5/15/2016

1940s Favilla Mahogany Soprano Ukulele





Folks that are looking for a simple vintage mainland-made mahogany soprano and don't opt for a Martin style 0 generally then drift over to these New York-made Favillas. They're a little simpler in build along the lines of Gretsch ukes, but the quality is much closer to a Martin in terms of fit, finish, durability, and overall tonal quality. These sound an awful lot like the Martin equivalent -- and that's a good thing.

This one came to me in great shape but did need the frets leveled/dressed and the bridge shaved to get setup "on the dot" at 1/16" at the 12th fret. I did that work, cleaned it up, and strung it with a set of those D'Addario "Titanium" uke strings. They're nice on this and the thicker diameters of the blue-ish nylon-ish material give a good heft to the warm/sweet tone you can always expect from a Favilla.


This uke is crack-free and good to go. The lower bout is 6 1/2" across and it's, basically, around the same proportions as a Martin uke. Its top and back are dead-flat, however, where mostly the Martins have a bit of curve to their rears.


Everything is original to the uke -- including the simple friction pegs and rosewood nut. The nut width on this is 1 13/32" and it has a 13 1/2" scale length.




The bridge got a shave-down to lower the action. I re-profiled it a lot like a Hawaiian-style uke from the 20s, though the strings still pass over the remains of the original rosewood saddle. It then got a bit of stain and some finish to match it back up (gloss-wise) with the original finish.

This bridge originally would've looked like the one on this other Favilla.



There's usewear throughout, but overall it's in great shape for its age.






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