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View Full Version : CFMartin Ukuleles 100th anniversary of uke building?



Pukulele Pete
11-19-2015, 04:32 AM
I just read on the Four String Farmhouse that it has been 100 years
since C.F.Martin started building ukuleles .
There is nothing about this on their website.
Do they not care ?
I was hoping for a 100th anniversary soprano but there doesnt seem to be any mention of the 100th anniversary anything, anywhere, on their site.
I'm hoping that I'm wrong but ,..............:confused:

ukuleleden
11-19-2015, 04:38 AM
Not sure, you could try putting a call or e-mail into Dick Boak @ Martin as he is usually the guy who oversees or announces such campaigns..

Pukulele Pete
11-19-2015, 04:47 AM
I've sent a few emails to Martin in the last year asking about this and the closest thing I got to an answer was " that's a good idea " .

kdmccullum
11-19-2015, 04:57 AM
From the looks of their site, it appears that they have stopped making the 2, 2k, 3 and 3K ukes. I hope that's not a sign that they are going to pull out of the uke market again.

Kurt

Pukulele Pete
11-19-2015, 05:03 AM
Seems like their plan for the 100th is to stop building ukuleles . Maybe there will be an announcement to the contrary in the near future.

ukuleleden
11-19-2015, 05:40 AM
From the looks of their site, it appears that they have stopped making the 2, 2k, 3 and 3K ukes. I hope that's not a sign that they are going to pull out of the uke market again.

Kurt

Those have been off the site for awhile now. I opted to order a C1K which comes from their Mexico factory and was quoted a January delivery to the dealer... I understand orders from Nazareth are on par with that time as well. So it sounds like production in more spread out time frames, but the remaining 8 are available if the dealer orders them in. Some dealers actually had the discontinued models in stock if you call around. Martin customer service can also tell you which dealers may still have discontinued models, but they don't post these typically online as they do like their discontinued guitars..

Django
11-20-2015, 08:08 AM
The Martin Dreadnaught Guitar will also be celebrating it's Centennial anniversary in 2016. Because they have said nothing regarding the Ukulele, I would be surprised if they had any intention of marking this milestone in a meaningful way, ( I hope that I am wrong). Like it or not, Martin is a business and the ukulele is still an offbeat instrument. I also believe that the ukulele's popularity is declining at the moment and there are many perfectly good instruments being made by companies with an unfair advantage over Martin. For me, there has always been something special about a Martin, so I remain loyal.

I have 5 Martin ukuleles including a recent 3K, 3 Cherry and 5K. They are pricey, but in my humble opinion, still worth the money and I am glad that they reissued them. Despite the complaints that I hear, they are responsive and a joy to play and look at and I prefer the more refined sound over that of my vintage Martin style 1.

I am a little disappointed that Martin is unlikely to have a 100th anniversary ukulele, but I am glad that they got back in the game, at least for long enough for folks like me to be able to own a 5K for less than the price of a middle of the road Martin Guitar, (I got mine new from Reno's for just over $3,000.00). That is a lot for me to spend, but Martin has not made very many and if they stop, it will become a limited commodity. Anyway, my daughters will have to worry about that, as I have no thoughts of ever letting this one go.

I have played guitar, (mostly Martins), for the best part of my 60 years and I have only played the ukulele for 11 months, but I have to say that in that short time I have learned to love and respect this happy and versatile little instrument and that I don't pick up a guitar or banjo very often anymore. The real shame to me would have been if Martin had not entered the ukulele business, in this century or the last.

Pukulele Pete
11-20-2015, 08:23 AM
From what I can figure , The 100th for Martin Ukuleles will be 2016 . Maybe when they announce the anniversary of the Martin Dreadnaught , they will also mark the 100th for the Ukuleles.

PeteyHoudini
11-20-2015, 12:47 PM
Seems like their plan for the 100th is to stop building ukuleles .

hehehe You made me laugh out loud! Great line!

Petey

PeteyHoudini
11-20-2015, 12:48 PM
From the looks of their site, it appears that they have stopped making the 2, 2k, 3 and 3K ukes. I hope that's not a sign that they are going to pull out of the uke market again.

Kurt

Wow! You're right!!! I knew they pulled the style 2 and 2k but now the 3 and 3k!

I love my style 2!!!

Petey

PeteyHoudini
11-20-2015, 12:55 PM
I have 5 Martin ukuleles including a recent 3K, 3 Cherry and 5K. They are pricey, but in my humble opinion, still worth the money and I am glad that they reissued them. Despite the complaints that I hear, they are responsive and a joy to play and look at and I prefer the more refined sound over that of my vintage Martin style 1.

Glad you like the new Martin ukes like me! My 3 cherry is the uke of my dreams. Seems Martin is still committed to making the 3 cherry model. 8-) Though, they require a king's ransom to buy one! ;-) hehe Luckily, I have my style 2 soprano as well. It is amazing as well. I also have style 3 soprano, but I don't play it. I have both the concert style 2 and 2k. The 2k is just fantastic. I see they are still making those concert ukes.

I would have liked to have seen a "100th" anniversary uke...

Petey

Django
11-20-2015, 02:39 PM
[QUOTE=PeteyHoudini;1779080]I also have style 3 soprano, but I don't play it.

I have been looking for a Style 3 Mahogany, but now I am wondering why yours doesn't get played. I always liked Hog-top guitars, (I don't know how to do the better quote). I do enjoy your Paris in the 20s. Great tune and clever lyrics.

ukuleleden
11-20-2015, 04:25 PM
Glad you like the new Martin ukes like me! My 3 cherry is the uke of my dreams. Seems Martin is still committed to making the 3 cherry model. 8-) Though, they require a king's ransom to buy one! ;-) hehe Luckily, I have my style 2 soprano as well. It is amazing as well. I also have style 3 soprano, but I don't play it. I have both the concert style 2 and 2k. The 2k is just fantastic. I see they are still making those concert ukes.

I would have liked to have seen a "100th" anniversary uke...

Petey

I am finding out that the C1K I have on order will have a 2016 production date and delivered to the dealer sometime by the end of January. I didn't plan that, but maybe there will be some nod by Martin of their 100 years of their first entry into the Uke market. I put my Nazareth-made uke purchases off to be able to buy one made in their Centurian milestone of their first Uke in 1916. We'll see what happens... Either way, I plan on acquiring a new 2K Concert before this time next year.

