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Thread: NUD: Meet Marty.

  1. #11
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    Apr 2015
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    California
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    Ooooh! Lovely looking ukulele.

  2. #12
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    Nov 2011
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    NSW AUSTRALIA Post Ceiling 5,000
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    Congratulations Coolkay, what a beauty! Any chance of a SOUND SAMPLE PLEASE?
    All the best,
    Campbell


    YouTube Videos & Tabs
    https://www.youtube.com/user/camsuke

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    395

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    Congratulations Coolkay. That looks like a style 3 Martin. Your initial description reads like a short story. What year is your Martin? Is there a club for vintage Martin owners?

    Tony
    Ukuleles: yes, three.

  4. #14
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    Sep 2011
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    Thanks so much for the shout out, all.

    It's circa 1929-ish. I don't have a sound sample, but it sounds lovely (I'm one of those who think most vintage Martins sound the same, to be honest--lol. But Koa does sound different than Hog). I have other Martins, but never found the right price for a Martin 3 Koa. That is the key, the Koa. This one was sort of a hole in my collection as I have Koa Style 1 and Style 2 vintage Martins already. Anyhow, finally, it came to pass. From an online seller in HI, actually. Great price, and no missing teeth. lol And the case is true to the era, too (which is uncommon). It's all about patience with finding the right vintage uke at the right price. And, no, Daniel, no Martin 5K in my plans ever. Saving that purchase for you. :-)

    Anyhow, I'm far from an expert on Martin ukuleles (my complete body of knowledge on dating and such comes from Walsh & King), but I have a feel for the market on these from buying and selling quite a few. If anyone is eyeing one and wants two cents, PM me anytime. (And that's about what my opinion is worth--maybe three cents when I'm fully awake and thinking with both halves of my brain).

    Thanks again for the eyeballs and kindness, friends.
    Last edited by coolkayaker1; 05-28-2015 at 05:19 PM.

  5. #15
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    May 2014
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    Interesting comment about most vintage Martins sounding the same, coolkayaker1. I have been told the same thing. Apparently, it doesn't matter (when purchasing mid-20s Martin ukuleles, whether you are buying a style 0,1,2,3, or 5, the "good" ones all have "the sound" and the rest is a matter of "bling" (increasing with the number). However, not all Martins from that era have "the sound". The same is true of vintage Martin guitars. The "pre-war" Martin guitars are highly desirable. Gruhn Guitars in Nashville (George Gruhn) is generally considered to be a major (if not THE) authority on vintage guitars. He wrote an interesting article about how many guitar players have gotten bitten by the "vintage bug" and want most anything vintage. Such customers, having never encountered a vintage Martin, will play some of what he has in stock at any given moment and become disillusioned because only one or two, or none will measure up to the hype surrounding these instruments. He said that when you find a good one, it really does live up to the hype, but finding a good one is the key.

    I have only encountered one vintage Martin, the one I own. I compared it to the new Martin 2K and other sopranos by higher end builders that were in stock, and it just sang by comparison. These other sopranos sounded great, but this one had a roundness, especially in the mid range that none of the others had. The highs seemed different and more full too. The result was that it sounded much less "plinky" than the other sopranos. That may be purely a factor of age, I really don't know. I don't intend to beomce a collector, but just wanted one soprano that fit my ideal sound, and that one was it.

    Regarding the case, mine came with the original case in good shape too (1925 Martin 2K) and is all original, as is the ukulele. I have been told that having that case is unusual, as you mentioned in your post. I don't think completeness like this comes around very often, but I could be wrong about ukuleles. I know that in vintage guitars, it is quite rare in the older pre-war Martins. Usually, there is refinishing, crack repairs, replaced tuners, replaced bridges, or whatever.

    I am going by what I have been told by knowledgeable people, rather than from first hand experience regarding ukuleles. Until I have seen a number of these vintage ukuleles, I won't be able to say from first hand experience. I have had quite a bit of exposure to vintage Martin guitars, but only owned one - a 1927 0-17, which I did not care much for and sold not too long after buying it.

    Tony
    Ukuleles: yes, three.

  6. #16
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    Excellent observations on Martin ukes and guitars, Tony. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    My experience agrees with your notion that all styles, regardless of "bling", sound very similar. I have read, and heard, that the Martin 3s, for instance, were made by the pre-eminent ukulele luthiers at Martin (sort of like Casey Kamaka-built K ukes versus production line), and from choice woods. Well, I cannot tell the difference between them based on either workmanship (e.g. stray glue, loose builds, warpage, etc.) or based on sound. So, yep, agree: unless one is a collector, no reason to spring for more bling. Perhaps one exception to this, now that I ponder, is resale. I believe the higher Styles will command more resale value in future markets over, say, a Style 0. There are just so darn many of the O's. For example, in 1925 (looking at Walsh/King book), Martin made only 780 of your 2Ks (wow, nice uke, Tony!), but made 7032 Style O Mahogany sopranos!!

