Help identifying instrument from Goodwill

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by IMadeYouReadThis, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's cool!....worth about $5.00, so yeah, you overpaid. ( :) ) Those are great to hang on the wall. I use string (like package-tying string) to replace the actual strings.....that way there's no tension to warp or deform the neck.
     
  2. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Looks like a cheap childs guitar. The kind you find in the dollar store or toy section.
    I have to play them when I see them in the store.

    Looks like that one needs a setup.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  3. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

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    A miniature guitar, guaranteed to keep some kid from becoming a musician.
     
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  4. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    kindling?
     
  5. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Meister

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    A far-eastern J200 replica? Might have shrunk in the wash a bit.
     
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  6. stanger

    stanger Tele-Meister

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    I'm sure it's a concert-sized child's toy guitar. It's a guitar that's the size of a ukulele. Guitars have 6 strings, ukes all have 4 strings.

    The concert ukulele is a little larger than the standard soprano uke.
    The concerts and sopranos are tuned the same, but the smaller size of the soprano makes them more brilliant than the concerts. The concerts are mellower, and because they have a longer scale, are easier to play, so they became as popular as the sopranos as an amateur instrument. Professionals use either, but the soprano is the preferred lead ukulele.

    The ukulele isn't a single instrument. It's a family of instruments, like the violin family, and typically comes in 4 sizes: soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. There are also some variant shapes like the pineapples, which are oblong with no waist and are often painted to resemble the fruit.

    They're originally Portuguese, and are part of a bunch of small guitar-shaped instruments that are commonly played as leads in a string orchestra. From Mexico southwards, there are lots of similar but distinctly different little guitars like ukes. Several use armadillo shells for the bodies. Many only had 3 strings.

    At one time, there was a variation called the tiple that had double strings, like a 12-string guitar. These became so popular for a time that the Martin Guitar co. became the biggest maker, and the tiple stayed in their catalog until the early 1980s, though by then, they were rarely played or seen.

    Martin was a big maker in the 1916-1930 ukulele heyday. The company was slow to change with the times, and by the 20s, their guitars weren't selling very well because they were so old-fashioned.
    The uke is easy to build and uses less material, so as a way out of their sales rut, Martin cranked them out in 4 different grades of quality, and they were all much cheaper to buy than a Martin guitar.

    One reason why they were so profitable for Martin was because Martin owned its own sawmill. None of the other guitar makers had a sawmill that could handle big logs.
    It purchased mahogany and koa wood, the most common woods in ukes, as raw logs and cut them into finished lumber, which was sold to the industry, and their wood was always the best, so their competition bought from them.

    But Martin always reserved its best wood for itself, and a koa Martin 5K, made of the best quartersawn curly Koa, was very expensive then and gob-stopping expensive to buy now, if one can be found. Few ever come up for sale nowadays.

    Their ukes sold like crazy and rescued the company from looming bankruptcy. And though cheaply made for Martin, they were all higher quality and better made than their competition, and cost more than the competitors. So they became the uke to own for those who could afford one, and only Gibson gave Martin a run for their money in that market segment.

    Gibson got into ukes later, in 1925, at the height of the uke craze. Their ukes were a bit less expensive than Martin's, and were made of mahogany, not koa, but Gibson offered a uke with a spruce top, something Martin didn't offer, and Gibson was famous for their easy action and playability. The made ukes in 3 grades, and their top grade was fancier than Martin's, so they shared the same market success, and are now as valuable as vintage instruments.

    The professionals used both brands equally. The Regal company in Chicago made the most ukes, and offered theirs in the widest range of price and quality. The top Regals are made of koa, are now expensive, and are also very rare as they were built more lightly than the Martin. The best Regal is hard to tell from the best Martin in looks and sound.

    Millions were made by guitar companies all over the word, and a typical uke could be purchased for $3 to $5 dollars. They were all easy to carry around, to learn, and easier to play than a guitar. Almost any family could afford one as a family's only instrument.
    While their popularity faded after WWII, it never died. Mario Macaferri, one of the most famous guitar designers in Europe, never made any money building guitars, but once he came to America and began to make his ukes out of plastic, he became a millionaire. His ukes actually sound very good, and can be found today. Mario was proudest of his ukes, not his guitars; he thought they were his best design.

    Today, the uke is undergoing a huge revival. They are a perfect beginner's instrument for a child, and because their tuning is very similar to a guitar, can be easily learned by any guitar player. Their high, sweet tuning makes them a very charming instrument.

    Koa is a native Hawaiian hardwood that is very beautiful and has a bright ringing tone. It was always the preferred ukulele wood, but mahogany was always close behind in popularity. Mahogany has a very good smooth tone that's warm, is lighter than koa, and is very durable.

    The Hawaiians began making and playing them as soon as the Portuguese introduced them to the island because they fit their traditional music so well. The name is Hawaiian, and they popularized the instrument, but the Portuguese were the first navigators and spread them throughout the New World. Because they're so small, they were very easy to carry in their gear.
    regards,
    stanger
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
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  7. Zuzax

    Zuzax Tele-Afflicted

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    That's called an ornament.
     
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  8. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ukeleles have four strings .. It's a toy guitar ...
     
  9. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Friend of Leo's

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  10. Brian J.

    Brian J. Tele-Afflicted

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    that's a 1912 Martin 00000-10 you really hit the jack-pot, it is ultra rare may be the only example ever seen, it may be worth up to 3 trillion dollars
     
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  11. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    It's a toy guitar. If you decide to try and play it, use nylon strings, not steel/phosphor bronze as the tension would do it any favours.
    They're <$10 on Aliexpress.
     
  12. IMadeYouReadThis

    IMadeYouReadThis Tele-Meister

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    Jeez, Wikipedia over here!

    Sidenote: Relevence?
     
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  13. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Holic

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    As an aside, I love the red to black "cheapburst". I have a telecaster that looks like that.
     
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  14. IMadeYouReadThis

    IMadeYouReadThis Tele-Meister

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  15. BB

    BB Poster Extraordinaire

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    I believe it's the new PITA model made by P.O.S. I know, cause I've had a few!
     
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  16. Mike SS

    Mike SS Poster Extraordinaire

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    My wife found one in a thrift store that was a brown sunburst, and someone glued craft store "diamonds" on it. I put some old acoustic strings on it and my granddaughter thinks it's awesome. It made her lose interest in my guitars, since she has her own.
     
  17. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Holic

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    It would be kinda fun to try and do a DIY neck reset to see if you could lower the action a bit. That bridge is also the kind that you can install classical (nylon strings), which tie at the bridge, which would take a fair amount of stress off the neck set, and the belly of the top underneath the bridge. If I had found it, that is what I would do with it. If you try to reset the neck yourself, and failed, you would only be out the original $5.99, if the reset was successful, you would have a pretty cool couch noodler.
     
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  18. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Guitalele

    Yamaha make one that is tempting.

    54E5338C-5825-4135-A7CC-C0FD34EE0596.jpeg
     
  19. Martinp

    Martinp Tele-Afflicted

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    I found one with a clock in it!

    [​IMG]
     
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