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View Full Version : Six new C.F. Martin ukulele models announced!



bassfiddlesteve
04-06-2011, 04:13 PM
Made in Nazareth...concert and tenors too!

http://www.harmonycentral.com/blogs/News-Martin/2011/04/06/cf-martin-co-to-unveil-half-a-dozen-new-ukulele-models-at-musikmesse-frankfurt-2011

- Steve

fabioponta
04-06-2011, 04:34 PM
OMG Where I can buy one of these? On ebay? by some e-music store?
My dream is a Martin concert....

sonicbaker
04-06-2011, 05:32 PM
Pics and details are up at the official Martin site~
http://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/choosing/size.php?z=r&p=z

longboardsurfing
04-06-2011, 05:32 PM
Martin announced the new ukes this week at the music trade show in Frankfurt. The specs and pictures are on the Martin web site. Here's a link to the 2k Concert: http://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/choosing/guitars.php?p=w&m=2K%20Concert%20Uke

FreakyBob
04-06-2011, 05:43 PM
My my gorgeous but expensive...$1550 list for a mahog tenor. They had better sing. Very interesting for Martin to come back in at this level. I like em.

Made in the states I assume??

ukeeku
04-06-2011, 05:47 PM
I knew that they had something in the works at NAMM, they were very tight lipped, I am glad to see they are catching up

longboardsurfing
04-06-2011, 05:54 PM
I saw one of the prototype mahogany concerts last summer when I visited friends at the factory in Nazareth. It looked pretty close to my early 1930's concert!

RyanMFT
04-06-2011, 06:00 PM
Very cool, glad Martin is jumping back into the uke market.....seems very pricey though....

longboardsurfing
04-06-2011, 06:06 PM
It will be interesting to see what the street price is versus the list price on their web site.

SweetWaterBlue
04-06-2011, 06:17 PM
Wow - talk about a blitzkrieg!

SweetWaterBlue
04-06-2011, 06:20 PM
They are expensive, but at least they may carry them at the local GC and SamAsh, so I can go drool on them personally, even if I can't afford one.

NatalieS
04-06-2011, 07:13 PM
All of the specs on the Martin site make them look more like cars, not ukes. That's a lot of info for such a little instrument!

Michael_
04-06-2011, 09:02 PM
Cool I'm on my way to Frankfurt right now. Hope I find the Martin booth.

mm stan
04-06-2011, 09:16 PM
Aloha Steve,
Thank-You for the heads up on the New line of the Martins....I am surely intrested and really want to know how they sound...keep us informed on it....Happy Strummings...MM Stan..
If anyone else has updates, will you post them too...

Pippin
04-06-2011, 10:07 PM
The guys at Martin are not a bunch of dummies. When they get things ramped up and start rolling, they know that prices can come down easier than they can go up. I am sure that they will address any issues with market penetration when they need to do so. Right now, though, there are a lot of players that will be ordering at the present price structure. I have already contacted Martin in regard to these ukes. I'd like to get my hands on some of them for review.

erivel
04-06-2011, 10:09 PM
Oh man this is the last thing I needed to see...time to start saving my pennies!

HoldinCoffee
04-06-2011, 10:26 PM
Wow, Nazareth must be a truly magical place, first Jesus, now this! Cheers to C.F. Martin!

Wait, no baritone? I take it back, C.F. Martin, you suck!

mm stan
04-06-2011, 10:36 PM
The guys at Martin are not a bunch of dummies. When they get things ramped up and start rolling, they know that prices can come down easier than they can go up. I am sure that they will address any issues with market penetration when they need to do so. Right now, though, there are a lot of players that will be ordering at the present price structure. I have already contacted Martin in regard to these ukes. I'd like to get my hands on some of them for review.
Aloha Micky,
Keep us informed....I sure hope they adjust their prices...they scared me out of buying one with their current Style 3 and Style 5 prices....also worried about they keep the old lightweight vintage construction, style, and sound, and see if they can somehow get more resonation and substain too..

KevinV
04-07-2011, 12:01 AM
A mahogany tenor is definitely in my future.

zac987
04-07-2011, 12:04 AM
I think I'd rather have a vintage instrument for that kind of money. Here's to hoping that the street prices will go down a lot.

SweetWaterBlue
04-07-2011, 01:32 AM
The guys at Martin are not a bunch of dummies. When they get things ramped up and start rolling, they know that prices can come down easier than they can go up. I am sure that they will address any issues with market penetration when they need to do so. Right now, though, there are a lot of players that will be ordering at the present price structure. I have already contacted Martin in regard to these ukes. I'd like to get my hands on some of them for review.

