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pdxuke
01-24-2013, 04:00 PM
So, after I registed my new M2 soprano at Martin I wrote them praising their builds, but asking if I could have, as an option, friction tuners on their US or Mexican concerts.

I didn't expect a "yes" on the Mexican build, but I actually expected a yes on the USA concert build. Afterall, if Mainland can offer that option, why not Martin, the grand daddy of Mainland uke companies.

I got a very nice email back from a person who told me it was not an option. He told me that he agreed with me on the tuners, but those decisions were made higher up. I wrote back and asked him to forward my message up to whomever makes that decision.

I will never buy a modern Martin, pay $1000+ for a concert, without friction tuners. Period. I'm pledging that right here. As much as I'd love to have a new Martin USA concert build.

Anybody feel the same way? Comments, observations--cheap shots?:o

RyanMFT
01-24-2013, 04:33 PM
I couldn't agree more and that is why I didn't buy a new Martin a while back. It just bothered the heck out of me, and I knew I wouldn't ever like it.

I just came to the occlusion that it is a guitar company now....and they think about the ukulele through the context of the guitar, and thus, they must use geared tuners. Oh well, I'll have to buy more vintage ukuleles with the money!

haolejohn
01-24-2013, 04:39 PM
Haven't they always been a guitar company? I know their vintage ukes are something else (maybe the best ukes in that time period) but when the uke's popularity fell, they stopped caring. I tried those mexican martins and I was pretty upset at the price tag. I have no interest in their ukulele revival b/c to me, they are jumping back on a fad that they deserted. I will stick with better mainland uke makers (even if they are made in China).

coolkayaker1
01-24-2013, 04:45 PM
I can answer Martin's geared tuner bias with one simple truth: last week I bought a Kiwaya KTC-3.

stevepetergal
01-24-2013, 04:49 PM
I understand you having a preference, but I don't get it. You'd spend 1500 bucks or so on a Martin and be unable to take it to a luthier who'd customize it for you? If Martin is your choice, get one! They're not custom instruments. And changing the tuners on one won't make it less of what you want. It will make it more what you want.

Or am I missing something?

hmgberg
01-24-2013, 04:58 PM
I agree with you, Thom. I don't like the appearance geared tuners on any ukuleles. Perhaps you could write again and just ask if they would leave the tuners off. Then, you could get a nice set of friction tuners and put them on. These are some dumb decisions, the tuners and the gig bag. Wait! I'd sign a petition if you started one.

RyanMFT
01-24-2013, 05:07 PM
Haven't they always been a guitar company?

Yes, but they made other instruments and those were also well done. Now, they are totally focused on guitar with ukuleles really not being a focus.

Paul December
01-24-2013, 05:08 PM
I understand you having a preference, but I don't get it. You'd spend 1500 bucks or so on a Martin and be unable to take it to a luthier who'd customize it for you? If Martin is your choice, get one! They're not custom instruments. And changing the tuners on one won't make it less of what you want. It will make it more what you want.

Or am I missing something?

You sound too reasonable! :D

Dan Uke
01-24-2013, 06:37 PM
You sound too reasonable! :D

HAHAHA...I will keep my opinions to myself :p

haolejohn
01-24-2013, 06:45 PM
Yes, but they made other instruments and those were also well done. Now, they are totally focused on guitar with ukuleles really not being a focus.

but hasn't that been the issue since the 60s or whenever they stopped making ukes before?
I like Martin Guitars and vintage ukes, but there newer ukes (I've only played the mexico ones) were not impressive. I felt that they are only in the uke market to capitilze on their name and the uke's popularity.

And I think (just my opinion) that this story confirms it.

pdxuke
01-24-2013, 06:53 PM
I understand you having a preference, but I don't get it. You'd spend 1500 bucks or so on a Martin and be unable to take it to a luthier who'd customize it for you? If Martin is your choice, get one! They're not custom instruments. And changing the tuners on one won't make it less of what you want. It will make it more what you want.

Or am I missing something?

I believe you are missing the point that I should not have to spend 1500 clams on a Martin and then have it customized. Why should I? This is not a difficult option for Martin to offer, I'd even pay them for it, and frankly, for $1500 I can get a vintage concert which is what I will do.

But you are correct, I could do that. But I've decided to whine about it instead. And since I started the thread I'll whine all I like, despite rational, reasonable arguments like yours. ;)

noogee
01-24-2013, 06:54 PM
In response to haolejohn:

I think its a little rough to knock a stringed instrument maker for trying to capitalize on the popularity of the uke. I mean, it seems Martin is only in the guitar biz to capitalize on the popularity of the guitar, right?

pdxuke
01-24-2013, 06:56 PM
but hasn't that been the issue since the 60s or whenever they stopped making ukes before?
I like Martin Guitars and vintage ukes, but there newer ukes (I've only played the mexico ones) were not impressive. I felt that they are only in the uke market to capitilze on their name and the uke's popularity.

And I think (just my opinion) that this story confirms it.

I don't go that far. I think their new builds are very good. I just have a problem with their tuners, and their inflexibility. I'm not sure what this proves, except that Martin doesn't much care what I want :-)

haolejohn
01-24-2013, 07:01 PM
I don't go that far. I think their new builds are very good. I just have a problem with their tuners, and their inflexibility. I'm not sure what this proves, except that Martin doesn't much care what I want :-)

I would like to try one of their newer ones. All the reviews on the newer ones have been positive.

And I understand your right to whine. I know you love Martin ukes and you have a valid gripe.

Kyle23
01-24-2013, 07:06 PM
What's the difference between geared and friction and why are they better?

haolejohn
01-24-2013, 07:07 PM
In response to haolejohn:

I think its a little rough to knock a stringed instrument maker for trying to capitalize on the popularity of the uke. I mean, it seems Martin is only in the guitar biz to capitalize on the popularity of the guitar, right?

