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At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

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  #1  
Old February 12th, 2010, 08:27 PM
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Default At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

Three weeks ago I bought what I felt was an overpriced Chinese hookah that was of poor quality in my opinion. So I did my homework on these forums, reviewed vendors and found Hookah John's and a KM Pearl Red. I have been so excited this week for Friday to arrive when my new toy was patiently waiting at my front door. I unpacked my ******* Hookah Coals, my new tongs, my two new Narbisch Hoses (v1 & v3), the vase (fricking awesome) and then the stem. Holy crap, the stem looks like shit.

The closest I can compare the stem to looking like a plumber soldiered it together and then dropped it on the floor several times. Not to mention he forgot to nickel coat the seams where the welds/soldier are and the splattered soldier. It looks used, beat up, and something I could have made by hand myself (ok so maybe that is an exaggeration).

I need advice, honesty and some guidance since I am new to this arena. I understand hookahs are hand made but for $115 dollars I was expecting something of higher quality then my Chinese hookah. The Chinese hookah that now looks as good if not better then the KM Pearl Red quality wise (stem comparison only). Before I go complaining to Hookah John, I wanted some opinions from those that have done business with him and are current KM owners. Am I asking for too much based on the pictures below? I am just really disappointed and was expecting more quality then what I received. Help!

Do not get me wrong, John hooked me up with a free hose (Narbisch v1 with the possible leakage problems) and took the time to call me and review my order.

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  #2  
Old February 12th, 2010, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

the bowl chip is kinda a pisser, but Km's are hand made, tooling marks are to be expected. The question is how well does it smoke? It will impress you there.

The bowl would kinda get to me, but you can get a new one for 3$. should probally just order a vortex anyway my .02$
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  #3  
Old February 12th, 2010, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

Like you said, these are hand-made.. Those crappy Chinese pipes are machine made in mass quantities. As far as the welding points, every KM that I've seen and even the ones that I own are not 100% clean, which doesn't bother me one bit.

Now.. if those imperfections you circled annoy you, shoot John an email about it and see what happens. My KMs don't have those kinds of dents, so I can't relate directly to your concern. I personally wouldn't worry about it as these are in fact hand made and are bound to be somewhat imperfect.. but that's just me.

Good luck.
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Old February 12th, 2010, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

Dude i like the imperfections on my km it makes it unique!!!
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  #5  
Old February 12th, 2010, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

One step ahead of the game! ;0)

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  #6  
Old February 12th, 2010, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

See that is my problem I guess. I expect Ahmish furniture to look hand made and expect a premium price. When it comes to metal work (guess it is my car mechanic side talking) it should look well crafted. "Tooling Marks" just seems like laziness to me but so far I seem to be in the minority here, lol.
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  #7  
Old February 12th, 2010, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

yea, clay bowls are generally junk anyway. Thats a good vortex. Those dings are a bit more than most, but not much. Talk to John though, hes a good guy!
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  #8  
Old February 12th, 2010, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

Regardless of whether or not you're the minority here, you just spent $115 on this pipe :P. If you're not satisfied with it, you have the right to shoot John an email and see what he can do for you. He's awesome!
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  #9  
Old February 12th, 2010, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

most of that 115$ was shipping and getting it into the country.. theres that too..
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  #10  
Old February 12th, 2010, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRMALIKIA View Post
See that is my problem I guess. I expect Ahmish furniture to look hand made and expect a premium price. When it comes to metal work (guess it is my car mechanic side talking) it should look well crafted. "Tooling Marks" just seems like laziness to me but so far I seem to be in the minority here, lol.
To be honest, I sort of agree with you regarding the welds. However, I don't own a KM nor have I smoked from one, so perhaps they smoke so well that the minor imperfections are a small price to pay. You can try to contact John, but do realize he doesn't make the hookahs, and what you have been shipped seems normal and characteristic of KM's in general. Perhaps John can point you toward another brand should you find the craftsmanship of KM's disappointing.
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  #11  
Old February 12th, 2010, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

So you think if I cleaned it up and tested it out the J man would be opposed if he decided to take it back? ;0)

Dieing to try it out but do not want to void my warranty, lol (I am kidding of course).
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  #12  
Old February 12th, 2010, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

I'm with you dude. That looks like some careless manufacturing, even if it is handmade.
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  #13  
Old February 12th, 2010, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRMALIKIA View Post
"Tooling Marks" just seems like laziness to me but so far I seem to be in the minority here, lol.
I'm the same way. My two KM's don't have tooling marks. And none of my Syrians do either. The exception being I have two syrian bases that are full of bubbles (laziness).

I guess my hookahs are all 'Wednesday' rigs as opposed to 'Monday morning' or Friday afternoon' rigs.
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  #14  
Old February 12th, 2010, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

The tooling or solder marks are normal from what i understand. My AF i dont have a KM yet has the same thing on it in a few spots. That being said. I would not stand for all the dents on it. Talk to john and get a non dneted piece. Those dents are so terrible and bad, that its terribad. Ugh.
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  #15  
Old February 12th, 2010, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

that stem looks pretty beat up.
i have had one of my Kms for over a year now and it has not got dents in it.
John is the man and i am sure he will take care of you
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  #16  
Old February 12th, 2010, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRMALIKIA View Post
Three weeks ago I bought what I felt was an overpriced Chinese hookah that was of poor quality in my opinion. So I did my homework on these forums, reviewed vendors and found Hookah John's and a KM Pearl Red. I have been so excited this week for Friday to arrive when my new toy was patiently waiting at my front door. I unpacked my ******* Hookah Coals, my new tongs, my two new Narbisch Hoses (v1 & v3), the vase (fricking awesome) and then the stem. Holy crap, the stem looks like shit.

