course, if the one the sent me was inadvertently an open box demo, hanging on the wall somewhere and played by customers, then getting a replacement may fix the problem.

I thought of asking them to just send me a new set of strings, but I see they do not even carry the Aquila Guilele strings, which are only carried by a couple retailers like Strings by Mail. (I know one can use other strings with the instrument--such as a regular set of classical guitar strings, but I would like to try the Aquila guilele strings which come with this instrument, and were made for it.

People's opinions--how likely is my replacement guilele to also have rusted strings?



I'm for rusting in the warehouse (or on the ship) too. Cheap wound strings will corrode if you look at them crosseyed. I think zzounds is a drop-shipper, so they probably never had their hands on the box, even.

John