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dinkadink
09-23-2008, 02:36 PM
So I've been searching around the forum for opinions about the Martin S-O, and it seems like it has a bad rep. I own one. It's my first and my only Uke so far. I adore it. I think the sound is very nice. And for me, it is just right.

I thought I'd start a thread to see if I could get more feedback. I should add that I haven't played many other Ukes yet. It's my goal in the coming months to explore more. I just met a guy around the corner from my shop that literally has hundreds and hundreds, of Ukuleles. He has a stained glass shop, but you wouldn't know it from all the Ukes everywhere! He has them hanging, and lined up in neat little rows EVERYwhere! Now that's a serious addict. But it's really cool for me, because he said I can come over and tinker with them any time. He let me play a beautiful vintage Martin, and I could definitely hear the difference!! But I still love mine, and just thought I'd ask why some folks seem to seriously dislike the model.

Because it was a gift, and my first Uke, and my first time falling in love with any instrument, I'll never sell it or give it away.

Would love to hear your thoughts.... (and if anyone lives in or near San Jose, CA, and wants to visit Keith at the Stained Glass place, let me know and I'll give you his address. He LOVES to chat and play!)
-Heather

deach
09-23-2008, 02:41 PM
... I adore it. I think the sound is very nice. And for me, it is just right.
...

This is all you need to know.

ukeninam
09-23-2008, 03:00 PM
I agree with deach. Although that model gets a bad rep trust what you know. You know with personal experience that its beautiful and perfect for you!! I just received those really cheap Mahalo ukes from a co-worker today can't complain with it being free and all but i really CAN'T COMPLAIN I think its a delight, even if it is deemed as "cheap".

Besides "Martin & Co." haven't been around this long if they weren't doing something right!!

trust what you already know! happy ukeing!!

dinkadink
09-23-2008, 03:16 PM
Just curious, I guess. And making conversation...

No worries, I totally have S-O Pride! :D

haole
09-23-2008, 03:31 PM
Congrats on being happy with your uke! If it has everything you need and makes you smile, then that's what matters most. :D

Personally, I'm not a big fan of Martin instruments because of their inconsistency. Only about one in ten Martin guitars, for example, actually feel "right" to me, regardless of how rare and expensive they are. They're not something to buy sight-unseen off the internet. Either you got a good one, or our tastes are just different. ;) But you've got it better than all of us UAS sufferers!

Aldrine Guerrero
09-23-2008, 07:07 PM
No worries about the bad rep that the S-O has.

I own one too and I love mine. It needed some work done. The intonation and action needed some adjusting and there was a slight buzz. I put some work on it and it sounds beautiful now. One of my favorite ukuleles if you ask me. :D

You can watch that uke here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdLxWthcHT8

dinkadink
09-23-2008, 07:58 PM
No worries about the bad rep that the S-O has.

I own one too and I love mine. It needed some work done. The intonation and action needed some adjusting and there was a slight buzz. I put some work on it and it sounds beautiful now. One of my favorite ukuleles if you ask me. :D

You can watch that uke here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdLxWthcHT8

That was beautiful, Aldrine! You made my day with that.

Now I need jump on more of your lessons to make mine sound as good.:p

haole
09-24-2008, 07:08 AM
That was awesome. :O I can see why this uke has its share of fans.

atiecay
09-24-2008, 07:11 PM
I've got one and I love it! It was my first uke after I got tired of my $25 model (that I still drag around with me as a "beater uke" even though it's missing a few pieces and the nut has come unglued and is just held on by the tension of the strings). Like others said, if YOU think it sounds great, then it's the right instrument for you!

