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#Get expert ukulele advice at the Collector's Uke Yak

Uke Fans,

I’m particularly thrilled to have Chuck “Frets” Fayne as the resident expert for “Uke Yak.” Over the years Chuck has assembled a world class collection of Hawaiian and Mainland ukes, including some wonderful one-of-a-kind pieces. It was Chuck’s collection that made up the majority of the ukes in “The Ukulele-A Visual History.” He’s also promised to take full advantage of all the collectors he knows in the rare instance when somebody throws him a curve ball.  PLEASE NOTE: If you want a response to your question please send a clear jpeg of the front and back of the entire ukulele. You may Search the Uke Yak, or Ask Chuck a Question now!

Yak away!

Jumpin’ Jim

Chuck Fayne
Cole Clark

Flea Market Music Uke Yak (1 of 295)
(Chuck "Frets" Fayne has answered the following 5899 questions.)

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-->Question asked by: CHUCK
Question: To all Uke Yak followers, As a few of you may know, the last few years have been challenging for me personally. That is the principal reason why I haven’t been as active lately on the Uke Yak. I do hope to get back in the Uke Yak saddle soon and answer at least some of the questions that have been awaiting an answer. At this point, though, I’m not sure I can keep up with the questions at the rate that they keep coming in. For that reason, Jim Beloff and I are interested in hearing from any knowledgable fans of Uke Yak and/or serious uke collectors who might want to help with answers, with the possibility of eventually taking over. Just so you know…it’s not a paying position but it is a lot of fun! If you would like to be considered, send an email with your qualifications to Jim at jim@fleamarketmusic.com. Thanks again for your continued support and patience. Best, “Frets” Fayne.

Answer: thanks again for all the support and fabulous information you have added to my ukulele history knowledge. I've had a ball.. Keep looking, I'll answer more later....chuck
- Sunday, March 30, 2014

-->Question asked by: Jonathan
Subject: Can you ID this baritone?
Question: A friend of mine picked up this vintage mahogany baritone recently but doesn't know anything about it. Any ideas as to maker and value? Thanks!

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Answer: Jonathan.. not enough to go on. Dots resemble harmony but shape doesn't seem right. Looks fairly well made. Sorry, Its tough with just a picture....chuck
- Monday, October 14, 2013

-->Question asked by: Faye
Subject: Uke strings
Question: I have a mini soprano and have been advised to change the strings. I was also advised to google and ask what type of strings it needs. The measurement from the bridge to the nut is 29 centimetres. Would be happy if you have any help for me, please. Faye

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Answer: Faye..the best way to do this is to take it to a luthier in a music shop and ask for it to be done there. If they have it in their hands it becomes easy. I can't advise from here. They will be able to help...chuck
- Monday, October 14, 2013

-->Question asked by: Ginger
Subject: Kumalae Ukulele
Question: Hi Chuck, I have been cleaning out my parents attic and found this Uke. It needs some repair. How to I know if it's Soprano, Tenor or other ? Also, Is it better to restore it and sell it or sell it as is ? Any idea on the true market value of such a piece. I do not know the history of it. I do not know of any family member who has been to Hawaii or the west coast. I understand from google searches it is Koa Wood and from approximately the 1920's. I appreciate your input.

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Answer: Ginger...its going to be tough to sell in any condition. Repaired it might go as a player. couple hundred dollars. You would spend more on restoring it than its worth. Put it up on marketplace as best offer and see what you get. Thanks...chuck
- Monday, October 14, 2013

-->Question asked by: Julien staudt
Subject: No name uke
Question: Hello, I'm working on this nice vintage ukulele to restore it but I have no idea where it comes from and how old it is. It has only a piece of the sticker left inside where you can read "lifetime guarantee". No mark, stamps or number of any kind anywhere... Do you have any lead to learn more about it?

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Answer: The little I can tell is...it is not Hawaiian. It is Mahogany, I have no idea who made it. Wish I could be more help...chuck
- Thursday, October 03, 2013

-->Question asked by: Maggie
Subject: no name banjolele
Question: Hi, I recently got this bangolele on ebay. I got it for a pretty good price since it had no brand name on it. I was wondering if you had any idea of who made it, and it's approximate value. It cleaned up very nicely, and sounds great with new nylon strings instead of the old steel ones it came with. Thanks for your time! Maggie

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Answer: I have no idea who made it. Many banjo ukes were made that look like alike Its American, Its classy and made well. Not a cheapy...The sound is the most important thing. Value 300 on a good day...thanks...chuck
- Thursday, October 03, 2013

