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Regster
08-07-2010, 08:08 PM
I saw one in sam's ash cinci. It sounds pretty loud and the playability is good too. The two bad things is that it only have 12 frets so it limits me on what I can do and I saw on a couple of threads that it can crack easily.

I adore the mahogany sound, I actually prefer it more than koa.I can't decide for myself if I should get it as my first solid mahogany. So give me opinion if this is a good uke or not? Its 340 I know I can probably get it on ebay or somewhere else but I don't get ukes I can't play cuz u just never know if I will like it or not.

Also do you think it will be ok to install a mi-si pick up on it? even though its thin.

Ahnko Honu
08-07-2010, 09:09 PM
These newer Martins are made in Mexico, and don't have the reputation of old.

I would recommend a Mainland concert, and have Mike install a Mi-Si pickup.
http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/product.sc;jsessionid=993F76A197037EFF5E758C554B3C 29E1.qscstrfrnt04?productId=9&categoryId=3
http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/product.sc?productId=36&categoryId=2
http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/images/12310846454761729697759.jpg

luvdat
08-07-2010, 09:16 PM
These newer Martins are made in Mexico, and don't have the reputation of old.

I would recommend a Mainland concert, and have Mike install a pickup.
http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/product.sc;jsessionid=993F76A197037EFF5E758C554B3C 29E1.qscstrfrnt04?productId=9&categoryId=3
http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/images/12310846454761729697759.jpg

Ditto. The Mexican Martins are hit and miss. I have bumped into one really good one in a Sam Ash, BTW but overall, overpriced? Kind of. First in a soprano size to get a lot of resonance you're going to have to go thin...frankly I prefer at a lower price point 2 directions: something like a Mainland which is not that thin but a balanced sound (and more durable) or even a lam like a Kiwaya. For what you're looking for, better to consider concert Mainland...played a Mainland concert just yesterday and could see how that uke would work with a pickup...

Regster
08-07-2010, 09:34 PM
You guys are right. 340 is too much but let me tell you why I was so tempted to get it though because it super loud, good intonation and it has nice action. The only other uke that I played with low action is the flea I even compared it to a flea and the martin sounds louder. But after researching some more I finally understand why it crack easy, its because of there bracing.

luvdat
08-07-2010, 10:39 PM
You guys are right. 340 is too much but let me tell you why I was so tempted to get it though because it super loud, good intonation and it has nice action. The only other uke that I played with low action is the flea I even compared it to a flea and the martin sounds louder. But after researching some more I finally understand why it crack easy, its because of there bracing.

If you're looking for pretty loud in a trad soprano check out the Mainland red cedar soprano...with great action/playability.

Raygf
08-08-2010, 02:09 AM
I saw one in sam's ash cinci. It sounds pretty loud and the playability is good too. The two bad things is that it only have 12 frets so it limits me on what I can do and I saw on a couple of threads that it can crack easily.
I adore the mahogany sound, I actually prefer it more than koa.I can't decide for myself if I should get it as my first solid mahogany. So give me opinion if this is a good uke or not? Its 340 I know I can probably get it on ebay or somewhere else but I don't get ukes I can't play cuz u just never know if I will like it or not.
Also do you think it will be ok to install a mi-si pick up on it? even though its thin.

I own a Martin S-O and keep it tuned up a whole step. You think it's loud in C, you should hear it in D. What a great little uke. I have had no problems with cracks and haven't read any recent posts of S-Os cracking. I believe Martin has addressed the problem. I did not pay that much for it new.

If you want more frets and a pick up get a Mainland mahogany concert with a pick up installed for $328.50. My next purchase is going to be a Mainland red cedar concert or tenor with a Mi-Si pickup installed. Best of luck on your purchase and please post pics.
Regards,
Ray

allanr
08-08-2010, 06:14 AM
I own a Martin S-O and it is a great little soprano. If it were made in the USA it would probably cost more than double, but a Mexican factory is close enough to allow Martin to exercise
American quality control standards.

If you like the way it sounds and feels, you will be very happy with it.

The only downsides are price (the Mainlands are very nice and cost much less) and the friction tuners.

Chris Tarman
08-08-2010, 06:46 AM
I have an S-O, and I think it's a perfectly good uke. BUT... I think at the MSRP, they are quite over-priced. There are much better ukes you can get for the money. If the S-O listed for around $200, it would be closer to the mark. Having said that, I bought one (I had always wanted a Martin, and hadn't yet figured out how to afford a vintage one), and I was really happy with it. I still like it well enough. But now that I have a vintage Martin and a Mainland, I rarely play the S-O. I strung it with an unwound low G set, hoping that would give me a reason to play it, but instead, the low G just confuses me! I actually think I'd play it more if it was in re-entrant tuning but strung with a different brand of strings (almost all my other ukes have Aquilas), for something different. I may do that. I DO like the S-O, but I just think it's over-priced. But if you can get a slightly used one for $200 or less, it's not a bad deal. Or if you can get the Sam Ash store to drop the price....
As for playing ukes before you buy them... I have only gotten to play 2 of the ukes I own before I bought them. I've only had one disappointment. Mike at Mainland makes sure that Mainlands are well-adjusted before he ships them. And MGM does a great job also. I have not had any problems with either of those guys! (I only OWN one Mainland, but I've BOUGHT two... one as a gift for my niece... both hers and mine were wonderful right out of the box!)

spacecakegirl
08-09-2010, 12:42 PM
I went for a Kiwaya KTS-4 rather than a new Martin. I am very very pleased with it, although I'm a fairly beginner player. However, a vintage Martin owner played mine and gave it a thumbs up, and Ken Middleton's review gives it a good to go as well. It's a little bit more expensive (I think I paid $450 for mine from MGM), but it was worth it to me because I know that this is my final ukulele. (Unless I get wildly famous and quit my job teaching to tour the world playing ukulele, in which case I can go get another one).

http://www.visitors-guide.tv/video/BN1DgGqgA_A/Kiwaya-KTS-4-Soprano-Ukulele-Review-by-Ken-Middleton.html

That is the link to Ken Middleton's review of the KTS-4. Somewhere on the internet is a video comparing the sound of a vintage Martin and a KTS-4, but I couldn't locate it easily. If you're interested, it's out there.