Am i being too rough? To you maybe, but to me...no.

I will stick with buying my ukuleles from ukulele specific companies. Not guitar companies that only care about making money on an instruments popularity.
I don't trust the guitar makers making ukuleles. If I wanted to change something on a Martin guitar like the type of tuners, could I (I have no idea...I'm not a guitar player)?
The uke to Martin is a money making fad (i know all makers are in the uke business to make money, but some actually care about the uke).

haolejohn
01-24-2013, 07:08 PM
What's the difference between geared and friction and why are they better?

they both tune. It is a aesthetics thing. I like both but prefer friction tuners on my sopranos and concerts.

consitter
01-24-2013, 07:12 PM
Am i being too rough? To you maybe, but to me...no.

I will stick with buying my ukuleles from ukulele specific companies. Not guitar companies that only care about making money on an instruments popularity.
I don't trust the guitar makers making ukuleles. If I wanted to change something on a Martin guitar like the type of tuners, could I (I have no idea...I'm not a guitar player)?
The uke to Martin is a money making fad (i know all makers are in the uke business to make money, but some actually care about the uke).

I'm with you on this. I buy ukes from uke makers.

haolejohn
01-24-2013, 07:17 PM
I don't go that far. I think their new builds are very good. I just have a problem with their tuners, and their inflexibility. I'm not sure what this proves, except that Martin doesn't much care what I want :-)

Thom, have the higher ups responded yet? I am curious how they respond.

pdxuke
01-24-2013, 07:25 PM
Thom, have the higher ups responded yet? I am curious how they respond.

Naw, just got the first email today. I really will be shocked if I get a response.

I just think it should be an option. I should be able to order the darned thing with my choice of friction or geared. One is not better than the other, but I should be able to decide. Especially since the Martin tradition is friction tuners, and they are all about heritage, etc.. Heck, they used to use friction tuners on all their ukes, even baritones!

I respect their product, and I like their current builds, from the S1 up. But boy, I shake my head at that decision.

Even Ohana gives you a choice; some models have friction, some don't.

pdxuke
01-24-2013, 09:17 PM
I'm with you on this. I buy ukes from uke makers.

Well, Martin is a uke maker--one of the great, gigantic, archetypal uke makers. They just stopped making them when they couldn't sell them anymore, I guess. And they were late in the game to get back in. And they stumbled many say, with the SO. But they have it right now, the builds are wonderful--except this tuner thing.:mad:

And the fact that the guy who wrote the email to me agrees, means that some in the company agree with me. It's just that the decision makers haven't gotten the word yet.

I wish someone at NAMM would take a moment and go to Martin's table and ask them why on earth they would put geared tuners on a $1000+ Martin concert. And point over to the Kamaka table, and the Collings table (ok, those are peg heads--but they look good!):p

Skrik
01-24-2013, 09:21 PM
Or am I missing something?

Small holes in the back of the headstock on a new $1500 instrument.

For the same price, go to a custom builder.

consitter
01-24-2013, 09:26 PM
Well, Martin is a uke maker--one of the great, gigantic, archetypal uke makers. They just stopped making them when they couldn't sell them anymore, I guess. And they were late in the game to get back in. And they stumbled many say, with the SO. But they have it right now, the builds are wonderful--except this tuner thing.:mad:

And the fact that the guy who wrote the email to me agrees, means that some in the company agree with me. It's just that the decision makers haven't gotten the word yet.

I wish someone at NAMM would take a moment and go to Martin's table and ask them why on earth they would put geared tuners on a $1000+ Martin concert. And point over to the Kamaka table, and the Collings table (ok, those are peg heads--but they look good!):p

Let me refine my statement...I buy my ukes from ukulele makers that exclusively make ukuleles. :)

I personally don't like friction tuners. They are maddening to me, because it seems like I just can't get the uke exactly in tune. Geared tuners, completely different story. But, I think you should have your choice whether you want them or not. Seems only proper.

pulelehua
01-24-2013, 11:59 PM
they both tune. It is a aesthetics thing. I like both but prefer friction tuners on my sopranos and concerts.

For some people, it's really a weight thing. Friction tuners are heavier, and throw off the overall balance of the instrument. Weight also affects sustain a bit.

Given the huge number of ukulele makers out there, I would recommend the OP employ the appropriate capitalist response: don't buy one.

anthonyg
01-25-2013, 12:09 AM
You guys and your friction peg mania.:confused:

At best its fashion gone mad. I LIKE to be able to get an instrument in tune quickly but what do I know.:rolleyes:

Anthony

Nicko
01-25-2013, 01:20 AM
Will Kiwaya build me a KTS4 with geared tuners, I wonder?

Pukulele Pete
01-25-2013, 01:25 AM
I have the feeling that Martin doesnt really care about ukuleles . It is a sideline that they dont care about. I would guess that a very small number of people want a concert with geared tuners
and they are not listening to what uke players want. All the ukes made in Mexico have serial numbers but Martin doesnt know or care that you cant date their uke by the serial number.
While I'm on this rant I'll mention the Bass guitar size fret wire they use on their ukes. I have an SO and its a good uke but the new ones are pretty much the same uke with an extended fretboard.
I really don't like the extended fret board on the sopranos, but if they have to do it at least finish it a little, they look like the are cut out with a CNC machine. I'm done, I'm sorry but I'm disappointed with the new Martins. I have three Martins , two are vintage and are much better than the newer one. I just have to add that I do have a new Martin Style 0 that is wonderful , it is a Kiwaya KTS-4 .

