5/25/2016

1960s Martin Baritone Ukulele





Martin baritone ukes are few and far between compared to the usual steady flow of sopranos coming in and out of the shop for light setups and whatnot. This one is a customer's and has a few condition issues (slightly warped/twisted neck) but is otherwise in very good condition and has a lovely, chocolate-rich tone (it makes you want to jazz-chord it all night).

What's most interesting (to me) about Martin baris is that they built them just like oversized versions of their soprano ukes with almost the same bracing pattern internally. As you might expect, when coupled to mahogany as a tonewood this leans their tone to the darker/sweeter side in general.

My only work on this one was to replace the too-low original saddle with a taller ebony one (we're trying ebony out for now -- just like on the sopranos -- it sounds good) and nudge the setup a little.


The body and neck are solid mahogany and the board and bridge are rosewood. The top edge is bound in "tortoise" and has two-ply purfling behind it.


Ebony nut... and "Champion" friction pegs.




I installed the new saddle without glue (as per the original bone saddle) so it can be removed and shaved as needed.





As usual, the fit, finish, and aesthetics are classic and high-quality.


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