c.1960 Brueko Baritone Ukulele

Update: Per a blog viewer's note in the comments, this has been ID'd as a Brueko. Looks legit to me! Also, this is now available as it's been traded-in by the customer I worked on it for. In addition, it currently has a set of South Coast strings for low-G soprano tuning (GCEA) on it at the moment and sounds great for this application as well as "traditional" DGBE bari tuning.

This type of baritone uke is almost always seen with the "Lyra" brand name and dates to the late 1950s and early 1960s. It's made entirely of solid mahogany except for the fretboard and bridge which are rosewood. These are excellent bari ukes and are built with all-solid wood, nicely cut and thinned, and have beautifully-lightweight bracing. On the tone scale these sound around the same as a Favilla, but like any older bari uke, really need to be fixed up and setup to perform at their full potential.

I worked on this one for a customer and that entailed a number of hairline crack repairs as well as a fret level/dress, bridge modification, and full setup.

I had to convert this bridge from a classical-style one to a pin bridge configuration to get down-pressure on the saddle nice enough for clean tone and good volume. At the same time, the pin bridge mod gives this thing a more upscale look. The floppy plastic saddle was also replaced with a plain fret saddle which helps tone.

The only ornamentation is the ring around the soundhole edge.

Nice rosewood board with pearl dots. The thin, smallish frets dressed up nicely and feel great.

The mahogany on this uke is also from a good stock and has some of that pretty slight curl throughout.

Original tuners -- though I had to replace the broken, worn buttons with new ones.

1 comment:

das resopal-seminar said...

Hi Jake,
this seems to be a Brueko Baritone, model #16. Still available today!
About the same size as the Brueko "Twen-Gitarre".
Brueko started making ukuleles in the 30s and is still producing all-solid ukes of all sizes.