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View Full Version : UAS temptation: Martin S0



bnolsen
12-09-2013, 04:44 PM
Tonight I took my daughter to my brother's place for an overnight there. Near his place is a used instrument store, mostly band instruments. Walked in 10 mins before closing. They have a small climate controlled room. Nothing interesting there, just your typical lanakai, eddy fin, etc stock.

Walking back through the store looking around underneath a counter I saw a small ukulele. Ended up being a blem Martin S0, the serial number was blacked out. That particular one was under the counter awaiting repair for a 2" or so crack along the grain a little below the bridge. The "blem" portion looked like someone at the factory had accidentally hit the edge of the ukulele with a chisel and gouged enough to make a small hole. They have it marked 99USD...the shop paid someone 50usd for it.

Apparently the guy who brought that ukulele in has been in every couple of weeks selling instruments. His dad had died recently and apparently had quite the collection. The guy at the shop said he'd brought in some 1965 blue gibson student guitar, and also some martin backpacker (ukulele?) that's been out of manufacture for a long time.

The guy said they would probably use titebond to fix the crack. He also took my name and number and will call me immediately when it's repaired. I really didn't notice any wear on it.

I'm kicking myself for not taking pictures but the guy was walking out the door while I was talking to him since the store was closed.

Does this seem like a good deal for 99usd?

dismount
12-09-2013, 04:52 PM
bnolsen, play it. you have to like the volume and tone. If so you're getting a solid mahogany uke with martin on it for 100 skins. I have several ukes with cracks, dont seem to affect the sound to me. And you can bang it around, you already have a crack in it!! Phil

bnolsen
12-09-2013, 04:56 PM
bnolsen, play it. you have to like the volume and tone. If so you're getting a solid mahogany uke with martin on it for 100 skins. I have several ukes with cracks, dont seem to affect the sound to me. And you can bang it around, you already have a crack in it!! Phil

the strings were totally detuned waiting for the crack to get fixed. Yup all the dings and stuff definitely make this a player, not a collector. Just been reading up on the martins a bit and yeah, the S0 was only really produced through 1977 so the story seems consistent.

RichM
12-09-2013, 05:05 PM
I've never been a huge fan of this particular model, but I suppose it is a solid wood Martin ukulele. The MAP for these was, I believe, $299 when they were still being made, with a soft case. Checking the last few sales on ebay, it looks like several very good condition S-O's with the case sold for around $185.00. So $99 is a decent price for one that had a bit of misfortune. Play it after it's fixed up and see if you really like it; cheap doesn't count for much if you don't like the uke.

bnolsen
12-14-2013, 02:50 PM
okay update: got a phone call today that the martin was repaired. martin s0 made in mexico, so a newer one. The blemish happened at the factory, they didn't even bother to imprint the headstock with the martin logo. The crack repair was invisible as i expected it would be. It had some gold tuners that had a disc on top of each post and was strung with aquilas.

The martin itself was pretty good. I tuned it up and played it, even brought a tuner with me. Intonation and action good, and when played loud it's LOUD. Very good instrument resonation.

So why didn't I buy it? Partly because I'm not hugely thrilled about hard casing and humidifying a ukulele, the current number already in the shed and most importantly, it wasn't really that much better than what I currently have. but still tempting, i guess.

ScooterD35
12-14-2013, 03:34 PM
I think you were smart not to buy it. There's something not right with their story, Martin does not sell "blems"... ever.

If a Martin instrument gets to final inspection with an issue that can't be made right, they cut it in half on a bandsaw. This is true in the Mexico facility as well as in Nazareth. In the late 80's, I actually watched the Shop Forman cut a D-35 body right down the middle. In fact, for a while in the early 2000s they sold some of the chopped bodies in the 1833 Shop as souvenirs.


Scooter

RichM
12-14-2013, 04:19 PM
I think you were smart not to buy it. There's something not right with their story, Martin does not sell "blems"... ever.

If a Martin instrument gets to final inspection with an issue that can't be made right, they cut it in half on a bandsaw. This is true in the Mexico facility as well as in Nazareth. In the late 80's, I actually watched the Shop Forman cut a D-35 body right down the middle. In fact, for a while in the early 2000s they sold some of the chopped bodies in the 1833 Shop as souvenirs.


Scooter

It's true, I bought half a headstock in the 1833 shop as a gift for a friend-- I think it was $25, well worth it to have bought him a genuine Martin!

bnolsen
12-14-2013, 04:34 PM
thanks guys. interesting about the "blems" not getting out. This looked inside like what I've seen on other pics for bracing, etc. I'm in no hurry.