3/24/2011

c.1920 Weymann No. 15 Soprano Ukulele





 Weymann was a high-quality builder of banjos and mandolins (and to a lesser extent, guitars), during the c.1890s to 1930s. Their tenor banjos are very well known, their earlier 5-string banjos pretty sought-after, and their mandolute line is also well respected.

The serial dates this Weymann style 15 at 1920. Their ukes are very rare and very few examples exist so this is a pretty cool find. When I first posted about this instrument I had assumed it was Martin-built, but after talking with folks and doing more research it became apparent it was definitely a Weymann product. To be honest, I was a little uncomfortable with how stiff the build felt (though it has a gorgeous sound) as Martins tend to feel springier.

Weymann products in general (wood-bodied ones rather than banjos) always tend to feel stiff to the touch and sturdier.



The styling is essentially the same as a Martin style 2 uke.

My work on this uke included cleaning, fret dress, slight hairline crack repair, a light bridge shave, installation of a new bone saddle (the original rosewood one was broken anyhow), and setup. It plays like a dream, has that pretty, bell-like, chimey old tone, and feels great. The top & bottom white celluloid binding looks snazzy as well.


MOP dots in a rosewood board.



Tuners are good quality Champion pegs.



Finish has weather checking but is gloriously pretty and glossy.



New bone saddle gives more punch, clarity and a more sweetly balanced tone.




The mahogany is good-grade stuff.



There's the Weymann label affixed to the back of the headstock.







End block area.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there Jake, I just finished a Weymann 112 model restauration project. It´s propably from 1920´s or 1930´s (seriel number 39964). When bought this uke was not in playable condition. It had several cracks and two holes in the back part of the body.

Now the work is done and I agree every word that you say about the sound and quality of the old Weymanns. It has warm and deep vintage sound. The action is great and The frets are like new ones. It propably has been lying somewhere for decades just waiting for somebody bring it back to life.

If you would like to hear how it sounds so please visit this address: http://www.youtube.com/user/UkeHelsinki?feature=mhee

Jake, I would be happy if you could inform me in case selling old Weymanns. They are great instruments. My address is ukehelsinki@gmail.com

Greetings from Finland

Esa