Here is the latest news on Ukulele Corner and the instruments that are coming 

With the demise of Picasa the old show here is no longer maintainable
when i find an usable alternative i will put something here

I got carried away!!!

posted 14 May 2018, 04:38 by Lardy Fatboy

Supro 2010BZ
Gibson SG
Freshman FU1S

I still don't know how to play it...

posted 10 May 2018, 01:11 by Lardy Fatboy   [ updated 16 May 2018, 15:47 ]

Ruan
But I always said I'd get one eventually.
The Ruan obviously, I can play the little Banjolele a bit once I put a bridge on it and as you can tell from the photo the two instruments came as a single lot in an auction. I bid mainly for the Ruan, though the auction house had no idea what it was and listed it as a "Lute Instrument". No cracks ,(apparently?), but the "frets" are all there, the tuners look ok and I just have to hope that if it needs a bridge it has one. I have also no clue on the strings, if it has them all and if they need replacing and if they do where to get them. I don't know a lot about Ruans but I guess I will know a lot more when it gets here.

The same can be said about the Banjolele too. I don't recognise the head-stock but with only 6 brackets I don't think its American. My best guess is its German from the early 30's and does need a bridge, probably new strings and maybe even new tuners? 

They're Here!

And the Ruan doesn't need a bridge? I don't quite know how the string vibration is transmitted, but from having a go with the two strings that are on there, it does? Anyway it does need new strings but from the nut it should only have 3, (so why the fourth tuner? a spare?) There are no cracks but there is the 5th fret, where the neck meets the body, missing and it does need a damn good clean. OK so it is a little plain after some of the ones I have seen, but its certainly interesting and I do love those big fat tuning pegs.

The Banjolele is, as I suspected, German and with only 6 brackets originally a little budget. It says so on the tailpiece along the the brand name Rima, (not one I have come across before?) Ah ha, you may say that could just be the tailpiece branding, and it might but given the way it is moulded for, and tacked onto the rim, I sure it was put on as part of the manufacturing process. It is a little worse for wear, it needs a new vellum, new strings, new tuners, (the current ones are a mismatched set of push pegs; and I don't like push pegs!) a new bridge, plus a strip down to try and straighten some of the brackets, and to clean/re-varnish(?) the pot.

Something old, something new...

posted 24 Apr 2018, 15:51 by Lardy Fatboy   [ updated 21 May 2018, 16:54 ]

Tru-Fret
Talina SW-21
AG Nukulele
And something I have come across before, but it was such a bargain I thought "what the heck"!
The old Ukulele is coming from the US and was made in the 1920's in St. Charles, Illinois. It is one of Globe Musical instruments most seminal Ukuleles the "Trufret". The reason it was seminal is because it came with a one piece metal fret board that included built in frets This was, I believe , the first Ukulele to do this and so is the forerunner to all of the Harmony and Kay, el at, plastic fret boards of the 50's, and the MFC types of today.

the new Ukulele is for some reason coming from Germany via the US and originally China? What it is a solid flame maple soprano with proper wood rope binding, branded as Talina by the US importer (UkuleleWorld.com) and then sold on to a German re seller, (maybe because UkuleleWorld has shut down?). I know that it was originally made in China by Samwill Ukulele and Mandolin Co. and that they make damn fine Ukuleles! I know this because my Samwill pacific walnut Soprano is one of my very favourites, for looks, tone and quality of manufacture. Though this one is the same basic design the walnut one is very dark and this one is much lighter

The Ukulele I have come across before is a bottle shaped Soprano Nukulele. Like the Samwill I do already have one but this doesn't have the quality or the tone; it is basically a novelty Ukulele. Well this one is a different one of the six designs they came with and at the price it was I just couldn't go past it. I will look great on the side with the one I already have, and who knows maybe I will collect all six?

