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Damon.
01-03-2014, 08:10 AM
I've been told that the Martin ukuleles seem to be coming around again. Has anyone played one of the newer ones? They are priced fairly high, and I'm not sure if this is because of the brand name, or if they're actually worth the money.

katysax
01-03-2014, 08:40 AM
It depends. Some of the ukes are made in Mexico and some are made in the US. I've played a few examples of the concert C1k and was pretty impressed they sell for around $500 and I think it is actually a reasonable uke for the price - it's made in Mexico. I've played a few examples of the Mexican S1 and I think they are better than the Mexican SO but probably overpriced and just OK. The Mexican OXK, which is a laminate, is actually a good "beater" uke.

Of the made in American ones. I haven't had a chance to try any of them. There are a number of Youtube videos demoing and comparing them. The big problem is that in that Kiwaya makes what are essentially copies of vintage Martins that are superb and less expensive than the Martins. In the high end, Collings makes tenors and concerts that are Martin style, that are pricey but superb and probably better than what Martin is doing. At the lower end Ohana makes some Martin copies that are cheaper and maybe better than the Martins. There are also a number of custom builders who will make Martin copies, and in many cases a custom copy of a Martin is cheaper than the Martin and sometimes better.

On balance they do command a slightly higher price due to the Martin name. They are generally good ukes. Whether they are worth the price is a philosophical debate. To some people they are. And while the prices are on the premium side for what you get, they are not astronomically out of line.

ukeeku
01-03-2014, 08:51 AM
I think the S1, OXK, and C1K are awesome. you pay for the name that is for sure, but they are proof that Martin listened to their customers and started to pay attention.
I have reviews for the S1 and OXK on my site, and about to publish the C1K review very soon.

UkeyDave
01-03-2014, 08:56 AM
I've been told that the Martin ukuleles seem to be coming around again. Has anyone played one of the newer ones? They are priced fairly high, and I'm not sure if this is because of the brand name, or if they're actually worth the money.

I love my Martin S1. Love it love it love it. Worth every penny. Love it. Do you get my drift? ;-)

Peterjens
01-03-2014, 08:56 AM
I have played the Martin S1 and OXK. I have no regret spending $500 for my 1960 "0."

Damon.
01-03-2014, 09:15 AM
Ah, ok. I was wondering about that because I've played a Martin guitar, then turned around and played an Alvarez that was worth 25% of the Martin. And I loved the Alvarez so much better. It made the martin sound so dry. Then I came to the conclusion that martins are unpredictable due to the fact that that scenario has occurred several times. Never played a martin ukulele, and didn't know if I would encounter the same thing. Thanks for the info!

janeray1940
01-03-2014, 09:18 AM
I'm pretty particular about my ukes, and I recently played a new Martin T1K tenor and really liked it - thought it was a much better uke than the price would have indicated.

westcoast
01-03-2014, 09:59 AM
I have a Martin T1k which I like. I played a few at the store and picked the one that looked good and sounded good to my ears.

I don't know that you can make generalizations about sound quality across a brand, but I wanted an all-solid koa uke that could be resold easily if necessary; the Martin name definitely helps in that regard.

I actually almost got a C1k while there as well - the top is one solid piece of wood (instead of the bookmatching they do on a tenor). It sounded great for single melody notes, but I slightly preferred the tenor for chords.

OldePhart
01-03-2014, 10:13 AM
I've only played one, maybe two, of the new Martin Mexican made ukes. I wasn't impressed. The one I recall in particular was in a music store in Springfield, MO when I was staying there with a friend after UWC 2012. It wasn't terrible, but what sticks out in my memory was that my Mainland mahogany soprano blew the doors off of it - and that was before I started stringing the Mainland with heavy fluorocarbon strings.

So, they aren't bad but you can do a lot better for the same money - you just don't get the name and attendant resale value.

John

Bill Mc
01-03-2014, 11:20 AM
I've been told that the Martin ukuleles seem to be coming around again. Has anyone played one of the newer ones? They are priced fairly high, and I'm not sure if this is because of the brand name, or if they're actually worth the money.

I have found the only thing that matters about a ukulele I own is what I think about it not what others think about a ukulele they strummed on in a store for a minute or two. So if you can find a place to try out a Martin go and try one out. If you like it buy it and give it time to settle in with you. Otherwise it is a crap shoot.

PeteyHoudini
01-03-2014, 12:04 PM
Best to buy one from a store where you can return it in 15-30 days if you don't like it.

The OXK or S1 are both soprano ukes I'd recommend for starting off with a new Martin. I have a soft spot for the OXK.

Petey

suburude
01-03-2014, 12:18 PM
Here Here !!!!! What Bill Said !! :-)

delray48209
01-03-2014, 12:59 PM
I own both a Martin S-1 and C1K. I play the S1 constantly and it sounds great. The store in which I purchased my C1K also sold Kamaka Ukes. Side by side, the C1K I purchased, beat the pants off the Kamaka Concert which was more than double the price. I think you really have to play them in order to determine which sounds good to your ears. Not all Ukes are created equally. Also, after two years of play, my S-1 sounds better then when I first purchased it.

Besides, in another 75 years from now, someone can sell them for some ridiculous price and say, "ya, but it's vintage."

UkerDanno
01-03-2014, 01:22 PM
I have a C1K and love it, it has great sound and seems to only get better. I'd like to have a Koaloha, but I don't think I would ever part with the C1K, it was my first quality uke...

strumsilly
01-03-2014, 03:06 PM
when you can pick up a vintage Martin for sometimes less than their new ones, it's a no brainer. I have had a soprano, and currently have a tenor and bari, and their sound is sweet, their necks fast , there's not much not to like except vintage tuners. and they can usually be taught to behave. I have tried their Mexican koa tenor, and it's a nice uke, but the vintage mahog is SWEET.

