Two months later and another one came up at a reasonable, (equally, if not more so bargain), price. This one had everything, (well not the case), resonator all the brackets, all the tuners even a bridge and strings. The down side was it was "collection only" and the other side of the country. Well I have had sellers recently say collection only was a mistake and they were willing to post so I wrote and asked; and the seller said yes he would post. He didn't change the listing though so no one else bid and now it has been posted to Ukulele Corner. It looks pretty perfect and won't need any spare parts from the first one but the one oddity is the red fretboard. I have never seen a Jolli Joe with a red fretboard before so this might be some aftermarket work? the effect is quite striking though so unless I have to I will leave it red. There was no case this time though and like I said the case is rarer than the Banjolele so if nothing else it was worth getting the first one for the case
Because it was listed as collection only there was no price for postage so the seller was going to invoice me separately through paypal for that and in looking on ebay for this invoice a new "Buy it Now" listing was brought to my attention presumably because this like the Jolli Joe had postage free in the listing, (in this case it was postage included and no issue of whether I had to collect or not). What it is is an unbranded vintage, probably British, certainly European somewhere, sunburst Soprano in very good, (from the photos and description), condition. The buy it now price was very reasonable (again read bargain). Reasonable enough that even though there was a make an offer option I didn't quibble and paid the full asking price. It's almost certainly from the 30's, (the only doubt in my mind is it looks in such good condition, and with no case, it looks newer) and from the headstock and bridge I was thinking George Houghton though the sunburst finish makes me think of Dallas and maybe continental? Possibly I will find out more when it gets here but wherever it comes from it, and the second Jolli Joe, are very welcome at Ukulele Corner
And the Jolli Joe is missing two brackets; I wonder where I can get replacements from? I know, my other Jolli Joe! Apart from that it is pretty much as good as I hoped it would be, the bridge, which looks old enough to be original, has a bit too much wear in the string slots to work properly but I can sand down the top and put on fresh new slots. the colourful finish may not be original but it was done a long time ago and has been done very well. It nicely and evenly coloured with no flaking or yellowing and developed a good patina. The only thing I have seen so far that gives away that it is aftermarket is the black paint, (the headstock front has been coloured black), encroaching on the edge of the logo plaque. The string though pretty new are rather stretchy nylon and I will probably replace them once I have done the bridge.
And the unlabeled sunburst one is a small Concert with a scale length of 360mm (14¼ inches) rather than a Soprano, even given the fact that I don't think it is the original bridge, (It looks newer and there is a fair amount of glue around it), the nut to 12th fret length bears out this should be the scale length. Now its here I am leaning more towards Barnett Samuel being the maker though because its not the original bridge identification is harder. It does look to have been of a reasonable quality when it was made though, with a good original nut, a good seperate fretboard, (and brass bar frets suggesting it might even date back to the 20's?) the tuners are original too (though a couple of screws have been replaced; probably when the bridge was done) and at that vintage only good models had friction tuners and not wooden pegs. Again the nylon strings that are on it are pretty naff and I should probably replace them too.
Bugsgear had suggested to me they might like me to review one of their new Bluetooth Eleukes. I, of course , said "yes I would love too" but heard nothing more until this arrived. Its the new Eleuke BCP-T steel strung, 490mm (19 inch) scale, solid body Baritone. Now I have needed(?) a solid body electric Ukulele for my collection for some time now as I didn't have anything like that; I was even contemplating commissioning one, and as its steel strung that is also new for the Corner, (I have steel strung Sopranos, Concerts and Tenors but no Baritone - until now)
Now its here I shall certainly review it thoroughly and my first impressions are it looks like a nice piece of kit but the factory setup it well off so I will have to set it up properly, (they have included hex allen keys for this purpose) and the case is SERIOUSLY padded (at least twice as thick as they normally are)
Why am I paying? Well I saw this lovely and colourful 1930's Harmony made Waterskiers stencil Soprano branded by P'MICo as a Collegiate with a very reasonable "Buy It Now" price in US$. Very reasonable in dollars but the post brexit pound is so weak against the dollar that it's now some 30% more expensive than it would have been but for all of those xenophobic, jingoistic idiots who can't see past their own bigotry!
