3/23/2011

c.1955 Harmony Baritone Ukulele


Harmony baritone ukes are sort of the yardstick to measure other baris by... they're all-solid mahogany in construction, rosewood fretboard and bridge, and unless you're buying a late-model instrument (mid 60s and on) they sound nice, and when properly setup, play great.

This one happens to be unmarked but is clearly a Harmony baritone. It also dates to the 1950s as it has an original bone nut and bone saddle (which changed to plastic in the 60s). This uke received a light fret dress, saddle/bridge shave, cleaning, setup, and one reglue to a tiny hairline crack on the bass side of the waist.


True to form... it plays great (now) and sounds excellent with a warm, clear, and sweet tone. The trim on these is very bare bones -- single-ring rosette, and tortoise binding on the top -- but it looks quite nice and understated -- just like a uke should!


I added washers to the tuners to keep them from sinking into the peghead, which sometimes happens with these style of friction pegs if the peghead holes had been drilled slightly oversize (as these had been).


Faux-MOP dots. Rosewood board. Brass frets.



I always tie knots in "regular ukulele fashion" to load the bridge rather than tie them classical-guitar style because this gives better down-pressure -- in regular classical-style the loop that serves as a knot/fastener also pulls the string up, which can sometimes have a bad effect to downpressure on the saddle. In the case of a shaved saddle like on this fellow, that becomes more important, too.


Tortoise binding.



Functional tuners.


Crack free top and back... finish is in superb shape. It's like it was hardly played at all.






Just a few nicks and scratches here and there from handling.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recently scored a "Made in Japan" Harmony bari and was surprised to find its laminated top/sides/back.
Sounds like what you would expect, unfortunately...