Den

PeteyHoudini
11-22-2015, 10:16 AM
[QUOTE=PeteyHoudini;1779080]I also have style 3 soprano, but I don't play it.

I have been looking for a Style 3 Mahogany, but now I am wondering why yours doesn't get played. I always liked Hog-top guitars, (I don't know how to do the better quote). I do enjoy your Paris in the 20s. Great tune and clever lyrics.

My style 3 soprano has some slight intonation issues. I need to change the strings, add lemon oil, and then test it again before Christmas. I just left it for a few years since I mainly play my style 2, 3 cherry, and 2k tenor. I'm such a procrastinator! Though, I just tested the style 3 now (hadn't been tuned for ages) and the intonation seems fine! Weird. It seems ok now. I had left it out of its case for 4 months when it was really humid here. You can always tell bad intonation when you move do a Bm chord or B major and move it up the neck and play.

Thanks. "Paris in the 20s" is my little mad scramble in Ab major and Fm. Very tricky to play but very fun to sing and play!

@ukuleleden: If Martin has something cooking for the 100th anniversary, I assume it would appear at NAMM.

Pete

ukuleleden
11-22-2015, 10:06 PM
[QUOTE=Django;1779110]

@ukuleleden: If Martin has something cooking for the 100th anniversary, I assume it would appear at NAMM.

Pete

It would be nice if they did something for the 100th anniversary of their first ukulele. But I am not over the moon to own something designated a 100th anniversary, especially if it means paying more for that designation. I'd be content with just owning a nice example of one of their regular Style 2 or 3 models.

coolkayaker1
11-23-2015, 02:26 PM
The death of this wave of ukulele has cometh. High-end ukes not selling; Collings cut back to return to guitars; Breedlove stopped production altogether; previously "too busy" Mya Moe has added plenty of ukes to their already-built "store"; K brands are reselling at, literally, half their original price, if that; NAMM ukulele vendor attendance is way, way, way down; some ukulele players now adopting guitar (Danielle, J Nunes, V. Vox, etc.); significantly less new YouTube ukulele videos, performances and tutorials; Jake's brand new CD has been met with a collective yawn (relative to his prior CDs).

And, ever-savvy Martin has decided to focus on their under-$1000 imported stuff (until pulling the plug on even that when sales sag in 2016-2017). Heck, I was in a new, huge mega-Guitar Center in Illinois just last night. Know how many ukes they had on display? Zero! No kidding, not even their usual Lanakais and Lunas. I asked the sales manager and was told there's not enough "shelf space" but they could order me whatever I wanted. This is a new 12k-square foot mega store with everything from tambourines to rainsticks.

I think it's all Iz's fault. The Martin ukulele "jumped the shark" when they commissioned that fruity Iz model that sold about as well as Venus flytraps to a flea circus.

PeteyHoudini
11-23-2015, 03:37 PM
The death of this wave of ukulele has cometh. High-end ukes not selling
I think it's all Iz's fault. The Martin ukulele "jumped the shark" when they commissioned that fruity Iz model that sold about as well as Venus flytraps to a flea circus.

Yeah, Steve, I think you are quite right about the high-end uke/high-price being out of most ukulele player's league and killing off such ukes. Luckily I got the ones I wanted and especially when the Canadian dollar was at par with the US $. I've always had a sense of timing and very often before the trends. (i.e. started ukulele in 2006, made my first web pages in 2005).

As for the IZ biz... not sure I would bandy about in jest about jumping "the shark" and IZ's internment at sea with his Martin tenor. I have all the other new Martin tenors except the IZeroo one. I saw one hanging high above in Honolulu at the Puapua shop last March 2015 but I didn't ask to play it. I saw it like Mauna Kea there... a bit-sacred in a way... so, I passed on playing it despite my obvious past with the new Martins.

Pete

ukuleleden
11-24-2015, 02:13 AM
Pete, I have to agree with you and Steve about the sense of a spiral, especially in the $1K+ Uke segment. My local Martin dealer who isn't shy about stocking high-end Martin, Gibson and Taylor guitars (several over $10K) hasn't ordered for store stock any new Martin ukuleles in about a one year. Actually, they only have had a few T-1's and a pair of S1's they got in in 2014 and have sat unsold until I recently purchased a new in the box S-1 as they were willing to discount it and accepted a no-cash trade from me of several lower priced tenor Ukes I had sitting around I wasn't playing.
They're so negative about ukulele sales, they're not stocking any new Martin Ukes for their store stock and sell them now by special-order only. Heck, they even dumped Lanikai completely and the only uke brands they actually keep in stock now are Córdoba and Kala and not many of those either. Keep in mind this is a dealer with 3 retail sites in the NYC suburbs where disposable income isn't typically in short supply, so this is all a bit telling to me and supports yours and Steve's position about a soft uke market.

In the last several years, I have been mostly buying from what I consider the Ukulele 4. Those for me are: UkeRepublic, TheUkulelesite(HMS), Elderly, and MIM's. With the amount of mentioning they all get here by so many members, I would guess they are doing the best among most uke dealers, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear from any of them that they have experienced an overall slowdown. I'm sure there may be some exceptions somewhere, maybe like very low production boutique makers like Chuck Moore and others, but only they can say for sure. However, as Steve pointed out Breedlove ceased production, Collings cutting down, Mya Moe availability up and used examples of higher-end Ukes requiring to be significantly discounted to make a sale. It's all indeed evidence of the fall from the peak which seemingly was in the last 3-5 years.

It may be hard to grasp by some based on this forum as there are lots of NUD's here, but we have to remember as many as there are here, we're a very concentrated group with probably the highest amount of online interactivity of the ukulele so it's no surprise to get that activity measurement here, but probably not enough to support where the peak of the overall market was.

I'm not sure if any dealers who are forum members are willing to share their number trends, but I have to believe the uke market continues to be soft.

