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PeteyHoudini
03-21-2016, 02:10 PM
Is this true?

A new Martin line made in Bamboo?

https://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/limited-editions-and-new-models/0x-uke-bamboo/

A bamboozle or the real bamboo? ;-) hehe

Petey

bedweazel
03-21-2016, 02:36 PM
Says it is high pressure laminate like the OXK. I love my OXK for what it is. I don't have to worry about it when I travel. Just throw it in a bag and go. I just wish that they would forget the fake wood grains. I like the fun colors though!

spookelele
03-21-2016, 04:18 PM
bamboo laminate.. is probably all bamboo. Bamboo is not a solid wood, it's a grass/reed.
Canes grow in round tubes that are cut into roughly flat strips, and then glued together to make a more wood like thing.
So, you can't make a "solid" bamboo anything because it doesn't grow solid.

I think.. Baz did a review of a bamboo uke that was favorable.

Booli
03-21-2016, 08:12 PM
I like the fact that it's made from bamboo which is considered a renewable resource, and that it's a 'Martin' but if the street price is not less than half of 'list price' of $499 USD, this might simply be priced way beyond my budget or interest...

Having said that- thanks to Petey for sharing the link and the info...:)

UkieOkie
03-21-2016, 08:57 PM
I'm with you Booli. That's way too steep for what you're getting unless somehow the sound is magical.

hmgberg
03-21-2016, 11:26 PM
As I understand it, this is not bamboo at all, but rather a "laminate" textured to look like bamboo. That is how I interpret "crafted from a green bamboo patterned high-pressure laminate (HPL)," from the Martin site. A "high pressure laminate" is layered, resin-coated paper.

Here is a short article discussing the difference between veneers, laminates and composites, all of which have been used in making ukuleles.

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/difference-between-wood-composite-veneer-laminate-100725.html

kissing
03-21-2016, 11:28 PM
I'm with you Booli. That's way too steep for what you're getting unless somehow the sound is magical.

Probably paying for the "Martin" name, given their history with ukuleles

whepper
03-21-2016, 11:56 PM
It's a bamboo print indeed. They call it 'green bamboo'.. not too fond of the looks of this one. It looks tacky for a Martin; even for an OXK .

BigJackBrass
03-22-2016, 01:24 AM
Given that the Moselele Bambookulele (http://www.moselele.co.uk/?product=moselele-bambookulele-soprano) costs roughly one fifth of that list price, the Martin will have to be phenomenally good to justify what they're asking.

kvehe
03-22-2016, 02:04 AM
This is one ukulele that I really don't understand. I bought a Paulele bamboo soprano from Mim two years ago that I like very much. But a bamboo-print 0XK?? Maybe I'm just not enough of an HPL fan.

Kyle23
03-22-2016, 02:12 AM
Not to be over the top but at the price, I don't get it and it has to be the most unappealing uke I've ever seen.

BigJackBrass
03-22-2016, 02:53 AM
A good point, Bill1. To me the key issue is that Martin are, from this product listing, doing a fairly poor job of explaining what the uke is about. Making it look like bamboo without being bamboo inevitably brings novelty or low-grade ukes to mind, with the result that many of us are baffled and somewhat dubious. A reputation for quality can easily be squandered, so Martin ought perhaps to consider the message they're trying to convey.

bonesoup
03-22-2016, 03:35 AM
Also it says the neck is birch laminate. I wonder if that means it's lighter, less neck heavy, than the 0XK?

The regular veneer looks kinda cool. The red and blue, not for me, but I see its appeal. It's nice to see them introducing a new model.

actadh
03-22-2016, 03:57 AM
Hmmm. this makes me wonder. Perhaps this might be why the Koa pattern OXK suddenly dropped in price around the first of the year.

It was nearly always priced around $269/$289. I got mine from Musicians Friend in 2014 reduced from the MSRP price of $449. At that time it was their price $289 and they allowed a 15% off coupon. I thought I scored until this year. For about six weeks you could get it for $189-$199. It seems to be back up in price again - Amazon has it this morning for $269. But, I wonder if it is going to be phased out for this version.

The body seems to be exactly the same - "bamboo" print instead of 'koa" print. Maybe they think the colors would make it more Ohana SK10/ Makala Dolphinish to appeal to a different crowd?

Birch laminate neck instead of Stratabond. (I liked the durability of the Stratabond and use strap buttons so the weight was not an issue.) Fingerboard is Rosewood instead of Morado.

Since the current Koa version is MSRP 449 as is the Bamboo version, I figure this one will be available in the $269/289 range. I think it is a great deal in the $200 price range- good camping uke, good office uke. At the $289 price range, it is an alternative to the wooden fretboard upgraded Fleas/Flukes.

