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View Full Version : Not so happy NUD - Compass Rose Tenor



Telperion
06-23-2014, 06:05 AM
So, I was pretty stoked to be getting a nice all flame maple sunburst Compass Rose tenor today, but had the excitement sucked out of me, just about like the U.S. Soccer team yesterday. I bought the uke new from a dealer, who for some reason shipped it UPS ground, in a horribly overused box. It was shipped on June 13'th, and I just picked it up at the UPS hub today, so 10 days on the road. The box arrived in super rough shape, and the Access gig bag (which I will add is a very nice, sturdy case - shouldn't damage easy) has a serious lean to it and seems like the neck portion is twisted.

The uke itself, was not smashed or cracked or anything like that, but there are several little issues, that to me point to severe dehydration. First, the flame maple, while gorgeous indeed, has contracted enough to have a washboard feel to it when you run your hand across it. The end pin will not even stay in place as the hole has expanded due to wood shrinkage. The lacquer finish appears to be pulling away, or bubbling, on the edge of the fretboard, especially around the end of each fret. Lastly, the bridge seems to be lifting slightly on the bottom of the treble side.

Anyway, I'm a little disgusted with the disappointment and the hassle, but hopefully no big deal in the end. Just felt like venting the frustration a bit. I haven't yet heard back from the dealer on how the return will work, but I am hoping to not have to cover anything here, since it's not just that I didn't like the sound or something. In fact, I didn't even bring the strings up to tension, as I knew immediately it was a no go. Really a shame, as the uke is simply gorgeous, and Rick's maple ukes are just super cool.

-Steve

68134681356813668137

Telperion
06-23-2014, 06:07 AM
Here are a few more shots showing the finish issue, and the bridge.

-Steve

68138681416813968140

coolkayaker1
06-23-2014, 06:16 AM
Good documentation by photos. Yep, back it goes, on the dealer's dime both ways (in my opinion). Beyond that, it's between the dealer and UPS.

hawaii 50
06-23-2014, 06:39 AM
Did not know any dealers send expensive ukes via UPS ground..wow, they really don't save that much money....
many have contract rates like HMS has with FEDEX.....

you should let Rick Turner know what happened as he will probably will be the one who does the repairs on the uke...your dealer did no one any favors...

my 2 cents

RichM
06-23-2014, 06:49 AM
I agree that the box is unacceptable, as it clearly could not take the strain of a long trip. However, it doesn't appear that the weak box was the cause of the issues, it seems the instrument was not stored properly prior to shipping.

Out of curiosity, why did it take ten days to reach you? My understanding was that UPS Ground had a maximum time-in-transit of five days between most locations.

Telperion
06-23-2014, 06:51 AM
Yes, it all sucks, but I'd like to give all involved the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes things happen. I've spoken with the dealer now, and they are being very accommodating, so it doesn't look like there are any issues. Nice people, really.

Oh, and I've had two very nice ukes shipped from Gryphon, coast to coast, and they use UPS Ground. They also pack their instruments extremely well, in good strong boxes. Never a problem there.

-Steve

Dan Uke
06-23-2014, 06:53 AM
Sorry to hear that Steve. Hopefully you can find a replacement soon!

Telperion
06-23-2014, 07:00 AM
Out of curiosity, why did it take ten days to reach you? My understanding was that UPS Ground had a maximum time-in-transit of five days between most locations.

I think they created their shipping label on Friday, June 13, and then dropped it off Saturday, at a UPS Store. I don't think it got picked up from there until Monday evening. Off the top of my head, I believe the tracking said it rolled into my area Saturday (the 21st) night, and I had it held for pick-up so I could get it this morning instead of wait until 6:00 this evening when UPS is in my neighborhood. So, it would be a bit of a stretch, but UPS might have an argument for being only 5 days in transit.

