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PinoyUker
07-23-2012, 07:53 AM
Anybody have experience with these? A koa tenor for 500, seems pretty good.

jazzbo
07-23-2012, 08:14 AM
I've played the new mahogany Martin Tenor and the Soprano at GC. I wasn't impressed with the tone of either, and the fit/finish of these made in Mexico Ukes isn't the same as a Martin guitar made in Nazereth, PA. The koa models should sound better and yes, the price sounds pretty good.

ChrisRCovington
07-23-2012, 09:03 AM
There is a review in the review section here and the new koa tenor from Mexico got a good review. I really like my S1. Peteyhoudini also did a few reviews of most of the different new Martins and he speaks highly of them all but the cherry.

OldePhart
07-23-2012, 12:17 PM
I played a Martin mahogany soprano in a music store on the way back from UWC and was very underwhelmed. It wasn't terrible, but it was no way worth the $399 they were asking for it. At less than half the price the Mainland mahogany that I picked up at UWC kicked it's behind in every category and that was before it started opening up when I got it home and played it some.

I think Martin has gotten a little too "comfortable" thinking they're the big dog on the block and it's starting to show in some of their guitars as well as ukes. They aren't terrible, not like Fender in the 80's for example, but neither are they living up to the Martin name IMHO. At least the family is still involved but if they aren't careful they're going to go the way of Gretsch and just be a logo-for-hire. :(

John

Gmoney
07-23-2012, 12:23 PM
I've played all of the new Martins at the local GC & like OldePhart was very underwhelmed. Fit & finish or sound just wasn't up to what I'd expect from Martin. They seem to be a half-serious take on what could have been a great re-entry into the new ukulele renaissance. IMO there's just MANY way better choices for the price-point.

Nuprin
07-23-2012, 01:14 PM
I really like my S1 (mahogany soprano) and my C1K (koa concert)...so much that I have a T1K (koa tenor) on order.

I recently did a video comparing my KoAloha concert and the Martin C1K. I'll never sell the KoAloha as I bought it on my last vacation to Hawaii so I have some sentimental attachments to it. That being said, I think the Martin sounds better. It has a fullness that the KoAloha doesn't. Here's the video...you can judge for yourself:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdPv23dqthw&list=UUfPcsnrnmZ9aObT-ugXRoIQ&index=1&feature=plcp

For the record, I used the exact same mic (a Blue Blueberry) going into the same preamp at the same gain. I added no EQ or compression (which can often color the sound) but I added a little reverb to both. The reverb settings were the exact same for both ukes. I tried to be as controlled as possible so a true comparison could be made.

The KoAloha was strung with the factory strings and the Martin was strung with their factory strings. Both are Hawaiian koa. One thing I noticed while playing the two back to back is that the Martin's string spacing is a little wider by 1/16". It actually makes a difference and I find it a little easier to play than the KoAloha. The downside for both is that they each suffer from minor intonation issues.

In the end, if the Martin koa tenor is anything like the concert, I'm going to be very happy with it.

peterp
07-23-2012, 06:04 PM
i owned a martin 3c (cherry) for a year or so. i was really impressed by the build quality. but i simply didn't like the sound compared to the hawaiian built ukes. the martin and collings ukes have a very tight sound. like the sound you hear thru an old victrola. my kamaka, or koolau, or kanilea, or moore bettah ukes have an airy quality to the sound. just my personal preference.

ChrisRCovington
07-23-2012, 06:40 PM
Nuprin great video thank you. You know I wasn't watching, I just listened while reading something else. I thought the Martin sounded better than the KoAloha. I watched it twice because I was a litte suprised the Martin sounded so favorable compared to the KoAloha. It seems like Martin has really started to make some decent ukuleles that are affordable again. I'm just waiting until they make a soprano in koa :)

Prius23
07-23-2012, 07:07 PM
I recently purchased the concert Martin C1K, all koa and loving it. The string spacing is a bit wider as others have indicated. Ironically, I just held it against my Koaloha concert the other day to compare the width also. I love the sound and playability of the Martin. In my opinion, the Martin rivals the sound of the expensive models. Just listen to the comparison of Nuprin's playing. It's all in the sound IMHO.

herby660
11-29-2012, 07:45 AM
i owned a martin 3c (cherry) for a year or so. i was really impressed by the build quality. but i simply didn't like the sound compared to the hawaiian built ukes. the martin and collings ukes have a very tight sound. like the sound you hear thru an old victrola. my kamaka, or koolau, or kanilea, or moore bettah ukes have an airy quality to the sound. just my personal preference.

