PDA

View Full Version : Trying to date my Martin S1



AustinHing
12-17-2018, 09:04 PM
Dear UU folks, I have the fortunate opportunity to own a Martin S1 last week. So far, it’s hard to put it down. Haha..

As much as I’m intrigued with its tone and playability, I’m also interested to find out more on its birth year. The serial of mine is 3451 which I supposed is an earlier model since its first release in mid 2011 (I gathered).

I couldn’t find any source that can directly show the dating of the Martin Ukuleles (Mexico made, not the vintage). Hence, I’m posting this if anyone can provide some information on it or point me to some links.

So far, this is what I have noticed after comparing the many Google images.

Mine:
Serial: 3451
Fretboard and Bridge: either rosewood or Morado (I’m leaning on rosewood)
Tuner: no Grover label on the pegs
String Orientation: G and A string are stringed on the “wrong” side

I’m suspecting mine to be in 2012-2013 period.

The newer serial number has hit the 17,xxx already. again, google info.
The newer fretboard and bridge is Sipo.
The new tuner has Grover label on the pegs.
The strings for G and A are stringed in the correct direction (for serial in 17,xxx).

Greatly appreciated if anyone can provided some more clues. Thanks and sorry for the long post.

Pukulele Pete
12-18-2018, 03:33 AM
I tried to get info on my Martin SO from CFMartin and the word from them was that they do not keep track of serial numbers and there was no way to put a date to the uke from the serial number . Doesnt make sense to me , why have a serial number if you dont do anything with it? You could check with Martin customer service but you will most likely get the
answer I got.

AustinHing
12-18-2018, 04:44 AM
I tried to get info on my Martin SO from CFMartin and the word from them was that they do not keep track of serial numbers and there was no way to put a date to the uke from the serial number . Doesnt make sense to me , why have a serial number if you dont do anything with it? You could check with Martin customer service but you will most likely get the
answer I got.

Thanks for your answer, Pete! I guess the serial is mainly for warranty purposes and would likely be a dead end for me too. Hence, I’m trying to draw conclusions based on the other Mexico Martin uke owners information such as serial and other details like the label on the tuners etc.

Patrick Madsen
12-18-2018, 05:05 AM
Sounds like your uke is strung for a left handed player if the G and A are on the "wrong" side. If it has a serial number it is a newer one.

bukeh
12-18-2018, 05:50 AM
I’ve seen some uke’s I would like to have tried to date, but I’m married, so all I can do is look:)

Bill Sheehan
12-18-2018, 06:13 AM
I’ve seen some uke’s I would like to have tried to date, but I’m married, so all I can do is look:)

Hahahahahahaha!! Good one!!

Oh, also, Patrick, I think that "wrong side" reference is to the fact that the G and A strings are placed upon their respective tuning posts "from the outside" rather than "from the inside", perhaps on the theory that doing so keeps them in a little straighter line as they run toward their post...?

Bill Sheehan
12-18-2018, 06:27 AM
Austin, I got an S-1 in January of 2016, from Musician's Friend. It was new, but I guess it's hard to know how long it had been in their inventory before I purchased it. But if it's of any help, the serial number is 12925.

Patrick Madsen
12-18-2018, 06:51 AM
I think you're right Bill. Ya never know though.

Ukecaster
12-18-2018, 07:22 AM
I tried to get info on my Martin SO from CFMartin and the word from them was that they do not keep track of serial numbers and there was no way to put a date to the uke from the serial number . Doesnt make sense to me , why have a serial number if you dont do anything with it? You could check with Martin customer service but you will most likely get the
answer I got.

Well, they could learn a thing or two from Ken Timms, with fields for day, month & year, then they could have a four digit field for which number it was coming off the line that day :D

Papa Tom
12-18-2018, 03:18 PM
I’ve seen some uke’s I would like to have tried to date, but I’m married, so all I can do is look:)

Dang! As soon as I saw the title of this thread, I raced to be the first to put up a reply similar to the one above. I was REALLY bummed to see that I was too late, but good one, bukeh! :)

AustinHing
12-18-2018, 05:56 PM
Sounds like your uke is strung for a left handed player if the G and A are on the "wrong" side. If it has a serial number it is a newer one.

Sorry for the confusion~ can't think of a better description. haha.. I meant the string is strung from the outside of the peg instead of the typical way.

