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Thread: What's up with the Martin C1K?

  1. #1
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    Default What's up with the Martin C1K?

    I saw a few Martin C1K ukes on ebay, and was surprised at the look of these. To me, they look cheap and ugly, not a rich dark color, like most were before. What's the deal, low grade koa, cheesy finish, or both?

    c1k.JPG
    John

  2. #2
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    I had one. Low grade koa plus a natural finish means that it's looks aren't for everyone. As far as playability and sound goes mine sounded better to me than my pro series mahogany Pono.

    I think the C1K is a great value for money uke if you can get one second hand. I wish I didn't sell mine.
    Soprano: Ohana SK-38 (Mahogany)
    Concert: Barron River (Curly Maple)
    Tenor: Pono PKT-2E (Koa) / Romero Creations Replica (Spruce/Acacia)

  3. #3
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    I think that's how they've always looked, but the walnut fretboard doesn't provide the contrast and distraction that the rosewood (?) did. They've always had that soft finish and inexpensive koa, as Raffrox said. But maybe the wood on that batch is lighter than usual, too.

  4. #4
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    That's a good point about the walnut fretboard Ziret. Mine had a rosewood fretboard that I think does look a bit nicer.
    Soprano: Ohana SK-38 (Mahogany)
    Concert: Barron River (Curly Maple)
    Tenor: Pono PKT-2E (Koa) / Romero Creations Replica (Spruce/Acacia)

  5. #5
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    I am very happy with my Martin Concert. The white background could be causing an underexposure in the photo. The camera is fooled into thinking there is more ambient light than is actually there.
    DEPENDENTS:

    In order of age:


    Martin C-1K Concert, C Re-entrant Tuning 4/2014
    Pono MTD-CR Tenor C Linear Tuning 6/21/2016
    Ko'olau Model 100 Tenor C Linear Tuning 7/27/2018
    Kamaka HF-2 Koa Concert C Linear 6/26/2019

  6. #6
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    Aug 2017
    Location
    SE Connecticut, USA
    Posts
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    I've had a few chances to play them. As far as I've seen, they've all suffered in the looks and fit and finish departments. Tonally, they sounded nice, but IMO, not nice enough to overcome the price, especially considering their appearance.
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Martin C-1 (ca. 1947-1955); Musicguymic's Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    155

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Yankee View Post
    I've had a few chances to play them. As far as I've seen, they've all suffered in the looks and fit and finish departments. Tonally, they sounded nice, but IMO, not nice enough to overcome the price, especially considering their appearance.
    Suffered in Fit and Finish? I've had quite a few Martin Ukulele's built at their Mexican facility and I'll have to say, while the Koa and Mahogany used is not master grade and pretty plain looking, I've never ever had one that wasn't perfect in fit and workmanship. Granted these are not high-gloss instruments, but they have all far exceeded my expectations for price to quality ratio and all have had that classic Martin tone.

    I just wanted to offer my experiences with the Martin's I've had and still have that were built in Mexico. I've had 3 T1's , 2 C1K's and 3 S1's. I still have an S1 that I just couldn't part with.

    YMMV
    Current Ukuleles:
    2007 Martin Style 3K Soprano
    2009 Bean Sprout Banjolele
    2011 Martin Style 2K Soprano
    2017 Martin Style 3K Custom Tenor
    2018 Martin Style 3K Custom Concert
    2019 Martin Style 3K Custom Soprano
    2018 Martin Style 3 Centennial #2230085
    2018 Martin 1T IZ Tenor (#576)
    2018 Martin S1
    2018 Martin Konter Replica
    2018 Kamaka HP-1 Pineapple

  8. #8
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    Here's a couple, a newer one on the left, and on the right how I've seen many in the past, a nice golden koa color.

    C1K pic.JPG
    John

  9. #9
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    That's a huge contrast.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziret View Post
    I think that's how they've always looked, but the walnut fretboard doesn't provide the contrast and distraction that the rosewood (?) did. They've always had that soft finish and inexpensive koa, as Raffrox said. But maybe the wood on that batch is lighter than usual, too.
    The C1K and T1K fretboards and bridges are made from Sipo (an African Mahogany), not Walnut.


    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~

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