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bildio
08-25-2013, 12:15 AM
I wanted a Martin Baritone Ukulele for my first uke, but got some new(er) ukes instead. Anyway, I'm always on the lookout for one, particularly on UU & eBay.

This one showed up on eBay (item number:161093270554). The first thing that stuck me was that it has a tie-on, i.e., not pin, bridge, & therefore must be a tenor. The seller explains that a book on Martin ukes indicates that it could be a prototype or one of the first three baritones made by Martin.

I like the Martin baritone peg style, so I'll pass on this one.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=161093270554

mm stan
08-25-2013, 12:37 AM
http://www.geocities.com/~ukulele/martin2.html

coolkayaker1
08-25-2013, 03:30 AM
he's charging like a prototype, too. 1700 is the highest ive ever seen for a martin bari. crasi!

tenors and baris have pins. although the tie end might, might mogt be a prototype, if it was, it was a failed design lol

allanr
08-25-2013, 06:29 AM
I don't like the looks of that bridge. I don't think it's original. I'd like a photo of the underside to see if there are bridge pin holes. It could be a later repair to a damaged uke.

If it is a prototype in that condition the price may be justified. But I'd sure as heck want proof.

coolkayaker1
08-25-2013, 06:34 AM
I don't like the looks of that bridge. I don't think it's original. I'd like a photo of the underside to see if there are bridge pin holes. It could be a later repair to a damaged uke.

If it is a prototype in that condition the price may be justified. But I'd sure as heck want proof.

I agree with Allan. And I also agree, that's likely a bridge replacement. One way to tell in person would be to look inside with a dental mirror...if there are four now empty holes where the bridge pins originally went through the soundboard, then it's a replaced bridge.

ADDENDUM: The eBay seller has updated the description to say it has larger fret dots and is one of 3 protos. He references Walsh King book. I don;t have access to my book at the moment. Does the book say there were three protos with a tie bridge, larger fret dots and those particular tuners? He tells the page in Walsh/King

Tigeralum2001
08-25-2013, 07:44 AM
I am thinking of selling my Baritone... I may need to take it to a shop and get them to change the bridge for me so I can add an extra ~$700 to the price. I kid, I kid...

bildio
08-25-2013, 07:57 AM
I am thinking of selling my Baritone... I may need to take it to a shop and get them to change the bridge for me so I can add an extra ~$700 to the price. I kid, I kid...

Then you can sell me the bridge :) since that's what attracts me to the Martin baritone.

hmgberg
08-25-2013, 07:59 AM
Yes, the first three baritones made by Martin, in 1960, had tie bridges a some larger dot position markers. There is a picture if one on p. 167. The Ebay uke appears to be one of them.

Dan Uke
08-25-2013, 08:03 AM
Yes, the first three baritones made by Martin, in 1960, had tie bridges a some larger dot position markers. There is a picture if one on p. 167. The Ebay uke appears to be one of them.

Thanks Howard...It's good to hear from an expert....that's why I always PM you when I have a question about Martins....I bet there's a dozen people who do the same. :)

allanr
08-25-2013, 08:06 AM
I gotta feeling that the seller is reading this thread, which is great.

For an item like this provenance is crucial. Hopefully he will be able to provide that photo of the inside, or some other evidence that the bridge is original.

If it is original, then, WOW! If it isn't, it's still a lovely uke. Just not worth anything close to the asking price. (IMHO)

allanr
08-25-2013, 09:03 AM
Yes, the first three baritones made by Martin, in 1960, had tie bridges a some larger dot position markers. There is a picture if one on p. 167. The Ebay uke appears to be one of them.

I must have been finger pecking out my previous post on my iPhone when this was posted!
Nice to know that the uke is in fact most likely original.

jackwhale
08-25-2013, 11:56 AM
I thought the 'made in USA' was added to the inside stamp after 1966. If my memory is correct on this, the uke was one of the later baritones.

Tim Mullins
08-25-2013, 12:55 PM
I thought the 'made in USA' was added to the inside stamp after 1966. If my memory is correct on this, the uke was one of the later baritones.

The Made in USA stamp started in 1960.

BlackBearUkes
08-25-2013, 01:14 PM
Well, if its the real deal, I'm sure the owner would be happy to take a small mirror and inspect the inside for bridge pin holes. It would only enhance his belief that it is worth $1700, which in my opinion it isn't. I would prefer the bridge pins.

Eyeguy
08-25-2013, 03:29 PM
Whether or not this uke is worth $1700 is ultimately up to the market to decide, but in my opinion the additional cost being asked is simply because of the rarity of this model with it's larger dots and tie bridge. The fact that some folks prefer pin bridges to tie bridges is another matter altogether. Generally speaking, one of a kind instruments. i.e. Martin employee models, generate higher prices than one in a thousand clones. This uke being one of three total does theoretically add additional value in some folks' eyes, and I get that, but at least in my eyes, the differences are not enough in and of themselves to having me jumping at it at that price. If somebody decides to buy it for it's relative uniqueness, I can understand that too.

BTW, It does have a Make An Offer option.

coolkayaker1
08-25-2013, 07:07 PM
As a long time eBayer, if anyone is considering this ukulele, asking through eBay about the inside dental mirror exam from the seller is key. Why? It documents that he has looked, and verified to you, the buyer, before you bid, that there are no bridge pin holes. If you later find out differently when it's "in hand", all messages are saved at eBay. Refund claim becomes a slam dunk.

This is really a key tip for anything you buy--if you want to document something before you buy, just ask the seller in a message. Boom--he's now on the hook. lol

Well, you all sure are knowledgeable like detectives. That old Martin Forum thread was a fun read. Hard to judge the value of this prototype, that's for sure. Let's see what the market says. Fun!

SonSprinter
08-25-2013, 07:29 PM
About six months back I saw an old Martin baritone ukulele at Good Guys Music (on Kapahulu Avenue, in Honolulu, Hawaii). We compared the sound to a brand new baritone with a cut out and high gloss, just to show me what was the big thing about the Martins. I was amazed at how much better the Martin sounded. I think it was an old/used Martin baritone, for which they were asking $1,000.

http://www.goodguysmusic.com/

peewee
08-26-2013, 06:13 AM
http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.yuku.com/topic/123803/Martin-baritone-with-tieon-bridge
this is a link to a similar discussion from 2011, with some photos.

Username on Martin forum is same as ebay name, so there's some degree of provenance for you. It's the same instrument.

coolkayaker1
08-26-2013, 01:05 PM
Username on Martin forum is same as ebay name, so there's some degree of provenance for you. It's the same instrument.
Clever, peewee.

hmgberg
08-26-2013, 02:04 PM
Huh! It also appears that I noticed the larger dots back then as well. I had forgotten about it.

JB in Alabama
08-26-2013, 04:20 PM
The knowledge on this forum blows my mind!
I hope you get it!