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View Full Version : Can anyone here ID this Ukulele?



Recovering Bassist
01-02-2017, 07:02 AM
Hey everyone, I've been lurking awhile here, great board! I'm finally jumping into the fray. I bought this Ukulele 31 years ago off a roommate who was moving out for 30 bucks, and it was used then. It was down to just 2 strings for the last 8 years or so, but I still goofed around with it on a fairly regular basis. To show my Ukulele ignorance, I was told back in '85 that it was a tenor Uke, so recently I decided to buy myself a new tenor, and much to my surprise I found my old friend was a baritone all along, and I had no clue of the different tuning on the smaller Uke's either, so it's been an "adventure" lately, and then I decided to get new strings for my old one. It needs a lot of work, the seams on the back are coming apart for one thing, but I just play it around the house and it still holds tuning, so, don't really plan on getting any work done on it, but been wondering what brand of a Uke it is. it has no ID of any kind on the headstock, or inside the body. Anyone have any clue? 9666996670

Booli
01-02-2017, 08:20 AM
With no obvious markings, that's a tough call.

I've seen some older Harmony and Silvertone baritone ukes have markings on the neck block. If you shine a flashlight down into the sound hole, pointing towards the neck side, under where the fretboard extension is, there is a block of wood that might have a date, serial number or makers name stamped or pyrographically branded into the wood.

I've seen this done as a 'backup' maker's mark in case the label that is typically placed on the inside 'back' to be viewed from the soundhole ever gets damaged or falls out...

Aside from that, I got no ideas, but my experience in this area is limited, so hopefully folks with more knowledge will see this thread and offer some more/better help.

/edit/ if you can show a picture of the back of the headstock that has a closeup of the tuners, this might be able to narrow it down, for example, Mahalo uses a very unique 'Dolphin' shaped plate on their geared tuners, but tons of brands use those parallelogram-shaped tuners with similar buttons to what I can see....

Recovering Bassist
01-02-2017, 10:32 AM
Hey, good call, there are numbers branded into the wood just below, and slightly to the left, the end of the fretboard extension. They are 08. 12. 01 The first two however could also possibly be 88, or even AH, or OH. Here's a pick of the back of the headstock. 96675

Booli
01-02-2017, 11:13 AM
Hey, good call, there are numbers branded into the wood just below, and slightly to the left, the end of the fretboard extension. They are 08. 12. 01 The first two however could also possibly be 88, or even AH, or OH. Here's a pick of the back of the headstock. 96675

Looking at your first pictures again, the bridge looks a lot like my 1950s Harmony baritone, but these originally had friction tuners. Those tuners in your picture here are used by MANY brands that have a similar or the same shape, but then again, if the tuners were replaced by a previous owner then this wont really tell us much.

Those numbers might. The wear on the finish on the top, back and the back of the neck by the headstock could be from rough use, neglect, or just age, but again, I'm no expert.

Where are all the folks here that are aficionados of these older baritone ukes?

Typically when someone shows an old Harmony, Silvertone, Favila or similar, there's like a total gush-fest over how great these vintage all-solid wood ukes sound...

Maybe everyone is still recovering from New Year's Eve and has not made it to the keyboard yet....:(

Anybody?

Sorry I could not be more helpful.....

stevejfc
01-02-2017, 11:31 AM
looks like an early 60's Silvertone to me. Then again, I might be hung-over (Booli)...........and the 60's have been really fuzzy since, well, the 60's.

Recovering Bassist
01-02-2017, 12:33 PM
I honestly don't think it was 25 years old when I got it in the mid 80's. Just taking a wild uneducated guess, I'd say it was between 5 and 15 years old then, but I could easily be way off. I'd be surprised though if it was from the late 50's or early 60's.

The wear on the finish on the top, back and the back of the neck by the headstock could be from rough use, neglect, or just age, but again, I'm no expert.

All of the above. I've used it as a beater all these years. I've always had a real affinity for it though, and I think it sounds good, but then again I'm biased. Like i said it was down to only 2 string for several years till very recently. With the new strings it has a buzz/twang on the G string, esp when it's played open.

river_driver
01-02-2017, 01:09 PM
It's not a Chicago-made Harmony/Silvertone. They have squared headstocks. My gut says Japanese, 1970's. is it solid woods or laminate?

Recovering Bassist
01-02-2017, 08:51 PM
I think it's laminate actually, but then again I freely admit I am terrible and telling the difference.