5/06/2012

c.1920 Hawaiian-made Koa Soprano Ukulele





Presumably of Hawaiian manufacture considering the Spanish heel and plain-wrap, solid koa build as well as an inlaid "end-strip," this soprano is labeled as made by the "Ukulele Manufacturing Company."

My work on it included new tuners, a fret level/dress, hairline crack repair/cleating to the top (above and below the bridge) and a bridge reglue as well as one hairline drop-fill/repair to the rear. There are also a couple of hairline cracks in the headstock, the one in the center long-since repaired and the one on the treble edge drop-filled by me but it's also a not-through crack and very stable.


Despite the very plain koa, it's an attractive, orangey-glowing instrument and looks slightly darker than in the photos in person due to the fact that the finish is crazed and crackled throughout which gives it a great lived-in feel and look.

The sound is excellent with that chimey balanced and sweet tone koa is famous for.


The new tuners are good-quality replacements and function really nicely.



This has that nice, Hawaiian-style very simple one-ring inlaid rosette.


The G&A string slots are quite worn but one simply needs to knot up the string end a few extra times to make the ball wide enough to hold perfectly.




Nice orangey koa!


The headstock is super thin as is the neck. It's got that wide (side to side) profile typical to 20s Hawaiians, which is nice because complex chording is made much easier.



Pretty stuff!



Note the Spanish heel construction. Good and sturdy.




Classy end-strip!

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