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View Full Version : I was offered an interesting trade...



Skitzic
11-08-2010, 04:31 AM
As some of you know, I pulled the trigger on a Kanile'a...and I'm trying to get rid of some of the others I have laying around.

I posted my NK-T on craigslist, and got an interesting trade offer. A Martin 5-15 with 'real mahogany' (I'm assuming that means not sapele).

I'm not (seriously) considering the trade**, but it is an interesting trade offer. I can't find too much info on the guitar except it has a short scale and a small body. Anyone know anything about this guitar?

I feel like I'd be giving him the short end of the stick if I took the trade (and I probably won't. I'm confident I'd rather have the cash than another guitar...especially after recently acquiring a Utar).

I asked for some photos and a serial number if possible. Waiting for a response.

Tah tah and thanks for your thoughts.

**Disclaimer: I really am not seriously considering this trade. The offer just made me go 'huh...' because from what I can find online these are usually priced in the $900 range and I thought it was random to try to trade for a uke that goes for $350 new. That is all

mm stan
11-08-2010, 04:57 AM
It's a mini guitar....probally mahaogany....Is it the 5-15GT model???
Small but playable..
Overall length 32"
Body size..16"approx long X 11" wide..
Width at Nut 1 5/8
Scale length 22 1/2
Model disontinued
Estimated Value New...Probally over thousand dollars...

Skitzic
11-08-2010, 05:10 AM
It's a mini guitar....probally mahaogany....Is it the 5-15GT model???
Small but playable..
Overall length 32"
Body size..16"approx long X 11" wide..
Width at Nut 1 5/8
Scale length 22 1/2
Model disontinued
Estimated Value New...Probally over thousand dollars...

I don't know about the GT part. The email didn't go into much detail.

70sSanO
11-08-2010, 09:15 AM
I'm sure that there are real Martin fans that can answer this better, but FWIW...

All Martin 15 series guitars are all mahogany including the soundboard. All mahogany guitars have a following, but probabaly not the same as the typical spruce top guitar.

A 5-15 is a really small bodied guitar, supposedly smaller than a Little Martin.

From a value standpoint, you are probably getting a good deal, however, you would now have to sell it.

And if it has issues or something isn't right, you may just end up where you are right now, except you have an instrument that may get less interest and be stuck with it. Afterall it is not a D-18 that you can turn quickly.

No matter how nice you ukulele is, there has to be a reason someone is willing to trade a twice as expensive guitar for it.

John

Skitzic
11-08-2010, 09:31 AM
No matter how nice you ukulele is, there has to be a reason someone is willing to trade a twice as expensive guitar for it.

John

That's what I'm thinking. They responded saying there is no serial number because it's a prototype, and they will send pictures after they get home from work. I know there are prototypes floating around out there, and if I were considering the trade...that would be a fairly large red flag for me.

Tudorp
11-08-2010, 10:14 AM
There are "flags". I would be cautious...

harpdog
11-08-2010, 10:52 AM
I agree about possible flags with that prototype line,

however,

the Martin 5-15 of recent years is a sweet tiny guitar. I think the scale is about 21 inches, a little longer than a baritone uke.
It can be tuned standard E or "terz", G .

I think Marty Robbins played a Martin 5 size - probably a 5-28 or 5-18

It's a really sweet little monkey - wish I had one.
http://acw.spiral.net.au/instruments/images/martin_size_5_01.jpg

Specs here: http://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/choosing/guitars.php?m=5-15&p=i

Anton K
11-08-2010, 11:00 AM
I do not deal with Martins. I have a social conscience. Any company that has a history of hiring Pinkerton agents to kill their own workers, like Martin did? And then devastated a whole community in Sweden the way they did when they bought out GOYA? Own a Martin? Shame on you!

