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Thread: 20's Favilla soprano fixer-upper

  1. #1
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    Default 20's Favilla soprano fixer-upper

    From the 20's, according to Tom Favilla, when I emailed him. This has a flush fingerboard, Last 2 frets appear to have been replaced, the last one especially is much too high, impeding play up high. Playing on the lower frets is fine. No idea on the history of this one, which I got on eBay a year ago. It looks like it may have had the neck and/or back off at some point, possibly a dowel down through the heel, but I'm no luthier.

    Original tuners work fine. Has no saddle, needs a new one, it was lost somewhere, can't find it. When I first got it, it played well and sounded great, a sweet vintage tone, aside from the issues caused by the high last 2 frets. To get this one back up and running well, you'd need a new saddle, and probably pull the last fret, or have it filed, although you can play it down low just fine, with no changes to the last 2 frets . $135.00 shipped in CONUS only.

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    Last edited by Ukecaster; 11-17-2019 at 06:41 AM.
    John

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    A missing or replaced 12th fret usually indicates a neck reset. Also any indication if the nut had been replaced? They were usually ebony. What color was the saddle? UkeOG

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkeOG View Post
    A missing or replaced 12th fret usually indicates a neck reset.
    Also any indication if the nut had been replaced? They were usually ebony. What color was the saddle? UkeOG
    As just an observer I find the info on the neck interesting, I didn’t know that that was something done to Ukes and wonder why it might have been needed. We have been told (and I believe Ukecaster) that it played well so if that job was done then it worked.

    From the photos it looks like someone has fitted a bone nut, making a saddle to suit wouldn’t put me off at all - I’d probably fit a bone saddle anyway.

    Transport and import duties to the U.K. kill the deal for me but if I was in the US then I’d want to jump on this. I’ve seen several old Favilla’s go for quite a bit more and, if things don’t work out, this isn’t big money to loose. To me it looks like a nice little project and a great player for someone, and Ukecaster is someone that I’d trust.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 08-26-2018 at 07:47 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkeOG View Post
    A missing or replaced 12th fret usually indicates a neck reset. Also any indication if the nut had been replaced? They were usually ebony. What color was the saddle? UkeOG
    Yes, the last pic shows how it came to me, with a white saddle, I assume it was bone, wish I could find it. I assume the neck was off for a reset, as I see glue around the heel, where it attaches to the body. Looking closer, it appears the back may also have been off at some point, as some finish is missing on the sides, where it meets the back, and I see what looks like stain, or dark glue inside, where the back joins the sides.
    Last edited by Ukecaster; 08-28-2018 at 07:40 AM.
    John

  6. #6
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    Pics in outdoor light

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    John

  7. #7

    Default Thanks !!

    Thanks for the extra info and the photo with bone saddle! I have several 1920s mahogany sopranos. It looks quite nice! ... and I would agree that with a very simple fret file and saddle replacement, someone would have an early Vintage Favilla! UkeOG

  8. #8
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    This one has been fixed up! Bone saddle installed, the last 2 frets were dressed so they are now playable all the way up. Also the tuners swapped to Pings; original friction tuners also included. Sounds good with Worth Browns. New pics coming.

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    Last edited by Ukecaster; 11-17-2019 at 06:48 AM.
    John

  9. #9
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    Sweet!. I love the old Favillas. Great players. I sold one many years back that was feather light and had a huge sound. Sometimes I think about trying to get that one back!

  10. #10
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    John, do you think that someone turned a one piece saddle/bridge into a two piece somewhere a long the way for better action and intonation?

    The bridge reminds me of those one piece bridges seen on the older Favillas.
    Maybe why it got lost too (a little looser).
    Tracie

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