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Thread: UKE Republic

  1. #31
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    Jul 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomthebaptist View Post
    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.
    I have purchased from them and had no problems and speedy shipment and if I had received a ukulele with problems I too would have asked for a refund rather than be as kind as Alan ad allow them to fix it. I can't be bothered with a back and forth.However, Alan, apparently being more patient and gracious than me, did try to have the unsatisfactory uke fixed rather than just asking for a refund. It is COMPLETELY absurd to suggest that, because he gave them a chance to fix it rather than just saying give me a refund, it now "falls more on him".

  2. #32
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    Sep 2018
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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.
    I did send it back. They found a small nick in the head stock. I never saw it and didn't even know it was there. I have no idea if it was there when I got it or if it was done on my end. Several people did play it in the few weeks I had it before it got sent back. it is a pretty small nick and I would have probably never seen it if it hadn't been pointed out to me, but it appears that was enough for UKE republic to refuse a refund or exchange (I had requested a refund or an exchange for a new instrument with no set up on there end, which is probably good advice for any instrument moving into the professional range).

    The end result is I paid a good amount of money for an instrument that still has problems, even after a fix by UKE republic, and they are taking no responsibility for it.
    Last edited by Alan S; 08-21-2019 at 09:35 AM.

  3. #33
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    Jan 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S View Post
    I did send it back. They found a small nick in the head stock. I never saw it and didn't even know it was there. I have no idea if it was there when I got it or if it was done on my end. Several people did play it in the few weeks I had it before it got sent back. it is a pretty small nick and I would have probably never seen it if it hadn't been pointed out to me, but it appears that was enough for UKE republic to refuse a refund or exchange (I had requested a refund or an exchange for a new instrument with no set up on there end, which is probably good advice for any instrument moving into the professional range).

    A big problem I have with UKE republic is Mike simple refused to actually admit there was a problem and that they screwed up the set up. They did, but for him it was all subjective and personal preference. It's not. Weak tone with low volume and lots of string buzz (which is how I received it) means the strings are set to low. His advice not to use standard fluorocarbon strings because they are to small of a gauge tells me they screwed up the nut (that's the part they didn't fix and is much harder to fix then simply replacing the saddle). If you can't admit a mistake you never learn and you certainly can't really fix mistakes.

    Since there is only one side of the story being heard I'll address this for the complete story.
    When we received the first email I was certainly concerned and wanted to find the best solution because Alan expressed that he liked the instrument but was having buzzing. We set the instrument up before shipping with no buzzing so I wanted to check on some of the more obvious reasons you would get a buzz post set up.

    The advice I gave was that Alan change his attack on the strings, he might have been playing hard and Kiwaya KTS-4 is a wonderful very responsive instrument. Alan also had changed to Martin fluoro strings that are a narrower gauge than the stock strings. Thinner strings in a nut slot originally meant for thicker strings(Factory Kiwaya strings) can buzz so I recommended changing strings.( Not all fluoro carbon strings are the same gauge. The nut on this one has not been altered despite Alan's suspicion.

    Alan didn't want to do these things and wanted to return for exchange or refund. Uke Republic paid the shipping with a return label. Alan returned it with an obvious nick on the back of the headstock so we can't replace or refund when an instrument is damaged.

    I tested the instrument playing various attack, heavy, medium and lite. The buzzing could only be heard if I played hard over the sound hole from the E string. I recommended once again changing strings but he declined but wanted to have it set to standard factory saddle instead and so we did. Guess what? It still buzzed when played hard on the E. strings were too narrow. I didn't offer to fill the nut slot and file so it could accommodate his thinner string as he only wanted factory settings - no setup.

    I decided to replace the strings he had installed with closest to original strings Daddario Titanium strings. Result- No buzzing on Alans Kiwaya.

    I've never felt a fault with volume as Kiwaya makes beautiful full sounding sopranos.

    Conclusion: Alan may require a differen't set up to use certain strings, Alan might want to try a less aggressive attack when playing.
    The instrument once again played great with the string change and we paid to ship it back to him in a new box.

    Why would we set up a premium instrument like a Kiwaya some may ask? Generally instruments are shipped from all over the world (Kiwaya are made in Japan) using a cargo vessel, trucking and plane then stored in a warehouse. The varying effect of so many environmental changes can include, frets moving, strings going bad, tuners coming loose and more. We as professionals at Uke Republic take the time time to address, remedy and dial in the tone by means of a set up. This is done to insure a great playing ukulele.