Finally winning at Auctions again

posted 12 Apr 2018, 16:45 by Lardy Fatboy   [ updated 20 May 2018, 15:48 ]

B C Rich V
Ovation 1612
mugig
But only it seams if the Guitars ar Black!
What I have invited this time is an NJ Series B.C.Rich JR-V and a 1981, (proper US made, not Applause or Celebrity), Ovation 1612 Deluxe Balladeer; with an afterthought Enya made Magig MUK-2 Soprano Ukulele with a comfort and a cutaway bevel. The first two were lots in an auction that included a lot of Guitars, Banjos and Mandolins, (but no Ukes). There were quite a few that I would have liked to invite and not all of them were black but one of the first up was the black B.C.Rich Vee. Now I kind of wanted a solid body Vee, ideally a Gibson but that was never going to happen so I was willing to look at direct copies, like the Epiphone and "in the style of" copies like the Jackson or as in this case the B.C.Rich (I know I already have a number of B.C.Riches and I don't have a Jackson but I do prefer the symmetrical look rather than the offset look of a Jackson). I was not willing to send a big invite to a Vee though but I was up for a small punt, especially with this one as it was a bit of an oddity, (aren't all B.C.Riches a bit of an oddity?) This one is technically headless; except it still has a headstock?? Now most of B.C.Riches Vees have a normal headstock at the end of the neck with machine heads on and sometimes locking nuts, but for a short while, for some reason they put out some Vees featuring a bridge with tuners on and a standard sort of headless nut? However they left the headstock on, but its not doing anything, apart from being a billboard for the logo. Maybe there was a shortage of ordinary bridges? Maybe they had a load of headless guitar hardware sitting about and they wanted to use it up? Whatever the reason it added to my interest as I wanted to try out the headless guitar hardware as well as wanting a Vee so I put out the invitation. I didn't win at the initial bid but it didn't go a lot higher and as it was early in the auction it encouraged me to try on some of the others as I already had to pay for shipping. Of course my luck had run out on all of the non-black Fenders, PSRs and everything else until near the end of the musical instrument section of the auction was a fairly experienced looking bowl backed Ovation acoustic electric Guitar in black with an ordinary big central soundhole rather than the 32 little ones on the epaulettes, Now I know they are suppose to be good for stopping feedback and I do like the design, (after all I have 2 Ovation applause Ukuleles with them; plus a Chinese kind of copy Ukulele), but they have now become a little clichéd so I was happy with the idea of a more standard looking one. Well lets be honest I have always wanted a proper Ovation acoustic but they are always out of my budget, like the Gibsons and the Fenders, so I thought it was worth a go; though I fully expected it to go for double the price I was willing to go plus fees. The only thing in my favour was it's distressed look, the white patches of wear(?) around the edges particularly were suspicious. Still it started low and though there was a couple of bids bumping the price up it still went for less than half what I was expecting, to the Pony Guitar Sanctuary at Ukulele Corner! (this worried me a bit because the low price might be because all of the people there in person could see it really was a clunker).

That was it for the auction but during the day Miss Moo won an Amazon voucher, (I'm not quite sure how?), and having found that what she wanted wasn't on Amazon she came to me to try and swap the voucher for cash.

They're Here

And the Ovation, whilst looking a bit "distressed", is bloody lovely! I don't know about the electrics, (yet), but acoustically it has without doubt the best tone of all my acoustics, and the bigger proper sound hole means it is of a proper volume, not a bit muffled like the little epaulette holes on the more iconic looking ovations

The BC Rich is even more perplexing in reality. With all of the headless tuning paraphernalia, leaving that big ol' head stock looks even more incongruous. I know that most of these Vee's  have a normal set of tuners on the head stock, so I can understand production wise, but I don't think all empty as it is, it looks good and am tempted to remove it, (not sure about the truss rod though??) Looks aside it is a good quality bit of kit, the whammy bar works perfectly, even if it doesn't have the grandeur of a Bigsby. The tuners all work, if a little fiddly and it certainly has a certain venom about it.

