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View Full Version : 'REAL' Martin Ukulele Kit?????



1937Scott
09-17-2012, 06:20 PM
Ok.

Maybe I haven't read the whole 'unofficial Martin Ukulele History'..... but I still have this question:

Did Martin sell 'kit's' of it's ukuleles? If so, when? As in, what years?

Check it out!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Martin-Ukulele-Kit-Uke-/320984378555?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4abc28ecbb

I suppose I could google my question, but I thought I'd get a better one from a fellow UU'er.

Scott

The Big Kahuna
09-17-2012, 07:39 PM
The stamp says "C Y Martin". Looks fake to me.

MisterRios
09-17-2012, 11:40 PM
It could just be camera angle or blurring. I would ask for a better shot of the stamp. Then again, I'd be super suspicious and would probably not even touch it.

That being said, I don't think that the Martin wood necessarily guarantees the Martin sound or quality. The expertise of a luthier is really what makes a few pieces of wood sound great, and it looks like someone who was not really an expert already tried putting it together.

Whoops. Didn't answer the OP: No idea.

hmgberg
09-18-2012, 12:35 AM
It could just be camera angle or blurring. I would ask for a better shot of the stamp. Then again, I'd be super suspicious and would probably not even touch it.

That being said, I don't think that the Martin wood necessarily guarantees the Martin sound or quality. The expertise of a luthier is really what makes a few pieces of wood sound great, and it looks like someone who was not really an expert already tried putting it together.

Whoops. Didn't answer the OP: No idea.

Martin may have sold ukulele kits; they did sell guitar kits, and still do. However, it is true that you have to know what you are doing to make "a few pieces of wood sound great," and whoever started this one didn't know what they were doing. The back is cut too small. Perhaps it could be salvaged with some back binding, but that involves some ability to install. The neck carving isn't looking swell either. I'd steer clear of it, myself.

ukeeku
09-18-2012, 02:23 AM
Martin may have sold ukulele kits; they did sell guitar kits, and still do. However, it is true that you have to know what you are doing to make "a few pieces of wood sound great," and whoever started this one didn't know what they were doing. The back is cut too small. Perhaps it could be salvaged with some back binding, but that involves some ability to install. The neck carving isn't looking swell either. I'd steer clear of it, myself.

My dead give away that it is fake is that martin had no made a dovetail neck joint on a ukulele until 2010 (S1)

1937Scott
09-18-2012, 06:06 AM
Well.

I just spent some time on the phone with the Martin Factory. (As they looked over the 'kit' on ebay.) The Official Word from the Factory is that Martin has NEVER sold ukulele kits... This listing appears that it might possibly be an unfinished uke that was spirited from the factory....and if that's the case someone is going to be in trouble. I was told the listing might be pulled before the auction is finished.

Also of note Ukeeku, is that they told me that Martin has used dovetail neck joints (varying types) since they have been making ukuleles. The 'bolt on' type started with the S-O. I was very specifically told that their ukes have always had dovetail neck joints. The newer ones have a screwed to the neck joint that is then fitted to the block in the body, but they have dis-assembled pre-WWII ukes (on display somewhere) that have dovetails from the neck to the body.

Anyway, I was never interested in buying this, (I am not a luthier and I don't want to build a uke that sounds crappy.) but I am very interested into the veracity of the 'kit' claim. I thought it might be a chance it was real, so I posted it here.

Thanks for the replies and interest...

Scott

icuker
09-18-2012, 07:38 AM
Good research all...nice to see a mystery solved.

PhilUSAFRet
09-18-2012, 10:13 AM
Also, looks like neck/heel has been butchered

1937Scott
09-18-2012, 10:34 AM
And.........

It's gone.

PhilUSAFRet
11-28-2012, 03:09 PM
And.................................

It's Baaaack!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Soprano-Ukulele-Build-Kit-NICE-/281029739463?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item416ead83c7

1937Scott
11-28-2012, 06:50 PM
Interesting. Notice he says, "I'm told it's probably not a real Martin..." Hmmm

Oh, well, good luck.

Scott