8/15/2017

2010s Blue Frog Cedar Soprano Ukulele





Blue Frog ukes are made by a fellow named Vic Jones and, judging by the gallery pictures on his website, this one dates from somewhere between 2010 and present. It's roughly "vintage Martin soprano" in size and shape with a 6 1/2" lower bout and 2 3/8" depth, but from there it departs quite a bit. Both the top and the back are solid cedar (interesting!) and the sides appear to be made from some sort of walnut-like wood. I have no idea what wood the binding and fretboard are made of, but the neck does look like Spanish cedar with a center strip of something else.

Using softwood for the top and the back is the main interest in wood choice, however, and doesn't seem to hurt or advantage the tone. This is a pretty straight-up, chipper, and relaxed instrument -- it sounds good! The neck has a medium-ish D-shaped back and a flat-profile fretboard. The frets are all well-seated and accurate, too, which is something that can be hit-or-miss for builders that don't have a zillion instruments behind them.

My work on this one included a mild setup and adjustments and -- that's it! It's playing on-the-dot with 1/16" action at the 12th fret, is strung with fluorocarbon strings, and has a straight neck. The nut and saddle are bone, too. Overall the uke is in great shape and only shows the most minor evidence of playwear.


The herringbone rosette and dark-grey wood binding is a nice look with the cedar.


I love the weirdo headstock! Too few ukes go out on a limb with their headstocks and I appreciate it when I see it. It's sort-of a similar vibe to the ones I get from early Hawaiian instruments.

The nut width is 1 3/8" and this has a 13 1/2" scale length.




Perhaps the ebony insert in the bridge is to resist string wear? Note the compensated saddle.










That endstrip is a nice touch.


It comes with a plain gigbag.

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