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View Full Version : Vintage Martin 0 On The Way....



grownupboy
09-12-2011, 01:09 PM
Been playing a Collings tenor for the past year or so and have been pining for a soprano the whole time. Broke down and ordered a 1964 Martin 0 and it's on the way to me. YAY!

Any vintage 0 owners out there? I'm going to be looking for a case that fits my little guy snug... also wouldn't mind hearing your collective opinions on different strings and how you like 'em on your vintage 0.

I know, only I can pick the strings that are right for me... bla bla bla. But it would be awesome to hear from existing vintage 0 owners on both of these subjects!

karl

hmgberg
09-12-2011, 02:03 PM
I have 3 vintage Martins, including a 60's O. I like Worth clear medium strings on mine. I've tried many other strings as well, including Aquilas and Martins. I prefer fluorocarbons, particularly on the mahogany ukuleles. Aquilas are nice on the koa, but I'm not sure that I necessarily prefer them. Worth hard tension strings are louder and provide a bit more sustain than the medium tension Worths, but they are hard on the fingers and the Martins are plenty loud anyway.

One of the Martins is in a Gator case, the other two are in Fremont cases. I like the Fremont cases; they are rectangular, have a large storage compartment and you can easily fit a ckip-on hygrometer on the lid. Fremont cases come in black or tweed. I have one of each. The tweed looks nicer, but it smelled bad (out gassing) for a while.

Enjoy your Martin!

zac987
09-12-2011, 02:22 PM
I've got a '60s Martin 0. It's my favorite ukulele out of all of mine. I never thought I'd like playing a soprano so much, but it's very easy to play and has a wonderful tone. I'm currently using Aquilas, but I think I'll try Martins after this. I'm using the original case because it's very well padded.

RyanMFT
09-12-2011, 03:13 PM
I have a 40's Martin style 0, and it is wonderful. As far as cases, I use a Kala tweed hard case, it fits perfectly. I had Aquilas on it, but they were just too loud and plunky. I put some Martin fluorocarbons on it, and they really ring. I'm using Martin on most of my vintage uke's now and they sound great.

Enjoy your uke, and post pictures when you get it!

Chris Tarman
09-12-2011, 04:41 PM
I don't have an 0, but I have a 1 and a 2. I use Martin M600s on both and they sound great. The Style 2 had Aquilas when I bought it, and it sounded ok with them, but really sounded a lot better with the Martins. The Aquilas were loud and brash, but, as noted above, Martins are already plenty loud. The Martin strings really brought out some subtle overtones that the Aquilas didn't.
As far as cases, I have my Style 2 in a Kala Tweed case (I believe it's a Kala at least), which fits it well, but is maybe a touch too big. The Style 1 is in a Guardian Vintage case that I bought from Amazon (NOT the one with the cheap hygrometer in the lid). It fits it VERY well, and even looks like a vintage case.

grownupboy
09-13-2011, 04:11 AM
thanks for the replies!

hmgberg - how snug is the fit in the gator case? that's one that i've considered because it's made in canada (my home and native land!).

thanks for your help!
k

hmgberg
09-13-2011, 06:51 AM
thanks for the replies!

hmgberg - how snug is the fit in the gator case? that's one that i've considered because it's made in canada (my home and native land!).

thanks for your help!

k

I wouldn't call it snug. I've measured it just now and there is about 1/4" of play in the body cavity both from side to side and top to bottom. This isn't really enough, in my opinion, to adversely affect the protection the case provides. It is snug front to back when the lid is closed. I think it is generally a good case. You can put some extra padding in yourself if you want to pack it tight for transport. For storage, I'm fairly certain it's fine the way it is.

grownupboy
09-14-2011, 04:38 AM
thanks hmgberg,

just checked canadapost and my vintage 0 is sitting in customs. hoping to have it by tomorrow - i'll post some pics as soon as it arrives!

k

Jnobianchi
09-14-2011, 06:08 AM
I have 3 vintage Martins, including a 60's O. I like Worth clear medium strings on mine. I've tried many other strings as well, including Aquilas and Martins. I prefer fluorocarbons, particularly on the mahogany ukuleles.

