View Full Version : NUD: Style 1 Centennial v. Vintage 1K

07-10-2017, 03:00 PM
So once again the whimsical Fate has dropped a treasure in my path. This time it was a Martin Centennial Style 1 Soprano on 4th of July Sale at Reverb. How to resist such a gift? It's not to be done. :)

Now that I've had this lovely a couple of days, I thought I'd post a few pics of it with my 1K for those who'd like to compare it to an actual old Martin.

Folks have mentioned how lightly built the old Martins are. Now that I have two in my hands, I can see and feel where some of that difference is. There is, quite simply, more wood in the new one. The headstock is a tad longer. All of the edges are sharp and crisp. In contrast, every edge of the 1K is rounded. It's all smooth and refined, which must contribute at least something to the weight difference.

Regarding tone, both ukes project and sustain very well. But just like the edges, the tone of the 1K is smooth and refined as well. More of an elegant lady next to the exuberant teenager of the new uke.


New mahogany is definitely not aged koa, but has a bright, brash sound all its own. And it will only get better with time. I like it!

and of course... this guy likes it!


07-10-2017, 04:44 PM
Ha Ha !

I see Fiero is sniffing as per your tagline...

These look great - Congrats!

A few weeks ago I had a chance to play 1940's Martin S2, in very good shape, in a local shop, but the $1199 price seemed a bit much and also exceeded ALL available funds - and being that the instrument was a DREAM to play and sounded like weeping angels, it was VERY hard to let go of it (but it was closing time and they had to almost force me to leave [without the S2 sadly])...

Happy for you! :) :music::nana::rock:

07-10-2017, 04:51 PM
Weeping angels...

Very good analogy, Booli!

Keep going back to visit it, and someday...

07-10-2017, 05:11 PM
Congrats to both you and Fiero!

07-11-2017, 02:14 PM
Congratulations on a beautiful new addition. They are like gorgeous sisters....... just one a lot older than the other. Your Martin threads have me lusting after a vintage Martin soprano.

07-12-2017, 12:52 AM
Congratulations on a beautiful new addition. They are like gorgeous sisters....... just one a lot older than the other. Your Martin threads have me lusting after a vintage Martin soprano.

Thanks all! And yes, Dave, you totally need a vintage. I found three "out in the wild" before I found "the one." I still can't believe it's mine. I wasn't looking for the Centennial, but when I stumbled across it... and knowing that they were sold out everywhere.... what can ya do? :)

Now I'm strumming the heck out of it in order to break in that mahogany. I read somewhere that it responds really well to hard playing for the first month.

07-12-2017, 02:40 AM
Very nice, congratulations!

That's one thing I immediately noticed about my vintage martin concert: the rounded edges. I think it looks and feels very nice, and I'm a bit surprised they don't do it on the new ones. IMO, that's a signature of the older ones.

Outside of ukes, I'm a HUGE Gibson fan-boy, but I really appreciate Martin's ukuleles. Those rounded edges are a big part of that.

Enjoy breaking in your new uke!

07-12-2017, 02:45 AM
Just looked at the pics again. Its interesting how similar, yet different they look. I think the centennial's extended fret board contributes the most to the difference.

I wonder how similarly they are braced? The new Martin's I've played seem to have good tone and volume, even though the wood is noticeably thicker. I wonder if the bracing is thinner to compensate?

07-21-2017, 09:31 AM
Beautiful markings on that... cat! Wonderful ukes too.
I was tempted by that particular sale myself, fun to see it land here.
I did wonder what the extra $50 covered besides the (blessed) absence of the (IMHO irritatingly cheap looking) headstock sticker on the S1.
(I wonder if I sold my T1K mostly because of that sticker. I had decided I had enough koa tenors, but that one had a GREAT sound relative to price.)
Great to see and hear about yours - as well as your BEAUTIFUL feline.