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Thread: UKE Republic

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,222

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    I have purchased two ukes from the Republic: A Pono ATD and a Ko'Aloha KTM-00. Both arrived very quickly (less than 10 days)) and were both well set up.

    I have also purchased a lot of Living Waters tenor strings form him. They usually arrive in less than a week.

    Sorry you had a bad experience Allen S.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1,489

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    Quote Originally Posted by AQUATOPAZ View Post
    I do have 2 qualms about their website. The first is that models always seem to "coming soon", and the second is that, unlike Mim, laminates are listed as the species of wood, with no mention of them being laminates. Yes, we all know that only solid means not laminated, but not everyone does. A buyer should never be surprised by receiving a laminate when they don't now how they are labeled.
    I would agree with this. There was a hard to find uke I really wanted that was "coming soon". Mike was very nice and communicative the whole time but "coming soon" turned into more than 9 months. I gave up when I finally found the uke from another vendor. My thought is that if a uke is not in stock, it shouldn't be listed for sale. At the very least, if you are going to list something as "coming soon" you should be certain that it will be in stock in 1-3 weeks. That wasn't the only time I was interested in a "coming soon" uke from their site. The laminate listing thing is something multiple dealers are guilty of so it's not unique to Uke Republic. I'd list a 3rd qualm which may just be a personal thing but I don't like the scattered way the ukes are shown and how you have to scroll down the page to the blank space wondering if any more listings are going to show up or not.

    On the good side, I did order a uke that was actually in stock and the communication was great, it was shipped very quickly and it was set up very nicely. I couldn't have been happier with the whole experience. I'd order from them again if I was in the hunt and they had what I wanted in stock.
    Ohana CK-42R - all-solid concert, sinker redwood top, rosewood body, maple binding, Ltd. Edition
    Kala KA-FMCG- solid/lam concert, spruce top, spalted flame maple body, mahogany binding
    Ohana CK-120G - all-solid concert, 5A acacia top sides and back, mahogany binding, Limited Edition
    Ohana SK-30M - all-solid mahogany long neck soprano (concert scale)
    Romero ST - solid/lam concert, spruce top, mahogany body

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
    Posts
    2,055

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    I think my tendency is to praise in a public forum, and to offer criticism directly to the individual/company. To date, I have purchased a few things from all of the big vendors, and am waiting on the Hydra to show up from Ortega at Uke Republic (Ortega pulled most of if not all of the first batch due to quality control issues). I feel bad about the couple of bad experiences that others have had--it's been nothing but good for me.

    But herein lies the fact that we are blessed to have a few good ukulele-only companies, including Uke Republic, Mim's Ukes, and The Ukulele Site (not to mention Southern Ukulele Store in the UK). At the same time, there have been a few public complaints about each of these stores here on UU. I would guess that each of these companies just have to do their best and accept that they aren't going to make everyone happy all the time, even if they offer a customer their money back.

    And in the light of the current thread, I agree that Uke Republic's website (particularly the storefront) could benefit from a redesign, and that the clear leader in that aspect is The Ukulele Site...but you wouldn't want to (and probably couldn't...there's just too much content) copy that site, either. When I search for a ukulele, I want to be able to search by company, scale, wood construction, and cost. Uke Republic's seemingly never ending flow as I scroll down just isn't a very efficient way for me to search for a ukulele. To be fair, searching by brand on Uke Republic is fine most of the time (except for Kala, which has 18,000 models), but it could be better--in my opinion.
    My ukulele blog: http://ukestuff.info

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  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,172

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    My experience echoes Choirboy's. I've purchased ukes from many of the major online sellers. The majority have been excellent, with a few duds. The duds were all returned with no hassle. I'd feel good recommending any of the major online sellers that I've dealt with (Mim, HMS, Uke Republic, Elderly). I've also made two purchases of used ukes from Reverb that were positive.
    My ukulele family.....
    KoAloha Koa concert - circa 2006
    KoAloha Special Issue longneck soprano - Port Orford Cedar & Koa - circa 2015
    aNueNue Moon Bird concert - Spruce & Rosewood -2018
    Blackbird Clara - 2019

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    414

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    I also agree with Choirboy, if there is a problem then consult directly with vendor. Did you thank them for their repair attempt and try to return it with your complaints? Those are expensive! At least give them a chance to respond. This is a repeat customer industry and am sure they are not trying to piss anyone off on purpose.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Posts
    8,078

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S View Post
    I am going to have go contrary to the general opinion on UKE republic. The Kiwaya KTS4 I bought from them was very badly set up with loads of problems. Lots of buzzing throughout the instrument, weak tone and volume (saddle set to low). It was pretty much unplayable.