Anyway enough common sense; it is by far the most colourful example I have seen and I have invited, (bought) it now even if it has had the bridge reattached rather crudely and its on its way to Ukulele Corner escaping the Trump supporting, KKK endorsing, misogynistic, narrow minded, bombastic, proud of their own ignorance, halfwits from across the pond. Sadly only to be met by the petty, small minded, equally "proud" halfwits from around here (Ukulele Corner is still a safe and sensible Corner though)
Well I was never really going to wait very long for them. Truth is I very nearly when to the auction and bid on them in person; I probably would have done if it hadn't been my birthday so I was doing other things. I thought I could find out if the Shine was made in Korea or China, but beyond the headstock logo there is nothing anywhere so I don't know? It's a little bit dirty and there are a couple of very small chips on the back but beyond that its in pretty perfect condition and it's tricky to say how old it is, (age would be a give away for country of origin as all of the older ones come from Korea). In looking to find out more about it though I have seen the newest ones have different more Klukson like tuners and some have Shine on the neck plate so I think mine is not that new, also in the latest ranges I could find there wasn't a sunburst but I did see an identical one second hand in Ireland, (and the web page was more than 5 years old) that gave the model number SI 30 It also came with a handy padded gigbag; handy because it is not shaped so can hold any guitar including any of the awkwardly shaped BC Rich ones.
The Tanglewood Tenor Banjo is in fine condition too. No such difficulties about identifying this one though. Country of origin - China (Well probably, the Made in China sticker has been removed leaving just a mark where it was ) It's also not very new and I did have to work a bit to find out it is a Tanglewood TB 30/4 Not the most novel of names, TB for "Tanglewood Banjo", (They call their Banjo range TWB now, maybe to disassociate then from the nasty lung infection?) 30 as it has 30 brackets, (The current range has 18 brackets and their older, I think also discontinued but newer than mine, "Union Series" had 24), and 4 for the 4 strings obviously (there was a 5 for the 5 sting bluegrass Banjo and a 6 for the Banjitar in the range too). It appears to have been restrung for "Chicago (D~G~B~E) tuning" because when I started to try and tune it C~G~D~A the tension, particularly on the high string was way out but it all seen right with the D~G~B~E. Makes it a lot easier for me to play but I was going to have a go with the proper tuning. Anyway Play it I have and its pretty marvelous (But loud)
Well it was Guitar auction time again and in this auction were 3 Epiphone Dots like mine. Now I had showed my Dot to Swamp and he liked it very much; so much that he even offered to buy it from me! With this in mind, before the auction I told him about the 3 dots and asked if he would like me to put a bid in for him. He said yes but wanted to look at the rest of the catalogue and once he had done that he asked me to bid on a number of other Guitars for him too. No problem there and we can split the shipping cost of the Guitars we win, (well there was a small problem as he was also keen on a couple of the Guitars I was looking to invite to Ukulele Corner but we worked around that) SO come the Auction and the 3 Dots all went for double what I had paid for mine, getting on for retail prices and more than he was willing to go. Sadly, probably because there wasn't a second auction going on at the same time like the last two times I won lots of Guitars, most of the lots went for to much to be a bargain. Most but not all! I did get a Peavey Rockingham hollow body Guitar, (Swamp also liked the look of this but did say he didn't want to get too many so left it for me) I possibly paid too much here as I ended up going a tenner over what started out as my maximum; but it does come with a nice case(? like I need another case). Swamp got an Aria LW10 (which I was tempted on; it looked nice; but I wasn't really after another acoustic so I let him go for it) and a Walden G570 which is not a maker I know but he said he'd had a go on one in a shop and though it was a very nice Guitar. So now the three of them are on the way to Ukulele Corner and I'll take the two acoustics on to Swamp next time we have a jam.
And my Rockingham really ROCKS! Swamp's Guitars are very nice too, I think the Walden looks very pretty and the Aria has a really good tone; and looks pretty too. They both have a couple of "badges of experience" but nothing drastic and they could probably do with new strings, (as could the Rockingham) Now they are here I will take some photos of them because they are pretty and I would like to make a page for each of them, I will also murder a few songs and do a quick review, (quick because they won't be here long)
Then on to the Rockingham and I am very happy with this even if I did pay more than I meant to for it, (the case is more than worth the extra but then the Guitar is mch nicer than I thought too and worth the extra) It is acoustically louder than I was expecting, and a lot louder than the Dot. I haven't have a go plugging it up yet because I have been messing with the other two, but it all looks perfect so I'm sure the electrics work and I'll need to learn to play Rock'a'Billy
Yes the latest invitee to Ukulele corner is a 1960/early 70's (I'll know more once it gets here and I can read the inner label), 12 string Framus Texan ,(the model number changed in the middle of production so the earlier ones are 5/296 and the later ones are 06100), in a natural finish; and from the look of the photos, original strings (apart from the ones that are missing - clearly they need replacing once it gets here), Looking at the Framus museum website I can see that in 1973 the rrp for this for 265DM which equates to around £500 in 2015, nevertheless I think I have probably paid too much for it by the time auction fees and shipping / me going on a 2 hour+ drive to collect it (each way!) especially since, although my Guitar playing has improved since buying all of these "pony" Guitars at auction, it's a 12 string and so harder to play. Still I am a big fan of the look of the old Framus chordophones and I love that bridge (that's why I bid in the first place but I thought I had been outbid in the online pre-bidding so I didn't watch the auction. Clearly the person who outbid me withdrew before the auction and no one bid on it live) So it will be welcome at Ukulele Corner once it gets here and once I restring it I'll have a go at playing it.
