9/10/2015

1950s Maccaferri Islander Plastic Uke




Plastic ukes are one of my favorite distractions. This one's a 50s Maccaferri -- and like the other Islander models -- it's just too fun. As long as you don't expect these to sound like a Kamaka or a Martin you're going to be delighted by what they can do. They have a certain sort of springy, almost charango or vihuela (Mexican) sound to them that's perfect for fast strumming.

I'm keeping this uke for myself (it walked through the door in trade this morning) and as someone who has too many ukes... I need them all to do different things. In this case I've tuned it DGBE using the baritone uke trick (for GCEA players of that instrument) of swapping around the strings. The C becomes the D, the G stays G, the A becomes the B, and the E is moved on over. Yes -- this makes the inner courses high-pitched and the outer courses low-pitched... but the magic is that if you're simply strumming chords or fingerpicking chords it makes an excellent recording sound and can be a perfect tuning for guitar or baritone uke players moving to a soprano.


This particular Islander is "strawberry swirl" with a cream top. Yum! The bridge and fretboard are both a darker version of the same stuff -- raspberry? Yum!

The usual Mac needs were evident: I had to reglue portions of the seams on the neck that were coming up and set the saddle and nut slots lower for a proper setup.










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