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View Full Version : Do You Have Any "Worthless"Ukuleles?



Jerryc41
04-16-2019, 06:48 AM
Of course, if you enjoy playing it, no uke is worthless, but I mean in terms of dollars - or any other currency.

Although I whittled my collection down to fifty-four, I have eight that really have no value. They include three oldies that were cheap at the time, three cigar box builds, a kit build, and a banjo uke build. Aside from the fact that they are worth nothing, I would never sell them because they have some meaning for me, and they work. I have three others that cost $50 or less, but they work fine.

Below is a Wabash uke from about 1950, courtesy of Jim Beloff at Voorheesville, NY a few years ago. It was made on Wabash Ave in Chicago.

117041

kerneltime
04-16-2019, 06:50 AM
I usually give them to a friend who has never tried a Uke (if the Uke is playable)
Gave my RipTide to a friend who was stressed out a lot.. even if it makes a tiny dent it was worth a lot!

ukantor
04-16-2019, 07:22 AM
You can't always measure the value of a ukulele in monetary terms. I've got an old Mahalo cheapie that I've had for about twelve years. It is like an old friend.

John Colter.

RafterGirl
04-16-2019, 07:40 AM
Give them to friends so they can learn to play, or donate them to the music therapy dept. at the children’s hospital where I am a nurse.

tonyturley
04-16-2019, 07:49 AM
I have an old Crestwood Baritone uke from the 60s or 70s. The tuners are tight and sticky, but it surprisingly stays in tune well, needing only a tweak here and there when I play it. The action is high and it feels like it will implode if I hold it wrong, but it's still a lot of fun to play.

Jerryc41
04-16-2019, 08:12 AM
You can't always measure the value of a ukulele in monetary terms. I've got an old Mahalo cheapie that I've had for about twelve years. It is like an old friend.

John Colter.

Right, which is why I'll never get rid of them. I'd buy a basic Kala for someone before I'd give one of my oldies away.

jimavery
04-16-2019, 08:14 AM
Yes, both of which I have butchered for one reason or another by my rubbish carpentry skills. I really must dispose of both of them as I haven't played either for months and I wouldn't inflict them on anyone else.

Jerryc41
04-16-2019, 08:24 AM
Yes, both of which I have butchered for one reason or another by my rubbish carpentry skills. I really must dispose of both of them as I haven't played either for months and I wouldn't inflict them on anyone else.

Don't be too quick to get rid of the necks. Some people salvage necks from cheap or damaged ukes to make one of their own.

That reminds me of Randy Quaid's line in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, "Save the neck for me, Clark." :)

captain-janeway
04-16-2019, 10:12 AM
Don't be too quick to get rid of the necks. Some people salvage necks from cheap or damaged ukes to make one of their own.

That reminds me of Randy Quaid's line in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, "Save the neck for me, Clark." :)

Agree. I chop up cheap ukes for cookie tin ukes and now I have a good design for banjo ukes (you only need so many, but they're fun to build lol). It's like doing different builds on mopeds
BTW, like that uke you posted up there

Jerryc41
04-16-2019, 10:23 AM
Agree. I chop up cheap ukes for cookie tin ukes and now I have a good design for banjo ukes (you only need so many, but they're fun to build lol). It's like doing different builds on mopeds
BTW, like that uke you posted up there

One thing I learned building my first banjo uke is the importance of having - what is it, a 3 angle - on the neck. The neck should be tilted up slightly. No, I think it has to be tilted down slightly. I'll have to check on that before I make my next one. Mine is basically straight, so the action at the 12th fret is too high. I could cut the bridge and saddle only so much. It's usable, but not ideal.

RSWRecording
04-16-2019, 10:32 AM
You can't always measure the value of a ukulele in monetary terms. I've got an old Mahalo cheapie that I've had for about twelve years. It is like an old friend.

John Colter.

oh my gosh same!

captain-janeway
04-16-2019, 11:56 AM
One thing I learned building my first banjo uke is the importance of having - what is it, a 3 angle - on the neck. The neck should be tilted up slightly. No, I think it has to be tilted down slightly. I'll have to check on that before I make my next one. Mine is basically straight, so the action at the 12th fret is too high. I could cut the bridge and saddle only so much. It's usable, but not ideal.

Tilted down. If I don't have it perfect after I shave the angle on the neck(boy I'm glad I held onto those old gouges and chisels) I just adjust or make a new bridge to get the right height. I've loosened the bolt and slipped in a piece of inner tube to change the angle too. I did buy a string gauge which has helped a lot.

Have a concert and soprano that are both pretty playable, but I want to swap out the crappy tuners from the cheap uke I used for the neck.