-->Question asked by: Larry Murphy
Subject: Bequeathing your role to someone with more time?
Question: Frettie, While you are hyperknowledgable, it sounds like you are also hyperbusy in your day to day life. Would you consider taking a sabbatical & letting someone else do the Yakkin'? It could be like one of those TV shows where they rotate in various candidates for a set period of time. Then, if you decided you wanted to resume, you could. If not there could be an election via the Bull-Board or you could hand pick your successor. At least think about it. My belief is it could breath some fresh air into the BB; I think that Yak drives a lot of people to the BB. Do think about it. I personally am not a candidate for the position. What I will do is that if you don't respond to this email [or on the Yak page], I'll post a similar proposal on the Bull-Bd. If for no other reason than to get a Bullish discussion cooking. Let me know what you're thinking. Larry Murphy [Muttzukii]

Answer: Larry...I can't tell you how much I appreciate your email. Since the Uke Yak is my property, and I am able to make my own decisions, I will. I have been hyper ill and that accounts for some of the absence. I have also been doing this since l997 and If I feel I would like take some time off, I will. As I said, It is my decision. As you stated in your threat, If you feel that this is not being done to your liking, Please post this anywhere you feel will satisfy your desire to meddle. Please remember, My decisions far outweigh your opinions. Your friend forever....chuck
- Thursday, October 03, 2013

-->Question asked by: Lester Brandt
Subject: ID old handmade Koa Ukulele
Question: Aloha Chuck. Found this at flea market today. Seller said it was hand made. Koa body and neck. Bridge is made of Milo wood. The date 1936 is written inside under the sound hole. The word Hilo is engraved in the head. Looks like a nice hand made homemade plantation uke to me.Great tone. Uke wood seams are tight. Any thoughts to share? I'm sure its is worth the hundred bucks I paid. Mahalo from Lester inPuna, Hawai'i

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Answer: Lester, any time you need to bail out please let me know. You are correct,this is a home made ukulele and perhaps the best I've seen. I love it. It looks like it sounds great, as if looks could tell. Hundred bucks. Highway robbery. Let me know how it sounds. Will add the pics to my best of...file....chuck
- Thursday, October 03, 2013

-->Question asked by: Ryan
Subject: Antone Abreo Ukulele
Question: Hello Chuck, I am at it again, always on the search for early ukuleles.... Can you tell me anything about Antone Abreo, a Portuguese immigrant building in Pai'a, Maui around 1910 - 1920? I was recently able to buy this ukulele, and it turns out there is VERY LITTLE information out there about the builder. Searching Uke Yak there are two previous questions about the builder. Tom Walsh tells me he has seen several other examples, and shared photos, each one being unique. One label has his name is spelled Abreo, another Abrew. Jim Tranquada told me that Abreo came to Hawaii in 1886 in the wave of Portuguese immigration. Seems his ukuleles are almost unknown. Can you tell me anything else about this builder and have you seen other examples? The headstock on mine is really unique.

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Answer: Ryan. I have seen two other ukuleles by this maker. You know as much as I do about it. You have gotten your information from the most knowledgeable. I didn't know he was among the early immigrants. Thanks for sharing. chuck
- Thursday, October 03, 2013

-->Question asked by: bonnie
Subject: vintage kamaka
Question: Can you give me a general idea of the value of a 50's gold label baritone Kamaka w. orig case. Saw one one local craigslist and don't really know what a fair price would be. It appears to be in good conditon.

Answer: Bonnie. I really don't know for sure. All baritones are hard to sell. The Kamaka name helps some. I would think 500 would be a fair price in today's market. good luck chuck
- Thursday, October 03, 2013

-->Question asked by: spoefish
Subject: Kinney & Mossman Uke
Question: Well, no thanks to the nice label inside there is no doubt about what this uke is. A Kinney and Mossman - I guess from the 1914-1918 time period. I have had it a long time, and only recently found it again. Seems to be very original except for the friction tuners, and in pretty decent shape. Plays easy and sounds very nice. But I don't really know much about these, and what the opinion of them is. I don't think it will replace my Pohaku soprano, so am trying to decide what to do with it.

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Answer: Heard of Mossman...not Kinney. Mossman ws an early builder of decent instruments. I would think your dates are correct. I don't know what you should do with it, I know what I would do with it...Play it. I'm sure there are a lot of early Hawaiian uke collectors out there who would be anxious to own it.
- Thursday, October 03, 2013

-->Question asked by: Axel Müller
Subject: unknown Uke
Question: Hi, have You ever seen such a ukulele? No name, no sign, no idea, perhaps "Vogtland". gregorio domingo was a music-teacher in honolulu and he tried to sell hawaiian ukuleles in germany at the fair in Leipzig fall 1928. He also edites a ukulele method, I have one. He had an adress Hamburg, Brennerstr. 31 and also an adress in Berlin. Axel