Nicko
01-25-2013, 01:35 AM
Am i being too rough? To you maybe, but to me...no.

I will stick with buying my ukuleles from ukulele specific companies. Not guitar companies that only care about making money on an instruments popularity.

That's what's so great about there being so many makers putting out such good instruments these days! They each have their business models and stable of instruments and we musicians have a wonderful array of experiences to choose from, including superb options coming out to make our own aftermarket adjustments (great tuning machines with options for friction, sealed and open geared, with different colors and shapes of buttons, etc).

We have TONS of options. But we don't have every option, I guess. We have what I like to call "the problems of rich people."

You don't like the way Martin runs their business, designs their ukes, works or doesn't work with customers...my advice is don't buy from them. They haven't been building great instruments successfully for generations because they don't know what they're doing. And you have scores of great options.

Ain't life grand?! :cool:

Lalz
01-25-2013, 01:40 AM
I wrote to them a few months ago to complain about the of quality control on their m600 strings, after ending up with several dodgy sets. They never bothered to reply. That to me says a lot...

LifesShort
01-25-2013, 02:21 AM
The answer, plain and simple, is that Martin does not have a custom ukulele shop. They are made on an assembly line and you are asking them to change their routine/procedure for one ukulele. They just are not going to do that. You couldn't go to Samsung and ask that them to make your tv with a brown chassis rather than black. It's just not something they offer. I don't think you can blame Martin. To me, the problem is that you are asking for a custom option from a manufacturer that doesn't offer them. The price of the ukulele is immaterial.

That being said, I would never buy a new Martin instrument, period. I have a good friend who bought a new Martin guitar. Less than a week after getting it home it developed a crack the length of the back. Martin offered to repair it, but would not replace it with a new one. I can see repairing an instrument that is several months old, but he had this guitar less than a week! That is terrible customer service. My friend sold the Martin real cheap and bought a Taylor. He has since bought about 8 more Taylors. If Martin had replaced that first guitar, he probably would have bought all Martins.

coolkayaker1
01-25-2013, 03:08 AM
Kiwaya now makes a better Martin than Martin. And at 2/3 the price.

Pukulele Pete
01-25-2013, 03:21 AM
Kiwaya now makes a better Martin than Martin. And at 2/3 the price.

Exactly Mr. Cool , Martin should be ashamed. Martin makes great ukes, Kiwaya makes them better, why can't Martin do what they used to do. Listen to your customers. Do you think anyone from Martin reads what we post on this site? If they don't ( I dont think they do ) they should.

Skinny Money McGee
01-25-2013, 03:58 AM
Kiwaya now makes a better Martin than Martin. And at 2/3 the price.

All this makes my head explode

Pukulele Pete
01-25-2013, 04:07 AM
And Martin wont care that they caused Skinny's head to explode. Oh, the humanity ,..........

pdxuke
01-25-2013, 04:48 AM
You guys and your friction peg mania.:confused:

At best its fashion gone mad. I LIKE to be able to get an instrument in tune quickly but what do I know.:rolleyes:

Anthony

So do I. I just do it with friction tuners :-)

pdxuke
01-25-2013, 04:53 AM
The answer, plain and simple, is that Martin does not have a custom ukulele shop. They are made on an assembly line and you are asking them to change their routine/procedure for one ukulele. They just are not going to do that. You couldn't go to Samsung and ask that them to make your tv with a brown chassis rather than black. It's just not something they offer. I don't think you can blame Martin. To me, the problem is that you are asking for a custom option from a manufacturer that doesn't offer them. The price of the ukulele is immaterial.

That being said, I would never buy a new Martin instrument, period. I have a good friend who bought a new Martin guitar. Less than a week after getting it home it developed a crack the length of the back. Martin offered to repair it, but would not replace it with a new one. I can see repairing an instrument that is several months old, but he had this guitar less than a week! That is terrible customer service. My friend sold the Martin real cheap and bought a Taylor. He has since bought about 8 more Taylors. If Martin had replaced that first guitar, he probably would have bought all Martins.

Actually, that's not what i want. What I really want is for Martin to offer them as an option, for everyone, throughout the kingdom. Which means they have to CHANGE their procedures.. Mainland Ukes are assembly line ukes as well, but they offer the option.

What I ACTUALLY want is for an international treaty to be signed that says that friction tuners will be used on all soprano and concert ukes. And I want a special police force that comes to your house and checks. And I want someone to look in on Skinny, because his head exploded. And a pony. I want a pony.

pdxuke
01-25-2013, 04:56 AM
Kiwaya now makes a better Martin than Martin. And at 2/3 the price.

Yes, it looks that way.

If only they could perfect the headstock and their decal--they keep misspelling "Martin." There's no K in Martin!

(They are great ukes BTW.)

PedalFreak
01-25-2013, 05:20 AM
The answer, plain and simple, is that Martin does not have a custom ukulele shop.

This isn't entirely true. They do build ukes in the Custom Shop. I've gotten several quotes and am planning a run of Custon Martin ukes for our shop here ;D

LifesShort
01-25-2013, 05:36 AM
This isn't entirely true. They do build ukes in the Custom Shop. I've gotten several quotes and am planning a run of Custon Martin ukes for our shop here ;D

I stand corrected. Had I done my research, I would have known that. Thanks! What I should have said is that the OP was requesting a custom option without ordering through the custom shop.

Lalz
01-25-2013, 05:43 AM
I wrote to them a few months ago to complain about the of quality control on their m600 strings, after ending up with several dodgy sets. They never bothered to reply. That to me says a lot...

Oops! Sorry, my memory is failing me. They did reply but I wasn't satisfied with the answer, now I remember. Sorry, my bad.

pdxuke
01-25-2013, 05:56 AM
I stand corrected. Had I done my research, I would have known that. Thanks! What I should have said is that the OP was requesting a custom option without ordering through the custom shop.

