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Thread: Bridge problems with Ohana ukes?

  1. #1
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    Mar 2018
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    Default Bridge problems with Ohana ukes?

    I am a guitar tech/luthier, and within the last couple of days these two tenor Ohana ukes came in (different customers), both with detached bridges. Several months ago I repaired another with the same issue. So I'm wondering if this is an issue with Ohana ukes... They seem well constructed, both solid cedar tops, and the break tore out wood.. In other words, the glue bond didn't fail, the wood did. In both cases the tear-out is thinner in the back and thicker toward the front. So the grain run-out seems to be at that angle, which would make failure more likely. Anyone have experience, good or bad, with Ohana ukes?

    In both cases, the instruments are still under warranty, and they would have been repaired or replaced by Ohana, but the owners didn't want to wait for who knows how long when I can fix them in a couple of days for not a lot more than the cost of shipping.

    Attachment 107001

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormin1155 View Post
    I am a guitar tech/luthier, and within the last couple of days these two tenor Ohana ukes came in (different customers), both with detached bridges. Several months ago I repaired another with the same issue. So I'm wondering if this is an issue with Ohana ukes... They seem well constructed, both solid cedar tops, and the break tore out wood.. In other words, the glue bond didn't fail, the wood did. In both cases the tear-out is thinner in the back and thicker toward the front. So the grain run-out seems to be at that angle, which would make failure more likely. Anyone have experience, good or bad, with Ohana ukes?

    In both cases, the instruments are still under warranty, and they would have been repaired or replaced by Ohana, but the owners didn't want to wait for who knows how long when I can fix them in a couple of days for not a lot more than the cost of shipping.

    Attachment 107001
    Your photo does not show for me.

    Also, you are likely to get a better response with more luthier-useful answers if you post this question over in the luthiers section of UU, here:

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...thier-s-Lounge
    This FAQ link will help you learn about:
    - Magic Fluke Company ukes
    - Pickups, Preamps and Impedance Mismatch
    - Home Recording and Mics
    - String Upgrades
    - iPad Microphones
    - Wolfelele Uke Kit
    - How to string a Baritone uke as a piccolo bass
    - Strings I used for GDAE and CGDA fifths tunings

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booli View Post
    Your photo does not show for me.

    Also, you are likely to get a better response with more luthier-useful answers if you post this question over in the luthiers section of UU, here:

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...thier-s-Lounge

    Sorry about the picture... it just shows two near identical ukes with the bridges off.

    I'm not really looking for luthier advice... I know how to fix them. I'm curious if others have had bridge problems with Ohana ukes... so more directed to owners. Since 81 folks have read the post, and nobody has responded, I guess not...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormin1155 View Post
    Sorry about the picture... it just shows two near identical ukes with the bridges off.

    I'm not really looking for luthier advice... I know how to fix them. I'm curious if others have had bridge problems with Ohana ukes... so more directed to owners. Since 81 folks have read the post, and nobody has responded, I guess not...
    Thanks for the reply.

    In 4 yrs being a member here on UU, I do not recall any such problems like this with Ohana ukes.

    It could be that this issue is either very recent in Ohana's production, or just very marginalized, and those effected are not UU members.

    Also, there are lots of folks who likely are not online on this Friday (here in USA) and there currently is a massive blizzard ravaging the entire northern East Coast of the USA will lots of power outages which also means no internet access.

    So right now, the lack of replies could just be a coincidence with folks put out by Mother Nature from this part of the USA, but not sure about the absence of replies from elsewhere, since UU has a global membership.
    This FAQ link will help you learn about:
    - Magic Fluke Company ukes
    - Pickups, Preamps and Impedance Mismatch
    - Home Recording and Mics
    - String Upgrades
    - iPad Microphones
    - Wolfelele Uke Kit
    - How to string a Baritone uke as a piccolo bass
    - Strings I used for GDAE and CGDA fifths tunings

  5. #5
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    If you're really curious you could contact Mim's Ukes who sells more Ohana ukes than anyone. If there was a rash of problems recently she probably would have heard of it.

    And FWIW, I wouldn't read anything into thread view counts, positive or negative.
    Current Stable:
    -Ohana TKS-15E - Eb cuatro
    -Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    -Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
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    -Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    -Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    -Imua iET-Bb, M600
    -Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    -Rogue bari
    -Bonanza super tenor, FBL cFAD
    Once upon a time:
    -RISA Concert Stick
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    -Bruko bari
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    Jim's Blog

  6. #6
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    A lot of people I know have Ohanas and I've never heard of any problems with them whatsoever. Jim has good advice, contact Mimsukes.com...
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins | Fender Piha'eu - Worth Browns | Lanikai banjolele - Worth Browns
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Ohana CK-35-8 - Living Water | Kala KA-ACP-CT - Living Water, low G
    UBass: Kala Exotic Mahogany - Road Toad Pahoehoe

  7. #7
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    I agree with Jim Hanks suggestion if possible to get an opinion from a respectable dealer.

    Of course with customers these days getting the message that everything needs be replaced from electric stuff, people might not even easy complain and just get a new one with ukes too. So they might not know much either, unless some more expensive higher end model in question.

    I have been strumming my Kala concert uke, knowing it can be replaced, quite different from say my guitar that is 40+ years old. These stories of how long people's ukes have lasted are quite interesting to hear. Please all post more of these experiences when some failure has happened to you, or if only the bridge has shifted to a bad intonation.

  8. #8
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    Just about to get a cedar top uke made for me, advice from the luthier "With cedar I would use a through-the-bridge stringing arrangement since cedar is very soft and cannot take as much shear stress as other woods."

  9. #9
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    I've had 3 Ohana solid mahogany ukes for about 6 months & have had no problem whatsoever with them.

    It does sound like damage caused by excessive string tension, from what I've read, so maybe the fact that they didn't want to claim under warranty means that they know it was their own fault.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  10. #10
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    My experience has been that if the top is cedar, and the runout of the wood is poor, the bridge failure is more likely. I have seen this in classical guitars over the years, mostly with imports. Also, since a tenor uke has more string pressure and tension, failure is likely with a tie block type of bridge.

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