c.1925 Regal Koa Soprano Ukulele

Update 2012: This is made from flamed Cuban mahogany, not koa.

Here's a little compare and contrast with the Regal uke I posted a few posts down. This is my own dear little soprano uke, probably made a little earlier than the one below, as its features are folksier, less rounded, and the neck is made in the Hawaiian fashion: frets right into it, as opposed to being on a fretboard.

It's a fantastic little uke, super loud, with a warm, mellow tone that is excellent for fingerpicking (which is how I play uke for the most part). The body and neck are both made of koa, I believe, as the tone has slightly more snap than mahogany and it, well... looks like koa! I've done a number of repairs: two top cracks, reglue of the neck and all the braces, and general cleaning and setup. It was missing the 12th fret, also, which is pretty regular on non-fingerboard ukes.

The finish is original, and while a little checked and showing some crackle, it's thin and gleams very nicely. It's bound on top and soundhole with black somethingorother (celluloid) and has wonderful multicolored purfling all around the top and soundhole, as well. The soundboard has some curl in it, too!

Also, that lovely arched back has a good deal of curl.

Simple, agreeable headstock, with bakelite tuners.


Soundhole detail. Pretty cute, huh? I had regular Martins on at the time, just to hear it, but now it has some brown Worths and they've really opened up the tone quite a bit more.

Check out that flame! The colors in the photos are pretty true, too... very red/orangey little devil.