My Kiwaya is MUCH louder than my husband's Flea. His action is a smidge lower, but not by much.

lefty dan
08-10-2010, 05:19 AM
Hey I found this on the web. I will post it not saying I agree or disagree. Its for thought only.
I will say I have a so martin and love it. I did however put side and fret markers on it. I also did what Martin says to do and that is put on a couple coats of Johnson's past wax. It made the finish just beautiful.
Dan


Regarding the new SO's, lets keep in mind that these are not "Style 3 Authentic". And I don't believe Martin is trying to pass these off as Authentic replicas. These are new modern day SO ukes. Martin is a guitar company, not a ukulele company. They are going to take advantage of modern day building technologies, including cnc machines, modern finishes, etc...

For anyone to expect Martin to build ukes exactly like the ukes of yesteryear is simply a stretch. A guitar company who builds over 70,000 guitars a year isn't going to launch a uke division just to build exact replicas of the ukes they made so famous to begin with. The reality check here is that if you're expecting exact replicas, you have set your expectations too high. If, however, you are expecting a uke with a good build quality, good tone, and yes, even a good finish, then you will get what your expecting. Who knows what the future holds for these Martin ukes. Perhaps Martin will build some in the "Authentic" style, although I doubt they will based on what the cost will be versus that of a Vintage piece.

Just a thought, but for you uke players who only play uke, or have no experience with Martin's history of guitar making, you might want to get familiar with it. I think their history will enlighten you as to why they build things the way they do today. Their history didn't stop in the 60's when they stopped building ukes. In fact, it's that piece of time between the 60's and now that might help you understand why these new ukes are modern day ukes, and not exact replicas of yesterdays ukes.

I want to make sure it's clear that I am not trying to offend or attack anyone. Just offering my observation.

Pukulele Pete
08-10-2010, 09:03 AM
Martin says to put Johnson's paste wax on it.?? Where did you find that? I'm asking because I have an SO and have never put anything on it.
Should I ? I love my SO and I have put side and fret markers on and it really transformed the uke from one I really didnt like too much to a great uke.The markers made all the difference.

Ahnko Honu
08-10-2010, 11:24 AM
Another excellent option to the Martin is the Hamano a very good clone of an early Martin.
http://www.greatmusicproductsonline.com/proddetail.asp?prod=H-100
http://ukulelehunt.com/buy-ukulele/brands/hamano-ukulele/
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?34135-Hamano-h-100t

icuker
08-10-2010, 03:57 PM
In the literature that I got with my S-O Uke it says:

" You can clean your Ukulele with a lightly dampened 100% cotton cloth. T-shirt material works well. Johnson's Paste Wax can be applied to increase the waterproofing capability of the exterior finish"

lefty dan
08-11-2010, 10:47 AM
Mine says the same. I put Johnson's on it and it now looks 10 times better. I did three coats and wow. But its up to you to do it or not. I do get a kick out of people who say the finish is bad and dont put johnson's on it. They either dont own one or bought it used.
I do think Martin should be the one to put on fret markers and the johnsons. But I did it and I love my Martin.
Everyone different I guess.
Dan

haptown
12-02-2010, 06:18 PM
I have an S-0 that I bought off of Craigslist for $100 and other than the low price I paid for it, I find it hard to get excited about it. I think the tops are too thick (at least on mine) and they just don't have the responsive bark of the older Martins. The neck is too chunky and the fret wire they used is enormous. I stripped what little bit of finish there was and put on a few coats of Tru-Oil and now it looks much, much better. Still sounds mediocre but it looks great. And incidentally, I recently read that Martin was still making some of their styles of ukes as late as 1977!

lefty dan
01-03-2011, 06:47 AM
Haptown, Can you post a photo of your SO with Tru-Oil on it. Id love to see how it turned out.
Thanks
Dano

kevkwak
01-03-2011, 07:26 AM
I'm happy with my S-O, on my second one but I've never had a problem with them. I don't have much experience with ukes, my only other uke was a laminate concert (can't remember the brand) but the S-O sounded so much richer, louder and the intonation much better. I've not experienced any build problems/issues or any evidence of cracking. Personally I love the finish on the S-O, that's partly why I bought a second one (after selling my first), they just look so simple and elegant. The price however, yeah, a bit much for what it is in reality (370 over here). I couldn't not have one though.

Didn't care much for the Martin strings on it though so changed them for Aquila's and it's sounding good (to my ears).

Skottoman
01-03-2011, 08:04 AM
I also have an S-O, and have been playing it for a few years now. I have 9 ukes, and this is the most barky sounding of them all. I have aquila strings on it, and it is a joy to play. I will also note that it's been getting better and better sounding over the years.

I've had no problems with mine, and will keep it forever! Serial# 10,407!
Cheers,
Skottoman