Sunday, 24 February 2013
Here is another model from the "Dick Barrie bands" brand. I have a bit of a soft spot for this brand, as the Dick Barrie was the very first uke I ever restored! It wasn't like this one however. This one looks to be UK in origin. I would expect from around the 1950's It looks very much like the late model Dallas-E ukes, which were in fact made by George Houghton & sons in Birmingham. And as the previous Dick Barrie uke I did was a re-branded GHS, points more towards the fact the they probably made this one! This particular uke has a 9 inch head and an 11 inch mounted resonator, that has some nice white binding on it. (again very similar to the late model Dallas-E) 12 tension hooks give a good solid tone, it has quite a loud clear volume too. It has that UK uke sound. loud, but slightly woolly! The uke is finished with a clear lacquer covering. Its all still intact, apart from a bit of flaking on the pot. The resonator is still in excellent condition. With a nice veneer on the back. The neck is quite short with only 13 frets. Its in good order, looking virtually untouched. No fret wear at all. The uke looks heavy, i'd say it is about the same as the Dallas D & E. but it is comfortable. Comes complete with very good, solid hard fitted case. it even has the key!!
Here is a very nice looking Banjo uke. Branded as La Venicia, and made by JR Stewart in Chicago. They made other branded ukes such as the La Domino Its a very well made instrument. good quality metal work, nice sturdy tailpiece. It looks like it was based on the Gibson UB-2 design. it is very similar in looks. What is unusual and rare on this uke is the painted vellum. I believe this La Venicia range were the only ones from the JRS factory which had painted vellums. It has no affect on the tone or playability either. and considering the age, it is in remarkably good condition. The only thing I changed on the uke was to fit some new tuning pegs. the original ones were in bad shape, with rusty screws and they didn't hold the tension. The neck is straight, and apart from a bit of paint flaking here and there, the uke is in very good order.