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Thread: Wanted: Martin Custom Shop Ukulele Reviews

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martinlover View Post
    Just trying to get a response—not to dis Martin. You can tell by my handle I like ‘em. However, their non-US made ukuleles are not that great in my opinion. Also I can’t seem to able to change the top title of this thread from “Wanted-Martin-Custom-Shop-Ukulele-Reviews” to “Reviews-Wanted: Martin-Custom-Shop-Ukuleles.”
    I have ordered 5 Martin customs over the years and there hasn't been a dud in the bunch. The craftsmanship has been flawless and I just couldn't have been happier. As you can tell, I'm a huge Martin fan while all the customs have been flawless in workmanship and sound, sometimes you just get that one special ukulele that stands out. For me, that stand-out was/is a standard production Martin 1T-IZ. This ukulele just has the sound I really love. A strum and the entire ukulele vibrates and the tone it produces is classic Martin. This one will never leave me.

    I will also have to say, I've been very impressed with the C1K, S1 and T1K I have ordered and received. I was not able to find a flaw anywhere in the craftsmanship and setup was a nice medium. Sound was awesome as well, on all of them. However, the one standout from this line for me was the C1K, it was just fantastic and special.

    Just my thoughts and good luck in your endeavor.

    Jim
    Current Ukuleles:
    2017 Martin Style 3K Custom Tenor
    2018 Martin Style 3K Custom Concert
    2018 Martin 1T IZ Tenor (#576)
    2018 Martin S1
    2009 Bean Sprout Banjolele

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Woodstock NY USA
    Posts
    168

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ragtop232 View Post
    I have ordered 5 Martin customs over the years and there hasn't been a dud in the bunch. The craftsmanship has been flawless and I just couldn't have been happier. As you can tell, I'm a huge Martin fan while all the customs have been flawless in workmanship and sound, sometimes you just get that one special ukulele that stands out. For me, that stand-out was/is a standard production Martin 1T-IZ. This ukulele just has the sound I really love. A strum and the entire ukulele vibrates and the tone it produces is classic Martin. This one will never leave me.

    I will also have to say, I've been very impressed with the C1K, S1 and T1K I have ordered and received. I was not able to find a flaw anywhere in the craftsmanship and setup was a nice medium. Sound was awesome as well, on all of them. However, the one standout from this line for me was the C1K, it was just fantastic and special.

    Just my thoughts and good luck in your endeavor.

    Jim
    Thanks Jim. This is the kind of information I was wondering about. Appreciate it, Jo.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Flanders, New Jersey
    Posts
    717

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    Just to set the record straight on a few things...

    The Martin factory has featured tours for deacades, beginning shortly after the current factory opened in 1964 I believe. I took my first tour in 1986 and will be taking my 44th in August at the UMGF’s annual Martin fest.

    As of last year, it is now officially possible to buy an instrument at the factory. (It has been unofficially possible for many, many years but neither encouraged nor advertised.) To do so, you would let them know upon arrival that you’re interested in buying an instrument. A customer service rep will then help you make your selection and together you will choose and contact an authorized Martin dealer. The sale is finalized with and credited to that dealer. You do not have to pay full retail, but you do have to pay MAP (Minimum Advertsed Price) which is the minimum price dealers are allowed to advertise in print and online. Many dealers do, in fact, sell Martins well below MAP in their shops or over the phone.

    I have played many outstanding Martin custom guitars over the years (in fact Iown one) and several custom Martin Ukes. They have all been extraordinarily well-crafted instruments. Tone is, of course, subjective so all I can tell you is that I personally feel that almost all of the examples I’ve played were, in my opinion, well worth the money invested (and some of the custom shop guitars I’ve played were in the >$10,000 range).

    As for the Mexican made Martin Ukes, I have never played a C1K that didn’t impress me, although I’ve come across a few T1Ks that didn’t trip my trigger. Likewise, most of the S1s I’ve come across have been classic examples of of well-made mahogany Martin sopranos. Not necessarily on par with most vintage Style 0s, but they also don’t have 60+ years of mojo under their tops yet. The HPL Martin Ukes I have found to be extremely consistent across the board. Well made, durable, very good sounding instruments and an excellent choice for a travel Uke in particular. Martin’s facility in Mexico is held to the same high standard of excellence as the Nazareth factory, they just make a more affordable product line.

    All of this is just my personal experience with Martin over the last 30 years or so. As always, YMMV. If anyone wants their own hands on experience, the 11th annual event “Martin on Main” will take place in downtown Nazareth on August 4, coinciding with the 16th annual UMGF Martin Fest August 3-5. Most of the UMGF festivities take place at Nazareth Boro. Park on Friday and Sunday, and we provide the entertainment on the town square on Saturday. Technically, the UMGF stuff is for forum members but if you want to stop by the large pavilion at the park on Friday or Sunday after 10:00am for cameraderie and endless jamming, just tell them Scooter sent you and you’all be welcomed with open arms. (Interested parties can PM me for more details.)

    Peace,

    Scooter
    Tenor Koa Fluke (rosewood fretboard, Pegheds)
    Concert Tie-Dye Flea (rosewood fretboard, Lucy's tuners)
    Soprano Firefly (walnut fretboard, Pegheds)
    Late 40's Martin Style 1 soprano
    Concert Oscar Schmidt Mousekulele
    Tenor Mainland Mahogany Slothead
    Concert Eddy Finn Moon and Stars

    "The way I see it as soon as a baby is born, he should be issued a Ukulele."
    ~Linus Van Pelt~

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Woodstock NY USA
    Posts
    168

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    Thanks Scooter. I am contemplating a purchase of a Martin concert.

  5. #15

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    Hope Iím not changing the subject too much, but would anyone that knows care to share what kind of custom options the custom shop offers?

    Thanks in advance,
    M

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Woodstock NY USA
    Posts
    168

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScooterD35 View Post
    As for the Mexican made Martin Ukes, I have never played a C1K that didn’t impress me, although I’ve come across a few T1Ks that didn’t trip my trigger. Likewise, most of the S1s I’ve come across have been classic examples of of well-made mahogany Martin sopranos. Not necessarily on par with most vintage Style 0s, but they also don’t have 60+ years of mojo under their tops yet.
    I have to say I have compared my vintage Martin O soprano to a newer Mexican made soprano and the difference was huge. My SAS (soprano acquisition syndrome) is completely satisfied with my vintage Martin O. Maybe I am expecting too much from a newer custom Martin concert or tenor. My old Martin tenor is not my favorite to play because of the tuners. I have still not committed to switching out the tuners. Yet the soprano came to me with waverly tuners (originals sent along as well) and maybe that is why it is more of a joy to play. The other reason I am thinking about a newer model Martin is so I can beat on it a little more (is that wrong?). The old Martins scratch easily and I am a bit of a klutz.

  7. #17

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    I'm pretty sure you can order from the custom shop about any configuration you can think of. Any size in Style 3 or Style 3k, change tuners to Peghead, or Grover, etc. I think if you're so inclined, you could order a Style 5K Tenor. So, I think the sky and your imagination would be the limit.

    Jim
    Current Ukuleles:
    2017 Martin Style 3K Custom Tenor
    2018 Martin Style 3K Custom Concert
    2018 Martin 1T IZ Tenor (#576)
    2018 Martin S1
    2009 Bean Sprout Banjolele

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