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View Full Version : Vintage Diastone soprano ukulele



ichadwick
05-05-2008, 04:20 AM
I picked up this uke on the weekend. It is from a Japanese company that made musical instruments from the early 1960s, and closed in the mid 1970s. It says Model 14 on the inside, and has a laminate mahogany top. Somewhere between 30 and 40 years old.

Diastone allegedly made instruments for Martin when the Martin company workforce was on strike. Comments on other forums suggest their guitars were quality products and are collectible items today.

Pics were posted on a previous link here: http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2335. I can email others if you contact me directly.

It's in good condition, a little worn from the years, but has a straight neck, no cracks, and sounds pretty good for the old strings it still has.

I would like to sell or trade it to a collector who appreciates vintage instruments. I am not a collector per se, rather someone who likes to play. I will use the money to help purchase or trade for a newer uke (I prefer a tenor scale and find the soprano a bit small for my fingers).

nikolo727
05-05-2008, 05:13 AM
it'll probubly be worth a good bit of money in a few years, if it isnt already.

be a patient grasshopper and wait it out for a little while.

;)

if your impatient (like me) sell it now and get some dolla on that puppy!

ichadwick
05-05-2008, 05:52 AM
be a patient grasshopper and wait it out for a little while.
Ah, but I have dreams of a tenor Fluke dancing like sugarplums in my head...

nikolo727
05-05-2008, 09:17 AM
Ah, but I have dreams of a tenor Fluke dancing like sugarplums in my head...

Then by all means......

buy that sweet fluke!

and sell the old one!

jaggtmolina
05-05-2008, 08:06 PM
i want that uke. :)

ichadwick
05-06-2008, 01:47 AM
i want that uke. :)

Email me (ichadwick@sympatico.ca) if you're serious. I'm in the market for a tenor I can string with a low G, so I'm open to trades.

ichadwick
05-10-2008, 01:04 AM
A little more info has surfaced. Back in the 1960s, there was one factory in Japan that basically made almost all Japanese guitars, ukes, banjos, etc. Yamaha and Ibanez and even some Martin guitars were all made there. Many of the models were the same for different companies, just different finished and brand name changes. Quality was generally very good for their products. Apparently that's where Diastone had its instruments made as well.

According to Wikipedia:

In 1957 Hoshino Gakki manufactured what would be considered the first of the modern era Ibanez guitars. In 1962, Junpei Hoshino, Yoshitaro's son, opened the Tama Seisakusho factory to manufacture electric guitars and amplifiers. The Tama Seisakusho factory produced a line of guitars that included clones of several popular guitars, including the Martin Dreadnought. At the time they were also manufacturing Star Drums, available in either the Imperial or Royal models. Hoshino Gakki stopped making guitars at the Tama Seisakusho factory in 1966 (but continued making Drums) and from then on contracted outside guitar factories, like there main factory and exclusive one in Japan, FujiGen , to make guitars.

FujiGen started in 1960 with the production of violins and classical guitars. In 1962 FujiGen started production of electric guitars. In the 1970s FujiGen started making guitars (OEM) for companies such as Hoshino Gakki (Ibanez), Kanda Shokai (Greco guitars) and Yamaha. In 1977/1978 FujiGen went into a joint venture with Roland Roland Corporation to produce guitar synthesizers. In 1981 FujiGen opted out of acoustic guitar production to mainly concentrate on solid body guitar production. In 1981/1982 FujiGen obtained the Fender Japan contract which lasted until 1996/1997. In mid/late 1992 FujiGen obtained a part of the Orville by Gibson contract which ended in 1998 and from then on have made Epiphone Japan solid body guitars, some Gretsch models and their own branded FgN guitars. FujiGen still do OEM guitar manufacturing for companies like Ibanez and Epiphone but in much smaller quantities than in the past. FujiGen has 3 factories in the Matsumoto area, the Omachi factory, the Hirooka factory (established around 1992) and the main FujiGen factory. FujiGen has also manufactured Variax guitars for Line 6.

ichadwick
05-14-2008, 04:06 AM
I spoke to MGM and he suggested it should be worth around $100. I want to buy another tenor, so I'm open to trade offers (partial or whole).

I can also take Paypal and will discount shipping costs in Canada or the USA (on my UPS account).

deach
05-14-2008, 04:11 AM
Pic request -

full body
headstock


thanks!

ichadwick
05-15-2008, 01:22 AM
http://www.ianchadwick.com/essays/ukulele/diastone_all_01.jpg

http://www.ianchadwick.com/essays/ukulele/diastone_back_02.jpg

http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/images/market/80918-diastone_head_01.jpg

http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/images/market/5832-diastone_body_01.jpg


These okay? I can take more.... I also will trade, weigh any offers and I can take Paypal.

Uka_Good
11-19-2008, 09:33 AM
Very interesting. I have an electric uke that my dad picked up in Japan while in the Navy back in the 60's.
The only words on it is on the chrome plate in the back and it says "Made in Japan".
I was always trying to find out where this instrument was made and it could possibly be from this place. Here's a couple of pics.
http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m159/wotaised/NeWashiTs----Uke027.jpg

http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m159/wotaised/NeWashiTs----Uke029.jpg

http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m159/wotaised/NeWashiTs----Uke.jpg

ichadwick
11-19-2008, 10:41 AM
Hmmm. Kinda reminds me of the old Kent guitars...

OkieUke
04-19-2009, 07:05 PM
Hi Ian-
If you still have this Uke I'm interested. Can do PayPal. The shipping would be to Tulsa, OK.

I've seen other postings from you, and I collect old sheet music also, and I'm looking at this as my old time D tuned Uke.

Thanks,
OkieUKe

Lardy Fatboy
08-10-2012, 10:59 AM
I know its years to late but in case anyone else comes across this and wonders the electric Ukulele in the picture is a Tombo