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Thread: Martin Tenor Uke Unhappy

  1. #11
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    Jan 2010
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    If the strings you are using are designed for C, tuning it down for G might be a little flabby, so you have to see what works for your instrument and your tastes.

  2. #12

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    I wasn't happy with the sound of my TK1 until another player showed me his strung with Freemont Blacks, low G. Much improved!

  3. #13
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    Mar 2016
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    Darlington UK
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    For that price I'd expect a uke to be perfect. Possibly even play itself!
    You don't stop playing when you get old. You get old when you stop playing

    Tanglewood TU13M concert
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    And a whole heap of other instruments...

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  4. #14
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    May 2013
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    NH
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    I had a T1K that was extremely hard to fret due to a high setup. Had to lower the strings at the nut and the saddle to make it playable.
    Kamaka HF3, Tenor
    Martin S1, Soprano
    Ko'olau C1, Concert
    Flight TUS-35

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Arizona
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    2,809

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    Try Living Water low G's...

    I have a friend who got a T1K a little over a year ago and it has a loud, full sound with stock strings.
    Last edited by UkerDanno; 04-15-2021 at 03:11 AM.
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Waverly Street banjolele - Worth Browns
    Tenor: Martin Iz - Living Water low G
    UBass: Kala FS2 (fretless) - Pahoehoe

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    Hello UkerDanno,
    I noticed you have a Tenor as well as a Concert. I think what I’m hearing is the higher tension on the tenor and equating it to higher pitch (Even though I know its the same pitch). It’s like the higher tension on the strings is canceling out the uke of its low end, midrange and resonance. I’ve tried tuning down, different strings and switching out to a low-g. And, due to my concert’s shorter scale and has a low-g it resonates more and has more midrange low end. What do you notice between your concert and tenor? Which one do you play more often? Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by UkerDanno View Post
    Try Living Water low G's...

    I have a friend who got a T1K a little over a year ago and it has a loud, full sound with stock strings.
    Last edited by Towser; 04-17-2021 at 12:21 PM.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    19

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    I tried putting on Worth Brown’s as well. Sounds definitely better and even better with the low g. However, I am finding that I’m just not a tenor scale guy. Unfortunately, I asked the music store where I bought it if I could return it when it was less than 24 hours that I purchased it and was told “No” as they do not accept returns anymore due to the pandemic. I could only return it, if it was defective. So, I’m out $530 plus the taxes. I’ll probably put this on the forum for $400+ free shipping in the Cont US. I’ll have to take a loss, I don’t know what else I can do. Thanks for all the suggestions.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    Nevergreen part of WA
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    Am I the only one that noticed you're comparing a 1920's Martin built in America concert uke a century ago to a recently built in Mexico tenor? Likely different woods, different glues, etc.?

    I bought a T1K early this year as my first uke. I've played violin, viola, steel string guitar, mandolin (and mandola, octave mandolin and mandocello) for the past 47 years. I've owned cheapie instrument-shaped objects and fine custom builds that cost thousands. The Martin T1K is a well built, very good intermediate to professional level instrument. Mine has very good tone, resonance and sustain. I did switch to Curt Mangan strings over the OEM Martins which to my ears sound better.

    I find the T1K to have low string tension compared to my mandolins. Those have dual course strings at much higher tension than any guitar or fiddle. The higher tension does not reduce the volume or sustain at all.

    Either your T1K is a dud (sometimes happens) needs a setup (almost always the case) or you have bad technique (very frequently the case).

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    SF Bay Area California
    Posts
    112

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    If the sound is super lousy, then it is defective (at least to you). You should pressure the shop again with more emphasis on the fact that your expensive instrument does not work the way you understood it would.
    Too chicken to install strap buttons...

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    USA
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    909

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    It sounds like the uke is just simply not for you. It happens. At least you gave it a good try.

    As to some of the above comments: It's not the sellers fault that the uke isn't liked. Sound is a very personal thing. I had one of the early Martin T1K ukes and it had incredible wood grain...I haven't seen one quite like it since then. The build was the same as they are doing now, as far as I know. I thought it was a good sounding uke. The action on the factory Martins is a bit higher than I like, in my experience...but playable. Setup is a personal thing too of course.
    I personally wouldn't buy from a place that didn't have a good return policy, but that's something we have to check going in as a customer.

    i'm sure there's someone out there who would enjoy this uke...and can put some money back in your pocket. All the best.

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