c.1930 Reed Walnut Soprano Ukulele

I've worked on one other Reed uke built exactly like this save that it was built entirely from mahogany. This one, however, is entirely built from walnut... which looks nice, sounds nice, and, uh... is nice! I'm not too sure of the maker of these instruments, but they were marketed by Reed out of Chicago, and my guess (based on near identical body style, bracing, headstock shape, etc.) is that this was possibly made by Regal for them.

This uke had some work done to it previously with a number of securely-repaired, if not perfectly executed, cracks, followed by a neck reset that left the angle just a hair too "forward." There's also an overspray to the top of the instrument, but it's so thin that the tone is not effected. I've reglued a couple of hairlines, reseated a number of frets, cleaned it all up, and set it up. Part of the work involved reshaping the bridge as its saddle was too high and the intonation was off.

Top and back are bound in black celluloid, the fretboard is ebony with MOP dots an curiously ends at the body join, like an upscaled stylized Hawaiian-ish build. Tuners are the typical bakelite kind you see on most ukes from the time. It's super lightweight and very responsive.

The neck is a three-piece type, walnut/ebony/walnut, or if not ebony some sort of dyed hardwood.

Nickel-silver frets with MOP dots. A very nice, wide, comfy board.

Bridge with new profiling to the front. There's a bit of glare on it from the sun.

Simple rosette.


Back. The color of the uke is a nice chocolate brown.

Bakelite pegs with some paint splatter on them... unfortunate but adds some character.

Here you can see that skunk-stripe neck construction a little better. This makes for a good, strong neck.

Not to mention: nice little inlaid end-strip.

...and an original brown case!