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Discussion Starter #1
Serial # 178xxx. Guy's had it a couple years, got it from a local shop that sells a lot of vintage horns and probably has the best techs in the area, so it's likely in decent playing form. He's asking $1,000 OBO.



Can anyone tell me how the ergos and intonation might be, and what a good price is?

Thanks!
 

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That is a steal if it is in playing condition....even if it is a relaq. (can't tell from the pic though) I have a 48' that is my dream tenor. It beat out a Guardala, Z w/ no F#, and a late VI for me. Martins are way underpriced and underrated. (don't tell anyone though) :)
 

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I've owned two of about the same vintage. Very nice horn for the money, a bargain really. Good intonation. Ergos are not as good as Selmer or modern horns but definately OK, and better than many vintage horns. Soldered tone holes, which some feel have leak potential. I never had that issue with mine. These horns can realy roar with the right set up.
 

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I just picked up a '51. I did a lot of research on vintage horns (reading and asking questions). Then played a few things. The feel of the Martin won me over almost immediately. It can roar like a 10M, but is still very comfortable for softer delicate stuff. Intonation is remarkable! I've been using a 5 digit mk6 alto and wanted the same feel for a tenor. The Martin has lived up to my expectations. All the commentary you read - like the posters above - are spot on.

$1000 is a screaming deal if this horn is in good shape.
 

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Yes, snap it up if it is in playing condition. Martins are heavy horns, and they can stand relacquering without changing the tone. I know of some that have been done 3 times over 70 years that still retain that dark, smoky sound when played as ballad or subtone, but then roar with an edge when pushed. $1K for a playable 'The Martin' is a great buy.
Sax Magic
 

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I like the sound of these horns, but the right hand pinkie Eb/D# key is too close to the D key for my liking. I do have large hands with rather offset pinkies however, so if you're hands are small to medium size you may not have such a problem.

If you can dig it, as it's being sold OBO, confirm it's a relacquer, offer $500 and see where the price goes from there.
 

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I have smaller type hands ( I'm only 5'4"") and totally love my 186XXX The Martin tenor. I love the tone and especially the ergos. I find it just as easy (if not easier) to play as my YTS 61 Yamaha and a '72 Mark VI. also, I have no intonation issues with the horn. If I needed to replace it, I would go for another one. If the one you're looking at plays as well as mine does, I'd pay that price.
 

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At that price grab it.
It's great, but also kind of sad, that horns as good as these sell for so little.
 

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Been playing my 1954 The Martin since the mid 90's. I'm the second owner. I wouldn't sell it .... period. For what I do (blues, rock, and some jazz) I've never found anything better.

Here's a pic of me playing my old girl on Saturday at a house party.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
FYI, I passed on the Martin today. Was more than I could deal with, although the tone was great, intonation also decent. There were a couple keys sticking and clinking, and I had trouble getting the low notes and moving between registers. If I hadn't been already trying every tenor in the metro area I would have just thought it was all me, but I know it was only partly me since many of the horns I played were quite easy and fluid in those regards - not too much of a stretch from my alto. I would love to have the Martin as a second horn, to play around with and take the time to get used to it, but I don't think its a good choice for me as my first and only tenor.

So the quest continues.... sigh
 

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You did the right thing. For $1K, I would expect original lacquer, no dents, completely working action and decent pads, where I could take it right out to a gig. $400 is good for a project horn. Here's mine, a 1962 'Music Man' (exactly the same as any other Martin, just has 'Official Music Man Model' on it). I paid $635 but had to get some soldering, dent removal and overhaul done. I have about $1100 in it and it's a screamer - but will moan on the soft stuff. I'm really a Selmer man but since I had a Martin bari, I thought a tenor would go with it. At one point I was subbing in with a country rock band and I always used the Martin with them. It's just nice to have around for the difference. Particularly after playing the Martin baritone and going to the Martin tenor it's amazing how it feels and plays.

 

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A couple of months ago I bought a 46' The Martin tenor and it quickly took over as my main tenor. I thought I was just buying a nice second horn but.........It blows away my Keilwerth in many ways. It filled a gap that I had no idea was there. Mine is un-lacquered and with a fresh overhaul and I paid $1300. $1000 sounds good for a 49'.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I ended up getting a '51 Comm III that my tech had. He'd gone through it completely. I'm really happy with it, using it for my R&R gigs. A couple weeks ago I found a pretty good deal on a YTS-62II which I also really like, but I find myself going back to the Martin. If I get rid of either it'll be the 62.
 
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