6/07/2014

c.1955 Harmony Mahogany Concert Ukulele




Harmony concert ukes, like most vintage concerts, are fairly rare. This type (plain Jane solid mahogany) is roughly equivalent in size and feel to the earlier Johnny Marvin "tenor" types but much plainer in ornamentation and wood. I rather like them and I think if you're after an all-mahogany vintage concert you really can't get much better bang for the buck... they're still "undiscovered" beauties.

At any rate, work had been done in this uke in the past including a neck reset (nicely done) plus tiny hairline crack repairs near the neck block on the sides. My work included installing an extra dowel in the bottom of the heel (to make sure the doweled neck joint won't move in the future) plus bridge reglue, fret level/dress, new pegs, and setup. I strung it with a set of Martin fluorocarbon tenor strings because the soprano/concert sets have lighter-weight E, G and A strings which won't give you the thick sweetness one might want from a concert (which tend to have extra bracing to deal with extra tension of the longer scale).

The result of all the work is a uke which, to be honest, sounds fantastic and plays with a hair-over 1/16" action at the 12th fret.




No cracks to be found in the top and back and only tiny hairlines near the neck pocket on the sides... overall this is in great shape!


Original bone nut and cool 50s Harmony label.


Rosewood board, big old original brass frets... feels nice. Those are faux-MoP plastic dots. This has a 14 3/4" scale length and a wide 1 7/16" nut width.


Bound soundhole, back and top edge...


This is the original bridge though I had to shave it down a bit to get the action right before I glued it down again.




It's cool that this has its original sales label, still... and the new simple Grover 2B tuners work much better than the "atomic age" friction pegs that this came with.





I put the 2nd dowel in externally since the neck set had already been done (well) in the past. I popped a 50s-looking black-sparkle plastic position dot over its end in keeping with the faux-MoP dots in the board...

1 comment:

Chris Till said...

Jake, I love your blog. I scored one of these today at a Dayton, Ohio junk shop for $35. Great condition. Original case. It had been in the window for quite a while, according to the owner. Many looked, he said, nobody bought.