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

Chuck "Frets" Fayne has been the resident expert for "Uke Yak" since 1998. Since that time he has answered almost 6,000 questions related to vintage ukuleles. Over many years, Chuck assembled his own world-class collection of vintage Hawaiian and Mainland ukes, including some amazing one-of-a-kind pieces. It was Chuck’s collection that made up the majority of the ukes in my book, "The Ukulele-A Visual History." Although Chuck has retired from the Uke Yak, his extensive knowledge and unique sense of humor live on in this searchable archive. Enjoy! Search the Uke Yak.

Jumpin’ Jim
2015

Chuck Fayne

Flea Market Music Uke Yak (153 of 296)
(Chuck "Frets" Fayne has answered the following 5919 questions.)

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-->Question asked by: Mark J. Hulme
Subject: Leonardo Nunes - Birkel
Question: Hi - I inherited a koa uke with the following paper label " "Ukelele O Hawaii made by Leonardo Nunes especially and exclusively for Geo. J. Birkel Co. 446-448 S. Broadway Los Angeles. Cal. Copyright 1917 by L. Nunes". No Headstock decal, flat top & carved back. I have given it a once over with Lemon Oil, but some of the aged schmutz wont come clea. Any idea of value or suggestions for restoration? Thanks.

Photos: Photo 1    

Answer: 350+ and dont do any more. Its only worth that if you leave it original If you try to get the dirt completely off, you might get into the finish...a no no...thanks for writing in...frets
- Sunday, February 20, 2005


-->Question asked by: Gabe
Subject: Martin Uke
Question: Chuck I wasn't sure if you received this or not. Still trying to figure out this computer thing. I was wondering if you had any info on this uke I received from my grandfather. I know it is any early Martin, but that is about it. I would like to have some work done on it, but not ruin the originality of it. Let me know your thoughts on it. Thanks.

Photos: Photo 1    

Answer: It is a style O martin uke. What kind of work and for what reason????....If it doesn't need anything don't do it. frets
- Sunday, February 20, 2005


-->Question asked by: sean
Subject: uke id help
Question: hi chuck, can you help me id this uke? i bought it from a man who said he bought it in 1954 and it was already old then. it has no label, appears to be koa wood, arched back soprano, 17 frets (12 to body)rope binding with black thin purfling inside it on the soundboard, rope rosette with black on either side and light wood or gold inner and outer ring 1/8th inch separate from rope rosette inside and one outside. the rope binding looks like ebony and lighter wood and there is a butt joint piece or either rosewood or ebony 1/4" at top and 1/8" at back. i was told that it was a hawaiian made instrument. if you have any clue, i would appreciate your thoughts. also, i can take more pictures if that would be helpful. mahalo & aloha sean

Photos: Photo 1    

Answer: Sean...Mainland made probably Regal..Made to look hawaiian but it is not. NIce uke...The headstock is typical Regal and Not Island. Best...frets
- Sunday, February 20, 2005


-->Question asked by: soybean
Subject: Tahitian
Question: Chuck, as you say, the Tahitian/ Maori "ukes" are really more of a percussion instrument. Is it possible they are not ukes at all but simply called ukes by the Tahitian tourist industry to dupe the uneducated traveller? Let's get a petition signed and start legal proceedings against these imposters! Something must be done! (tongue firmly planted in cheek.)

Answer: Great Idea...everyone needs a cause...Nice to hear from you Dan...keep them comin" frets
- Sunday, February 20, 2005


-->Question asked by: Stan
Subject: Antique Uke
Question: Hi Chuck, I bought this on ebay (buy it now $49.95 I think I had a great buy).there is no label but it is beautifully made and sounds incredible. it measures 20 1/2 inches and has a centre rope binding down the middle of the back which is rounded. I believe it is very early 20th century. Have you any idea of the maker and the value

Photos: Photo 1    

Answer: Great buy...No idea who made it...Looks like regal again. Hard to tell, many were made that look just like that. Sort of a Martin copy. Great score...start playing...frets.....
- Sunday, February 20, 2005


