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Thread: Thinking about an older Martin soprano--what to look for?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    New Jersey
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    677

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    Martin does not sell factory seconds, ever. They have also dramatically relaxed their rules regarding eBay sales and advertised pricing, particularly on their Mexican made instruments. This is probably an authorized dealer, and the 39 sold happened over several years time. The standard formula for Martins is that wholesale = 50% of MSRP. That means that, even with shipping, he’s still making close to $100 on an S1. I certainly understand your pessimism, though.

    I think that if I were in your shoes, I’d take the ride to Mainland. Mike will always treat you right. He’s a great guy, and you’ll enjoy giving him your money!


    Please, let us know what you end up with!


    Scooter
    Tenor Koa Fluke (rosewood fretboard, Pegheds)
    Concert Tie-Dye Flea (rosewood fretboard, Lucy's tuners)
    Soprano Firefly (walnut fretboard, Pegheds)
    Late 40's Martin Style 1 soprano
    Concert Oscar Schmidt Mousekulele
    Tenor Mainland Mahogany Slothead

    "The way I see it as soon as a baby is born, he should be issued a Ukulele."
    ~Linus Van Pelt~

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    760

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    Re cracks, it seems that many of the vintage Martins you see for sale online will have cracks, hopefully repaired correctly. I like this video, comparing 5 vintage Martin sopranos. They all sound great to me, although slightly different. The video has links to descriptions of each of the ukes, and every one of them had repaired cracks.

    Ask NOT what your country can do for Uke...ask what Uke can do for your country.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Mission Viejo, CA
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    You need to check out the Timms on the marketplace. I don't play soprano, but everytime I see a Timms I want to buy it.

    This video is NOT the one for sale, but you'll get the idea.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb9Imp2HTC4

    John

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Walla Walla, WA
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    460

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    Kiwaya KTS-6
    Enya X1 soprano
    Kiwaya KTC-2
    Ohana BK20

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    USA
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    Would you prefer a well played vintage Martin, with wear/repaired cracks, etc., or a more prisitine example? With a pristine example, I would assume it didn't get played much, probably just sat in a closet somewhere, although humidified well, as evidenced by no cracks. I wonder if the stuff you hear about unplayed vintage instruments "going to sleep", and then reawakening to better volume/tone after being played hard for awhile is true? I've never had a vintage Martin before, and was wondering this. I know its a controversial topic (instruments opening up, going to sleep, etc) Anyone ever experience this with a vintage Martin that was probably not played much at all?
    Last edited by Ukecaster; 09-27-2017 at 02:28 PM.
    Ask NOT what your country can do for Uke...ask what Uke can do for your country.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    760

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    Ask NOT what your country can do for Uke...ask what Uke can do for your country.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    L.A. California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    That's prudy!!
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Chester, VT
    Posts
    141

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    I would jump on that one if I did not already have one. With Reverb you can always make an offer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    Martin c. 1934
    Martin OXK
    Kamaka pineapple gold label - 1950s
    Mele pineapple - koa and mahogany - modern
    Kamaka tenor - 2002
    Mele, Braddah tenor 1990s
    Slingerland banjolele Maybell - 1920s

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    L.A. California
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    285

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    never mind
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  10. #20

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    Thanks for all the helpful information in this thread. It's now clear that there are some great deals out there. While still very interested in trying an older Martin, it looks like I'll be starting out with a Favilla instead, which will arrive next week from a U.U. marketplace purchase. Really liked the shape of this soprano, and it's had a couple of previous owners here who have sung its praises. It will at least let me know if I can bond with the fret spacing on a soprano.

    Jack
    Last edited by jackj; 09-30-2017 at 05:56 AM.

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