Well, the response from Martin never mentioned the option for custom work. It wasn't like, "sorry, we can't to this, but we can do that." It was, to paraphrase: Sorry, we can't do that. and I agree with you. But my bosses don't.

PedalFreak
01-25-2013, 06:09 AM
Well, the response from Martin never mentioned the option for custom work. It wasn't like, "sorry, we can't to this, but we can do that." It was, to paraphrase: Sorry, we can't do that. and I agree with you. But my bosses don't.

That is why it is ALWAYS best to contact a store that has a good working relationship with a company, a store like Randee's Music for instance ;) If you ever have a question about Martin give me a call, I talk to those guys all the time. I've got outside reps and several people I know right at the factory :)

pdxuke
01-25-2013, 06:13 AM
That is why it is ALWAYS best to contact a store that has a good working relationship with a company, a store like Randee's Music for instance ;) If you ever have a question about Martin give me a call, I talk to those guys all the time. I've got outside reps and several people I know right at the factory :)

Thank you Aaron, I'll do that. I appreciate it.

stevepetergal
01-25-2013, 06:14 AM
I believe you are missing the point that I should not have to spend 1500 clams on a Martin and then have it customized. Why should I? This is not a difficult option for Martin to offer, I'd even pay them for it, and frankly, for $1500 I can get a vintage concert which is what I will do.

But you are correct, I could do that. But I've decided to whine about it instead. And since I started the thread I'll whine all I like, despite rational, reasonable arguments like yours. ;)

Touche. You're right. I just think a new Martin is just a s nice as a vintage (not a common belief I see) with the extra added bonus of being new and under warrantee. But, what I said stands. Get what you want, details be damned.

pdxuke
01-25-2013, 06:19 AM
Touche. You're right. I just think a new Martin is just a s nice as a vintage (not a common belief I see) with the extra added bonus of being new and under warrantee. But, what I said stands. Get what you want, details be damned.

I agree with you that the new Martins are nice. I'd like to have one. With friction tuners. Maybe, since I now know it's an option, I can have one built custom.

And won't it be hilarious if I have to spend $1000 more for a custom uke just to get a $80 pair of friction tuners?

(What was that you said about customing it out myself...Luthier...hmmm...)

PedalFreak
01-25-2013, 06:19 AM
Touche. You're right. I just think a new Martin is just a s nice as a vintage (not a common belief I see) with the extra added bonus of being new and under warrantee. But, what I said stands. Get what you want, details be damned.

Yeah Martin is building amazing instruments again. They've really stepped it up. I can't wait to get their new Authentic series in our store! Especially the 1939 Spec D-18. Before I bought my Martin Dan Tyminski D-28 I went looking for a vintage Martin. Just because it's an old Martin doesn't mean it's going to sound good. I probably played a couple dozen 1965 or earlier Martins (most from 46-56 era) and only 1 stood out to me, a 1946 D-28. The rest were nothing special. The brand new D-28 I bought from Martin has a better sound than all the vintage Martins I played.

But I've also played vintage Martins that make my D-28 sound like a toy :) A customer of mine has a 1955 D-18, I'd love to own that guitar. Then there is a 1937 D-28 I played once that has haunted me ever since :)

pdxuke
01-25-2013, 06:21 AM
Yeah Martin is building amazing instruments again. They've really stepped it up. I can't wait to get their new Authentic series in our store! Especially the 1939 Spec D-18. Before I bought my Martin Dan Tyminski D-28 I went looking for a vintage Martin. Just because it's an old Martin doesn't mean it's going to sound good. I probably played a couple dozen 1965 or earlier Martins (most from 46-56 era) and only 1 stood out to me, a 1946 D-28. The rest were nothing special. The brand new D-28 I bought from Martin has a better sound than all the vintage Martins I played.

But I've also played vintage Martins that make my D-28 sound like a toy :) A customer of mine has a 1955 D-18, I'd love to own that guitar. Then there is a 1937 D-28 I played once that has haunted me ever since :)

Guitar? Martin makes guitars?

PedalFreak
01-25-2013, 06:24 AM
And won't it be hilarious if I have to spend $1000 more for a custom uke just to get a $80 pair of friction tuners?

Here is an idea on the custom uke. I spec'd one out for our store these features:

Tenor
All Mahogany
30's Shaded Mahogany Burst Top
Tortoise Shell Binding on top & back
Gloss finish
Peghed tuners

Would sell for about $2499.

I did some others, like a 2T with Tortoise binding and Friction tuners, would sell around $1349 I'd imagine.

PedalFreak
01-25-2013, 06:25 AM
Guitar? Martin makes guitars?

From time to time :) Or so I've been told :)

pdxuke
01-25-2013, 06:27 AM
From time to time :) Or so I've been told :)

Haha! I've forgotten about guitars since I gave my son my 1966 Martin 000-18. He's a good boy.

which explains part of my feeling about Martin. I was raised on it. That was my guitar. All my family made music on Martin instruments. Part of my gene pool.

strumsilly
01-25-2013, 06:36 AM
I can answer Martin's geared tuner bias with one simple truth: last week I bought a Kiwaya KTC-3.

wow, I had a KTC-1, and the ONLY thing I didn't like was the 12 fret neck. a KTC-2 is my dream uke, and a KTC-3 is well even dreamier.I call first dibbs if you get tired of it. if I live that long.

haolejohn
01-25-2013, 07:16 AM
That's what's so great about there being so many makers putting out such good instruments these days! They each have their business models and stable of instruments and we musicians have a wonderful array of experiences to choose from, including superb options coming out to make our own aftermarket adjustments (great tuning machines with options for friction, sealed and open geared, with different colors and shapes of buttons, etc).

