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SeaArtNancy
09-29-2013, 07:43 AM
Hi Everyone! I hope that you are all having a fantastic day!
I recently came across a vintage 1930' or 40' Bergstrom Koa Uke...its nice and ornate ( I like em fancy!!!), looks in good/great condition, had the bridge reset....the buyer wants $300.00 for it....
I am a beginner, but am drawn to the vintage look....should I consider this purchase ( got the money in my account for it now...) or am I asking for heartache buying a vintage uke just cause it's pretty? I have a great luthier nearby... and the Seller will refund if it's not what I want...
Any info on Bergstrom Ukes- the good, the bad and the awesome or the ugly would be appreciated!!!!!
Thanks so much!!!

Nancy

Lori
09-29-2013, 07:50 AM
Welcome to UU Nancy

I don't know anything about vintage Bergstrom ukuleles, but I do know that there is great joy in playing an instrument that you feel a connection to. If you have an expert to check it out for playability, and an option to return it if you don't like the way it feels or sounds, then how can you lose?

–Lori

Jim Hanks
09-29-2013, 07:52 AM
First, do you you like how it feels and sounds? If so, why not consider it! Sounds like you have a money-back-guarantee so I don't see how you can lose. I have no idea if the price is "fair". How would you to compare to others $300 ukes you know about?

SeaArtNancy
09-29-2013, 08:05 AM
I was originally looking at the new Ohana SK 28, but it seems like the production release has been delayed, it has that amazing vintage look and is solid Mahogany...however, while digging around I came across this vintage Koa- and just fell in love with its character!

hmgberg
09-29-2013, 09:01 AM
Bergstrom was a musical instrument store. To my knowledge, they did no manufacturing.

RyanMFT
09-29-2013, 11:22 AM
Got a picture you can share? We could help you narrow down who built it with some pictrues. Vintage Bergstrom ukuleles are very cool, as they started selling ukuleles quite early. Some Martin ukuleles have a Bergstrom sticker on the back of the headstock as Bergstrom sold Martin ukes. Hawaiian manufacturers also built for Bergstrom but it is hard to say who built yours without some pictures. I'd love to find one myself.

However, what I will say is that if you want to play and use a vintage ukulele, the way many might play and use an Ohana ukulele, you will find that the Bergstrom uke is more fragile. Hawaiian ukes were built very lightly, and the ones I have sound great, but I would not want to play them all the time and cart them around to jams. They are just so thin. I have a Royal Hawaiian which sounds amazing but I don't keep it tuned to pitch because the soundboard just barely holds up to the tension.

My solution....get a modern uke AND the Bergstrom!

hilot.h.
09-29-2013, 06:43 PM
My solution....get a modern uke AND the Bergstrom!
Hana Ho

SeaArtNancy
09-30-2013, 02:55 AM
You are all great "Ukulele Enablers" Hahahahaha!!!! I really appreciate all the advice on this...after a night of thinking it over and seeing that a few others have bid on it- it on Ebay and is selling thru an antiques dealer in Oregon- they were very nice folks!!!!
I'm going to hold my horses and wait till I get a bit more advanced in my playing...there's so many different makes -models -woods -sizes...what I need to do is to try out everything I can get my hands on and see what clicks! : D
Right now I'll happily strum my Kala Tenor -solid acacia, and my little Ohana Pineapple Octo Uke!!!!

mm stan
09-30-2013, 03:51 AM
59297Okay Nancy...Here is the inside on Bergstrom ukuleles... they were a music store in downtown Honolulu in the early 1900's and sold ukes and martins also...they will have a sticker in
the back of the headstock.. but also they had their own uke built by several hawaiian luthiers....they seem to have gone out of business in the 1950's I saw a really early vintage
Bergstrom ukulele that was made for them with carved ornate ivory pegs in Pua Pua a year ago, I have never seen pegs like that again ....it was in the 2000+ range..
Your question is...is it a bergstrom ukulele built for the store or just a ukulele like martin they sold with a store sticker...the store ones made for them may be 4-5 times more in value...
I have a martin Bergstrom with the sticker and paid 450 for it...it could cost alot more, depends on the condition too...Yes 300 is a great deal, whether it is a store uke with a sticker or
their own brand made for them by a luthier ..... buy it, or let me know, I would scoop it up in a second...no second thoughts.. my uncle used to visit the store when he was young and playing music in waikiki in the olden days.... :)
@Nancy I just looked at the uke...this uke has 5 days more....I believe it will be in couple thousands range...by the end of the bidding... it certainly looks like one built for them and
a high end deluxe model in mint condition...but it a later model and not very old vintage ones when they started making them....amazing uke though

hilot.h.
09-30-2013, 05:06 AM
Are you saying you could have bought this for 300 dollars but passed?

SeaArtNancy
09-30-2013, 07:45 AM
I'm watching the bidding as well, I think the seller knows they have a gem! @ Hilot.h.- I was considering contacting the seller to see if they would have done a direct sale before anyone else bid on it, sometimes you get lucky that way if its a private seller just looking to sell an item guickly...but since they are an antiques dealer I doubt they would have played ball with me....now if it had a Buy it Now option , depending on the final cost, I probably would have gone for it!!!!!
Who ever gets it will have quite a lovely treasure!!!!

SeaArtNancy
09-30-2013, 07:47 AM
I'm watching the bidding as well, I think the seller knows they have a gem! @ Hilot.h.- I was considering contacting the seller to see if they would have done a direct sale before anyone else bid on it, sometimes you get lucky that way if its a private seller just looking to sell an item guickly...but since they are an antiques dealer I doubt they would have played ball with me....now if it had a Buy it Now option , depending on the final cost, I probably would have gone for it!!!!!
Who ever gets it will have quite a lovely treasure!!!!

hilot.h.
10-05-2013, 02:48 PM
Well here is a connundrum.I bid on the uke just to follow it.Thinking it would go for 800 to 1000.Kind of forgot about it for a few day thinking I was not in the hunt for real.Well guess who won it.Hey me!A real Classic and worth every penny.Problem?The Big Island Ukulele Guild has their opening show tonight 5 to 7 at the Hilo Art Gallery.And there are going to be some beauties there.And I just spend half my ukelele budget.Well I guess I can go for the pupus and to lust after some ukes that are now out of my budget.First World Problem right?

mm stan
10-05-2013, 04:21 PM
Congrats on the score..how much did it go for....I assume nobody knew nothing about this uke... Happy Strummings

Patrick Madsen
10-05-2013, 06:38 PM
You bought a vintage uke that will just go up in price. I love my vintage ukes and thinking about all the people who loved and played them. Congrats. I'm sure if you decide to sell it here, it would be snapped up quickly. Trustfully, by me lol.

hilot.h.
10-07-2013, 06:31 PM
You bought a vintage uke that will just go up in price. I love my vintage ukes and thinking about all the people who loved and played them. Congrats. I'm sure if you decide to sell it here, it would be snapped up quickly. Trustfully, by me lol.
I agree ,about thinking where the uke has been and who played it.This one came from Bergstrom Honolulu.A store I have been to as a child.And one of my uke teachers Bill Tapia taught at Bergstroms in the 30's I think.Hell maybe Tappy even played this one or helped with the set up

SeaArtNancy
10-09-2013, 08:54 AM
I'm happy to hear that beautiful uke has a happy home!!!!!! Enjoy!!!!! And if you find something you love more....send me a note! :))))