Skitzic
11-08-2010, 11:02 AM
Well, the pictures should come later tonight. Like I said, it's more curiosity than an actual desire to make the trade.

ukecantdothat
11-08-2010, 11:28 AM
I do not deal with Martins. I have a social conscience. Any company that has a history of hiring Pinkerton agents to kill their own workers, like Martin did? And then devastated a whole community in Sweden the way they did when they bought out GOYA? Own a Martin? Shame on you!

Whoa!!! Where have I been? I had no idea Martin was the Blackwater of guitar makers!

70sSanO
11-08-2010, 04:30 PM
I don't want to hijack this thread...


I do not deal with Martins. I have a social conscience. Any company that has a history of hiring Pinkerton agents to kill their own workers, like Martin did? And then devastated a whole community in Sweden the way they did when they bought out GOYA? Own a Martin? Shame on you!


I have no idea what you are talking about. I don't own a Martin or Goya and have never really followed either company, but I can't find anything anywhere that supports anything in your post. From what little research I just did Goya was owned by a number of companies long before Martin was ever involved. However, HC Levin who initially made Goya guitars, did work at Martin before he started making Levin guitars in Sweden.

It has to be one of the most bizarre things I have read on this forum.

John

Papi
11-08-2010, 06:08 PM
Having been a Martin owner, at their factory many , many times... and very much into their history.... there must have been a chapter I missed !

As far a 5-15 "prototype".... interesting as well. I have never seen a martin let out of the factory in the last 40 years w/o a serial number ???

Mandarb
11-09-2010, 03:04 AM
I do not deal with Martins. I have a social conscience. Any company that has a history of hiring Pinkerton agents to kill their own workers, like Martin did? And then devastated a whole community in Sweden the way they did when they bought out GOYA? Own a Martin? Shame on you!

As others have said - uh?

CoLmes
11-09-2010, 03:48 AM
I do not deal with Martins. I have a social conscience. Any company that has a history of hiring Pinkerton agents to kill their own workers, like Martin did? And then devastated a whole community in Sweden the way they did when they bought out GOYA? Own a Martin? Shame on you!

Whatever you're smoking, I want some!

UncleElvis
11-09-2010, 04:51 AM
Seriously... are you going to back up those claims with ANY sort of evidence?
Accusations like that are not to be made lightly.

Are there any links you could provide to educate us?

Skitzic
11-09-2010, 06:19 AM
Having been a Martin owner, at their factory many , many times... and very much into their history.... there must have been a chapter I missed !

As far a 5-15 "prototype".... interesting as well. I have never seen a martin let out of the factory in the last 40 years w/o a serial number ???

Yeah that's what's got me going Huh? the most. They have yet to supply me with pics.

bbycrts
11-09-2010, 06:52 AM
I do not deal with Martins. I have a social conscience. Any company that has a history of hiring Pinkerton agents to kill their own workers, like Martin did? And then devastated a whole community in Sweden the way they did when they bought out GOYA? Own a Martin? Shame on you!

Hey that's fun! Curious - was the second gunman playing a Martin on the grassy knoll? Nefarious!

Skitzic
11-09-2010, 05:07 PM
Well, I got the pictures. From what I can tell from the poor iPhone photos, looks real.

He said his brother works for Martin, and that every 6 or so months they have a sale for their employees and they get a chance at blems, prototypes, and all kinds of stuff at a super discount.

I have to admit, I'm starting to ponder it...yeah yeah the whole idea was to get rid of instruments, but if it checks out in person.....

haolejohn
11-09-2010, 05:14 PM
Seriously... are you going to back up those claims with ANY sort of evidence?
Accusations like that are not to be made lightly.

Are there any links you could provide to educate us?

I think it came from Tupac or Biggie.

orezzoli
11-09-2010, 05:18 PM
It's a mini guitar....probally mahaogany....Is it the 5-15GT model???
Small but playable..
Overall length 32"
Body size..16"approx long X 11" wide..
Width at Nut 1 5/8
Scale length 22 1/2
Model disontinued
Estimated Value New...Probally over thousand dollars...

