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View Full Version : NUD! 1962/1963 Martin 51B - 50 years in a closet unplayed, a great story.



blue_knight_usa
01-30-2014, 09:36 AM
I just received my Martin 51B and wow is it a gem. Came with original case (have no idea who made it, no marking) that is probably an 8.5 out of 10 which for that age was really exciting. Latches are still good with original plastic handle.

https://soundcloud.com/ukulele-jay/1962-1963-martin-baritone Here is it's first voice heard in over 50 years.

The Story (like my 1932 Martin Style 2...a great story): A 95 year old man walks into a guitar shop (I guess you can have a bar in a guitar shop too) and tells the owner he wants to sell his uke because he never played it, and it's been in his closet for over 50 years. He ordered it in 1962 or 1963 from Martin directly. He couldn't remember which year but that narrowed it down. It took him 6 months to get it from Martin. So the owner of the guitar shop took it on consignment.

I caught wind of it, contacted the shop and made an offer. Well, the 95 year old in that short time, passed away. He outlived his son, and so the shop had to deal with the grandson, and he agreed to my price.

This uke is pristine as if Martin made it last week. There is just something special about the Mahogany Martin was using back then and the sound is that rich baritone sound you'd want assuming you don't want to change it to GCEA tuning. I'll be keeping this one DGBE because it's just such a cool sound to me. Maybe one day I'll be motivated to learn baritone chords that equate to my linear and re-entrant tuned ukes, but for now playing solo, won't matter.

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rem50
01-30-2014, 09:40 AM
congrats on the find! Sounds good!

dkcrown
01-30-2014, 10:06 AM
That's great Jay. Now go buy a lottery ticket.

Tuko
01-30-2014, 10:10 AM
Wow - that is very cool. Congrats!

FrankB
01-30-2014, 10:34 AM
I bought a 27' sailboat under very similar conditions, and paid almost nothing for what was a $50,000 boat! I'd love to stumble into a guitar/ukelele deal like you did, so enjoy your good luck.

allanr
01-30-2014, 10:47 AM
Congratulations! What a great find. The uke looks absolutely stunning. Enjoy playing, and owning it.

sonomajazz
01-30-2014, 10:49 AM
Won't believe it until I see it, Jay...give me a call, let's get together.

FR

PhilUSAFRet
01-30-2014, 12:04 PM
Great find....congrats

Edgeguy
01-30-2014, 12:06 PM
Very nice story, congrats. How long was it in the shop before you got it?

blue_knight_usa
01-30-2014, 02:06 PM
That's great Jay. Now go buy a lottery ticket.

That's going to be a "SuperLotto" ticket!

blue_knight_usa
01-30-2014, 02:07 PM
Very nice story, congrats. How long was it in the shop before you got it?

A few days.

UkerDanno
01-30-2014, 02:27 PM
awesome find!!! The equivalent for me, besides finding a mint style 3 concert would be finding a '58 Porsche Speedster in a barn!

TheCraftedCow
01-30-2014, 10:22 PM
If you can play a 0232 G chord shape in GCEA at x787 and recognize it to be the same chord just up an octave, the you will have no problem with a baritone understanding that further down that longer neck that same chord is played by the chord shape you recognize as a 0003 G chord when tuned as GCEA or gCEA. Baritones really loose a lot when strung as gCEA, and even more as GCEA.

Ukejenny
01-31-2014, 03:46 AM
That is incredible - the instrument as well as the story behind it. So glad that gem is finally being played.

cigarfan
01-31-2014, 04:33 AM
Love the story ... must be awesome to pick up a 50 YO uke that looks brand new.

Congrats!

blue_knight_usa
01-31-2014, 05:56 AM
If you can play a 0232 G chord shape in GCEA at x787 and recognize it to be the same chord just up an octave, the you will have no problem with a baritone understanding that further down that longer neck that same chord is played by the chord shape you recognize as a 0003 G chord when tuned as GCEA or gCEA. Baritones really loose a lot when strung as gCEA, and even more as GCEA.

I definitely am going to keep it DGBE as that deep rich sound is something I never expected and I have a large scale John King custom which is GCEA and thus I could always play that. I agree in hearing some samples of GCEA that you loose a lot in keeping that sound. I am not sure my brain can convert that quickly but I am going to try just to expand my knowledge and enjoy that vintage Mahogany tuned to DGBE. Now I have to figure out which strings sound best. I am looking at some EFT 13 flat tops as mine came with some wounds that sound decent but I think could be better with some polished strings. Now that hunt will begin.
Thanks for the tip!

blue_knight_usa
01-31-2014, 05:59 AM
Love the story ... must be awesome to pick up a 50 YO uke that looks brand new.

Congrats!

Makes me smile big! I still can't believe I was lucky enough to get it before someone else did. All about timing and meeting a great person who knew it was going to a good home.