Anyone tried the Martin HPL concerts?

hendulele

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Hi all,

Looking for a new gigging uke and wonder if anyone has taken one of the OXK concerts for a test spin yet.

I liked the soprano 0XKs. Rehomed mine to finance another acquisition.

Any thoughts about the concerts?
 
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I’d like to know as well. The soprano oxk I tried a while back sounded great so I wonder how these new ones compare.
 

rafter

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Mine is on the way (from Mim!)

I'll let you know in a few days.

I'd also like to know. Actually, Cluze, I'd love it if you rated/ranked/reviews/something your collection of concerts. You have such a great mix of concerts, which I've been playing more and more lately. I feel like concerts are sort of the forgotten middle child of ukes. I mean, it's not that bad. But the soprano is the original, most familiar to people in general. The tenor is what all the pros play, and as with high end sports equipment, a lot of the "more serious" players follow the pros' examples. I don't know what baritones would be. The rebellious older brother sent off to a military school.

But yeah, I have seen so many discussions around and recommendations for sopranos and tenors, and have many opinions myself. But I'd definitely like to hear more about concerts, including this Martin HPL.
 

Cluze

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I'd also like to know. Actually, Cluze, I'd love it if you rated/ranked/reviews/something your collection of concerts. You have such a great mix of concerts, which I've been playing more and more lately. I feel like concerts are sort of the forgotten middle child of ukes. I mean, it's not that bad. But the soprano is the original, most familiar to people in general. The tenor is what all the pros play, and as with high end sports equipment, a lot of the "more serious" players follow the pros' examples. I don't know what baritones would be. The rebellious older brother sent off to a military school.

But yeah, I have seen so many discussions around and recommendations for sopranos and tenors, and have many opinions myself. But I'd definitely like to hear more about concerts, including this Martin HPL.
I have been meaning to write up some reviews of everything I own, but that is a LOT of instruments. Maybe I will start with the concerts. It is still quite a large number, but a good place to start!
 

Cluze

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I knew Mim was a Martin dealer, but I didn’t know she had 0XKs. I know what I need to do …
Yeah, that is what happened to me. I didn't realize she had any, and then I noticed she did. Less than a day after this revelation, she had one fewer... :)
 

M3Ukulele

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I’d love to play this HPL Martin concert. I’m strictly a tenor player but listened to is and it sounded and looked great. Looking forward to reviews. I would consider a concert. If they made a HPL tenor that would be simple decision for me say at $349-379. Funny, with all the Martin Guitar stores, ukuleles are hard to find. I live in area of 1M + people and still can’t find any in the flesh.
 

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I will be interested in hearing more reviews and some videos/sound clips. Some of those online (including those from Martin) are not a great example. The soprano 0XK and 0X bamboo are great playing and sounding instruments.
 

Cluze

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Mine has arrived!

I haven't spent much time with it, but my initial impressions are quite positive. I will try to spend some time today messing around with it, and comparing it directly to some of my other instruments to get a feel for its sound.

The most important thing I can say right from the start is that I really like the neck profile.
 

hendulele

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Mine has arrived!

I haven't spent much time with it, but my initial impressions are quite positive. I will try to spend some time today messing around with it, and comparing it directly to some of my other instruments to get a feel for its sound.

The most important thing I can say right from the start is that I really like the neck profile.
The neck profile and the Martin construction generally are the two reasons it intrigues me so much. Otherwise I'd be happy with the battered Ohana I'm using as my don't-care-if-it-gets-nicked-on-a-gig instrument.
 

M3Ukulele

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I’m looking forward to comments. How much project, sound quality etc. It looks rock so,I’d and is very nice looking Koa pattern on the one on line. Funny, I thought Martin would immediately follow up soprano with concert and tenor. I guess they need to see how sales are. If they made their guitar dealers ha g a few on the wall or gave good dealer access (I know MIM now has them so that is good) they may gain ground faster. Looking forward to reports! Thanks!
 

Cluze

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Ok, so I spent a little bit of time playing the 0XK concert this morning. I haven't spent much time with it, so this is really just initial impressions. I'll probably do a more detailed writeup in a separate post sometime soon.

Build is great. It feels fantastic. I have always liked Martin's more flat neck profile, and everything inside looks quite neat and tidy. Mine came from Mim, so the setup is impeccable as well.

Intonation is good. Not 100% perfect up the neck, but close enough that you don't really notice. None of the notes stick out. I only know it wasn't perfect because I checked with a clip-on tuner. Also note that it has Grover friction pegs, so getting your tuning really spot on takes some patience. (I know some folks HATE friction tuners. I don't mind them, as long as they are decent friction pegs, and these are. Nothing to write home about, but solid.)

Projection and volume are quite good. It isn't "sound cannon" loud like my Blackbird Clara, but it is loud.

Tone-wise, it is kind of a mixed bag? I think the strings might be a big part of what I am about to say (I believe it comes with the Martin M600 clear fluorocarbon strings. I think it would benefit from a swap to the M610 grey polyguts.) It has a decent high-end sparkle, and a good low-end boom, but it seems like the mids are a bit lacking. It is kind of like someone was setting an EQ, and just pulled the mids down a little. They are missing exactly, just suppressed a bit. It isn't bad, and isn't too noticeable unless you play it back-to-back with something more balanced, but I did notice it so I thought it was worth mentioning. I still think it sounds good, and I really do think it might benefit from a swap to the M610's. (I'll probably try that over the weekend, to be honest.)

I did take a minute to compare it to my 0XK soprano. The soprano really sounds like a soprano. It's great. Fun and bark-y. The concert does not have that same bark, but I wouldn't expect it to; it has a lot more of the low end. (Note that my soprano does have the M610 polyguts...)

More thoughts when I spend some more time with it, but it is fun. My initial impressions are overall positive.