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View Full Version : Mr. Mahogany Buys His First Vintage



pdxuke
02-27-2010, 03:59 PM
So, y'all know I love the PLUNK PLUNK of mahogany standards.

I've had my eye on a couple of Martins, and even a Gibson Uke 1. All lovely. All "spendy", as we say in Portland.

Times being what they are, I'm not quite ready to go $1200 for a nice Martin, so I was prepared to wait. Perhaps a few years.

But then...

(Cue the lush strings)

I saw her. In the case. She looked like a Martin. Wasn't, but looked like one. Certainly vintage. Probably pre-WW2.

But what did she sound like?

Divine.

Plunk. Sweet warmth. Sustain. Played next to the Martins, extremely close. In fact, very, very close.

Her name is Miami, and here she is:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=10510
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=10509
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=10508

and note the bling, rhinestone headstock, probably put on by some fat-cat for his woman.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=10507

I have pictures into Chuck "Frets" to see if he knows. In the meantime, if anybody here knows what she is (besides DIVINE), tell me.

Ukeffect
02-27-2010, 04:30 PM
Niiiiiice! But, I gotta tell ya...my MOM warned me about these "professional" girls...sure shes pretty, sounds great plays smooth and is all iced out...but duuuuude!
:anyone:

pdxuke
02-27-2010, 04:41 PM
UPDATE:

Uke distributed by Stadlmair. They were a music company. Still a mystery as to the manufacturer. c. 30s, I think. A character named Ukulele Hughs endorsed them. More when I hear from Frets. Stay tuned...

SweetWaterBlue
02-27-2010, 04:42 PM
Very nice, but we gotta have at least a sound sample.

Would you say its closest to a Martin Style O or something else?

pdxuke
02-27-2010, 05:29 PM
Very nice, but we gotta have at least a sound sample.

Ok, here it is. Sound is not that great. Neither is my playing. Strings are still settling, so I had a deuce of a time keeping it in tune.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWwfYeMDe9Y

Pippin
02-27-2010, 05:37 PM
Most of the "Miami" ukes were made by Regal. A few, not many, were made by Weissenborn. Miami filed the patent on them, but there really is nothing distinct about them... not bad ukuleles, though.

SweetWaterBlue
02-27-2010, 05:41 PM
Ok, here it is. Sound is not that great. Neither is my playing. Strings are still settling, so I had a deuce of a time keeping it in tune.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWwfYeMDe9Y

It sounds great. It may not be a Martin, but it sure sounds a lot like one. I think you did good.

pdxuke
02-27-2010, 05:50 PM
Most of the "Miami" ukes were made by Regal. A few, not many, were made by Weissenborn. Miami filed the patent on them, but there really is nothing distinct about them... not bad ukuleles, though.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.:D I love the sound out of this one. But thanks for your info. It could very well be a Regal, but they made, IMHO some very nice ukes and this one sounds wonderful. I'll let you know what Chuck says.

SweetWaterBlue
02-27-2010, 05:53 PM
Is the body larger than the SK-35G? It sounds like the tone is a bit lower (fuller?) than my Ohana, but I am not sure what chords you are playing.

pdxuke
02-27-2010, 05:54 PM
Is the body larger than the SK-35G? It sounds like the tone is a bit lower (fuller?) than my Ohana, but I am not sure what chords you are playing.

No, about the same body size. I have it tuned to C.

SweetWaterBlue
02-27-2010, 05:57 PM
Thanks. I guess I just need to age my SK another 50 years lol.

Tigeralum2001
02-27-2010, 06:23 PM
Looks good and sounds great! Who cares if it is not a Martin?

pdxuke
02-27-2010, 06:32 PM
Looks good and sounds great! Who cares if it is not a Martin?

