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Steve in Kent
08-18-2014, 12:23 AM
Does adding strap buttons to a ukulele devalue it in any way, aesthetically or monetary?

Just asking because I have just bought a Pono MCD and want to add a couple of small mandolin buttons, but I do not want to spoil it in any way.

PhilUSAFRet
08-18-2014, 12:33 AM
If it were a valuable vintage or a high value model, probably, but I don't think it would devalue your Pono to any noticeable degree. I have an MCD-E myself, and if I liked straps, I wouldn't hesitate to install strap buttons on it. Just my opinion though.

DownUpDave
08-18-2014, 12:50 AM
As we use to say to guys on the construction site"Is that a leaning on shovel or a digging shovel". If you are going to play it and need a strap to do so, put the buttons on it. I bought my Pete Howlett used knowing it had a hole in the bottom from a strap button and that did ot even come into the equation of whether I would buy it or not. Some might like the fact it has a button.

coolkayaker1
08-18-2014, 02:55 AM
Steve In Kent, there was a thread, and the title was "Strap Buttons", specifically, on UU in late 2012 or early 2013, I think. I tried to find it for you, but the Advanced Search on UU is down. Anyhow, it had many opinions and, as one that prefers strap buttons myself, I was startled at the number of respondents who did not like strap buttons, some of which said that it did, in fact, devalue the instrument in their mind. At least one respected UU member said that they would not buy a ukulele with a strap button in resale.

So, it's an important question that you consider. Frankly, I see it as somewhat like an in-ground swimming pool in the backyard in the northern US, or in England. Some will love it, preferring a house with the pool over other homes; some will loathe it, perhaps not even buying it because of the pool. Most will be in the "meh", whatever, category.

I, too, tried to minimize the impact of full-sized strap buttons by using smaller mandolin size buttons on one ukulele. They do not fit most commercially-available straps (buttons too small), too much risk of ukulele falling off the buttons, so I never used mando-sized small buttons on any other ukulele, optiing instread for full-sized buttons, such as those used by most luthiers and builders (e.g. Mya Moe). But, your experience may vary, Steve.

Shorebird
08-18-2014, 03:04 AM
i added strap buttons to my Pono, my Martin and my Kala. I don't think it will hurt the value.

Steve in Kent
08-18-2014, 03:28 AM
Thank you for all the replies.

Looks like strap buttons then, (full size? - what do those mandolin players use??), as I really don't like the look of those leash things.

actadh
08-18-2014, 03:51 AM
I just ordered a KoAloha Opio soprano from HMS. Adding strap buttons was a specific option on the information page, which I had not seen as an option on the more entry level Luna concert that I had ordered from them earlier this year.

So, if it is good enough for HMS to recommend, that was good enough for me -even though I was going to do it anyway as I find playing a soprano to be a bit more awkward (for me) than playing a concert size.

thenewb
08-18-2014, 03:58 AM
Thank you for all the replies.

Looks like strap buttons then, (full size? - what do those mandolin players use??), as I really don't like the look of those leash things.

Haven't seen a mandolin for awhile but pretty sure those strap buttons are a bit smaller than the guitar. There's usually a button at the bottom.
Some mandolin players install a strap button at the neck. Usually done on A-style mandolins. Guitar have them too. Not sure if it's necessary on a uke.

If you are taking about mandolin strap, there's plenty of good ones. Personally I prefer long hollow softy.

Jon Moody
08-18-2014, 04:06 AM
As long as the buttons are installed with the consideration of instrument balance and you take your time doing it, I see no reason why it would be an issue of value, especially since some of the ukuleles now have strap buttons as options.

With a highly collectible, vintage ukulele there would be a devaluing aspect associated with it, but we're not talking about putting strap buttons on a mid 30s Martin.

UkeKnowDamnRight
08-18-2014, 04:14 AM
I like to have strap buttons on all the ukes I play. One way to be thoughtful about it is to make sure you select buttons that look the most seamless with the design of your uke, matching the material/look of the buttons to the tuners. For my Ohana CK-350G, brass buttons (added by Mim during setup) went fine with the tuners. For a very pretty walnut Ono with (black) Pegheds, I opted to order some nice ebony buttons online (recommended by David, maker of that uke) and got them installed at my local shop. I was really pleased with how they turned out--they look very natural on the uke and don't stand out as, "Oh my God, you added BUTTONS!" Ultimately, as some others have mentioned, I buy ukes to play them and strap buttons are a must for me. There are some nice options available online if you want something fancier than what your local shop may stock.

tbeltrans
08-18-2014, 04:51 AM
You might want to consider whether you will ever want to amplify your ukulele, if it doesn't have a pickup already. Many pickups will require an end pin to be installed on your ukulele. Then, all you need for using a strap is to attach it to the end pin and use a shoe lace to tie it right behind the nut on the peg head. I had that done to my Kamaka and it works great. My tenor ukulele came from the factory with such a setup already installed. I use the Levi 1/2" leather strap on each ukulele and these roll up really nicely in the case by simply removing the strap end from the end pin, leaving the shoe lace tied behind the nut and rolling up the strap and placing it under the peg head in the case. If the strap fits under the peg head without forcing it to lift from its normal position in the case, then that method will work for you. You would always have the strap with your ukulele and be able to easily attach and remove it with minimum hassle, as well as having the pickup to amplify it and without having to add a strap pin where the neck meets the body.

