View Full Version : Should I buy a martin C-1K? is it worth the extra $$$

01-10-2015, 07:34 AM
I am looking for a good concert sized ukulele and a local shop has the Martin. Other than that, my town is pretty much all Kala - and very few concert sized.

I know I can get a number of alternatives on-line, but shipping / duty/ exchange kills (I am in Canada) - but is the Martin worth the price?

thanks folks.

01-10-2015, 08:02 AM
is the Martin worth the price?

If you enjoy playing it, it is worth the price.

I tend to think that Martin is an overprized brand and I think that you pay a lot for the name but then again I haven't played a Martin Ukulele yet.

01-10-2015, 08:12 AM
I hear you on the CDN exchange rate, 20% on the dollar to start plus all the other stuff means paying 40% more . If you have played the Martin and you like the sound and it is in your price range then buy it. I have played the new Martin sopranos and concerts and they both sound nice to me. People here can get all picky and stuff about it being made in Mexico etc. etc but at the end of the day if you like it then that is all that really matters. It is a "Martin", it is not going to be junk

Paul December
01-10-2015, 08:32 AM
If you enjoy playing it, it is worth the price.

I tend to think that Martin is an overprized brand and I think that you pay a lot for the name but then again I haven't played a Martin Ukulele yet.

On a related note, there is a book I hate that I've never read, and a poorly acted film that I've never seen ;)

There is a definate trend in the forums to dislike the Mexican made Martins because people simply want to. Full disclosure - I own the soprano and it is lightly consructed, perfectly finished, loud, and has a nice tone. I've own many of the Asian imports and IMO these Martins are in a different league.

01-10-2015, 08:49 AM
Many of us here on UU when faced with a decision tend to opt to error on the side of buying. (and that is why the marketplace section is always full of our recent purchases)

My advice is if you are not sure... wait until you are. If you are not sure if something is worth the extra money I don't see the point in spending it.

Local shops tend to add a premium on things like this so when/if you do decide to buy I would compare prices first.

01-10-2015, 09:12 AM
The Martin C1K can be excellent and if you get a good one not overpriced. If you like the one at your local shop and it is the price you would have to pay in any event, then it isn't overpriced.

01-10-2015, 10:27 AM
thanks folks. i am heading out now like Clint Eastwood - with a fistful of dollars.... ;) I appreciate the comments

01-10-2015, 10:35 AM
I recently purchase a T1K, I think it is worth it.

I agree, if it sounds, play and feel good, go for it.

01-10-2015, 12:52 PM
Just order a new one from Long and McQuade online and you won't pay duty. You'll have wait for awhile but you will save money. If it's not in their online catalogue, phone them up and they can order it since they are a Martin dealer. I know cause I've ordered quite a few Martins in the past from them.



01-10-2015, 01:16 PM
Brian1 offers wise council. All Martin dealers are MAP Dealers. CF Martin will not allow them to advertise lower than list price. CF MArtin has no control over the price a dealer negotiates for a sale. Find the lowest price on the internet you can find and take it to your local dealer. I bet he/she will match that price. This goes for many MFRs not just Martin

01-10-2015, 03:38 PM
Local shops tend to add a premium on things like this so when/if you do decide to buy I would compare prices first.

Local shops will also fight for your business. I stopped by a music store today to see if they had any ukes in stock and explained that I was looking at tenor sizes, and I was very interested in playing a Martin. The shop owner told me that if I did decide to get one, although they don't regularly stock it, they would beat any price I could find and order it up for me.

01-10-2015, 05:02 PM
bought it.. loving it so far

i am going to switch to living water fluorocarbon strings tomorrow ...

the koa is lovely, and it intonates nearly perfectly up the neck. beautiful clear tone.

the shop (rufus guitars in vancouver bc) had two - i spent half an hour trying both...when i paid the sales guy said "which one did you pick.... oh yeah...thats my favourite.. the nicest uke ive ever played..."

thanks for all the input folks.

01-10-2015, 05:35 PM
We're gonna need some pictures... you know, just to verify the purchase.


01-11-2015, 04:06 AM
Great choice, I love my C1K and don't think Living Waters are much different from the Martin strings, IMHO. I've had Worth CM's on my C1K and went back to Martins.

01-11-2015, 06:45 AM
i am going to switch to living water fluorocarbon strings tomorrow ...

I recently tried Living Waters on my C1K. They're my second favourite strings for this ukulele. I like the original Martin strings a little more, but this is just personal preference.

I have Worth strings on my other ukuleles, but I didn't like them on this. I'm not sure, why.

The Living Water strings are definitely worth a try!

01-11-2015, 07:34 AM

here it is

01-11-2015, 07:36 AM

better pic of the top grain

01-11-2015, 07:41 AM
This is an amazing instrument. The tone is literally bell-like. I strummed it when I brought it home and my wife came into the living room and just sat and listened...just beautiful.

and the scent of the Koa is intoxicating....woody, spicy

Its super playable, and the intonation up the neck is spot on.

I must admit that this it the most I have ever spent on an instrument. My acoustic guitar and electric guitars - even my amps were less! funny that the smallest instrument i own is the most expensive.

By the way - anybody in the Washington State or western Canada area - tickets for the 2015 Vancouver Uke Festival went on sale yesterday. March 7 and 8.


Maiden Uke
01-11-2015, 07:54 AM
Congrats, Barry. I'm sure your C1K will give you great enjoyment. I know that my Martin T1K has done so for me.

01-11-2015, 08:03 AM
Congratulations! That is one fine looking Uke. I have yet to come across a C1K that wasn't a winner.


01-11-2015, 11:27 AM
Hey Barry, I am so happy that you are happy. I did kinda push you in the direction to buy it so I am not nervous anymore :p

There is something really special about a great sounding uke, almost defies the laws of the universe. People that question the logic of spending big money on a uke have just never experienced that before.

Congratulations on finding a beautiful instrument that will give you years of enjoyment.

01-11-2015, 04:48 PM
I tried a few other ukes this week - just for contrast - all were plywood / laminates. I usully buy something a little lessser that aI really want, and then try to upgrade it, to get close to what I was looking for....and then end up buying the one I wanted in the end. I decided not to get caught in that again.

Its more that I hould have spent, but I think we are going to have a lot of fun together.

01-11-2015, 10:13 PM
Congrats on the C1k. I tried one in the shop while looking for a tenor. It sounded great and I briefly thought about buying both a C1k and a T1k but I managed to make it out of the shop with just a T1k. :) But it was close, the C1k sounded really good: crisp and clear.

01-13-2015, 02:59 AM
C1k looks like it ought to be a real pleaser.

I should have said this when you first posted, but I will now anyway. The Martin is a uke you'll probably have for decades so it only amounts to a few dollars more a year - over time - than a decent Kala would have.

And that's your UAS rationalisation-of-the-day.