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View Full Version : Bad Uke Day -> New2Me Mystery Uke Day



Roselynne
10-03-2012, 10:39 PM
A few nights ago, I felt a rough patch on the edge of my Kamaka's lower bout. On examination -- yup -- top separating from side. :(

Not wanting to send it home across the pond, 'cause who knows where UPS would send it when it returned, I found a local luthier. Whilst in the shop, he handed me a very old uke to play with. :drool:

I left it and the Kamaka there, to spend the next few days ukeless.

Now my Kamaka's home where it belongs. Still beautiful, and sounds better than ever. And, yup, its new older friend is here too.

:smileybounce:

Will add pics later, but for starters ...

Mystery Uke is a Nunes-style soprano uke with rope binding at the top and around the soundhole. Black all-wood tuners -- we're talking simple wooden pegs with slots; if not original, they're still old. There is no label or headstock decal of any kind, just "Made in USA" stamped into the heel block. So, definitely not made in Hawaii. No fingerboard; frets set directly into the neck. Wood may be mahogany, but it could also be darkened koa.

To my newbie eyes, it looks just like a Nunes, but the rope binding runs counterclockwise; the opposite of any pic I've seen. Then, of course, there's the whole no-name thing -- which is why I could afford it.

She's loud enough for rock 'n' roll! Right now, she's studying Green Day. :rock:

So ... while I get my pics together, I wonder if any wiser antique lovers know of any Nunes imitators on the Mainland back in the day?

mm stan
10-04-2012, 12:02 AM
Aloha Roselynne,
Congrats on your new/old vintage uke..and getting your kamaka gold label fixed..got any peekchas??
never saw a made in the USA Stamped on any heel block?? Happy Strummings SF area eh..hmmmm

Roselynne
10-04-2012, 01:08 PM
Aloha Roselynne,
Congrats on your new/old vintage uke..and getting your kamaka gold label fixed..got any peekchas??
never saw a made in the USA Stamped on any heel block?? Happy Strummings SF area eh..hmmmm

Hmmmm ... huhhh? Used to live in Honolulu myself, manymany moons ago.

Don't know how to get a good pic of that heel block, but "MADE IN USA" is there, all right. Here are some pics (trying to save bandwidth, but I can try for bigger copies, if needed):


4371143712

43713

4371443715

mm stan
10-04-2012, 03:09 PM
Aloha roselynne,
Sure looks like a deluxe model.......is it a one piece back that extends to the bottom of the heel....I got those same black tuners on my late fifties gold label kamaka.
the low crown makes it unusal too and may be the key here.....lived in honolulu...wow that is cool ....what area....worked in San Fran too many moons ago too...ova 2 decades easy
and close to 3...yeah I say I'm middle aged.. or at least aged..lol

Roselynne
10-04-2012, 04:00 PM
I was born in upstate New York, but pretty much grew up on Oahu. We lived in Makiki for a couple of years, then moved to Pearl City. I'm talking 60s to early 80s, so I'm a bit past adolescence, myself. (5 min. from Waikiki -- Mo'ili'ili, by any chance?)

Mystery's back appears to be 1-piece, but it does not extend to the heel.

My Kamaka's got black friction tuners, too -- but mine's probably mid-60s, and I suspect the tuners are newer than that. Mystery's tuners are pure wooden pegs with a slot on top; no metal at all. Not for the faint of heart. Still, lots of fun. I also begin to suspect that it may be an Oscar Schmidt, if he was operating before metal tuners were standard ... but we may never know.