2/06/2010

c.1930 Bruno "Maxitone" Banjo Ukulele


I've repaired and setup a few of these "Gumby headstock" banjo-ukes and can safely say that they're a lot of fun. They're not "fine quality" instruments, but they do have a great, poppy, punchy sound that's all their own, courtesy of a one-piece metal pot.


You can find these ukes with all sorts of brand names slapped on them, but this one happens to have been sold by Bruno under the "Maxitone" label, probably in the late 1920s to early 1930s. All the hardware save a later-style bridge is original.


...and what's this? "Artwork" perhaps...?


I simply won't comment. Curious, though. Very curious. I've repaired a small hole in the head that you can see at the bottom of the picture: it's backed by some replacement skin and should keep the head in good stead for the foreseeable future.


The tarnished pot managed to come back to a bit of a shine, but the rest of the hardware was a little "malnourished" for sure. It all works just fine, though.





Typical oversize "U-King" tailpiece.

5 comments:

Al said...

Is that Lisa Simpson making out with Astroboy!?

Antebellum Instruments said...

-LOL-

Totally. Why not?

Elizabeth said...

Super awesome - apparently it was popular to do little drawings on the heads of these - my Bruno Maxtone I just thrifted has a little flapper drawn on it.

http://elizalives.blogspot.com/2011/03/sos-your-old-man.html

Antebellum Instruments said...

I worked on the orange version of the uke a while back as well. That orange metallic paint is wild stuff. Does yours have the copper plated pot as well?

Elizabeth said...

Yep, it does...(sorry about the delay in the comment return here!) I still don't have it up and running but maybe later this summer?

I'm nervous about actually doing anything to it because I love the drawing on it so much...so I don't know how it sounds yet.