8/08/2014

c.1955 Harmony Baritone Uke



Update 2016: This is back for consignment with only two changes -- new tuners and a hard case coming with it. I've updated the photos. The uke is playing great and sounds tops.

Here's audio #2 from 2016:



This is a customer's uke that's patiently been waiting for service. It got a fret level/dress, bridge shave, K&K pickup install, and setup. She's a sweet player and gosh -- what nice solid mahogany this particular Harmony has! There's so much light curl and figure throughout it's a bit shocking (well, not so much to me, because I'm used to seeing it on Harmony stuff from this time).


I'm a big proponent of 50s Harmony baris: they're simply the most affordable, good-quality solid-hog bari you can get. If you invest in one and have it setup and worked on to play right you can be a head above any import (and hot on the heels of Vegas) for around $200-250, whereas Favillas and on up will run (fixed-up properly) $400 and above. Right out of the gate "as is" from the factory, though, these ukes simply don't play well.


The 50s baris also usually have bone nuts and saddles which = tone enhancer over the cruddy hard plastic Harmony used in the 60s.


Nice rosewood board with brass frets. This neck had some relief that was dialed out in the leveling process.



As usual the saddle area of the bridge needed a bunch of shaving to get action height correct. I also needed to drill loading holes for the strings slightly lower than the originals to get better back-angle on the saddle. The classical "tie" load was replaced with a knotted/soprano-style load instead.





Isn't that stuff pretty? -- and not a crack in sight.


The owner added new guitar-style tuners.








The jack for the K&K pickup comes out the "3/4" spot on the side.


This comes with a great, Uke Crazy hard case covered in brown faux-gator and with a burnt-orange interior. It's darn slick.

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