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View Full Version : The cleanest vintage Martin 3K I have ever seen



Tigershark
07-20-2015, 05:23 PM
I used to own this one until last year. It had been passed down through a family generation after generation and barely even touched. Now it's up for sale at Folkway Music.

When I first got it I felt like I had walked into a music store in the 1920's and bought a new Martin 3K. Insane flame and perfect finish, just ever so slightly dull, not glossy at all like modern finishes that never really look right. The tuner buttons weren't even discolored. What a jewel!

The photos on the Folkway site make it look a little dark, some more sunlight would really show off the glow of the finish.

http://www.folkwaymusic.com/vintage-instruments/martin-guitars/1925-martin-style-3k-0515/

81698

Ukulele Eddie
07-20-2015, 05:30 PM
Gorgeous! Why did you part with it? And did you sell it to the store or somebody else?

Tigershark
07-20-2015, 06:50 PM
I traded it towards an old guitar I really wanted. It was tough to let such a perfect uke go but I have another much earlier 3K to keep me company :)

PhilUSAFRet
07-20-2015, 08:58 PM
Awesome! Will be very hard to "not miss" even if you do have another.

Ukejenny
07-21-2015, 10:50 AM
Very lovely!

Pukulele Pete
07-21-2015, 10:57 AM
Must have been quite a guitar .

Tigershark
07-21-2015, 01:53 PM
Here it is in the sunlight.

http://s23.postimg.org/81ky8zfcr/image.jpg

Eyeguy
07-21-2015, 02:02 PM
As a guitar and ukulele enthusiast, may I ask what guitar you acquired for this lovely uke?

Ukulele Eddie
07-21-2015, 02:22 PM
Here it is in the sunlight.

http://s23.postimg.org/81ky8zfcr/image.jpg

Wowza! That is beautiful!!! :drool:

wayfarer75
07-21-2015, 02:56 PM
That is just glorious. I'm glad you have another 3K to keep you from missing that one.

Ukulele Eddie
07-21-2015, 05:03 PM
Legitimate question here...Given the sizable investment and that there aren't serial numbers on these, how do you validate the authenticity?

coolkayaker1
07-21-2015, 05:51 PM
Legitimate question here...Given the sizable investment and that there aren't serial numbers on these, how do you validate the authenticity?
Walsh & King book and a keen eye. ��

And lots of prayers, Eddie.

Ukulele Eddie
07-21-2015, 06:22 PM
Walsh & King book and a keen eye. 😳

And lots of prayers, Eddie.

Haha. That's sort of what I thought. :-(

Mivo
07-21-2015, 11:05 PM
Very beautiful instrument -- the "in the sun" photo really brings out how gorgeous it is. Kind of brings back my yearning for a koa soprano. :)

Tigershark
07-22-2015, 05:53 AM
As a guitar and ukulele enthusiast, may I ask what guitar you acquired for this lovely uke?

It wasn't a straight across trade, there was a lot of stuff moving around. But now I get to play a very early sunburst Telecaster Custom.


Legitimate question here...Given the sizable investment and that there aren't serial numbers on these, how do you validate the authenticity?

I'm not aware of many out and out counterfeit vintage ukuleles, but there are a number of things that let you know that what you are buying is authentic. The best tool is hands on experience, of owning, playing, and handling many vintage ukuleles. They don't have to be expensive to get a feel for what an original finish and the correct materials look like.

For this 3K there are many characteristics that are all consistent for the mid-1920's time period. Flamey Koa, for example, is what you would expect. The earlier 3K's were typically plainer with less figure. The pearl work (look closely at the shapes and inlay technique) and the color of the material are extremely hard to match. The bridge style, saddle type, nut shape, and tuners are all consitent with this era. There are subtle differences from the different time periods. Also check inside - the tooling marks, bracing, kerfing, and neck block all have signature Martin touches.

Dan Uke
07-22-2015, 06:08 AM
I rather buy a Moore Bettah than buy a $7500 Martin ;)

Tigershark
07-22-2015, 01:22 PM
I rather buy a Moore Bettah than buy a $7500 Martin ;)

This topic isn't about money, or brand wars. It's about an exceptional vintage ukulele for everyone to check out. I got to play it and enjoy owning it for a while and it was too cool not to share.

Ukulele Eddie
07-22-2015, 04:56 PM
I rather buy a Moore Bettah than buy a $7500 Martin ;)

Very few people ever get an opportunity to buy an MBU. Anyone who can afford to can buy this beautiful vintage Martin.

OttoK
08-16-2015, 05:34 AM
Just stumbled on this thread. I purchased the Uke. Looking forward to it! Appreciate all the great info on it. Thanks all. Otto

Buc-a-Roo
08-16-2015, 06:29 AM
Just stumbled on this thread. I purchased the Uke. Looking forward to it! Appreciate all the great info on it. Thanks all. Otto

Congrats! Looks like a fine old piece! Action looks a bit out of whack. Send it to Jake at Antebellum Instruments......he's magic with an old ukulele! You'll be very, very glad that you did.

Tigershark
08-20-2015, 07:45 AM
Congrats! Looks like a fine old piece! Action looks a bit out of whack. Send it to Jake at Antebellum Instruments......he's magic with an old ukulele! You'll be very, very glad that you did.

The action is just right, I used to own it. Folkway is one of the best repair shops in the world. No need to send it anywhere.

Otto, congratulations on a very special purchase. I hope you get as much enjoyment from it as I did.

Trader Todd
08-20-2015, 08:30 AM
Wow! What a beauty. Otto, enjoy your new uke. Tigershark enjoy that Tele. I just sold a Tele to fund a Uke. It's a vicious cycle...

uketeecee
08-25-2015, 03:38 PM
Beautiful ukulele!

The Martin 3K was only in production for around 20 years (1920 -1940). According to Walsh & King, there were around 2,000 made during that time. How many of those are in mint condition today? Who knows, but certainly a tiny number.

Some say that the Martin 3K set the high-water mark for ukulele production.

kissing
08-27-2015, 04:53 AM
$7495 seems expensive, but it's still 'cheap' for a violin of similar stature!

coolkayaker1
08-27-2015, 05:11 PM
$7495 seems expensive!. I thought so.

strumsilly
08-27-2015, 06:23 PM
the new 3k are "only" 2k

Tigershark
09-01-2015, 10:09 AM
$7495 seems expensive, but it's still 'cheap' for a violin of similar stature!

Exceptionally clean condition can add a lot of price to top end vintage instruments. This one was once-in-a-lifetime clean.