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Thread: Help with deciding on a vintage Martin

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Default Help with deciding on a vintage Martin

    I'm looking into adding a vintage Martin soprano to my uke collection but I'm having trouble deciding on which one. I've found one 1920s style 0, one 1950s style 1 and one 1950s style 2, all around the same price point. Now, I don't care that much about the looks, i.e., style, of the instrument but I have read that the pre-war ukes are the most sought after. Then again, the 1950s ones seem to be in better condition. Any thoughts on which I should go for? Obviously it would be best to try them myself but unfortunately that is out of the question in my case, which is why I'm asking for opinions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Saratoga, CA
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    With vintages, waiting and getting the one you want is the way to go. They vary quite a bit not just based on when they were made.
    I was able to get style 3k and style 3m from late 1920s, 3k needed minor fixing up (I have access to good repair folks) at a price point that worked for me.
    For me it is about the sound.. so unless it is cracked on the top (some times cracked tops sound better to one's ears), I don't really worry about other fixes.
    There is no sure fire way to know which one of the 3 options is the one you should go for..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere in GA, USA
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    My choice would be the 1922+ style 0. I'm sure the 1950's ukes are great, but the older style 0 will be lighter and likely more vibrant. Are there any cracks/repairs to the soundboard of any of them?
    One is good. Anything more than that is gravy!

  4. #4
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    If they're all around the same price , I would go for the Style 2 . I don't think the differences in sound will be noticeable.
    " Anything larger than a soprano is cheating "
    " I'm no luthier but ,........"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Finland
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    Thanks for the responses! With the help of a friend, I eventually managed to find a 1920s Martin style 0 that was in better condition than the one I first found. And it was cheaper as well. Seems that kerneltime's advice held true, being patient and with these things pays of.

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