The closest I can compare the stem to looking like a plumber soldiered it together and then dropped it on the floor several times. Not to mention he forgot to nickel coat the seams where the welds/soldier are and the splattered soldier. It looks used, beat up, and something I could have made by hand myself (ok so maybe that is an exaggeration).

I need advice, honesty and some guidance since I am new to this arena. I understand hookahs are hand made but for $115 dollars I was expecting something of higher quality then my Chinese hookah. The Chinese hookah that now looks as good if not better then the KM Pearl Red quality wise (stem comparison only). Before I go complaining to Hookah John, I wanted some opinions from those that have done business with him and are current KM owners. Am I asking for too much based on the pictures below? I am just really disappointed and was expecting more quality then what I received. Help!

Do not get me wrong, John hooked me up with a free hose (Narbisch v1 with the possible leakage problems) and took the time to call me and review my order.

Obviously you should a replacement bowl for free but other then that I don't see what the problem is in that it doesn't look beat up and machining marks simply demonstrates that a lot of people spent a lot of time spinning the metal in the traditional Egyptian fashion. While the welds are plated they appear to fine and honestly if you expect perfectly beaded and plated welds you better get used to playing a lot more then you did.

I think you have a nice looking rig and although i think my two KMs look better I don't really see anything to complain about.

What really matters is how well it smokes and how long it lasts. Based on my experience you can expect a lot of years of service and excellent quality sessions with KMs. Personally I think that Syrian narghiles are better but I think you'll be happy with what you got.
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  #17  
Old February 12th, 2010, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

The solder points look fine. KM is not known to have the cleanest of welds. The plating is nothing out of the order wither. The only part I kind of agree with is the dents. That is annoying but you have to consider that these things have crossed a good chunk of the world to get to you. The price is an expression of this as well.

Personally I don't think it's worth an attempt at a return. It's a fully functioning pipe and the only issues are cosmetic. Those issues are nothing out of the ordinary for a KM in my experiences. KMs get deified on these forums a bit and people expect these things to be seamless drops of mythril untouched by human hands.

The bowl will still work but that does suck. I never used my KM bowl though. Much better options out there.
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  #18  
Old February 12th, 2010, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

I appreciate the feed back everyone. I am loading a bowl now so will see how "Dissatisfied" I am after that. I sent John and email so we will see what he comes back with.
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Old February 12th, 2010, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

Man that dent in the 9th picture looks like it was dropped or something. I know with "handmade" items you dont get 100% perfect but that dent on the crease or whatever bugs me
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  #20  
Old February 12th, 2010, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRMALIKIA View Post
I appreciate the feed back everyone. I am loading a bowl now so will see how "Dissatisfied" I am after that. I sent John and email so we will see what he comes back with.
Be aware that if you plan on trying to get a refund or return of any kind, smoking out of it just lessens your chances.
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  #21  
Old February 12th, 2010, 10:11 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

John came back with "KM factory’s output is insane these days, pumping out almost 1000 pipes per day and that there are no perfect stems anymore, merely due to the workers not having the time to perfect them."

Sacrificing quality over quantity is not my idea of good business.
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  #22  
Old February 12th, 2010, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

keep the KM man. As long as the stem doesn't leak, there is nothing to worry about.
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  #23  
Old February 12th, 2010, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRMALIKIA View Post
John came back with "KM factory’s output is insane these days, pumping out almost 1000 pipes per day and that there are no perfect stems anymore, merely due to the workers not having the time to perfect them."

Sacrificing quality over quantity is not my idea of good business.
The drop in quality started fairly recently in the grand scheme of things. While I am not happy with it I really would place a little blame on people who don't give completely honest opinions and treat KM hookahs like something perfect and without flaw.

If cleanliness of the work is the height of importance to you then I suggest Magdy Zidan hookahs in the future if you prefer the Egyptian style.
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Old February 12th, 2010, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRMALIKIA View Post
John came back with "KM factory’s output is insane these days, pumping out almost 1000 pipes per day and that there are no perfect stems anymore, merely due to the workers not having the time to perfect them."

Sacrificing quality over quantity is not my idea of good business.
I'd have to agree with you on this. When I got my KM, the base was warped to the point were I couldn't fit the proper sized grommet on. The stem wasn't great with the welding and it was very dirty inside, almost as if someone used it prior to me (though I know it's just soldering).

I was overall disappointed as well, but it smokes like a dream and wouldn't trade it for anything else anymore.

But, you should be happy with what you pay for and if you aren't happy, return it. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
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  #25  
Old February 13th, 2010, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: At Wits End with quality, Am I missing something?

Ok so I gave in and kept it. And my god does it smoke awesome! I so can tell the difference and the vortex bowl is frigging awesome as well!
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