5/23/2014

c.2013 Gretsch Concert Ukulele




Ironically, this practically brand-new uke was in for a fret level/dress, setup, and a set of new pegs. It's a shame that Asian makers go so far but not quite far enough: this uke sounds good and feels good but the setup was pretty far off and the frets were humped up at the 12th fret and there was uneven relief on the neck as well. Main cause? Probably a bad factory alignment when it was glued up. Anyhow, with that stuff corrected, this all-solid mahogany concert uke is now something quite useful.

I like these new Gretsch "Root Collection" instruments including their line of resonator guitars... they're all vintage-inspired and have a good simple feel to them. For introductory or mid-grade instruments they sure are a lot of bang for the buck. The usual import caveat applies, though: look them over thoroughly and expect that they'll need at least a setup and probably some hardware upgrades before they're properly playable.




The 1930s headstock shape is pretty slick on this guy as well as the vintagey inlay. This has a set of new Pegheds which I installed... and unfortunately I didn't "nail" the install as I had to tighten them up a bit more to secure them so some of the mounting thread is exposed above the headstock surface. 

I think the problem was that I reamed the peg holes out and set them all up per the customer's requirements (half a thread exposed) but then the somewhat spongy (well, let's admit it-- this is not 1920s old growth South American mahogany) wood let them slip a little bit more when tuning up until they finally settled where they are now and are stable in service.

Sigh! They work beautifully, though.


Rosewood board and some cute pearl inlay...




The (bone) saddle was going to get height-adjusted anyhow but the customer wanted the profile recut so we figured on this design in the end. The C & E strings are lightly compensated and while the fretting itself isn't 100% accurate this does help with the longer scale and intonation up at the higher end of the board.






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