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Thread: Buying a Martin S-1 online?

  1. #1

    Default Buying a Martin S-1 online?

    I'm hundreds of miles from a good uke shop. . . and not many uke shops carry more than one or two of any particular model.

    What's the best way to buy a Martin S-1?

    On-line? Drive all day and hope to see a couple?
    ----------------------------------
    Mainland mahogany soprano
    Kala KA-SC
    Kala La Salle tenor



    the Dominican Order: to praise, to bless, to preach

  2. #2
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    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain America View Post
    I'm hundreds of miles from a good uke shop. . . and not many uke shops carry more than one or two of any particular model.

    What's the best way to buy a Martin S-1?

    On-line? Drive all day and hope to see a couple?
    Try before you buy is always the best approach, but not always practical. Since you already decided on the uke you want and don't have a need to compare different sizes and types etc and given the logistic issues of going to a store you are probably safe to order one online. To choose between a small number of individual models may not be worth the effort, though it is certainly nice to find the particular one that speaks most to you. When buying online, it's important to read all the small print for the rules and regulations, may be value in finding a dealer who charges a bit more but has less hassle and surcharges. Reviews of the buying and dealing with issues experiences are often more important than reviews of actual ukes.

  3. #3
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    I'm almost certain MIM is stocking Martin now. So I would go with her. MIM's ukes on Reverb. Then you know you get something that has been inspected and had any needed setup work done on it.
    She's temporarily shut down to catch up on orders after NAMM, but will be back shortly...I think it even said Friday in what I read.
    She does allow returns too.

    I had one once that I got from Musician's Friend...didn't have the MIM option then and Elderly was out of stock maybe.. Their out of the box instruments are usually pretty good...but I'd still prefer it be in actual hands of the dealer for an inspection.
    By the way, I didn't let mine go because there was anything wrong with it, I just wanted to try something else. I think the S1 is a great little uke! I did install geared tuners on mine, since I hate friction pegs...but the uke itself was great.
    Last edited by jer; 01-23-2020 at 05:56 AM.

  4. #4
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    Mim is now an authorized Martin dealer, so check with her.
    SOPRANOS: • 1920s Gibson UKE-1 • 1930s Martin 2M • Ohana SK-28 ‘Nunes’ • Flea koa • Ohana SK-35G solid mahogany • Famous FS-1
    CONCERTS: • Martin C1K • Enya Nova U (blue) • Ohana CK-50WG (solid cedar top) • Firefly maple banjolele • Makala MK-CE
    OBJETS D'ART: • Vintage 'Mauna Loa' c. 1925 soprano • Kahuna "Felix the Cat" soprano • Woodrow "Steelers" soprano

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  5. #5
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    Since you haven't tried it, consider if they'll take a return. Even if you have to pay for return shipping, it should be cheaper than the gas and time to drive hundreds of miles.
    Glenn

  6. #6

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    I'm reluctant to buy from the Mim Store(c) since I like diversity and there should be room in the Ukulele Universe for more than one uke retailer. Just my take here.

    I think glen's got a good point: I'm thinking Elderly since I've had catalogues from them in the past and bought strings there; seemed a good place.
    ----------------------------------
    Mainland mahogany soprano
    Kala KA-SC
    Kala La Salle tenor



    the Dominican Order: to praise, to bless, to preach

  7. #7
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    While each instrument may have some variances in wood or subtleties in tone, Martin has decent enough quality control that you are likely to get something decent without playing it. You might also consider Elderly instruments. I bought an instrument from https://maurysmusic.com and they were easy to deal with and the set up was fine. Good luck!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain America View Post
    I'm reluctant to buy from the Mim Store(c) since I like diversity and there should be room in the Ukulele Universe for more than one uke retailer. Just my take here.

    I think glen's got a good point: I'm thinking Elderly since I've had catalogues from them in the past and bought strings there; seemed a good place.
    And I thought HMS was the only 'ukulele retailer in the universe! I like Elderly too but their shipping is pricey: $165 minimum to Oahu for an 'ukulele...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain America View Post
    I'm reluctant to buy from the Mim Store(c) since I like diversity and there should be room in the Ukulele Universe for more than one uke retailer. Just my take here.

    I think glen's got a good point: I'm thinking Elderly since I've had catalogues from them in the past and bought strings there; seemed a good place.
    There is HMS, Uke Republic, Fan-Uke that are mainly uke stores. Elderly does sell a lot of ukes, but they are a heck of a lot bigger than MIM....so I can't say I entirely understand your logic, but to each his own.
    I will say this. Your uke will generally get more attention from one of the smaller ones like MIM. I've had many an instrument from Elderly over the years. Yes, you usually get an instrument that plays well and doesn't have any major problems. They aren't as thorough though, especially with ukes, in my experience. Example: You will get level frets usually, but they are not always crowned or polished. I've gotten instruments with flat frets on top that were levelled but not finished. Playable? Sure....Could it be better? Yes. I think the more expensive instruments get more attention though, and the Martin should be better from the factory than the lesser expensive imports. I have received some lesser expensive instruments from there that were more thoroughly setup, but just saying it's not always. I do still recommend them as a good store to do business with. They're just not my first option for ukes.
    That's my 2 cents.
    I hope you find the dealer and uke that satisfies you.
    Last edited by jer; 01-23-2020 at 07:56 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gochugogi View Post
    And I thought HMS was the only 'ukulele retailer in the universe! I like Elderly too but their shipping is pricey: $165 minimum to Oahu for an 'ukulele...
    Haha, we certainly like to focus on what we know. I had never heard of "Uke Like The Pros" web store before someone mentioned it in the marketplace a few days ago. I'm not recommending them (for or against) as I know nothing about them except that YouTube likes to recommend his videos. Mim is pretty much a one person operation as far as I can tell, so I don't think she could corner the market if she tried. Does Uke Republic sell Martins? Could be another option.
    Glenn

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