I also just noticed it is OX. Wonder why not OXB?

spookelele
03-22-2016, 03:59 AM
are you guys sure it's a ply?
Laminate means pieces are glued together.
Technically anything made book matched is laminated, even if it's a "solid top"

HPL bamboo.. is more like wood than ply.
They use it for cutting boards, flooring, bar/table tops, etc.

89623

Nickie
03-22-2016, 04:10 AM
As I understand it, this is not bamboo at all, but rather a "laminate" textured to look like bamboo. That is how I interpret "crafted from a green bamboo patterned high-pressure laminate (HPL)," from the Martin site. A "high pressure laminate" is layered, resin-coated paper.

Here is a short article discussing the difference between veneers, laminates and composites, all of which have been used in making ukuleles.

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/difference-between-wood-composite-veneer-laminate-100725.html

Thanks for this article.
I think that's way too much money for a laminate uke, even a Martin. I don't know if I'd pay that much for a "real" bamboo uke, probably not.
It's true that bamboo isn't wood, it's a grass. (I'm an Agronomist, so I know)
I played a real bamboo uke once, it sounded great, but it wasn't any $449.00. It was about half that.

kissing
03-22-2016, 04:31 AM
The thing that annoys me is when they use this "High Pressure Laminate" on their guitars, it seems to be for the sides and backs only.
The top is solid as a general rule of thumb.

70sSanO
03-22-2016, 06:13 AM
If Martin really wanted to offer a durable travel ukulele that will resist all sorts of weather, why didn't they take a look at the attributes of Blackbird's Clara. I'm not saying to copy the design or materials, but maybe look into using synthetic materials throughout the entire ukulele. Because Martin is using natural wood (spruce?) bracing, rosewood fretboard and bridge I don't think you can literally get it wet to any degree.

I'm sure it is a good sounding ukulele, and it will take more of a beating than a solid uke, but I'm not sure there is that much of difference between this laminate and any other good quality laminate. Since Martin is pursuing the use of HPL, I am disappointed that they didn't go further with it than just a change in appearance. After all the ukulele is the ultimate travel size instrument.

John

spookelele
03-22-2016, 06:18 AM
If Martin really wanted to offer a durable travel ukulele that will resist all sorts of weather, why didn't they take a look at the attributes of Blackbird's Clara.

Does martin have anything not made of wood?

Going to a mold type fabrication, especially for volume, is not a small thing. If you do that thing already, it's one thing. To start doing it from scratch is altogether a different thing.

70sSanO
03-22-2016, 06:43 AM
Does martin have anything not made of wood?

Going to a mold type fabrication, especially for volume, is not a small thing. If you do that thing already, it's one thing. To start doing it from scratch is altogether a different thing.

Agreed. The Clara is a tremendous engineering achievement.

But Martin could have incorporated more synthetic materials throughout.

John

spookelele
03-22-2016, 11:10 AM
Are you sure it's veneered bamboo on a plywood top?
Bamboo is cheap stuff. I would think it would be made of a "solid" laminated top of bamboo.

http://www.endoftheroll.com/files/7914/3827/6361/Bamboo_Flooring__Vertical_.jpeg

There's alot of this type of "wood" being made in china.

hmgberg
03-22-2016, 11:29 AM
Are you sure it's veneered bamboo on a plywood top?
Bamboo is cheap stuff. I would think it would be made of a "solid" laminated top of bamboo.

http://www.endoftheroll.com/files/7914/3827/6361/Bamboo_Flooring__Vertical_.jpeg

There's alot of this type of "wood" being made in china.

I don't think so. HPL is a trademarked thing, a particular kind of laminate. These "bamboo" Martins, I am inclined to believe, are just like the OXK, in that there is no loa in the latter. If you read the description Petey posted on the Martin site, they go not say it is bamboo; they say it is a "bamboo patterned" HPL.

Here is some information on HPL:

https://www.panolam.com/materials/highpressurelaminatehpl

You can get it to look like all kinds of woods and stone.

Ekoa isn't loa either. It's a composite developed by Blackbird. Here is the wiki link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ekoa

So, the HPL is the kind of material used on countertops, like Formica, which is also a trademarked kind of laminate. Danelectro started using the material way back when.

Jacman Rasta Bicycle
03-22-2016, 11:41 AM
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. I'll reserve judgement until i've heard what they sound like...but that bile yellow color is unappetizing.

