4/29/2016

1940s Martin 1T Tenor Ukulele


This is a customer's 1T, and like the last 1T from the '40s I had in, it's a dark-toned, sweet-sounding instrument that's really suited to mellow, chordal playing and "dug-in" single-note lead. Workmanship on the build is, as usual, high-quality, and it's all-original save some later ebony bridge pins. Normal specs apply with solid mahogany for the body and neck and Brazilian rosewood for the bridge and board.

My work was simply to give it a fret level/dress to dial-out a bit of relief in the neck and a saddle shave/setup with new fluorocarbon strings. It plays spot-on and easily.


There are no cracks on this uke and the finish is in relatively good shape. I like the hints of playwear around the soundhole.






There was, fortunately, plenty of room to come down on the saddle -- which is a good thing, as I had to shave it nearly right down to the deck to get the proper 1/16" action at the 12th fret. I string-ramped behind the saddle, too, to get better back-angle (more tone!) on it.




I would love to see the owner's face if he opted to put a set of Gotoh UPTs on here in place of the Champion friction pegs. While the Champs are original equipment, they can often get a bit "grabby" when the weather changes.






You've gotta be a nut not to love tortoise against brown mahogany.

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