and it is without doubt the dirtiest Guitar I have invited!! I have spent most of the afternoon cleaning it, ok it's a big guitar but having to use four of my special wood cleaning cloths, (usually I can do 2 guitars with one cloth) and domestic cleaner; and furniture polish! I could probably still do more by properly polishing the metal bits and oiling the tuner gears before I restring and photograph it, and then see if my new found skill on the guitar transfers to the twelve string. Underneath all of the grime its in "seriously experienced" condition. There is a bit of fret; and fretboard wear, one of the tuners is bent, there is some wear on the soundboard; and possibly a crack along the center join though it still feels fairly solid, and the varnish on the back of the neck has gone funny(?) It is also missing some of the tuner ferrules but they shouldn't be too hard to replace. All in all if I had looked at it before buying it i wouldn't have bid as much as I did.. Or maybe I would because it's a monster and I love that bridge.
Oh and though the inner label has faded quite badly I can make outh its a 06100 so a 70's Guitar.
and it's not a Jenny?! It looked like a Jenny in the pictures; same reddish mahogany, same gloss finish etc. but the label in the soundhole tells me its a Bushman "Eastmansong" Ukulele made, well finished on the 3 of July 2006. It is very nicely made, though when I took the three strings it came with off, the nut fell off too! (I have glued it back on and restring it with a set of Clifford Essex strings)The one really glaring QC issue with it is the tuners, (which are closed and do work nicely and smoothly as tuners), are spectacularly haphazard in their alignment with the sides of the headstock. not one is a right angle and no two are at the same angle either so you can't see any design influence that could have cause this? There are no extra holes for the tuner fixing screws so clearly it was made like this, (and because I would have to make new holes to correct it and I don't want to make new holes I am going to leave it)
It's origins are certainly curious, in looking Eastmansong up as a Bushman brand I have found that is appears to be a separate distributor. I have seen it both in conjunction with Busman, (on other Ukuleles as well as mine), and as a brand in its own right; so no Bushman on the headstock (but no Easmansong on the headstock either), just an Eastmansong sound hole label. Easmansong appears to be, (or have been - I'm not sure if they are still going?) a European, possibly Swiss distributor. My guess it that the same factory in China made Ukuleles for both companies and whether by accident or planned, (Bushman is a U.S. company and only sell mail order in Europe or through small European distributors) supplied this Bushman branded Baritone to Eastmansong.
