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View Full Version : Martin Factory Tour, 2KT, 2KC and 2C Ukuleles



Raygf
04-04-2013, 06:49 AM
I spent the day yesterday at The Martin Guitar Factory with 50+ other folks on a bus trip sponsored by Appalachian Bluegrass Shoppe. THANK YOU Emory and Charlene. What an amazing day. This is my second visit to the factory with Appalachian. When they go again, I'll be on the bus. After the factory tour, lunch and museum tour, we had some exclusive time in the picking room with astounding custom shop guitars. The two, 12 fret, slotted headstocks were unbelievable! May be looking at a 000-15SM. I know it can't compare to the customs, but I played one years ago and am sorry I didn't buy it then.

I asked our tour guide, where the ukuleles were because I was hoping to play a few. He said they were hard to come by, but wait right here, I'll go check. He came back with a 2KT, a 2KC and a 2. Dear God. They had all just come off the line and I wanted all 3. The mahogany on the 2C was spectacular and the tone on the 2KC just rang out. The tenor was my favorite. While I was playing these three, he came back with a case and said, Okay Ray, I just found this, but it's not for sale. I thought you might like to see it. He handed me one of the IZ prototypes. I was honored, to say the least. What more can I say. I was in 7th heaven. After playing them all for quite a while, I had to put them down and walk away to catch my breath and consider taking the tenor home. I didn't do it. I expect I'll go to Charlene and Emory and ask them to order one for me soon. UAS is a wicked mistress. This one would not be just an impulse buy that I would regret in a few weeks and sell in a few years. I love the fact the Martin has been in business for 4 generations and the fact that ukuleles kept them afloat during the depression. These folks employ generations of families too. We met a woman on the tour who worked with a photo of her grandfather working in the factory on her bench.

One thing I noticed was how close the T1K and C1K get to the sound of the 2 and 2K ukuleles. I do say close. There is no denying they are Martins. Playability is even closer. I've played quite a few T1K and C1Ks at Appalachian because they sell regularly so new ones are hanging in the store almost every time I visit.

Just typing this post has me wanting to call Charlene. I can afford one, but just wasn't able to do it yesterday. Now, let's see, what needs to find a new home so I can have a 2KT follow me home? There are definitely a few that I could let go of for one of these Martins. Maybe even a guitar sale.

Time to hit Submit. This post has gotten out of hand. If you every get the opportunity to visit the factory, DO IT!

mm stan
04-04-2013, 07:19 AM
Aloha Ray,
Wow thank you for the review on the tour and ukes....you are crazy not to buy it then when you got to play it....who knows if the next ukes will sound the same or as good as
you say this one sounds...Grab it man....I'd call them and get if I were you...Happy strummings..

Mandarb
04-04-2013, 08:10 AM
Glad to hear you enjoyed the tour. I have done it a couple of times. I was there in the fall with some friends and they did not have any ukes available. Glad to hear you got to try a few of them.

Raygf
04-04-2013, 08:40 AM
Aloha Ray,
Wow thank you for the review on the tour and ukes....you are crazy not to buy it then when you got to play it....who knows if the next ukes will sound the same or as good as
you say this one sounds...Grab it man....I'd call them and get if I were you...Happy strummings..

Thanks Stan. You are right. I just called Emory and he called Dave. Dave is fairly confident that it's still there, but didn't have the information at his fingertips. The order is in and I will only hear something later today if the 2KT is not available. If I don't hear anything, the instrument ships tomorrow and will be here on Monday. My father died one month ago today and I will use some inheritance money for this. Dad would be very pleased. If it's not available, I wasn't supposed to have it. We shall see, but it looks promising.

Raygf
04-04-2013, 09:28 AM
Glad to hear you enjoyed the tour. I have done it a couple of times. I was there in the fall with some friends and they did not have any ukes available. Glad to hear you got to try a few of them.

