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View Full Version : Vita uke clones/customs



garyg
04-11-2013, 02:38 AM
I love Harmony Vita Ukes and noticed there are two custom Vitas on ebay, one by San Francisco ukes http://www.ebay.com/itm/Very-Rare-Custom-Frisco-ukulele-Unique-/190822840654 and the second by Glyph ukes http://www.ebay.com/itm/Glyph-Vita-Uke-Ukulele-Mint-Condition-with-Protec-Max-Case-/161005863260?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item257cb2815c Anybody know anything about these ukes. I know that Ohana also makes a Vita clone but it doesn't compare to the originals. TIA, g2

pondweed
04-11-2013, 02:42 AM
There is an even cheaper version of the Ohana . A clone clone... By Clearwater. Should never have got rid of mine.

UkerDanno
04-11-2013, 04:57 AM
that Frisco one is beautiful!

garyg
04-11-2013, 05:05 AM
Do you know anything about the makers - it's the first that I've heard of that brand. I know we have a bunch of Bay Area folks on here, but they're probably not up yet <g>.

that Frisco one is beautiful!

hmgberg
04-11-2013, 06:17 AM
Hey Gary:

The Frisco Uke, I believe was a collaboration between luthier Mark Silber and Chuck Fayne (Fleamarket Music Uke Yak). The "S" and "F," therefore, not only signify San Francisco, but are their initials as well. I've not seen one in person or heard one played on the internet. I understand that fewer than 100 of these were made.

Dave Means is the maker of Glyph Ukuleles. Again, never saw or heard a Vita version, but I have heard a few Glyphs and hold these in very high regard.

Additionally, Marc Schoenberger (Ukiyo Ukuleles) makes a nice Vita tribute.

http://ukiyoukuleles.com/3rd_page_vita_uke.htm

I understand that these are also very good.

garyg
04-11-2013, 12:57 PM
Thanks Howard, that's interesting info. I suspected that the Chuck Fran listed was actually "Frets" Frayne but I didn't know that he was a uke builder. The Glyph is concert scale, must really put out the sound. ciao baby, g2

hmgberg
04-11-2013, 01:27 PM
Thanks Howard, that's interesting info. I suspected that the Chuck Fran listed was actually "Frets" Frayne but I didn't know that he was a uke builder. The Glyph is concert scale, must really put out the sound. ciao baby, g2

I don't believe that Chuck Fayne had anything to do with actually building them. Yes, I would think the Glyph is good, although I don't know that the body is larger than the original one. It is possible that only the scale length has been changed to protect the innocent.

Pondoro
04-11-2013, 01:37 PM
I always thought the vita ukes looked like a soprano neck on a concert body. A concert neck should work great on one. And Glyph ukes have a fantastic reputation.

hmgberg
04-11-2013, 02:28 PM
I always thought the vita ukes looked like a soprano neck on a concert body. A concert neck should work great on one. And Glyph ukes have a fantastic reputation.

Yes, many good players have been lucky enough to get Glyphs. I really like his take on Dias. The one he made for MGM is a real piece of work. I wish MGM would post a video of it.

greyghost
04-11-2013, 03:30 PM
Hunting around on ebay just now, I found one of the oddest instruments I've ever heard of: a vita baritone. The maker is SoJing (which I've also never heard of before)--anybody know anything?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SOJING-NEW-F-SOUND-HOLE-28-BARITONE-UKULELE-CONVERTIBLE-TO-A-TENOR-GUITAR-/200912382777?pt=Guitar&hash=item2ec74fab39

BlackBearUkes
04-11-2013, 04:43 PM
The Glyph, Siber/Fayne and Ukiyo ukes are miles ahead of the Ohana and should not even be compared to import ukes. The imports are toys when played next to the others.

TheCraftedCow
04-11-2013, 09:55 PM
What is the price of a Glyph? A fellow had a chance to play a Ukiyo and an original Harmony Vita. Both the man who owned the music store and the player agreed that the Ukiyo looked-felt and sounded better than the original. The Ohana looks like a cheap impersonation of a Vita. The sound holes are not even close to the original as are some of the others. A Ukiyo came up on Ebay on April 15th. That has got to be as dumb or perhaps dumber than having an auction close on SuperBowlSunday. For the whole nine days of the auction, no one else placed a bid. Brand new--$400.00 A rosewood / lacewood Baroq-ulele came to a closure on SBS. Buy It Now price $389.00 He bid $75.00. He got it for $66. Look to see what's coming to close on the 15th!!!! Be aware of the Ides of April .