Ukulele Eddie
11-24-2015, 05:06 AM
As some people have pointed out, UU is certainly not representative of the overall ukulele market. Even those among us who think they have "cheap instruments" have better ukes the most of the market. According to NAMM data*, 2014 sales were up ever so slightly over 2013 ($ up about 6%; units up about 4.5%), which was the first year/year decline since 2009 (the earliest year of data for this instrument). Still, the overall ukulele market in North America (sorry ROW, don't have data for you), is minuscule at less than $70MM dollars. Clearly, the growth has slowed the last two years but it is still up 123% on value and 100% on units. See page 12.

https://www.namm.org/files/ihdp-viewer/global-report-2015/#?page=12

All this doesn't mean that many ukulele makers aren't hurting. It is very evident given the growth in the market, that many new suppliers came in and supply simply exceeds demand. Some will leave, so will stay.

* This does not capture luthier direct sales.

PeteyHoudini
11-24-2015, 02:52 PM
Pete, I have to agree with you and Steve about the sense of a spiral, especially in the $1K+ Uke segment.............. It may be hard to grasp by some based on this forum as there are lots of NUD's here, but we have to remember as many as there are here, we're a very concentrated group with probably the highest amount of online interactivity of the ukulele so it's no surprise to get that activity measurement here, but probably not enough to support where the peak of the overall market was.

Totally agreed with everything you wrote. 8-) The NUDs here are a lot, but we are an intense group devoted to the ukulele and we take our uke buying seriously. hehe Hey, any Black Friday deals on ukes??? lol hehe

@Ukulele Eddie: Thanks for the great info! Indeed, UU is not representative as we buy a ton of ukes here!

Pete

coolkayaker1
11-24-2015, 03:19 PM
Well summarized, Uden.

As always, my shout outs to Eddie and Petey.

Petey, I hiked with a gal from Ottawa in Phoenix last week. You Canadians rock, there's no doubt about that.

PeteyHoudini
11-24-2015, 03:52 PM
Well summarized, Uden.

As always, my shout outs to Eddie and Petey.

Petey, I hiked with a gal from Ottawa in Phoenix last week. You Canadians rock, there's no doubt about that.

Didn't Neil Young, start that rocking trend? LOL hehe

Petey

coolkayaker1
11-26-2015, 02:25 AM
Didn't Neil Young, start that rocking trend? LOL hehe

Petey

We were rockin in the free world.--N Young.

Bill Potter
11-27-2015, 04:54 PM
My local Martin dealer is killing me by having both a new Martin 2 and 2K for an CRAZY low price. First I have to figure out what to sell to pay for one and then I have to figure out which one I like better. While I'd really love a vintage 2, I think I'm gonna wait on adding one to the collection until the prices come down a bit. Those new 2s sure are tempting. But... how do I choose?!!!

coolkayaker1
11-27-2015, 07:44 PM
My local Martin dealer is killing me by having both a new Martin 2 and 2K for an CRAZY low price. First I have to figure out what to sell to pay for one and then I have to figure out which one I like better. While I'd really love a vintage 2, I think I'm gonna wait on adding one to the collection until the prices come down a bit. Those new 2s sure are tempting. But... how do I choose?!!!
The prices have come down on vintages; likely less than you'd pay for the new models.

rpfrogner
11-28-2015, 02:36 AM
My local Martin dealer is killing me by having both a new Martin 2 and 2K for an CRAZY low price. First I have to figure out what to sell to pay for one and then I have to figure out which one I like better. While I'd really love a vintage 2, I think I'm gonna wait on adding one to the collection until the prices come down a bit. Those new 2s sure are tempting. But... how do I choose?!!!

Choose??.......They made new ones??
:)

coolkayaker1
11-29-2015, 04:09 PM
The death of this wave of ukulele has cometh. High-end ukes not selling; Collings cut back to return to guitars; Breedlove stopped production altogether; previously "too busy" Mya Moe has added plenty of ukes to their already-built "store"; K brands are reselling at, literally, half their original price, if that; NAMM ukulele vendor attendance is way, way, way down; some ukulele players now adopting guitar (Danielle, J Nunes, V. Vox, etc.); significantly less new YouTube ukulele videos, performances and tutorials; Jake's brand new CD has been met with a collective yawn (relative to his prior CDs).

And, ever-savvy Martin has decided to focus on their under-$1000 imported stuff (until pulling the plug on even that when sales sag in 2016-2017). Heck, I was in a new, huge mega-Guitar Center in Illinois just last night. Know how many ukes they had on display? Zero! No kidding, not even their usual Lanakais and Lunas. I asked the sales manager and was told there's not enough "shelf space" but they could order me whatever I wanted. This is a new 12k-square foot mega store with everything from tambourines to rainsticks.

I think it's all Iz's fault. The Martin ukulele "jumped the shark" when they commissioned that fruity Iz model that sold about as well as Venus flytraps to a flea circus.

:(


http://youtu.be/dfwEfFE4MO4

Booli
11-30-2015, 12:20 AM
The death of this wave of ukulele has cometh. High-end ukes not selling; Collings cut back to return to guitars; Breedlove stopped production altogether; previously "too busy" Mya Moe has added plenty of ukes to their already-built "store"; K brands are reselling at, literally, half their original price, if that; NAMM ukulele vendor attendance is way, way, way down; some ukulele players now adopting guitar (Danielle, J Nunes, V. Vox, etc.); significantly less new YouTube ukulele videos, performances and tutorials; Jake's brand new CD has been met with a collective yawn (relative to his prior CDs).

Sorry if some of this is on a tangent, please bear with me...

IIRC, I saw or read an interview with Victoria Vox, where she said something along the lines, that despite her amazing formal conservatory music education, and her inherent abilities, as a singer/songwriter, when she found herself nearly failing out after struggling for MANY years to make her way as a singer/performer on guitar, that she found the ukulele, taught herself, and then used it as a tool to make herself stand out from the crowd. That and her 'mouth trumpet'.

Maybe now that she's widely know in Folk music and ukulele circles, has toured the world a few times and has like 6 albums out, she's seeing the ukulele as her stepping stone, or as a gimmick that's not required any more since she's been able to prove herself with it and now has 'evolved' over to guitar. I would be deeply saddened if she has discarded the ukulele.

Many ukulele artists/performers that I was just first learning about in Dec 2012, were not yet widely known, or did not yet have record deals, and were mostly only known from their Youtube videos. Since that time, quite a few of them have built up a huge following, released professionally-mastered albums and gone on tour.

When on tour, there may not be time for all the one-off videos that we got accustomed to before they became famous.