I would think the situation I described about storing the strap in the case would apply to a hard shell case, but a soft case (what guitarists call a "gig bag"), would have no problem fitting the strap while it remains attached to the ukulele. Also, you will want to cut the strap slot a bit wider on the end the goes on the end pin so it fits a bit looser. I didn't do that initially and the end pin eventually came loose causing all manner of hassle getting it right again since my ukulele is too small to fit my hand inside.

Tony

stevepetergal
08-18-2014, 05:09 AM
Does adding strap buttons to a ukulele devalue it in any way, aesthetically or monetary?

No, but dropping it because you didn't use a strap does.

janeray1940
08-18-2014, 05:33 AM
I add strap buttons to all of my ukes. I've re-sold several second-hand K-brands and in each case made a small profit when asking market value, so my conclusion would be that it has no impact on resale value.

dirtiestkidever
08-18-2014, 05:40 AM
I prefer ukes without strap buttons so I am less likely to buy one if it has one (but its not a deal breaker at all). But for others I am sure it actually increases the likelihood that they would purchase it. It's probably a wash. I'd just go ahead and do it if you want them.

coolkayaker1
08-18-2014, 05:41 AM
With a highly collectible, vintage ukulele there would be a devaluing aspect associated with it, but we're not talking about putting strap buttons on a mid 30s Martin.

This is a great point. I would be much, much less likely to spring for a vintage ukulele if it had installed strap buttons. When I see an advertisement for such an instrument, I say, "Why, oh, why?" So, yes, in fact, strap buttons can devalue some instruments.

coolkayaker1
08-18-2014, 05:43 AM
I prefer ukes without strap buttons so I am less likely to buy one if it has one (but its not a deal breaker at all).

If the UU Advanced Search worked, I could link the "Strap Button" long thread and there were many that felt as you do, dirt: strap buttons devalued the uke in their purchasing mind. I was astonished at how frequent was this sentiment.

kypfer
08-18-2014, 05:53 AM
Just for reference, and as the O.P. is in the UK, I've bought several http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Quality-small-guitar-or-mandolin-strap-pin-button-in-chrome-black-or-gold-/390535110286?pt=UK_Guitar_Accessories&var=&hash=item5aedb4de8e#ht_2193wt_722 for my ukuleles and mandolin and have been totally satisfied. Yes they are small, 10mm as opposed to the 15mm (approx.) of a guitar button, so a strap for a guitar would possibly not be suitable. Mandolin straps are available, I've found http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Levys-M19C-BLK-Cotton-Mandolin-Strap-in-Black-/161363919213?pt=UK_Guitar_Accessories&hash=item25920a016d#ht_1743wt_966 to be eminently suitable, but most of my instruments are fitted with a simple length of decorative cord, as used for curtain ties or similar, with a loop at one end (spliced if you're fussy) for the button and a bootlace at the other tied between the machine heads.

This isn't a commercial plug, I've no association with the vendors other than having bought the products shown ... I'm not even sure they are the same vendors I dealt with, but the products are good :)

strumsilly
08-18-2014, 05:55 AM
It's your uke, do what you want to make playing more enjoyable. I wouldn't put one on a soprano or concert, but I think they make a tenor or baritone, or a heavy banjolele easier to play. like others have said, it will probably hurt the resale on a "collectable", others, not so much.

Steveperrywriter
08-18-2014, 06:29 AM
Looking for stuff here? Somebody (sorry, I disremember who) built a Google search engine for UU you can try:

https://www.google.co.uk/cse/home?cx=006086160372685481724:y43bmh-bwgc

RichM
08-18-2014, 06:36 AM
It's your uke, do what you want to make playing more enjoyable.

Bingo. Nothing devalues an instrument more than not playing it because you're not comfortable.

