1950s Vega "Arthur Godfrey" Baritone Ukulele




Update June 2018: The owner of this traded it to me and so now it's available again. I've recorded a fresh video clip and took new photos.

Compared to Harmony and Favilla products, Vega baritone ukes are pretty hard to find. This is despite the fact that they were the company responsible for "inventing" the instrument via Arthur Godfrey in the first place -- back when it was called a "solo lute" and intended for popular jazzy stuff.

This one's in grand shape and I originally worked on it for a customer of mine. It has no cracks, but I did need to reglue a couple braces, give it a fret level/dress, shave the saddle area of the bridge, and set it up. It's playing on-the-dot with 1/16" action overall at the 12th fret and I have it strung with D'Addario classical guitar A&D strings for the D&G strings and Worth fluorocarbons for the B&E strings.

Specs are: 19 1/8" scale, 1 5/16" nut width, 1 1/16" string spacing at the nut, 1 11/16" spacing at the bridge, 9 3/4" lower bout, 7 5/8" upper bout, and 3 1/8" side depth at the endblock. The neck has a mild-to-medium C/D shape to the rear that's quick and pleasant. The board has a flat profile. Woods are: solid mahogany body and neck, rosewood fretboard and bridge.

The top is lightly fan-braced and the overall tone is sweet and clean with a nice sparkle on the high-end and a good balance string-to-string.






I prefer to ball-up the string ends via several knots as it gives better back-tension on the saddle than the classical tie-style stringing.




The Grover Champion friction pegs are not original but they are an improvement over the original set that was on here.


I added side dots to the board.






Note all the weather-check to the satin finish. Ah, nitro!

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