    To your point about new Martin ukes versus vintage, I couldn't agree more. For instance, sticking with your example, I own two new Martin 2K models (different only in Koa figuring) and they are not comparable to the older Koa Martins--the older ones are louder, more full ranged (as you say), and have more jangle and sustain. Why? I've always attributed it to the dryness of the vintage wood. I could be dead wrong. lol

    I would consider a Martin 000 vintage if the right one were to come along. I know little about guitars in general, although my interest has recently peaked for no apparent reason whatsoever. lol. Haven't even been listening to Clapton or anything. Weird.

    So, Tony, you have started at the top with that vintage 2K. As I see it, you now need a 3K, 1K, 0M, 1M, 2M, 3M (nongdam will eventually buy that 5K, so we can live though him on that one) and your collection will be complete. You are only 6 measly ukes away from having the set!
    Last edited by coolkayaker1; 05-29-2015 at 04:01 AM.
    Martin Sopranos: 0M: 30, 64 ---
    1M: 22Dit, 23Dit, 24Dit, 49, 55--1K 26
    2M: 22, 23Dit, 23Dit, 49, 60, 12 --- 2K: 25, 12
    3M: 25, 48, 55x2, 12(ch) 3K: 29
    The Gibsons: Styles 2&3 28;1&2&3x3 27;UB1 25
    Tonk American 28; Favilla 55; Smeck Vita 30; Kamaka Gold Deluxe 60
    Kiwaya Thinline KS-0P Soprano; Gretsch American 30
    Covered Bridge Honduran Hog tenor
    Pono Maple Tenor, BE Acacia Bari & MS Sop

  7. #17
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    May 2014
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    395

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolkayaker1 View Post
    Excellent observations on Martin ukes and guitars, Tony. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    My experience agrees with your notion that all styles, regardless of "bling", sound very similar. I have read, and heard, that the Martin 3s, for instance, were made by the pre-eminent ukulele luthiers at Martin (sort of like Casey Kamaka-built K ukes versus production line), and from choice woods. Well, I cannot tell the difference between them based on either workmanship (e.g. stray glue, loose builds, warpage, etc.) or based on sound. So, yep, agree: unless one is a collector, no reason to spring for more bling. Perhaps one exception to this, now that I ponder, is resale. I believe the higher Styles will command more resale value in future markets over, say, a Style 0. There are just so darn many of the O's. For example, in 1925 (looking at Walsh/King book), Martin made only 780 of your 2Ks (wow, nice uke, Tony!), but made 7032 Style O Mahogany sopranos!!

    To your point about new Martin ukes versus vintage, I couldn't agree more. For instance, sticking with your example, I own two new Martin 2K models (different only in Koa figuring) and they are not comparable to the older Koa Martins--the older ones are louder, more full ranged (as you say), and have more jangle and sustain. Why? I've always attributed it to the dryness of the vintage wood. I could be dead wrong. lol

    I would consider a Martin 000 vintage if the right one were to come along. I know little about guitars in general, although my interest has recently peaked for no apparent reason whatsoever. lol. Haven't even been listening to Clapton or anything. Weird.

    So, Tony, you have started at the top with that vintage 2K. As I see it, you now need a 3K, 1K, 0M, 1M, 2M, 3M (nongdam will eventually buy that 5K, so we can live though him on that one) and your collection will be complete. You are only 6 measly ukes away from having the set!
    Having a full collection of vintage Martin ukuleles would be great - for a true collector. While I think that would be fun, what I wanted was one soprano whose sound I could enjoy. My collection consists of one tenor, one concert, and one soprano. I think more than that would become redundant for me, but probably not for others. However, each of my three ukuleles is higher end and very nice to play and look at. I will probably not become a collector because I don't want to spend the money and it would be a hassle keeping all those ukuleles from cracking in the winter. However, if somebody around here had such a collection, I would really enjoy seeing it (being a "vicarious" collector).

    Tony
    Ukuleles: yes, three.

  8. #18
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    Dec 2009
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    Sahweeeeeeet, and ha ha ha ha ha ha Steve. How do you come up with this stuff? Are alcohol or drugs involved?

  9. #19
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    Steve don't need no substance for his witty sense of humor but if he did use, just think how warped it would be. Lol. My offer of 50% still stands Steve!!

  10. #20
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    Sep 2011
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    Central IL & Fox Valley, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkcrown View Post
    Sahweeeeeeet, and ha ha ha ha ha ha Steve. How do you come up with this stuff? Are alcohol or drugs involved?
    Quote Originally Posted by nongdam View Post
    Steve don't need no substance for his witty sense of humor but if he did use, just think how warped it would be. Lol. My offer of 50% still stands Steve!!
    You gentlemen slay me, you really do. And, knowing that you are both long time UUers, and recognizing that I have now tallied as many UU posts as you both combined, I've just this second decided that I need to get a life.

    So, my little old uke and my little bag of Quaaludes and I are going off to a mountain somewhere to eat mushrooms and watch a sunset.

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