NUD Disappointment

necessaryrooster

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Finally managed to get my hands on a Koaloha 25th anniversary edition uke. Ordered from a well-known dealer. Didn't rush setup, so it took a few weeks to get here and it arrived yesterday.

When I pulled the uke out of the case, I immediately noticed dings all up and down the fretboard at the ends of the frets, presumably from someone not being careful when leveling the frets. I refuse to believe it left the Koaloha factory in that condition. There was also a small but thick scratch just below the bridge, and some kind of sticky/greasy residue in random patches on all the strings. Also, the G and C string were weirdly scuffed/scratched just below the tuning pegs.

I took pictures of all the damage and sent them to the dealer and waiting to hear back. I don't think I want to return the uke, but I asked for a set of replacement strings and a partial refund, which I feel is more than fair on a $1300 instrument that was not advertised as a factory special or blem. Haven't heard back yet, but I did email after business hours.

If I don't receive satisfaction from the dealer I'll call Koaloha and let them know. I don't understand how a dealer selling thousand dollar instruments doesn't want to inspect them before they go to the hands of the customer. Very disappointed. Needless to say I will not be ordering from that dealer again, even if they make it right.

String gunk 2 fretboard.jpgFretboard 1.jpgSaddle Scratch1.jpgSaddle Scratch 2.jpgFretboard and strings.jpg
 

necessaryrooster

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It was "on sale" when I bought it but definitely not advertised as used or as having any kind of blemish or marks. Looking back at the dealer photos closely, I *think* I might be able to see that little scratch below the bridge -- but definitely not the fretboard damage.
 

Three Tenors

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Sorry to hear this - clearly unacceptable. I'm sure that it didn't leave the KoAloha factory that way. I bought a KTM-25 FS (Factory Special) from HMS (they do great setups) about a year ago, and it took me a few minutes of meticulous visual inspection to find the so called blemish, which is completely irrelevant - I doubt most people can identify it in this picture:
My KTM-25FS.jpg
 

necessaryrooster

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Sorry to hear this - clearly unacceptable. I'm sure that it didn't leave the KoAloha factory that way. I bought a KTM-25 FS (Factory Special) from HMS (they do great setups) about a year ago, and it took me a few minutes of meticulous visual inspection to find the so called blemish, which is completely irrelevant - I doubt most people can identify it in this picture

You're right; I have no idea what you've circled there :smileybounce:
 

Three Tenors

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Ha - there's very slight evidence of a single minor finishing tool slip where the top and side join!
 

Veritas99

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Ugh, the sides of the fretboard look horrible. My new KTM-25 came restrung with a wound low G, which was not original. There was a tiny scratch from when the string was changed, but otherwise it was immaculate. Hopefully you can get the resolution you want. It seems like a big batch of them hit dealers recently, so if you wanted to return it, now is probably your best chance to replace it with a truly new version.
 
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Contrails

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I have had the chance to play a few of these silvers at my local shop some time ago. They had 2 batches of them. Altogether I played 4 tenors and 3 concerts. 2 - 3 of them had cosmetic flaws that went unnoticed. On the fretboard where they inlay the abalone fret markers, if u look at it at an angle against the light some of them have quite bad scratch marks around them. I showed it to the shop assistant and he was very surprise too. I didn’t noticed any other flaws on the other parts of the ukes. I am not sure if it were rushed during the pandemic last year. I also noticed that a lot of the 2 piece heel have very distinct difference in wood colour. Not sure if this is deliberate or not. But I don’t like it personally. Koaloha warranty is trustworthy. I am sure they will make things right.
 

rainbow21

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What a disappointment. Hopefully you will get a satisfactory resolution, although just sending it back may be the option to consider first.

