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Thread: Your favorite Martin copy

  1. #31
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    That looks like a really nicely done Martin style soprano. I love how the Honduran mahogany is lighter in colour compared to lots of other Martin clones, at least under that lighting.

    It seems to me that, outside of Kiwaya and some other less known Japanese brands, your best bet of getting a good quality Martin style uke is to go the custom route.

  2. #32
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    Although not an exact copy, I have been told that Gary Zimnicki makes a nice Martin Style instrument.

    Recently I heard some clips from the Southern Ukulele Store featuring a brand from Japan that is new to me- Tkitki. They are making Martin Style instruments that sound great

  3. #33
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    I have no experience with them, but Farida makes a pretty Martin copy. I think I’d get one of Brad’s, though, or a Kiwaya.

  4. #34

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    A bit surprised that Tim Laughlin hasn’t been mentioned, although Laughlins aren’t typically cheap. I’ve heard they are among the best Martin clones.

    Also there’s a brand called Luna (NOT to be confused with the somewhat ubiquitous Chinese import brand found on Amazon and Guitar Center) that apparently produced some impressive Martin clones. They’re Japanese, and I’m not sure of the history, but I believe they are or were (I don’t know if they still exist) associated with Kiwaya.

    I don’t have experience with either brand, but thought they might merit mention in a Martin clone discussion.

  5. #35
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    I have three favorites: Collings UT1 Tenor and Collings UCK-1 Concert, and LoPrinzi Tenor
    TomtheBaptist

    Kamaka HF-1 Standard
    Kamaka HF-3 Tenor
    Collings UCK1 Concert
    Collings UT1 Concert
    LoPrinzi Soprano Custom Spanish Cypress and Spruce
    Loprinzi AC-T Tenor with MISI Pickup
    Pops Opio Concert Pineapple Sunday
    Martin D18
    Martin 00015-SM
    Santa Cruz OM/PW
    Composite Acoustic Legacy Carbon Fiber
    Ahlambra 5P Classical
    Bob Thomason Butternut/Walnut Mountain Dulcimer
    New Harmony Butternut/Walnut Mountain Dulcimer
    Merv Rowley Myrtle Mountain Dulcimer

  6. #36
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    Favourite is one thing but accurate is another. I’m wondering which are the most dimensionally accurate copies of the original Martin Sopranos whether that be a standard 0 or a Ditson. There’s lots of stuff out there ‘paying tribute’ to the original Martins, but when you look closer some are more marketing than substance. So, Timms excluded, what true copies are there out there?

    Edit, ‘dimensionally’ added to “which are the most dimensionally accurate copies”.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 03-05-2021 at 03:08 AM.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Greenbag View Post
    Favourite is one thing but accurate is another. I’m wondering which are the most accurate copies of the original Martin Sopranos whether that be a standard 0 or a Ditson. There’s lots of stuff out there ‘paying tribute’ to the original Martins, but when you look closer some are more marketing than substance. So, Timms excluded, what true copies are there out there?
    Ummmm, Martin S1?
    Kamaka HF3, Tenor
    Martin S1, Soprano
    Ko'olau C1, Concert
    Flight TUS-35

  8. #38
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    This might get some scornful replies but here goes --- about fifteen years ago I made up seven soprano kits from Stewart MacDonald. The kits very closely, but not exactly, followed the Martin pattern in solid sapele mahogany.

    I recently had two of them back in my custody. I have compared them with my Timms, and with my 1960s Martin style 1, and I am amazed by how well they compare. To my ancient and much abused ears they sound very similar. It seems that if you get the basics right, and use decent timber, you can't go far wrong.

    John Colter

  9. #39
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    I use the Grellier plans, which are the same ones that Ken Timms uses and I recall were very accurately drawn from a Martin style two. I also have the Scott Antes plans of an early Martin style O. Those plans show the top, back and sides to be .090” thick, which is either a mistake or he had a lousy Martin to take measurements from. I also own a 1930’s Martin style O which is a marvelous instrument and use that for comparison. The copy I made for Rich is an accurate copy of a Martin soprano with the exception of it having a bolt on neck instead of a dovetail. I do a dovetail on my style 3K models. Also to be faithful to the original design, they should be single piece tops and backs, not book matched.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzBD View Post
    I use the Grellier plans, which are the same ones that Ken Timms uses and I recall were very accurately drawn from a Martin style two. I also have the Scott Antes plans of an early Martin style O. Those plans show the top, back and sides to be .090” thick, which is either a mistake or he had a lousy Martin to take measurements from. I also own a 1930’s Martin style O which is a marvelous instrument and use that for comparison. The copy I made for Rich is an accurate copy of a Martin soprano with the exception of it having a bolt on neck instead of a dovetail. I do a dovetail on my style 3K models. Also to be faithful to the original design, they should be single piece tops and backs, not book matched.
    Brad
    Thank you. I had heard good things about those plans here, but when I check them the nut width is 35mm and as far as I know the original style 0 was circa 37mm (1&7/16”). I know that 2mm is not a lot but for me the wider width of the original is very important - or rather the wider string spacing is.

    1961 Martin Soprano Mahogany Ukulele Style 0

    https://www.frettedamericana.com/pro...kulele-style-0

    This absolutely mint Martin Style 0 Ukulele weighs just four-fifths of a pound. The length of the body is 9 1/4 inches, the width is 6 3/8 inches and the depth is 2 3/8 inches. The top, back and sides are Mahogany. The 1 7/8 inch diameter sound-hole has a five-ply ring of white and black ivory celluloid. One-piece mahogany neck with a scale length of 13 3/4 inches, a nut width of just over 1 7/16 inches and a medium neck profile. Mahogany peghead with "Martin & Co./Est. 1833" in gold with black trim. Four individual Waverly 'Hex-Nut' tuners with oval white plastic tuning buttons. Brazilian rosewood fretboard with ebony nut and twelve original thin frets with small white dot position markers. Fixed mahogany tailpiece with ebony bridge saddle. Inside the soundhole is "C.F. Martin & Co./Nazareth, PA/Made in USA". This 'Uke' is in absolutely mint (9.50) condition. Housed in it's original Martin 'Violin' style two-latch shaped brown soft-sided case with brown felt lining (9.50).
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 03-05-2021 at 10:14 PM.

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