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pdxuke
01-22-2013, 05:42 PM
I recently did a strum test of a Martin S1, Ohana Sk38 and Ohana Sk 35
(details here: http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?75767-OHANA-MARTIN-Strum-Test)

Here is the order I played the ukes:

#1 Ohana SK 38
#2 Ohana SK 35
#3 Martin S1

I think the results show, clearly, what fine soprano ukes Ohana makes. That they could stand up so well to a Martin says a lot to me. We already established in a previous test that the Martin S1 had many fans, even up against vintage Martins.

It's an exciting time to collect and play ukes. The Martin s1 and these two Ohanas deserve your serious consideration.

And I've said it before, but here it is again: Bravo to Ken Middleton for the SK38. It is a modern classic.

Thanks for participating, all!

coolkayaker1
01-22-2013, 05:48 PM
That's amazing, T!

Q: How is the 38 so different, do you think, than the 35 to make it head and shoulders the more popular of the two on your voting thread? I though they were roughly the same except for some appointments.

pdxuke
01-22-2013, 05:53 PM
That's amazing, T!

Q: How is the 38 so different, do you think, than the 35 to make it head and shoulders the more popular of the two on your voting thread? I though they were roughly the same except for some appointments.

Ken worked carefully with Ohana, so he could tell you more. But I believe it's a different mahogany, bracing, lighter. It is an amazing uke. A steal for the price.

Nicko
01-23-2013, 02:12 AM
I hesitate (but not much) to note that I nailed this, and it was the first "guess". :cool:

I have an S1, so that wasn't too difficult to place because the SK38 is so very different, with far less "Martin jangle" to it. The 35 more closely resembles the S1, so it took a couple jumps back and forth between #2 and #3 to nail that down. Once I'd determined which I thought was the Martin, it was a matter of presuming that the higher (presumable later) model number of the Ohanas that was the mellower/rounder/less edgy of the options, which was very clearly #1. I just concluded (rightly or wrongly) that the common approach was most likely to want to smooth the voice instruments out over time. I think most makers probably regard smoothness and roundness of tone as desirable. Not sure I agree, but I just presumed that is the general mindset.

Enough embarrassing dancing in the end zone. Sorry for the play by play. I'm right so seldom that I wanted to roll around in it for a few moments. You can just disregard and return to your normal programming.

coolkayaker1
01-23-2013, 02:30 AM
The 38 has less Martin jangle? Now I'm thoroughly confused.

Nicko
01-23-2013, 02:42 AM
The 38 has less Martin jangle? Now I'm thoroughly confused.

In his "5 Martin sopranos" review video, Petey used the word "jangley" to describe a characteristic Martin soprano sound. I think it's a really apt characterization. In fact, while I was buying my S1 I was concerned that it might have a buzz in the A string. But all three S1s on the rack at the store had the same "buzz" in the A string -- which I believe is really the source of the "jangle". It ain't buzz at all; it's that great Martin jangle.

Anyway, just borrowing Petey's great descriptive term.

coolkayaker1
01-23-2013, 03:08 AM
But I thought the 38 is a critically-acclaimed, vintage Martin clone. How can it have a "distinctive sound" with no jangle? (Just asking...I've never heard one in person).

Nicko
01-23-2013, 03:59 AM
But I thought the 38 is a critically-acclaimed, vintage Martin clone. How can it have a "distinctive sound" with no jangle? (Just asking...I've never heard one in person).

I've never played a vintage Martin. Maybe there's less jangle in the vintage instruments? Maybe the jangle is a characteristic of the new builds? Dunno. I think others will have to jangle in on this issue.

OldePhart
01-23-2013, 07:04 AM
That's amazing, T!

Q: How is the 38 so different, do you think, than the 35 to make it head and shoulders the more popular of the two on your voting thread? I though they were roughly the same except for some appointments.

I've heard that Ohana went all out to make the SK38 as much like an old Martin as they could. Supposedly they pulled out all the stops to use their best woods, put thei0e best people on them, etc. Don't know if it's so but I've never heard anyone complain about the sound, setup, etc. on an SK38. I came within a whisker of buying one just before UWC last year.

In the "face off" I picked #1 as my favorite and decided it was the SK38 largely based on the fact that it sounded slightly better than the other two and the fact that I expected an SK38 to be "better" than an S-1. :)

Not that I'm saying the S-1 is a slouch, mind you, I picked it as my second favorite in the last comparison demo Tim did. But, the only one I've actually had my hands on didn't impress me a whole lot so from everything I've heard of the SK38 I kind of expected it to be better.

John

Dan Uke
01-24-2013, 07:00 PM
I think we need to define jangle cuz I have no idea. I agree with Steve that the SK 38 is the one that most picked cuz the sound is more like a vintage Martin. I think many people don't like the S1 because it sounds less like a vintage.

pdxuke
01-24-2013, 07:29 PM
I think we need to define jangle cuz I have no idea. I agree with Steve that the SK 38 is the one that most picked cuz the sound is more like a vintage Martin. I think many people don't like the S1 because it sounds less like a vintage.

I know about the jangle and it may be that "a" string because I have at times thought it was a buzz, but it isn't. So I get that.

My vintage ukes also have a warm, almost bell sound, and that is what I think the SK38 grabs. It's hard to put into words and I'm tired so I have to think more about how to describe it...