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Thread: Vintage style ukuleles

  1. #1

    Default Vintage style ukuleles

    Hello gang! In my search for my first ukulele (currently playing a friend's), I find myself very much attracted to the vintage style look. I found that Ohana makes their 28 "Nunes" and 39 "Martin 3M" models. And, Martin has their HPL OXK, and their S1 models with their vintage looks. I would appreciate to hear user comments of these. Are there any other makers / models in similar price ranges that I could consider as well?

    I should add that I'm not against Martin's high pressure laminates as I have played their guitars in the past and thought highly of them under first impressions.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Why not buy a real vintage Martin ?

  4. #4
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    Favilla vintage sopranos can still be had via ebay at attractive prices.
    I was amazed how good the one we bought sounded.
    We need another because my wife like it so much that she has claimed it for herself.
    Some say that Favillas are the equal of vintage Martins, but I couldn't say as I can't afford Martins.
    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...&_sacat=119025
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  5. #5
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    I own an Ohana CK-39, which is a solid mahogany concert-size homage to the Martin Style 3. It gets a very good recommendation from me. You can read my review here.

  6. #6
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    Might want to look at Brueko and Mainland, too.
    - Laura

    Sopranino - Vintage 1930's Camp Uke (Birch)
    Soprano - Koaloha Opio (Sapele), Martin OXK (HPL), Brueko No. 2 (Maple), Kala ASOV -S (Spruce/Ovangkol), Vintage 40's Silvertone (Mahogany), Vintage 50's Harmony (Birch), Zither Heaven (1 Black Walnut & 1 Cherry), First Act Discovery (Plastic)
    Concert - Luna (Spruce top)
    Tenor - Outdoor Ukulele (Composite Polycarbonate), Mainland (Mahogany)

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by lakesideglenn View Post
    Why not buy a real vintage Martin ?
    This is a very good question. I admit to having very little experience with ukuleles. I know from my guitar experience that Vintage Martins can fetch a pretty high dollar - one that I cannot afford. I will need to look into the vintage Martin ukuleles.

    Thanks for the suggestions and links to everyone! I will look into all the ones mentioned....

    EDIT - Please, let me ask you all this.... I am a lover of ragtime and Dixieland music (and performer on drums and percussion). I love the sound and feel of old rags played on the ukulele. Sadly, none of the players I play with use a ukulele. While I admittedly do not know the full history of the ukulele yet (I am still learning), do you feel this style of music would best be apt for the soprano? Perhaps the different sizes didn't exist yet back in the early 1900's? I have read that the ukulele was used in the early jazz groups, just not great detail about it. Thanks!
    Last edited by bsfloyd; 11-27-2017 at 05:23 AM.

  8. #8
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    When I first began playing I thought I wanted a vintage Martin, but couldn't find one in time for the uke class I was about to take, so I started with a very basic Ohana mahogany soprano. It was fine, but really soon the sound of koa caught my ear and I gravitated toward Kamakas, which years later are my main players.

    But I still had a vintage itch to scratch! I found a few drawbacks to true vintage - mainly, having to deal with cracks and slippy tuners and other fussy things I don't have patience for, as well as the fact that most vintage ukuleles stop at 12 frets and I tend to play beyond that regularly. So my ideal vintage-style mahogany soprano ended up being a Kiwaya KTS-5, which has the look along with more frets and impeccable craftsmanship. You can see their full mahogany soprano lineup here.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for the link, janeray - those Kiwaya Artist models are beautiful!! Sadly, out of my budget. However, I now know of them and can possibly work up towards getting one in the future. I really find them stunning in appearance.

    Laura - the Bruko instruments seem wonderful! Simplistically beautiful, and very affordable. I didn't think Mainland to be into the vintage look but I will check again. I will say that I am really liking the Bruko line.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by janeray1940 View Post
    But I still had a vintage itch to scratch! I found a few drawbacks to true vintage - mainly, having to deal with cracks and slippy tuners and other fussy things I don't have patience for, as well as the fact that most vintage ukuleles stop at 12 frets and I tend to play beyond that regularly. So my ideal vintage-style mahogany soprano ended up being a Kiwaya KTS-5, which has the look along with more frets and impeccable craftsmanship. You can see their full mahogany soprano lineup here.
    I wonder how their Eco Line instruments are. Like I stated before, I don't mind a laminate instrument if they are made well. My guitar playing experience lend me to believe that laminate instruments can sound nice when quality build. Those old Yamaha lammies are nice. Sure the tone wont improve with age, but if they sound good from the get go and they retain that sound then it wouldn't be a bad thing. Kiwaya does put up a nice pitch on them.

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