You are right. The number of new models speaks volumes to what they think the market for ukes is now. They are kind of like Microsoft - never be first into the market, but when you come in, come in strong. Their name will command a high price, assuming the new ones are well made and sound good.

Gmoney
04-07-2011, 02:14 AM
Whooo Hooo! Wonder if this will slow down the demand for the vintage Martins?? I'm still gonna hang on to my Style 0, I think.

philpot
04-07-2011, 02:49 AM
Hmm... I guess Martin has been around long enough to know what they're doing, but at those prices... idk :p I guess maybe its the same reason Steinway has dominated the piano world with prices far above most (besides the large European piano makers), a good name, good marketing, etc. They may not sell the most, but with prices like that, who needs to? ;)

Mandarb
04-07-2011, 03:12 AM
Made in Nazareth...concert and tenors too!

http://www.harmonycentral.com/blogs/News-Martin/2011/04/06/cf-martin-co-to-unveil-half-a-dozen-new-ukulele-models-at-musikmesse-frankfurt-2011

- Steve

Thanks for the info. Interesting.....


It will be interesting to see what the street price is versus the list price on their web site.

Usually the street price for a Martin is 40% off of list.

Jnobianchi
04-07-2011, 04:16 AM
Whooo Hooo! Wonder if this will slow down the demand for the vintage Martins?? I'm still gonna hang on to my Style 0, I think.

:D I doubt it, especially since you can get a vintage Martin for cheaper. :) And yes, I'm hanging on to mine as well.

CoLmes
04-07-2011, 04:36 AM
The factory is less than ten minutes from my house. I really need to get there sometime.

GX9901
04-07-2011, 04:54 AM
Pretty cool that Martin is bringing out concert and tenor sized ukes now. I guess these style 2's compete with the Collings "2" range, so the price appears to be competitive. If Martin ever comes out with a style 3 concert or tenor, I might have to start digging in my backyard for treasure chests! I'm guessing the geared tuners on the concert aren't going to go over well with the traditionalists though.

Jnobianchi
04-07-2011, 06:16 AM
You'd guess right. Now excuse me while I go get my hip replaced and play with my real tuners.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
04-07-2011, 06:36 AM
They seem expensive for what you're getting. And they aren't even built in Hawaii! This is going to make any of the Hawaiian big K brands seem like a bargain. Which they are anyway. Martins high prices will probably bring everybody else's up as well.

mm stan
04-07-2011, 06:47 AM
You know some companies in general do raised prices to control how many they build...and sell to keep quality control in check at it's best... I don't agree with that, as many of us are unfortunate to afford them..

austinlee
04-07-2011, 06:53 AM
How are the solid flamed koa's (2k series) only $100 more expensive on all model's compared to the mahogany (2 series). Seems like most would choose the koa for that small of a $ difference.

Steve vanPelt
04-07-2011, 09:17 AM
I guess the news is that they're announcing it. I remember seeing something on this like a year ago... http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?36205-Martin-Ukulele&highlight=koa%2C+uke%2C+martin

SweetWaterBlue
04-07-2011, 09:20 AM
How are the solid flamed koa's (2k series) only $100 more expensive on all model's compared to the mahogany (2 series). Seems like most would choose the koa for that small of a $ difference.

There isn't much wood in a soprano. I know Koa is expensive, but when you buy as much as Martin, there is probably still a profit charging $100 for the koa.

Ken Middleton
04-07-2011, 09:34 AM
I am at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt at the moment. I will go and take a look tomorrow. The Martin stand is very close to mine.

ceviche
04-07-2011, 09:37 AM
They seem expensive for what you're getting. And they aren't even built in Hawaii! This is going to make any of the Hawaiian big K brands seem like a bargain. Which they are anyway. Martins high prices will probably bring everybody else's up as well.

I was wondering if/when someone was going to say that. I agree that, despite the complaints I've heard in the past, the Hawaiian big K brands are actually solid values. When it comes to the price to sound quality quotient, I'd take a KoAloha over anything made off-Island. I've done side-by-side trials, and my ears took me to Hawaii.

--Dave E.

scottie
04-07-2011, 10:43 AM
It will be interesting to see what the street price is versus the list price on their web site.