-Steve

Ukulele Eddie
06-23-2014, 07:03 AM
I'm so, so sorry to hear that, Steve. I think I was as excited as you were about that maple beauty. But I'll admit, after I visited this dealer I was worried for you...As I was in Vegas for a conference where the dealer is located, I made an appointment (they are appt only) to see the other two Compass Rose ukes. Both Access cases had obvious moisture stains on the cases and both ukes literally had stuff rattling around inside. I turned the jumbo concert uke over and dust and bits came out. It was as if they had been left out in a construction area or something. There were some very rough spots around both the side port and sound hole and I wonder if that was symptomatic of being dried out, as it certainly isn't characteristic of a Compass Rose instrument. Hopefully they will make it right. If not, I would not hesitate to contact Rick Turner. It's a shame instruments as fine as his are not being properly cared for by an authorized dealer.

And I have both bought and sold half a dozen ukes that were ground shipped and not had any problems. It must be well-packed and clearly this carton was not up to the job. Shocking, especially for a retailer.

FrankB
06-23-2014, 07:09 AM
Wow! Well, you know Rick didn't ship it to the dealer like that, and it's been pretty humid lately. I would guess the dealer failed to take care of the instrument. That's a shame, since these aren't factory instruments....

hawaii 50
06-23-2014, 07:20 AM
I think they created their shipping label on Friday, June 13, and then dropped it off Saturday, at a UPS Store. I don't think it got picked up from there until Monday evening. Off the top of my head, I believe the tracking said it rolled into my area Saturday (the 21st) night, and I had it held for pick-up so I could get it this morning instead of wait until 6:00 this evening when UPS is in my neighborhood. So, it would be a bit of a stretch, but UPS might have an argument for being only 5 days in transit.

-Steve


Yep..looks like they UPS can say it was in transit 5 days since it sat in their office both weekends....

but reading the other post on the thread, seems like the uke was not taken cared of at the dealers home/shop....seems like it was not in the right RH before it was sent to you...good luck getting a new one :)

coolkayaker1
06-23-2014, 07:25 AM
Whatever you do, Steve, don't charge out to your UPS driver and get all up in his face. He might crack you in the eye with his scanner. lol

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?97922-Small-Dog-blinded-by-UPS-driver

Teek
06-23-2014, 07:29 AM
Sure sorry to see this happen to a nice instrument. If it came from Vegas that currently means A/C and always means low humidity. Then if it sits in a really hot truck for a few states.. I'd rather pay for USPS second day air and did so just recently. Or FedEx. I also like to double box. I hope they eat it.

Doc_J
06-23-2014, 07:33 AM
Yeah, if that uke was in Vegas for a long time, I could see that it might dry out. I've seen fret ends like before that on an old uke or two that wasn't under humidity control. Did the dealer send you pictures not showing this? Doubt this would happen during shipping, even though it was a long trip.

Talk to the dealer you bought it from.

FrankB
06-23-2014, 08:07 AM
Dealer's pic:
68142

A quick look at Google revealed the likely dealer, and appropriately named as well.... From the dealer's pics, it was a gorgeous instrument at one point.

Ukejenny
06-23-2014, 08:16 AM
Such a shame to see a wonderful instrument mistreated. I'm glad the dealer is working with you and being nice. Hopefully, this will all be sorted out. Still, it would have been better if the instrument had arrived in wonderful condition. That's quite a letdown.

stevepetergal
06-23-2014, 09:54 AM
I think I'd be keeping it.
Just me.

bborzell
06-23-2014, 10:26 AM
I received a custom mandolin that arrived with similar finish issues. It, too, came from a dry location. In my case, the culprit turned out to be a problem with the finish formulation that resulted in incomplete curing. The fretboard edges looked very much like your pictures. I sent it back and it was refinished to my satisfaction.

Hope this works out for you.

BTW, Too many dealers skimp on packaging materials. If the inner space between the case and the outer box is not filled with resistive material, the impact dents you got are pretty much going to be a given.

Skinny Money McGee
06-23-2014, 10:34 AM
Yeah, if that uke was in Vegas for a long time, I could see that it might dry out. I've seen fret ends like before that on an old uke or two that wasn't under humidity control. Did the dealer send you pictures not showing this? Doubt this would happen during shipping, even though it was a long trip.

Talk to the dealer you bought it from.

Totally agree. The fretboard would not have dried out like that in 10 days during shipping, especially when at least half of the shipping time would have been in much more humid weather.

