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Thread: Martin Tenor Uke Unhappy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    Default Martin Tenor Uke Unhappy

    Hello,
    I am relatively new to Ukuleles but have been playing guitars for many years. I have a Martin style O soprano from the 1920’s, Martin C1K, and now a recently purchased Martin T1K. I love both the Style O and the C1K (low G), I thought based on all the positive reviews I would love the T1K but it still hasn’t grown on me. Both the style o and the C1K are super resonant and warm. The T1K is anemic. The string tension on It, is ridiculous to where it’s actually dampening the sustain and tone. I have it in standard tuning GCEA. The C1K is more full bodied even when I had a high G on it. Is there a set of strings I can put on with less tension? There is no resonance to this Uke. Thanks
    Last edited by Towser; 04-11-2021 at 02:13 PM.

  2. #2
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    One other option to consider is tuning the tenor down a half or full step (B or Bb tuning). That can really improve the feel and resonance of many tenors

  3. #3
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    Thanks, I’ll give that a try.

  4. #4
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    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
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    I am surprised that there is such difference between c1k and t1k. If the sound is weak and anemic that points more to a need for higher tension. Have you thought about upgrading to the new Martin premium strings or Aquila reds?

  5. #5
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    I had the opportunity of playing both, C1K and T1K, side by side once. I was going to purchase once of them, their prices are not too different. I really wanted to buy the tenor but the more I played them, the more the C1K outshined the T1K. I, of course, bought the concert size.

    So, it's not just you, the C1K is better than the T1K. IMO.

    Eugenio

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by emarcano View Post
    I had the opportunity of playing both, C1K and T1K, side by side once. I was going to purchase once of them, their prices are not too different. I really wanted to buy the tenor but the more I played them, the more the C1K outshined the T1K. I, of course, bought the concert size.

    So, it's not just you, the C1K is better than the T1K. IMO.

    Eugenio
    Yes Eugenio,
    My C1K outshines the T1K in every way too! Even when I had the C1K strung with a high G it still sounded fuller than the T1K. Maybe they are overbuilding the T1K’s?
    Last edited by Towser; 04-11-2021 at 04:10 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
    I am surprised that there is such difference between c1k and t1k. If the sound is weak and anemic that points more to a need for higher tension. Have you thought about upgrading to the new Martin premium strings or Aquila reds?

    I think I’ll also try changing out the strings.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
    I am surprised that there is such difference between c1k and t1k. If the sound is weak and anemic that points more to a need for higher tension. Have you thought about upgrading to the new Martin premium strings or Aquila reds?
    Contrary to that logic, I find that sometimes tenors benefit from slightly less tension.
    Hear me out.

    When the tension is too much, the strings are taut and don't vibrate for as long. Also, it may not be easy to fingerpick effectively.

    My preferred go-to string for tenors is actually a Concert set of D'addario Pro Arte (or just use the 4th-1st from a normal tension classical guitar set).
    You still have some tension; but not as hard as a tenor set.

  9. #9
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    Using the stock Martin strings, try tuning it down to d-G-B-E (high d) and see what you think. That costs nothing. It gets more in the range of your guitars, but it's interesting...and the tension is low. Even if you don't stick with it, it can be fun to try. I've done it several times with tenors. I don't have a tenor now though. I also play guitar.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jer View Post
    Using the stock Martin strings, try tuning it down to d-G-B-E (high d) and see what you think. That costs nothing. It gets more in the range of your guitars, but it's interesting...and the tension is low. Even if you don't stick with it, it can be fun to try. I've done it several times with tenors. I don't have a tenor now though. I also play guitar.
    Thanks, I’ll give that a try.
    Last edited by Towser; 04-14-2021 at 01:14 AM.

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