Likely list - 30%. $1,500.00 = around $1,050.00 in other words, for the price of a Martin 2k you could have a Collings model 1.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
04-07-2011, 11:14 AM
I guess the news is that they're announcing it. I remember seeing something on this like a year ago... http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?36205-Martin-Ukulele&highlight=koa%2C+uke%2C+martin

Well, now that's interesting.

Pippin
04-07-2011, 11:24 AM
The factory is less than ten minutes from my house. I really need to get there sometime.

I used to live in White Haven (I-80, exit 40).

Pippin
04-07-2011, 11:28 AM
I am at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt at the moment. I will go and take a look tomorrow. The Martin stand is very close to mine.

I look forward to hearing your take on things, Ken.

Michael_
04-07-2011, 10:10 PM
I've been at the Martin booth yesterday and played all new models. They were all good, but the only uke I really liked there was the 3K. And the 3K cherry.

Mandarb
04-08-2011, 02:59 AM
I am at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt at the moment. I will go and take a look tomorrow. The Martin stand is very close to mine.

I look forward to your thoughts on the Martin Ukes.

peewee
04-08-2011, 07:53 PM
How are the solid flamed koa's (2k series) only $100 more expensive on all model's compared to the mahogany (2 series). Seems like most would choose the koa for that small of a $ difference.

I seem to remember reading that the prewar Sopranos were $10 for a Mahogany style 0 and $14 for a Koa style 1. Seems like more of a price spread.
We'll see how demand / scarcity affects the street price on Koa vs Mahogany for the new ones. My guess is the koas will be closer to list than the mahogs.
I am looking forward to hearing if these have any of the angelic harp-like tone of my old Koa style 1. Hawaiian K brands be damned, Martin Koncert here I come!

Hippie Dribble
04-08-2011, 08:16 PM
I'm guessing the geared tuners on the concert aren't going to go over well with the traditionalists though.

I'm a traditionalist and I very much dislike geared tuners. Why on earth would they use them for? I don't get it at all...

Pippin
04-08-2011, 10:18 PM
I'm a traditionalist and I very much dislike geared tuners. Why on earth would they use them for? I don't get it at all...

Because the popularity of ukuleles is largely capturing the heart of guitarists that favor geared tuners. That is the realistic expectation. The traditionalists, it is thought, will opt for a soprano uke.

Hippie Dribble
04-08-2011, 10:48 PM
Because the popularity of ukuleles is largely capturing the heart of guitarists that favor geared tuners. That is the realistic expectation. The traditionalists, it is thought, will opt for a soprano uke.

thanks Pippin. Guess that makes complete sense. Although it'd be nice to have friction tuners as an option for the concert scale models too.

mm stan
04-09-2011, 12:25 AM
I just wish they can make the new ones just as the vintage ones in sound, and light construction...is that too much to ask... and soften the price tag...it's a shocker and a deal killer!!!

Pippin
04-09-2011, 12:31 AM
I just wish they can make the new ones just as the vintage ones in sound, and light construction...is that too much to ask... and soften the price tag...it's a shocker and a deal killer!!!

Actually, yes it is. You won't get that "vintage" sound without the aging process. So, the ukes can be made exactly to spec and without the passing of time, they won't have that vintage sound.

ichadwick
04-09-2011, 02:46 AM
Very cool, but once again, Martin prices themselves out of the market for most reasonable players.....glad I have a vintage one!
It's perceived value. Martin wants buyers to asscoiate their products with quality and price is one way to do so. We assume a higher price means higher quality (is Grey Goose vodka really worth $200? Or is it just the same as a $30 vodka but priced to create the snob appeal?).

But they are also defining their own market: the vast majority of uke players will find $1,500 simply too expensive. And even if they can afford it - aside from the name what makes it more attractive than, say, a Mya Moe or other custom-built ukes that already have a good reputation for quality? So the market will be small and limited. That's a tight group of loyal buyers, albeit small.

I owned a Martin guitar, about 25 years ago. D35, I believe the model was. Beautiful instrument, ringing, clear tone that simply sang with each note expressive and rich. Expensive as hell, but the sound was worth it. Never played it much, though. When I went to jams, I took along my old Gibson, Yamaha, Guild... guitars that might get passed around, bumped, scratched, wailed on, played energetically. Maybe get a bit of beer or wine sloshed on them. The Martin was too expensive to subject to such Phillistine behaviour. I even removed my belt when I played it at home to avoid scratching the back. Eventually sold it because for all its beauty and tone, it sat in the case more than it got played.

