9/14/2012

c.1950 Favilla B-2 Baritone Ukulele


This is a customer's instrument that I finished up work on last night. Uke players will know these Favillas (made in New York) as they're one of the more sought-after vintage baritone models, for good reason -- they sound great!

My work included a bridge/saddle shave, setup, and crack repairs and cleating to the lower bout, top. One curious bit to know about these guys is there's absolutely no bracing on the lower bout below the bridge plate area, which certainly adds to the big, full tone but also adds to instability worries. The owner of this likes the Aquilas he's got on here, but I suggested that if the top bellies any more that he switch out to something with low tension like the new Martin Fluorocarbon strings, which I pretty much put standard on all bari ukes.


Though it's hard to see, this uke has a nicely flamed top. Later on I'll have a shot of it in the sun so you can see it. The body and neck are all solid mahogany and the bridge and fretboard are rosewood.


Both the nut and saddle are bone. Nice Favilla decal.


Frets are in good order.


The finish is crackled and weather-checked all over, pretty typical of 50s and 60s sprayed-on finishes. Note that I've knotted the strings through this classical-style "tie block" instead -- this gives better down-pressure on the rear of the saddle, especially with it cut-down as it is.




When you pick this up, you know you're playing a quality uke! It's pretty close to the feel of a Martin or Vega bari.





Here you can see some of that nice figure in the top!

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