and no swastikas on it anywhere (phew! Ukulele Corner prides itself on being a very inclusive place), There is also no "made in Germany" or "foreign made" stamps on it which probably means that it was never originally sold in the UK and came here some time after the war. All it does say apart from Juka (the brand name) is "D.R.P - Auslandspatente" which means the Juka was patented in countries other than Germany before 1939 but also suggests that it was meant for the domestic market. The Ukulele itself is very solidly made though not of especially high craftsmanship and the wood in laminate. It has a scale length of about 360mm, (it's hard to measure because it has a zero fret but no twelfth fret and the juka device is in the way), so a big Soprano or possibly a small Concert. Like the KeyKord it has steel strings but unlike the KeyKord it would be fairly easy to unscrew it to replace the strings. There is a small gap between the Juka and the fretboard so you can kind of see what it happening when you press one of the leavers (they are leavers rather than buttons) and in addition to the zero fret there is also the first 3 frets. this is helpful as there is no chord notation in the box just numbers 1 to 8, (1 - 4 on the treble side and 5 - 8 on the bass side), and with no accompanying documentation, (I'm guessing there was when it was new; and not looted), I have to try and work out what the corresponding chords are, (though since I have to guess what the original tuning was suppose to be too D tuning was the standard in Germany at the time but it could just as easily be C tuning or the steel strings some kind of Cavaquinho tuning, D~G~B~D or maybe D~G~B~E? Even Mandolin tuning; steel Mandolin string would have been much more common at the time). With the string on it at the moment it is re-entrant but I don't know how original the strings are, (they look a bit good for 80 odd years old and certainly have a lot of sustain? - the tuners do look very much like they are 80 years old though), still all of this adds to the fun and mystery of having it here at Ukulele Corner
What I have invited this time is an JHS Encore E99 which apart from the headstock and fret markers look a lot like a Les Paul single cutaway Standard. Now I have tried quite a bit recently to get a single cut LP type Guitar at auctions including that big one that I mentioned that had 9 Epiphone Les Pauls (plus some other copies), the one I got the Dot, the Hagstrom and the Kramer in and the one today that had a cream Tanglewood. Sadly they all got away from me so vaguely looking this evening on eBay I thought I would have a little look at what was there and found this one, collection only, but from just up the road, very very cheap and with only 24 minutes left on the auction. Well I thought why not? its closer than most and much, much cheaper than the other recent attempts so I bid and extra pound, became the top bidder and won. Now I just have to go and collect it, but its much closer than Bath - and maybe I need to think about getting another Guitar rack too!
And it's better than I was expecting I always thought of myself as more of a Fender type man but I don't know something about the Les Paul shape just feels more comfortable than the Strats or Teles On the basis of holding this, if I was going to just get one proper electric Guitar, (rather than a collection of pawn shop specials), I'd get the Gibson Les Paul Classic. No case of gigbag this time but I did get a perfectly good strap thrown in And I did have to put the scratch plate back on for some reason, but I did get all of the pieces so this wasn't a problem.
So now I have an LP type and can stop chasing after them.
Unless its a real one...
Or maybe a double cut...
Or a Gold Top, or a Junior, or a Recording, or a hollow body or has a Bigsby, or...
And I have got the new Guitar rack too!
With the Nukulele, I remember them coming onto the market in 2014 and I was almost given one to review then; but that deal never came off. After the initial publicity they seemed to disappear until recently when I saw them on sale for about half what they were priced at in 2014, (so clearly not a great success then), I was tempted at this price but suggested to Miss Moo this would be a good Christmas present. She, however said she wouldn't get me any sort of chordophone for Christmas so when new one came up as an eBay auction with a very low starting price I thought I would put in a small opening bid and see how it went; and then I'm back to the beginning of the story.
With the Regal I bid on it because though I have some Regal made Ukuleles I don't actually have any specifically branded Regal and this one has a nice complete undamaged, (from the photo), Regal blue label decal on the headstock. On the basis of this I put in the opening bid, (its coming from America so with postage it wasn't that cheap but it was shipping through eBay's international service and was still cheap enough for there to be no import tax), but I wouldn't have gone much higher. Once again no one else bid so I ended up winning but in hindsight its not surprising no one else bid; and I may have bid too much myself. I didn't check the rest of it out enough thinking I would be outbid and in looking again I see there is a lot more damage than I first thought, especially to the back
Well the Nukulele anyway, the Regal might not be here before the new year?
So the Nukulele: it's a bit of a Curates egg. It has a much better quality finish than I was expecting and though it is better than some novelty ukes like the Toy Story ones or the Carnivals, its still not as good sounding as a proper Ukulele. It does stand up on it's own though and that always handy. I can see why they never took off as a Ukulele idea though. Whilst in a large collection, (like mine), it's a striking and interesting addition, if you only have one or two Ukes I can't see this being a good choice for playing and though novel it's not that great as a decorative piece either; the visual joke just isn't that funny
Then there was another one, but this time in Glasgow(!) however on this one they had a quote for shipping next to each lot (and a promise of discounts if I was shipping more than one lot) Now the shipping price was quite high but like buying from the US on eBay, as you know it you can factor it in and keep the bids low - so a plan? and there was a few here I would like too.