I actually just bought a Martin 3 Cherry Soprano and having read this thread was very worried until it arrived. Relief - I am really pleased with it!

I actually own 3 vintage Martins which all sound loud and resonant and the cherry took a day or so to find itself, no doubt it was stored at low tension for a while. I find all my ukes suffer for a day or so after changing strings, i'm sure everything has to come up to tension. Today a couple of days after recieving it , I cant put this uke down. It really is a lovely instrument .

Compared to my vintage mahogany Martins there is less bark and a fatter midrange - very old sounding (in a good way) with great tone. Lovely to sing to. It is less trebly but only slightly but all the notes still ring out clear and the uke is very very resonant with great sustain, surprisingly. The lacquer is very thin, not sure where the comments re heavy lacquer come from in other threads

I will soon do a comparison on youtube as this will I think will help people like myself who were knocking new Martin ukes with no real substance.

This Uke is very vintage sounding, loud too and a wonderfully built instrument. The best build i have ever seen. My faith in the newer martins has been realised. The Cherry Wood Martin is a special Uke in my opinion.

Hope this helps others but hey I'm sure there are good ones and not so good ones. Maybe I got lucky but the newer Martins are gaining support. Im talking just about the USA ones mind you.

1937Scott
11-29-2012, 10:48 AM
Hey Chris,

I see you said you were waiting until they make a soprano in koa. They already do, the 2k and the 3k. I contacted the Factory earlier this year and asked if they were going to make a '1k' like the concert and tenor....they said, "No way." So...if you are planning on Martin shopping, I urge you to go to Maury's Music, I guarantee he has the best prices on new Martins. You just have to email and ask for the price list, it's not published to keep him out of trouble, I guess.

Scott

peterp
11-29-2012, 07:50 PM
herby, glad you are enjoying your martin 3c. it wasn't my intent to knock martin or collings. i simply was stating a musical preference. the person who bought my martin loves it. different strokes...

herby660
11-29-2012, 09:20 PM
herby, glad you are enjoying your martin 3c. it wasn't my intent to knock martin or collings. i simply was stating a musical preference. the person who bought my martin loves it. different strokes...

Hi pete, sorry I wasn't referring you we're knocking martins I was generalising really from other threads. Martins get knocked alot and I just wanted to give a balanced viewpoint thats all but your right about people having different likes and dislikes it can be very confusing. I use threads to get opinions as sometimes not enough info on the web or examples on YouTube. I am going to contribute a bit more myself as this sort of stuff is very useful in not buying something you have to send back or sell on later.

coolkayaker1
12-12-2012, 05:59 AM
I wanted to mention that this thread helped me with my recent Martin purchase, and is the best of UU Forum. Nice video from Chris, and experience from all others posting here.

When peterp said it sounds like a Collings, I leapt. My new Collings tenors are outstanding instruments. The sound is the best I have had in any tenor... so, if the Martin 3 sounds anything like that, I'm in!

Thanks

whepper
12-12-2012, 06:55 AM
I'm also very pleased with my Martin S1 that I received last week. The sound is very different compared to my other ukes. Martin knows what they're doing, that's for sure. It's well build, the finish feels fantastic and it smells great. It has a very nice bark & ring to it. That's something you must be into. If not; buy another brand (if you're a K-brand fan, the Martin probably isn't going to be it for you). Martin knows what they're doing, that's for sure. It's well build, the finish feels fantastic and it smells great.

coolkayaker1
12-12-2012, 08:43 AM
I'm also very pleased with my Martin S1 it smells great.

What does it smell like?? Teen spirit??

Kamanaaloha
12-12-2012, 09:01 AM
for the same price, only PONO, imho! My dad has been a Martin guy for a very long time...but his Martins are circa 1920s! There is nothing quite like a koa anything, but mahogany...and entry level non-US made...Pono/Islander (although I opt for the solids and do not like the white Islander paint label.

whepper
12-12-2012, 09:30 AM
@coolkayaker1 The uke gives me teen spirit, so it could be. :D It's a very nice woody / pine like smell.

@Kamanaaloha I've got a Pono MS & a Martin S1. They sound very different. The Pono is a little louder with a warm, open sound (it's build lighter and has a slightly larger body). The Marin is a little thinner sounding, but very punchy, barky & ringing sound. I think both a very well build ukes.

bazmaz
12-12-2012, 11:17 AM
The T1k I grabbed I think is pretty amazing

http://www.gotaukulele.com/2012/09/martin-t1k-tenor-ukulele-review.html

No complaints really. And it drives me nuts when people say "oh it's not like a vintage..."