    Thanks everyone for all your positive remarks and support- Mike
    Last edited by Uke Republic; 08-21-2019 at 12:46 PM.

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  4. #34
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    Jul 2018
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    So good to hear your side of the story Mike. I know I purchased an RC Replica in Los Angeles, and they have a low action. It buzzed while I learned how to play that action - much less buzzing now with more practice.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Nashville, TN USA
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    I've purchased a couple of instruments from Uke Republic, and both were great. I've visited the Uke Republic store in Austell, GA on multiple occasions and have always been welcomed there more like a friend than a customer. I've known Mike and Donna for half-a-dozen years now, hung out with them on the field at UWC and at Summer NAMM in Nashville, and I'm proud to count them among my friends. They're good folks and they work hard to provide good service. Sometimes things can go wrong, but I know they'll always do their best to make things right!
    If music be the food of love, play on! -Bill Shakespeare

  6. #36
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    Sep 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uke Republic View Post
    Since there is only one side of the story being heard I'll address this for the complete story.
    When we received the first email I was certainly concerned and wanted to find the best solution because Alan expressed that he liked the instrument but was having buzzing. We set the instrument up before shipping with no buzzing so I wanted to check on some of the more obvious reasons you would get a buzz post set up.

    The advice I gave was that Alan change his attack on the strings, he might have been playing hard and Kiwaya KTS-4 is a wonderful very responsive instrument. Alan also had changed to Martin fluoro strings that are a narrower gauge than the stock strings. Thinner strings in a nut slot originally meant for thicker strings(Factory Kiwaya strings) can buzz so I recommended changing strings.( Not all fluoro carbon strings are the same gauge. The nut on this one has not been altered despite Alan's suspicion.

    Alan didn't want to do these things and wanted to return for exchange or refund. Uke Republic paid the shipping with a return label. Alan returned it with an obvious nick on the back of the headstock so we can't replace or refund when an instrument is damaged.

    I tested the instrument playing various attack, heavy, medium and lite. The buzzing could only be heard if I played hard over the sound hole from the E string. I recommended once again changing strings but he declined but wanted to have it set to standard factory saddle instead and so we did. Guess what? It still buzzed when played hard on the E. strings were too narrow. I didn't offer to fill the nut slot and file so it could accommodate his thinner string as he only wanted factory settings - no setup.

    I decided to replace the strings he had installed with closest to original strings Daddario Titanium strings. Result- No buzzing on Alans Kiwaya.

    I've never felt a fault with volume as Kiwaya makes beautiful full sounding sopranos.

    Conclusion: Alan may require a differen't set up to use certain strings, Alan might want to try a less aggressive attack when playing.
    The instrument once again played great with the string change and we paid to ship it back to him in a new box.

    Why would we set up a premium instrument like a Kiwaya some may ask? Generally instruments are shipped from all over the world (Kiwaya are made in Japan) using a cargo vessel, trucking and plane then stored in a warehouse. The varying effect of so many environmental changes can include, frets moving, strings going bad, tuners coming loose and more. We as professionals at Uke Republic take the time time to address, remedy and dial in the tone by means of a set up. This is done to insure a great playing ukulele.

    Thanks everyone for all your positive remarks and support- Mike
    Well crap, talk about a tall tale...... where do I even start......

    First off I do hope it is true that you didn't do anything to the nut, but after reading the above post your ability to tell the true is somewhat suspect.

    First off, I pretty much never play over the sound hole so that part of the story is of no value.

    Something I very much understated was just how weak the tone and volume was when I received it, and this is an instrument noted for its tone and volume. I have played entry level Ohana's that sounded better. I was not familiar with the strings in came with so after a week changed the strings to the Martin M600's. It was a string set I was familiar with so I thought I could get a better handle on what was happening. Still very weak tone and volume along with some extra string buzz. That is when I contacted Uke republic. This thing wasn't working.

    What I got initially was a whole lot of run around (I have all the emails saved). Eventually they took the instrument back to take a look at it. Of course at first they claimed all was good along with a seven second video to prove the point. Even from a the very short video I could hear the signature weak tone. I simply refused to accept their evaluation. What they did do (after refusing a refund or exchange) is change the saddle to the original factory setting, and the tone and volume are much better. The difference is pretty dramatic. Yes it is not as easy to play, especially up the neck, but that is expected on a professional level instrument. I have been playing stringed instruments for over fifty years, at times professionally (though on a Mandolin) so I know how things work.