I would actually phone the shop today. My experience is that many sellers are not great with email and yours can be dropped or not reach the correct person in a timely fashion. Good luck with this.
 

rafter

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I have had the chance to play a few of these silvers at my local shop some time ago. They had 2 batches of them. Altogether I played 4 tenors and 3 concerts. 2 - 3 of them had cosmetic flaws that went unnoticed. On the fretboard where they inlay the abalone fret markers, if u look at it at an angle against the light some of them have quite bad scratch marks around them. I showed it to the shop assistant and he was very surprise too. I didn’t noticed any other flaws on the other parts of the ukes. I am not sure if it were rushed during the pandemic last year. I also noticed that a lot of the 2 piece heel have very distinct difference in wood colour. Not sure if this is deliberate or not. But I don’t like it personally. Koaloha warranty is trustworthy. I am sure they will make things right.


This. I love KoAlohas, but it feels like they got lazy or just didn't care about matching the heel with the rest of the neck, which isn't huge, but is a little annoying. Especially on anything north of $1000.

On the other hand, I wasn't quite sure, but it seems like their concerts and sopranos have one piece necks.
 

Arik

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Wow. ya this is totally disappointing. That fretboard looks like it took some battle damage. I have seen factory seconds ukes from koaloha and they look mint. Most of the time they have a minuscule ding somewhere so it doesn't pass QC.

Sorry you had to go through this. The KTM is a beast of a uke though. Hopefully the dealer can give you some closure.
 
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johnson430

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Oh, my!
Those fretboard edges looks bad. It appears as those are tooling marks from fret leveling, but I have never seen so many in a row. I could believe one notch but not that many.
Also, the scratch below the bridge could have come from a sting cutting tool/snips. But it is unacceptable on a brand new Koaloha.

Really sorry to see this. I hope you get some compensation.

I owned a Koaloha Pineapple Soprano back in 2016 and it was one of the most beautiful and well-made ukes I have ever played.
 

eternal tinkerer

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I went on a huge Koaloha binge last year before finding the couple that I am keeping indefinitely. The fretboards on all of them, however, were immaculate and unlike the one shown in the pictures. I hope you find an acceptable resolution without much fuss.
 

Rllink

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Well known dealer? Are we talking an online store or a brick and mortar store that sells online? Brick and mortar stores will put an instrument like that in their special room for fancy instruments and people will come in all day long, get it down, play it and put it back. Walk into any Guitar Center and all those guys and gals sitting around playing, those are new instruments. Eventually, if someone doesn't buy it first, it goes in a box and gets shipped to a buyer. Not saying that is the case here, but that is exactly what happened to me on a purchase last year during the pandemic.
 

Kenn2018

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Yikes! Those fretboards are terrible! It's looks like the dealer gave the job to a brand new person just learning how to dress the fret ends. (Which are pretty inconsistent as well.) Or someone tried it at home, mucked up the job, and sent the uke back.

That instrument should go back to the dealer. And you should receive a pristine replacement. No excuses.
 

Cadia

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I wouldn't accept the uke that way. What a shame. My KTM-00 is pristine. It wasn't Uke Like the Pros, was it?
 

Joyful Uke

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IA that I wouldn't accept the ukulele, if sold as new, in that condition.
At that price point, the dealer should not want you to have a damaged ukulele.

I hope you'll love the ukulele and never consider selling it, but if you do decide to sell at some point, you'll lose even more money on the resale because of the flaws.

But you know best what is acceptable to you, and I hope that you get a good resolution and that either this ukulele or a replacement ukulele brings you happiness.
 

Nickie

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This I would expect on a used instrument, a VERY used instrument.
I'm not picky about looks, I'd ask them for half my money back, if the uke sounds good. If they say no, I'd send it back for ALL my money back, and shop elsewhere.
 

merlin666

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I can't even imagine what happened to the fretboard binding. I think this is now the second report within few weeks of a KoAloha that may have been mangled by dealer set up. I just don't understand why one would want some tech to work on a brand new high end uke that can be expected to be optimized from the factory. The only way to buy such a uke is to ask the dealer to send it in an unopened and pristine factory box!