Nickie
04-16-2019, 04:59 PM
Baz has reviewed some worthless ukes. They are ukes that are unplayable.
I have one that is barely bearable to play, but I won't get rid of it, it has too many uker's autographs on it.

PetalumaRescuke
04-16-2019, 05:10 PM
Have a couple of dozen that are awaiting rebirth in the recovery room.

frolicks
04-16-2019, 09:20 PM
It depends how you define „worth“ - the ideological worth of an instrument may well be much higher than the economic worth for an individual, as many people wrote.

But I feel that worthless can also mean useless, and I own an instrument that qualifies for this category. It‘s a beautiful old Brueko soprano uke, a standard No 6 model, quite a nice one with a quite a bit of vintage flair. However, it seems there is a loose bracing somewhere inside the corpus. For when I play it, it sounds like there is a built-in distortion effect. It actually sounds like played through an electric amplifier - without any cables attached. It‘s certainly nice for punk music, if you‘re into it. Unfortunately, I‘m not. I payed only something like 60$ for it, and if I bring it to a luthier to let him or her fix it, that would be much more expensive.

Therefore I call it my worthless uke. At least it makes a nice decoration object.

uketanzon
04-17-2019, 02:30 AM
Yes, a luna pineapple tatoo.
IMO Luna does not make ukuleles, they make wood art that resemble ukuleles in form, but not in function. they are ok wall hanger, but not serious instuments...again, my opinion.
I tried a $ 40 Kimise concert that blew away the Luna in tone, playability and intonation. same with the flight trave uke at 50 bucks.

I keep it to remind me how good my other ukes sound and for a loaner.

SpaceForRent
04-17-2019, 03:39 AM
I have a worthless Chinese-made soprano I picked up used for $10. It's not a great musical instrument. But it's great for other reasons. First, I had no qualms about using it to learn how to work on my own instruments - I've re-set a crooked nut, re-positioned the bridge and replaced the saddle, and set the action at both ends. That's all great experience, and it plays pretty well now. This is also the uke that's always close at hand. I have two others I prefer to play when I'm alone. But I'm hardly ever alone with two young kids in the house. When my 14-month old son sees me playing, he wants to play, too. I certainly encourage that interest in music. I just hand the uke over to him. It's so much easier than trying to keep it from him and prompting a tantrum. His "playing" consists of hooking a finger under a string and seeing how hard he can yank, and I don't bat an eye. (Maybe I should have him help me break in new strings!) I don't worry if it's dropped or what the humidity is in the house. Because it's never in a case, I'm more likely to see it and just grab it as I walk by and strum some chords as I head down the hallway. All this being said, I have absolutely no emotional connection to it and would hand it over without hesitation to anyone who needs it.

Swamp Yankee
04-17-2019, 04:26 AM
One I can think of - a basket case tenor with a twisted neck, no back, and a cracked top with some bits missing that I've had for so many years I can't tell you when I picked it up. It looks to me like an unbranded Bruko from the 60s or 50s. I keep it because it has sides made from one bent piece of solid mahogany and a one piece maple bridge....and maybe, one day, I'll use the sides as a starting point for my first uke build :rolleyes:

PereBourik
04-17-2019, 05:01 AM
Yes, a luna pineapple tatoo.
IMO Luna does not make ukuleles, they make wood art that resemble ukuleles in form, but not in function. they are ok wall hanger, but not serious instuments...again, my opinion.
I tried a $ 40 Kimise concert that blew away the Luna in tone, playability and intonation. same with the flight trave uke at 50 bucks.

I keep it to remind me how good my other ukes sound and for a loaner.

Hahahah! Luna. Mine was terrible. I gave it away twice and it came back. Finally had to give it away internationally.

SpaceForRent
04-17-2019, 05:13 AM
I have a worthless Chinese-made soprano I picked up used for $10.

Oh, and if you want one, there are a few on eBay right now. One's listing for US$13, the other for US$100. :confused: LOL And looking at the pics from those postings, I just realized that I had actually replaced the plastic bridge on mine, not just re-positioned it.

Nickie
04-17-2019, 07:01 AM
Yes, a luna pineapple tatoo.
IMO Luna does not make ukuleles, they make wood art that resemble ukuleles in form, but not in function. they are ok wall hanger, but not serious instuments...again, my opinion.
I tried a $ 40 Kimise concert that blew away the Luna in tone, playability and intonation. same with the flight trave uke at 50 bucks.

I keep it to remind me how good my other ukes sound and for a loaner.

