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Thread: New Martin ukes

  1. #41

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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?

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    Detroit
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    48

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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.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    21

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    Quote Originally Posted by man0a View Post
    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.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike $ View Post
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    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.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Ross-on-Wye, England
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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.
    forestukuleles.com
    theukeroom.com

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattyukaholic View Post
    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.
    Agreed. 78910

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
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    455

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    Is the street master solid mahogany or laminate? Seems a bit too low a price for solid mahogany
    Everyone I know who is into the ukulele is 'crackers' so get yourself a few and enjoy yourselves - George Harrison

    Some of my faves right now: *Kamaka HF-3D2I *Kamaka HF-3D Anniversary *Kamaka HB-2D *Sumi Kobo Spruce/Maple Tenor *Blackbird Farallon Sunburst *Blackbird Clara *KoAloha KTM-00 *Concert Flea

  8. #48
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    Aug 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrdr View Post
    Is the street master solid mahogany or laminate? Seems a bit too low a price for solid mahogany
    It's solid. I think the cost is so low (for a Martin) because it is made in Mexico. Their T1K is only $499 for a Koa tenor...also pretty inexpensive for solid Koa, but also made in Mexico. Viva Mexico!!!

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    the we(s)t coast, Canada
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    860

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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.
    Glenn

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    st. paul, MN
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrdr View Post
    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!
    Tracie

    Island Koa Instruments, prototype sop, Peter Howlett #153
    Kamaka white label sop (Tiki added!)
    Martin O sop, 1920's
    Martin O sop, 1960's
    Bruko Cedar/Mahogany archback
    Anuenue Khaya I sop
    Kala Elite 1MHG sop
    Lanikai SPS-S spruce top sop
    Blue Frog semi-custom LN soprano #1, Vic Jones
    Sawchyn hog concert (Martin copy), Peter Sawchyn
    Kamaka white label concert
    Kala KA-ASOV-C
    Kala Elite 1MHG tenor SN

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