We try not to rave on and on about how a particular instrument sounds, primarily because tone is so subjective, but this '20s mahogany Style 3 soprano is so loud with such sparkling tone we're going to break our own rule. If you've never been a fan of soprano ukes this one will probably change your opinion.
Dating these early Martin ukes is not a precise science but fortunately the Style 3 models have so many details that kept changing they are easier to pin down. In this case the Grover Simplex no. 88 tuners are the key, so 1927-1929 is quite certain. This example is also remarkable for its crack-free originality and beautiful condition of the dark-stained mahogany finish. No sign of any repairs, there's just a tiny scratch to the bass side, below the top binding, at the waist (barely visible in photo 3). Probably the nicest mahogany Style 3 we've ever had, and the dark shellac varnish finish really makes the mulitple ivoroid binding lines pop. This was, after all, near the top of Martin's soprano ukulele price list with the exception of the pearl-bordered 5K.
stock no. 58404
|Model||Style 3 Soprano|
|Back and sides||Mahogany|
|Frets to body||12|
|Nut width||1 13/32"|
|Tuners||Grover Simplex No. 88|