My lovely little Slingerland banjo-uke now has a brother... and he is very handsome. There is a certain art deco beauty about this banjolele; the shiny black binding around the edges of the resonator, the bird's eye maple wood, the arrow-shaped holes in the shiny chromework around the vellum...to quote from Dennis Taylor's web pages,
"A special concert model, it has a birds eye maple neck, body and resonator with inlaid edges and a highly polished finish. The fingerboard is ebony and has sixteen drawn wire frets and pearl position dots. It has an eight inch flush rim, an extra heavy bezel with twelve sunk pull down rods tensioned by removing the resonator to gain access to the tensioning nuts. It is fitted with a metal tone ring and tone plate and has an extension tailpiece and sleeve guard. All the metal parts are chromium plated....."
I stroke it and drool over it like a miser over his stash of gold... I had coveted this banjolele ever since I first laid eyes on it in my local music shop. having identified it correctly as a Dallas D, I knew I wanted it - but it needed some minor work to the fingerboard and frets. The days went by, then weeks and still it wasn't done. I plagued the shop with phone calls... "No, we haven't had it back yet...we'll tell you when it's in..."
And then - it was back. My car tyres left rubber on the road as I scorched off to see it again... such a lovely looking thing, all bird's eye maple and chrome, with the original maple bridge, and the case... AND the tone ring and all the fixings intact under the resonator...
And then - it was mine! LSH was resigned... after all, better to buy a uke that was seen and heard, than an ebay purchase that could turn out to be disastrous... and yes, when I got it home - he agreed, it was lovely. British-built craftsmanship... you just can't argue with that...
And it sounds - great!
More on the Dallas banjo-ukes here on the late great Dennis Taylor's web-pages.