The Glasgow auction started first so I started there and I got excited early on. Up for grabs was a Legacy acoustic Bass (with hard case) - now I had missed this when putting in my auto bids and I know Legacy guitars are not generally very expensive, but I don't have a full size acoustic Bass and when it started very low I thought I'd have a punt, outbid the first bidder and no one came back so I won! Now I was committed, I'd brought something and was going to have to arrange shipping or go to Glasgow. Shipping obviously, but the Legacy Bass wasn't that much of a bargain after fees and shipping so buy more and put the price per guitar down - a new plan? Quite a few Guitars were too expensive - though I'm now not sure the Gibson Les Paul Junior for £240 plus shipping was still not a good deal? - but at the time I did, sadly stopped. Then happily, because it was one of my favorites in the auction, got the cherry Epiphone Dot 335 hollow body. There there was the job lot of the Hagstrom D2f semi-hollow which from the photo is unstrung and may be missing the tailpiece, (it doesn't mention the missing tailpiece in the description though) however it has a "silver sparkle" finish and how could I resist that?? Plus a mystery "Kramer electric Guitar in dark burst"?? There was no photo of this and no further clues as to what it might be; I've checked Kramer's website and they don't use the term "dark burst" so all I can do is look at burst finishes that might be described that way. I'm sure it won't be one of the old ones with the aluminium necks and I fear it will be one of the "strat" copy Pacer models (still as Gibson now own Kramer this would mean I get my Gibson Stratocaster again), but I hope it will be the Les Paulish Assault.
Back to the Bath auction and everything went through at way to high a price; even the Keech Banjulele, even the Epiphone Les Pauls, (every one of them went for more that the Epi LP in Glasgow went for and I thought that was too expensive), even the Mandolins...
Apart from the second to last one, the Crafter M70e with the bubinga top and the Crafter gigbag. Now I like the bubinga top, I think it looks very pretty, (thats why I bid in the first place), but having lost everything else I was kind of hoping I would get nothing and save myself the trip; but my auto bid was unchallenged. Now had I won this much earlier in the auction I might have tried harder for some of the other lots but all that was left after this was an A style Mandolin that I didn't really want to go for
I will be happy to own them all once they are here but I will have to see how much I have to do to get them here, (and Glasgow is a very long drive).
OK so its organised - a bit. The guitars are being delivered from Glasgow but I will still have to drive to Bath for the Mandolin
However some questions answered and plenty of good/bad news. First the Kramer, It is the Assault 220 and the "darkburst", (though Kramer call it redburst flame top), does look very nice. On the down side, and none of this was mentioned in the description, is a LOT of problems! The back cover plate and the 3¼" jack socket are missing; this means that the wires to the socket have been cut and there is some BIG question marks as to whether the electrics still work? The top grommets on the bridge end string holes are gone and this has meant on the high E the string has cut into the top a bit, fairly small but it does show that the grommets will need to be replaced before I try to restring it. There is a moderate chip out ot the back of the headstock, (probably nothing I can do about this). Finally there are some large white emulsion paint splatters and runs on the back, (and one on the side); I can probably get most of the paint off with careful scraping but I doubt I would be able to get it back fully.
Now the Hagstrom is the D2F Special but the tailpiece with the Tremar Vibrato is long gone. It's removal though has left a couple of small screw holes in the top from where it was attached and there is a VERY large hole by the Tune O'Matic saddle that may or may not be a result of it's going, (it it a very large hole however it got there, and something will have to be done about it). In suspecting the tailpiece had gone. I have managed to get a replacement "standard" Hagstrom tailpiece with the crest and everything, but no vibrato, (and I say standard but it was for a left handed Hagstrom so the angle is the wrong way. I don't think this will make it any harder to fit though and will hopefully add a little quirkiness to the overall look). It's also missing one of the string cradles for the Tune O'Matic saddle. this doesn't look like it would be hard to fit but it may be hard to find one?
All in all far more project work than I was looking for (but hopefully all doable and I will be happy with them once they are done) and I hope the other Guitars turn up tomorrow
So that's everything, the Legacy Bass is missing one string so I will have to get a set of Bass strings and a couple of sets of Guitar strings, but apart from that its pretty perfect. Tuning the strings that are there up it has a good loud acoustic tone, everything seems to work, (though I haven't tested the electrics), and there is no issues with the finish. The case is very good too, very large and with two case keys should I ever need to lock anything up in it
The Epiphone is lovely too, no issues and not a mark on it, so now I have the hollow body I wanted. Is that it for Guitars at Ukulele Corner now?
Well there is still the pawn shop tele, maybe an explorer and an electric vee...
I've always said I wanted and Ovation Breadwinner / Deacon and of course a proper Gibson and proper electric Fender, (and plenty of other expensive makes too)
Maybe a Baritone? Certainly an Octave
And a Banjitar (the list goes on...)
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