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View Full Version : Help me identify what I just got..



kerneltime
10-26-2018, 12:13 PM
eBay: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F29 2771010750

The ukulele is a baritone with no stamps labels etc..
What parts would you like to photograph?
It sounds decent (has crappy strings that I have not yet gotten a chance to change)

kerneltime
10-26-2018, 12:15 PM
I plan to use this uke to try out refinishing.

kerneltime
10-26-2018, 04:29 PM
This is a laminate uke made in USA (most likely in Chicago) around 60s/70s based on folks at gryphon strings.
That should explain the no cracks and excellent condition.
Cleaned it up with lemon oil, cleaned frets, new strings, it sounds good!

Joe King
10-26-2018, 09:30 PM
eBay: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F29 2771010750

The ukulele is a baritone with no stamps labels etc..
What parts would you like to photograph?
It sounds decent (has crappy strings that I have not yet gotten a chance to change)

That auction link goes to a soprano pineapple uke.

Is Gryphon Strings the seller here?

If you already bought this one, and the auction does not show "many available" how come the item is still for sale?

Maybe you have inserted the wrong link here?

I am sure we would love to see the instrument you have, but since things are this way, sadness is here instead.

ukulelekarcsi
10-27-2018, 02:22 AM
Harmony, by the looks of the bridge, soundbox and fretboard - only the Martin-like headstock is something out of the ordinary, probably because it's made to order for a different brand.

river_driver
10-27-2018, 01:37 PM
I'm going to be the dissenting voice here. I don't think it's Chicago, and I know Chicago. I think it's Japanese.

spongeuke
10-27-2018, 04:33 PM
I'd say it maybe one of the first 1990s Chinese, see Bushman, The head stock is not like a Martin at all.
If I was starting out again on my first refinishing shot. My advise is to try out French Polishing. Easy to fix mistakes, Alcohol based fumes, no spraying technique required and is a very playable treatment. Also maybe a realy beat up older one that is easier to strip.

Jeffelele
10-28-2018, 02:09 AM
I am sure we would love to see the instrument you have, but since things are this way, sadness is here instead.

One of the best sentences ever on UUF!

river_driver
10-28-2018, 02:56 AM
Look up Uke Yak on FMM for 7 Aug 2008. Harmony Baritone. Looks like the tuners and bridge and shape match in the photos. The caption from Chuck says "That Baritone is worth about 3009 bucks. Its of the best series of Harmony ukes. Good luck..I have one and love it...chuck". Check the photos for yourself, there is a colour difference.

Yup...and if you zoom in on that picture, you can see that the label says Made in Japan.

Harmony closed the Chicago factory in 1970 or 1971. All Chicago production was solid woods. Laminates didn't come into play until production moved overseas.

kerneltime
10-28-2018, 03:56 AM
Look up Uke Yak on FMM for 7 Aug 2008. Harmony Baritone. Looks like the tuners and bridge and shape match in the photos. The caption from Chuck says "That Baritone is worth about 3009 bucks. Its of the best series of Harmony ukes. Good luck..I have one and love it...chuck". Check the photos for yourself, there is a colour difference.
Excellent find!! Thank you!! The tuners, the bridge, headstock shape and the fretboard are the same. I will click pics and post soon.

kerneltime
10-28-2018, 04:45 AM
Pics of the baritone
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-6JmcG7v/0/0e90edea/XL/i-6JmcG7v-XL.jpg
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-WQ5GHZs/0/4bb8bf23/XL/i-WQ5GHZs-XL.jpg
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-s77Zp4V/0/6a9023f3/XL/i-s77Zp4V-XL.jpg
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-Jv7N7L7/0/48f615c2/XL/i-Jv7N7L7-XL.jpg

kerneltime
10-28-2018, 04:46 AM
more pics..
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-2zsvxS9/0/18cebb86/XL/i-2zsvxS9-XL.jpg
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-LRbh3BR/0/806717f8/XL/i-LRbh3BR-XL.jpg
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-7Zz4sQK/0/c8a0aee8/XL/i-7Zz4sQK-XL.jpg
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-tWbBJTK/0/f9cb5a3f/XL/i-tWbBJTK-XL.jpg

kerneltime
10-28-2018, 04:47 AM
Final pic. Next up sound sample coming soon..
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-nfHQKRM/0/e29e7931/XL/i-nfHQKRM-XL.jpg

Osprey
10-28-2018, 04:49 AM
Not sure who made it. But it is a beauty.

kerneltime
10-28-2018, 05:11 AM
Here is another similar one, maybe this is from the 80s http://www.retrofret.com/products.asp?ProductID=5477

kerneltime
10-28-2018, 04:16 PM
Looking for the identification is interesting and turned up some other treasures to follow.
The owner of a large guitar repair and selling shop I used to frequent would wax lyrical about plywood or laminate opening up after 50 or so years. He was mad about laminate guitars and instruments made in Japan more than 40 - 50 years ago and was buying them for the shop. I have had several instruments which support his theory old laminates which seem to have opened up or improved that were more than 50 years old. Of course if you compare them to a solid wood good quality instrument built on the same day, there is still a marked difference, but they are definitely vibrating more freely than a new laminate instrument.
The Japanese built and still build fine musical instruments. They had good wood to make the laminates. So despite the low purchase price, the instrument in the photo may be a treasure which may just be loosening up. Perhaps it is not the best candidate to use for your first attempt at refinishing, and perhaps if you keep it clean and dry, it will last another 40(?) years or more as it is?
Maybe a better candidate for learning about refinishing would be a $30 Chinese thing? Sand off the colourful paint and get a natural wood look?
Wise words.. thank you!
For now I cleaned it up with lemon oil and applied tru oil with very gentle rubs Pre tru oil with steel wool.
I plan to fix setup first. It needs a new nut and I need to try other strings.

kerneltime
10-31-2018, 02:08 PM
Soundsample: https://soundcloud.com/user-976857705/vintagebaritonetunedhalfstepup
It is loud and hard to record on a phone

kerneltime
04-25-2019, 08:27 AM
I chatted with Retrofrets (Great folks!)
They had a very similar looking uke and it most likely is a Harmony RB-3525 Model Baritone Ukulele, made in Japan