Karl -

I've also got a Martin style 0, 1960, and I've had it since 1992. It's my favorite uke, and like hmgberg above, I use Worth clear mediums on mine. I've also tried Aquila Nylguts, real guts, Martins, La Bellas, and others. The Worths took some getting used to as their lighter gauge than all of the others except the Martins. I like the Worths best of all.

Intonation problems are common with Aquilas and my Martin didn't suffer as much as others' Martins have, but you could still sense problems on the C string. The Worths have been trouble free and the tone is just exceptional.

I use the original pos chipboard case the uke was originally sold with. No problems in 20 years, but I'd either go with a vintage hardshell or a Fremont if I decided to upgrade. :)

Enjoy the uke. I think the 60s Martin 0s are the best value in vintage ukes, with the 30's or 40's-50's Gibson style 1 very close contenders. They're cheap for what they are.

grownupboy
09-15-2011, 03:07 AM
thanks jnobianchi!

unfortunately my uke didn't come with a case - and apparently buying an actual vintage martin uke case of any variety is entirely out of the question! of course, if any uu members have an extra vintage soprano uke case kicking around i'm all ears! hehe...

still looking for a case that has that "perfect" fit for these small body martins. it's going to live in an ohau soprano case for now but (that's what it shipped with) but i'm definitely looking for a better solution.

the uke is still listed as "processed at local delivery facility" by canada post but that's from 12:01 am. fingers crossed it will make it to me today!

new uke days are the best!
k

garyg
09-15-2011, 01:40 PM
I have a 40's 1M and I love Fremont Blacklines on this and on my other ukes. Good intonation, sustain and fairly easy on the fingers.

Nickie
10-04-2011, 08:43 AM
I like the fact that no one on her seems to like to brag or complain about how much they've paid for an ukulele, but I've considered looking for a vintage Martin Concert uke. Before I waste my time, how much should I expect to pay for a playable one?

garyg
10-04-2011, 09:28 AM
Martin concerts are much less common than sopranos so be prepared to pay more. I would google vintage Martin concert ukulele and see what you come up with? YMMV. cheers, g2

allanr
10-04-2011, 09:46 AM
I have a vintage Style 1M from the late 30s. I have tried Aquila Nylgut, Aquila REAL gut, and Worth Browns.

Nylgut: Sounded OK, but a bit too brash & twangy
Real Gut: Sounded absolutely amazing, but were already dead sounding after 6 weeks
Worth Brown: Not as loud as Aquilas, but these little Martins are plenty loud already. They sound beautiful, clear and balanced. They are staying on.

I also have newer S-O uke. I think it sounds its best with Aquilas.

KoaChameleon
10-05-2011, 12:29 PM
I like the fact that no one on her seems to like to brag or complain about how much they've paid for an ukulele, but I've considered looking for a vintage Martin Concert uke. Before I waste my time, how much should I expect to pay for a playable one?

I just bought a pre '62 one last week. it's in really good condition and it cost quite a bit! I keep telling myself "You only live once" Well worth it I reckon.
Thanks for the string info guys, it came with some Aquila's on it. I just ordered some Worth flourocarbons and can't wait to here what they sound like as I haven't tried them before.

hmgberg
10-05-2011, 12:54 PM
Martin concerts are much less common than sopranos so be prepared to pay more. I would google vintage Martin concert ukulele and see what you come up with? YMMV. cheers, g2

If it's in excellent shape, be prepared to pay about $1500.00.

KoaChameleon
10-05-2011, 09:00 PM
If it's in excellent shape, be prepared to pay about $1500.00.

Just did the dollar to pounds conversion.... and you're spot on