Aldrine, I loved your video!

tomtom
10-11-2008, 11:24 AM
hi all ,
i got a second hand martin s-o from ebay , tuned her up and wasn't overly impressed with her tone, mind you i own a few kamakas and a mint style 2 so she had serious competion if i was ever bother to play her again ,
then i read somewhere about how this guy had revarnished his old uke with spray shellac , the same varnish used in the old days and not the urathane epoxy stuff they use now .
well iwasnt able to get the spray but i did end up with a bottle of french polish (shellac) and did it by hand as per the instructions EASY.she polished up nice to glossy, i didnt like the matt finish anyhow and boy oh boy did it do the trick , she barks and the tone is almost as good as the vintage ( with my ears almost the same to me )..
give it a go
TRICK MY UKE ! see some pics of her 620

621

LonBoi808
10-11-2008, 02:28 PM
it all depends on if u like it. if u like it and it feels right to u then thats the uke for u.

dinkadink
10-11-2008, 03:39 PM
[QUOTE=tomtom;67450]hi all ,
i got a second hand martin s-o from ebay , tuned her up and wasn't overly impressed with her tone, mind you i own a few kamakas and a mint style 2 so she had serious competion if i was ever bother to play her again ,
then i read somewhere about how this guy had revarnished his old uke with spray shellac , the same varnish used in the old days and not the urathane epoxy stuff they use now .
well iwasnt able to get the spray but i did end up with a bottle of french polish (shellac) and did it by hand as per the instructions EASY.she polished up nice to glossy, i didnt like the matt finish anyhow and boy oh boy did it do the trick , she barks and the tone is almost as good as the vintage ( with my ears almost the same to me )..
give it a go[QUOTE]

Wow! That looks great! I'd be terrified to do that myself. But I would consider asking a pro. So it changed the tone? amazing.

UkeNinja
10-11-2008, 05:14 PM
Isn't all this "Martin S-O bad rep" discussion mainly about the fact a) that they are compared to vintage Martins and b) that there are a bunch of decent-sounding sopranos around that price point, making it harder for the Martin to stand out among the crowd?

At least, that is what I gather from the internets and its unfathomable wisdom. And if you spend a little time and Jake-magic, like Aldrine, it becomes a very nice instrument. But this might be the case with other models as well.

In any case, checking on out and fondling it for a while in a music store is never a bad idea.

tomtom
10-11-2008, 06:21 PM
UkeNinja " Isn't all this "Martin S-O bad rep" discussion mainly about the fact a) that they are compared to vintage Martins and b) that there are a bunch of decent-sounding sopranos around that price point, making it harder for the Martin to stand out among the crowd?

At least, that is what I gather from the internets and its unfathomable wisdom. And if you spend a little time and Jake-magic, like Aldrine, it becomes a very nice instrument. But this might be the case with other models as well.

In any case, checking on out and fondling it for a while in a music store is never a bad idea."
-----------------------------------------------------
your right ukeninja they shouldnt be compared to vintage martins
i gather around 1934 if you paid $10 for a model o it was around 2 weeks wages .
2 weeks wages now would get you a fine ukulele.
oh and the Jake-magic sprinkle me with some and im sure i could make a $25 honolulu special sound like a angel singing. (dreaming .....:bowdown:)

and to dinkadink , i really didnt like how the new SO had a (no finish) matt finish , i believe shellac transforms the wood it totally changed it .
i did a fairly decent job but im sure a luthier would make it shine .
anyone now how much they might charge?
another addition while your there would be some fret markers ...nice

UkeNinja
10-11-2008, 08:45 PM
With "Jake-magic" I do not specifically mean extraterrestrial playing skills, but the set of super secret "adjustments" (string action, intonation, breathing into the soundhole) that Jake S. does to his uke, and which he has also performed on Aldrine's Kamaka. Then Aldrine got an S-O and did similar, but as of yet so secret that only the chickens in his backyard know about it, adjustments and made it a winner.

The above is historically and factually correct as far as I know, but don't pin me down on it. My point: if you let skillful hands work on a decent uke to begin with (which the S-O probably is, like others in that price/quality range), chances are it comes out for the better.

I wish someone fondled my uke.

tomtom
10-11-2008, 10:32 PM
jake magic ? breathing into soundhole ? i am intrigued ....
oh your playin me right?;)

deach
10-12-2008, 01:54 AM
...

I wish someone fondled my uke.

Eldrine is up for that task.