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View Full Version : Martin OXK - anyone actually own one?



jeffrey
04-11-2011, 08:01 AM
I an intrigued by the OXK and have seen some reviews and sound clips on youtube, and would like to learn more.

I think the composite construction is very interesting, but wonder about the weight/balance of the instrument - particularly with the "stratabond" neck.

Also curious as to how it compares to the Kiwaya KS1. Seems the difference is wood veneers (Kiwaya) vs. wood by-products (Martin).

There is always the Martin S1 at ~$100 more (and countless other options), but like I said I am curious about the "net results" that have been achieved with the OXK.

Thanks,

Jeff

ukeeku
04-11-2011, 09:53 AM
I know you commented on the site but I figured that I would put this in
http://ukeeku.com/2010/07/06/martin-oxk-full-review/
but also, If you are going to the MO Uke fest in May, UWC in june, or Milwaukee in September, I can maybe bring it. I had it at UWC last year.

SuzukHammer
04-11-2011, 10:01 AM
I bought an OXK and gave it to my son to learn on. It is very balanced and light. Like others said, the frets seemed large; but that makes it easier to use lighter force fretting with the finger.

I had the chance to buy the S1 but I didn't know what the price point was before the Martin announcement. When I went back to buy it, it had been sold. At the time, I didn't know what the difference was (laminate vs. solid). I would have bought the solid because it would have opened up more - at least that is the theory.

My son has had several people comment about his Martin so he loves the fact he has a uke that is enviable just by name. As all I wanted to do was spark his ukulele fever, then it was money well spent because he likes playing and wants to learn more about the uke each day.

jeffrey
04-11-2011, 11:31 AM
Thanks for the replies,

I have kids at home that I am also trying to get interested, and that was another reason for considering the OXK. My impression is that it would stand up to a little more knocking around while still being a quality instrument, something easily appreciated that would inspire use and practice (vs. a truly budget uke). On the frets - does their larger size make the fingerboard seem smaller at all? I like the idea that it may make fretting a bit simpler (less force).

How about cosmetics? How detailed is the surface finish in person, and does the neck look as striated as some of the pictures I have seen?

Jeff

SuzukHammer
04-11-2011, 12:35 PM
Thanks for the replies,

I have kids at home that I am also trying to get interested, and that was another reason for considering the OXK. My impression is that it would stand up to a little more knocking around while still being a quality instrument, something easily appreciated that would inspire use and practice (vs. a truly budget uke). On the frets - does their larger size make the fingerboard seem smaller at all? I like the idea that it may make fretting a bit simpler (less force).

How about cosmetics? How detailed is the surface finish in person, and does the neck look as striated as some of the pictures I have seen?

Jeff

The neck looks very striated, a very unique look. The finish is matte, no gloss or satin.

To me, I've been playing concerts and tenors and learning some songs with fingering all over the neck. It seemed like even high on the neck that the fret size seemed smaller ; but, I'm sure its because I was used to the concerts. Once I concentrated and slowed down it was easier and not hard to get good tone off a good fret posiition.

People comment that they are at first not impressed with the sound and then they seem to grow and like it. I think that when you first try the instrument, the sloppy play may not give much of a ringing or warm sound. It sounds muted. Once you start playing it and hitting the sweet spots, it starts to sound like a uke you want to keep. I suggest you try which uke sounds best because some may sound punchy while others sound warm. I had a conversation with a Martin Guitar fan about that. We spent 15 minutes sampling various Martins in a shop.

I'll see if I can play it this weekend. The kid keeps it closely guarded which is what I told him to do.

jeffrey
04-12-2011, 05:59 PM
Well, I went to my local music store tonight and while they didn't have an OXK, they did stock a few Martin X Series guitars. The composite material is very interesting, I thought it had better sustain than regular laminated wood instruments. The finishes were nice and the construction felt solid all around. Two things stand out about the material: finger taps on the soundboard are much louder than wood, this material is very hard; the other thing is that it is cold to the touch, much more so than wood. I am not so sure it's for me, but I can see where it would be advantageous as a knock-around instrument that sounds better than conventional laminate (at least that's what I thought in comparing guitars made from it). The Stratabond necks were pretty smooth, but I swear I could feel some ridges between laminations here and there (not too surprising given how they are made, maybe unavoidable and certainly not in the way).