We have TONS of options. But we don't have every option, I guess. We have what I like to call "the problems of rich people."

You don't like the way Martin runs their business, designs their ukes, works or doesn't work with customers...my advice is don't buy from them. They haven't been building great instruments successfully for generations because they don't know what they're doing. And you have scores of great options.

Ain't life grand?! :cool:
I love it. I'm not going to mock Martin's build quality. Everyone knows that Martin can build instruments. I guess it is just simply me...being a uke snob:) Which I can b/c of all the options.

haolejohn
01-25-2013, 07:18 AM
So do I. I just do it with friction tuners :-)

I used to prefer geared tuners, but after playing my concerts and traveling with my soprano...I have fell in love with my friction tuners. I can tune a uke pretty darn quick with those things and they do feel better on balance.

OldePhart
01-25-2013, 07:20 AM
I can kind of see Martin's viewpoint in this but I can also feel your frustration. It will probably never be an issue for me because my personal feeling is that the Martins across the line are kind of pricey for what they are. The S-1 is a decent uke (though I wasn't real impressed with the one I've actually had my hands on) but it is priced about $100 more than offerings just as good from other manufacturers. By the time you get to Martin's US made line I don't think anyone would argue that they are good instruments - but they also cost as much or more than ukes by luthiers where you really can 'have it your way". :)

haolejohn
01-25-2013, 07:20 AM
Actually, that's not what i want. What I really want is for Martin to offer them as an option, for everyone, throughout the kingdom. Which means they have to CHANGE their procedures.. Mainland Ukes are assembly line ukes as well, but they offer the option.

What I ACTUALLY want is for an international treaty to be signed that says that friction tuners will be used on all soprano and concert ukes. And I want a special police force that comes to your house and checks. And I want someone to look in on Skinny, because his head exploded. And a pony. I want a pony.
THom, you owe me a new uke with friction tuners. I just spit my coffee out on my key board. I'd rather have the uke than a new computer.

pdxuke
01-25-2013, 08:11 AM
You don't like the way Martin runs their business, designs their ukes, works or doesn't work with customers...my advice is don't buy from them. They haven't been building great instruments successfully for generations because they don't know what they're doing. And you have scores of great options.


Yeah, but that's a little bit like just yelling at the kids, "get off my lawn!" If I don't like something, I usually like to point it out to a business. It's the kind of things businesses like to know about. Martin is a fine business. I never said it wasn't. But, under the new international treaty (that I made up) they are not in compliance on the friction tuner front. I don't think I ever said they didn't know what they're doing. What I said is I didn't like the response they gave me.

See, here's the great thing: more than one thing can be true at the same time. It can be true that Martin is a great company and builds great ukes, and it can also be true that they are dead wrong for not pleasing me on this friction tuner thing. (I think they should get in a limo and drive over to my house and personally take my order like a waiter in my favorite bistro. And give me a beard trim. And a latte.)

So, I'm not buying the "you don't like it, get off my lawn" argument. But i asked for opinions and I appreciate you giving me yours.:)

And anyway, i just bought a vintage Martin Tenor. So my budget is shot for a bit. :o

pdxuke
01-25-2013, 08:18 AM
By the time you get to Martin's US made line I don't think anyone would argue that they are good instruments - but they also cost as much or more than ukes by luthiers where you really can 'have it your way". :)

I would argue that they are good instruments...

haolejohn
01-25-2013, 08:44 AM
I just want to say that your stance on this issue has me laughing. I enjoy your sense of humor.

Nicko
01-25-2013, 09:04 AM
But, under the new international treaty (that I made up) they are not in compliance on the friction tuner front. I don't think I ever said they didn't know what they're doing. What I said is I didn't like the response they gave me.

My bad. I forgot about the International Convention on Ukulele Tuning Machines (2013).

You're taking the wholesome proactive approach: telling companies about it when they fall short on something in your (the customer's) eyes. My usual (passive aggressive) approach is to just walk away, letting the market do its "invisible-hand-of-capitalism" thing.

OldePhart
01-25-2013, 09:23 AM
By the time you get to Martin's US made line I don't think anyone would argue that they are good instruments - but they also cost as much or more than ukes by luthiers where you really can 'have it your way". :)


I would argue that they are good instruments...

Yeah...I phrased that badly...I meant "...I don't think anyone would would argue that they are not good instruments..." Perhaps I should have said "...I think everyone would agree that they are good instruments..." but I just love double-negatives. :)

John

Nicko
01-25-2013, 09:53 AM
Yeah...I phrased that badly...I meant "...I don't think anyone would would argue that they are not good instruments..." Perhaps I should have said "...I think everyone would agree that they are good instruments..." but I just love double-negatives. :)

I couldn't not fail to disagree with you more.

BlueLatitude
01-25-2013, 10:01 AM
i couldn't not fail to disagree with you more.

lmao......

hmgberg
01-25-2013, 11:05 AM
Here's a thought...or possibly two. A single employee's attitudes about customer service issues may not reflect the ethos of the company. Had you spoken with someone else, or perhaps even the same person at a different time, you may have gotten a better response.

Posts on this thread regarding Martin's ability to gauge the market for uke have been diametrically oppositional-from they think it's a fad to capitalize on and don't care about ukuleles to they must know what they are doing every step of the way because they are a fabulous company with a long-standing tradition for making quality instruments.

As I recall, Martin abandoned the s-o in response to criticism coming from ukulele players. Most companies, especially the great ones, listen to their customers.

