8/28/2016

1920s Gibson UB-2 Banjo Ukulele



This is a customer's instrument that was in for some work (a new head, fret level/dress, bridge, and setup), but I just have to say -- I really, really like old Gibson jo-ukes. These things always sound good no matter the flavor (some are bitey and thinner, some are thwoppy and mellower -- this one's right in the middle) and the necks feel excellent. They're also well-designed and have a coordinator-rod setup through the rim which makes action adjustments easy-peasy.

I'm not entirely sure if the finish is all original (my hunch is -- probably? -- it feels right), but I haven't handled a UB that's had this coloration before.


I remounted a vintage skin head for this uke that was borrowed off a torn larger banjo's head.

My only complaint with Gibson banjos of this time is that they fit the tension hoop and rim to such close spec that it's sometimes very difficult to install a new skin head if the rim has swelled/changed at all over time. It was a bit of a headache to get this on because of that and I have to admit that I didn't level it off perfectly on all sides (though the tension is right) when I did the job.


All the original hardware is extant, though the owners added 4:1 geared banjo pegs at some point -- good-going, folks, why suffer?


It's hard to argue with diamonds...












It even has its original hard case! Nice.

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