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View Full Version : Anyone played a Martin Backpack uke?



Linzuke
08-31-2011, 11:09 AM
I found this post (http://denver.craigslist.org/msg/2560401824.html) on Craigslist today for a Martin Backpack Soprano uke.

I'm pretty new to playing the uke, but I am heading to Costa Rica soon and want a second one to take with me (clearly this is the start of UAS). First of all, has anyone played one before and how do they sound? And secondly, is this a good deal (just needs new strings)?

Thanks!

MutinousDoug
08-31-2011, 11:38 AM
I haven't heard the Backpacker uke but if sound's anything like the Martin Backpacker guitar (which it looks like) the sound leaves much to be desired and they are pretty much universally disliked for being awkward to hold. I see new Martin Backpacker Ukes can be had for 30% more so if you try this one and like it enough to buy, you just saved some money.
Good luck with your travels.
Doug

garywj
08-31-2011, 12:57 PM
I haven't heard the Backpacker uke but if sound's anything like the Martin Backpacker guitar (which it looks like) the sound leaves much to be desired and they are pretty much universally disliked for being awkward to hold. I see new Martin Backpacker Ukes can be had for 30% more so if you try this one and like it enough to buy, you just saved some money.
Good luck with your travels.
Doug

I agree. I owned a Backpacker guitar steel string. Sound wasn't good and very awkward to hold.

crowsby
08-31-2011, 01:31 PM
Looks like they sold new for $150, so it's a good price as far as that's concerned. However, I haven't heard good things about it. If you're looking like a travel uke, I think I'd beat the Makala Dolphin (http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/product/makala-dolphin-soprano-mk-s) drum again. Especially since you're going to traveling through various humidity conditions, a laminate will make more sense since it's less likely to develop cracks.

zac987
08-31-2011, 01:50 PM
I'd recommend a concert or tenor scale Flea for traveling purposes.

Uke Republic
08-31-2011, 02:04 PM
A friend of mine has one. They aren't very loud but, kinda neat though and a cool piece of Martin history.

RyanMFT
08-31-2011, 02:21 PM
I think the Martin backpacker series suffered from having the Martin name......IMHO, the backpacker guitar was not made to sound great, it was made to be light, thin, and resistant to environmental damage. I have a Martin backpacker mandolin, which is similarly hated by mandolin people like the guitar is....but it has some really unique features which make it very sturdy and resistant to environmental stresses.

I don't think Martin made this series for fullness of sound, but consumers have come to expect something specific from Martin.

That being said, I like my backpacker mandolin and if you like the uke, go for it. The bag is kind of big and doesn't have a shoulder strap. When I travel, I put my flea in it's fleabag, in my travel backpack and it works great.....let us know what you decide.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
08-31-2011, 02:59 PM
It might be worth your time to go find out if you like it. If you think it'd be fun to have on your next few hikes, offer the seller $75.

vanflynn
08-31-2011, 03:23 PM
The other option is to try to pick up a Uke in Costa Rica. We have some UU members down there and they could possibly guide you to a shop. Just a thought.

bazmaz
08-31-2011, 10:26 PM
I too can't think of anything better than a Flea or Fluke for travelling with.

Noobie
09-01-2011, 03:48 AM
LOL! I found this same ad, hit Google to see whether it was a good deal, and found this thread. How meta!

Linzuke
09-01-2011, 04:56 AM
Thanks for all the input! I'm going to go check it out today just for fun. I currently have a Kala KA-S, which might work fine as a travel uke, but the laminate doesn't seem hardy enough for backpacking.

I also thought about buying something once I get down there. I'm heading to the Caribbean side, but will be traveling from San Jose. Anyone with recommendations on where to buy a uke in Costa Rica?

Linzuke
09-02-2011, 04:58 AM
Update: I am now the owner of a Martin Backpacker!

I wound up getting it for $70 (instead of $90). It is definitely narrower and thinner (and a couple of ounces lighter) than my Kala, so I think it will be great for traveling. Unlike the Backpacker guitar complaints, this is very easy to hold and play. Quite a fun little novel instrument.

It has a really bright happy tone and is just slightly less loud than my Kala. Once I get it restrung, I'll try to do a review.

Again everyone, thanks for your input!

27657

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
09-02-2011, 06:34 AM
Congratulations! You got a good deal on an interesting ukulele. Have fun with it!