Gretsch brings back a classic vintage ukulele design.
by Teja Gerken
April 23, 2015
Gretsch is most famous for its hollow-body electric guitars, but the company has also produced several iconic instruments of other types. Among these is the banjo-shaped Camp Uke, which Gretsch first introduced in the 1920s and built through World War II. The Camp Uke was a bit of a predecessor to today’s travel guitars – it was designed to be sturdy enough to be thrown into your knapsack, but also to sound great around the campfire.
More recently, Gretsch (which is now part of the Fender family of brands) has reintroduced the Camp Ukulele as part of its Roots Collection. True to the original design, the soprano-size uke has a round body made of laminated maple, a neck with 14-frets to the body, and a blue finish on the entire instrument. The Camp Uke ships with Aquila strings, which attach to a simple bridge with an integrated saddle and are kept in tune with a set of friction pegs at the vintage-style headstock.
The Camp Uke is incredibly lightweight, and with its small size, you could indeed stuff it into a typical daypack. The instrument is set up to play with great ease, and a balanced tone offers lovely soprano ukulele sounds on every partof the fingerboard.
SPECS: Soprano ukulele. Laminated maple top, back, and sides. Nato neck with 14-fret joint to the body. 13.5-inch scale. Blue finish. Friction tuning machines. Made in China. $209 list/$129 street. gretschguitars.com
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