I have a guitar Yamaha its very cool guitar, here in Peru cost me 500 dollars expensive but I like it.
I think in other country like USA that guitar will be a lower cost.
I learned to use the guitar when I was 14 years old in my school was a class that teach about this instrument, now I have 11 years with my guitar!!

haolejohn
11-09-2010, 05:20 PM
I have a guitar Yamaha its very cool guitar, here in Peru cost me 500 dollars expensive but I like it.
I think in other country like USA that guitar will be a lower cost.
I learned to use the guitar when I was 14 years old in my school was a class that teach about this instrument, now I have 11 years with my guitar!!

That's nice...But we need to get you an ukulele. You see, it is a lot better than a guitar. It has 4 strings, and you have 4 fingers:)

UncleElvis
11-09-2010, 05:22 PM
I think it came from Tupac or Biggie.

Oh, then it must be true! Sorry... my bad!

How DARE we THINK about purchasing from them! We now have definitive proof! *grin*

haolejohn
11-09-2010, 05:26 PM
Oh, then it must be true! Sorry... my bad!

How DARE we THINK about purchasing from them! We now have definitive proof! *grin*

That statement blew me away. I prefer Taylor to Martin but I wonder where he is getting his info from?? and why no one else had heard it before?

70sSanO
11-10-2010, 05:18 AM
Back to the Martin at hand...

This is an interesting thread.

From a number of posts I have surfed, it does not appear that Martin lets any blems or seconds out of the factory, even to employees. They let parts out, but not complete guitars.

They did a have an auction through Christies in 2008 to sell off 50 duplicate prototypes they had. From the video, they did not have serial numbers; so perhaps prototypes are nonserial numbered Martins. The proceeds went to a nonprofit Martin charitable foundation... possibly the families of the employees they killed or towns in Sweden, as an, "Oops were sorry," but they were not specific.

If I were you I would contact the people on the Martin Guitar Forum, if anyone would know if it the guitar is real, they would...

http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.yuku.com/

Good luck and it does sound cool!

John

Skitzic
11-10-2010, 05:49 AM
Back to the Martin at hand...

This is an interesting thread.

From a number of posts I have surfed, it does not appear that Martin lets any blems or seconds out of the factory, even to employees. They let parts out, but not complete guitars.

They did a have an auction through Christies in 2008 to sell off 50 duplicate prototypes they had. From the video, they did not have serial numbers; so perhaps prototypes are nonserial numbered Martins. The proceeds went to a nonprofit Martin charitable foundation... possibly the families of the employees they killed or towns in Sweden, as an, "Oops were sorry," but they were not specific.

If I were you I would contact the people on the Martin Guitar Forum, if anyone would know if it the guitar is real, they would...

http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.yuku.com/

Good luck and it does sound cool!

John

Thanks for the link! I'll see what they have to say then update.

Pippin
11-10-2010, 06:03 AM
I did a search on AltaVista with this string of characters: "Martin" + "Goya" + "Pinkerton" + "Guitar" + "Sweden" -shutter island (the last variable removed references to "Shutter Island" which were off topic). After some 14 pages of links, nothing was related to the "incident" in question.

If ever it were posted on the Internet, my query would have found it. Sounds like a dubious story to me.

Skitzic
11-10-2010, 06:05 AM
Thanks for the link! I'll see what they have to say then update.

Well, I'd love to post over there...but I can't post the topic. I joined yuku and all that and it's just not working. Stupid internet.

LoMa
11-10-2010, 06:27 AM
The going used price for the less expensive versions of this guitar is around $750 - $850. Strange that it doesn't have a serial number. I would write to Martin, give them the approximate date the guitar was made, and aske them if they made any prototypes without serial numbers. They are good about answering such things, and will generally send you the factory specs for the instrument. But write to Msartin before you buy the isntrument, I think, unless you like it so much and don't vare that it might be counterfeit.

