Thoughts on the Gibson UB banjo ukulele

Steve Shelton has been studying the UB and the Gibson Mandolin Jr., and has reached the following conclusions:

 The Gibson Mandolin Jr and the original UB are identical instruments:

 Exactly same dimensions in length and with 9” pots

There are the following differences:

 The Mandolin is painted black while the UB which is “Blonde”, not stained or painted but left with the original maple finish.

I believe the UB came into existence because Gibson wanted to enter the banjo ukulele market without tooling up for a smaller pot. They took their smallest banjo, the 9” Mandolin Jr., left it blonde, drilled only four holes in the peghead, put on individual ukulele style tuners, and made it in the “trap door” style. Evidently it became obvious that customers wanted a banjo uke with a smaller pot, more resembling the size of a ukulele, and so barely a year later the UB-1, with a 6” pot, and the UB-2, with an 8 inch pot, appeared and the UB was discontinued.