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

Finally winning at Auctions again

posted 12 Apr 2018, 16:45 by Lardy Fatboy   [ updated 13 Apr 2018, 16:36 ]

B C Rich V
Ovation 1612
But only it seams if the Guitars ar Black!

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

That's a funny looking Guitar?

posted 22 Jan 2018, 17:56 by Lardy Fatboy   [ updated 5 Feb 2018, 15:53 ]

Trembita K-58 12 string Kobza
Even for a 12 string; but that's how the auction house listed it; mind you they did list a Bouzouki and a Mandola as Guitars too and this at least had 6 courses like a Guitar. It was listed as a Trembita Guitar, which I at first thought was the name of the design, but of course they got the word Trembita from the sound hole label and it is the maker not the make. There were a number of other Guitars as lots that I would like to invite, (and the Bouzouki and the Mandola), so other than seeing it as a curio I didn't look much further into what it was before the auction. All of the other Chordophones had better invitations than mine though so this was the only thing I won, so I thought I would look into it some more and this is what I found out.

Trembita is an acoustic Guitar and Folk Instrument maker in Lviv, Ukraine. They say they have been in business for over 60 years making guitars and that they are currently the only commercial manufacturer of Ukrainian Bandura, (so they probably made mine as well, though I couldn't see it in the current catalogue? But there were a number of production instruments mentioned that I couldn't see in the catalogue?) Reading their history I found that in 2003 they expanded their range of eastern European Folk Instruments to include Balalaika, Domra and some Ukrainian Instruments called Kobza. When I looked at the catalogue, low and behold there was my 12 string Guitar not as a Guitar but as a 12 string  6 course fretted Kobza! So knowing nothing about the Kobza  I looked that up and found that it was a lute like instrument dating back to the 4th century. Being a bit fluid at the time it had between 4 and 9 strings as 1 string courses and that it was usually fretless though did sometimes have gut frets tied around the neck. the tuning was fairly fluid too and it's popularity waxed and waned over the centuries. About 100 years ago the most popular player at the time switched to playing a flat backed version with proper metal frets on the neck. This wasn't, and still isn't approved of by the Kobza purists but all of Trembita's Kobza are fretted and are made to be tuned like a standard Guitar, (I don't know with this 12 string though if any of the courses are suppose to be octaved?)

It's Here

and that curley scroll is very impressive. What isn't so impressive though is the amount the bridge is lifting! and the very high action!! On the inner label it says that it was made in 2013, (so not that long for the bridge to lift), and there are no fret markers, at the front or on the side; I may have to dig out the sticker fret markers and put a couple on both the front and side. There is plenty of room on the side as it has quite the thickest fretboard I think I have seen 

A long time ago and in a Galaxy far far away...

posted 20 Jan 2018, 12:26 by Lardy Fatboy   [ updated 29 Jan 2018, 07:12 ]

Starforce fretless Bass
There were some dodgy "cowboy's in space" movies made. The lasers guns fired light bullets, one at a time, and the baddies always missed.
Around the same time but not quite so far away, well at least in the same Galaxy; and even the same Planet, but on the other side to Ukulele Corner, there was StarForce!
What has been invited to Ukulele Corner today is a fretless 4 string Bass dating from the late 80's, made at the Samick works in Korea and branded by some Miami distributor as a StarForce 7005. I'm not sure exactly the year of manufacture but the brand started in 1988 and at some point became StarForce USA. Mine must be early as it doesn't have the USA added, but it does have little Saturn type planets as all of its fret markers which are quite cute. These, along with the lines where the frets would normally be will be very necessary or I would have no idea where to put my fingers?  I've never really played a fretless Bass before so I'm quite looking forward to it arriving and who knows, it might make me a better Bass player?

It's Here!

and I am a better Bass player!!!
Marginally, and that is mainly due to the fact that with no metal frets there is none of the rattle and fret buzz I usually get when I hit the strings improperly, (of course "practice makes perfect" and I have been practicing a bit with it since it arrived too). The Bass itself looks very nice, you wouldn't think it was 30 years old unless you looked really close. All of the knobs, pickup protectors and other plastic bits look pristine, as does the finish on the body and headstock. All that shows its age is a little pitting on the bridge block, i little tarnish on the neck plate and some odd wear marks on the fretboard

As it's Christmas...

posted 24 Dec 2017, 16:19 by Lardy Fatboy   [ updated 4 Jan 2018, 09:44 ]

Deering Goodtime Concert Banjolele with an 11 inch drum
I thought I'd get myself a little present.
What I have invited this time is a Concert scale Deering Goodtime open backed Banjo Ukulele. These are generally fairly expensive so when they came out a couple of years ago, whilst I knew I would get one one day I knew I would have to wait for a bit for the price to go down. The do come up on ebay occasionally but while the start price is just about reasonable, they soon shoot up to a nearly new price that is above what I would go. Well this time once again the start price was just about reasonable so I had a punt, I wasn't going to go much higher than the start price though, but maybe because of the time of year I didn't have to; no one else bid! So although I'm not getting the Deering gig bag with it, I am inviting it at a fairly bargain, (for what they usually sell for), price.

It's Here!!

After quite a bit of faffing, getting it delivered during the holiday period, and it is quite lovely. Very big with it's 11 inch drum, but still lovely. It's also a bit lighter than I was expecting too. Every bit about it is quality though, and I like the way the Deering logo is stamped on the back of the fretboard overhang. when seeing them in pictures before I always wondered what the piece of wood between the bridge and the head was, and worried it might be detrimental to the sound.  It isn't though I have tried it now both on and off, and whilst it sounds pretty good with it off it actually sounds a lot beter with it on.


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