4/26/2014

c.1960 Japanese-made Soprano Ukulele


My friend Rick bought this at a local junk store for $5 and I said, "hey, good deal!" It's a solid-mahogany soprano and I totally expect this to date to around 1960-65. It's definitely Japanese-made and may have some sort of link to the Luna factory. Its bridge was replaced at some point and there's some sloppy (but effective) glue jobs here and there, but at least it's somewhat sturdy at the moment.

My work included bolting its neck (we weren't going to go to the expense of resetting it with an extra dowel), a fret level/dress, and setup. In the hands it actually feels a lot like a 30s Hawaiian and it has the Martin (longer) scale length so it has a really good "strummy" tone. It's quite dark-sounding, though.



The finish is total "yuck" -- but hey, what do you expect for a $5 find?

Martin fluorocarbon strings are the only ones I felt comfortable with putting on this thing. The top is bellied a bunch and the bridge has questionable footing...!



At one point these were real pearl dots but they were put in so thin and shallow that they've since all but disintegrated.



No comments: