Kim Kizyma
Graphic Designer + Creative Technologist

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Blog Posts and Ideas by Kim Kizyma

An open letter to Epiphone

I've had a ukulele since probably sophomore year of high school. Every now and then I would pick it up and play a little, just for fun. Less than a year ago, I wanted to get back into playing...more seriously, so I did some research to find an instrument of better quality (the uke I had back in the day was a $30 "toy" one I got from Target) so I could further my ability and skillset playing.

I was first drawn to the Epiphone Les Paul Outfit ukulele by its legendary aesthetic. It's a Les Paul uke! How cool is that. And it's a concert uke, so it's electric and can be plugged into an amp when you want. It was less than $200, so I bought it.

I really loved it. It is a pretty slim uke so it's very comfortable to play, like an electric guitar vs. an acoustic guitar body. It sounded bright and it was easy to play. The form factor was perfect.

I displayed it on a stand on my computer desk. It looked awesome. And it was super easy just to pick it up as I wanted to strum a bit, then put it back on the stand when I was done. Perfect, right? Wrong.

One day I'm watching TV and all of the sudden I hear a POP. I didn't immediately know what the sound was...it actually sounded like a painting in the hallway fell off the wall or something like that. I looked around and saw nothing.

The next day I go to my computer and see the uke's strings all burst off, and the bridge also snapped. Obviously that was the outburst I heard the day prior.

I took the ukulele to my local guitar shop (shout out Stonegrove Guitar) and they said they can just glue the bridge back on and restring it. No problem. I said perfect! I was happy to get it repaired so I could start playing it a little again. A week later, I get on the phone with the guitar shop and they say they were puzzled. They had been calling other local shops asking for advice and they said there's no way to fix it.

My beautiful Epiphone Les Paul Outfit uke was nonrepairable. Apparently it would cost more to re-adhere the bridge than the instrument brand new is worth. It's ridiculous to me!

I'm sad at Epiphone for not responding to my requests to replace the broken instrument. I haven't even had it for a year yet, and it completely broke. The instrument has great reviews, which makes me even more sad. It could have been a lemon!

I still love the look of the ukulele, but won't buy another with my own money. I would like a replacement and would be very happy with one. But it's not fair to me to spend the money twice and potentially have the same problem.

kk