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Thread: New Martin ukes

  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluze View Post
    Based on some quick web searches (so take it with a large grain of salt), FSC certified wood can run 15 - 30% more than non-certified. The Iz has a MSRP of about $1800. Add 30% and you are just about there.
    That explains a lot. Thanks Cluze.

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziret View Post
    I liked that grain fill video too! The concert sound did not impress me either--maybe it is out of tune. I think the Streetmaster is attractive and it sounds good, and the price is excellent, but I'd be so tempted to stain that fretboard and bridge a darker color. It really seems like a great value.
    I applied Dunlop 65 fingerboard O2 deep conditioner to my Martin OX soprano fretboard and bridge. It darkened the sipo at least a shade, and nourished the wood at the same time. Win Win!
    Last edited by jksk8in; 01-23-2021 at 08:57 AM.

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluze View Post
    Based on some quick web searches (so take it with a large grain of salt), FSC certified wood can run 15 - 30% more than non-certified. The Iz has a MSRP of about $1800. Add 30% and you are just about there.
    I assume that Mahogany is not that more expensive in Nazareth than in China, the difference in crafting costs are way bigger.
    Ib China they can make a solid Mahogany uke that can sell for < $300. That is after the retailers profit, the shipping from China and the lavour needed to make it. I guess the wood it self is less than $100 in that equation. Add 30% to that and you don't quite get a uke that is so much more expensive.

    I dont have inside knowledge to what the wood costs, I guess the profiles active in the luthiers lounge will have a better knowledge of this. But I find it hard to believe that the wood it self is more than $500 more expensive than a non fsc alternative.

    Edit: i just found a reference for mahogany where you can add 30% to the price without raising the price that much.
    https://www.stewmac.com/tonewoods/sh...r-ukulele.html
    Last edited by UkingViking; 01-23-2021 at 10:51 AM.
    Playing:
    Anuenue AMM tenor - Magic Fluke Koa Tenor - Cocobolo concert - Kamaka Tiki concert - Cort concert - Ohana LN soprano.

  4. #74
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    Does Martin PLEK their ukes?

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkingViking View Post
    I assume that Mahogany is not that more expensive in Nazareth than in China, the difference in crafting costs are way bigger.
    Ib China they can make a solid Mahogany uke that can sell for < $300. That is after the retailers profit, the shipping from China and the lavour needed to make it. I guess the wood it self is less than $100 in that equation. Add 30% to that and you don't quite get a uke that is so much more expensive.

    I dont have inside knowledge to what the wood costs, I guess the profiles active in the luthiers lounge will have a better knowledge of this. But I find it hard to believe that the wood it self is more than $500 more expensive than a non fsc alternative.
    Right, but the Iz tenor isn't made in China, it is made in Nazareth. It already has similar labor costs to the FSC concert, also made in PA. We need to compare apples to apples here, and the biggest difference between these two is the FSC certification of the wood used.

    Now if you want to argue that the 30% premium should only apply to the wood and not to the full cost, that is certainly a flaw in my very simplistic back-of-the-envelope calculation. But we can't really compare the cost of a US built Martin instrument to the cost of a large-scale factory made instrument from China.

    I also suspect there is a huge difference between the quality of the mahogany used at a large factory in China compared to the wood used by Martin in Nazareth, let alone the FSC certified wood used in this case.

    It is all a bit like "organic" food. It is the same stuff, in theory. But it had to be farmed a specific way, adhering to specific rules, and is therefore much more costly to bring to market. Therefore they charge a premium. A lot of people don't care, and won't pay that premium. But to those who *do* care, it is important to them and they will happily pay that premium. Is it worth it? Maybe.



    Personally, I think the FSC concert is way too expensive. For that cost I could have a luthier built instrument made just for me, using wood I have chosen.
    Mainly a concert player.

    Beansprout alto (myrtle) | Martin Konter | Kala Elite Soprano | Rebel Double Cream mango concert
    KoAloha Silver concert | Blackbird Clara | Kamaka HF-2 (special) | Kanile'a K-1 C | Bruko #6
    Anuenue UC200 Moonbird Concert | UkeSA Pineapple Sunday concert (acacia) | Pop's Pineapple Sunday (koa)

  6. #76
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    Martin can list a 5K for $4500, so standard markup doesn't always need to apply when you're Martin.
    Glenn

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    If a product is not appealing to you, either in sound or price or other aspects that just means you are not in the target market segment. You will never understand the product or the pricing.
    This is a *very* good point.
    Mainly a concert player.