I think I will stick with something more conventional for my next uke, thanks for the input.

Jeff

mdmcdonald
04-16-2011, 05:11 PM
I've got one and I love it. It sounds great, nice tone and good sustain.
It might be a bit neck heavy; i haven't noticed it since the second day.

I wouldn't say it was made of "wood by-products"; the neck is just plywood - high grade plywood.
The body is High Pressure Laminate - essentially Formica.

It makes me happy whenever I pick it up.




I an intrigued by the OXK and have seen some reviews and sound clips on youtube, and would like to learn more.

I think the composite construction is very interesting, but wonder about the weight/balance of the instrument - particularly with the "stratabond" neck.

Also curious as to how it compares to the Kiwaya KS1. Seems the difference is wood veneers (Kiwaya) vs. wood by-products (Martin).

There is always the Martin S1 at ~$100 more (and countless other options), but like I said I am curious about the "net results" that have been achieved with the OXK.

Thanks,

Jeff

OLARN
04-16-2011, 05:27 PM
I used to have one of Martin 0XK and I loved it sound very much. The finish work is very nice, but the fret is a bit sharp though. But overall compare to the price, this one is best.
Please watch my youtube video clip for the sound sample.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBmAVG3rJpI

beergeek
04-17-2011, 02:09 AM
I dunno....I played a couple in 2 different stores and in both cases, they sounded great and very close to the S-0's. Now, both of these stores had an "acoustic room" with controlled temp and humidity and they generally do a proper setup on any instrument they put in those rooms.

guitarsnrotts
04-17-2011, 08:33 AM
Played one of the HPL ukes and own a recent S-O. I consider myself a Martin snob and have never
forgiven Martin for their move to HPL and Micarta in their guitars. Similarly, for the price difference
I can't see why someone would pass up a solid wood uke for one made of cardboard.
BTW, besides the S-O I currently own 3 Martin guitars, a 1951 00-17, an OM-15 and a DM, all 100%
wood. Sorry for the rant.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
04-17-2011, 09:25 AM
Played one of the HPL ukes and own a recent S-O. I consider myself a Martin snob and have never
forgiven Martin for their move to HPL and Micarta in their guitars. Similarly, for the price difference
I can't see why someone for pass up a solid wood uke for one made of cardboard.
BTW, besides the S-O I currently own 3 Martin guitars, a 1951 00-17, an OM-15 and a DM, all 100%
wood. Sorry for the rant.

I'm with you 100%.

CurlyKoaWithKonaCoffee
04-17-2011, 11:44 AM
That was great OLARN. I loved it. :)

jeffrey
07-12-2011, 07:43 AM
After much hemming and hawing, I decided to go for it yesterday and should receive a new OXK this week.

I am curious to see how it compares with my Kiwaya KS-1 and Fluke ukuleles. I love my Kiwaya and Fluke (concert - rosewood fretboard) ukes, and am looking forward to adding the Martin. I debated whether or not to spend a bit more on the S1, but at the end of the day decided to stick with composites, and think it will be interesting to compare the different designs/materials.

ukeeku
07-12-2011, 08:37 AM
After much hemming and hawing, I decided to go for it yesterday and should receive a new OXK this week.

I am curious to see how it compares with my Kiwaya KS-1 and Fluke ukuleles. I love my Kiwaya and Fluke (concert - rosewood fretboard) ukes, and am looking forward to adding the Martin. I debated whether or not to spend a bit more on the S1, but at the end of the day decided to stick with composites, and think it will be interesting to compare the different designs/materials.

Sounds like the KS-1. I did a review of both. I think the OXK sounds great and was the first step back into the real uke world for Martin. You will love it

cb56
07-12-2011, 01:26 PM
I played one of their HPL guitars in a music store and was very impresses. I wouldn't care if it was made of dried cow manure if it sounded like a real Martin uke. Of course I'd wash my hands more often.