5/25/2015

1950s Favilla Baritone Uke




This is a consignor's baritone uke and it just came in on Friday. It's definitely been around the block, what with all of the finish crackle and use-wear, but it was thankfully unmolested save a couple of old repairs to seams on the back. Favillas are excellent baris, as any vintage uke collector will let you know. This one sounds great and, after work, plays as it should, too. I'm fairly certain this one was made on the earlier side of production as it has the simple "burned in" mark in the soundhole rather than a paper label.

Work included a fret level/dress, saddle shave, and also conversion of the tie-block bridge-end to a pin-bridge setup. This was to facilitate getting better back-angle on the saddle. I've done this a lot to old Harmony baritone ukes but this is the first time I needed to do it to a Favilla. Action is a hair above 1/16" at the 12th fret -- right where it should be on a bari.




To my eyes, all that finish crazing and crackle says: this was sprayed thin and that's all-plus. The "mojo" is all-plus, too, to borrow an over-used guitar term.



The neck had a very light warp to it which was negated by leveling-off the frets. The profile of the back is a soft C shape that's very fast and comfortable. The 1 3/8" nut width is "just right" combined with the 19" scale, too.

Both the board and bridge are Brazilian rosewood and the body and neck are both solid mahogany.



The conversion went well and those a pearl-dotted ebony pins. One just needs to knot the end of the string a few times and then pop it in the hole with the pin just like on any guitar. There was minor chipping-out during cut-down because of the old string slots, but it's not obvious.




The tuners are still healthy.






This picture gives you the harshest view of all that crazing! I see it a lot on Favillas, but this one has a definite "spiderweb" feel to it.

The uke comes with a really beat-up 50s chip case that's only useful for storage... but at least it has it!

1 comment:

Art 'Dreco said...

It may be beat up, but it's a joy to play!