Jake's latest CD and James Hill's latest CD are both uninteresting to me as well. Both seem a departure from the aspects of their music that I loved.

My favorite uke-music recordings are either solo ukulele (Jake's LIVE album), or where the ukulele is the MAIN instrument (James Hill's 'Man With a Love Song', or Lil' Rev's 'The Happiest Way To Be Sad'), and there are either very quiet or NO guitars, and the main focus is ukulele and/or vocal.

For me, but the time you add the drums, bass, keyboards, horns and 5-part vocal harmony you really can't hear the ukulele any more. I might as well just put on the cookie-cutter pop-factory radio of Top-40 if I want to be numbed out of my mind.

Maybe we as ukulele enthusiasts have a kind of bias, but *I* am still discovering NEW uke players, and see NEW ukulele videos every week on a consistent basis for almost two years now, so I am not able to see this decline that sometimes is spoken of here on UU.

Isn't Kamaka ALSO celebrating 100 yrs, but of making ukuleles, for 2016?

Maybe out of respect to Kamaka, the C.F. Martin family is taking a step back, and allowing for Kamaka to have some glory, instead of being a cut-throat, win-at-any-cost competitor?

As an aside: I thought this year was also the 10-year anniversary of Kala too?

Many ukulele companies having anniversaries of one or other...

ukuleleden
11-30-2015, 05:55 PM
Well, I went and threw away my own theory of a soft $1K+ market and just ordered a new Mya-Moe concert Uke. I'm doing my small part to boost up the uke market! :cool:

sam13
12-01-2015, 03:36 AM
Well, I went and threw away my own theory of a soft $1K+ market and just ordered a new Mya-Moe concert Uke. I'm doing my small part to boost up the uke market! :cool:

Congrats on your purchase Ukuleleden ... looking forward to the NUD.

ukuleleden
12-01-2015, 08:22 AM
Thanks Sam. I was more or less just putting ideas together from the spec list on Mya-Moe's website with no immediate intent to pursue a purchase. A short time thereafter on one of my return visits to their website, I found they posted a uke in their available now page that matched the major specs I selected. I figured if I thought about that one too long most likely it would be gone quick, and you know the rest... Yes, I'll do a NUD thread when it arrives.

Django
12-01-2015, 02:16 PM
The death of this wave of ukulele has cometh. High-end ukes not selling; Collings cut back to return to guitars; Breedlove stopped production altogether; previously "too busy" Mya Moe has added plenty of ukes to their already-built "store"; K brands are reselling at, literally, half their original price, if that; NAMM ukulele vendor attendance is way, way, way down; some ukulele players now adopting guitar (Danielle, J Nunes, V. Vox, etc.); significantly less new YouTube ukulele videos, performances and tutorials; Jake's brand new CD has been met with a collective yawn (relative to his prior CDs).

And, ever-savvy Martin has decided to focus on their under-$1000 imported stuff (until pulling the plug on even that when sales sag in 2016-2017). Heck, I was in a new, huge mega-Guitar Center in Illinois just last night. Know how many ukes they had on display? Zero! No kidding, not even their usual Lanakais and Lunas. I asked the sales manager and was told there's not enough "shelf space" but they could order me whatever I wanted. This is a new 12k-square foot mega store with everything from tambourines to rainsticks.

I think it's all Iz's fault. The Martin ukulele "jumped the shark" when they commissioned that fruity Iz model that sold about as well as Venus flytraps to a flea circus.

Maybe I'm just getting old and tired, but I don't think that the ukulele about being cool or the most popular instrument on the block. To me it is about an instrument that makes you smile and that can be enjoyed by many and on many levels. There is no need to predict the end. There are not many things that are constant and musical trends are not the exception to that. Some of the instruments mentioned and belittled in the quote are beloved by their owners. Preference is as individual as the music that we play and I think that Martin's IZ Tenor is a nice tribute. So, be cool, Kayaker

coolkayaker1
12-01-2015, 06:36 PM
Maybe I'm just getting old and tired, but I don't think that the ukulele about being cool or the most popular instrument on the block. To me it is about an instrument that makes you smile and that can be enjoyed by many and on many levels. There is no need to predict the end. There are not many things that are constant and musical trends are not the exception to that. Some of the instruments mentioned and belittled in the quote are beloved by their owners. Preference is as individual as the music that we play and I think that Martin's IZ Tenor is a nice tribute. So, be cool, Kayaker

True, your words, Django. Unless one is selling (so they don't cry when their uke sells for peanuts) or when they're buying, like your offer on the Martin a few days ago (so they don't get rooked with last year's valuations). :( Then, not surprisingly, it matters.

bonesoup
12-02-2015, 12:13 AM
For the original topic, if Martin puts "100 years" or something on their labels next year, I'd get one. If not, probably not. I've been a fan for years (I miss my old Martin guitar), but I'm happy with my OXK and my custom, and UAS isn't bugging me lately.

Plus for some reason, seeing the Martin factory video kind of turned me off. It just seemed so clinical. That's just me. I guess I was naive and preferred Oz to the man behind the curtain.

I still like the sound of the new ones and think the 3C is awesome, but maybe I don't need one myself. I'm the ideal customer, the kind who wants more but doesn't buy to support them on the way :rolleyes: But a C1K with an anniversary label - that would open up my wallet.

Django
01-04-2016, 12:56 PM
"Just Revealed: 2016 New Models", no mention of anything ukulele related. They mention the 100th anniversary of the Dreadnaught, but don't even acknowledge the anniversary of the Martin Ukulele. They have a 100th anniversary Dreadnaught along with a 75th John Lennon and a couple 50th anniversary D35s.

Maybe they will do something in the spring. I guess that it really doesn't matter that much. It would have been cool, but I guess that what matters most is that they did get into the Ukulele business back in 1916 and that they re-entered it during this century. Without Martin, would the ukulele ever have been so popular? I love that Martin style and playability, as well as the tone.

PeteyHoudini
01-04-2016, 02:07 PM
"Just Revealed: 2016 New Models", no mention of anything ukulele related. They mention the 100th anniversary of the Dreadnaught, but don't even acknowledge the anniversary of the Martin Ukulele. They have a 100th anniversary Dreadnaught along with a 75th John Lennon and a couple 50th anniversary D35s.