-->Question asked by: Andy
Subject: roy smeck concert uke
Question: Hi Chuck, Just wanted to know if $300 is a bit much to ask for a Roy Smeck concert uke. The uke in question looks exactly like the one pictured under the logo on the FleaMarket Music website (minus the extreme scratches). The local shop that is selling it typically prices it's stuff kind of high. Thanks

Answer: Its an ok price, not great. Good instrument and good player...best and thanks for writing in...frets
- Sunday, February 20, 2005


-->Question asked by: adam bastien
Subject: i just got my uke...
Question: I just got my own uke to play and i bought it for 30$ original price 60$... the first day i got it i tryed tightening the top string and it broke... i put a small guitar string on it and i was wondering if that were ok? i also wanted to know if i should slowly let the string stretch or just look for a better string?

Answer: Get a set of really good strings. It will make a great difference. bests to ya...frets
- Sunday, February 20, 2005


-->Question asked by: Jennifer Grimes
Subject: Gibson Uke 1?
Question: I was wondering if I might bother to ask you if you are familiar with something called a Gibson UKE 1? My grandmother gave me this ukelele in the original case (albeit it needs a little loving care down on the place where the strings hook in) and I'm just wondering what the story is? I wanted to put it in a shadow box (it was my great-grandmother's) and I'd like to have a notecard with some "story" to put in there. Thanks if you can help me!

Photos: Photo 1    

Answer: made in the l950's-60's late model Gibson style 1 uke...Pur a pic of your Grandmother in a Shadow Box and Hang the uke on the wall next to it. Play the uke...Don't put it in a box. It was meant to be played, its not a picture. Enjoy...frts
- Sunday, February 20, 2005


-->Question asked by: Douglas Gaither
Subject: Colored Strings for TV Pal
Question: Hey Chuck, Last fall you recommended I hook up with Duane Heilman for a repair to my 1920s Echo Uke. He did a great job! Thanks for the recommendation.... I purchased a TV Pal Uke on eBay just because I wanted one. It came with colored strings that I think may have been original. The uke sounds a little thin, would new strings perk this puppy up or is it just destined to be thin? And what about the colored strings? I'm not really concerned about the collectability of it. I just wanted a plastic uke. Oh and one last thing, the top is deformed right in front of the bridge due to continual strain. Can I just heat it up and kinda bend it back out?

Answer: Glad duane could help..don't strain..you could pop a blood vessle in your eye. put on new strings and see how you like it..you can always put old ones back on. hope i helped....frets
- Wednesday, December 22, 2004


-->Question asked by: Roel Kerkhofs
Subject: Harmony Ukulele
Question: Hello! I was curious whether you would be able to say something about this ukulele. I found a site which describes the head decals of Harmony, but this one doesn't have one. I was wondering how old it is, whether you could hint something about its quality, and whether you'd advice me to buy this uke at a proce of 70 euros? I hope you can help me. Much obliged, Roel Kerkhofs

Photos: Photo 1    

Answer: what does the label say. I don't know what euros are worth, but this uke is worth about 75 american dollars. I hope I've helped...frets
- Tuesday, September 21, 2004


-->Question asked by: Christopher
Subject: martin 5k
Question: Just to let you know Gruhn is selling a martin 5k uke for 9500 dollars that once was owned by eddie connors. --Christopher

Answer: thanks.......perhaps someone will want it....not me...frets
- Tuesday, September 21, 2004


-->Question asked by: Christopher
Subject: wabash uke
Question: Hello! Quick question! I can get a wabash uke with the funny shape for 350 dollars. I need to make a decision quick. Is this a good price? Thank you.

