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View Full Version : I can'r really notice much difference



Jarmo_S
10-01-2018, 09:07 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OEog_2dyKw

This guy is playing a $50 Makala and $5000 Martin as a comparison.
That Martin is vintage and we do know that guitar type instruments don't get better with age, but rather age.

Also I think he has added some reverb maybe to the recordings, so it I guess makes it harder to tell differences. To me the cheapo Makala sounds just as good as the Martin.

Jerryc41
10-01-2018, 09:41 AM
That's why I don't care about sound samples online. I'm listening through 2" speakers. :D

edhaponik
10-01-2018, 10:36 AM
I think they sound different - the Martin has a "darker" tone with less attack to me. A rounder tone with a bit less clarity and sustain. The thing is, some people WANT exactly that in a uke, and some want just the opposite. There is no such thing as "better" between any two instruments, provided they are both playable. The better instrument is the one which makes you FEEL better playing it - the one which makes you WANT to play. Some people would grab that Martin and enjoy connecting with its story, with the legacy of a company which had so much to do with how ukulele became part of music in America, and with the craftsmanship of that era. Others will grab that Makala and feel awesome about what a great deal they got and worry nada about bringing the instrument literally anywhere. And it sounds great, too.

Comparisons are odious. It's all perspective.

ripock
10-01-2018, 10:42 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OEog_2dyKw

This guy is playing a $50 Makala and $5000 Martin as a comparison.
That Martin is vintage and we do know that guitar type instruments don't get better with age, but rather age.

Also I think he has added some reverb maybe to the recordings, so it I guess makes it harder to tell differences. To me the cheapo Makala sounds just as good as the Martin.

There isn't much difference and that's the beauty of the ukulele: there is this little nuance between models and either that slight difference is monumental or negligible based on your personality.

bearbike137
10-01-2018, 11:32 AM
Well, the value of the vintage Martin soprano is going to have very little to do with its tone and everything to do with its rarity.

And acoustic instruments DO get better with age. I am willing to fall on that sword. For example, I have owned the same acoustic dreadnought for over 20 years. There is a noticeable difference in it tone today (more open, rounder, more low end, louder) than back in 1997 - and I have the recordings to prove it.

Kenn2018
10-01-2018, 12:51 PM
I think they sound different - the Martin has a "darker" tone with less attack to me. A rounder tone with a bit less clarity and sustain. The thing is, some people WANT exactly that in a uke, and some want just the opposite. There is no such thing as "better" between any two instruments, provided they are both playable. The better instrument is the one which makes you FEEL better playing it - the one which makes you WANT to play. Some people would grab that Martin and enjoy connecting with its story, with the legacy of a company which had so much to do with how ukulele became part of music in America, and with the craftsmanship of that era. Others will grab that Makala and feel awesome about what a great deal they got and worry nada about bringing the instrument literally anywhere. And it sounds great, too.

Comparisons are odious. It's all perspective.

Depends upon what you are comparing. Similar instrument comparisons, such as: Pono tenors (with the same strings): solid Mahogany vs. solid Koa vs. solid Mango; or K-brand sopranos; can be very helpful when I am buying online and I don't have actual instruments to listen to.

A vintage solid Martin vs. a laminate Makala is pretty useless. But a solid Ohana vs. a laminate? That's helpful.

If you listen to sound comparisons, it does help to use good earphones or earbuds. The speakers on the computer just don't cut it. Yes, I know, the sound files are probably compressed. But you still can hear a lot better with the ear-phones/buds. It ain't perfect, but it does give good information.

spongeuke
10-01-2018, 07:14 PM
Really a $5,000 Martin? It must be a museum piece, that said means that it hasn't been played, broken in, or such. I do sell (when possible) vintage Martins some 100 years old. They do have that Marin sound, some more so than others. To my hands and ears the new Martins don't have it. They are fine instruments and in the right hands are great. My preference is Mahogany Martins before 1946. wish I could play as good as Andy.

El Viejo
10-01-2018, 07:58 PM
It's hard to make a comparison when there's piles of reverb!

Either way though I wouldn't expect to hear that much difference. Old Martins to me sound very boxed in and traditional, like a Kamaka or a soprano sized Pono. Maybe even more boxed in and traditional. That type of sound just doesn't jump out in comparison to a less expensive laminate, in my personal opinion.

Now, compare the Makala to a Koaloha soprano, and it will be night and day.

upskydowncloud
10-02-2018, 01:58 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OEog_2dyKw

This guy is playing a $50 Makala and $5000 Martin as a comparison.
That Martin is vintage and we do know that guitar type instruments don't get better with age, but rather age.

Also I think he has added some reverb maybe to the recordings, so it I guess makes it harder to tell differences. To me the cheapo Makala sounds just as good as the Martin.

Thanks for posting this. I've seen/heard this before and on each listening, I prefer the Makala ukulele.

In person I've always found Martin ukuleles to be a bit dull sounding compared to K-brand ukuleles. Personal preference I guess!

Rllink
10-02-2018, 04:24 AM
I don't think that this is a fair test. The Makala concert is just a great uke for the price, right out of the box. If I wanted to make the point that a $50 uke sounds as good as a $1000 uke, I would use the Makala too.;)

Jerryc41
10-02-2018, 06:26 AM
Well, the value of the vintage Martin soprano is going to have very little to do with its tone and everything to do with its rarity.

Right! It certainly didn't sell for $5,000 in the 1920s.