Maybe they will do something in the spring. I guess that it really doesn't matter that much. It would have been cool, but I guess that what matters most is that they did get into the Ukulele business back in 1916 and that they re-entered it during this century. Without Martin, would the ukulele ever have been so popular? I love that Martin style and playability, as well as the tone.

Kind of a sad let down for 2016. No final swansong uke, no last hurrah to the 4 stringèd mutant?

Pete

coolkayaker1
01-04-2016, 05:37 PM
Kind of a sad let down for 2016. No final swansong uke, no last hurrah to the 4 stringèd mutant?

Pete
Agree, Petey. Tis sad. They just don't seem too vested in the modern ukulele, what with ceasing production of some of the higher-end Nazareth, PA models introduced in recent years; now, it's mostly the Mexi-Martins.

Why is the poor uke so disparaged?

Booli
01-04-2016, 05:47 PM
Kind of a sad let down for 2016. No final swansong uke, no last hurrah to the 4 stringèd mutant?

Pete

Wait - did I miss something?

Is Martin ending production on their ukuleles?

Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!?!?!?!?!?!?

I may have to spit some 4-letter words to myself if they are!

Please advise :mad::confused:

Django
01-05-2016, 02:23 AM
I didn't intend to insinuate that Martin had abandoned the Ukulele. The comment was intended to convey that at this time the special models do not include a ukulele and that they mention the 100th anniversary of the Dreadnaught, but not the Martin Ukulele, (I never cared for playing the Dreadnaught). As I said, this could change. Maybe they are waiting for NAMM, or maybe they don't see the anniversary as a financial opportunity. It's kind of a shame, but they are a business and they have to do what makes good business sense to them. The Ukulele has it's ups and downs and the timing of the centennial had bad timing. It's still early.

Pukulele Pete
01-05-2016, 03:04 AM
It is suprising that Martin won't even mention 100 years of uke building . Either something will happen soon or they just don't care anymore. Is it that they just don't care about ukuleles any more , a perfect example is the unfinished bridges on their top end ukes. How could they do that !

UkerDanno
01-05-2016, 03:18 AM
It is suprising that Martin won't even mention 100 years of uke building . Either something will happen soon or they just don't care anymore. Is it that they just don't care about ukuleles any more , a perfect example is the unfinished bridges on their top end ukes. How could they do that !

the bridges are unfinished on every instrument I have...

coolkayaker1
01-05-2016, 04:15 AM
the bridges are unfinished on every instrument I have...

Your 1930's Style O has an unfinished bridge?

As PUkuPete says, the modern Martin Nazareths have unfinished bridges (a bar of soap is smoother and less blocky!) and generally are not as refined as the old models (e.g lousy punky fretboards, plus the introduction of the miracle wood: Katalox(?); abysmal lifeless bracing; thick, unresonant topwoods, etc.). I have to say, with the headline banner on their website touting the Martin 100th Guitar models, it's difficult to find anything on the website about ukes. Check it out. Ukes are on there, but finding them is like finding a needle in a mile-high haystack. Go ahead, click it; I dare ya. I double dare ya!

https://www.martinguitar.com/

Okay...since you couldn't find it, I'll aid you, as a ferret aids an elementary school classroom on the care and feeding of small animals: here's the only page mentioning ukuleles. Want a modern 2 Style soprano? It's no more. How about a modern 2K soprano? Nope, no longer made. My guess: with the sagging popularity of ukes overall, Martin has seen that one can buy a vintage model of many of these for less money than Martin can make them new. So, keep the new, unique stuff (e.g. cherry Style 3), and the imported Mexi-Martins, and ditch the copycats of better-made vintage stuff. Just a hunch: Martin will continue to reduce their ukulele lineup.
https://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/ukulele/

The good news! We can all luxuriate in vintage Martins, and at 2/3 the price they fetched just three years ago. Chris Martin can't take those away from us weirdos; we rebels among the musical crowd; we that enjoy esoteric instruments, red-rubber noses, and oversized shoes! Kazoo, concertina, and xylophone buffs--we are united!!

Pukulele Pete
01-05-2016, 04:24 AM
Your 1930's Style O has an unfinished bridge?

As PUkuPete says, the modern Martin Nazareths have unfinished bridges and generally are not as refined as the old models. I have to say, with the headline touting of the Martin 100th Guitar models, it's difficult to find anything on the website about ukes. Check it out. Ukes are on there, but finding them is like finding a needle in a mile-high haystack.

https://www.martinguitar.com/

Thanks Mr. Cool , You said it , If Martin doesn't even acknowledge the anniversary , shame on them . If it were not for the ukulele , C.F.Martin would have gone out of business in the early 1900's .

UkerDanno , if your 30's O bridge is unfinished it is not an original bridge. I'm talking about an unfinished bridge on a $5000.00 uke.

dickadcock
01-05-2016, 04:25 AM
Maybe they are holding back so they can have something to reveal at NAMM 2016. (National Association of Music Merchants, Jan. 21-26 in Anaheim, CA)

Pukulele Pete
01-05-2016, 04:29 AM
Maybe they are holding back so they can have something to reveal at NAMM 2016. (National Association of Music Merchants, Jan. 21-26 in Anaheim, CA)

Man , ....I'm keeping my fingers crossed . They have to at the very least celebrate the anniversary .

coolkayaker1
01-05-2016, 04:38 AM
Maybe they are holding back so they can have something to reveal at NAMM 2016. (National Association of Music Merchants, Jan. 21-26 in Anaheim, CA)

Hopefully, Aldrine will be there for his UU NAMM videos and ask Dick Boak, Martin Publicist, "So, Dick, BIG year for the ukulele and Martin, huh?", to which Dick can reply: "Oh, yeah, I mean...like... are you talking about the fact that we no longer make Style 2 sopranos, Aldrine? What do you mean, exactly?"

LOL

peewee
01-05-2016, 05:29 AM
with the sagging popularity of ukes overall, Martin has seen that one can buy a vintage model of many of these for less money than Martin can make them new...
...We can all luxuriate in vintage Martins, and at 2/3 the price they fetched just three years ago.

Ha, please let me know when I can complete my Vintage Martin herd with a Concert and a Bari for an approachable price!

ScooterD35
01-05-2016, 06:50 AM
Given the fact that this is the centennial of both the mighty Dreadnought and the diminutive Ukulele, my prediction is that Martin will focus on the Dread at the January NAMM and the Ukulele will get it's due in August. Thus the Uke won't be quite so overshadowed by the best selling guitar design in history.