This was my second trip. I'm fairly certain that these ukuleles were made available because I was part of the Appalachian Bluegrass Shoppe tour and I'm glad I asked. The factory is not set up as a store so it's understandable that the ukuleles would go to Martin dealers and not hang around in the factory shop. I'm told there is a store close by that individuals can visit if they are inspired by their visit and have a desire to purchase a Martin instrument. Sorry, I don't remember the name of the store.

RichM
04-04-2013, 09:37 AM
This was my second trip. I'm fairly certain that these ukuleles were made available because I was part of the Appalachian Bluegrass Shoppe tour and I'm glad I asked. The factory is not set up as a store so it's understandable that the ukuleles would go to Martin dealers and not hang around in the factory shop. I'm told there is a store close by that individuals can visit if they are inspired by their visit and have a desire to purchase a Martin instrument. Sorry, I don't remember the name of the store.

That would be Nazareth Music Center (www.nazarethmusic.com/), a nice, full-featured, privately owned music shop of the sort that seem to be rapdily disappearing.

Stackabones
04-04-2013, 09:41 AM
What a tour! What a thrill to be around those ukes!

I've heard a lot about those 12-fretters 15-series.

Raygf
04-04-2013, 10:03 AM
What a tour! What a thrill to be around those ukes!

I've heard a lot about those 12-fretters 15-series.

The 000-15SM slotted headstock is in my price range and would be nice to own. Those custom shop 12 fret, slotted head stocks would be grounds for divorce. I'd have to hit the lottery to make any of them possible, but it sure was nice to handle them.

Raygf
04-04-2013, 10:05 AM
That would be Nazareth Music Center (http://www.nazarethmusic.com/), a nice, full-featured, privately owned music shop of the sort that seem to be rapdily disappearing.
Thank you and you are right, these privately owned shops are rapidly disappearing. We are so fortunate to have Emory and Charlene here in Baltimore. Get out there and support these shops in your local communities.

Raygf
04-04-2013, 10:21 AM
Here is a link (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.593296507348403.1073741825.100000041780487&type=1&l=584c7e9c31) to a few photos I took with an iPod touch. I was so enamored with the ukuleles, I didn't even think about taking pictures or videos of them.

mds725
04-04-2013, 10:25 AM
Thanks for the report on the tour. Were you permitted to take photos? I'm not a guitarist (yet), but I'd love to get out to the Martin Factory. My condolences for the loss of your father. Good luck with that ukulele you liked. I hope it's still available and that it's going to be yours soon. If it happens, it would be a nice tribute to your dad.


Thank you and you are right, these privately owned shops are rapidly disappearing. We are so fortunate to have Emory and Charlene here in Baltimore. Get out there and support these shops in your local communities.

Let's give Emory and Charlene their props!

http://www.appalachianbluegrass.com/

mm stan
04-04-2013, 10:43 AM
Thanks Stan. You are right. I just called Emory and he called Dave. Dave is fairly confident that it's still there, but didn't have the information at his fingertips. The order is in and I will only hear something later today if the 2KT is not available. If I don't hear anything, the instrument ships tomorrow and will be here on Monday. My father died one month ago today and I will use some inheritance money for this. Dad would be very pleased. If it's not available, I wasn't supposed to have it. We shall see, but it looks promising.

Aloha Ray,
My Sincerest condolences to you and your family for your loss...my dad died 4 1/2 years ago and I too bought ukes to fill the void...I just used some money from his burial expenses to
buy me my next uke too...Yes I am glad you got it, it will fill the empty void and provide a good distraction....Congratulations on your score and happy strummings....

Raygf
04-04-2013, 11:30 AM
Thanks for the report on the tour. Were you permitted to take photos? I'm not a guitarist (yet), but I'd love to get out to the Martin Factory. My condolences for the loss of your father. Good luck with that ukulele you liked. I hope it's still available and that it's going to be yours soon. If it happens, it would be a nice tribute to your dad.
Let's give Emory and Charlene their props!
http://www.appalachianbluegrass.com/

We were allowed to take photos. Here are a few (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.593296507348403.1073741825.100000041780487&type=1&l=584c7e9c31) and here are photos (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.139554786055913.25048.100000041780487&type=1&l=90180f73f4) from my visit 2 years ago. Thank you for your condolences and thanks for posting a link to Appalachian.

