New Ukulele

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Michael Baresi
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New Ukulele

Post by Michael Baresi »

Hi All
I just purchased this solid mahogany uke and I'm wondering if any of you uke players know anything about it.
Only identifying mark on it is the logo on the headstock that reads Melrose E.A.S. Co.
Its in excellent condition. No cracks or scratches although the action is high and it will need a neck reset. Tuners appear to be original.
I'm thinking of refinishing it. Bad idea? Good idea?
Image1.jpg
Image2.jpg

Chris Reed
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Re: New Ukulele

Post by Chris Reed »

Google tells me there was a Melrose Music store in Phoenix AZ. My guess is that it was supplied by one of the big Chicago firms, maybe Harmony (though that's not a Harmony headstock shape), with the shop's label added.

Is it a baritone? If so, probably 50s/60s. I doubt it's particularly valuable unless there's an avid collector of Melrose stuff - Harmonies of that period go for $150-200. But they are said to be nice players.

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Michael Baresi
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Re: New Ukulele

Post by Michael Baresi »

Thanks Chris
It is a baritone and it came with a faux alligator chipboard case. I bought this one to play myself. Its my first uke and I knew I would want solid wood and maybe I paid too much. $75
Its in really good shape and not much to do except reset the neck.

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Bryan Bear
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Re: New Ukulele

Post by Bryan Bear »

Are you sure it needs a neck reset? I can't imagine 4 nylon strings distorting a bar atone all that much. If so, I wonder what neck joint it has and how easily it will be removed.
PMoMC

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Michael Baresi
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Re: New Ukulele

Post by Michael Baresi »

Its 7/32 at the 12th fret. Since this is my first uke I am assuming that the measurement should be taken at the 12th like a guitar.

Chris Reed
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Re: New Ukulele

Post by Chris Reed »

7/32 is 5mm or so, about twice what it should be.

However, it was probably supplied at 5/32 or 6/32 to avoid returns - that's how modern, cheaper ukes are supplied. I suspect the rest is the top rising up over time, rather than the body distortion which leads to neck resets.

The pic is too low-res to be sure, but that looks like a one piece bridge/saddle combo about 1/2 inch high. You want to lower the action 3/32 at the 12th = 3/16 off the bridge, which would still leave it plenty high enough for my taste. Plane, reshape and compensate saddle, easy!

If it does need a reset prepare for some detective work. Ask on Ukulele Underground if anyone recognises the manufacturer from the head and body shape, and what kind of neck joint was used. Might be a dovetail, might be dowels, might even just be butt jointed. This is all I can find immediately, suggests a dovetail. http://fretsnet.ning.com/forum/topics/h ... e-neck-set Spanish heel is unlikely, but you should be able to detect that by looking inside.

$75 seems pretty good to me if you can make it play nicely.

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Michael Baresi
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Re: New Ukulele

Post by Michael Baresi »

Wow thanks for all that useful info Chris.
By looking at the heel which is slightly separated from the body (about 1/32) it looks like its going to be a dovetail although dowels might be present. I'll follow up with underground.
thanks again

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Michael Baresi
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Re: New Ukulele

Post by Michael Baresi »

Finished my restoration on this ukulele.
Just thought I would share a couple pics.
The mahogany looks so much better (I think) now that the old ugly stain is sanded off.
I just pore filled and put 3 coats of tru oil on it.
Action is now 5/64 at the 12th.
lores3.jpg
lores2.jpg
lores1.jpg

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Bryan Bear
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Re: New Ukulele

Post by Bryan Bear »

Nice! I'm glad it all went according to plan. I was worried you might have a neck joint (non dovetail) that would be difficult to reset.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

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Michael Baresi
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Re: New Ukulele

Post by Michael Baresi »

Thanks Bryan
The reset turned out to be real easy.

Chris Reed
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Re: New Ukulele

Post by Chris Reed »

Looks nice indeed. Plays nice?

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Michael Baresi
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Re: New Ukulele

Post by Michael Baresi »

Well Chris I suppose that depends on whose playing it hahaha
The action certainly is nice and it seems to have good tone but I have only played guitar (50 years now) and I have never once played or owned a ukulele. Thats why I chose a baritone for the DGBE tuning.

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