I would, quite frankly, be amazed if Martin let their Ukulele production centennial go by with no acknowledgement whatsoever. Their current marketing strategy is pretty aggressive in terms of historical promotion.


Scooter

Django
01-05-2016, 01:27 PM
A note regarding the unfinished bridges, I am not sure that they are not finished, but they are definitely not polished. When I changed my strings a few months back on both my 3K and 5K, I applied some Guitar Honey Fingerboard Treatment to the bridge as well as the fingerboard, (masking the body with painters tape). Just apply it, let it sit and rub it dry. It improved the appearance quite a bit and helps it to blend in with the top. The unfinished look never really bothered me because I play banjo, and our bridges are never finished and the guitars that I have owned, may or may not have had finished bridges, (it's hard to tell with ebony). I know that the fingerboards are bare, and that is a good thing. I do know that I have never had a guitar with a gloss bridge. Oddly, my Cherry 3 bridge seems to be nicely finished.

PeteyHoudini
01-05-2016, 01:53 PM
Given the fact that this is the centennial of both the mighty Dreadnought and the diminutive Ukulele, my prediction is that Martin will focus on the Dread at the January NAMM and the Ukulele will get it's due in August. Thus the Uke won't be quite so overshadowed by the best selling guitar design in history.

I would, quite frankly, be amazed if Martin let their Ukulele production centennial go by with no acknowledgement whatsoever. Their current marketing strategy is pretty aggressive in terms of historical promotion.

I hope so!!!

Petey

PeteyHoudini
01-05-2016, 02:03 PM
Agree, Petey. Tis sad. They just don't seem too vested in the modern ukulele, what with ceasing production of some of the higher-end Nazareth, PA models introduced in recent years; now, it's mostly the Mexi-Martins.

Why is the poor uke so disparaged?

The poor Martin uke possibly suffered from its pricing as compared to the glut of imports. I doubt new players to the instrument would want to pay $1000+ for a instrument that they might consider so disparaged. I took the jump to the new style 2 and 2k sopranos in the early days cause I wasn't going to shell out a lot more for those style 3 and 3k. While the style 2 ukes are very nice, they probably just didn't sell well enough. I'm glad I got mine when I could. I do have also the new style 3 that is in fine condition, barely used and I will keep it in the wings. Though, my 3 cherry is my fav. Glad I bought all my Martin ukes when the Canadian dollar was at par with the US dollar! hehe Now, I would suffer bigtime.

I don't quite understand that Martin custom shop. Does that mean I could order a new style 2 soprano if I want even if they are no longer in general production?

- Petey 2.0 (2016)

Django
01-05-2016, 02:45 PM
You can order just about anything custom from Martin through a dealer. It will be very expensive though. I'm not sure if they still have it, but their site did have a program that allowed you to enter your specifications and it gave you the cost, so even if you only wanted to vary from the stock model slightly, of if you wanted to recreate a discontinued model, it was going to cost much more and you had to place the order through a dealer. If someone is looking for a discontinued model, they might be better off finding a used one of buying new-old-stock from a dealer.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-05-2016, 02:51 PM
Only Kamaka Ukulele has been in production for 100 continuous years. It's a small distinction but an important one, to me at least.

PeteyHoudini
01-05-2016, 03:29 PM
You can order just about anything custom from Martin through a dealer. It will be very expensive though. I'm not sure if they still have it, but their site did have a program that allowed you to enter your specifications and it gave you the cost, so even if you only wanted to vary from the stock model slightly, of if you wanted to recreate a discontinued model, it was going to cost much more and you had to place the order through a dealer. If someone is looking for a discontinued model, they might be better off finding a used one of buying new-old-stock from a dealer.

Thanks for your info! 8-) I like your uke collection!

Petey

PeteyHoudini
01-05-2016, 03:33 PM
Only Kamaka Ukulele has been in production for 100 continuous years. It's a small distinction but an important one, to me at least.

Indeed!!! And I'm proud of my Kamaka pineapple too bought in 2015! Check the pic with us and Fred Kamaka! hehe

Petey87077

coolkayaker1
01-05-2016, 07:02 PM
Hi, Petey. I read and agree w your sentiments in post 53. Your logic is sound regarding the pricing and the willingness of uke players to pay it. I, too, find my Martin 2M modern the best of the modern lot. Now that Martin has ceased production of it after, what, about five years, maybe it'll appreciate. when I'm a centenarian myself, I can sell it to afford an additional month on life support (my family has rather specific instructions: no plug pulling; I wanna live for as long as I can, even if my mind is mush--no plug pulling!).

Looking forward to your video review of the Kam pine. Oh, and great photo. The gentleman next to you is the envy of us with jowls that are follicularly-challenged.

bonesoup
01-05-2016, 11:28 PM
I understand why Martin wants to focus on the dreadnaught. I am a bit disappointed they don't have a 100th in their new special models. I was hoping to see at least an anniversary label on all ukes revealed at NAMM. But if the rep says they're not focused on ukes right now, it doesn't seem likely. Unfortunately. At this point I just hope they continue to make ukes in PA. I could see them continuing in Mexico if they were to shut down the rest, not that I want to give them any ideas.

They're so scarce in retail stores now. I think Maury's has all ukes on special order last I checked. Haven't seen any, not an OXK or anything, at GCs the last couple times. Willcutt has some and some customs for $$$$. If I want to try US ones before I buy, and I do, I guess I have to get to Willcutt in person.

Django
01-06-2016, 02:40 AM
I wrote to Dick Boak and he confirmed that Martin has no plans for the anniversary of the Martin Ukulele. Ma always did like the Dreadnaught best.:( Elderly has no plans for any special editions either.

Pukulele Pete
01-06-2016, 02:46 AM
I wrote to Dick Boak and he confirmed that Martin has no plans for the anniversary of the Martin Ukulele. Ma always did like the Dreadnaught best.:( Elderly has no plans for any special editions either.

Geez ,...............!:confused::(

bonesoup
01-06-2016, 02:59 AM
I wrote to Dick Boak and he confirmed that Martin has no plans for the anniversary of the Martin Ukulele. Ma always did like the Dreadnaught best.:( Elderly has no plans for any special editions either.

