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View Full Version : Martin 2K vs Martin T1K



strumsilly
07-28-2014, 02:57 PM
Anybody do a comparison of the US made Martin koa tenor [2K],$1000 vs the Mexican made [T1K] $500. do they sound similar? I know the vintage Martin have a very high build quality, and I have seen and played the Mexican Martin, a nice $500 koa uke. I have not seen or played one of the new Martins.

UkerDanno
07-28-2014, 05:09 PM
If you can get a 2K Tenor for $1000, buy it! I'm sure you'll be pleased...

ichadwick
07-29-2014, 02:23 AM
I have the T1K and really like it (see my review). I haven't played the 2K - it's way outside my price bracket - but I have played other new Martin models. Personally, I think they don't sound as good as vintage Martin ukes, but that may change in 20 or 30 years. The T1K sounds better off the peg.

strumsilly
07-29-2014, 11:00 AM
thanks, yes, I thought the T1K sounded pretty good too.

strumsilly
07-29-2014, 11:22 AM
If you can get a 2K Tenor for $1000, buy it! I'm sure you'll be pleased...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Martin-Ukulele-2K-Tenor-Uke-Solid-Koa-Made-in-USA-/261476684508?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ce13992dc

UkerDanno
07-29-2014, 12:26 PM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Martin-Ukulele-2K-Tenor-Uke-Solid-Koa-Made-in-USA-/261476684508?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ce13992dc

so do it!!!

PeteyHoudini
07-29-2014, 12:51 PM
I have the T1K, the 2K and the style 2. I'm working on my video review. It will mainly feature the 2K but you will learn enough to hear the difference between the T1K and the 2K.

While I have a very exceptional T1K, the 2K is a major step up. The action is lower, the sound is less "watery" than the T1K, the wood is amazing, it plays easier, and the sound is very refined. However, it took 10 months to get one. It was worth it (if you have the cash). Buy it from a place you can return it if you don't like it. It does not play like a Kanile'a tenor uke that feels more classical (that is amazing). The new Martin tenor uke is a rock and roll uke IMHO. One must know that before buying one.

Petey

strumsilly
07-29-2014, 01:07 PM
I have the T1K, the 2K and the style 2. I'm working on my video review. It will mainly feature the 2K but you will learn enough to hear the difference between the T1K and the 2K.

While I have a very exceptional T1K, the 2K is a major step up. The action is lower, the sound is less "watery" than the T1K, the wood is amazing, it plays easier, and the sound is very refined. However, it took 10 months to get one. It was worth it (if you have the cash). Buy it from a place you can return it if you don't like it. It does not play like a Kanile'a tenor uke that feels more classical (that is amazing). The new Martin tenor uke is a rock and roll uke IMHO. One must know that before buying one.

Petey
hmm. I had a Kanilea tenor, but could you be more specific, I don't know if I get the classical vs rock n roll analogy, I can play either badly on a good uke.

PeteyHoudini
07-29-2014, 01:19 PM
hmm. I had a Kanilea tenor, but could you be more specific, I don't know if I get the classical vs rock n roll analogy, I can play either badly on a good uke.
The Kanilea I played had a super close action and felt easy to play as if your fingers were gliding over the strings like a waterfall or petting a cat. It also had that very mellow smooth sound. A new Martin tenor (don't know about the IZ tenor) is not that easy to play and your fingers don't glide over the strings. You play the strings like your fingers are striking notes on the piano keyboard. You need to pull the notes out of it. It requires lots of practice and patience to get the best sound out of it. It has more a rough rock and roll sound.

Petey

UkerDanno
07-29-2014, 01:54 PM
The Kanilea I played had a super close action and felt easy to play as if your fingers were gliding over the strings like a waterfall or petting a cat. It also had that very mellow smooth sound. A new Martin tenor (don't know about the IZ tenor) is not that easy to play and your fingers don't glide over the strings. You play the strings like your fingers are striking notes on the piano keyboard. You need to pull the notes out of it. It requires lots of practice and patience to get the best sound out of it. It has more a rough rock and roll sound.

Petey

do they have the same strings?

PeteyHoudini
07-29-2014, 02:48 PM
do they have the same strings?
They both had their original strings... whatever a Kanilea has (not a clue)... and a new Martin tenor will have the Martin M620 tenor strings.

Petey

katysax
07-29-2014, 03:31 PM
I have the Mexican Martin T1K and the Mahogany Style 1 Iz model. There is a substantial difference in quality. I am sure that the 2k is very much nicer than the T1k. The T1k is a decent mid range uke. It is very crude and unfinished compared to the American made ones.

FrankB
07-29-2014, 03:44 PM
I bought and returned 3(!!!) Martin T1K ukuleles. The first had a completely dried out fretboard, and its sound wasn't so hot either. The second and third were nothing compared to my Kala KA-ASOV-T tenor. The latter had much more volume, better tone, and was aesthetically light years ahead of the Martin. The second and third T1Ks' soundboard center seam were not properly finished, and one side was higher than the other along the length of the seam. The first was returned to Elderly, and they decided to refund my shipping costs. The frets were just protruding beyond anything that could be considered reasonable. I ate the shipping costs for the other two.....

