New Martin ukes

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I don’t mind the graphtech tuners at all and I could even look past the distressed finish if it sounds good, but what really bothers me for some reason is the ugly pinkish looking sipo they use for the fretboard. I’d much rather have walnut or even richlite honestly. I know it’s mostly just appearance, but it just makes it look kinda cheap to me. And I agree that oxk concert would have been better with a different pattern. My vote would be for a nice dark mahogany look for that one. Ah well.
 

Dohle

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I like the look of those Graphtech ratio tuners because they have a nice matte finish that makes them look more vintage to me than tuners with metal posts. But obviously that's personal preference. Aside from that, I can't really be excited for these new Martin ukes. As long as the build quality is so detached from those excellent Martin ukes in the past, I will keep looking somewhere else. The competition is so much better at similar price points.
 

MJB

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FWIW Fender has made new "relic" guitars/basses for many years now. Some of these even have rusty hardware which I would never find acceptable on a new instrument.

I have a KALA Concert with GraphTech tuners that work just fine IMO.

I just got a Martin IZ Tenor so we'll see how I get along with PegHed tuners.

There are so many good choices available to us now, buy what you want and play it.

I prefer the look of nice dark fretboards, the new ukes with light brown Sipo look cheap to me.
 
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BigJackBrass

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Intentional aging or "relic'ing" is a thing with (new) electric guitars now... hopefully it won't make its way to ukes

Ohana have been selling their aged finish series like the SK-38 for at least ten years now. Very popular and solid sellers too.
 

badhabits

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Ohana have been selling their aged finish series like the SK-38 for at least ten years now. Very popular and solid sellers too.


I wasn't aware that those had nicks/dings/scratches/faux cracks put into the wood or the finish sanded down in wear spots.
 

MJB

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I remember the last time I went to a mall, back in the 90's. I was thinking of buying some denim pants. I went to the Levi's store and all they had were these items with rips and torn pockets and were purportedly carbon copies of an old pair of jeans that were found in a warehouse in San Francisco. I just left and never returned to a mall after that.

So I'm not a fan of distressed merchandise. Also, what's the point of a new Martin? I thought the goal was to get an old one with mojo and history. It is like all these young guys driving their 2020 Mustangs. If you're not driving a '63 mustang, why drive one at all?

First Mustang made was a 64 1/2 model year, my brother bought one when they first came out. I'm not a young guy (70) but I have a 2019 Mustang convertible. 2.3 liter turbo 4 makes more horsepower than my 98 GT or 66 289. So that's why I drive one.

That said, I don't want holes in my pants or my instruments beat with a bicycle chain. :cool:
 

Wiggy

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My ukes start to look road worn within about 2 weeks. I'm kind of a clumsy fellow.

That T1K does look tempting.

-Wiggy
 
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UkingViking

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Some of those seem a bit pricey.

The FSC mahogany concert looks nice, but $2399?
When the C1K is 499?
 

man0a

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Some of those seem a bit pricey.

The FSC mahogany concert looks nice, but $2399?
When the C1K is 499?

I expect that the more expensive one is handmade in Pennsylvania, while the cheaper one is made on an assembly line in Mexico. In my experience, the Pennsylvania Martins do sound and handle significantly better. Whether they are worth the price is up to your budget, of course.
 

Cluze

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Some of those seem a bit pricey.

The FSC mahogany concert looks nice, but $2399?
When the C1K is 499?

Well the FSC mahogany concert is just that, made with wood that is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood. This is a bit like buying organic foods. They are more expensive because they have to maintain certain standards and practices. This won't be important to everyone, but it does matter to some, and I suspect that this wood is quite a bit more expensive.

Also, based on the image on the Martin webstie, the stamp on the inside of the instrument looks like what they do for instruments actually made at their facility in Nazareth, PA, so this is likely US built.

The C1K is built at their factory in Mexico, and I don't believe that the wood is FSC certified.
 

Griole

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An HPL Martin that ostensibly looks like Koa? I'll pass, thanks. I have a Bonanza HPL that has a pattern that looks like a bunch of coffee beans, and I love it. But I just can't get excited about their HPL "Koa" uke. And shouldn't Martin be pushing an HPL "Mahogany" uke instead? After all, mahogany ukes are what put them on the map. Oh, well - this is a sure sign that the ukulele is alive and well. I wonder what other surprises are in store for us from other ukulele manufacturers?
 
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Ukecaster, I think they vary slightly. I’m basing this entirely on the oxk sopranos though, so I could very well be wrong. I’ve also been interested in their new hpl mahogany print guitars and those seem to vary just slightly depending on the particular specimen.
 

McCall

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I expect that the more expensive one is handmade in Pennsylvania, while the cheaper one is made on an assembly line in Mexico. In my experience, the Pennsylvania Martins do sound and handle significantly better. Whether they are worth the price is up to your budget, of course.

This was my experience. I had a (new) S1 that I liked very much, but when I got a (newish) S2 it was even much better than that, particularly with fingerpicking.
 

rafter

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It doesn't look like Martin is putting holes, rips tears dings or any kind of wood trauma into their new Tenor Uke. They are simply applying a thin layer of stain, instead of multiple layers, and it looks like it is older than it is.

I think that’s correct. But they do have premium guitars that they literally distress by putting actual wear on the wood to “age” them, which seems a little crazy to me, but maybe they sell well.


I wonder if the koa/flame patterns on the HPL top/back will be exactly the same on on each one, per the picture, or vary slightly? The stock Martin photos look good, but I've been fooled before :( Don't get fooled again!

Martin’s wood grain graphics on their other HPL instruments have varied, especially their koa patterns. So I would expect that to be the case with these new concerts. Now I’m wondering how many koa variants they have.
 

Mattyukaholic

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I wish they’d just come up with a painted/printed headstock logo on their Mexican ukes. The foil gold logos just look so cheap and often flake away eventually.
 

ghostrdr

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Is the street master solid mahogany or laminate? Seems a bit too low a price for solid mahogany
 

glennerd

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Hopefully they vary the wood grain pattern. The OXK I bought a few years back had a pattern that was offensively fake to my eyes. Even if it had the sound I was looking for, I probably would have still returned it on looks alone and checked out the bamboo pattern.

As a comparison, I bought an Enya HPL and I was okay with the print although I returned it for other reasons. Maybe it's best that I stay away from HPL since I don't have a need for a sturdy ukulele.
 

ukeinfused

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Is the street master solid mahogany or laminate? Seems a bit too low a price for solid mahogany

I'm kinda excited about an affordable mahogany Martin tenor. There's a reason Martin is a standard bearer.
Looks to be solid, assuming it's from the Mexico factory.
I'd like to know if it's sapele mahogany or what type?
I'm getting picky in my old age, but I can't imagine they are using solid Honduran hog.
And that light fretboard... yuck, sigh.

The T1K I had was quite an astonishing player for the money. Hard to imagine the USA edition sounds 4x as good for the money. The thing I hated most was that damn tacky headstock sticker, LOL.

The koa on the T1K ranges dramatically between ukes however. Some have a nice straight Koa grain and even some attractive figuring. But some are literally spotted, and some are down right ugly IMO.
I can't imagine ordering from a big box store not knowing what the instrument looks like.

And the OXK concert must weigh a ton! I thought the soprano LOUD and played well, but oh so heavy!