View Full Version : More on Banjo ukuleles - Blog

11-23-2011, 09:18 AM
Here's more, yes MORE, on Stromberg-Voisinet banjo ukes - this on the Deluxe version of their most commonly available ukulele:


If you need a nap after Thanksgiving dinner, just read the blog. My writing and the tryptophan in the Turkey should do the trick.

11-24-2011, 01:49 AM
That is one sweet looking instrument!!!

11-24-2011, 01:54 AM
just FYI
I started a banjo uke group over at banjo hangout if interested.

11-24-2011, 05:28 AM
Great group CB, hoping that grows and grows.
John- another great article. Had a story you have to hear.
I got a call the other day from a former school parent. I had all four of their kids over about 12 years time, but I had not seen them but two or three times since their kids had graduated. Was not sure what they were ringing about, but totally did not expect what it was.
I ring them and get the dad on the phone, and he says "DAVE! You will never guess what I got?"
Long story short- it is a MayBell model 065 he has recovered from his brother. It was his dads and I guess he got it in a trade when this fellow was a kid (he is in his mid fifties now). 3 years ago I did not play but it turns out he called me because he Googled May Bell, and well, guess who coes up bashing away on one on the YouTube? Hilarious.
The Uke is rough, and he is convinced it was painted originally (I will continue to try to convince him otherwise), but I think we can get it back together. It is the only one I have seen so far so I will send pics when we finish if you want them (if I can get him to refinish it- off white laquer paint looks TERRIBLE).
Righto- just thought it was a banjo uke laugh :)

11-24-2011, 12:49 PM
Great-looking banjo uke!

11-24-2011, 01:00 PM
WOW!! Nice article, John!! THat will help a LOT of people seeking info on the Stromberg-Voisinet Banjo Uke (a name I was not familiar with, but now am! :) )

THat Maple one down the bottom is drop dead gorgeous!! I originally liked the Mahogany banjo ukes above all else (probably cos it was the first one I saw & owned .....) but am really leaning towards the warm maple colour now!! Oh dear!! I MAY just have to get a maple one some day! Hang on - I have a maple coloured tunable Tambourine & I am going to attempt building one!!! Hmmm, do you know where I can get one of those adjustable attachments for the brace that goes thru the pot to the base of the neck?? (please PM me to not change the direction of the thread, if you like!)




11-24-2011, 08:28 PM
This one is finishing fast!! Looks very nice too!!


John - do any banjo ukes come up that are tenor size or bigger? A buddy is keen to get one, but he really DOES have rather large fingers!! He had difficulty even on Keith's Tenor Pineapple!!



11-25-2011, 07:46 PM
Thanks, everyone!

Chris - Just joined the group!

Dave - that's a great story - I want to see that model 0 65!

Arpie - Kantwarp was an interesting cheapie - that one went for a lot more than I thought it would.

There are no vintage tenor or bigger banjo ukes. The golden age of the BU was the 20s and most manufacturers were done making them in the US by the mid 30's. As a result, they only made them in one size: soprano. There were a few "long scale" banjo ukes made, which instead of having 15-17 frets had 19 - 21+ frets and necks longer by 2 to 3 inches.

Gold Tone and other new manufacturers offer concert, tenor and baritone banjo ukes. This never existed before a decade ago. It a totally new development. Your friend might try taking a 17 fret tenor banjo and stringing it as a baritone uke in "Chicago tuning". I did that years ago and it was a lot of fun.

As for the adjustable attachment - you'll need to buy or make a neck with a dowel attached to it. The other option is a coordinator rod - the only way to get one of those is to scour ebay, or call Bob Smakula at Smakula Fretted Instrument in West Virginia. He has everything come up at one time or another. You could also make one, but it's beyond my brain to tell you how that would work~!

11-25-2011, 08:18 PM
OK John- Stromberg Style One in the mail...I will let you know, and definitely send some pictures of the 065 when I get some (though the paint will hurt your heart)