I agree. Luna is about the worst ukulele company out there, because they charge immense amounts of money for crap.
I gave one to my daughter when I didn't know what I was doing, and she won't speak to me now.
I "Won" one in a lottery at an event, and sold it for way less than Luna sells it for. I kinda feel bad about selling it to that lady. But, she really liked it!
Unfortunately, they are a sponsor of my uke club, and when I was a board member, I got chastised for speaking out the truth about Luna's crummy products and high prices. And worse, they sell like hotcakes here....

AQUATOPAZ
04-17-2019, 07:59 AM
I agree. Luna is about the worst ukulele company out there, because they charge immense amounts of money for crap.
I gave one to my daughter when I didn't know what I was doing, and she won't speak to me now.
I "Won" one in a lottery at an event, and sold it for way less than Luna sells it for. I kinda feel bad about selling it to that lady. But, she really liked it!
Unfortunately, they are a sponsor of my uke club, and when I was a board member, I got chastised for speaking out the truth about Luna's crummy products and high prices. And worse, they sell like hotcakes here....

My daughter got a Luna uke. The bridge popped off after 2 months. I own a Luna resonator and love it. I think they use different subcontractors and there is luck involved. I thought the tone on her laminate uke was nice, but the sustain was terrible. She did love the look. I will put a National cone on mine and it will be wonderful.

uketanzon
04-17-2019, 08:18 AM
Ha, glad to see I am not the only one....seems like I started a Luna thrashing thread.

I have played Luna guitars also ...man...do not get me started on that road..but same feeling....DOA

I just get irritated when you see Luna reviews with 5 stars?

did these people ever play a another kind of ukulele? Do they work for Luna? are they hearing impaired? Are they fake reviews?

Did Bazmaz ever give a Luna a good review....if so, send me the link, I want to see it!!!

Kyle23
04-17-2019, 09:55 AM
Ha, glad to see I am not the only one....seems like I started a Luna thrashing thread.

I have played Luna guitars also ...man...do not get me started on that road..but same feeling....DOA

I just get irritated when you see Luna reviews with 5 stars?

did these people ever play a another kind of ukulele? Do they work for Luna? are they hearing impaired? Are they fake reviews?

Did Bazmaz ever give a Luna a good review....if so, send me the link, I want to see it!!!

I don't think they're fake reviews. I'd bet it's a bunch of new players with their first ukulele that bought one because of the art. I assume this because this is what happened to me haha, I bought my first ukulele that was a Luna because of the looks and didn't do any research at all. I thought it sounded great because I never played one before, but once I started playing better brands, I never picked it up again.

Rllink
04-18-2019, 09:14 AM
Give them to friends so they can learn to play, or donate them to the music therapy dept. at the children’s hospital where I am a nurse.I had three Waterman uke that I won in raffles. I gave two of them away to people that I wanted to discourage from learning to play the ukulele.


Hahahah! Luna. Mine was terrible. I gave it away twice and it came back. Finally had to give it away internationally.I gave my third Waterman to an seven year old neighbor kid in Puerto Rico. His mom told me not to give it to him because he would just break it. I gave it to him anyway.

I built this ukulele one winter. I bought the cigar box in a second hand store for six dollars. I spent a lot of hours working on it and all I had at the time were hand tools. I used rubber bands, ace bandages, and exercise weights to hold it together while the glue dried. It has no sound at all. You can't hear it across the room. It started out with Aquila strings. I changed to fluorocarbon and they didn't help at all. It has no sustain. I volunteer at Raising Readers and one day they built ukuleles from cereal boxes with rubber bands for strings. The ones they made sounded better than this one.I guess you can't call it worthless though. I look at it sometimes.

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Jerryc41
04-18-2019, 09:35 AM
I had three Waterman uke that I won in raffles. I gave two of them away to people that I wanted to discourage from learning to play the ukulele.

I gave my third Waterman to an seven year old neighbor kid in Puerto Rico. His mom told me not to give it to him because he would just break it. I gave it to him anyway.

I built this ukulele one winter. I bought the cigar box in a second hand store for six dollars. I spent a lot of hours working on it and all I had at the time were hand tools. I used rubber bands, ace bandages, and exercise weights to hold it together while the glue dried. It has no sound at all. You can't hear it across the room. It started out with Aquila strings. I changed to fluorocarbon and they didn't help at all. It has no sustain. I volunteer at Raising Readers and one day they built ukuleles from cereal boxes with rubber bands for strings. The ones they made sounded better than this one.I guess you can't call it worthless though. I look at it sometimes.

117103

That's beautiful. The first cigar box uke I made turned out to have a cardboard top, unlike the solid wood in all the other parts. It had very muted sound. I eventually found a wooden top from another cigar box, and that made a big difference.