ScooterD35
03-22-2016, 04:03 PM
Martin's X series instruments, guitars as well as ukuleles, are made of HPL (high pressure laminate). Basically, it's a proprietary version of Formica. They've been making them for around 20 years now and have had great success with it. The birch ply neck is a multi-ply, incredibly strong and stable material called stratabond that they have likewise been using for more than a decade.

If there is a 1 in the model designation, i.e. DX1, then the instrument has a solid Sitka spruce top and HPL back and sides. All others are HPL top, back and sides. The wood grain on HPL panels is a photographic representation of an actual piece of wood. Every OXK, for example, is identical. Over the years they have made numerous special editions with solid colors and custom artwork, such as the very popular Felix The Cat guitars in the LXM size mini guitars.

These new "bamboo" Ukes are just the latest in a long line of X series instruments and simply offer an alternative style to the OXK. Tone-wise, they should sound about the same.


Scooter

kkimura
03-23-2016, 03:49 AM
Maybe the approach could be to think of it as a high end Makala Shark type ukulele?

Looks like they upgraded the fretboard from richlite to rosewood.

Sharpshin
03-23-2016, 04:20 AM
I think they might look good and feel good in the hand. I bet they play alright as well. Martin has lots of experience with HPL and in the last few years, the guitars seem to be getting lighter and better sounding. I think it is smart of an above poster to refer to HPL as a affordable alternative to carbon. A martin sounding uke that I don't have to keep in a case 24/7 with a bunch of humidifiers is appealing to me. I don't care if the street price is $225 or $285 if it sounds consistently good and can withstand the 10-30% humidity conditions I live in.
There is an entire generation of stringed instrument players who don't have and will never have quite the fascination with all solid woods and are therefore open to other materials to keep maintenance down and the overall price affordable for a regular player. Koa colored HPL might have created a comparison mentality in experienced uke buyers and it can't compete there...rework it and put the color in, and voila! A nice sounding HPL uke that can stand on it own merits with out all the vintage and custom collectors bashing it before it is out of the starting gate?
All solid wood instruments are available for cheap from China, etc. Was my nice all "hog" chinese factory soprano made by a child working 12 hours a day, six days a week? I don't know, but I wonder about it and don't like to think about it. I am more comfortable with the idea of it being made in Mexico, where I am pretty sure working conditions are more supervised by Martin.
I would like Martin to sell a lot of these, and then think that it is worth their while to create that high dollar 100 yr. Anniversary ukulele that some folks on this forum might like to see.

Django
04-13-2016, 01:54 AM
I love Martin, but sometimes they put some stuff out there that probably has Frank Henry rolling in his grave. This is the way they mark the 100th anniversary of building fine ukuleles ???

I always think of Martin as classy and distinguished and that playability and tone are the main focus. I have one of the Koa printed OXKs for travel and it plays well and has a nice tone, but it lacks the complexity of tone that comes from real wood and the neck is not as refined as the Nazareth Martins. It actually doesn't look bad and I still enjoy it in Koa print, but the Bamboo seems like a strange way to go.

Actual Bamboo, being a grass would be environmentally friendly, but the tone would probably suffer. I guess that I don't understand fake or printed Bamboo because it has no environmental benefit and they could have printed anything from Flamed Maple to Brazilian Rosewood, but instead, they chose oddly colored Bamboo. To each their own. They are a thriving business, so they must be doing something right.

ukulelekarcsi
04-13-2016, 02:53 AM
I love Martin, but sometimes they put some stuff out there that probably has Frank Henry rolling in his grave.

This reminded me of how Johnny Cash's black D-35 Martin was built behind the back of C.F. Martin III, in the early 1970s, because the company president thought an all-black guitar was too “radical.” According to the story, C. F. remained unaware of the instrument until he saw Johnny Cash playing it on Columbo (the 1974 'Swan Song' episode). Once he saw it on t.v., he liked it.

strumsilly
04-13-2016, 04:24 AM
for the list price you could buy a real good vintage Martin. no brainer for me.

Ukuleledad
04-13-2016, 08:32 PM
I think that Martin have missed an opportunity here by being too conservative. The 0XK is basically a platform that any finish could be applied to, the colour/pattern options are endless.

Consider: Gloss Black, Pearl White, two tone etc etc

Pukulele Pete
04-14-2016, 12:15 AM
Sign me up for one gloss black Martin soprano. ( 12 fret )

coolkayaker1
04-14-2016, 11:57 AM
A centennial, lime green, phony-bamboo Formica $450 Martin?

Martins message to ukulele players: "Happy 100 years of being suckers, you toy-playing dipshits."

bedweazel
04-14-2016, 03:43 PM
Consider: Gloss Black, Pearl White, two tone etc etc

YES! I agree!

