1920s Slingerland-style 7" Head Banjo Ukulele

I took this banjo-uke in trade about a year ago and that explains how backed-up even my own, personal projects are. It didn't even need that much to get it up and running, too, and now that it is it's a nice example of its type -- chipper, bright, cheerful, durable, and maple-y cute. It's also playing spot-on, too.

While this one has no branding, I've worked on dozens of its same type over the years and almost all are branded "Slingerland" or "MayBell" (a Slingerland brand) or "Concertone." Once in a while you find them under other brands but those are the most common. I have my suspicion that Regal built them for Slingerland but I can't confirm it 100% as I haven't encountered Regal-branded versions yet. I have encountered plenty of similar tenor banjos marked Slingerland that I've also found with the Regal mark from time to time, too.

At any rate, this one is on the earlier side as it originally had a "wooden shim" neck brace system. I've replaced that with a simple screw/bolt setup for durability's sake, here. These 7" head openbacks come with two scale lengths -- 13" with the bridge closer to the center of the head and 14" with it near the edge of the rim. This is the 14" version and the advantage of that is that if the skin head slacks when the weather gets humid, the action and tone doesn't change as much as on ones with the bridge in the middle. It gives it a brighter, spankier tone, too.

The rim construction on this is ply-maple and the neck is one-piece maple. There's a simple hoop tonering at the top edge of the rim, too.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, side dots install, new (vintage) skin head install, replacement bridge, cleaning, setup, etc.

Rim wood: ply maple

Tonering: simple hoop

Bridge: rosewood

Fretboard: maple

Neck wood: maple

Action height at 12th fret: 1/16"
String gauges: D'Addario fluorocarbon

Neck shape: medium C

Board radius: flat

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium/narrow

Scale length: 13 7/8"

Nut width: 1 5/16"

Head diameter: 6 7/8"

Depth overall at rim: 2 5/8"

Weight: 1 lb 13 oz

Condition notes: it's original except for new side dots, a replacement head, two of the hook/nuts, and a replacement bridge. There's minor usewear throughout (scratches, small nicks) and a small little patched edge to the fretboard at the first fret area. I also changed the "wooden shim" neck brace to a simple "bolt" attachment for the neck. Its original friction pegs work just fine (hold tune and turn smoothly) but I always suggest upgrading to geared pegs if you're planning to use it every day. I like the GraphTech units (~$25) or the Gotoh UPTs (~$75) with preference for the Gotohs as they're perfect in every way but costly.