3/16/2014

c.1955 Gretsch Style 2 Soprano Ukulele




50s and 60s Gretsch ukes are pretty widespread but this type (with its tortoise/white binding) is fairly rare. Most were very plain unbound ukes that were built exactly the same save the rim. It's all-solid mahogany throughout with the (typical) hairline cracks on the top and back that I associate with all old Gretsch ukes (the wood is super thin which = good loud tone but often cracks with age).

These ukes are pretty much comparable to Favillas from the same time but tend to be a little louder and prouder in their voice and a little less-Martin bell-like sweet in flavor. Work included a bridge shave and reglue, new bone saddle (to replace a too-low rosewood original), crack repairs, a light fret dressing, replacement pegs, and setup. Two braces also got a reglue and it got a fresh set of Aquila Red strings for that snappy dry gut-style sound.




It's a good-lookin' uke.


I always liked that outsized "shield" headstock the Gretsch products used.


The neck profile is roughly similar to a Martin though the string spacing is narrower at the bridge. Plastic dots.



After the bridge reglue, new saddle, and setup it's playing beautifully with 1/16" action at the 12th fret.




I filched these pegs from my parts-bin tuners and they work/look just fine.


Good neck set.


Tortoise binding always looks great with mahogany -- and especially in the sun.



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