Will a $1,500 Martin sound THAT much better than a $300 Mainland? Will you take the Martin to the local pub for jam night? Or the Mainland?

As soon as I win the lottery, I'll buy a ukulele or two that is up there in the stratosphere of price, but for now, I am more than happy playing my Mainland.

Chris Tarman
04-09-2011, 06:44 AM
They look promising, and it will be interesting to see what the actual street prices will be. At least Martin is showing an interest in ukes again. This is the most models they've had out at one time since when? The '50s?

Ken Middleton
04-10-2011, 05:52 AM
Just got back from Frankfurt. It's been a very long, but successful, week.

Played all of them each day for three days and talked at length with Tim Teel, the Research and Development Manager at Martin. He is the guy responsible for the design of these new instruments.

There are actually only 6 instruments made so far: mahogany soprano, concert and tenor and koa soprano, concert and tenor (one of each). All six are style 2. That's six actual instruments. Hardly anyone has seen them let alone played them. They are doing a run of production models very soon.

I am tired and I am not going to write any more at the moment. But, if anyone has any questions about them, I will endeavour to put answers to the questions.

Gmoney
04-10-2011, 07:17 AM
Just ... SNIP ... Played all of them each day for three days and talked at length with Tim Teel, the Research and Development Manager at Martin. He is the guy responsible for the design of these new instruments.

There are actually only 6 instruments made so far: mahogany soprano, concert and tenor and koa soprano, concert and tenor (one of each). All six are style 2. That's six actual instruments. Hardly anyone has seen them let alone played them. They are doing a run of production models very soon...

Thanks for ferreting these out for us, Ken! I bet you are tired after the show. We can wait to hear the details. I bet Mr. Teel was at least a little bit surprised to run into such an accomplished ukulele virtuoso/fanatic at the show. Seems kind of an "out of the way" place to test the waters w/these new ukes.

What an interesting year 2011 is going to be for our our little friends!

Ken Middleton
04-10-2011, 07:38 AM
Thanks for ferreting these out for us, Ken! I bet you are tired after the show. We can wait to hear the details. I bet Mr. Teel was at least a little bit surprised to run into such an accomplished ukulele virtuoso/fanatic at the show. Seems kind of an "out of the way" place to test the waters w/these new ukes.

What an interesting year 2011 is going to be for our our little friends!

Tim Teel had certainly never heard of me. He did say he liked my playing. More importantly though, I am not sure he knew many of the more famous names (James Hill). Martin are, in a way, in a world of their own.

Here's what I have just written on another forum.

I liked these ukes a lot. I want one.

I did have one or two reservations. For instance, the koa soprano model seemed a little dull and unresponsive. It could just be that it had had very little playing. The top string of the mahogany tenor was very much louder than the other strings. Whether it had been poorly voiced or whether it was just a simple issue that will in time correct itself I don't know. the other instrument had a stunning tone, particularly the koa concert. The most playable one for me was the koa tenor. i would very much like to own that one. In my opinion the tone and playability is at least as good as the Collings tenors (which I have tried many times). For style, I personally would prefer the Martin, but I can see why some people are attracted to the great looks and workmanship of the Collings.

Build quality is consistently good on all of them. I am not going to get into a debate about the tuners on the concert. I like the geared ones and at least the instrument balances well. The mahogany and koa seem to be of good quality (probably not as good as those made in the 20's and 30's though). The figuring on the koa was quite subtle (except for the tenor). It is more brown than orange. Let's see what it is like on the production models.

The koa models had great volume and tone and slightly outshone the mahogany models. With the Kiwaya range it is just the opposite.

These models probably won't have quite the volume of a 1930's instrument because the wood is slightly thicker. This is an intentional decision to give the instruments a little extra durability. the neck joint is done differently too to facilitate the use of more modern build methos. Again, they were able to justify the reasoning behind it.

The price is high, and, of course, many people have already commented on how much ukulele you can get for that amount of money. Price aside, they really are excellent instruments whichever way you look at it.

I have more info if anyone is interested.

Mandarb
04-11-2011, 03:39 AM
Just got back from Frankfurt. It's been a very long, but successful, week.

Played all of them each day for three days and talked at length with Tim Teel, the Research and Development Manager at Martin. He is the guy responsible for the design of these new instruments.

There are actually only 6 instruments made so far: mahogany soprano, concert and tenor and koa soprano, concert and tenor (one of each). All six are style 2. That's six actual instruments. Hardly anyone has seen them let alone played them. They are doing a run of production models very soon.

