Old Hilo, “Music is what feelings sound like”

Futurethink

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My aunt gave me an old Hilo ‘ukulele. The brass logo on the headstock makes me wonder whether this could have been made in Japan.

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I can’t tell whether the phrase on the soundboard was added by some other owner along the way, or if it came this way from the factory. Does it look familiar to anyone?

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The nut and saddle are some dark material. Does anyone here know about these?
 
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Can't tell you anything about your ukulele, but I love that phase!
 
After finding a second one on Reverb, I’m pretty confident that this is a model 50 from Japan. I want to restore this, and have some questions.

One of the tuners is missing. I cannot find an exact match, so I’ll have to replace all four. They look like this:
A674C8AB-B9FE-4557-AF93-F27847BEDE5C.jpg
Because the nut and bridge appear to be ebony, I’m thinking of using black tuning pegs. If this is a collectible I should perhaps use white tuning pegs. Any thoughts?

It appears that the previous owner added not only the lettering, but also clumsily applied a coat of varnish. There are drips and shinier patches here and there. I’ll be stripping that.

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The saddle—along with the screw—appear to be original because it matches the others I found on Reverb. I personally think the saddle is unattractive, and I’d like to replace it.

i suppose I’m asking whether I should regard this as an art restoration project, or feel free to make modifications.
 
These will work fine. I've had them on several sopranos, and you can often use the original washer or bushing on the front, if desired.

 
These will work fine. I've had them on several sopranos, and you can often use the original washer or bushing on the front, if desired.


Thank you. If I don’t use the white collar these will look a lot like what’s on there.
 
I think you should, put some new pegs and strings on it and enjoy it! The modifications/cludgy finish are part of its story and it would be a shame to remove it.

It is a nice thing and it might sound really good but there's a danger you could turn it into something it isn't.
 
I’m with Chris. The writing on the front is at least half its charm and shows it has a history and was loved. I bet it sounds great.
 
Please, make that picture your 'avatar'... before I do!

...just kidding; I wouldn't do that.

It's yours.

Sincerely,
Wiggy
 
My aunt gave me an old Hilo ‘ukulele. The brass logo on the headstock makes me wonder whether this could have been made in Japan.

View attachment 135743

View attachment 135744
I can’t tell whether the phrase on the soundboard was added by some other owner along the way, or if it came this way from the factory. Does it look familiar to anyone?

View attachment 135745
The nut and saddle are some dark material. Does anyone here know about these?

That's a nice oldie. Below - same name, different manufacturer. Acacia with a wider nut.


And -
 
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