AustinHing
12-18-2018, 06:02 PM
Iíve seen some ukeís I would like to have tried to date, but Iím married, so all I can do is look:)

Nice one! I'm married too, but wife is tolerable of my new love as long as I don't do it in front of her. But.. I do get caught now and then!

AustinHing
12-18-2018, 06:07 PM
Hahahahahahaha!! Good one!!

Oh, also, Patrick, I think that "wrong side" reference is to the fact that the G and A strings are placed upon their respective tuning posts "from the outside" rather than "from the inside", perhaps on the theory that doing so keeps them in a little straighter line as they run toward their post...?

You are absolutely right on the explanation. I couldn't have describe better.

AustinHing
12-18-2018, 06:13 PM
Austin, I got an S1 in January of 2016, from Musician's Friend. It was new, but I guess it's hard to know how long it had been in their inventory before I purchased it. But if it's of any help, the serial number is 12925.

That'd be very helpful! Thanks for the information! Is it possible for you to check if you got the booklet for the care and feeding manual which came with your uke? There is a printed date at the back of the booklet.

For mine, the booklet is wayyy old back to year 2011. And on my booklet's title page, it claimed there is C1 and T1 uke besides the S1! Guessed they abolished the plan and went with the C1K and T1K instead.

AustinHing
12-18-2018, 06:26 PM
Martin Guitar Company probably has a lot of records about the instruments. They probably don't want to have to compete with the collector and used market, which is why they don't give out a lot of information to collectors. They want to sell you a new instrument.
Information is money in the world of collecting, sensible sellers do not give it away for free. They know it will affect their own business if they do.
There will be collectors who know the serial numbers, first you need to find them, then you need to work out what you are going to swap to access the information. I doubt they will broadcast the information on a public bulletin board.

That is likely the case. Hence, I'm trying to google the heck out of it! Who knows what's going to happen to the value of modern Martin ukes 50 years from now? I saw the Mortal Engine movie and in that movie, the regular $20 toaster is a relic to be kept in a museum.

AustinHing
12-18-2018, 08:03 PM
Thanks for all the responses! I have been googling images from sales or reviews of the modern Martin ukes from Mexico. I'm primarily looking out for serial number, any change in the wood, tuners and even better if there is a indication of the manufacture year. So this is what I have gathered so far..

The ukes from the Mexican factory has some form of serial tagging while the modern U.S. ukes (Style 3 Contennial (100 pieces), Cherry (only 36 pieces!), Style 2 and 5k, except for the IZ tenor) are not serial tagged at all, or lumped together with guitars. Pretty weird and confusing.. but please correct me if I'm wrong on this.

The ukes from Mexico are, in chronological order of first release year:
1997: Backpacker Uke
1997-98: S-0 Uke
2010: 0XK Uke
2011: S-1 Uke
2012: C1K, T1K
2016: OX Uke (colour variations)
2017: Style 1 Centennial (100 pieces)

Source for above:
http://www.ukulelemag.com/stories/martin-ukuleles-history

(To be continued..)

Jerryc41
12-19-2018, 01:23 AM
Iíve seen some ukeís I would like to have tried to date, but Iím married, so all I can do is look:)

I like your comment. I clicked on this post when I saw the title because I'd like to date the woman next door. I thought I might get some tips. :)

UkerDanno
12-19-2018, 01:49 AM
That'd be very helpful! Thanks for the information! Is it possible for you to check if you got the booklet for the care and feeding manual which came with your uke? There is a printed date at the back of the booklet.

For mine, the booklet is wayyy old back to year 2011. And on my booklet's title page, it claimed there is C1 and T1 uke besides the S1! Guessed they abolished the plan and went with the C1K and T1K instead.

So, with an early serial #, I'd say yours is a 2011...

Dansimpson
12-19-2018, 02:41 AM
I was talking to someone that works at the martin Mexico factory, she also said there should be a date stamped on the booklet that came with the uke, but was unable to give any info on the serial numbers

Bill Sheehan
12-19-2018, 04:46 AM
Austin, I'm afraid I've long since misplaced my "care and feeding" booklet, so unfortunately I can't be of much help on that. In my own case, I don't think my S-1 will ever be of much value to anyone but me, as I have committed that most unthinkable offense of replacing the original friction tuners with a set of black-buttoned geared Grovers. To be sure, the original friction tuners were just fine, but I just really like being able to quickly and confidently tweak that tuning, and I find that I'm better able to do that with the geared tuners. And honestly, I think they actually look pretty decent...
114213114214
P.S. Sorry to veer off-topic here!