I am tired and I am not going to write any more at the moment. But, if anyone has any questions about them, I will endeavour to put answers to the questions.

I jam with a fellow UUer who is friends with Tim Teel. He has a concert uke made by Tim Teel - it is a very nice uke.

ichadwick
04-15-2011, 01:25 PM
I played a new Martin today at the Twelfth Fret, in Toronto, while I was shopping for a banjo uke. It was a soprano, priced at $1,850. My impression: it's worth at last $100 of that. I played a vintage Martin too, a soprano priced at $500. It was sweet, rich and wonderful. Had it been a tenor, I would have bought it right then and there. But the new soprano sounded plinky and thin in comparison. And for the price, it certainly didn't impress.

bassfiddlesteve
04-15-2011, 03:41 PM
I played a vintage Martin too, a soprano priced at $500. It was sweet, rich and wonderful. Had it been a tenor, I would have bought it right then and there.

Unfortunately you won't find a Martin tenor that fits that description. Their tenors were built for heavy gut strings in dGBE tuning and therefore they don't project like a modern tenor does. I've always wanted a Martin concert which captures some of the sound of the sopranos in a larger uke, but Martin concerts in good condition are pricey and hard to come by.

- Steve

KevinV
04-15-2011, 04:40 PM
Elderly has the new models listed on their site. I sent off an email for pricing and will be ordering a mahogany tenor when they are in stock. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

Ukuleleblues
04-17-2011, 05:28 AM
I was wondering and had a question for the folks that have actually played one, If they didn't have CF Martin in the label in the sound hole, how much do you think they are worth? Based on sound, playability and workmaship?

guitarsnrotts
04-17-2011, 07:19 AM
I'm surprised that I'm not the only one that wondered why Martin would go with the
geared tuners. Martin has typically been more of a traditionalist.

WhenDogsSing
04-17-2011, 07:53 AM
Unfortunately you won't find a Martin tenor that fits that description. Their tenors were built for heavy gut strings in dGBE tuning and therefore they don't project like a modern tenor does. I've always wanted a Martin concert which captures some of the sound of the sopranos in a larger uke, but Martin concerts in good condition are pricey and hard to come by.

- Steve

You don't know how much I appreciate your posting this. I had no idea that the old Martin tenors were built for dGBE tuning with heavy gut strings. I just had (and sold) a Martin tenor that didn't have the volume and projection that some of my other newer tenors have. Thanks for the info. I have since bought a Martin baritone and strung it up to GCEA tuning. It sounds absolutely great and is a keeper.

WhenDogsSing
04-17-2011, 08:12 AM
One other thing. Anyone that is wanting to pre-order one of these new Martin models might want to contact Don or Marty at Wildwood Music in Coshocton, Ohio. Wildwood Music is one of the nation's largest volume Martin guitar dealers in the nation. All of their Martins are priced at 40% off MSRP. I talked with them about these ukuleles and they indicated that they could order one for me at the 40% off price. I think their quote to me was around $1,050. for the mahogany tenor. I haven't ordered one yet, I believe I'll wait until I can play one first.

Here is the link to Wildwood Music:

http://www.wildwoodmusic.com/

guitarsnrotts
04-17-2011, 10:46 AM
OK. One more minor complaint concerning the new Style 2 ukes. For nearly $1k, I think I deserve something
more than a padded bag.

Chris Tarman
04-17-2011, 11:31 AM
OK. One more minor complaint concerning the new Style 2 ukes. For nearly $1k, I think I deserve something
more than a padded bag.

No kidding!!!! C'mon Martin!

Uncle Leroy
04-17-2011, 12:03 PM
Although Martin is an old, family owned company, they have been out of the Uke business for awhile. The Mahogany Tenor model listing at over $1500.00 seems to me well, ridonculous. I think everyone assumes that the new ukes will be as good as the old ones. I will maintain a wait and see attitude. I think they have to re-earn a reputation with uke buyers.

Ken Middleton
04-19-2011, 08:26 PM
I was wondering and had a question for the folks that have actually played one, If they didn't have CF Martin in the label in the sound hole, how much do you think they are worth? Based on sound, playability and workmaship?

I palyed all six new models a number of times over three days at the Frankfurt show. The sound, playability and workmanship are all flawless. I played the koa tenor most. If I was offered any tenor of free, I think this is the one I would go for.