    Beansprout alto (myrtle) | Martin Konter | Kala Elite Soprano | Rebel Double Cream mango concert
    KoAloha Silver concert | Blackbird Clara | Kamaka HF-2 (special) | Kanile'a K-1 C | Bruko #6
    Anuenue UC200 Moonbird Concert | UkeSA Pineapple Sunday concert (acacia) | Pop's Pineapple Sunday (koa)

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    It never ceases to amaze me how people miss the fact that Martin does things for a reason and has a marketing plan. If a product is not appealing to you, either in sound or price or other aspects that just means you are not in the target market segment. You will never understand the product or the pricing.
    I've watched many of Martin's own historical and promotional content as it comes to ukulele, and it certainly seems that Japan is a primary target of their new instruments. I'd be willing to bet that you can go to most of Martin's guitar dealers and see very few ukuleles...when I went to summer NAMM 2018, in the whole Martin booth, there was one row of ukuleles on a single wall. So while they may sell a few of the expensive ukuleles here in the US...I'd guess most of those sales are abroad.

    Chris Martin talks in one of his videos about how Japanese visits led to the rebirth of the 5K Ukulele.

    Then I also track the prices of certain ukuleles, and (good) ukuleles that sell for $1000 to $1500 in the US are often much more expensive when listed from Japan. So what may seem expensive in our market might just be the "normal" price in other markets.

    I did play all five ukuleles at NAMM...no one stopped me or asked me about it...and I wasn't that impressed with the sound of the 5K (looks were a 10 out of 10). But the sound from the Konter ukulele was amazing, and I look forward to Petey's upcoming videos with it.
    My ukulele blog: http://ukestuff.info

    My ukulele YouTube channels:

  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    If you enjoy Chinese ukes and want cheap product, which is likely to end up as landfill, why even bother getting involved in a discussion about Martin products? Even the plastic (HPL) Martins enjoy some fandom and are unlikely to be thrown out or used as cheap toys. Maybe there are a few embarrassing owners who still don't realise that the bamboo is just a picture on the top layer of HPL, but the ukes are sought after.
    Obviously a far east made solid wood uke at the same price point will be used for landfill and be way inferior to a mexican made HPL ukulele. Or not.

    You write that Martin offers ukuleles at many price points.
    It just seems that the high end ukes get some extra limited edition collectors item pricing rather than just quality ukulele pricing. Of course that is part of their business plan, as you starte first in your post. What caught me by surprise about the fsc model is that it looks like a pretty standard uke, with satin finish and no ornamentation. It look like just a Mahogany version of their C1k uke.

    It is tempting to compare to the K brands. The offer high end US made solid wood ukuleles, where the basic concert models are about $1000-1500. A kamaka concert is $13xx at the Ukulele site right now. If Martin were to produce the C1k i the US in stead of Mexico, it would be resonable to expect a similar pricing. Which would put the fsc Mahogany version at $1000 more. Something that can hardly be accredited the wood selection. So yeah, it is a collectors item like expensive watched etc, and I will probably never get the appeal.

    It just fools me that they made it look plain. The IZ tenor is prices more similar to K brand tenors, thought it looks more like a special limited edition.
    Playing:
    Anuenue AMM tenor - Magic Fluke Koa Tenor - Cocobolo concert - Kamaka Tiki concert - Cort concert - Ohana LN soprano.

  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    I've watched many of Martin's own historical and promotional content as it comes to ukulele, and it certainly seems that Japan is a primary target of their new instruments. I'd be willing to bet that you can go to most of Martin's guitar dealers and see very few ukuleles...when I went to summer NAMM 2018, in the whole Martin booth, there was one row of ukuleles on a single wall. So while they may sell a few of the expensive ukuleles here in the US...I'd guess most of those sales are abroad.

    Chris Martin talks in one of his videos about how Japanese visits led to the rebirth of the 5K Ukulele.

    Then I also track the prices of certain ukuleles, and (good) ukuleles that sell for $1000 to $1500 in the US are often much more expensive when listed from Japan. So what may seem expensive in our market might just be the "normal" price in other markets.

    I did play all five ukuleles at NAMM...no one stopped me or asked me about it...and I wasn't that impressed with the sound of the 5K (looks were a 10 out of 10). But the sound from the Konter ukulele was amazing, and I look forward to Petey's upcoming videos with it.
    Tell you what. Everything I hear from other people and see for myself regarding Martin's uke production leads me to one conclusion, and it's not a pretty one. In my eyes, they are just following the larger trend instead of innovating and pushing the envelope themselves. Now that the uke craze seems to be on the rise again we see them coming up with new models. Before that, it was years of silence on the uke front. They both have recognized enough of a brand and small enough a company to be able to affect the uke market themselves but they never do. Today, Martin seems more like an opportunist instead of properly involving themselves in the ukulele business which makes me a bit upset and sad.

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