The litle 5 size Martins are nice little guitars, but note that the string spacing at the nut and saddle is really narrow!!!! Be sure you're good with that if you go for the trade. It would be a quite a transition from uke string spacing or from OM spacing or even from dread spacing! It's too narrow for me to play comfortably, though it's probably more comfortable for strummers adn some flatpickers. But even with a flatpick, I like more room at the saddle!

The tone is also something you'd have to get used to I think. It's pretty boxy. If you want to tune to standard tuning you need mediums, If you want terz tuning, use lights. I think this guitar sounds best with Nashville tuning (the other half of the strings from a 12 string guitar - the octaves) because then it doesn't have to try to get out those low notes. It can sing then!

You can probably tell, not my favorite guitar, and I passed on several of them. I wanted to like them, but really don;t. But lots of floks to dig them!

LoMa
11-10-2010, 06:34 AM
Well, I'd love to post over there...but I can't post the topic. I joined yuku and all that and it's just not working. Stupid internet.

You have to apply to get into the Martin forum. Go to the test section and try to reply to a thread. That will give you an application form to apply to join the forum. They generally get back to you in 24 hours.

Mandarb
11-10-2010, 06:39 AM
From a number of posts I have surfed, it does not appear that Martin lets any blems or seconds out of the factory, even to employees. They let parts out, but not complete guitars.

I agree. Last year I met Dick Boak, Director of Martin Guitar Artist and Limited Editions. He gave a presentation on Martin Guitar History and his role in developing guitars with various artists such as Eric Clapton. He is a really cool guy with an interesteing history. My understanding is that every guitar leaves the shop with a serial number and employees are offered discounts on guitars not blems or seconds. Here is a link to dating your guitar from Martin's website.... http://www.martinguitar.com/history/dating.html. Here is the page from their customer service department.... http://www.martinguitar.com/history/dating.html.

Skitzic
11-10-2010, 07:55 AM
You have to apply to get into the Martin forum. Go to the test section and try to reply to a thread. That will give you an application form to apply to join the forum. They generally get back to you in 24 hours.

Thanks for the tip! I never would have figured that out.

Also, thanks for the information!

70sSanO
11-10-2010, 08:55 AM
Here's a link to the video on Martin's auction of prototypes...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUpUMcQ9Amg

Pretty interesting stuff

At 2:05 there is a person who notes that they are rare because there are no serial numbers.

One other thing... Martin, like other companies, closely guards their headstock logo and I would think there has to be an official Martin decal or inlay on the headstock of the 5-15 for it to be real, even a prototype. I do know that making a knock-off decal is possible, but if someone forges one I imagine Martin will pursue some avenue... Pinkerton?

John

Skitzic
11-10-2010, 04:11 PM
I posted in the Martin forum.

Here are some of the photos I was sent.

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn5/Skitzic/Martin/th_IMG_0223.jpg (http://s300.photobucket.com/albums/nn5/Skitzic/Martin/?action=view&current=IMG_0223.jpg)http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn5/Skitzic/Martin/th_IMG_0225.jpg (http://s300.photobucket.com/albums/nn5/Skitzic/Martin/?action=view&current=IMG_0225.jpg)
http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn5/Skitzic/Martin/th_IMG_0227.jpg (http://s300.photobucket.com/albums/nn5/Skitzic/Martin/?action=view&current=IMG_0227.jpg)http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn5/Skitzic/Martin/th_IMG_0228.jpg (http://s300.photobucket.com/albums/nn5/Skitzic/Martin/?action=view&current=IMG_0228.jpg)

Missing a good shot of the headstock and the paper in the sound hole, but I plan to examine those closely at our meeting on Saturday.

Skitzic
11-10-2010, 04:44 PM
Wow, they post fast over there...

So far the unofficial Martin crew believes it to be genuine. Interesting...