I am pleasantly surprised by the Magig too. It has the look and feel of a much more prestigious brands, and the bevels if a little superfluous do look smart. tone wise - well it is a laminate top so is sadly just as you would expect, OKish but the overall fit and finish is well above average.

I know I said no more Plastic Ukuleles

posted 23 Mar 2018, 16:15 by Lardy Fatboy   [ updated 7 Apr 2018, 14:49 ]

Lapin Happy Tunes plastic Soprano
But for a complete collection there are some of the rarer models I should invite, Things like the Maccaferri Baritone, the Islander Deluxe, The Harmony Modern Bali, any of the Grecos, the Lapin Happy Tunes and so on, so the truth is I will invite more plastic Ukuleles if they are good, but I can scratch the Lapin Happy Tunes from the list because it has accepted my invitation and is on the way. When I first saw it on ebay, it was being offered at a ridiculous opening price, but never having seen one for sale before I watched it to see if it was me that was wrong in my appraisal and not the seller? Well it went through the auction with not a bid so it appeared I was right, and then the seller relisted it starting at a sixth the original starting price for the auction or a "buy it now" price at a quarter the original price. This time I was set to bid until I decided the "buy it now" price was about right so I sent out the invitation.

It's Here!

and it is in immaculate condition!! No cracks, no scratches, no bellying; the only issue is I don't think the tuners are original? But they are a good match and you only really notice it if you look closely and see the cross head screws in them. It also sounds a lot better than most plastic Ukuleles too, contemporary or modern, so with this and the build quality this was never a "toy" like the Carnivals or all of the other Lapin made Ukuleles I've seen

The Aliens are coming!

posted 15 Mar 2018, 09:21 by Lardy Fatboy   [ updated 7 Apr 2018, 14:56 ]

Mahalo Alien Soprano that glows in the dark
And they glow in the dark!!!!

Thats right, Ukulele Corner is to be invaded: the Pony Guitar Sanctuary is in for some very special guests ~ but they're very welcome

This is one of Mahalo's 2018 "specials". It's one of the new creative series that have come out along with the latest art series and a new designer series. The Alien is the only one of the new models to have a distinctly non traditional body shape, (there is another "skull" one that is a standard Ukulele body shape but put on the wrong way around, so the neck connects to the larger bout ), and though it comes in 4 colours, this is the only one that is fluorescent. I'm looking forward to its arrival so I can get it to glow for me 

It's Here!

But I will have to leave it under the lights for a bit before I can see it glow. 
Not glowing it is certainly new and off white under normal lights. It plays nicely enough but it does miss a proper fretboard; as it comes it is just some "ebonising" on the neck. OK its a reasonable job but it does look cheap and will probably wear through after a bit of use. Speaking of cheap, the whole thing looks a little cheap, well more feels than looks, the finish is a little rough and uneven. However it plays nicely enough and what did I expect for the money? It is what it is, a bit of fun

It Glows! 

The soundboard glows, the headstock glows even the back and sides glow

Apparently this is a Badgers Head

posted 4 Mar 2018, 09:39 by Lardy Fatboy   [ updated 9 Mar 2018, 15:14 ]

Veneered Kit Built Soprano
When I saw this I thought it looked quite pretty with its contrasting 3 tone veneer and wondered if it was made from scratch or not? I asked the maker and he told me that it started out as a kit Ukulele that he built and customised with a teak, walnut and beech veneer; so not quite from scratch but still very interesting and individual. It also had a very low starting price on its eBay auction, less than half the price of the cheapest Ukulele kit I can think of, and as I thought it looked interesting I decided to send out a small invitation. You never know it might not attract a lot more interest and he also put a more showy, (but to my mind less well veneered), one at the same starting price. As it happened I was pretty much right with only one other bid, and a small one at that, so the invitation was accepted. Speaking to the maker again I found out that this is actually his third prototype and that if they take off and he makes more he will officially brand the range Badgers Head, (this one does have a small badgers head logo on the rear of the headstock so can be considered as part of the brand) When it gets here I hope that it is as nicely done as it looks from the pictures and that he has done a good job building the base kit; however I shall see.

