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Thread: Why do Martin Ukes cost so much????

  1. #1

    Default Why do Martin Ukes cost so much????

    As much as I love them (my favourite type of wooden uke), they are quite costly. Here is an example, nowadays a 1930's Style 0 costs around £600 in the UK, and it is the plainest looking one of the lot. To be honest I think they are quite overpriced, especially the 5K, which personally I think it is not worth the £5000 asking price. What are your views?
    Ludwig Wendell Hall Banjo Ukulele
    Graham Greenfield Abbott Monarch Copy Banjo Ukulele
    Ohana SK-38 Soprano Ukulele (Martin Style 2 copy)
    Gretsch Roots G9121 Tenor Acoustic Cutaway Electro Ukulele
    Aria AU-250 Soprano Ukulele


    Past instruments:
    Ron Beddoes 'New Concert' Ludwig Copy Banjo Ukulele
    George Formby Dallas 'B' Banjo Ukulele


    http://www.youtube.com/user/LittleUkulele95?feature=mhee[/url][/B][/SIZE]

  2. #2
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    You get what you pay for." Caveat Emptor"

  3. #3
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    They are clearly much more expensive in the UK! I would expect to pay $500-600 for an average Style 0 and perhaps $700-800 for a particularly pristine one. I think the Style 0s are still a great deal; just about the best soprano you can buy for the money, as far as I'm concerned

    The 5K is completely out control, but that's what collectability will do for you. I love the Martin sound but the Style 3s and Style 5s sound pretty much the same as the Style 0s and Style 1s. Unfortunately, collectors have made some models nearly unaffordable. Try buying a 1924 Gibson F5 Lloyd Loar mandolin (hint: around $200K).

    Our own Ken Timms provides an excellent replica of a Martin soprano at a price quite a few quid less than it sounds like a vintage Martin goes for in the UK, if you're looking for an alternative.

    Worth mentioning I sold my Ludwig Wendell Hall here, all original and in nearly pristine condition, for $1500. I saw one in Europe that was beat to heck selling for 1800 euro (about $2600). Things are definitely different depending on where you live...
    Last edited by RichM; 01-07-2014 at 11:35 AM.



  4. #4
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    Yes your ukes do cost more in other countries...like england, australia etc .....maybe of the taxes and shipping them in too... Yes you get what you pay for...the 5K you mention
    the holy grail of ukes, is one of the nicest looking and sounding ukes made at the time pre 1930...eighty something years and in pristine condition make them cost that much.
    as for the other vintage martins...tthe actually started going up about ten years ago...I did pay 200 for my style 2 with a cracked back and had it professionally fixed for 260
    more than I paid for it....so total of 460 is still a super deal ten years ago...I also think that the availability in your country and also the demand plays a big role on the price.
    Last edited by mm stan; 01-07-2014 at 11:48 AM.
    Making music is a gift in itself, and when you can share it ....it is your gift to others

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FormbyFanatic95 View Post
    As much as I love them (my favourite type of wooden uke), they are quite costly. Here is an example, nowadays a 1930's Style 0 costs around £600 in the UK, and it is the plainest looking one of the lot. To be honest I think they are quite overpriced, especially the 5K, which personally I think it is not worth the £5000 asking price. What are your views?
    The vintage Martins cost so much because :
    1. They are fine , easy playing [I love their fast, narrow neck] instruments
    2. They sound great.
    3. Their workmanship was impeccable.
    4. They are Martin's, see 1-3
    5. Iz Tiny Tim , and George played one.
    6. Many styles are no longer made, and some consider vintage superior to the new ones.

    They can be had here in the US for less than some of new Martin and new copies, and I don't mean copy in a negative way, Kiwaya makes a very nice copy, and so do some UU member luthiers.
    Last edited by strumsilly; 01-07-2014 at 01:42 PM.
    there is no substitute for LOVE

  6. #6
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    cuz they're awesome!
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Waverly Street banjolele - Worth Browns
    Tenor: Epiphone Hummingbird - Living Water low G
    UBass: Kala FS2 - Pahoehoe

  7. #7
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    Value is relative. Suppose you made about £5,000,000 last year---would a Martin 5K be worth £5,000 to you? For comparison, many people in the States who make about $75,000 per year (a solid middle class salary) will gladly pay $500 for a Martin 0. Each used ukulele is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay for it, but it's difficult to imagine that a person making $75,000 per year would spend $8,200 or so (equivalent to £5,000) on a ukulele---that's more than a tenth of her or his annual earnings. For the vast majority of ukulele players, all Martin ukes are too expensive to consider, anyway, and the question is academic.

    I'm lucky to be a middle class guy, and I absolutely love old Martin ukes. But it still took me a few years to convince myself that a vintage Martin 0 is worth $500 to me. I'm glad that I did---I bought one a couple months ago and I'm looking forward to years of enjoyment.
    -Ralf Youtz

    My videos are here.

    The future is unwritten.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FormbyFanatic95 View Post
    What are your views?
    Supply and demand @ work for a touchstone 'ukulele.
    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.” ― Catherine Aird

  9. #9
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    Martin actually stopped making the 1930s models on 1 January 1940
    LOL!

    Compared to vintage Martin guitars, vintage Martin ukes are a steal. I hope to steal, oops, I mean, BUY one next year. They may cost a lot, but, in my eyes (and to my ears), they are worth it. Ain't nothin' like the real thing, baby!
    Rosemarie

    In reverse order of bouts of UAS:
    Martin Style O soprano, pre-1930
    Kanile'a K1-T Premium
    KoAloha Pineapple Sunday long-scale concert
    Kala Marcy Marxer Tenor
    Gold Tone soprano banjolele
    Pono MC (given to my daughter)
    Fluke concert (loaned to my daughter's friend)

  10. #10
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    Not only does the vintage Martin 5K ukulele look good, it sounds good too. Worth every penny.


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