View Full Version : Help me ID this ukulele

03-06-2011, 10:18 AM
Hey everyone,

About 30 years ago my dad found this ukulele in a dumpster. For years it sat on our piano looking pretty, until one day I decided I'd take up the Ukulele. I tried to tune it up and make it playable but to no avail, the strings wouldn't stay in tune and it was frustrating. I went out and got a Kiwaya KS-1 because despite the fact that I could'nt get the dumpster uke to sound nice I was still hooked.

Time went on and as I learned more about ukes I thought to myself " Hey, maybe those 30 year old strings are the real problem". Turns out I was right. I slapped a set of Aquillas on it and the thing sounds pretty darn good. It has a very unique sound- almost as if it had a resonator in it.

Anyway the thing is in pretty bad condition at this point despite it's sound. Both the top and the bottom are warped from years under tension, there's tonnes of scratches and chips, and the bridge has started to peel off and is mostly being held on by the screw (thats right, it's screwed on to the body, along with glue).

Now the important parts for IDing it-

The brand is Hoffmann (note two n's), made in Japan, model no. 201. It's a Soprano. It appears to be a solid mahogany top with mahogany back and sides. The neck looks maple and the fretboard looks like mahogany but much darker. It had a partner which I think my father gave away. The sides on the inside look like they had worms chewing on them before it was put together. It has a metal nut and saddle and seemingly quality peg tuners. Pics will come later, my Camera is currently MIA.

Any ideas?

I'm thinking about restoring this uke, although I fear it'll lose it's unique sound if I do, nor am I certain it would hold up to being refinished.



03-06-2011, 10:31 AM
Never heard of it but a lot of nice ukes and guitars came out of Japan in the 1960s-1970s. They knocked off a lot of famous makers under various names, and the specs and wood are often excellent. I'm not sure about the bridge being screwed on, does that look like a later addition? It sounds like it experienced a lot of neglect, hence being tossed.

Pics would help when you find the camera.

03-06-2011, 11:46 AM
I don't think the screw was a later add-on, it's friend (my dad found two, did I mention that?) also had the same method. It's both screwed and glued on.