That's a bummer, man.

PeteyHoudini
01-06-2016, 01:10 PM
That's a bummer, man.

Ditto!

Petey

PeteyHoudini
01-06-2016, 01:41 PM
Hi, Petey. I read and agree w your sentiments in post 53. Your logic is sound regarding the pricing and the willingness of uke players to pay it. I, too, find my Martin 2M modern the best of the modern lot. Now that Martin has ceased production of it after, what, about five years, maybe it'll appreciate. when I'm a centenarian myself, I can sell it to afford an additional month on life support (my family has rather specific instructions: no plug pulling; I wanna live for as long as I can, even if my mind is mush--no plug pulling!).

Looking forward to your video review of the Kam pine. Oh, and great photo. The gentleman next to you is the envy of us with jowls that are follicularly-challenged.

Glad you stocked up on the Martins for your future medical bills!!! ;-) hehe We have health care in Canada so I get to keep my Martins until I'm ready to be put down like Old Yeller. lol Now that I think about a 100th anniversary Martin uke, it doesn't make much sense because would it be in the style 2 or style 3 pricing range. That is already prohibitive and we already know how sales went down that road of no returns. hehe Doesn't mean I wouldn't have liked to see something on the Martin front! Not a tenor though. Maybe a soprano or a baritone?!!!

My Kamaka review is basically ready but I wanted to get down a bit of Campanella playing better. John King had that inspiration on his mother's pineapple uke so it is appropriate to show some of that playing. That is new to me in the sense that I've learned to play some. It is not easy. Seems to be about muscle memory in a way with those rolling triplets. I even wrote a little instrumental (non-campanella) on the Kamaka called "Pineapple espresso." Seems there is a place in Seattle called that. hehe

Yeah, I forget the name of the friendly guy in that photo next to me. His wife is on the left of Fred K. She was picking up a custom tenor there and had arranged this tour. The only reason I got to go on the mini tour was because I got up late at the hotel, had a quick brekkie in the hotel buffet restaurant, and while walking across the lobby dressed in Johnny Cash black in Waikiki, one of the guys saw me and asked what I was doing and if I'd like to come along for an improvised tour to Kamaka if I'd split on cab fare. I said, "Sure, I'm game." Kamaka had never been on my radar before. I had been thinking mainly to buy a Ko'aloha during my trip. That little jaunt was an amazing start to such a great trip!

Django
01-14-2016, 06:00 AM
It has been brought up here and in other posts that Martin's bridges look cheap and unfinished. If you play guitar or banjo this should not bother you because it seems as normal as a bare fingerboard. I had written to Martin to ask if there is any finish on their guitar or ukulele bridges. They told me that they do not finish any bridges but they do stain some and use Dr. Ducks Axe Wax to treat them.

I had thought that the steel string guitar bridges were usually bare, but I wanted to be sure before saying that this was the case. The Guitar Honey makes them less dull and should not alter the value of the instrument. I think that it helps the bridge to blend in nicely.

aquadan
01-14-2016, 09:39 AM
The Martin Owners club treats us as 2nd class citizens too. When you join, among the items you get is a set of guitar strings. I've asked whether they could swap them for uke strings if I joined, but the answer is sorry, we just have guitar strings.

Django
01-14-2016, 11:21 AM
I think that it is like bicycles. More women started riding, so now they produce women's specific models. They cannot accommodate the small fringe and the fringe does not become the mainstream without being accommodated. Catch 22. I still love their instruments, but it would have been nice if they had at least made a token effort. Maybe they will still surprise us. Anyway, they are not the only game in town and you can still get a 2016 Martin Ukulele. Maybe someone will commission a Centennial Martin. A one of a kind, custom, Centennial Martin Ukulele would probably appreciate. Antiques Road Show, 2066. I'll be 111, so I will not bother.

coolkayaker1
01-14-2016, 05:28 PM
The Martin Owners club treats us as 2nd class citizens too. When you join, among the items you get is a set of guitar strings. I've asked whether they could swap them for uke strings if I joined, but the answer is sorry, we just have guitar strings.

That's a sad anecdote, brother Dan, about the strings. Bottom line, as you suggest, ukuleles are just not high moneymakers, and thus not high priority, at Modern Martin. Add to that fact that certain models made a couple years ago, like Style 2 Koa and mahogany, are no longer made, it's pretty telling.

Frankly, I will never forget the thread about how brother Houdini was treated by Martin, under full warranty, on his split Katalox fretboard in 2013. Not a star moment for Martin. Many reasons to buy the vintage stuff, not the least of which is that they are a relative bargain compared to Laughlin, Kiwaya, and even Martin Nazareth themselves.

Ukulele Eddie
01-14-2016, 05:38 PM
Frankly, I will never forget the thread about how brother Houdini was treated by Martin, under full warranty, on his split Katalox fretboard in 2013. Not a star moment for Martin. Many reasons to buy the vintage stuff, not the least of which is that they are a relative bargain compared to Laughlin, Kiwaya, and even Martin Nazareth themselves.

That may be true for S0 and S1, but a Laughlin 5K replica new goes for $3,800 and there was a used one recently for $2,500. Haven't seen a vintage 5K for close to that. ;-)

coolkayaker1
01-14-2016, 05:47 PM
That may be true for S0 and S1, but a Laughlin 5K replica new goes for $3,800 and there was a used on recently for $2,500. Haven't seen a vintage 5K for close to that. ;-)

The $9k Martin 5k will be worth three times that in fifty years.

The $3800 Laughlin...not so much. (I'll leave it to the pundits to conject whether it'll be worth anything.Lol)

So, yea, the Martin is a relative bargain.;)

Ukulele Eddie
01-14-2016, 05:50 PM
The $9k Martin 5k will be worth three times that in fifty years.

The $3800 Laughlin...not so much. (I'll leave it to the pundits to conject whether it'll be worth anything.Lol)

So, yea, the Martin is a relative bargain.;)

Haha. Maybe. But I'm not sure today's Martins will appreciate in the same manner as those of yester-year. But maybe...

bonesoup
01-15-2016, 02:51 AM
Only Kamaka Ukulele has been in production for 100 continuous years. It's a small distinction but an important one, to me at least.

