View Full Version : cracks in old ukes

11-21-2017, 11:16 AM

so pray tell, how badly do repaired cracks effect
uke sound
does it vary greatly

reason asking
have two uks with repaired cracks

Koaloa and very old Martin
each sound wonderful
have i just been very lucky

yours truly

11-22-2017, 03:26 AM
I have an old Martin with repaired cracks on the back and it sounds amazing...:shaka:

11-22-2017, 03:41 AM
People make a big deal about cracks. I suppose there are cracks and there are CRACKS. Overall a good luthier can often repair a crack so that it will be completely stable, sound fine and is nearly invisible. It may vary from one instrument to another, but I have heard instruments that have been repaired that sound terrific.

11-22-2017, 04:24 AM
I have similar experiences to other posters. I have three vintage ukes, a Martin, an Oscar Schmidt, and a Regal, all of which have well-repaired cracks. The cracks are nearly invisible (I can find them if I really look), and all three ukes sound spectacular.

Pukulele Pete
11-22-2017, 04:31 AM
I have an early Martin Style 1 that had a dozen cracks , a hole , broken sound hole , now all fixed and sounds great.

11-23-2017, 01:33 AM
Repaired cracks are merely a cosmetical issue, they don't affect the sound.

'Live' cracks can cause buzzing in rare cases, but are mainly a problem for the instrument's integrity. You have them repaired to prevent further damage.

11-23-2017, 02:07 AM
I have an early Martin - about 1934 - with repaired cracks and a gold label Kamaka with similar repairs. They are great sounding instruments. The cracks made them more affordable. The Kamaka is my favorite reach for instrument.

Inksplosive AL
11-26-2017, 07:40 AM
I have a little 1920's-30's Harmony that is a survivor bought from a kind soul who saved her from the junk pile. While its not a K brand or a Martin it is a very old very light uke made from old mahogany and has a heck of a bark Ive not experienced in a newer instrument.

She is a special girl as she was split down both sides lengthwise with quite a chunk taken out of one. I believe there was a new or at least re-glued bridge and she has been drilled so the strings pass through the top plate. When I first bought her I thought she was hard to play but after a couple years of noodling it is different but just as easy to play as any.

Strung with Aquila nylagut Ive been lazy as I want to restring it with Aquila reds. I'm interested in what the reds do to the sound of the old light mahogany. I'm used to the papery velvet like feel of the reds much more than any other type string. But now I'm rambling off topic... She rests in a soft NOS metallic vinyl case within arms reach and gets played at least every few days. One of three of my brood that is in a regularly played rotation.

~peace~ 104736

11-26-2017, 08:35 AM
If it isn't broke don't fix it. I have some player Martins that have cracks, the cracks haven't moved in years so I play them as is. I have improved some ukuleles by repairing and refinishing the tops. This takes a little of the top material off and tunes up the rest of the instrument in the process. Also a nicely repaired instrument will be treated better by future owners.

11-26-2017, 02:18 PM
I have a 40s Favilla soprano with a repaired crack and one crack that isn't repaired.
It sounds amazing!

Like Frianm said, it makes them affordable.
If you do get a crack that causes a buzz the hot hide glue/percussive repair doesn't look too hard.