OldePhart
06-23-2014, 10:50 AM
Yep...shipping was horrible but that damage wasn't the result of shipping.

Those fret ends don't look like Rick's work, either. It looks like the fret board shrank enough to leave sharp fret ends sticking out and someone made a rather amateur attempt at "dressing" them back to the fret board... That kind of fret board shrinkage takes years, or at the very least several months, not days.

John


John

OldePhart
06-23-2014, 10:58 AM
Man...the more I look at those pictures the more I think I'd be on the horn to Rick, not to complain but to ask if it's really even one of his. It's hard to tell from a photo but that close up that shows the sound hole the wood looks pretty thick, to me. It might just be a trick of the photo angle and the fact that it's not focused on that edge, and I've never had one of his ukes, but that appears to be much thicker than the soundboard on any of my "good" ukes. Between that and the fret ends...I don't know, man, hope this dealer makes it right pronto-quick.

John

Telperion
06-23-2014, 11:02 AM
Guys, please note that I never claimed that any of the damage, other than deformation to the neck region of the gig bag, was the result of shipping and handling. My gripes about the uke condition were obviously related to long term desiccation, and a potential issue with the bridge. The bridge had a significant gap along the bottom of the treble side, and actually, the whole bridge didn't look quite right. I also thought it was peculiar that there was no maker's label inside the sound hole. My other CR has one, but I guess I don't know if this is common or not. I believe it was made in 2013, so it's not a real old one.

Also, I wanted to note that I was not intending to disclose the particular dealer, but by chance, it got out there in this thread. I want to be clear that they are being very helpful and cooperative, and I have had no indication of anything but good will thus far.

-Steve

OldePhart
06-23-2014, 11:19 AM
Hmmm, did the google search myself...something nasty has certainly happened to that uke between when those pic's were taken and when it got to you. Looks like they had it displayed in a south-facing window there in Las Vegas since the day they got it...

What kind of idiot dealer buys nice stock like that and then treats it so badly?! Yeesh, even Guitar Center knows enough to put their really high end acoustics in a humidity controlled room...

John

bborzell
06-23-2014, 12:12 PM
I doubt that the Access case neck twisted as a result of the shipping. It is pretty common to receive soft cases with neck twists. It's all in the construction, sewing in particular. I have a Mono Tenor case with a neck twist. Also have a $39.00 guitar soft case with a neck twist. That pretty much covers the pricing spectrum for soft cases.

UkerDanno
06-23-2014, 01:48 PM
That's really sad, hope it all works out for you! The dealer might try writing "Fragile" legibly on the box next time! But, I agree with some of the above looks like more long term damage than 10 days worth of improper humidity...seems like the dealer would ship with an oasis humidifier anyway! AND that bridge doesn't really look like a bridge for a custom uke.

Dane
06-23-2014, 02:24 PM
At least they wrote "Fuugile" on the box!

Jacman Rasta Bicycle
06-23-2014, 02:35 PM
I live in a little corner of The Great Mojave Desert (near Las Vegas), and i can tell you that the best place to store your ukulele, for proper humidification, is in the swimming pool.
HAHA, that is a little joke we desert dwellers have regarding humidification in one of the least humid places on earth.
So far my brass resonator hasn't cracked, but the ebony fretboard has shrunk a bit.

Nickie
06-23-2014, 03:14 PM
wow, this is a huge bummer! I'm sorry this happened to you. Please keep us posted as to the outcome.

hawaii 50
06-23-2014, 03:56 PM
Guys, please note that I never claimed that any of the damage, other than deformation to the neck region of the gig bag, was the result of shipping and handling. My gripes about the uke condition were obviously related to long term desiccation, and a potential issue with the bridge. The bridge had a significant gap along the bottom of the treble side, and actually, the whole bridge didn't look quite right. I also thought it was peculiar that there was no maker's label inside the sound hole. My other CR has one, but I guess I don't know if this is common or not. I believe it was made in 2013, so it's not a real old one.

Also, I wanted to note that I was not intending to disclose the particular dealer, but by chance, it got out there in this thread. I want to be clear that they are being very helpful and cooperative, and I have had no indication of anything but good will thus far.

