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Thread: Updated Bruce Wei Consensus?

  1. #21
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    Late to this discussion, but for what it's worth, I bought a Bruce Wei solid acacia off of ebay a couple of years ago. When I got it, it was a beautiful looking little thing, with the Hawaiian islands as the soundhole. The wood was so nicely grained and the color was exquisite.

    But ...

    The quality was so horrible. Glue drops at the base of the neck and at the edge of the soundboard. The soundhole wasn't fully sanded. The finish on the body was uneven. Worst of all, when I started to tighten the strings to tune the instrument the entire bridge popped off. The base was still glued, but the bridge itself was sheared about a millimeter from the base.

    Maybe I was the exception that proved the rule, but it reinforced the old saying about things being too good to be true.

  2. #22
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    Sep 2013
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    A couple of years ago was when Bruce was at the end of dropping other builders selling through his eBay store. Those usually cost under $200 or started low in auction.


    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 9 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 34)

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by PoiDog View Post
    Late to this discussion, but for what it's worth, I bought a Bruce Wei solid acacia off of ebay a couple of years ago. When I got it, it was a beautiful looking little thing, with the Hawaiian islands as the soundhole. The wood was so nicely grained and the color was exquisite.

    But ...

    The quality was so horrible. Glue drops at the base of the neck and at the edge of the soundboard. The soundhole wasn't fully sanded. The finish on the body was uneven. Worst of all, when I started to tighten the strings to tune the instrument the entire bridge popped off. The base was still glued, but the bridge itself was sheared about a millimeter from the base.

    Maybe I was the exception that proved the rule, but it reinforced the old saying about things being too good to be true.
    Wow, I guess I dodged a bullet. I won auction for that exact one recently but then figured I just couldn't justify another uke at my playing level. I immediately tried to retract bid and even though he grumbled a little at least he let me back out and refunded payment.
    Sorry you didn't like the uke. I thought it was beautiful too.
    I'm putting the money to lessons. If I can find anyone...

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    705

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain-janeway View Post
    Wow, I guess I dodged a bullet. I won auction for that exact one recently but then figured I just couldn't justify another uke at my playing level. I immediately tried to retract bid and even though he grumbled a little at least he let me back out and refunded payment.
    Sorry you didn't like the uke. I thought it was beautiful too.
    I'm putting the money to lessons. If I can find anyone...
    He has nice ukes, but I'm convinced that the cheap ones he auctions are the sub par ones. I also believe, though I don't know, that he has a team of builders working on his ukes with him. One person couldn't produce that many ukes. The higher priced ones, though not a complete bargain, are the better ones. He does accept returns and you are covered for return shipping by paypal, if you do ever decide to take the plunge. My son adores his.

  5. #25
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    Jul 2014
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    Briarcliff, TX - Fabulous Hill Country home to Willie Nelson, and me!
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    I have five of them. Worth every penny. Not fabulous instruments, but good. I had one arrive needing a fret lowered to stop a buzz. I had one arrive needing a complete setup, the nut was way high, and the saddle was low. Until Bruce gets his QC and setups straightened out, I wouldn't recommend his instruments for beginners. But if you're a seasoned player, and aren't afraid of using a fret file or replacing a nut, you can get a very nice instrument for the money. And, where else can you get such wild inlays? I love that part.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  6. #26
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    Jun 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by hollymichele View Post
    Obviously the Bruce Wei instruments are gorgeous. What's the quality of build and sound like? Do they come already setup? Are they packaged well for international shipping?

