10/21/2018

1920s Lange-made Avalon Resonator Banjo Ukulele




I've worked on scores of old Lange-made banjo ukes and this one is clearly meant to be in the middle-to-professional grade. It has a full resonator and a fast, comfortable neck. This has a stenciled "Avalon" brand and glued-on bit of pearloid finery at the headstock, but is otherwise pretty plainly-appointed. The neck, rim, and resonator all seem to be made from black walnut, which is both a pretty and good-sounding (like a more maple-ish mahogany) tonewood.

This one's all-original save its older bridge and the resonator-attachment bolts I scrounged from my parts-bins. Work included a fret level/dress, side dots install, cleaning, and setup. It plays with spot-on 1/16" action at the 12th fret, has a straight neck, and the strings seem to be older nylon that're a little low-tension but still sound good.

Specs are: 13 1/8" scale, 1 3/16" nut width, 1" string spacing at the nut, 1 3/8" spacing at the bridge, 7 1/8" head diameter, 9" resonator, and 2 3/4" overall depth.

Materials are: ply-walnut rim, ply-walnut resonator, walnut neck, ebonized-maple fretboard. The rim has no tonering which accounts for its sweeter, warmer tone -- though the resonator gives it a bunch of cut. The head is original and skin.



The Grover Champion Junior friction pegs are still going strong but their rubberized washers can catch a little as the seasons change. They always hold well, though.








There's a little grungy repaired seam near the neck-hole in the resonator. It's solid, though.




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