-Steve


Kind of strange that there is no label...all the CRs I have seen(maybe 20 of them) all had labels....are the serial numbers on the top of the headstock?

hard to copy a CR...just seems strange no label

Telperion
06-23-2014, 04:16 PM
Kind of strange that there is no label...all the CRs I have seen(maybe 20 of them) all had labels....are the serial numbers on the top of the headstock?

hard to copy a CR...just seems strange no label

This was definitely a CR, and it had the serials on the tip of the headstock. It was gorgeous, don't get me wrong. Absolutely beautiful sunburst. I believe one member said they would probably have just kept it... At a different point in time, I would have felt the same way. However, I just didn't feel comfortable keeping it, and would rather hold off for now. I've got another of Rick's ukes already, and it's a knockout, so maybe the bar was too high. Anyway, this one's on it's way back to Vegas (double boxed this time!), and hopefully there will be quick resolution. I don't have any reason to believe otherwise, and all is good. I'll find another maple CR at some point. Love me some maple!

-Steve

hawaii 50
06-23-2014, 04:19 PM
This was definitely a CR, and it had the serials on the tip of the headstock. It was gorgeous, don't get me wrong. Absolutely beautiful sunburst. I believe one member said they would probably have just kept it... At a different point in time, I would have felt the same way. However, I just didn't feel comfortable keeping it, and would rather hold off for now. I've got another of Rick's ukes already, and it's a knockout, so maybe the bar was too high. Anyway, this one's on it's way back to Vegas (double boxed this time!), and hopefully there will be quick resolution. I don't have any reason to believe otherwise, and all is good. I'll find another maple CR at some point. Love me some maple!

-Steve

I have a Master Koa tenor CR...that is number 12-304...Jake and John built it...and it is beautiful...Rick picked the Koa and did the finish...it is one of my most well built ukes....so nice

if you can try order direct from Rick....maybe he has one almost done now.... :)

helmsify
06-23-2014, 04:57 PM
I played your uke when they had it on display about a week ago. It was a truly beautiful instrument. I am glad that the guys at the shop are trying to make it right; It seems odd that its was so dry because the shop has a constant humidity of 55%.

Gillian
06-23-2014, 06:08 PM
Oh, that is such a shame! I hope you get a satisfactory resolution.

I agree that it looks like severe dessication, which could explain why there is no label. The adhesive probably dried up and the label fell off.

HBolte
06-24-2014, 03:27 AM
One takeaway from this thread: Never, NEVER accept a delivery if the box is damaged.

hoosierhiver
06-24-2014, 03:37 AM
One takeaway from this thread: Never, NEVER accept a delivery if the box is damaged.

That's right, open it in front of the delivery guy.

Telperion
06-24-2014, 04:00 AM
One takeaway from this thread: Never, NEVER accept a delivery if the box is damaged.

Actually, this instrument was not damaged in shipping. Also, it was not delivered to my house. I picked it up at a UPS distribution hub. The box was quite rough, which I pointed out to the clerk. He made a note in the records that there was "suspected damage during transit." I only signed for it once the outward condition was documented. I got pictures of it before I left, and more photos at home. All photos were immediately sent to the dealer so that they could make a claim if necessary. However, there was no damage to anything other than the packaging in transit, so this is a non-issue. I had the uke in my possession for only a couple of hours, and it was re-packaged and shipped back to the dealer. The dealer has agreed to provide a full refund, including return shipping costs, as soon as the uke arrives back in their hands.

My complaints were:
1. That it was shipped somewhat carelessly, using a box that was re-used too many times.
2. That the uke seemed severely dehydrated, and that there were finish issues, wood shrinkage issues, and a potential bridge issue that were likely present prior to my purchasing it.

The only takeaway from this thread, in my opinion, is that there is risk with buying an instrument sight unseen. Make sure you are working with someone who stands behind their sales, and it should work out. I've had far more good transactions than bad ones over the years, but eventually, things like this are bound to happen.

