View Full Version : Worth the money?

02-03-2016, 07:45 PM
Are some of the high end martins worth the flap? £5000 for a soprano scale!! why so expensive? Are they really that great? Have they done double blind trials on these bad boys?
My dream instrument (if i ever could afford) is the Kanile'a KPE which just over a grand, but slap 4 more on that!?
I need enlightening. Is it pretencious or purposeful?

02-03-2016, 09:17 PM
Are some of the high end martins worth the flap? £5000 for a soprano scale!! why so expensive?


I need enlightening. Is it pretencious or purposeful?

Like high-end cars, guns, whatever .... there's a certain amount of artistry involved and probably a certain amount of "some sucker will pay it so let's take it".

It's not like the world will stop if you don't have one !!

mm stan
02-03-2016, 09:24 PM
To someone it always is...depends on their financial situation and how much one wants it :)

Croaky Keith
02-03-2016, 09:39 PM
More like as in art, "if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it!"

(I think they are just for people who have too much money.)

02-03-2016, 09:44 PM
In the greater picture of things, it's not all that expensive, and it's likely to hold, or increase, the value. People also pay 12k+ for Moore Bettah ukuleles. Would I pay that or 5k for a Martin? No, because I'm not comfortable spending that kind of money on a single ukulele. But that is just preference. If I made three times as much as I do per year, I may have other preferences, though I also feel that the more expensive and thus irreplaceable an instrument is, the more I'm intimidated by it and the less likely to play it.

My limit is $1500, and even that is probably unreasonable (for me) and not something I'd do multiple times per year. I'm actually at a point where I'm fairly satisfied with what I have. There's also the aspect diminishing returns. A $5000 instrument isn't five times better sounding than a $1000. The higher you get, the less return in objective gain there is. Perception is probably a different matter, though. I don't even presume to hear the difference between a $300 instrument and a $1500 one in the hands of a skilled player. People like Corey make $100 ukuleles sound divine.

In the end, the only thing that matters is whether it makes you happy.

02-04-2016, 04:16 AM
Just my opinion... the problem I see with Martin, and Fender/Gibson guitars, is that the new ones will always be competing with the vintage ones. In some ways the 2016 Martin 5K will never be a real 5K or 3K in the minds of some regardless of how well it plays and sounds. That is the problem with any re-issue. The only reason why there is a re-issue is because the originals are so highly sought and prized.

Not being a collector, I can't tell you how collectible they will be in the future. My guess is that they will not be as collectible as the originals.

I think the consensus is to play and buy the ukulele you like the most, and if you can afford, buy the Martin if that is the best for you.


02-04-2016, 04:48 AM
At the price you mention you may be talking about the 5K. Martin values its inlay work quite a lot. Besides, they don't need to sell a lot of them because these days the uke business is a sideline, a distraction from their wildly successful guitar building business.

I'm one who would consider buying a new 5k over an old one if they were the same price. There is no obvious reason the new one should be inferior and I like new stuff.

02-04-2016, 06:56 AM
Mivo hit a key point - some high end ukes do not lose value. This means that the cost of owning a 5K Martin (or a Moore Bettah) could theoretically be zero, or even negative if it appreciates in value. As long as

- you got an appropriate price on it initially
- you have not damaged, destroyed or lost the instrument
- the market continues to value these ukes
- and, of course, you have the money somewhere sitting around

It's this last thing that keeps people out of the market. The money has to be essentially sitting around, since a high end uke is not necessarily that easy to sell fast. (Of course, the right price (losing something on the deal) will move things faster)

So if you fulfill the last requirement, you should educate yourself and really hunt to fulfill the first requirement. And if you like (love) the instrument, that's another fulfillment you are lucky enough to get.

02-04-2016, 06:58 AM
I need enlightening. Is it pretencious or purposeful?

maybe, it depends

02-04-2016, 08:14 AM
Wow. I think Mivo nailed it. I had no idea MB ukes had risen that much in price. It doesn't matter to me, because to me, that's the price of a decent used car.
Everything is relative. I'd never dream of paying 5 grand for a uke. Chuck and other good luthiers deserve every penny, I'm sure, but that many pennies won't be from me, we mostly live paycheck to paycheck here, pay all our bills and manage to have a little fun now and then.
But I digress. Sure, if I were a millionaire, or zillionaire, or some such aire, I'd blow some money on a trip to Hawaii and a darn nice uke from down there.
But at the current rate of exchange in House of McNichols and Short, about a grand is my limit.

02-04-2016, 09:16 AM
Are some of the high end martins worth the flap?...I need enlightening.

When asked the question "What is jazz?", Louis Armstrong said, "If you have to ask, you'll never know."

A Martin will never be worth 5 grand to you or me.

02-04-2016, 09:24 AM
If I'm spending that kind of money on a uke which I have before and am again I prefer to have something custom made by an individual luthier so I can be involved in the wood choices and selection of the bindings, purfling, etc etc I can't see spending that much on a stock uke from more of a mass production company.

02-04-2016, 09:50 AM
A lot of my choices depend on what I can get the ukulele for and what I can sell it for.

I know I can't sell my new Kanile'a for the price I paid for it, but I bought it with that in mind. I played it and it was so sweet that I knew I was okay with that. Besides, I will only lose money if I sell it soon.

I've also purchased a Martin OXK. I got a good price on it and knew I could sell it for as much as I paid for it, so I didn't mind trying it out. The HPL was interesting. I think I made $5 on it when I sold it and that paid for the new strings I put on it. I liked having it, but didn't need to keep it. I'm sure it's the same with the expensive ukuleles.

02-04-2016, 02:58 PM
Yes, a Martin 5K is worth the money. Just ask the people who own them.

02-05-2016, 04:50 AM
For me personally, not worth it. The motivation just isn't there, and probably never will be. For others, it may be totally different, and I respect that. I have a great playing, great sounding, great feeling uke and I am very satisfied. A $5,000.00 just wouldn't be on my radar, from any maker.