I just got The Ukulele: A History by Tranquada and King so I would like to share this. Respectfully:

"Kamaka managed to stay in production during the Depression but suspended operations during World War II when labor and materials became unavailable."

"Unable to obtain wood and other essential supplies, Sam Kamaka Sr., who had started growing flowers in Kaneohe in the 1930s to supplement his slender ukulele sales, rented out his South King Street shop, worked part-time at Pearl Harbor, and began growing mangoes on a farm in Waianae."

UkerDanno
01-15-2016, 04:46 AM
I'd love to see a "commemorative" Nazareth built style 0, for $1000.00 or so! I think they could sell a truck load...

Booli
01-15-2016, 05:18 AM
After keeping up with this thread for a while now, I've come to my own conclusion. I could be wrong too, but this is what I think at the moment. Feel free to disagree and show me another way...

It seems to me that Martin now (in 2016 at least) considers the ukulele like a red-headed stepchild, and as such wants to ignore it as along as possible and eventually kill it off, even if only because there are SO MANY of us that want them to do something AMAZING for the centennial, at this is just SO painfully inconvenient for them, that it will likely not happen.

Martin and Gibson were both pioneers in so many instruments at the time, and what I do not understand is how and why they seem to want to refute the heritage that made them strong.

It is a sad, sad shame. I expect sometime in the next 5 yrs, Martin will outsource and move all manufacturing to an Asian factory, except for the 'Artisan' series $5k guitars or whatever it's called now. NAMM 2020 will have 'MADE IN CHINA' stickers on the back of the headstocks of all of Martin's instruments on display.

Oh, well...time for me to obsess about something else for a while. :)

Ukulele Eddie
01-15-2016, 06:06 AM
[QUOTE=Booli;1800279] [snipped] It seems to me that Martin now (in 2016 at least) considers the ukulele like a red-headed stepchild, and as such wants to ignore it as along as possible and eventually kill it off, even if only because there are SO MANY of us that want them to do something AMAZING for the centennial, at this is just SO painfully inconvenient for them, that it will likely not happen./QUOTE]

Booli, I also wish they would do something given the uke's relevance to their own history. However, sentimental reasons aside, Martin is a business. While it seems there are "so many" of us who would be interested, keep in mind that we are in no way, shape or form representative of the majority of the uke market which is about 950K units in the US, whereas acoustic guitar unit volume is 1.4 million. When you factor in average selling price to get total market value, the picture becomes much more bleak. The dollar value of the acoustic guitar market is approximately $600 million vs. the ukulele market which is about $70 million. Remember, much of the market is comprised of very inexpensive ukes. Think about the profit dollars available for a commemorative uke, even if they did a special S1 with some adornment and sold it for under $500. There simply isn't that much profit available. I'm not suggesting profit is the only consideration, but that is the objective of most for-profit businesses.

Nevertheless, I have a suggestion. Why doesn't somebody contact them and ask how many orders would it require to get them to do a custom run? Maybe we could effectively commission them to do something.

Note: Figures for 2013 US Market as estimated in the 2014 NAMM report.

kkimura
01-15-2016, 06:22 AM
There is a silver lining in all of this. 100 year anniversary Martin Ukuleles will and are selling for very reasonable prices in 2016.

Booli
01-15-2016, 07:16 AM
Booli, I also wish they would do something given the uke's relevance to their own history. However, sentimental reasons aside, Martin is a business. While it seems there are "so many" of us who would be interested, keep in mind that we are in no way, shape or form representative of the majority of the uke market which is about 950K units in the US, whereas acoustic guitar unit volume is 1.4 million. When you factor in average selling price to get total market value, the picture becomes much more bleak. The dollar value of the acoustic guitar market is approximately $600 million vs. the ukulele market which is about $70 million. Remember, much of the market is comprised of very inexpensive ukes. Think about the profit dollars available for a commemorative uke, even if they did a special S1 with some adornment and sold it for under $500. There simply isn't that much profit available. I'm not suggesting profit is the only consideration, but that is the objective of most for-profit businesses.

Nevertheless, I have a suggestion. Why doesn't somebody contact them and ask how many orders would it require to get them to do a custom run? Maybe we could effectively commission them to do something.

Note: Figures for 2013 US Market as estimated in the 2014 NAMM report.

Eddie, thanks for your reply and giving some cash metrics to it all.

While it makes business sense, it does not feel good. Maybe it's just me. :(

gtomatt
01-15-2016, 07:22 AM
E-mail I sent to Martin earlier today (rather than continue to wonder/speculate, I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask):

"Greetings,

I’m wondering if you folks have any plans to release a centennial model to celebrate 100 years of Martin ‘ukuleles?

Due to the popularity of these instruments today and that they were an integral part of Martin production at one point, I would think that a definite market would exist, especially based upon the “buzz” on some of the ‘ukulele forums hoping for something special from you folks this year.

Thank you for your time

Regards,
Matt (a very happy Martin owner)"

Response I received a little bit ago:

"Matt,

Thanks for asking. Although we can’t disclose new model information, we are well aware of the timing of the Ukulele and its importance to our history.

Uke production, for protos, began in 1915 but really kicked off in 1917.

Stay tuned,
B"

uketeecee
01-16-2016, 12:13 AM
Uke production, for protos, began in 1915 but really kicked off in 1917.


So we'll be celebrating in 2017 then?

It's debatable when Martin ukulele production began. Martin first tried making ukuleles in 1907 but failed and it wasn't until 1915 that they tasted some small success.

However, in 1926 Martin ukulele sales really exploded. (See chart)

87447

M3Ukulele
01-16-2016, 04:03 AM
Great Chart...... What is the source and how does their product look after this time period. Great to hear we are likely to see some kind of celebrations model wise perhaps in 2017. 14,000 Ukuleles is a lot.........

uketeecee
01-16-2016, 05:15 PM
Great Chart...... What is the source and how does their product look after this time period.

The source is Jim Beloff's book 'The Ukulele - A Visual History' (Page 20) http://www.amazon.com/ukulele-visual-history-Jim-Beloff/dp/0879307587/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1453004031&sr=8-2&keywords=Jim+beloff+Visual

Production totals after the first 20 years are also listed in the same book (page 21).

Martin uke production numbers were down in the second 20 years but spiked in 1950 when TV host Arthur Godfrey made the ukulele popular once again for a brief period.