I'm very happy to hear from helmsify about the RH in the shop there in Vegas. Keeping the environment at 55% humidity should prevent issues like this. Somehow, this one slipped through the cracks, and I'm not sure what/who is to blame. Bottom line is that the dealer is making good, and they have been very easy and nice to work with, and hopefully this will push improvements in their quality control.

-Steve

hawaii 50
06-24-2014, 06:58 AM
Actually, this instrument was not damaged in shipping. Also, it was not delivered to my house. I picked it up at a UPS distribution hub. The box was quite rough, which I pointed out to the clerk. He made a note in the records that there was "suspected damage during transit." I only signed for it once the outward condition was documented. I got pictures of it before I left, and more photos at home. All photos were immediately sent to the dealer so that they could make a claim if necessary. However, there was no damage to anything other than the packaging in transit, so this is a non-issue. I had the uke in my possession for only a couple of hours, and it was re-packaged and shipped back to the dealer. The dealer has agreed to provide a full refund, including return shipping costs, as soon as the uke arrives back in their hands.

My complaints were:
1. That it was shipped somewhat carelessly, using a box that was re-used too many times.
2. That the uke seemed severely dehydrated, and that there were finish issues, wood shrinkage issues, and a potential bridge issue that were likely present prior to my purchasing it.

The only takeaway from this thread, in my opinion, is that there is risk with buying an instrument sight unseen. Make sure you are working with someone who stands behind their sales, and it should work out. I've had far more good transactions than bad ones over the years, but eventually, things like this are bound to happen.

I'm very happy to hear from helmsify about the RH in the shop there in Vegas. Keeping the environment at 55% humidity should prevent issues like this. Somehow, this one slipped through the cracks, and I'm not sure what/who is to blame. Bottom line is that the dealer is making good, and they have been very easy and nice to work with, and hopefully this will push improvements in their quality control.

-Steve


Hey Steve glad to see things worked out well with the uke....

I seen a custom uke sent from Calif to Hawaii...in a cloth bag...and stuck in a used box with foam peanuts only...no box for the uke just the bag...it made it ok...but custom builders and nice shops got to do better...IMO

Rick Turner
06-27-2014, 06:11 PM
You know, it is entirely possible to email me directly on any issues re. our instruments whether you got it from a dealer, another player, or directly from us! I need to know this stuff ASAP so I can do anything possible on my end to prevent problems like this. There is, of course, nothing I can do once an instrument leaves my shop to ensure good keeping other than talking to our dealer(s).

I'm afraid that (whether or not you believe in "climate change", I'm seeing it) issues like this will only get worse in the future as we see heat spikes of 120 F. and above in desert cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, etc. There's only so much that we can do in a workshop environment to make real wood instruments withstand drastic heat and low humidity.

stevepetergal
06-29-2014, 04:35 AM
One takeaway from this thread: Never, NEVER accept a delivery if the box is damaged.

Just a tweak on this philosophy: I accept damaged packages. But I always have the delivery person document any damage (however slight) at the time of delivery. Then I photo-document opening the package.

Oh, I almost forgot, once the driver documents the damage to the package, I sick the dog on him.

FrankB
06-29-2014, 08:32 AM
I'm afraid that (whether or not you believe in "climate change", I'm seeing it) issues like this will only get worse in the future as we see heat spikes of 120 F. and above in desert cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, etc. There's only so much that we can do in a workshop environment to make real wood instruments withstand drastic heat and low humidity.

This is the climate change we're dealing with in Pennsylvania! (taken yesterday). The humidity must have been low, because it didn't feel that hot. :D
68353

I had a guitar shipped overnight this past Friday. Yesterday morning, its delivery date was changed from Saturday to Tuesday. I freaked, because it's supposed to be in the 90's the next few days. The status was changed an hour later, back to overnight, and it arrived in a warm box. The temp was only in the upper 70's, and it was in a tank of a case, so it was fine. Even overnight won't guarantee a cool cucumber.....

OldePhart
06-29-2014, 12:36 PM
This is the climate change we're dealing with in Pennsylvania! (taken yesterday). The humidity must have been low, because it didn't feel that hot. :D
68353


Hey...global warming really is real...there is the proof...I wonder if Al Gore would be interested... LOL

John