In short, I would wait a few days for a reply. Then, I would call again and ask to speak with someone else. I would make it clear that while I think all sopranos and concerts ought to come with friction pegs, I am primarily interested in getting one for myself and less so in changing their standard operation. Lastly, I would ask if there is a way they could satisfy your desires. I would make sure to intersperse favorable comments about their instruments throughout the conversation.

I ran a company for 20 years providing both a product and service. I loved these opportunities to make people happy. If responsing to a customer's desire was possible I would do it every time. The pay off was huge. I ended up with a happy customer and garner all kinds of positive word-of-mouth advertising because people for whom I made that extra effort to satisfy always seemed to talk about it...to other people who became new customers.

pdxuke
01-25-2013, 11:08 AM
Here's a thought...or possibly two. A single employee's attitudes about customer service issues may not reflect the ethos of the company. Had you spoken with someone else, or perhaps even the same person at a different time, you may have gotten a better response.

Posts on this thread regarding Martin's ability to gauge the market for uke have been diametrically oppositional-from they think it's a fad to capitalize on and don't care about ukuleles to they must know what they are doing every step of the way because they are a fabulous company with a long-standing tradition for making quality instruments.

As I recall, Martin abandoned the s-o in response to criticism coming from ukulele players. Most companies, especially the great ones, listen to their customers.

In short, I would wait a few days for a reply. Then, I would call again and ask to speak with someone else. I would make it clear that while I think all sopranos and concerts ought to come with friction pegs, I am primarily interested in getting one for myself and less so in changing their standard operation. Lastly, I would ask if there is a way they could satisfy your desires. I would make sure to intersperse favorable comments about their instruments throughout the conversation.

I ran a company for 20 years providing both a product and service. I loved these opportunities to make people happy. If responsing to a customer's desire was possible I would do it every time. The pay off was huge. I ended up with a happy customer and garner all kinds of positive word-of-mouth advertising because people for whom I made that extra effort to satisfy always seemed to talk about it...to other people who became new customers.

Your counsel is both wise and spot on, I think. Thank you.

hmgberg
01-25-2013, 11:11 AM
I hope it works! I have faith. Good luck.


Your counsel is both wise and spot on, I think. Thank you.

Dan Uke
01-25-2013, 11:12 AM
I'm glad to see you so compassionate about Martins...I'm looking forward to your next several Martin thread...I don't like the Martin decal or Martin vs. Dolphin sound test? :p

pdxuke
01-25-2013, 11:14 AM
I hope it works! I have faith. Good luck.

And I do think Martin is good company, and actually, the poor soul who contacted me was very polite. And as a customer I always like the idea of giving companies I WANT to do business with the opportunity to make me happy. Just as you said!

pdxuke
01-25-2013, 11:19 AM
I'm glad to see you so compassionate about Martins...I'm looking forward to your next several Martin thread...I don't like the Martin decal or Martin vs. Dolphin sound test? :p

I think my next Martin thread will be, why doesn't Martin make a uke that I can commute to work in?

Perhaps a Martin vs. Steinway Piano Sound Test?

haolejohn
01-25-2013, 11:40 AM
Here's a thought...or possibly two. A single employee's attitudes about customer service issues may not reflect the ethos of the company. Had you spoken with someone else, or perhaps even the same person at a different time, you may have gotten a better response.

Posts on this thread regarding Martin's ability to gauge the market for uke have been diametrically oppositional-from they think it's a fad to capitalize on and don't care about ukuleles to they must know what they are doing every step of the way because they are a fabulous company with a long-standing tradition for making quality instruments.

As I recall, Martin abandoned the s-o in response to criticism coming from ukulele players. Most companies, especially the great ones, listen to their customers.

In short, I would wait a few days for a reply. Then, I would call again and ask to speak with someone else. I would make it clear that while I think all sopranos and concerts ought to come with friction pegs, I am primarily interested in getting one for myself and less so in changing their standard operation. Lastly, I would ask if there is a way they could satisfy your desires. I would make sure to intersperse favorable comments about their instruments throughout the conversation.

I ran a company for 20 years providing both a product and service. I loved these opportunities to make people happy. If responsing to a customer's desire was possible I would do it every time. The pay off was huge. I ended up with a happy customer and garner all kinds of positive word-of-mouth advertising because people for whom I made that extra effort to satisfy always seemed to talk about it...to other people who became new customers.

well said. I had no idea about the s-0 being changed b/c of uke customer input.

Pukulele Pete
01-27-2013, 02:42 AM
well said. I had no idea about the s-0 being changed b/c of uke customer input.
If that is true and not an assumption .

coolkayaker1
01-27-2013, 03:24 AM
Friction pegs? I LIKE to be able to get an instrument in tune quickly but what do I know.:rolleyes:

Anthony

By definition, nothing faster than 1:1. A good crank in one direction, and the string loosens and slips off the peg.

A generous crank in the other direction, and the string snaps across my kisser.

Precise. Just the way i like it.

roxhum
01-27-2013, 03:42 AM
And the debate goes on friction vs geared when the simple fact is that friction is best. (ducking)

Chris Tarman
01-27-2013, 07:45 AM
Once I got used to them, which took about five minutes, friction tuners are easier for me to tune with. They are just as accurate and much quicker than geared tuners. To my eye, they are the only tuners that look right on a soprano. I heartily endorse and support the International Treaty!

pdxuke
01-27-2013, 07:58 AM
Once I got used to them, which took about five minutes, friction tuners are easier for me to tune with. They are just as accurate and much quicker than geared tuners. To my eye, they are the only tuners that look right on a soprano. I heartily endorse and support the International Treaty!

Bless you. It takes the support of the public to make certain these important treaties have teeth. Write congress now.

