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Thread: UKE Republic

  1. #41
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    I don't have a horse in this race...but will say this:

    Tone and volume are subjective....

    Also, when you buy an uke from the places that do a setup (I do highly recommend this) you're not generally getting a personalized setup for YOUR playing style and the strings you're going to be using. I really don't know who will do that at no extra charge if you ask...but it's almost an impossibility due to the person setting it up not being able to see and know firsthand how you play. It's a bit of trial and error to get the ideal setup, and just isn't realistic if you're not in person with the one doing the work.
    What you do get is a check for problems (buzzes, uneven frets, structural issues, etc.) and sometimes a lowering of action for easier playability (which is good for most, but not all). That's A LOT more than what you get from the big box stores online. Most of them don't even open the box. They receive it and ship it out.
    I've never dealt with Mike, so can't comment on his setups. I have dealt with MIM and found her setup to be excellent for me. Low action but not too low for me. I didn't have to make any changes to her setup for it to be right for me.
    I have dealt with Elderly Instruments more than any others. They haven't ever sent me an unplayable dud but I find their setup is sometimes a bit high for me at nut and saddle, although very playable. The frets are level though (not always crowned well, but very playable) so I can make final adjustments to get it more to my liking.
    All that to say, we all have our own preferences and there is no one-size-fits-all. I'd say there can be a one-size-fits-most though.

    I'll say one more thing:
    I have owned a Kiwaya in the past and the frets were really low profile compared to most other instruments I've played. That made it more difficult to play for me.
    It seemed I had to press harder to get cleaner notes, whereas taller frets require a lighter touch. So their factory specs just aren't necessarily for me, or weren't at the time (The Flight TUS-35 I have now has lower profile frets and I play it fine). There are just so many factors.
    Last edited by jer; 08-22-2019 at 08:00 AM.

  2. #42
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    Good points, Jer. In particular, speaking of taller frets, I once had a Martin S-0, and the frets were nice and chunky compared to other ukes I'd owned, and I really liked the way they felt!

  3. #43
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    Sep 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by yahalele View Post
    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.
    Not only did the costumer (me) claim that Uke republic changed the factory setting for the action, Mike admitted in an email that Uke republic changed the action lower than the factory setting, which is already plenty low enough. Only after much ado about nothing did they change it back to the factory setting with noticeably improved tone. For the most part the problem has been solved but only after and because I raised a big stink about it and went through a lot of hassle with them. They didn't make it easy.

    I am out of this thread. Way to much fanboyism for my taste.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Sheehan View Post
    Good points, Jer. In particular, speaking of taller frets, I once had a Martin S-0, and the frets were nice and chunky compared to other ukes I'd owned, and I really liked the way they felt!
    I like bigger frets better too typically. I know with ukes already having a small fingerboard it's harder to get them on there without it becoming too cramped feeling though. I liked the frets on the Martins I've tried (Mexican made).

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Ames, Iowa
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    Quote Originally Posted by jer View Post
    I don't have a horse in this race...but will say this:

    Tone and volume are subjective....

    Also, when you buy an uke from the places that do a setup (I do highly recommend this) you're not generally getting a personalized setup for YOUR playing style and the strings you're going to be using. I really don't know who will do that at no extra charge if you ask...but it's almost an impossibility due to the person setting it up not being able to see and know firsthand how you play. It's a bit of trial and error to get the ideal setup, and just isn't realistic if you're not in person with the one doing the work.
    What you do get is a check for problems (buzzes, uneven frets, structural issues, etc.) and sometimes a lowering of action for easier playability (which is good for most, but not all). That's A LOT more than what you get from the big box stores online. Most of them don't even open the box. They receive it and ship it out.
    I've never dealt with Mike, so can't comment on his setups. I have dealt with MIM and found her setup to be excellent for me. Low action but not too low for me. I didn't have to make any changes to her setup for it to be right for me.
    I have dealt with Elderly Instruments more than any others. They haven't ever sent me an unplayable dud but I find their setup is sometimes a bit high for me at nut and saddle, although very playable. The frets are level though (not always crowned well, but very playable) so I can make final adjustments to get it more to my liking.
    All that to say, we all have our own preferences and there is no one-size-fits-all. I'd say there can be a one-size-fits-most though.

    I'll say one more thing:
    I have owned a Kiwaya in the past and the frets were really low profile compared to most other instruments I've played. That made it more difficult to play for me.
    It seemed I had to press harder to get cleaner notes, whereas taller frets require a lighter touch. So their factory specs just aren't necessarily for me, or weren't at the time (The Flight TUS-35 I have now has lower profile frets and I play it fine). There are just so many factors.
    I agree. If you don't specify what you want, they are going to go as low as they can get it. That's what most people are told that they should want and that's what they expect. I think that the mark of an experienced ukulele player is knowing how you want your ukulele set up and conveying that to the person who is going to do it.
    Last edited by Rllink; 08-23-2019 at 04:39 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    I agree. If you don't specify what you want, they are going to go as low as they can get it. That's what most people are told that they should want and that's what they expect.
    Yes. I think that's usually good for beginners, but not always for experienced players who have developed certain tastes.

  7. #47
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    Apr 2019
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    Kyoto Japan
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    hi, jer and Rollie! The problem is not so easy for Alan here.