It's Here

And it's ok, a little more of a matt finish than I was expecting, (especially on the back of the neck), and it smells very strongly of glue, but it all seams competently put together. It all looks solid and there are no cracks or badly fitted veneer. The action is a little high for my taste but this does make it a good ukulele for figure picking; and it's not so high as to be a problem. It is also as pretty as it's pictures suggest and it does have a badgers head stamp on the back of the headstock.

Another Notch

posted 27 Feb 2018, 16:36 by Lardy Fatboy   [ updated 1 Mar 2018, 16:33 ]

Excelsioror Tenor scale Banjolele
Or even two!
What I have invited this time is a Chinese made Tenor scale Banjolele branded by Excelsior. Up until now I didn't have a Tenor scale Banjolele, Soprano, Yes, and Concert, and baritone, even a mini scale Banjolele, but no Tenors, (though I do have a few Tenor Banjos). Part of the reason for this is because there aren't a lot of Tenor scale Banjos about and for this reason I had a kind of plan in my mind, of commissioning Wim van der Leyden in Holland to make me one, (and I still might?) but then this one came up on ebay at a very reasonable starting price, so I had a small punt and no one else bid. The other "notch" is that Excelsior's base is very close to Ukulele Corner; I have even met with the owner, so I have had the feeling that I should get one of their instruments. support the local business, that sort of thing.

It's here!

And its a very nice Banjolele. It is a Tenor with a scale length of 424mm, and though Chinese made it does come from a different manufacturer than any of my other modern Banjoleles, (Aiersi Sinomusic I think?)and whilst it doesn't quite have the quality of a Monarch or a Kemptone its perfectly reasonable, sturdy and none of the components feel "cheap". The only issue I've had is the strings, though good quality, (Aquilas I think), were put on badly and I have had to redo the A and G strings to get the right angle. I may have to do the C and E string too , i'm not sure yet.

Well it is my Birthday... Again

posted 12 Feb 2018, 12:51 by Lardy Fatboy   [ updated 16 Feb 2018, 18:51 ]

Kanile'a Islander MT4 Tenor Ukulele
No big backstory here I just saw it at a bit of a bargain price and Like I said "it is my Birthday" What I have invited this time is an Islander MT4 Tenor made in China for one of the top Hawaiian Ukulele houses, Kanile'a.

It's Here

and it sounds marvelous! It is also very nice and forgiving to play. OK so it looks fairly basic but this does look, (feel and sound), like the kind of Uke that you play a lot whilst leaving fancier ones in their cases 

Very Enigmatic

posted 1 Feb 2018, 17:15 by Lardy Fatboy   [ updated 5 Feb 2018, 15:42 ]

Ackerman Plastic Soprano with an odd poem on
"The cognition decree by destinies
to acquaint to have the affection.
Acquaintanceship years that know.
Thank you to always accompany me to walk through
"
This is one of the things that attracted me to this Ukulele, this and that it was very cheap. I have no idea what it means? Or why it would be printed on an ostensibly childs plastic Ukulele?? Ackerman is a UK importer of all sorts of stuff from Hong Kong from graveside ornaments to wooden toys and from the look of it, what they are selling is fairly fluid. So they wouldn't have commissioned this, they would just have picked up some stock they could sell.
I have googled the poem(?) and came up with nothing so I've no idea where that came from? Or truth to tell what it is suppose to mean?? I also don't know about the quality of the Ukulele but I doubt its very great but its definitely different, odd and welcome at Ukulele Corner.

It's Here

And it's every bit as poor as I had feared; it doesn't even have proper strings! It does have a little makers mark on the back though, but it is very hard to read. The best I can make out is

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