SamUke
04-12-2013, 02:11 AM
I have owned 2 Ukiyo's and they really are top notch, both in sound and build. I believe Blue Guitar has one for sale on their website.

garyg
04-12-2013, 03:37 AM
Duane, much as I tried to keep this on topic perhaps it wasn't clear I was asking for a comparison between real Vita ukes which I own and those custom Vita's, but it's probably unlikely that someone would own both. Thanks for the input. Maybe you should make a Vita <g>. g2


The Glyph, Siber/Fayne and Ukiyo ukes are miles ahead of the Ohana and should not even be compared to import ukes. The imports are toys when played next to the others.

garyg
04-12-2013, 03:38 AM
Okay, here's exactly what I was looking for


What is the price of a Glyph? A fellow had a chance to play a Ukiyo and an original Harmony Vita. Both the man who owned the music store and the player agreed that the Ukiyo looked-felt and sounded better than the original. The Ohana looks like a cheap impersonation of a Vita. The sound holes are not even close to the original as are some of the others. A Ukiyo came up on Ebay on April 15th. That has got to be as dumb or perhaps dumber than having an auction close on SuperBowlSunday. For the whole nine days of the auction, no one else placed a bid. Brand new--$400.00 A rosewood / lacewood Baroq-ulele came to a closure on SBS. Buy It Now price $389.00 He bid $75.00. He got it for $66. Look to see what's coming to close on the 15th!!!! Be aware of the Ides of April .

hmgberg
04-12-2013, 08:42 AM
Duane, much as I tried to keep this on topic perhaps it wasn't clear I was asking for a comparison between real Vita ukes which I own and those custom Vita's, but it's probably unlikely that someone would own both. Thanks for the input. Maybe you should make a Vita <g>. g2

I own an original Vita, as you know G., and I have played several Ohana versions. Duane is right. Not in the same league at all. I am not maligning Ohana in any way. In fact, I convinced the owners of my local musical instrument store to carry Ohanas. Their clientele are first-time buyers. I'd love to play one of the luthier made ones, however. Duane makes some marvelous interpretations of the Lyon & Healy Bell, I might note. If we are digging on interpretations, these would be high on my list. Duane's a very creative guy.

Tommy B
04-12-2013, 04:32 PM
A few things about the Frisco Ukes: Although the design was a collaboration between Marc Silber and Chuck Fayne, the ukes were actually built in Paracho, Mexico. And even though the production was small, the build could be very inconsistent. I owned two of them: one with the S and F holes and a short fretboard, and one with an oval fretboard and an extended fretboard. The first one was gorgeous to look at and very light; the second one was kind of ugly and heavy, but sounded much better. They had different tuners.

Here's a picture I took of the first one alongside one of my Vita Ukes. These Frisco Ukes were big instruments! (Though concert scale.)

51759

dsummers
04-13-2013, 01:46 AM
I have a custom Talsma concert size Vita style ukulele that has nice figured redwood top, Cuban mahogany b/s, open headstock, and MISI pu. It is a great great sounding uke!

lakesideglenn
04-13-2013, 02:53 AM
I have a lead on an original Vita Uke in near mint condition with a case. The guy wants 850 which I think is way high.
What are the originals worth? My UAS is coming out of remission and I'm trying to control myself....been wanting one of these for awhile!
Thoughts, comments, opinions, suggestions?

lakesideglenn
04-13-2013, 04:41 PM
I have a lead on an original Vita Uke in near mint condition with a case. The guy wants 850 which I think is way high.
What are the originals worth? My UAS is coming out of remission and I'm trying to control myself....been wanting one of these for awhile!
Thoughts, comments, opinions, suggestions?
Bump...any help?

garyg
04-14-2013, 11:21 AM
If that's the one in an ebay store I think that the price is high for a uke that you can't hear or play. I've bought two off ebay, both with a crack or two for under $450 in the last year. They both sound great. OTOH I paid over 1K for a pre 1922 Martin 1M soprano that is the best sounding uke I've ever heard (including 5Ks, etc.) so sometimes it's worth paying more. But I had that uke in hand when I bought it so I knew what it sounded like. I responded to give you some help, but your request is OT which may be why no one else answered. As the OP I've got my info so it doesn't bother me to go OT.
I have a lead on an original Vita Uke in near mint condition with a case. The guy wants 850 which I think is way high.
What are the originals worth? My UAS is coming out of remission and I'm trying to control myself....been wanting one of these for awhile!
Thoughts, comments, opinions, suggestions?