Pundabaya
01-27-2013, 09:40 AM
I couldn't care less what tuners are on there. I have frictions on both my current ukes, but my first uke had geared. I do like one thing about geared over frictions. When you go a little over on frictions, you have to drop back down, then tune up again. That can be a right pain in the posterior.But y'know I can cope with them. Whatever the uke has, I'm fine with.

PEGHEDS suck, though. :p

PeteyHoudini
01-27-2013, 10:12 AM
Here's a thought...or possibly two. A single employee's attitudes about customer service issues may not reflect the ethos of the company. Had you spoken with someone else, or perhaps even the same person at a different time, you may have gotten a better response.

Posts on this thread regarding Martin's ability to gauge the market for uke have been diametrically oppositional-from they think it's a fad to capitalize on and don't care about ukuleles to they must know what they are doing every step of the way because they are a fabulous company with a long-standing tradition for making quality instruments.

As I recall, Martin abandoned the s-o in response to criticism coming from ukulele players. Most companies, especially the great ones, listen to their customers.

In short, I would wait a few days for a reply. Then, I would call again and ask to speak with someone else. I would make it clear that while I think all sopranos and concerts ought to come with friction pegs, I am primarily interested in getting one for myself and less so in changing their standard operation.
I agree with you totally. Well said.

I think concerts should have friction tuners. I think they are just treating them like mini guitars for those who don't want a small soprano uke and don't want a big tenor uke. Tuning with geared tuners is easier for beginners. I've grown to rather like friction tuners. I learned to drive an automatic car when I was 16. However, my parents had a manual car and I just couldn't get it... you know going from starting into 1st gear. Finally, my dad forced me to drive us to the restaurant in the manual. Afterwards, it took some time but I got better and I then preferred the gear shift to the automatic! That's how I feel about friction tuners now. Geared tuners are automatic. However, geared tuners are fine on a tenor. I have no issues with that IMHO. hehe

Petey

anthonyg
01-27-2013, 10:24 AM
By definition, nothing faster than 1:1. A good crank in one direction, and the string loosens and slips off the peg.

A generous crank in the other direction, and the string snaps across my kisser.

Precise. Just the way i like it.

Now you guys are going off into fantasy land.

Friction pegs are just a fashion statement. If Jake started playing ukulele while wearing high heels you guys would be out tomorrow buying high heels.

Anthony

pdxuke
01-27-2013, 10:33 AM
Now you guys are going off into fantasy land.

Friction pegs are just a fashion statement. If Jake started playing ukulele while wearing high heels you guys would be out tomorrow buying high heels.

Anthony

Um.. No. Friction tuners are the original ukulele tuners (okay, friction pegs were, but close.) Just like koa and mahogany were the original uke tone woods--which we still use, because they work. I like them because they work and they look good, not because they're fashionable. Anyway --they are hardly that. Why do you think Ohana, and Kala are pumping out more ukes without them? Because they are more difficult for newbies to use, and they whine, and send back the uke because it doesn't play in tune, blah blah. I was one of those people--I HATED THEM as a beginner. Now I love them.

I'd write even more, but I need to go shopping and pick up a new pair of high heels.

Pundabaya
01-27-2013, 10:35 AM
Now you guys are going off into fantasy land.

Friction pegs are just a fashion statement. If Jake started playing ukulele while wearing high heels you guys would be out tomorrow buying high heels.

Anthony

Dude, don't be ridiculous.

We alredy have high-heels. It would just give us an excuse to wear them during the week.

PeteyHoudini
01-27-2013, 10:40 AM
High heels were first worn by men in the upper classes. Check the history of shoes! hehe

Petey

haolejohn
01-27-2013, 10:46 AM
Jake wears high heels?

anthonyg
01-27-2013, 10:48 AM
High heels were first worn by men in the upper classes. Check the history of shoes! hehe

Petey

Sure, but you have to admit that its a fashion statement.

Anthony

anthonyg
01-27-2013, 10:49 AM
Jake wears high heels?

I'm just starting a rumour. Lets see how far it goes.

Anthony

PeteyHoudini
01-27-2013, 10:56 AM
Sure, but you have to admit that its a fashion statement.

Anthony
Sorry, but not quite. You'd better read this. hehe
http://www.randomhistory.com/1-50/036heels.html

Anyway, keep the joke going! hehe

Petey

haolejohn
01-27-2013, 10:59 AM
I'm just starting a rumour. Lets see how far it goes.

Anthony

o h .

Pundabaya
01-27-2013, 11:09 AM
What Jake does in his own home, in the company of consenting adults, is his business.

'Jake why are you wearing high heels?'
'They help me play the uke better'
'What about the wig, make-up, corset and stockings?'
'Wearing just the shoes would be weird'

pdxuke
01-27-2013, 11:52 AM
Gently moving this thread back to where I started it, I want to point out that the German's still know what tuners belong on ukes:

http://brueko.de/en/standardmodels.html

:-)

PeteyHoudini
01-27-2013, 12:01 PM
Gently moving this thread back to where I started it, I want to point out that the German's still know what tuners belong on ukes:

http://brueko.de/en/standardmodels.html

:-)
Indeed!

Petey

Dan Uke
01-27-2013, 12:27 PM
Gently moving this thread back to where I started it, I want to point out that the German's still know what tuners belong on ukes:

http://brueko.de/en/standardmodels.html

:-)

Buy a Brukeo!!!

OldePhart
01-27-2013, 12:50 PM
Well...since someone mentioned Jake...

A) I wasn't even aware he used friction tuners - I assumed he used geared tuners on his tenors and I didn't pay any attention when I saw him last year.
B) Now that I think about it I can see why he would use them if he is...I suspect most people who have a good enough ear to tune by ear on stage in the middle of a gig probably love friction tuners...

