1980s Sonny D Longneck Ukulele

I'm guesstimating the age of this guy to the '80s, but it might be newer than that. The oddball plastic inlay and general design, though, suggest it's at least that old, even if the tuners deny that. This was sent in for repair ages ago and it had some definite quirks that needed addressing. Now that it's all buttoned-up, though, it's playing beautifully. The longer scale length and spruce top give it a tone that's a bit more chimey than a regular concert uke and with a bit more bell-like snap to suit melody playing.

These are made in Hawaii by Sonny D himself and, as many folks know, this brand is choice make for Ohta-san himself.

Work included making and fitting a new bridge (the old one was wonky and installed at an odd angle), a fret level/dress, and setup. I used Madagascar rosewood for the bridge so it would look in place with the older rosewood of the back, sides, and fretboard.

Note the oddities of a handmade instrument, here -- the neck itself is not cut "on straight lines" in its taper but has parts where it swells side to side, the string path is off-center, and the whole instrument is not symmetrical. It's endearing to me, though, because most of my favorite old Hawaiian ukes from the '20s through the '50s are exactly the same way -- nothing is "true" but they become instant love-affair instruments.