Yes, exactly. I think Pippin may be right, that it is Regal made, but I think it's upper end and probably 50s, not 30s. If anybody knows Chuck Faynes will. I have a question to him now. In the meantime, I'm gonna play the heck out of it.

pdxuke
02-27-2010, 06:33 PM
Thanks. I guess I just need to age my SK another 50 years lol.

I think our SK35s are new "classics."

SailQwest
02-28-2010, 12:02 AM
What a great find! She's a sweetheart!

SweetWaterBlue
02-28-2010, 02:15 PM
I think our SK35s are new "classics."

Speaking of which, I measured the body on my SK-35G to see how it compared to a measured drawing at www.grellier.fr of the original Martin O. It was amazingly close. The Martin was 163mm wide, and the SK measured 162mm. Martin body was 239mm long, and the SK 240mm. The sound hole is larger on the SK at 47mm, vs Martin's 44mm. and the placement of the sound hole is slightly more rearward on the Martin. I suppose the biggest difference is that the Martin drawing specs 1.5mm as a top thickness, but my SK measures between 1.75mm and 2.0mm, depending on where I measured. The Martin appears to also have a slightly curved bottom. All of my measurements were pretty sloppy, but close enough for government work.

luvdat
02-28-2010, 02:21 PM
Nice work on those measurements. I'm starting to love those specs and actually find them interesting. What about neck width?

SweetWaterBlue
02-28-2010, 02:46 PM
Nice work on those measurements. I'm starting to love those specs and actually find them interesting. What about neck width?

Width of the neck at nut is: Martin Drawing 35mm, SK-35 34mm
Depth of neck at Nut is : Martin 13.75mm, SK-35 15mm
Width of neck at 8th fret: Martin 42mm, SK-35 41mm
Depth of neck at 8th fret: Martin 18.5mm, SK-35 17.5mm

I am least sure about the depth measurements, since my calipers are a bit short, and I don't want to take the strings off right now. Any of these could be plus or minus a few millimeters, but all in all, it seems a pretty close clone. The bracing inside looks quite similar. I suspect if the top and backs were the same thickness and they were of equal age, they should sound very similar.

pdxuke
02-28-2010, 04:35 PM
Width of the neck at nut is: Martin Drawing 35mm, SK-35 34mm
Depth of neck at Nut is : Martin 13.75mm, SK-35 15mm
Width of neck at 8th fret: Martin 42mm, SK-35 41mm
Depth of neck at 8th fret: Martin 18.5mm, SK-35 17.5mm

I am least sure about the depth measurements, since my calipers are a bit short, and I don't want to take the strings off right now. Any of these could be plus or minus a few millimeters, but all in all, it seems a pretty close clone. The bracing inside looks quite similar. I suspect if the top and backs were the same thickness and they were of equal age, they should sound very similar.

SweetWater, you're beginning to make me wonder whether I wouldn't do my future grandchildren a great service by buying a bunch of SK35s now! Wouldn't it have been great if our Granddaddy had done that with a Martin! :-)

SweetWaterBlue
02-28-2010, 04:45 PM
SweetWater, you're beginning to make me wonder whether I wouldn't do my future grandchildren a great service by buying a bunch of SK35s now! Wouldn't it have been great if our Granddaddy had done that with a Martin! :-)

I've got a buddy that brings his SO Uke to the SEUkers meetings sometimes. One of the reasons he bought it was to pass along to his kids. Maybe he will let me measure the top thickness and body dimensions. That might be interesting. I guess most of the rest of the dimensions are here:

http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-MAT-SOUKE

I think a Kiwaya KTS-4 might be a better investment, since its quality is higher than the SK-35.

pdxuke
02-28-2010, 05:03 PM
I think a Kiwaya KTS-4 might be a better investment, since its quality is higher than the SK-35.

Yeah, but Imay have a lot of grandbabies! And at $175 a pop v. $500 have mercy on a poor Granddaddy~!

Seriously, I do think that these SK35s may be looked upon in the distant future as a really classic , affordable mahogany. I am extremely impressed with it.