Now...if you want to talk about stupid fashion statements - it's gotta be the slotted headstock. I despise changing strings on a slotted headstock. They serve no useful purpose, and I think we should have another one of those international treaty things regarding the use, or rather the absence of said use, of slot heads on instruments that might be purchased by me in a moment of carelessness...

So there! :)

John

PeteyHoudini
01-27-2013, 12:54 PM
Now...if you want to talk about stupid fashion statements - it's gotta be the slotted headstock. I despise changing strings on a slotted headstock. They serve no useful purpose...

There is one purpose that I read someone wrote a long time ago... "There is less wind resisitance when you spin around on stage!" ;-) hehehe

Petey

PS: I don't like those either!

coolkayaker1
01-27-2013, 01:08 PM
Actually, all, Jake uses geared tuners on a slotted headstock.

Lalz
01-27-2013, 01:13 PM
There is one purpose that I read someone wrote a long time ago... "There is less wind resisitance when you spin around on stage!" ;-) hehehe

Petey

PS: I don't like those either!

Haha! Not a fan of those either. There's maybe 2-3 uke models that do look good with them (the Flea/Fluke/Firefly for instance), but overall: no thank you.

PeteyHoudini
01-27-2013, 01:14 PM
Actually, all, Jake uses geared tuners on a slotted headstock.
LOL! Now my head is spinning! ;-) hehe

Petey

Lalz
01-27-2013, 01:15 PM
Actually, all, Jake uses geared tuners on a slotted headstock.

It's ok, we forgive him. K-brands have to be among the very few to do slotted headstocks right.

Nicko
01-27-2013, 01:42 PM
This stuff is all down to personal preferences based upon...well...personal preferences. If there was one right or best way that uniformly improved performance, it would have been adopted pretty much universally by makers and musicians. Right?

New solutions are developed -- beyond tuning pegs to friction tuners, for instance -- because some didn't like the old way. Today we have all the options (that have been trumped up so far). Want 14:1 gears or slippy-grippy whittled pegs, your call.

There isn't a right way. Well, except that sopranos are required by international convention and all the angels and saints to sport friction tuners. ;)

Macmuse
01-27-2013, 01:49 PM
Actually, all, Jake uses geared tuners on a slotted headstock.


And BRAVO for that. :D

I'm preparing to do a review of my Kala KA-SMLT (unless someone already has) -- gear, slot head, okoume and wonderful tone strung Low G. That said, I have the Kala lacewood soprano and am finally getting used to the friction tuners and beginning to really enjoy the sound with the Martin (there, back on topic -- slightly) strings. I'd love a Martin cherry sometime, but the budget is fairly thin with two more ukes arriving Mon & Tue this week (yay).

PeteyHoudini
01-27-2013, 02:00 PM
I'd love a Martin cherry sometime, but the budget is fairly thin with two more ukes arriving Mon & Tue this week (yay).
I have a new Martin 3 cherry and just got my new style 3 mahogany on the weekend. Not joking. Both are insanely beautiful pieces of work. 8-) The style 3 is boomingly loud, while the cherry is a really delicate sounding uke, but still has some boom. The jury is still out for me (I have to give the style 3 a fighting chance), but the 3 cherry is a real sweetie pie instrument. One of my all time favs.

Petey

Macmuse
01-27-2013, 02:26 PM
I have a new 3 Martin cherry and just got my new style 3 mahogany on the weekend. Not joking. Both are insanely beautiful pieces of work. 8-) The style 3 is boomingly loud, while the cherry is a really delicate sounding uke, but still has some boom. The jury is still out for me (I have to give the style 3 a fighting chance), but the 3 cherry is a real sweetie pie instrument. One of my all time favs.

Petey

Well, since I'm in PA (though on the left end) my goal is to save the pennies and take a trip to the Martin factory at some point. That could be a dangerous proposition given apparent the severity of my UAS.

PeteyHoudini
01-27-2013, 02:38 PM
Well, since I'm in PA (though on the left end) my goal is to save the pennies and take a trip to the Martin factory at some point. That could be a dangerous proposition given apparent the severity of my UAS.
Best to keep filling up that penny jar...

Beware of UAS... I've had it since 2008! But I learned a good lesson from it all! UAS backwards is SAU... Suckers All Unite! ;-) I've spent a few thousands over the years on collecting bad ukes because of UAS/SAU! ooh lala

Keep saving your pennies for the Holy Grail of ukes, my friend!

Petey

coolkayaker1
01-27-2013, 05:03 PM
Keep saving your pennies for the Holy Grail of ukes, my friend!
Petey
Petey's suggesting you get the office with a window AND a door, a.k.a. Martin 5K, macmuse.

Macmuse
01-27-2013, 05:11 PM
Petey's suggesting you get the office with a window AND a door, a.k.a. Martin 5K, macmuse.

Hahaha. I'll be happy if I can see and perhaps touch one of those on a visit to their digs in Nazareth, PA. I doubt very much one will ever come home with me (much as I would be totally cool with one living here with us!). :D

pdxuke
01-27-2013, 07:15 PM
Buy a Brukeo!!!

In the works.

pdxuke
01-27-2013, 07:17 PM
This stuff is all down to personal preferences based upon...well...personal preferences. If there was one right or best way that uniformly improved performance, it would have been adopted pretty much universally by makers and musicians. Right?

New solutions are developed -- beyond tuning pegs to friction tuners, for instance -- because some didn't like the old way. Today we have all the options (that have been trumped up so far). Want 14:1 gears or slippy-grippy whittled pegs, your call.

There isn't a right way. Well, except that sopranos are required by international convention and all the angels and saints to sport friction tuners. ;)

That's right! There's a Treaty now (which I made up...)