    Bill bought a classical guitar two month ago via Amazon and post a thread under Guitar Discussion. That was fun thread. He said that he had to knock back some sharp fret ends (see the photo below). Now I start a discussion. Here is a stupid person. He thinks shaving the saddle bottom (see the photo below) are same as knocking back sharp fret ends in set up. You might think it is too stupid. But just imagine there is a such stupid person. And read Mike's post. Then you can understand what he thought. He does not know the relationship between action and saddle. Hence he can not see the relationship between action, buzz and volume. Alan took more than 3 weeks to explain it but he could not explain it to Mike and Mike still wrote in that way in this thread. I understand his frustration very much in his posts.



    Last week I bought a guitar and post a photo in a thread under Links and Videos. This shopping has a bit of trouble (see the triangle below). The shop sent me a wrong parcel, and my gutar had gone to someone else's place. The shop was very clever and sent it directly from someone else to me. I have received it next day. I was very happy because I was really looking forward to play it. A couple of years ago, a customer of Mim post a threat about a buzz of her ukulele, which she received. As soon as post appeared, Mim replied. Mim had another uku in stock and she sent it straight away without receiving buzz ukulele.



    Alan took more than 3 weeks to explain and gave up to explain. He just received another saddle. I am very suspicious about this saddle if it were original Kiwaya's one or not. I understand his frustration very much. Because even a day was very long for me in my guitar shopping.

    Hence I contacted with Kiwaya's Japanese Headquarter. Kiwaya's set up and quality control is very good and high reputation. I asked if Kiwaya allows this kind of set up service. Does Kiwaya think this set up ukulele brand new or second hand? Does the ukulele still has Kiwaya's grantee? I am waiting for their answer.

  8. #48
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    Springfield, IL
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    Thanks, Yahalele, and perhaps we can use this moment to have a mutual understanding that even the finest and most reputable of merchants will inevitably have something go a little "jinxed" on them, and that we're all, after all, only human. Life is imperfect, but the nice thing about the passage of a little time is that it most often has a tendency to ease things. I hope Alan will return soon, and we can all pick up in a spirit of good will and gratitude for the wonderful common interest that we share.

  9. #49
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    with Bill. Good post.


    yahalele:
    I can tell you really put a lot of time into that post with diagrams and everything.
    For the record, I'm not trying to choose sides here. I can understand the points being made by both sides. I'm just stating there are differences of opinions and preferences.
    To be clear: I do not doubt Kiwaya's quality nor am I trying to say anything bad about them. The uke I had of theirs was very well made. It was the least expensive laminate model. I think it was KS1. I did find it very mellow sounding which I quite liked and a little harder to play than the other ukes I was used to, due to the low profile of the frets. That was just me though. If I played one again now, there's a chance I might be just fine with the frets. Low profile frets do offer the advantage of being harder to pull sharp due to pressing too hard accidentally.

    I'm going to stop posting in this thread too as I don't see it accomplishing anything positive.
    I hope there is a good resolution.

  10. #50
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    Jul 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by yahalele View Post
    hi, jer and Rollie! The problem is not so easy for Alan here.

    Bill bought a classical guitar two month ago via Amazon and post a thread under Guitar Discussion. That was fun thread. He said that he had to knock back some sharp fret ends (see the photo below). Now I start a discussion. Here is a stupid person. He thinks shaving the saddle bottom (see the photo below) are same as knocking back sharp fret ends in set up. You might think it is too stupid. But just imagine there is a such stupid person. And read Mike's post. Then you can understand what he thought. He does not know the relationship between action and saddle. Hence he can not see the relationship between action, buzz and volume. Alan took more than 3 weeks to explain it but he could not explain it to Mike and Mike still wrote in that way in this thread. I understand his frustration very much in his posts.



    Last week I bought a guitar and post a photo in a thread under Links and Videos. This shopping has a bit of trouble (see the triangle below). The shop sent me a wrong parcel, and my gutar had gone to someone else's place. The shop was very clever and sent it directly from someone else to me. I have received it next day. I was very happy because I was really looking forward to play it. A couple of years ago, a customer of Mim post a threat about a buzz of her ukulele, which she received. As soon as post appeared, Mim replied. Mim had another uku in stock and she sent it straight away without receiving buzz ukulele.



    Alan took more than 3 weeks to explain and gave up to explain. He just received another saddle. I am very suspicious about this saddle if it were original Kiwaya's one or not. I understand his frustration very much. Because even a day was very long for me in my guitar shopping.

    Hence I contacted with Kiwaya's Japanese Headquarter. Kiwaya's set up and quality control is very good and high reputation. I asked if Kiwaya allows this kind of set up service. Does Kiwaya think this set up ukulele brand new or second hand? Does the ukulele still has Kiwaya's grantee? I am waiting for their answer.
    I have no opinion as to whether Mike made a mistake or not in setting up Alan's uke. However, the ONLY pertinent point is that he and his friends played it for 2 weeks and damaged it in the process. If he felt the setup was bad, he is 100% entitled to a full refund on an UNDAMAGED uke. However, once he or his friends damaged that uke, it really doesn't matter if it was the worst setup ever. A damaged uke becomes B stock and no retailer should feel pressured to refund it, which seems like what Alan was trying to do by posting here.

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