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Thread: Detailed info about Bruce Wei Arts Vietnam ukes on eBay

  1. #1
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    Default Detailed info about Bruce Wei Arts Vietnam ukes on eBay

    I've been seeing a few posts lately about ukes bought from Bruce Wei Arts eBay auction site. After winning a tenor mandolele a few months ago (not very good), I found out some pertinent info directly from Bruce a couple of weeks ago while corresponding with him about making me a custom ukulele.

    During our correspondence, I mentioned that I was disappointed with the mandolele I bought, thick top with dull sound (even with a string change), very poor binding seams, poor fret installation, the only nice thing is the color/finish. His response was that the U series ukes are not his construction, they are made by other builders and he allows them to be sold through his eBay site (but he does stand behind them). He concentrates on custom builds only.

    The UTT series is what he calls "B" grade, simple bracing, heavy tops, whatever material is on hand, not a lot of attention to detail. The two letter U series are better construction, and higher priced. (The other letter series are apparently other builders of various qualities.) I asked if I could get a mandolele built better and he said he would do that himself in about 30 days.

    I've posted this info in other threads, but thought I would do Bruce a service by clarifying things specifically. There have been a few posts from UU members who have Bruce's custom builds and they say they are very happy. So I'm going ahead and ordering the custom, a tenor gypsy jazz Django/Selmer Maccaferri "Grande Bouche" style uke, to be ready in about 60-70 days. The mandolele should be done in a couple of weeks (I'm adding the tailpiece shown and a preamp/pickup).


    Last edited by kohanmike; 06-09-2014 at 03:11 PM.

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    You are a brave man, brother kohanmike.

  3. #3
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    i've bought several from his store, most were good on arrival only two were bad on arrival but fixable. It makes sense if he's a reseller but I really do think he needs to start branding them or at least adding a sticker on the inside so the buyer knows who made it. If he posts a uke that catches my eye I don't mind getting it to try it out, out of the ones that I ordered from him, if I didn't end up liking them, i just sold them off.

    Im interested in seeing how your custom one comes out. I have one that looks like yours that I ordered about a year ago and its cracked since then, has a tailpiece and floating bridge similar to the design you asked for.
    Last edited by jcarlos; 06-08-2014 at 09:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcarlos View Post
    i've bought several from his store, most were good on arrival only two were bad on arrival but fixable. It makes sense if he's a reseller but I really do think he needs to start branding them or at least adding a sticker on the inside so the buyer knows who made it..
    If someone else really is making it (i.e.we believe the Wei multiple-tier-of-construction excuse for shoddiness).

    The logical side of me demands that I ponder this: if my proud family name was on every ukulele, it was my brand, and I knew how to construct beautiful ukuleles, personally...would i let the numerous "duds" we've read about out of my shop?

    No.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolkayaker1 View Post
    If someone else really is making it (i.e.we believe the Wei multiple-tier-of-construction excuse for shoddiness).

    Ponder this: if your name was on a ukulele, and you built beautiful ukuleles yourself, personally, so you knew good from bad...would you let the numerous "duds" we've read about out of your shop?
    Yea, I would still sell them, but I would mark them down and make sure people knew they were defective, most companies call them B stock. I've bought a couple of Lanikai B stock ukes that needed to be fixed and had no problem with them since I knew exactly what I was getting. If it really is a different shop making these for Bruce Wei then I would like to know which ones are made by his shop and which ones aren't.

  6. #6
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    To me, B stock is a blemish. Not heavy top wood, "simple bracing", poor attention to detail and a "dull sound" as described by kohanmike.

    But I respect your thoughts, jcarlos.

  7. #7
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    Yes there are different builders making ukulele's for Brucewei's shop and yes they are of differing qualities. I can tell by looking at them and any ukulele starting at a VERY low starting price is a sign that its a lower quality instrument. However, I have a cheaper quality baritone from Brucewei. It has faults but MAN does it sound good.

    Here is one of my original songs on a very cheap brucewei.



    The instrument needs some work. I'm going to spend some money because it deserves it. I'm sitting on a high quality 8 string baritone as well. It needs some work to but it has a GREAT sound waiting to come out.

    Anthony
    Last edited by anthonyg; 06-09-2014 at 01:31 AM.

  8. #8
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    How much would that custom tenor gypsy jazz going for?

    QUOTE=kohanmike;1535173]I've been seeing a few posts lately about ukes bought from Bruce Wei Arts eBay auction site. After winning a tenor mandolele a few months ago (not very good), I found out some pertinent info directly from Bruce a couple of weeks ago while corresponding with him about making me a custom ukulele.

    During our correspondence, I mentioned that I was disappointed with the mandolele I bought, thick top with dull sound (even with a string change), very poor binding seams, poor fret installation, the only nice things is the color/finish. His response was that the U series ukes are not his construction, they are made by other builders and he allows them to be sold through his eBay site (but he does stand behind them). He concentrates on custom builds only.

    The UTT series is what he calls "B" grade, simple bracing, heavy tops, what ever material is on hand, not a lot of attention to detail. The two letter U series are better construction, and higher priced. (The other letter series are apparently other builders of various qualities.) I asked if I could get a mandolele built better and he said he would do that himself in about 30 days.

    I've posted this info in other threads, but thought I would do Bruce a service by clarifying things specifically. There have been a few posts from UU members who have Bruce's custom builds and they say they are very happy. So I'm going ahead and ordering the custom, a tenor gypsy jazz Django/Selmer Maccaferri "Grande Bouche" style uke, to be ready in about 60-70 days. The mandolele should be done in a couple of weeks (I'm adding the tailpiece shown and a preamp/pickup).


    [/QUOTE]

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcarlos View Post
    Yea, I would still sell them, but I would mark them down and make sure people knew they were defective... If it really is a different shop making these for Bruce Wei then I would like to know which ones are made by his shop and which ones aren't.
    I created this thread for that reason, to inform everyone that the item numbers, UTT etc. indicate the builder and quality level.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcarlos View Post
    I have one that looks like yours that I ordered about a year ago and its cracked since then, has a tailpiece and floating bridge similar to the design you asked for.
    Are you talking about the mandolele or the gypsy style? My mandolele is going to have a fixed bridge, and I'm going to add the tailpiece myself. Actually, the gypsy style is also a fixed bridge. On both ukes I'm having him route the saddle space a little deeper so I can add a pickup and preamp myself, which I've done to most of my ukes.

    Quote Originally Posted by tangimango View Post
    How much would that custom tenor gypsy jazz going for?
    He's charging me $780 delivered with a money back guarantee. I've researched a few other builders in North America and they're two to three times the price, and some do not match the exact look of the original gypsy jazz guitar I'm after. Here are the details (his drawing that I embellished with details, I'm a graphic designer):

    Last edited by kohanmike; 06-09-2014 at 03:15 PM.

  10. #10
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    Considering your last situation, all I can say is this:

    "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

    Not saying this to hurt your feelings at all, but reminding you that you can't control or get much satisfaction if problems occur overseas. However, if you continue in this endeavor, best of luck to you.
    You, sir, are the devil. --Tammy
    10:32789



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