5/17/2018

1920s Harmony-made Soprano Banjo Ukulele



I did a glorified setup on this uke for a customer a long while back, but this time around it came in for trade and I went ahead and did the full number on it -- gave it a fret level/dress, modified the neck join to a bolt-style one, swapped in vintage tuners, gave it side dots, and set it up properly. Before I even got to post a soundclip, it was sold today to a charango player who's already strumming Andean licks on it. How about them apples? ...or should I say blue potatoes?

The wife and I have owned almost the exact same model of banjo uke for about 9 years, though the difference is ours has maple veneer on the rim and a maple (rather than poplar) neck. Both this one and ours sound about the same -- which is mellow and folksy but exact, with few overtones, and a good, snappy attack. I've had access to a lot of great banjo ukes but the laid-back charm of this model is what does it for our collection.







I have dampening foam shoved behind the dowel to kill overtone ring on the head and a little shoved under the tailpiece to kill the string-afterlength overtones.








While the friction pegs aren't original, they are period-correct from my parts-bins. They're also one of the three or four Champion sets I've had that really work as they're intended to -- they grab, turn smoothly, and don't slip.

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