View Full Version : FS: Vintage Martin Tenor - GREAT sounding uke

08-02-2016, 05:36 AM
Hi all. I am putting my vintage Martin Tenor up for sale. Let me say right up front that this is not a collector’s uke – this one is for the players. That said, it is a phenomenal sounding vintage uke. It sets up well (action is perfect), and it is loud. Moreover, the intonation is amazing – better than any uke I have ever owned.

Off Market. Sanity regained. Your choice of case. See photos. (The Harptone cases are no longer made, but they are great cases and fit the Martin Tenor like a glove.)

I recently had the uke gone over by Third Coast Repair in Chicago (authorized Martin repair shop) and they gave the uke a clean bill of health – no cracks and no loose braces (but plenty of play wear). The frets still look great. Lots of finish checking and crazing.

I would estimate it was made somewhere around 1950, but could be earlier or a bit later. There is no “Made in USA” stamp on inside brace, so that means it was made somewhere between 1934 and 1961.

I LOVE THIS UKE. Unfortunately, I can’t play it anymore because it is causing me chronic pain in my left wrist. I can only play thicker uke necks these days (like my Ko’olau).

Let’s talk about the wear on the top of this uke. I bought this uke the minute I saw it on eBay BECAUSE OF the wear. I figured it was played so much because it sounded great; or it sounded great because it was played so much – either way, I was right - it sounds great. I have attached a video clip. Now, bear in mind this was though my iPad mic, but at least you get an idea of the tone.


If anyone is looking for a great sounding vintage Martin Tenor – this is it. I honestly wish I could keep it, but my wrist won’t allow it. Please contact me with any questions. Thank you!

08-03-2016, 04:37 PM
Sorry folks. I just can't let go of this one. It is hard to appreciate from the video clip, but this uke has that rare tone (dry, open and bell-like) that you sometimes find in a vintage piece of mahogany. The only other time I have experienced it this fully was from a 1939 Martin D-18 that I played years ago (and should have bought, but didn't because it was so worn! Doh!). My wrist may not allow me to play this uke as much as I would like, but better to play it part-time than not at all. :)


08-03-2016, 05:55 PM

08-03-2016, 06:42 PM
Well, it's good that you're keeping it, but I enjoyed your playing so I'm glad you posted the ad. : )

08-04-2016, 12:31 AM
Boy I'll tell you what I kept coming back here and looking at it and looking at it and looking at it. I caught the bug pretty bad - I was close!! This gives me some closure just to know that even if I'd done it, it likely never would've made it into the box :)

Good for you - that was great playing and a good sound! You should keep it

08-04-2016, 04:11 AM
Wow! Thanks for all the kind words and support.

I made the mistake of playing the uke after listing it. I truly know better.... :)

Anyway, I am going to close this thread. Thanks again. This is truly one of the finest forums on the planet.