PhilUSAFRet
08-18-2014, 06:37 AM
Even among "full sized" strap buttons, there are smaller sized ones. If there's concert, querry the dimensions if not provided.

kohanmike
08-18-2014, 07:01 AM
I have only tenor ukes and put 2 strap buttons myself on all of them, they match the hardware; gold, silver, black accordingly. I've used some "Fender" style, and also a slightly smaller more barrel shaped style.

mds725
08-18-2014, 08:19 AM
I hope strap buttons don't devalue ukuleles. I added a strap button to my Moore Bettah - it was installed by a luthier and I chose one that tastefully reflects the hardware of the tuning machines. I thought what devalued the ukulele, for me anyway, was my not being able to play it comfortably because I couldn't put a strap on it.

RichM
08-18-2014, 08:31 AM
I hope strap buttons don't devalue ukuleles. I added a strap button to my Moore Bettah - it was installed by a luthier and I chose one that tastefully reflects the hardware of the tuning machines. I thought what devalued the ukulele, for me anyway, was my not being able to play it comfortably because I couldn't put a strap on it.

Yeah, that Moore Bettah is now worthless. I'll take it off your hands for ten bucks.

dkcrown
08-18-2014, 08:35 AM
If I were looking to buy a second hand uke, I would prefer that it didn't have a strap button installed on it. I wouldn't say that it would be a deal breaker, but if there were two similar ukes with all things being equal, I would opt for the one without a strap button.

Icelander53
08-18-2014, 09:24 AM
I order all my ukes (own two Pono's) with strap buttons. I gotta have em. It's a plus to have them installed when I'm buying imo. Some won't like it of course. HMS installs mine when I order for only $9 for both. Gotta love it. My uke feels safer when it's strapped to me also. Or maybe I feel safer lol.

ubulele
08-18-2014, 09:46 AM
A big plus on my first, lightly used uke was that it came with a strap installed. In fact, although it's the lowest-end of all my ukes (still a nice player, though), I'm not fixing to sell it because it's the only one of my baritiones yet fitted with a strap. And consequently, it still gets pulled out and played—it's resting next to me as I type this.

Look at it this way: Would you have that hard of a time selling the uke with strap buttons? Even if you take a loss, will it have been worth it to play the uke comfortably and not risk dropping it? Will you like the look of the uke with the strap? Will the strap match your floral shirts (de rigeur when performing with an 'ukulele)?

One consideration: some players like to connect the strap to the headstock, others to the base of the neck. Players disagree where to position the button at the neck base. Some players dislike running into a strap button when they play high on the neck. For your personal use, do you need a button on the neck, or can you happily get by tying the strap to the headstock?

Rick Turner
08-18-2014, 11:25 AM
When I set up my luthierie bench at festivals like Wine Country or the Asilomar Uke Retreat, a good 75% of my work is putting on strap buttons. I really can hardly believe that all ukes do not come with them as stock. I personally do not use a strap, but that's me. It's so much easier for most folks to play with a strap. As to affecting value...is your uke an object to admire or a musical instrument? I can't see how it would matter one bit on any uke that wasn't very vintage or worth well over a grand to begin with. Every uke we make comes with a strap button at the end block, and I've never had a client or dealer ask that we not put one in. And if they did, I'd say "sorry, it's going in"...because the end pin hole is our access to the bolts we use to attach the neck.

janeray1940
08-18-2014, 01:42 PM
A strap button will affect the re-sale value. When you are re-selling your ukulele, the buyer wants to pay as little as possible and any talking down point will do, including the strap pin myth. If you let them, buyers will get you to lower the price because your uke is solid koa instead of zebrawood, selling anything is hard work and requires perseverence and focus on the price you want.

Then I've been very lucky selling my strap-buttoned koa ukes here! Nobody has ever tried to talk me down for either reason. I've gotten my share of "I really love this uke but can't afford it, would you take x-amount?" inquiries - at least those are honest :)

Dan Uke
08-18-2014, 02:04 PM
dang I'm in trouble cuz I got pickups in all my ukes!!

wickedwahine11
08-18-2014, 02:44 PM
A strap button would definitely not be a deterrent for me. In fact, on a custom ukulele I would request one. All of my ukes have pickups - so a strap button would be a nice addition on the other end of the uke, permitting me to use a regular strap.

Icelander53
08-18-2014, 03:05 PM
It's a mystery to me too. It almost seems like breaking a commandment to put them on. Yet it seems most people who've responded like them???

Down Up Dick
08-18-2014, 03:32 PM
I pick all my instruments very carefully and don't plan on selling any of them. I buy them for me and not for the next guy. I have buttons on my baritone, and I tie the strap on my Banjolele. Mostly I play seated though. ;)

Steve in Kent
08-29-2014, 12:14 AM
I have now added buttons to both my ukuleles using small buttons and a nice 40mm strap.

I find it a lot easier to play with the strap fitted and I also find that I am sitting up straight instead of crouching over.

Sitting properly not only helps my poor aged back, but also makes me try to get the chords right without looking at the fretboard.

So all in all I am a very happy bunny.