Answer: no....its too expensive...i know the uke, it looks like a cigarbox with steps in it...don't buy it....frets
- Tuesday, September 21, 2004


-->Question asked by: Dan Mowrey
Subject: who made this uke
Question: This vintage uke looked good to me, but it has no label or brand. Inside the soundhole penciled on the back are the letters D.R. I'd be very grateful for any info you can give me. Thanks in advance. Dan Mowrey

Photos: Photo 1    

Answer: it looks like a regal copy of a hawaiian uke..That headstock is all wrong for hawaiian. I've seen many of these and they all use inferior koa.....thanks for the pic....frets
- Tuesday, September 21, 2004


-->Question asked by: Sonja Christopher
Subject: Old Jonah Kumalae Uke
Question: Dear chuck, I just came into an old "Ukulele of Hawaii made by Jonah Kumalae Especially for Sherman Clay & Co. of San Francisco". The label also says, "Highest Award at Panama Pacific International Exposition, 1915". The uke has wooden pegs and the only design are 3 concentric goldf circles around the opening. The previous owner had it for 60 years. It has some major cracks in it and was obviously not an expensive model to begin with, but is it something worth hanging on to for its historical value? If that is the case, would it be worth it to put $100 - $150 into to having it refurbished by a professional? Would I get my money back out of it? Thank you very much for your input! Sincerely, Sonja Christopher

Answer: It is the plaain jane bottom of the line instrument...I dont think you will get our money back...thanks for writing..wish I had better news...frets
- Sunday, September 19, 2004


-->Question asked by: Mark Twang
Subject: Dating My Kamaka
Question: Hi, Chuck! I just purchased a damaged Kamaka on Ebay to have restored, and I am trying to figure out how old it is. Attached is one of many pictures the seller has provided. Any idea what era this uke is from? Any help is appreciated. Additional pictures at your request, or you can see them online at: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl l? ViewItem&rd=1&item=3738867361&ssPag eName=STRK:MEWN:IT Thanks in advance! -Mark Twang

Photos: Photo 1    

Answer: probably 1960 ....by the gold label.,,but really, no way of telling. You can send full sized pics to kamaka and they might be able to help....keep writing in....frets
- Sunday, September 19, 2004


-->Question asked by: Ed
Subject: kamaka tuners
Question: I bought a new Kamaka. When I tune it the tuners feel tight. I'm used to geared guitar tuners. What is the big slot head screw for? Thanks for any info.

Answer: Ed if you turn the big slot in the head screw it will be easier to tuner...try that and write me back...frets
- Sunday, August 22, 2004


-->Question asked by: harry
Subject: tuning 10 string tiple uke
Question: what notes are usedto tune a 10 strings tiple ukeulele. GCEA etc.

Answer: It is gcea...but take my advise...take it into a good music store and have it strung the first time. Its not easy. I hate stringing tiples. They are great sounding once you get the tuning down. I could explain how, but it can be done reasonably and you will have it done correctly if you have it professionally done....good luck frets
- Sunday, August 22, 2004


-->Question asked by: Traci Deyoung
Subject: s.s. stewart ukulele
Question: Chuck, I went to an estate sale today an purchased this S.S. Stewart Ukulele and case. I know nothing about it, and am wanting to resell it probablly on ebay. Is it in to rough of shape to sell? What do you think, and what can you tell me about it. Thank you for your time. I am interested to see what I found here. Sincerly, Traci

Photos: Photo 1    

Answer: traci...It is in very rough shape. It is an s s stewart soprano made in the 30-40's. I can't tell alot about it from the pic,. if it has cracks to go along with the finish, I wouldn't be looking to make alot of money..They are far down on the collectable list in good condition. Sorry, I wish I had better news....frets
- Sunday, August 01, 2004


-->Question asked by: dd
Subject: the moari uke..
Question: don't understand the 'moari uke' question. does it have 8 or 12 strings ? check the photo. thanks.

Answer: 12 I think, however its use and effect are the same as the 8 string. I have seen them in all kinds of configurations. thanks for pointing that out...frets
- Friday, July 30, 2004


-->Question asked by: Tiki King
Subject: Uilani
Question: I have seen several very nice examples of Uilani Ukes. They are well made and built to order in Hawaii, but I do not have any contact info. However, there are also some Chines made cheepies being distributed by the company "Pignose" (famous for little guitar amps) that carry the "Uilani" brand name. Doubt they are related, though.

Answer: Thanks your highness...always nice to hear from you. I can't find them either and nice to know about the pignose ukes...will be on the lookout. let me know if you find anything...frets
- Friday, July 30, 2004


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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. -