Nickie
01-03-2014, 03:21 PM
I've only strummed around on two modern Martin cosncerts at Sam Ash Music. One was $400 something and one was $600 something, and they both delighted me! I alsmost got my CC out....I didn't, and now they are both gone!

UkeyDave
01-03-2014, 07:08 PM
One other thing I will add about my Martin S1 is that the sound certainly seemed to "open up" on it after only two or three months of use. Of course I can only talk about this from a subjective point of view but it definitely appears to me to sound better than when I initially purchased it in August.

larson1951
01-04-2014, 12:16 AM
we have three C1K and one S1 and i think they are very nice

anthonyg
01-04-2014, 01:04 AM
In Australian dollar terms I've played an $800 Mexican made Martin tenor and a $2000 US made Martin tenor. They were both decent instruments but your paying a big premium for the Martin name. The $2000 US Martin made no sense at all. I've just bought a Scott Wise tenor for $1400 which KICKS ITS BUTT! I can't see where the money is in the US instrument. The Mexican instrument made more sense and was a decent instrument yet you can do better for the money also.

Anthony

Skinny Money McGee
01-04-2014, 04:32 AM
In Australian dollar terms I've played an $800 Mexican made Martin tenor and a $2000 US made Martin tenor. They were both decent instruments but your paying a big premium for the Martin name. The $2000 US Martin made no sense at all. I've just bought a Scott Wise tenor for $1400 which KICKS ITS BUTT! I can't see where the money is in the US instrument. The Mexican instrument made more sense and was a decent instrument yet you can do better for the money also.

Anthony

$2000.00 for a Martin Tenor? Which Martin Tenor are you talking about? the Martin 2Tenor list price is 1549.00, and the 2K is 1649.00. Street price is 1150.00, & 1250.00. The T1K mexi-martin lists for 649.00 and sells for 499.00 at most places.

katysax
01-04-2014, 04:53 AM
$2000.00 for a Martin Tenor? Which Martin Tenor are you talking about? the Martin 2Tenor list price is 1549.00, and the 2K is 1649.00. Street price is 1150.00, & 1250.00. The T1K mexi-martin lists for 649.00 and sells for 499.00 at most places.

He was talking about Australian dollars.

Teek
01-04-2014, 06:53 AM
Yes the exchange is currently .89 cents Australian to one US dollar.

coolkayaker1
01-04-2014, 07:05 AM
The $2000 US Martin made no sense at all.
Anthony


Unless you want to sell it in 15 years for $3000.

Skinny Money McGee
01-04-2014, 08:00 AM
He was talking about Australian dollars.

Today it's a 10% difference. Exchange rate was close to 1:1 not too long ago.

anthonyg
01-04-2014, 12:27 PM
Yes they cost more in Australia. Its not just the conversion of the dollars. They have thrown other fees in to and you don't really get "street" prices in Australia for American made instruments because they are rare here. I'm pretty sure the $2000 instrument was a 2K tenor. In Australia a Kamaka tenor is a shop is a little over $2000 and is a better instrument to my ear yet I still wouldn't part with the money for one. I'd buy another Scott Wise even if I have to wait a while for it.

Anthony

UkerDanno
01-04-2014, 01:00 PM
a 2K tenor in the US goes for about $1200...not a bad deal for premium grade! You would pay that much or more for a K brand basic...

stevepetergal
01-04-2014, 03:41 PM
I was in Rochester, NY and visited the website of Bernunzio Uptown Music. They had a Dave Talsma custom concert. I rushed right over to buy it. I missed it by moments. Once I stopped crying and paid off the cops (they really don't enjoy chasing you at high speed), I tried out the one-year-old Philadelphia-made Martin concert the customer had traded in for the Talsma. It was a great instrument. Very simple design, excellent intonation, clear sound all the way up the neck. I was truly impressed but didn't buy it. I wanted the Talsma. Apparently so did someone else. Martins are very good instruments but I've still played ukuleles I like as well or better for less money.

drbekken
01-04-2014, 10:09 PM
I bought an OXK a couple of months ago. It is a great little instrument, and I don't think I will buy a new uke in a very long time. Yes, I think I would recommend it to others...it's solid and sturdy, and the laminate is ideal for rough climates. I can take it anywhere with no worries. And of course, it sounds wonderful!

vonbiber
01-05-2014, 12:56 AM
I bought a Martin S1 in November. It sold a little over $400 (including state tax).
I'm very happy with it. Great sound, loud, easy to play.
It's made in Mexico and it's all solid mahogany.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
01-05-2014, 07:08 AM
I love old Martin ukuleles. Martin's classic soprano models are among my favorite ukes. I finally found one for me a couple months ago---a Style 0 (most likely from the early 50s). Beautiful sound, beautiful instrument.

I've strummed many new Martin ukes in shops, somewhere between ten and twenty of them. Nearly every uke has impressed me with great sound and playability. My favorite new model is the OXK, I've played a few of these---deep, sweet soprano sound and great feel. I've only played one new Martin "dud" so far---an S-1 with poor intonation. I've only played the new, fancy models for a couple minutes---very different from the classic models, but very nice as well.

kmac66
01-05-2014, 07:17 AM
Wish I could test one of those 0SX martins. I can't find anyplace in Los angles that keeps them in stock. They sound really durable.