AustinHing
12-19-2018, 01:14 PM
Before we go further into the serial tagging, I believe that the serial incrementing logic is not always based on the total ukes produced. Or at least true in the case of the S-0 Uke. There is serial 5,402 for a S-0 in year 1998 or 99. In a review of S-1 Uke in 2011, the reviewed S-1's serial is 1100. So how is it possible to have a smaller serial number in 2011 than in 1998? It seems to me that Martin is trying to disown S-0 Uke by rebooting the serial number?

Source for above regarding S-0 serial information:
https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?21708-Martin-SO-serial-numbers-HELP

Source for above regarding S-1 review in 2011:
https://ukeeku.com/2011/06/17/martin-s1-full-review/

In the case of the backpacker uke, there are very limited sources on its serial information. The backpacker uke had its run from 1997 to 2006 and the only serial that I could find is 56,314. This number is wayyy bigger than the latest S-1 serial (19,xxx) listed in sweetwater! I'm suspecting the backpacker uke serial is lumped together with the Mexico made guitars.

Source for above on the backpacker uke:
https://reverb.com/item/3401533-martin-backpacker-ukulele-w-gig-bag-solid-mahogany-body-rare-37732

AustinHing
12-19-2018, 01:26 PM
So, with an early serial #, I'd say yours is a 2011...

That's what I'm suspecting too. But to produce a quantity of at least ~3k pieces of the S1 ("for the new kid on the block to save the bad rep of S-0") within its debut year, along with other well established instruments, is quite a substantial number.. but then, I know nuts about running a business!

(Side note: my S1's serial is 3451.)

AustinHing
12-19-2018, 01:41 PM
I was talking to someone that works at the martin Mexico factory, she also said there should be a date stamped on the booklet that came with the uke, but was unable to give any info on the serial numbers

This is an amazing information, Dan! Cos some companies most probably just pack the booklet, regardless of the print year, with their product. If Martin Mexico factory does match the booklet print year with the instrument that is produced in the same year, then this can be a very useful way of dating your martin uke.

And if true, I'm most probably owns the first year S-1 based on my booklet dated as 2011!

AustinHing
12-19-2018, 02:39 PM
Austin, I'm afraid I've long since misplaced my "care and feeding" booklet, so unfortunately I can't be of much help on that. In my own case, I don't think my S1 will ever be of much value to anyone but me, as I have committed that most unthinkable offense of replacing the original friction tuners with a set of black-buttoned geared Grovers. To be sure, the original friction tuners were just fine, but I just really like being able to quickly and confidently tweak that tuning, and I find that I'm better able to do that with the geared tuners. And honestly, I think they actually look pretty decent...

That's not a problem at all and thank you for your information, Bill!
I think geared tuners look fine too! I like the black tuners. Its subtle and white would be a tad bit too loud, for me at least.

Mine is a keeper too, but I'm okay with the friction tuners although they are not turning like butter. In fact, quite the opposite! But not a deal breaker for me, as there's something about the sound or noise it makes. Haha.

On a side note, I have the opportunity to play the Kamaka concert HF-2D2I and Koaloha Concert KCM-00 for the very first time, just a month ago. They are great great amazing ukes, but they just sounded a little less lively and less pronouced when compared to my Martin C1K, at least to me. Of course, the Kamaka is strung with the original black strings which left much to be desired. And I immediately thought what a gem (C1K) I'm actually owning. I reminded myself that this Martin is a Mexico made, production line uke versus hand crafted Hawaiian top quality uke! With that thought, I remembered that lonely S1 in that music store I visited some time ago which sounded sweeter (in a different way) than my C1K! I made a beeline to the store and the rest is history. haha. Sorry for the rant.

Also...
I do think that your S1 (serial 12,925) is made in 2015 as you mentioned you bought it in Jan 2016. I calculated by using the current S1 (serial 19,543) on sale now in Sweetwater, with the assumption of it being made in 2018. The maths for your uke year is: 2011 + ( 12, 925 / ( 19543 / 8 )) = ~2016.

(Note: 8 is the total years since 2011.)

But given that no way you can have your uke in Jan 2016 unless the good people in the Mexico factory work through the holidays. Hence, your S1 is most likely to be made in 2015. Again, just as a reference only.

Bill Sheehan
12-19-2018, 03:57 PM
Thanks, Austin! I think we all appreciate your enthusiasm and the very interesting info you have provided!