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View Full Version : New Uke Day: Dave Talsma Custom 3K Concert



RichM
08-15-2014, 10:39 AM
I don't usually post New Uke Days posts, because, if I did, I would take up half the bandwidth of this forum! But today is something pretty special.

For a while now, my dream uke has been a vintage Martin 3K. For my money, the 3K is just about the most beautiful uke design ever created. The fly in the ointment was that I wanted a 3K concert. According to Walsh & King, only 15 3K concerts have ever been made, most of those in the mid-1920's. So on the rare chance that I stumbled across one, the price would likely have been heart-stopping.

About a year an a half ago, UU member MattyDee posted about a great experience he had working with luthier Dave Talsma. In fact, you can still read about it here: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?78171-New-Uke-Day-Talsma-Custom!

Matty's custom was beautiful, and it drove me to Dave's website. His work was wonderful, from the wildest out-of-the-box designs (see Warren Buffet's Dairy Queen uke) to loving replicas of vintage ukes. After seeing the 3M and 3K replicas in his gallery, I was pretty sure I had found the luthier for my 3K concert. After talking with Dave a few times, I knew he was the right guy. And so I joined his build list and began the process of waiting.

That wait ended today, as a breathtakingly gorgeous uke showed up at my door. I am delighted with this ukulele; it is exactly the uke I wanted, and Dave's work is flawless. It is a very close replica of a 3K, with a few exceptions:


Most 3Ks had one piece tops, mine has a bookmatched top (it's easier to do a one-piece top with a soprano!). One could also say it's rare to find a 3K with as much figure as this one.
3Ks has friction tuners, mine has Gotoh UPTs (which look great, don't they?)
Martins have, well, Martin-style bridges, whereas mine has a Talsma-designed string-through bridge. Dave was more than willing to put a Martin-style bridge on it, but I thought it would be nice to have a Talsma touch on a uke that is otherwise a replica.



If anybody is considering a custom, I can't recommend Dave Talsma highly enough. Check out his other work at: http://davetalsma.com/

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3842/14888751606_28d41c585e_o.jpg

guitharsis
08-15-2014, 10:49 AM
It's beautiful! Congrats!

GinnyT11
08-15-2014, 10:51 AM
Okay, Rich, that's why you were selling something not long ago. That is a bee-you-tiful uke! How clever of you to find a way to have it when it seemed impossible to find.

I like Talsma designs on his website. It's great to hear from you and Matt that his work is spectacular.

Dan Uke
08-15-2014, 10:57 AM
Looks great Rich!!

mds725
08-15-2014, 11:04 AM
Beautiful ukulele! Congratulations!

For those interested in seeing more of Dave Talsma's work, here's a link to his website.
http://davetalsma.com/

Jim Hanks
08-15-2014, 11:46 AM
Um, how are you guys seeing it? I still can't see any pictures or add picture attachments since the recent downtime.

Sounds like a stunner and I would love to see it.

Camsuke
08-15-2014, 11:52 AM
What a stunner! Beautiful!!! Congratulations.

RichM
08-15-2014, 11:57 AM
Um, how are you guys seeing it? I still can't see any pictures or add picture attachments since the recent downtime.

Sounds like a stunner and I would love to see it.

Picture attachments still do not seem to be working, but linking to photos still does... for most people, anyway. If you can't see the photos, here is a direct link:

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3842/14888751606_28d41c585e_o.jpg

And thanks for all the kind wishes so far! I'm VERY happy with it!

stevepetergal
08-15-2014, 11:58 AM
Congratulations. Dave's work is as good as it gets.

dkcrown
08-15-2014, 12:15 PM
Congrats Rich. I have always been a fan of Dave's ukes ever since RyRod posted his first video reviews of his way back when. Nice choice.

BlueSockMonkey
08-15-2014, 12:18 PM
Gorgeous! Many congratulations!

PereBourik
08-15-2014, 12:23 PM
Rich that's one tasty looking 'ukulele! How does it sound?

mandrew
08-15-2014, 12:32 PM
Great looking uke. The thing that caught my eye is the diamond on the headstock, which I believe is a trademark of Kamoa Ukulele company. Hope no one has problems over that . . .

RichM
08-15-2014, 12:59 PM
Great looking uke. The thing that caught my eye is the diamond on the headstock, which I believe is a trademark of Kamoa Ukulele company. Hope no one has problems over that . . .

This 1920 Martin 3K begs to differ...

http://ukulelefriend.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/a.-All-other-miscellaneous-photos-CF-Martin-Ukulele-44_-2-580x482.jpg

Jim Hanks
08-15-2014, 01:04 PM
Picture attachments still do not seem to be working, but linking to photos still does.
Maybe it's something to do with mobile it pics don't work on ipad or iPhone but the link worked. Wow! :drool: I'd take that bridge and tuners over an old Martin any day.