    Uke republic didn't just tweak it out a bit from possible changes when shipping, they significantly changed the string height which killed the tone, and then refused to admit there was a problem. Getting them to fix it was something akin to having a root canal.

    Hey Mike, I really didn't want to take it this far. I made one post and answered one question that came up and as far as I was concerned that was the end of it. Your post forced my hand.
    Last edited by Alan S; 08-21-2019 at 09:22 PM.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S View Post
    Well crap, talk about a tall tale...... where do I even start......

    First off I do hope it is true that you didn't do anything to the nut, but after reading the above post your ability to tell the true is somewhat suspect.

    First off, I pretty much never play over the sound hole so that part of the story is of no value.

    Something I very much understated was just how weak the tone and volume was when I received it, and this is an instrument noted for its tone and volume. I have played entry level Ohana's that sounded better. I was not familiar with the strings in came with so after a week changed the strings to the Martin M600's. It was a string set I was familiar with so I thought I could get a better handle on what was happening. Still very weak tone and volume along with some extra string buzz. That is when I contacted Uke republic. This thing wasn't working.

    What I got initially was a whole lot of run around (I have all the emails saved). Eventually they took the instrument back to take a look at it. Of course at first they claimed all was good along with a seven second video to prove the point. Even from a the very short video I could hear the signature weak tone. I simply refused to accept their evaluation. What they did do (after refusing a refund or exchange) is change the saddle to the original factory setting, and the tone and volume are much better. The difference is pretty dramatic. Yes it is not as easy to play, especially up the neck, but that is expected on a professional level instrument. I have been playing stringed instruments for over fifty years, at times professionally (though on a Mandolin) so I know how things work.

    Uke republic didn't just tweak it out a bit from possible changes when shipping, they significantly changed the string height which killed the tone, and then refused to admit there was a problem. Getting them to fix it was something akin to having a root canal.

    Hey Mike, I really didn't want to take it this far. I made one post and answered one question that came up and as far as I was concerned that was the end of it. Your post forced my hand.
    In all fairness, you did leave out some significant details in your original post. You returned the uke after 2 weeks (most retailers will only accept return requests within a week, despite this they still sent you a prepaid label, and the returned uke had a nick in the headstock (which retailer would accept a damaged uke for a return or exchange? What are they supposed to do with it? Sell at a discount?). Uke Republic paid shipping 3 times and shipping supplies twice. You sent back a damaged uke. Objectively, who do you think really sounds more sympathetic?

  8. #38
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    May 2009
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    Admins, please close this thread. It's going nowhere quick.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Kyoto Japan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uke Republic View Post
    I tested the instrument playing various attack, heavy, medium and lite. The buzzing could only be heard if I played hard over the sound hole from the E string. I recommended once again changing strings but he declined but wanted to have it set to standard factory saddle instead and so we did. Guess what? It still buzzed when played hard on the E. strings were too narrow. I didn't offer to fill the nut slot and file so it could accommodate his thinner string as he only wanted factory settings - no setup.
    Why Uke Republic has not brought it back to factory set up straight away? That is simple. Because Uke Republic has changed action. And Kiwaya's set up and quality control is very good reputation here in Japan. Why Uku Republic need to check buzz, tone and volume, string and attack? The ukulele had been changed action by Uku Republic, and customer has claimed. We need it back to factory set up first. It is not only ukulele but also Macintosh, Windows and even smartphones. Why not? These inspections may bring them big argument.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S View Post
    Hey Mike, I really didn't want to take it this far. I made one post and answered one question that came up and as far as I was concerned that was the end of it. Your post forced my hand.
    Alan, I have to admit that I like all of the super dealers, including Uke Republic. But I also think you need to be honest about your intent in posting--which was to publicly complain about Uke Republic. You restarted discussion in a threat that had been inactive for four months, and at the time, I believe you only had one other post on the forums...so if you're honest, the entire intent was to bring negative attention to Uke Republic.

    You have every right to do so, I guess--but others certainly have the right to state their opinions on the matter (it's a forum), and if the company wishes to respond, as Mim, Mike (Uke Republic), and Andrew (Ukulele Site) will do from time to time when a customer makes a complaint in a public forum. And it's pretty clear that when they do, the person that posted about the issue is never happy about the fact that the company responds in a public forum.

    At this point, I'd simply ask Mike if he will take back the ukulele, and order your Kiwaya from another dealer, because I don't think Uke Republic is going to be able to make you happy. This happens in life...people make mistakes and some relationships just don't work out. Move on, and find that aloha spirit again.
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