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View Full Version : Martin Tiple?? Anyone own one of these??



sonomajazz
02-28-2014, 05:00 AM
Always on the lookout for something a little unusual. A fellow in one of my uke jams plays a tiple, an off brand I think, and it sounds good in the uke mix.

I discovered this Martin tiple at a local shop and got to play it for 20 mins or so and was really intrigued. It was actually in (uke) tune. Great sound. I think it was priced right too. Store was asking $800.
Any comments would be appreciated. I probably would have bought it on the spot but I'm a little uke rich right now, and it would be a stretch.
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SailingUke
02-28-2014, 05:27 AM
I don't have a Martin, but the Ohana is a copy.
I also keep my tuned GCEA, traditional is ADF#B.
The steel strings give it an interesting sound, I have played mine in bluegrass jams and it really cuts through.
Yasuma made some Martin copies many years ago as well.
If you want a collectable and player the Martin seems like a good price.
If you just want a player look at the Ohana.

TheCraftedCow
02-28-2014, 08:57 PM
Yes, I have a 1923 Model T-18 with the mahogany body and the Adirondack spruce top. It is in its original case. I dropped it from steel strings to Aquila white tenor Dd GgG BbB EE nylgut strings. Before Martin decided to use steel strings, they were gut strung in South America. If it is an kind of good shape, $800 is a great price. Mine cost $1000 24 years ago. It has been appraised at $2500 to 2900 currently. I also have its Japanese twin by Yasuma. It is all mahogany. It sounds much brighter as all mahogany. It is $650. They are much easier to play and keep in tune to get rid of the all wire strings.

Tigeralum2001
02-28-2014, 09:12 PM
I like them, but I don't own one. The bridge looks different than the ones I've seen. I wonder what work has been done? $800 is a really good price, though.

PhilUSAFRet
03-01-2014, 01:07 AM
From the picture, it appears in great condition....that would make $800 a great price.......but only if you really want a tiple $800 worth.

sonomajazz
03-01-2014, 06:04 AM
From the picture, it appears in great condition....that would make $800 a great price.......but only if you really want a tiple $800 worth.

Phil...that's way too logical...

Going by this morning for a second look...on my way to Ukulele Friends Ohana (UFO) kanikapila.

Stop by if you're in the area.

sonomajazz
03-01-2014, 06:05 AM
OBTW, thanks all for the comments.

Will keep you posted...

Kekani
03-01-2014, 07:04 AM
The Martin Tiple is what I based mine off of, with a few changes. 14 fret join being the major one, and an intonated saddle. Songs in C work well, D not so much.

IMO, the Tiple shouldn't be your only instrument, but is a good addition if you know how to play it. I think Ramon knows how to play it. Posting this just in case you haven't seen it, and what can be done besides just strumming.

http://youtu.be/uD0QqcRKFhM

coolkayaker1
03-01-2014, 07:09 AM
I have never seen or played a Martin tiple ukulele, but from the videos that have been posted on UU in the past, it sounds like a circus calliope.

peewee
03-01-2014, 07:25 AM
I think Ramon knows how to play it. Posting this just in case you haven't seen it, and what can be done besides just strumming.

http://youtu.be/uD0QqcRKFhM

at 5:22 of that video there's a close-up, and it looks to me like he has just 4 strings on there..
That Martin looks like a great deal to me.
do it!
buy it!
c'mon!
Or not..

sonomajazz
03-01-2014, 08:14 AM
at 5:22 of that video there's a close-up, and it looks to me like he has just 4 strings on there..
That Martin looks like a great deal to me.
do it!
buy it!
c'mon!
Or not..

Good advice Peewee...

Kekani
03-01-2014, 08:45 AM
at 5:22 of that video there's a close-up, and it looks to me like he has just 4 strings on there..
That Martin looks like a great deal to me.
do it!
buy it!
c'mon!
Or not..

Close your eyes and listen. There's 10, trust me.

And yes, $800 for a Martin Tiple - buy it.

zac987
03-01-2014, 02:22 PM
Make sure that the bridge isn't ready to pop off, and that the neck is straight. If it checks out, pick it up. I think it'd be a good call to switch it over to higher tension nylon/nylgut strings when you buy it.

uke4ia
03-01-2014, 04:34 PM
I've got one of the Martin copies by Yasuma. It's a bear to keep in tune. First thing, you're going to want one of those ratchets guitarists use to put strings on -- you'll need it to keep slack out of the strings when you're putting them on. That will improve the tuning.

For me, it would be hard to find enough use for a tiple to spend $800 on it. I paid $100 for mine circa 1990. But your mileage may vary. I find it entertaining as a curiosity. I brought mine to a gathering of Boston-area uke players, and almost none of them had ever heard of a tiple. I've done several YouTube videos experimenting with playing various rock or pop songs on it. The most views I've had on any of my videos was for a tiple video of Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" where the tiple is noticeably out of tune. Go figure.

The Tiple Experiments (http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE950C9D4ABAEA2FD)