Kyle23
04-14-2016, 03:44 PM
A centennial, lime green, phony-bamboo Formica $450 Martin?

Martins message to ukulele players: "Happy 100 years of being suckers, you toy-playing dipshits."

Is this really their 100 year model? Please tell me I read this wrong.

blue_knight_usa
04-14-2016, 05:49 PM
are you guys sure it's a ply?
Laminate means pieces are glued together.
Technically anything made book matched is laminated, even if it's a "solid top"

HPL bamboo.. is more like wood than ply.
They use it for cutting boards, flooring, bar/table tops, etc.

89623

Book matched solid wood is NOT laminate at all...not even technically. HPL is exactly how they make manufactured flooring with wood particles.

Per Martin, high pressure laminate (HPL), consists of wood particles pressed together under high heat with special resin and given a “photo finish” to resemble real wood,

Soundbored
04-15-2016, 12:53 AM
The soprano style 2 isn't even listed on their site anymore, and the rest of the range is uninspiring and overpriced, IMO. Martin lost my $1000 to Kiwaya in Japan.

And it's been implied in this thread that vintage Martins are going for the same ~$500 price range, which is very misleading. Sure they are, if you don't mind doing a neck reset, and overlooking the cracked top and back. ::love::

ukulelekarcsi
04-15-2016, 01:47 AM
I don't really understand the fuss, to be honest.

For ca. 400$ new (at first 100$), Martin has been making OX-series soprano ukuleles for the last decade: no-frills, with a wood print on them, ear-tuners. For around 100$ more, they're making solid wood versions as well (at first the SO-series, now the improved S1-series, no-frills, friction tuners). Concerts and tenors had been around 600$ (no-frills style 0, solid koa or mahogany).

For some time they have been making much more expensive 'collector's models', like the style 2 and IZ tenors and the 5K and cherrywood Daisy sopranos, ranging between 2000$ and 5000$. The prices reflect more the collectability than the playability.

The only thing that changed, is at the low end of that range: the XO-series now also have a coloured bamboo-like version instead of a woodprint one. For the same price. Most musicians are quite conservative when it comes to looks, a bit like CF III, but I suppose Chris Martin thought it might appeal to a new generation: same price, same material, same built, brighter looks.

What is new, is that

ukeeku
04-15-2016, 05:09 AM
Here is my review of the OXK from 2010
https://ukeeku.com/2010/07/06/martin-oxk-full-review/

I loved it. It is on my list of Ukes to own.

Sharpshin
04-19-2016, 02:57 AM
So far...I can not find the OX colored HPL ukulele for sale anywhere. I presume it is not available yet.

mingus
04-19-2016, 03:12 AM
Just wanted to say that I own the Martin 0XK.

I have played MANY sopranos over the past 10 years...

It is a great uke, especially considering that you can find them for under $200 new!

Great tone, action, and playability!

kmac66
04-19-2016, 09:41 AM
Have they gotten rid of the gold sticker on the head stock?
That always looked a little cheap. And I've seen them peel off the S1s.

LarryS
04-19-2016, 10:47 AM
It would be interesting if it was actually made of bamboo but it isnt. Its a bamboo print on HPL, which sounds like fancy MDF.

LarryS
04-19-2016, 11:01 AM
Here is my review of the OXK from 2010
https://ukeeku.com/2010/07/06/martin-oxk-full-review/

I loved it. It is on my list of Ukes to own.

Cool. BTW I'm adding your blog to the Links list on my blog

hendulele
10-01-2016, 03:25 PM
I got a chance to play one for a couple of minutes today at the Martin booth at a bluegrass festival. It felt lighter than my 0XK and sounded brighter. If I were choosing between them, I'd probably pick the bamboo, but my 0XK is fine. That's not to say I'd sell mine and buy a bamboo, but still ...

M3Ukulele
10-02-2016, 04:52 AM
I'm not a soprano player but the description is clear HPL=high pressure laminate. I don't mind the bambo green color but also thing the blue pattern is kinda cool. Glad to see HPL as alternate but have not played one yet. I'd like to try a Martin HPL tenor. What I'd really like to play is Martin tenor HPL back and sides with solid spruce top like their DX1 guitars. I recently hear a video shoot out with three guitars - high end wood, HPL with solid top and carbon fibre guitar. It is amazing how similar they sound in a blind sound test. I think HPL and mixes of materials has to find a place in the Ukulele world.

