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Thread: Bought a hot mess baritone

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    California
    Posts
    11

    Default Bought a hot mess baritone

    So I'm new to the ukulele world and as I pluck along on my Kala Ziricote tenor, I saw this on Ebay. Yes...if anyone was watching it...I'm the silly one that purchased it. I knew I would want a baritone sometime down the road. This one is a mess, and probably won't sound the greatest but I felt it needed a home and some refurbishing.

    So... a few questions. Can anyone determine the make? Perhaps a Harmony. Not sure of the year either. Solid wood?

    Lastly, I'm going to strip it, spruce it up some and give it new strings. I don't plan on putting much money into it. I'm curious about the bridge. It looks to be wood. Any suggestion as to a replacement or should I leave the bridge as is?

    Thanks for any feedback!

    Stacey
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Bellingham, WA USA
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    35

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    Looks like it’s had a lot of play time. If it were me, I would throw a new set of strings, and see how it sounds before spending on the referb. It’s a conversation starter as is. Any idea what the make is?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Little River, California
    Posts
    2,154

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey View Post
    I'm curious about the bridge. It looks to be wood. Any suggestion as to a replacement or should I leave the bridge as is? Stacey
    Stacey, the bridge looks fine to me. Did you mean the saddle? If so, yes you could replace with a bone saddle. Will require some work, but it is doable with a file and some patience.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    California
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    Oh yes, I meant the saddle.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    California
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    I plan on doing the referb myself. Only plan on sanding, staining etc. New strings and perhaps a new saddle. I have no idea about the make. The seller isn't sure.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    The Big Scioto, on the Banks of the Ohio
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    818

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    I think it’s from Japan, 1960’s or early ‘70’s. It’s definitely not a Chicago-built Harmony.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    L.A. California
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    825

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    Check the string height with a gauge.
    https://www.amazon.com/String-Action...s%2C220&sr=8-2

    If the height is acceptable I'd be inclined to leave the finish alone, restring it, and play it.
    There is mojo in an old finish.

    BTW, I put Aquila Reds on my Japanese Harmony and it really sings. YMMV.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Blaine, Washington
    Posts
    2,287

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    Not a mess Stacey but rather character. Those old strings look like Black Diamond if they're steel. We called Black Diamond Strings cheese cutters back in the day. There's a great bluegrass song called Black Diamond Strings worth looking up.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Queanbeyan, NSW Australia.
    Posts
    1,838

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    I also would not touch the finish. Its hard won character. In the world of electric guitars people pay extra money to have people "relic" their brand new guitars.
    Leave the finish alone.
    How does it play is the real question.
    Fit a new set of strings and play it. Is the neck straight? Do the strings buzz anywhere? Is the intonation good?
    If it plays well then it plays well. If its just buzzing a little in places and the neck is reasonably straight then I would pay to have some fretwork done on it yet I wouldn't touch the finish.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    582

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    Check out Lardy Fatboy's database
    http://database.ukulelecorner.co.uk/

    If you have trouble finding what you are after he has identified old ukes for me.
    My friends call me Titch. I have been known to clown.
    Ian Titulaer is my normie name.

    https://sites.google.com/site/titchtheclown/

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