Papi
11-10-2010, 05:40 PM
Very much agree witht he comment about the narrow 1-11/16" nut. This very cramped string spacing if you are used to a uke. Some can go back and forth but not me.

The other thing I would be concerned about is if this has had a steady diet of medium guage strings (.13-.56). In my experience the M, 1, 15, 16 series guitars are lighter braced and apparently the neck set is more delicate and quickly gets whacky. I have a 16 and 15 series 000, both 5-6 yars old in need of neck resets. Soo.... sight down the neck from the headstock and make sure the fretboard does not fall much below the top of the bridge. If it does.... I would be concerned.

Doug

Skitzic
11-11-2010, 02:29 AM
Thank you for that information. I planned to inspect the neck anyway, but now I'll really make sure I spend some time on it.

bt93
11-11-2010, 11:37 AM
I've played this guitar and absolutely loved it. it was the perfect size for me.

70sSanO
11-11-2010, 02:24 PM
1-11/16 is no narrower than an electric and some acoustics.

I'd check the neck to make sure that the action is not really high, another good indication of a needing a neck set. I'm not sure I'd run .13's on this type of guitar. A friend of mine plays bluegrass and he uses 13's on his D-28. Probably 11's would be fine.

Good luck with your decision... it is a sweet guitar, comes with a hardshell case, unless it has issues I doubt you'll have to worry about losing money.

John

Skitzic
11-14-2010, 08:58 AM
So I met with the guy today. He seemed like he wanted to know what he was talking about...but I think he was full of hot air. I got this huge speech about how Martin is 'unique because they book match their wood' then explained what book matching was. When I said pretty much everyone book matches...he just looked at me. Anyway...

No head stock logo, no stamp in the body...so I did much soul searching in the parking lot of that mall. He swore up and down it came from an in house Martin sale.

I ended up taking the trade, even though I question the authenticity of the instrument. It looks nice, sounds great, and I only wanted $300 for the uke.

I took a few better photos.

body (http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn5/Skitzic/Martin/IMG_0203.jpg)
paper (http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn5/Skitzic/Martin/IMG_0204.jpg)
headstock (http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn5/Skitzic/Martin/IMG_0205.jpg)
size comparison next to a Utar and a tenor (http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn5/Skitzic/Martin/IMG_0206.jpg)

It gets really nice sound. The thing rings for days. In the next few days I'm going to swap the strings out to lights and tune it up. Right now it's in standard tuning. I may try to take it to a Martin dealer to see if I was bamboozled, but for now I'm happy with it.

Skitzic
11-14-2010, 09:50 AM
Update: the guys on the Martin forum believe it to be genuine.

Teek
11-14-2010, 10:06 AM
Yeehaw for you! Congratulations!

Papi
11-14-2010, 10:11 AM
You might try two things....

1. Take a small mirror and look inside the soundhole under the top to see if there are any ID notes, dates, etc...
2. Call Martin Customer service 610.759.2837 . I believe "Cheryl" (if memory serves me) is the person who can provide hostorical data and usually can provide the insder info about the "oddities".

Another note..... when the 15 series first came out, many Martin "traditionalists" where unhappy with the headstock decal and rosette decal. I have heard of a few people polising the decal out....but if it has been removed, the headstock should have a poslihed sheen if this is the case.

NOTE: After seeing the inside label and the bridge.... I do agree it looks authentic !Doug

Anton K
11-14-2010, 11:13 AM
I am not gonna hijack the thread either. All I am gonna say is "history is written by the victorious". And smile for the dead truth when I say it.

harpdog
11-14-2010, 01:03 PM
By looks, I'd say it's legit. You did good.

PM me if you want to sell........

Skitzic
11-14-2010, 04:35 PM
Thanks for the info all!

The guys on the Martin forum seem to agree that it's authentic, and something 'really special.'

The guy has been emailing me all day, and he seems to be really enjoying the Lanikai. I still feel like I ripped him off a bit, but I was very clear and he knew what he was getting...so I can sleep easy.