    I've read past reviews on here that were mixed, but it seems like the quality control may have gotten better in the past few years. So I'm just trying to get an updated feel for what the current line of ukes for sale are like. Thanks for your opinion!
    I bought a soprano uke from him albeit 8 years ago now, it was a solidly made instrument, but the sound and sustain was not good, the sound board was quite thick, I cant say how good they are now because that was the only one I've ever owned
    SOPRANO Kala Solid Mahogany SMHS, KoAloha Pikkake,

    CONCERT Kala Flamed Maple FMC, Honu Solid Hawaiian Mango,

    TENOR Kala Jazz Top, Mainland Red Cedar, Pete Howlett Cherry Marmite, Mahon Custom Cedar Top Solid Wood Electro Acoustic

    BARITONE Lani LB-55CEQ Solid Spruce Top


    Facebook page:- https://www.facebook.com/#!/richard.gent2

  7. #27
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    Feb 2012
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    MN metro area
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    Check out the videos on YouTube for Bruce Wei uke sound samples. Has anyone found more than one or two that sounded nice? When I was considering one, I listened to all the videos I could find. I think the best I found were just adequate. The majority were sub par to my ear. I was pretty confident I'd get a nice looking uke if I were to buy one but I wasn't confident I'd get a nice sounding one.
    Money can't buy happiness but it can buy a uke which is basically the same thing.

    Ukes are a lot like potato chips. It's hard to stop with just one!

  8. #28
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    Jan 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelz777 View Post
    Check out the videos on YouTube for Bruce Wei uke sound samples. Has anyone found more than one or two that sounded nice? When I was considering one, I listened to all the videos I could find. I think the best I found were just adequate. The majority were sub par to my ear. I was pretty confident I'd get a nice looking uke if I were to buy one but I wasn't confident I'd get a nice sounding one.
    I admit that I have real trouble discerning sound quality from samples on Youtube. I'm a bit of a Bruce Wei agnostic myself, but I'd be interested to hear about whether you thought my Bruce Wei guitalele sounds alright. No pressure to say it sounds good. I got it ultra cheap second-hand, with no expectations about quality. It was mostly to see if I could handle the extra strings.


  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by robinboyd View Post
    I admit that I have real trouble discerning sound quality from samples on Youtube. I'm a bit of a Bruce Wei agnostic myself, but I'd be interested to hear about whether you thought my Bruce Wei guitalele sounds alright. No pressure to say it sounds good. I got it ultra cheap second-hand, with no expectations about quality. It was mostly to see if I could handle the extra strings.
    You make a good point about discerning sound quality on YouTube videos and that might have played a part in my impressions. There are a lot of Wei fans here so there must be more nice sounding BW ukes than what I was finding in the videos. As far as your guitalele goes, I agree with Bill 1, it sounds like a keeper from what I could hear. I'm hearing sustain in the plucked notes and they didn't sound off, dull or muddy like I heard from other ukes in many of the videos. If I knew that the uke I wanted had a sound quality like yours I'd probably be a Bruce Wei owner.

    When I was seriously considering a Bruce Wei I really wanted it to work out. I contacted him with what I wanted and he responded very promptly with a quote which all told would have landed in at around $400. I would have been willing to get on board at that price so I started listening to every Bruce Wei ukulele video I could find. I was a good audience, I really wanted to like what I heard and I really wanted to make this deal work. I just couldn't do it. I think I would be very generous to say that only about 20% of what I heard would have been acceptable and even many of those would have been kind of disappointing compared to what I already had. I didn't like those odds, especially when I would have been spending $400. Would my uke have landed in that 20%- acceptable range? When I looked at what I could get for $400 from brands with a much more reliable sound I knew I couldn't go through with the deal no matter how badly I wanted a uke that looked like what I wanted to have built.
    Money can't buy happiness but it can buy a uke which is basically the same thing.

    Ukes are a lot like potato chips. It's hard to stop with just one!

  10. #30
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    As a long time Bruce Wei user, I would not rely on video online for sound quality, especially if you're considering one of his custom ukes. As I said in earlier posts, I have 4 custom made from him and they all sound good, one with a solid curly maple top at first had limited sustain, but over the years has opened up. I also have one ready made that sounds good. I'll say again, I think he does good work.


    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 11 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 35)

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

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