(Edit: the old Martin pic shows up fine but not the one in the OP. Strange. And now I can add that the Talsma looks way better than that old Martin too. Double wow.)

TJ Uke
08-15-2014, 01:15 PM
Looks wicked... How does the bridge work?

I'm imagining it like a string-through on an electric guitar, but that can't be it because it's hollow-body with no holes in the back.

lakesideglenn
08-15-2014, 01:36 PM
'Tis a beauty, Rich...let's hear it!
cheers!

PhilUSAFRet
08-15-2014, 01:39 PM
:iwant:.............................:drool:

RichM
08-15-2014, 01:59 PM
Rich that's one tasty looking 'ukulele! How does it sound?

Like a thousand angel singing in the heavens...

.... or tight and focused and sweet, like a really good koa uke. :)


(Edit: the old Martin pic shows up fine but not the one in the OP. Strange. And now I can add that the Talsma looks way better than that old Martin too. Double wow.)

I think so, too, but to be fair, the Martin has had over 90 years of hard use, while the Talsma was born yesterday. :)


Looks wicked... How does the bridge work?

I'm imagining it like a string-through on an electric guitar, but that can't be it because it's hollow-body with no holes in the back.

The strings feed in the top of the bridge and go into the body of the uke. The end of the string naturally curves up through the soundhole where you can put a knot or two in it (or a bead on it) to hold it in.


'Tis a beauty, Rich...let's hear it!
cheers!

Oh, there will be sound files posted... don't you worry about that :)

RichM
08-15-2014, 02:01 PM
:iwant:.............................:drool:

Call Dave... he'll make you one!

dsummers
08-15-2014, 02:05 PM
What a beaut!!! I have a beautiful Dave Talsma concert size vita style uke with redwood top, Cuban mahogany b/s and MISI pu open headstock and micro Gotoh tuners. It plays like butter with a superb sound. Working with Mr. Talsma was flawless.

Ukejenny
08-16-2014, 05:51 AM
Achingly beautiful. Love the wood, the appointments, and the bridge. Home run and then some...

RichM
08-16-2014, 06:09 AM
Achingly beautiful. Love the wood, the appointments, and the bridge. Home run and then some...

Thanks, Jenny! Believe it or not, it looks better in person-- the flame in the koa is so complex, it's hard to capture it in a photo.

Skinny Money McGee
08-16-2014, 10:01 AM
Would love to have a concert size in mahogany.

And your right, Kamoa lifted that diamond design from Martin, and has the nerve to insinuate they have it trademarked. Martin preceded them by 80 years.

chefuke
08-16-2014, 10:13 AM
Would love to have a concert size in mahogany.

And your right, Kamoa lifted that diamond design from Martin, and has the nerve to insinuate they have it trademarked. Martin preceded them by 80 years.

Not quite - Lyon and Healy / Washburn used the diamond too -

Skinny Money McGee
08-16-2014, 10:37 AM
Not quite - Lyon and Healy / Washburn used the diamond too -

Not quite what? Kamoa lifted the design idea from Lyon & Healy's washburn model? Martin? or both? doesn't much matter. Kamoa was preceded by 80+ years with the diamond headstock inlay.

chefuke
08-16-2014, 10:43 AM
Not quite what? Kamoa lifted the design idea from Lyon & Healy's washburn model? Martin? or both? doesn't much matter. Kamoa was preceded by 80+ years with the diamond headstock inlay.

The image of the 3 k martin with the diamond appears to be a custom job - washburns diamond trade mark is used by kamoa - kamoa was a branch of the modern day washburn hence they could trade mark it.

chefuke
08-16-2014, 10:52 AM
Sorry my memory betrayed me - i checked for a kamoa/ washburn link now and could not find one. Someone else might know more about this?

Skinny Money McGee
08-16-2014, 10:57 AM
The image of the 3 k martin with the diamond appears to be a custom job - washburns diamond trade mark is used by kamoa - kamoa was a branch of the modern day washburn hence they could trade mark it.

The 1920 Martin 3k headstock diamond is not a custom job. Martin stopped inlaying that diamond on ukes around 1921.

RichM
08-16-2014, 11:03 AM
The diamond, or "kite-shaped" inlay appeared on Martin Style 3 ukuleles from 1916 through 1920. The same is true of Style 3 ukes made by Martin for Ditson during the same time period.

chefuke
08-16-2014, 11:21 AM
Thank you for presenting these interesting facts.

Doc_J
08-16-2014, 11:32 AM
https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3842/14888751606_28d41c585e_o.jpg

Rich, that's a great looking uke. Dave nailed the 3K look. Thanks for sharing your joy.

Can't wait to hear you play it.