I had heard nightmare stories about new Martins. Seriously, if they are like this t1k then they are right up there in my opinion.

1937Scott
12-12-2012, 07:13 PM
the 'Martin Smell...' even Petey refers to it in his videos. If you don't know, you must hold a new Martin to experience it.

It is a LOT like a high quality cigar box out of fine wood, with perfumed cigars having resided inside for a while.... a pleasing, earthy, wood-like smell.

Seriously. My Willie Wixom koa sopranino comes close, but only close.


Scott

coolkayaker1
12-17-2012, 01:38 AM
I now see what you all mean. I got my Martin, but cherry, yesterday. It does smell woody. It gives me morning wood, a teen spirit, indeed. Lol

I have to say, though, the Collings hog is the best smelling uke I've even owned...maybe stronger because its a tenor.

I hope the smell never dries and leaves my Martin or the Collings. I might out a little Saran Wrap over the sound hole when I'm not playing it.

Pukulele Pete
12-17-2012, 01:59 AM
I'm a Martin ukulele fan. I have 3 and one is a newer SO. It is a great ukulele. Yes they cost a little bit more but it is an American Company and pays decent wages to its employees. I hate to hear people say they have heard bad things about the newer ukes. I havent heard any first hand stories about any Martin ukes having problems. Now that I have aired one of my Festivus grievances ,.... does anyone know what the difference is in sound between the Cherry and the Mahogany Style 3's?

whepper
12-17-2012, 08:57 AM
does anyone know what the difference is in sound between the Cherry and the Mahogany Style 3's?

I think the Style 3 mahogany cannot differ much from the Style 2 mahogany sound likewise, so the videos of Petey should give a good impression ("The One with the 5 Martins" and "The One with the Cherry")

pdxuke
12-17-2012, 06:26 PM
I have always stayed away from the newer Martins because of word on the street. I have an vintage1948 style0 and adore it. I like the punchy plinky sound of a Martin mahogany. In the factory build less expensive ukes the closest I've ever foundto my Martin is the Ohana SK35 and 38--honest@! And I've owned them all: Kala, Lanikai, Kiwaya, Mainland. For my money, the factory ukes to beat are Ohana.

But...

I have UAS again (haha) and my head has been turned towards the new Martins. I have my eye on the mahogany style 2. I played the style 1 from Mexico and thought it sounded good, but I have a vintage 0 so what's the point? I want some bling! And I like the idea of an American built instrument ( I have a 1966 Martin 000-18 guitar.)

So, I'm looking at the new Martins. Threads like this help. And Pete's videos@!

coolkayaker1
12-17-2012, 06:30 PM
Try Willcutt Guitars for a style 2, pdxuke. See their online store, and eBay listing for the Martin 2 at around 950 clams, free shipping. Let us know what you think.

Petey ought to get somethings from Martin...at least a t-shirt, and at best a Martin 5k...for his fantastic videos.

BTW, I just registered my new Martin online, and am looking forward to that little slip of registration paper in the mail that Petey shows on his videos. When I have it in my hot hand, I'll know that I am covered for life, even if I step on this loud little cutie like Steve Martin did in "The Jerk".

(faint sound at 4:34 min)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AI8NuFAETMQ

pdxuke
12-17-2012, 07:32 PM
Thanks for the tip, but their ebay Martin must have sold--can't find it.

coolkayaker1
12-17-2012, 07:38 PM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Martin-Ukulele-3-Cherry-Uke-Soprano-Made-in-USA-/261144086629?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ccd668865

You're right, Willcutts are gone. Here's their webstore...http://willcuttguitars.com/ukuleles?Page=3&Items=15

(they had two model 2's on eBay for 100 smackeroulians less than their online store two days ago...call and tell them that if you're interested. So I think they sold one, since only on is now on their website.)

(What the hey...go for the cherry with the hard case from Reno's --lol. It's a looker, for sure, and you habve vintage M's, bot not a cherry, no?).

pdxuke
12-23-2012, 06:24 AM
I have to update my posts on this thread to say I purchased a Martin S-1 at CG and I'm really enjoying it. You can see from my sig line I like mahogany ukes, and have all Ohanas except for this new Martin. (And of course my one one vintage, my '48 Martin style0.)

The sound is really lovely, just what I like. Build is solid. Very pleased with it,. Very.

I also played the OXK and was similarly impressed. I had a Kiwaya laminate and compared to the Martin the Kiwaya sounds softer. The Martin OXK has bite and bark (;)) and was in tune all the way up.

I highly recommend these two ukes. If they sound this good coming out of Mexico, then their Nazareth PA USA builds must be great.