5/30/2011

c.1955 Silvertone by Harmony Ukulele


What's not to like about a simple all-mahogany uke?

This was made by Harmony, probably in the mid-50s, for the Sears "Silvertone" brand. It's got a rosewood fretboard, brass frets, and an all-solid mahogany build with cool black/brown sunburst all over. Finish is in great shape so it looks snazzy, too!


This uke is a bit bigger than a 1920s-30s soprano uke and has a longer scale, too: 13 7/8" vs. the typical 13" to 13 5/8" scale found on most vintage sopranos. This gives it more of a "concert" tone and feel, with more snap, zing, and quick response tuned to standard GCEA. I like!


I love the simple sunburst.


Silvertone logo with beveled headstock.


Inlaid, faux-MOP dots just like on the Harmony baritone ukes of the time.



I didn't need to reglue the bridge -- it's in great shape. I did have to do setup work at the nut and saddle, though. Also the frets needed slight rounding-off at the edges as the factory fretwork was not always the best on mass-made ukes back then.



Note the long hairline dryness crack all down the bass side -- I've glued it up and it's very secure, no bulging, etc. This is very typical for a uke as the tropical mahogany dries out over long periods of time... especially if it was stored somewhere warm and then cold (ie, attic). It's nice that it was tight in the first place as the problem with previously non-repaired hairlines like this is that over time they get worse if not attended to.


Strings are Aquila Nylguts.



Some decent looking 'hog on this fella.



...and of course, space-age Harmony-style tuners, too! Though this design looks futuristic these tuners actually work quite well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bought one at a local flee market. These sound amazing. Thanks for the info. God Bless Y'all.

Tim