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View Full Version : Anyone know about this old uke?



ukeinfused
06-16-2018, 06:56 AM
Curious about the history on this old uke with the Hawaii logo?

I thought it was worth the money based on charm alone (that old koa and rope binding!), and didn't think it would last until seller got back to me with pics of all the repairs mentioned (it didn't), but I'd like to know more about it...
Are they good players?

"Hawaii" Ukulele Koa Natural 1920s https://applink.reverb.com/item/13172513-hawaii-ukulele-koa-natural-1920s

And really, I do not need one. more. uke...

Junie Moon
06-16-2018, 07:13 AM
That one caught my eye, too. Eager to see what others say about it.

Ukecaster
06-16-2018, 07:46 AM
Might be on here? http://www.ukulele.org/?Reference_Desk:Vintage_Ukuleles

That case is way cool too!

ukeinfused
06-16-2018, 07:53 AM
Might be on here? http://www.ukulele.org/?Reference_Desk:Vintage_Ukuleles

That case is way cool too!

I know. If that's a uke case and not for a violin, prob worth the price right there.

Dansimpson
06-16-2018, 08:15 AM
I'm not really into old ukes as such, but had that been in the UK it would have made it onto my impulse buy list :-)

Jerryc41
06-18-2018, 01:22 AM
I saw someone with a uke that had that decal on the head about a year ago, and I looked it up. I forget the details, but they made thousands, and I believe they gave many away to tourists arriving in Hawaii. Of course, it could have been a different, similar decal I saw.

ukulelekarcsi
06-18-2018, 09:18 AM
It's obviously a Southern California Music Company (SoCal) ukulele, made from koa and with a Hawaiian crest, but built with Mainland appointments (heel, rosette, fretboard...).

ukeinfused
06-19-2018, 05:29 PM
It's obviously a Southern California Music Company (SoCal) ukulele, made from koa and with a Hawaiian crest, but built with Mainland appointments (heel, rosette, fretboard...).

You know your ukes! Were they good players?

ukulelekarcsi
06-20-2018, 06:27 AM
Good instruments, certainly not tourist props, but still made in very large quantities without a lot of quality control. Unless you count almost a century of preservation as a kind of quality check - the bad ones probably didn't make it that far. The woods used were certainly good, the design was good and light, the workmanship sometimes sloppy... Above the Chicago grade stuff (although the fretboard tells me it's probably made there) but still slightly below the Martin and Kamaka standards, and on par with Kumalae, which was the direct competitor in the early mass production of ukuleles. If this particular one is a good instrument is hard to tell from pictures, but it probably is.

ukeinfused
06-24-2018, 10:16 AM
Good instruments, certainly not tourist props, but still made in very large quantities without a lot of quality control. Unless you count almost a century of preservation as a kind of quality check - the bad ones probably didn't make it that far. The woods used were certainly good, the design was good and light, the workmanship sometimes sloppy... Above the Chicago grade stuff (although the fretboard tells me it's probably made there) but still slightly below the Martin and Kamaka standards, and on par with Kumalae, which was the direct competitor in the early mass production of ukuleles. If this particular one is a good instrument is hard to tell from pictures, but it probably is.

Thank you!
I find myself drawn more and more to vintage instruments...

May I ask how you recognize a Chicago-made fretboard?
I think I can tell mainland from the back but not the front...

ukeinfused
06-24-2018, 10:20 AM
I'm guessing the case is a violin case. Anyone know for sure?

ukulelekarcsi
06-24-2018, 12:01 PM
The 'swoop' at the end of the fretboard is telling.

And it's certainly NOT a violin case, but a ukulele one - violin cases are longer and a bit bigger.

UkerDanno
06-24-2018, 03:25 PM
I would guess the fretboard is an add-on, I think most of this vintage had a flush fretboard and something happened, so they over laid it, look at the sloppy cut on the curvy end, even a sloppy factory can do better than that!

ukulelekarcsi
06-24-2018, 11:54 PM
I would guess the fretboard is an add-on, I think most of this vintage had a flush fretboard and something happened, so they over laid it, look at the sloppy cut on the curvy end, even a sloppy factory can do better than that!

In fact, it is a factory installed one!

Putting on a raised fretboard on a traditionally built ukulele would also mean making a raised nut (this one is standard height) and raised saddle. And while doing that, drastically changing the angle of the strings.

The heel construction also says it's a mainland style, with a 'stuck-on' neck rather than a 'built-in' one.

ukeinfused
06-26-2018, 10:54 PM
The buyer returned it and the uke is back on sale. I'd asked for more photos, the seller has added a couple of those. The "patch" repair looks poorly done and more like putty than a patch to my eye...
Might serve best as a wall hanger? (Still think it looks kinda cool.)