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View Full Version : Martin Concert - WOW!



jazzbo
05-26-2010, 08:44 AM
Not long ago. I picked up a 1950s Martin style 1 Concert and I just couldn't be any more satisfied. I installed aquillas and I'm here to tell you that hard strumming is so loud that it actually hurts my ears. When playing fingerstyle, there's sustain like I've never heard before.

I've owned a few Asian Ukes......Kala, Cordoba, etc., and the Koa models had the best tone. Well, this old Martin mahogany has it all, plus some. I never did buy a K-brand Koa because I discovered that I could own an old Martin Concert for the same price as say a K1. I cannot say that my Martin sounds better than a new K-brand, but I just want to highly recommend an old Martin Concert to folks out there shopping. It took me a few months to find one, so be patient and you won't be sorry.

jazzbo

phanzo
05-26-2010, 08:49 AM
How are the tuners on your Martin? My Martin's tuners suck!! They are either really tight and barely move (and when they do, the pitch changes so much, that it is hard to get in tune) or they are too loose and can't support the tension of the strings...I put new Ping tuners on there thinking that the original ones were just too "old" but that didnt change anything.

jazzbo
05-26-2010, 09:11 AM
Dustin, I can't speak for the Pings but my friction tuners was the same way when I got it. First, I removed then and cleaned them up, then I lightly sanded the friction washer since it was slippery with gunk. After reinstalling them and giving the new string enough time (2 weeks or so) to stretch, I can keep it in tune for 3-4 songs before tweaking it. This might be part and parcel of these old tuners, but mine seem to be holding better as time goes on.

I also kept a phillips head screw driver handy for a while after cleaning things up, and I've found the sweet spot where it holds tune, but isn't too hard to turn the tuning key. I'm very satisfied with the friction tuners now and don't think I'll ever change to Asian geared tuners.

hope this helps, jazzbo

phanzo
05-26-2010, 09:21 AM
that helps indeed. I have more work ahead of me. thanks jazzy!!

mailman
05-26-2010, 12:51 PM
Not long ago. I picked up a 1950s Martin style 1 Concert and I just couldn't be any more satisfied. I installed aquillas and I'm here to tell you that hard strumming is so loud that it actually hurts my ears. When playing fingerstyle, there's sustain like I've never heard before.

I've owned a few Asian Ukes......Kala, Cordoba, etc., and the Koa models had the best tone. Well, this old Martin mahogany has it all, plus some. I never did buy a K-brand Koa because I discovered that I could own an old Martin Concert for the same price as say a K1. I cannot say that my Martin sounds better than a new K-brand, but I just want to highly recommend an old Martin Concert to folks out there shopping. It took me a few months to find one, so be patient and you won't be sorry.

jazzbo

A vintage Martin style 1 concert....my dream uke! Do you have any photos (or, better yet, videos) of yours to share? I don't think I'll be able to afford one soon, so how about letting me drool (virtually, that is) over yours?

Chris Tarman
05-26-2010, 12:52 PM
I love the way my Style 2 soprano plays and sounds. I'd love to pick up a Style 1 soprano (I am a tortoise shell nut). I've never played a Martin concert or tenor, but of course, if I blundered onto one somewhere (like a yard sale or thrift store!), I'd probably love one of those as well.

jazzbo
05-26-2010, 02:50 PM
A vintage Martin style 1 concert....my dream uke! Do you have any photos (or, better yet, videos) of yours to share? I don't think I'll be able to afford one soon, so how about letting me drool (virtually, that is) over yours?

I don't know if it's worthy of drool but here ya go, with plenty of honest wear but it plays like butter.


http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f266/pickngrin/Martin%20Concert%20Uke/IMG_1893.jpg

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f266/pickngrin/Martin%20Concert%20Uke/IMG_1897.jpg

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f266/pickngrin/Martin%20Concert%20Uke/IMG_1901.jpg

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f266/pickngrin/Martin%20Concert%20Uke/IMG_1898.jpg

Chris Tarman
05-26-2010, 05:16 PM
Oh yeah. I'd say that is definitely worthy of drool. I am jealous.

Chris Tarman
05-26-2010, 05:50 PM
There are currently TWO Style 1 Concerts on eBay. I'm not sure how to link them, but they both have several days left.

mailman
05-27-2010, 11:34 AM
I've been watching them both....but it's just not in the budget. Some day....

Chris Tarman
05-27-2010, 02:01 PM
I've been watching them both....but it's just not in the budget. Some day....

Same here. I am watching them just to get a feel for market value. Must... not.... click... mouse...

BoomerZoomer
06-14-2010, 11:14 AM
The Martin concert ukulele is a very sweet instrument. I found, however, that after the initial infatuation it seemed to sit in its case. It sounded so sweet that I couldn't bear to part with it, but the action and intonation were not up to current standards. I finally decided to make it a player (rather than a collectible) and sent it to Duane Heilman in Yakima, WA (Black Bear Guitars). The tuners were upgraded to Ron Saul modified 4:1 tuning machines. (Today I would go with PegHeds.) Duane replaced the tiny vintage frets with larger modern frets so playing up the neck would be cleaner with more sustain. The bridge was removed and replaced with a larger Martin clone so the saddle could be properly located and compensated for Aquila strings. Since the back had two long cracks that were stable but contained deep grooves, Duane filled the groves and refinished the front and back. Now it is a vintage hot rod, that runs sweeter than it ever has. If you look closely you can tell that the front and back color is a little different from the sides, neck and headstock, but the cracks are gone as are the strumming pits on the top. (I should've just had Duane refinish the whole thing.) It's now ready for another 70 years of strumming. If you're in the market and can't afford a pristine example, consider a sound uke that can be refreshed. It's like going to an animal shelter or humane society instead of a fancy breeder.

dsummers
06-14-2010, 04:01 PM
I have a beautiful 50's Martin concert and it is simply perfect shape considering it age. Couldn't be happier with it!