Gibson UB-2 Banjo Ukulele , c. 1928

Gibson  UB-2 Banjo Ukulele ,  c. 1928
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Item # 9919
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Gibson UB-2 Model Banjo Ukulele, c. 1928, made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, brown stain finish, laminated maple rim, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black chipboard case.

This is superb example of the fanciest version of Gibson's UB-2, the first re-designed "Mastertone" era banjo-uke. It was the first model illustrated in Gibson's catalogs in 1926, followed shortly by the 6-inch rim UB-1 and the full resonator-and-flange UB-3 and UB-4. Early UB-2's have a plain mahogany finish and unbound neck but after a year or two the model was upgraded with a sunburst finish and some fairly elaborate pearl inlay.

The UB-2 features an 8-inch rim, closed back with a flat plate resonator, maple neck and rim with a rosewood fingerboard and bone nut. This example is particularly striking looking, with the neck, rim and resonator finished in a dark shaded sunburst. The bound fingerboard has pearl joined-diamond inlay, while the headstock has a large slanted "The Gibson" logo inlaid in pearl over a pearl fleur-de-lys. The tuners are the same slotted-barrel Grover friction pegs used on many of the better Gibson and Martin ukes.

The hardware is good quality all around, with a heavy hoop and the same "cobra" hooks as Gibson's midline Mastertones. A single Gibson co-ordinator rod is fitted which allows the neck angle to be subtly adjusted. This is a substantial feeling instrument, a great-sounding banjo uke as well as a neat Gibson collectible. This example is the relatively rare fanciest variation (many lack the Fleur-de-lys and large Gibson logo) that remains nicely original and an excellent player, with a huge sound for such a small instrument.
 
Overall length is 21 1/2 in. (54.6 cm.), 8 in. (20.3 cm.) diameter head, and 3 in. (7.6 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 13 7/8 in. (352 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/16 in. (30 mm.).

This UB-2 is very nice overall, quite clean and all original showing no repairs or alterations. The finish has small dings, nicks and scrapes (mostly to the back resonator plate) but no major wear. There is a small lamination check on the rim from the bass side of the heel running through the nearest bracket. All hardware is original; the plating shows some typical light wear but overall this instrument does not seem to have seen a lot of play time. This is an excellent playing and great sounding instrument, fun to strum and way louder than it looks! The original purple-lined chipboard case is included, worn but still more-or-less functional. Overall Excellent Condition.