Bill Potter
10-02-2016, 04:08 PM
I can't imagine there'd be any substantial difference in weight between one with a Koa transfer or a bamboo one. It's not like there's any structural difference between a 0XK and a 0X Bamboo uke, especially since there's not any actual Koa or bamboo in either one. Shouldn't be any acoustic difference between the two either. Well, no more than between any two particular instruments anyway.

Ukecaster
05-02-2017, 04:13 AM
I think that Martin have missed an opportunity here by being too conservative. The 0XK is basically a platform that any finish could be applied to, the colour/pattern options are endless.

Consider: Gloss Black, Pearl White, two tone etc etc

Yeah, the possibilities are endless. Betcha they'd sell a bunch if they offered it in a doghair finish, like this Collings.

99825

PeteyHoudini
05-02-2017, 06:50 AM
Just bought at lunch a natural OX at a nearby music store.

Petey

Rllink
05-02-2017, 07:14 AM
I like the fact that it's made from bamboo which is considered a renewable resource, and that it's a 'Martin' but if the street price is not less than half of 'list price' of $499 USD, this might simply be priced way beyond my budget or interest...

Having said that- thanks to Petey for sharing the link and the info...:)
I recently attended a home and garden show and a presentation there on building materials and the environmental costs of them. The presenter said that while bamboo has long been marketed as a renewable resource and therefore environmentally friendly, but the environmental cost of shipping and processing bamboo into a building material leaves a carbon footprint that is very large. I had not thought of that before I attended the presentation. He compared it to ethanol, which requires a lot of petroleum to produce so that we can turn around and burn it in our cars to reduce petroleum use. It is interesting.

jimavery
05-02-2017, 08:15 AM
I see Southern Ukulele Store here in the UK have a couple of these bamboo Martins at 349 each. At that price I'd be seriously tempted (if I had 349 pounds to spare). I love the classic look, but I love a bit of innovation too - these little charmers tick both boxes.

I really like the way Martin on their website give the option of filtering for left-handed suitable ukuleles too.

PeteyHoudini
05-02-2017, 09:22 AM
Mine cost $469 Canadian + 15% tax.

Canadian is at 73 cents to the US dollar.

Petey

WCBarnes
05-02-2017, 10:22 AM
Mine cost $469 Canadian + 15% tax.

Canadian is at 73 cents to the US dollar.

Petey

Given the the above exchange rate, it looks like prices are slightly better in the states. Elderly has them for $314 + tax & shipping.

PeteyHoudini
05-02-2017, 03:54 PM
Given the the above exchange rate, it looks like prices are slightly better in the states. Elderly has them for $314 + tax & shipping.

Nice to know. Thanx. Funny, since I bought most of my new Martin ukes in the 2012-13 period when the Canadian dollar was at par with the US dollar. I ordered the new Martin ukes through my local music store and I kept noticing that the Canadian prices were way better than the US prices. No joke. So, I just went totally nuts with UAS then and bought tons of the new Martin ukes. hehe

After many years now, I felt a bit of the same old UAS Martin passion when I bought the 0X at lunch today. Yeah, I had it in my mind for a long time to get one (namely lime green), especially when I saw it at the music store last Saturday while going out to lunch at my fav. Indian restaurant.

I've put it to the test tonight. Amazing. I need a uke for lunch at work, and for travelling and I don't want to take my 3 cherry and style 2 on such adventures so the Bamboo fills the gap. Best not to travel with expensive ukes overseas.

I prefer this uke to my old OXK. It's brighter,

PeteyHoudini

99856

hikaru
05-02-2017, 05:26 PM
Congrats on the new Martin, Petey!

Am I the only one who thinks the pink one will attract lots of female players (just like me)? It looks stunning, and cute, and it's a Martin!

PeteyHoudini
05-03-2017, 02:33 PM
Congrats on the new Martin, Petey!

Am I the only one who thinks the pink one will attract lots of female players (just like me)? It looks stunning, and cute, and it's a Martin!

Thanks!!! Not sure about the science behind gender uke colour tastes, but my first Mahalo uke was green, only because they gave me the wrong one at the music store in a box! I had originally wanted that was in purple at the music store hanging on the shelf! I only noticed on the bus ride on my way home that they gave me the green machine! yuck! But, I kept it.

I then went on to buy a lot of different colours of low-end Mahalo ukes afterwards... red, purple, lime green (my fav. colour after black), etc...

So, I think Martin and Co. finally decided to add some colour to their entry-level ukes and I like them too!!! I wanted the "lime green" from day one, but I was lazy and waited, and I found the natural one last weekend and bought it this week. It's great!

Keep on ukeing!

PeteyHoudini