My first Martin uke was the C1K, and it is exceptional. I chased the dream of finding another that was just as exceptional, and spent a lot of time and money buying and returning them. I never did find another that was even close.

OldPhart expressed his opinion in another thread, and said that you can buy a lot more ukulele for the price of a MIM Martin. I found his comments during my quest, and refused to believe it. I should have. The Kala is an all solid wood uke, and finished as well as $4,000 classical guitars I've owned. Some Kalas are entry level, but this is the current flagship for the company. I've come very close to buying the Martin 2K tenor, but I need to see it in person. Shipping costs become ridiculous after a while. I am looking coward to Petey's video review of the 2K....

ichadwick
07-30-2014, 04:31 AM
I have the Mexican Martin T1K and the Mahogany Style 1 Iz model. There is a substantial difference in quality. I am sure that the 2k is very much nicer than the T1k. The T1k is a decent mid range uke. It is very crude and unfinished compared to the American made ones.

Crude? Unfinished? Not at all. Unadorned and clean, yes. Very well made: good action, fit and finish is impeccable (there are many excellent Mexican luthiers and craftsmen).

FrankB
07-30-2014, 04:54 AM
"Crude and unfinished compared to the American made ones". That's true to an extent, and one of the T1Ks I ordered had a very rough neck. I was under the impression the MIM ukes were made using CNC devices, so that was surprising. Mexico has a LOT of guitar builders, and the town of Paracho is basically populated by people in the guitar making business. These are all small independent shops and stalls, and most of the guitars made are very cheap and meant for tourism. There are a few quite notable luthiers building guitars in Paracho: Francisco Navarro, Abel Garcia, and Arturo Huipe all produce performance quality instruments.

Anyway.... The Martin factory in Mexico is run by Martin. They determine the level of acceptable QC, and their employees no doubt meet or exceed that expectation. Martin is not going to give you a Nazareth quality instrument for less than half the price, however, although I'm sure they occasionally produce one that's just as good or better. My C1K is a gem, and has set a bar that subsequent MIM Martins have failed to measure up to.

katysax
07-30-2014, 05:25 AM
The Mexican martins are good for what they are. I have three, and of the ones I have the concert is a real gem, much nicer all around better wood, better fit and finish, better sound, than my soprano or my tenor. I think that's the luck of the draw to some extent, and I also think that for some reason the concerts seem to be the best of the Mexican Martins. My point is that you are not going to get a $1000 Martin for the price of a $500 one by getting a Mexican one. There are real differences; they are not the same. However, keep in mind that there is no such thing as the perfect ukulele.

UkerDanno
07-30-2014, 06:50 AM
The Mexican martins are good for what they are. I have three, and of the ones I have the concert is a real gem, much nicer all around better wood, better fit and finish, better sound, than my soprano or my tenor. I think that's the luck of the draw to some extent, and I also think that for some reason the concerts seem to be the best of the Mexican Martins. My point is that you are not going to get a $1000 Martin for the price of a $500 one by getting a Mexican one. There are real differences; they are not the same. However, keep in mind that there is no such thing as the perfect ukulele.

I agree, the concerts may be the best of the lot. I tried soprano and tenor in the store when I bought my C1K and it was by far better sounding. Fortunately I was shopping for a concert and got a good one! Sorry and sad to hear of problems with the Mexican ones.

PeteyHoudini
07-30-2014, 12:51 PM
@FrankB: I was lucky to find a T1K hanging in a music store that sounded really good from day one. I never even wanted a tenor but when I played it for thirty seconds, I bought it. I may eventually sell it since I have my 2K and it doesn't make sense to have one sitting around unused when someone else could really enjoy it. Also, I had to send back my first 3 cherry uke because it sounded dull but the second one is my fav. uke of all time. It would be nice to have a Martin retail outlet where you could test out 10 ukes of the same size! BTW - my C2K is amazing as well. Bought it in a shop in Toronto. I hope to have the tenor video ready by mid-August. Just need to learn a quick opera instrumental to make it interesting.

It is interesting to read in this thread that the C1K is the best of the Martins made in Mexico. My SO was very good, S1 great, OXK great, and my T1K very good. Too bad I never ordered a C1K and jumped right to the C2K. LOL I'm not buying anymore Martin ukes. I've got enough. My banker's advice for my future well-being cured my UAS! LOL hehe

Petey

FrankB
07-30-2014, 01:36 PM
Dear Petey,
Please stop typing, and start recording your Martin 2K video review...LOL! :)

PeteyHoudini
07-30-2014, 01:42 PM
Dear Petey,
Please stop typing, and start recording your Martin 2K video review...LOL! :)
Indeed! hehe

Petey