Raygf
04-04-2013, 01:13 PM
Aloha Ray,
My Sincerest condolences to you and your family for your loss...my dad died 4 1/2 years ago and I too bought ukes to fill the void...I just used some money from his burial expenses to
buy me my next uke too...Yes I am glad you got it, it will fill the empty void and provide a good distraction....Congratulations on your score and happy strummings....

Thank you for your condolences Stan.

PeteyHoudini
04-04-2013, 01:43 PM
Condolences, Ray.

Indeed, no ukulele should ever make up for the loss of a parent, but I might humbly equate it in a musical way of planting a tree of remembrance for the beloved lost one; a kind of mourning, musically alive, instead of visiting a solemn tombstone. I dunno: we all grieve differently.

I'm still waiting for my 2K-Tenor (on order) and I know I will be enthralled by that one! I have the T1K as well and if you keep it humidified, the sound gets even better! No joke. Just my personal experience.

Glad you had a nice visit to the Martin factory! I support them totally!

cheers!

Petey

Raygf
04-04-2013, 04:30 PM
Condolences, Ray.

Indeed, no ukulele should ever make up for the loss of a parent, but I might humbly equate it in a musical way of planting a tree of remembrance for the beloved lost one; a kind of mourning, musically alive, instead of visiting a solemn tombstone. I dunno: we all grieve differently.

I'm still waiting for my 2K-Tenor (on order) and I know I will be enthralled by that one! I have the T1K as well and if you keep it humidified, the sound gets even better! No joke. Just my personal experience.

Glad you had a nice visit to the Martin factory! I support them totally!

cheers!

Petey

Thank you for the condolences Petey. I've watched and enjoyed your Martin reviews and know you will be enthralled with your 2K tenor. This new ukulele will be a musically living memorial in celebration of Jesse's life. I plan on playing it at my parent's grave site next month for Dad's birthday and Mother's Day. He was born on Mother's Day. Mom died in September of 2012. It's been a rough couple of months. I've been playing a lot of music. It has helped so much.

Mandarb
04-05-2013, 04:01 AM
This was my second trip. I'm fairly certain that these ukuleles were made available because I was part of the Appalachian Bluegrass Shoppe tour and I'm glad I asked. The factory is not set up as a store so it's understandable that the ukuleles would go to Martin dealers and not hang around in the factory shop. I'm told there is a store close by that individuals can visit if they are inspired by their visit and have a desire to purchase a Martin instrument. Sorry, I don't remember the name of the store.

I understand that it is not set up as a store - those days are long gone. My grandfather actually bought his guitar directly from the factory back in the sixties. It was pretty funny when I asked about ukes during the tour. The guy did not know anything about them. He even made some comment along the lines - the stores in Hawaii were running out of koa ukes so they were shipping a lot of ukes to Hawaii.


That would be Nazareth Music Center (www.nazarethmusic.com/), a nice, full-featured, privately owned music shop of the sort that seem to be rapdily disappearing.

Yeah - they were pretty rude. They would not or could not tell us what they had in stock. If you wanted to play a guitar you had to put on some long apron and the guy would stand over you to watch you play....uhh, no thanks....I will go to my local shop that sells Martin guitars and ukes and try them out there.

Ukeananda
04-05-2013, 02:53 PM
Here is a link (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.593296507348403.1073741825.100000041780487&type=1&l=584c7e9c31) to a few photos I took with an iPod touch. I was so enamored with the ukuleles, I didn't even think about taking pictures or videos of them.

Now we know where Old Saint Nick works in the off season! :D

You have really motivated me to get up to the factory. Its terrible not going sooner as I only live about 1 1/2 hour away. My last visit was back in the 70's before they built the new museum. Thanks for the inspiration Raygf and sorry about your Dad's passing. It's been over 20 years since my Dad left us, and I still frequently and fondly remember (and miss) his smile and companionship.

Play some sweet uke music for your Dad when your new Martin arrives.