1920s Stromberg-Voisinet Resonator Banjo Ukulele




Ho, boy! That's some bling. This has to be one of the fanciest versions of these old Kay/SV-made banjo ukes that I've worked-on -- and I've worked on a lot of them. They tend to feature a longer soprano scale, tenor banjo-profiled neck for speedy chording (and stable for steel-string use if desired), and oodles of period trim -- the pearloid veneer on the neck and headstock is classic. This one also has a tonering and a full, wide, flat-backed resonator with full flange, too. It's Formby-tastic.

The cool bit is that every one of these I've sold has stayed with its new owners as far as I know, too, as they're handy, pro-feeling, pro-sounding little buggers.

Work included fret seating, a fret level/dress, cleaning, and general setup. It plays with 1/16" action at the 12th fret (spot-on), has a straight neck, and is strung with (I think) GHS nylon/wound nylon "banjo uke" strings. It has a warm, percussive, forward, and punchy tone that's made "wider" by the 8" head.

The instrument is clean and all-original except for a replacement, older bridge and an old repair (done via Bernunzio in New York) to a crack in the heel at the dowel join. That was repaired well and is stable in service.

Specs are: 13 7/8" scale, 1 3/16" nut width, 1" string spacing at the nut, 1 5/16" spacing at the bridge, 8" head diameter, 10 1/2" resonator back, and 3" depth overall. The fretboard is flat-profile and the rear of the neck has a C/V shape with mild-to-medium-depth.

Materials are: 2-piece mahogany neck, pearloid-veneered maple fretboard, bound fretboard, ply-maple rim with mahogany veneer, mahogany resonator, full nickel-plated flange. 




I love the weird, contrasting, grey faux-pearl dots used on these.




In this heel shot you can see the faint line of the old heel repair.



That resonator rear is nice and fancy!


The friction pegs work just fine.





Comments

Bob said…
Dang, I've got one of those too and was thinking of sending it up to you to find it a new owner! Have you seen the pictures of the original head, which had a picture of Buster Brown and his dog... The uke having been used as a marketing gimmick for Buster Brown Shoes! That original had was long gone from mine too, what I found it in pieces at a local auction and had another country repair man peace it all back together for me about a half dozen years ago. Yours is looking good, and I bet the new owner will be very happy with it. And write back and sing its praises, and then I will send you mine! Or maybe there's some banjo uke Duo out there who would love to have a pair of matching instruments! :-)
Bob said…
( yes, I wrote that comment with my phone, with voice to text and tired eyes. Sorry for the typos )