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View Full Version : Vintage Martin Tenor vs. Collings UT1?



PedalFreak
03-05-2012, 11:28 AM
Thought I'd start a separate thread for this, instead of using the "convince Stan to buy a Collings" thread :)

Anyone ever compare a Collings UT1 to a Vintage Martin Tenor uke? I'm considering one or the other as a Low G ukulele. What are your thoughts?

Jnobianchi
03-05-2012, 11:37 AM
:) Those are so totally different in tone, feel and appearance that I don't think they compare well.

The Collings sounds more like a little guitar to me - a really awesome, great-sounding responsive little guitar. The Martin - even in Tenor - has that really light construction, really mellow on the one hand, potentially loud on the other, but always very 'uke' sounding.

I feel like the Collings has more bite, better fingerpicking sound.

The Martin - I think sounds better strummed, but that's a total generalization.

It's the player, not the instrument, that gets the sound you want, but for me - if I was going to do classic uke tunes, melody style, or jazz - I'd want the Martin. Folk, fingerstyle, blues, I'd want the Collings. Oversimplified, but that's how I'd break it down.

PedalFreak
03-05-2012, 11:39 AM
Interesting, thanks!

Anyone else :)

specialk13
03-05-2012, 11:51 AM
:) Those are so totally different in tone, feel and appearance that I don't think they compare well.

The Collings sounds more like a little guitar to me - a really awesome, great-sounding responsive little guitar. The Martin - even in Tenor - has that really light construction, really mellow on the one hand, potentially loud on the other, but always very 'uke' sounding.

I feel like the Collings has more bite, better fingerpicking sound.

The Martin - I think sounds better strummed, but that's a total generalization.

It's the player, not the instrument, that gets the sound you want, but for me - if I was going to do classic uke tunes, melody style, or jazz - I'd want the Martin. Folk, fingerstyle, blues, I'd want the Collings. Oversimplified, but that's how I'd break it down.


I completely agree with Jnobianchi. The Collings have more definition and more punch, at least to my ears. The Martins have the advantage of old wood but I think they both are lighter builds.
I also think the Collings ukes sound great when new but will continue to sound better while the Martin is probably set as far as the tone goes.

PedalFreak
03-05-2012, 01:04 PM
...but I think they both are lighter builds.

That is what I was thinking that they were both light build ukes. I also thought I heard the UT1 & UT2 were Collings take on the Martin Tenor uke.

specialk13
03-05-2012, 01:23 PM
Modeled after Martins...yes, but thats probably as far as they go (apart from using the same basic woods). I think the Collings is probably braced differently and has a different top wood thickness. I can't verify that at the moment, but I remember reading something in an old post about those differences.....

mm stan
03-05-2012, 02:09 PM
Aloha Aaron,
Here is my 50's Martin Tenor...thin fast neck with Martin 620 Fleurocarbons..medium weigh, deep rich sweet sound, medium volume...nice tone, clean sound..

smellofstrings
03-06-2012, 12:25 AM
Collings fan's here and Collings for sure! But just a warm reminder, the bridge string slots of Collings are cut according to their original strings (perhaps just a little bit wider), so if you want to change the original high-G string to a low-G, you have to widen the bridge string slot. :)

PedalFreak
03-06-2012, 03:10 AM
Collings fan's here and Collings for sure! But just a warm reminder, the bridge string slots of Collings are cut according to their original strings (perhaps just a little bit wider), so if you want to change the original high-G string to a low-G, you have to widen the bridge string slot. :)

Yeah, I'm not crazy about those style bridges :(

PedalFreak
03-06-2012, 03:20 AM
Aloha Aaron,
Here is my 50's Martin Tenor...thin fast neck with Martin 620 Fleurocarbons..medium weigh, deep rich sweet sound, medium volume...nice tone, clean sound..

Howzit Stan! Is the collings you have coming a tenor?

joejeweler
03-06-2012, 04:24 AM
Collings fan's here and Collings for sure! But just a warm reminder, the bridge string slots of Collings are cut according to their original strings (perhaps just a little bit wider), so if you want to change the original high-G string to a low-G, you have to widen the bridge string slot. :)

That alone will not work very well. Changing from high-G to low-G tuning will make the low-G string intonate poorly,.....playing very sharp. On a low-G setup the saddle position for that string will be set back further (increased scale length), so it's just not the slot width to consider when switching from high-G to low-G.

specialk13
03-06-2012, 04:38 AM
I emailed Collings about this issue awhile back and they replyed that no modifications need to be made when going to a low G string on their ukes.

PedalFreak
03-06-2012, 04:40 AM
That alone will not work very well. Changing from high-G to low-G tuning will make the low-G string intonate poorly,.....playing very sharp. On a low-G setup the saddle position for that string will be set back further (increased scale length), so it's just not the slot width to consider when switching from high-G to low-G.

I'm not worried about that. I'm a guitar/ukulele tech, so I can put a new saddle in if need be, or any other modifications that may be needed.

mm stan
03-06-2012, 06:42 AM
Howzit Stan! Is the collings you have coming a tenor?
Aloha Aaron,
Nope it's a mahogany concert.. woo hoo tomorrow??

PedalFreak
03-06-2012, 08:38 AM
Aloha Aaron,
Nope it's a mahogany concert.. woo hoo tomorrow??

Great! Look forward to reading all about it.