View Full Version : vintage Martin tuners, fret dots and decals

03-27-2013, 05:46 AM
Like everyone else here I'm interested in ways to date Martin ukes? I've done a quick search of the archives but can't find answers to these questions so I thought that I'd ask them directly, although feel free to send me a link if they're answered previously and you know where. From a two years of Martin buying and some selling, I've deduced the following. Tuners - pretty damn difficult to date a Martin via tuners - the pre32 ukes seems to have the greatest variation in tuners and I've probably see 3-5 different types of period tuners (barrel, cup, etc.). Some folks say Kluson's were used post WW2 and into the 50's, others say those white butter bean tuners without a barrel base were used only in the 50's, although based on info I've seen I suspect they also were used in the 40's and I've seen a uke dated as late 30's by multiple experts, that had them and not as replacements. Anyone have any firm answers on this? Secondly, is there a definitive answer to the year that Martin went from 5,7,9 fretboard dots on ukes to 5,7,10? Did this vary by uke model? Finally, until I did some searching I didn't realize that you may be able to use the decals to date ukes (maybe because I'm mainly interested in pre32 ukes. Is there a "key" to using decals to date ukes? Thanks, in case you're curious, I'm a player not a collector, and I have a pre 22 1M, a 1K made between 20-22 (both have boxwood nuts and saddles) a mid 20's 1M (dots 5,7,9), and a mid-20's 2M (dots 5,7,9). Thanks for your help, cheers, g2

03-27-2013, 04:21 PM
zero replies??? Are Tarman and Howard hibernating?

03-27-2013, 05:24 PM
Hey Gary, this is pretty interesting....I hope you get some further replies.
I have what i believe to be a late 20's 0 with bar frets, violin tuners (originally, but i never saw them. The evidence is in the peghead splits) no decal and dots at 3,5 and 10. It's had tons of work done on it over the years so some things may have changed, but probably not those identifers.

03-28-2013, 04:45 AM
There's more information at http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.yuku.com/topic/146503/master/1/?page=1#.UVRSnTewWSo apparently lots of information on the web is wrong. Is the Coit a reference to Coit tower? cheers, g2

03-28-2013, 09:47 AM
Thanks for the link, there's lots of good info there. Looks like Martin was like a lot of manufacturers, just makin stuff to sell and doing what they thought was right at that moment regardless of what the future might think. Btw, mine has ebony nut and saddle...
Coit is a name of a long time band/project that started when my friend was in Chicago and I was in Detroit...kind of an elision. "coitius" was kind of part of it,too but only in the literal translation of : "a coming together".