    After a number of email exchanges (and pretty bizarre advice from Mike) I sent it back to get fixed. Mike claimed all was well and even sent a seven second video clip to prove it. It wasn't, and after more email exchanges they replaced the saddle with a new Kiwaya saddle at the factory set height. When I received it back it was better... but only about half fixed. I have a strong suspicion they also screwed up the nut and that was not fixed. A point of interest is I had Martin M600 strings on it when I sent it back to UKE republic and when I received it back it was strung up with generic no name nylon strings with the Martin M600's in a bag (or course the Martins are unusable as they where already cut). That made me very suspicious about the nut. In one of the emails Mike claimed I was using strings that with too thin of a gauge (which pretty much means no fluorocarbons can be used). I'm guessing they screwed up the nut by cutting the slots too wide (and possibly to low) and they strung it up with thicker gauge nylon to cover it up. I will give fluorocarbons another try in the next week or two with some worth clears (on order) but I fully expect bad things to happen. Things are already getting worse on the G string as the nylon stretches out.

    There set up was a complete amateur hack job. I have pretty much given up on UKE republic actually fixing what they broke.I will have to try and find someone local to build a new nut. I certainly will not be a repeat costumer.
    Alan,
    that sucks. I don't blame you for not going back. I've met Mike and Donna many times, but have never purchased from them. I heard that he was kind of rude to Mim, and that tore it for me. Mim and I are friends. (I'm one of about a thousand friends she has, LOL)
    I do know several people who have ukes from Republic, and he treated them all pretty well.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Southern USA
    Posts
    126

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S View Post
    I am going to have go contrary to the general opinion on UKE republic. The Kiwaya KTS4 I bought from them was very badly set up with loads of problems. Lots of buzzing throughout the instrument, weak tone and volume (saddle set to low). It was pretty much unplayable.

    After a number of email exchanges (and pretty bizarre advice from Mike) I sent it back to get fixed. Mike claimed all was well and even sent a seven second video clip to prove it. It wasn't, and after more email exchanges they replaced the saddle with a new Kiwaya saddle at the factory set height. When I received it back it was better... but only about half fixed. I have a strong suspicion they also screwed up the nut and that was not fixed. A point of interest is I had Martin M600 strings on it when I sent it back to UKE republic and when I received it back it was strung up with generic no name nylon strings with the Martin M600's in a bag (or course the Martins are unusable as they where already cut). That made me very suspicious about the nut. In one of the emails Mike claimed I was using strings that with too thin of a gauge (which pretty much means no fluorocarbons can be used). I'm guessing they screwed up the nut by cutting the slots too wide (and possibly to low) and they strung it up with thicker gauge nylon to cover it up. I will give fluorocarbons another try in the next week or two with some worth clears (on order) but I fully expect bad things to happen. Things are already getting worse on the G string as the nylon stretches out.

    There set up was a complete amateur hack job. I have pretty much given up on UKE republic actually fixing what they broke.I will have to try and find someone local to build a new nut. I certainly will not be a repeat costumer.
    Alan, If it didn’t meet your standards why didn’t you just send it back for a refund. This falls more on you than Uke Republic.
    Last edited by tomthebaptist; 08-20-2019 at 10:44 AM.
    TomtheBaptist

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    535

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomthebaptist View Post
    Alan, If it didn’t meet your standards why didn’t you just send it back for a refund. This falls more on you than Uke Republic.
    Some people are just really nice and try to have faith problems can get fixed. If Alan had to pay return shipping after having it "fixed", I can understand why they would choose to take it to a luthier instead. That would in no way make it "on them". The cost and hassle of returning things which are not up to snuff can dissuade many, and doesn't lessen a retailer's responsibility to have gotten it right to begin with. Mistakes do happen, and it is the retailer's responsibility to make it right.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Southern USA
    Posts
    126

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    Quote Originally Posted by AQUATOPAZ View Post
    Some people are just really nice and try to have faith problems can get fixed. If Alan had to pay return shipping after having it "fixed", I can understand why they would choose to take it to a luthier instead. That would in no way make it "on them". The cost and hassle of returning things which are not up to snuff can dissuade many, and doesn't lessen a retailer's responsibility to have gotten it right to begin with. Mistakes do happen, and it is the retailer's responsibility to make it right.
    Several years ago I purchased and received a concert ukulele fro UR. It didn’t meet my expectations I returned it and Mike made full refund and even offered to include shipping.
    TomtheBaptist

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    1,457

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    Also had issues, but once I got through to them (it took a few tries) they rectified the issue. I have no problem buying from them again.

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