9/07/2011

c.1930 Gibson Style 1 "SS Stewart" Ukulele





While the labels in the soundhole and on the headstock say "SS Stewart," it's hard to mistake this for anything else than a Gibson style 1 uke. Except for those labels, it's the same instrument that Gibson would have sold under their own name. This was the plainest Gibson model, and while it's similar in size and shape to a Martin style 0, it has an entirely different tonality and feel. Hard to pin it down, but those Gib instruments just feel different -- maybe a little sturdier and "rounder" feeling in both tone and construction.

This uke doesn't have a "wowzer" tone but it sounds just plain good and combined with (now) excellent playability, makes it a winner.


Uke is solid mahogany throughout with a rosewood board. The bridge typically has an ebony saddle but the one on this fella was both worn out and broken. I replaced it with a mid-size fret saddle (I like these on ukes as they simply don't wear out). Other repairs included hairline crack repair, fret dress, setup, and a bridge reglue.



Ebony nut. It's a cute, understated uke.




I love the half-herringbone rosette with lime green edging. So fun!


Aquila nylguts at GCEA feel great, but I bet they'd be killer tuned up to ADF#B as well.






This has that nice, aged-in, semi-glossy Gibson finish.



No comments: