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View Full Version : any chance anybody could aid me in identifying this thing?



Giant Jack
12-12-2008, 10:16 AM
so i have been a musician for about 5 years, and i decided to try a new instrument, so i got a cheap ukulele. i really liked it, and decided to start writing music with it, so i figured i'd get something of better quality. however, i didn't have to do a thing as my uncle decided to pick this strange-smelling old baritone ukue (nevermind the fact that i wrote all those songs on a soprano!) from a tiny privately-owned guitar shop here in one of the smallest backwoods towns in ohio. so when i go to pick it up, the guy is just telling me it's "OLD" and that some other dude (his supplier, i believe) was telling him it was worth far more than what he promised to sell it for two weeks earlier (50$). never-the-less the dude sold it to me for 50$ like he said, and this thing smells something like dust covered in old people.

upon picking it up, i wasn't sure how it sounded, as it wasn't tuned, the strings were put in opposite of what they typically would, and for some reason there are mixed strings (2 nylon, the other 2 are some kind of nickel or steel or something). so i rearrange the strings, and tune it, and i simply cannot understand why he decided to sell me this thing for 50$ (add to that - even the cheapest baritones are usually upwards of 100$), as it sounds pretty nice to me!

so there's no name or any distinct features on this thing. it isn't very extravagant-looking. however, i'd like to know at least something about it! it's allegedly 'old', and while i wouldn't doubt it (dusty as all getup, and it has tons of wear & tear), i think it'd still be interesting to see if anyone might be able to tell me something about this guy. :}

heres a couple pictures of it with the case it came in;
http://c3.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/53/l_62244574c4af4786aab804160fa34f4a.jpg
http://c4.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/15/l_46eba61d19424d24b6c3a73cbbb2ba87.jpg

the frets are lifting, the tuners are pretty rusty, there are plenty of visible scratches, and even some nice cracks by the bridge, and under the neck.

SinisterDom
12-12-2008, 03:02 PM
Baritone ukes are tuned DGBE. Unless you get get specials strings for it, I wouldn't tune it GCEA.

Strings to tune a baritone GCEA (http://cgi.ebay.com/Hilo-Baritone-Ukulele-strings-Soprano-tuning-high-gcea_W0QQitemZ270314366515QQihZ017QQcategoryZ16224 QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1713.m153.l1262).

Also, for identifying it, you may want to take a pic of the headstock.

SnakeOiler
12-12-2008, 03:33 PM
No labels or anything?

salukulady
12-12-2008, 08:39 PM
It's a pretty baby thou, think of all the hands that have played it.....I think that's really cool and worth 50 bucks.

Giant Jack
12-13-2008, 03:21 AM
Baritone ukes are tuned DGBE. Unless you get get specials strings for it, I wouldn't tune it GCEA.

Strings to tune a baritone GCEA (http://cgi.ebay.com/Hilo-Baritone-Ukulele-strings-Soprano-tuning-high-gcea_W0QQitemZ270314366515QQihZ017QQcategoryZ16224 QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1713.m153.l1262).

Also, for identifying it, you may want to take a pic of the headstock.

it's tuned to DGBE. the nickle strings are pretty tight as it is. if i try to tune them any higher i might get winged in the eye.

for whatever it's worth, here's the headstock
http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/138/headstockan4.jpg

i understand its probably somewhat strange to ask for information on an instrument with no name/label on it. i'm just curious, and it never hurts to ask!

SinisterDom
12-13-2008, 05:44 AM
Oh okay, I thought you tuned it GCEA.

Anyway, with no labels or anything...I have no idea.

Those tuners though, I've never seen anything remotely like them...

wawa
12-13-2008, 07:33 AM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3250/3105141231_66055cb249_o.jpg

Interesting! ('Harmony' and 'Silvertone' have similiar flat top headstocks). One thing I find unusual about your's is the way the endblock extends over the rosette..even a little over the center hole. The upper bout is also a little wider than most, in relation to the lower bout- and is less rounded. There are some other distinct characteristics..the bridge has a 'rounded' portion. The top of the headstock is flat as well. The tuning pegs are the shape and of the 70's 'gear' design.

Try Martin strings! They come with the 3rd (aluminum wound over nylon) and 4th (Silverplated Copper over nylon). The first and second strings (clear and thinner) sound much more crisp than the black strings that I've tried. In fact, the black strings won't even fit properly down into the grooves on the bridge on the older ukes. Good luck!
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7706

menehunenyc
12-13-2008, 06:49 PM
Hey Giant jack, welcome to UU!! You might try floating these pics buy the guys at Mandolin Brothers (http://www.mandoweb.com/) in Staten Island, NYC. they have a website and are very keen on evaluating the value of string instruments, ie guitars, uke, mandolins, you get the idea.

Good luck, and congrats on the cool deal.

wawa
12-13-2008, 08:15 PM
**********

SnakeOiler
12-14-2008, 12:30 AM
Dale Webb's brother in law owns Flea Market Music. Dale is President and designer of 'Magic Fluke' ukuleles. In '05, Dale worked with an overseas manufacturer to design a new line of affordable baritone ukes called the 'Fortune' (pictured below). The design is very similiar. (body shape, headstock, tuning pegs, rounded bridge, etc.

I'm sorry, I don't see much similarity in those Ukes at all.

wawa
12-14-2008, 06:53 AM
I'm sorry, I don't see much similarity in those Ukes at all.Really? Maybe it's freezing cold in PA- and your eyeballs froze shut. LOL! This is the best I could come up with. If you could do better, by all means go for it..peace.

The design is very similiar. (body shape, headstock, tuning pegs, rounded bridge, etc.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3150/3106024918_a7ea7b83ab.jpghttp://farm4.static.flickr.com/3250/3105141231_66055cb249_o.jpg

SnakeOiler
12-14-2008, 08:57 AM
True, they're both Baritoness with gear style tuners, but that's pretty much it.
I'll point out the differences
Different color tuners
Dot inlays are different
One has 20 frets, one has 18
The fret board on one curves with the sound hole, the other is straight
The rosettes are different
Different body binding
One has a tie bridge, one has a pin bridge
bridges are a dffierent shape
One has a bone saddle the other it appears to be wood
One has a label visible through the sound hole, the other, no

that's just what I can see from those crappy pix

SnakeOiler
12-14-2008, 10:13 AM
And BTW, what's the scale lenghth of that thing? (nut to saddle) Have you thought that it might be a tenor guitar?

wawa
12-14-2008, 11:42 AM
True, they're both Baritoness with gear style tuners, but that's pretty much it.
You take the easy way out my friend. I will leave you now, to argue with yourself. I'm taking my pics too. HA! :bowdown:

tad
12-14-2008, 01:25 PM
Since wawa decided to take his/her pics away, this (http://www.denverfolklore.com/instrument_photos/Fortune_baritone_ukulele_photos.htm) is what a fortune baritone looks like.

I think it's pretty clearly a different instrument.

salukulady
12-14-2008, 01:35 PM
Play nice, boys.

wawa
12-14-2008, 01:40 PM
Play nice, boys.

I spent hours looking for a photo similiar to the OP's uke. I found one! All the other dude wanted was to disagree with every sincere point I made. That's the last time I make an effort like that! Notice how the critical one has not produced any other uke that comes close? BECAUSE THERE ISN'T ANY! :cool:

Aldrine Guerrero
12-14-2008, 02:10 PM
I spent hours looking for a photo similiar to the OP's uke. I found one! All the other dude wanted was to disagree with every sincere point I made. That's the last time I make an effort like that! Notice how the critical one has not produced any other uke that comes close? BECAUSE THERE ISN'T ANY! :cool:

yes and he pointed out his reason. He also said "I'm sorry, but..." meaning "With all due respect" Instead of respecting his opinion you went and badmouthed his place of living.

Like salukulady said "play nice"

Ukuleleblues
12-14-2008, 02:53 PM
Ask the guy on the FleamarktMusic web site, Yuk Yack collectors forum. I've see other folks send in pics to get info on a uke. http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/uke-yak/default.asp

nikolo727
12-14-2008, 04:27 PM
Really? Maybe it's freezing cold in PA- and your eyeballs froze shut. LOL! This is the best I could come up with. If you could do better, by all means go for it..peace.

please dont even go into dissing my home state. I know I should not have said anything here, but I just want to say that that was low.

SnakeOiler
12-14-2008, 04:37 PM
I spent hours looking for a photo similiar to the OP's uke. I found one! All the other dude wanted was to disagree with every sincere point I made. That's the last time I make an effort like that! Notice how the critical one has not produced any other uke that comes close? BECAUSE THERE ISN'T ANY! :cool:

Dude, nothing personal. I don't see where I was trying to be mean or condescending. I was just pointing out what I saw. Then I stated my reason. It's called discussion and debate. Don't be so thin skinned.

SinisterDom
12-14-2008, 04:47 PM
Now back to the topic. I have noticed many baritones have that head shape. It's the pin bridge that makes it unique. Between that and the pin bridge, I might even say Martin.

Didn't older Martin baritones have friction tuners though?

SnakeOiler
12-14-2008, 04:57 PM
Yea, I realized the folly of my idea. They also had pointy headstocks, although the guitars had flat heads. That's kind of why I'm thinking tenor guitar.

SinisterDom
12-14-2008, 05:20 PM
Yea, I realized the folly of my idea. They also had pointy headstocks, although the guitars had flat heads. That's kind of why I'm thinking tenor guitar.
Hm.....it does look like some of the old Martin tenor guitars....if only there was a label....

tad
12-14-2008, 07:22 PM
I don't have any good, solid reason for it, but from the looks, my guess would be that it's a 60's-era Japanese model.

I'm not sure why, though... just the look of the wood and the geared tuners, mostly...