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Answer: Axel...Well it will have to remain unknown. I have never seen one like it. I would love to see one like it in my collection...It is superior craftsmanship and the attention to detail is wonderful..Thanks for sharing. I'm envious....c
- Monday, July 29, 2013

-->Question asked by: Shawn Y. (ukulelefriend.com)
Subject: 1968 Kamaka Brazilian Rosewood Guitar
Question: Aloha Chuck, Just wanted to share a few photos with you and the Uke Yakers of a rare 1968 Kamaka classical guitar handcrafted with Brazilian rosewood back and sides and a cedar wood soundboard. Plays great! all the best, Shawn Y. ukulelefriend.com

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Answer: Shawn...what a beauty...Thanks for sharing. I am jealous..chuck
- Monday, July 29, 2013

-->Question asked by: ERNEST LONGWORTH
Subject: Mike's ukuleles
Question: have ukulele question

Answer: Mike...easiest question I have ever answered.
- Friday, July 26, 2013

-->Question asked by: Cindy Mitchell
Subject: L. Viohl's HAWAIIAN UKELELE
Question: Can you please tell me anything about this Ukelele? It belonged to my husband's Grandfather (he remember's him playing it quite well in the 60's for sure but knows he played for years before that). I am curious about the year, quality and general value. If it is even remotely possible, I would appreciate having this information today. Thank you for any help you can offer. Cindy

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Answer: Cindy Easy...never heard of this ukulele before your question..If anyone out there knows about it...please write in...c
- Friday, July 26, 2013

-->Question asked by: jay cleveland
Subject: Kamaka pineapple uke
Question: Chuck, I have been told this gold label Kamaka pineapple uke is a rarity due to the round 1 piece bottom. Can you comment and suggest a value of this instrument/ Thanks JC

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Answer: Jay...the pics you sent come in so small I can't tell what it is. I have no idea what you mean by a round 1 piece bottom as it applies to a ukulele. Please send pics I can see and especially of the rare part. Thanks...c
- Friday, July 26, 2013

-->Question asked by: Eric Anonsen
Subject: Martin Eukulele
Question: This is the second eukulele I inherited from my father-in-law. Would appreciate any information and an approx. value. The only marking is photographed and says "C.F. Martin & Co.; Nazareth, PA. Thanks in advance!

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Answer: Eric...it is a style 2 martin ukulele, early 1930's. It appears to have been refinished at some time. A little to glossy. Doesn't it also have cf martin on the inside of the uke? If it does not let me know. thanks for writing in...c
- Tuesday, July 09, 2013

-->Question asked by: Eric Anonsen
Subject: Leonardo Nunes Ukulele
Question: Inherited two eukulele's from my father-in-law and was wondering if you could provide any history and the approximate value. Have had a couple of offers but not sure if they are fair. The inside says "Eukulele O Hawaii Made by Leonardo Nunes; Los Angeles, California

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Answer: Eric..It is a very rare pin bridge soprano ukulele in what appears in lovely condition. If I owned this uke, I would not take less than 1500 for it. The wood is wonderful and all in all, a rare bird. thanks for sending it in....Id like to make an offer, but then I have already estimated myself out of my market. best...chuck
- Tuesday, July 09, 2013

-->Question asked by: Dan Marek
Subject: Old Martin? and Kamaka tiples.
Question: Hi Chuck: I have these two tiples I would like some information on. The first I believe is a Martin but it has no markings besides the number that reads something blotted then 11 the 705, the second is made by Samuel Kamaka in 1971 and is number 1. I was wondering the date of the Martin and if any more were made by Samuel or the Kamaka company. I would also like to know any value. Dan

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Answer: Dan...The first tiple is definitely not a martin for many reasons. Martin did not make instruments, unless they were employee made instruments, without identification. Decal, impression of headstock back or label. The kamaka is quite nice. The first tiple has some value...400 in today's soft market. The kamaa is worth 1200+. A quite nice example of an early Tiple.
- Tuesday, July 09, 2013

-->Question asked by: Dee
Subject: Age and type of Favilla uke
Question: Greetings, Chuck! Could you tell me the style and date of this Favilla uke? Also, is this the original finish? There's some flaking around the sound hole-- is that wax or the original finish? Thanks so much for your time and expertise! Kind regards, Dee

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Answer: tom...can you help out as usual...I am asking Ton Favilla, old friend and Favilla expert guess why...thanks again..chuck
- Saturday, July 06, 2013

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Flea Market Music offers an on-line community for ukulele players, informative books on the ukulele, ukulele CDs,songbooks, videos and information on our instrument manufacturing of the FLUKE ukulele. Brought to you by "Jumpin" Jim Beloff. -