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Thread: Martin SO and S1 Ukes Very Disappointing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    113

    Default Martin SO and S1 Ukes Very Disappointing

    Today I traveled to a local Martin Dealer and played the SO and the new S1 soprano ukuleles. I've got to tell you that I was really disappointed with both of them. The SO was $300 and the S1 was $350. I was hunting for a simple, solid mahogany uke. After playing each, I was not impressed at all. The action on the S1 was horrible and the action on the SO was acceptable. After examining and playing each of them, I came away with the conclusion that the Martin's are just over priced. I can't imagine that the formica OXK is any better for the money. I wish Martin could compete with companies offering equal if not better sounding ukuleles for almost half the cost. i

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Saint Andrews Bay, FL
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    too bad. their old ones are so sweet.
    there is no substitute for LOVE

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Westchester County, New York
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    Thanks for posting such honesty. I posted a similar issue today about Mainlands.
    Kala Spruce Top Tenor Cutaway,
    Kala Mahogany Tenor
    Eddy Finn Banjo Ukulele,
    Makala Red Sunburst Dolphin soprano

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    columbus oh
    Posts
    345

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by delray48209 View Post
    Today I traveled to a local Martin Dealer and played the SO and the new S1 soprano ukuleles. I've got to tell you that I was really disappointed with both of them. The SO was $300 and the S1 was $350. I was hunting for a simple, solid mahogany uke. After playing each, I was not impressed at all. The action on the S1 was horrible and the action on the SO was acceptable. After examining and playing each of them, I came away with the conclusion that the Martin's are just over priced. I can't imagine that the formica OXK is any better for the money. I wish Martin could compete with companies offering equal if not better sounding ukuleles for almost half the cost. i
    Your not the only one, I played an s-1 couple of days ago and it has buzzing issues and it has that squeaky sound but it was loud though.
    Breedlove american tenor- no name, new member of the fam
    Ko'olau concert with misi- hope
    Kamoa spruce concert with fishman matrix infinity- legend
    Kamoa pineapple- destiny

    Hospitalized:
    Cordoba koa
    Lanikai lu-21c

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Colorado
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    I'm not surprised. I own an S-O, which is ok, but not worth the full retail price by a long shot. I own two vintage Martins which are both AMAZING.
    There are two types of people in this world:
    1. Those who need closure.

    ca. 1923-'27 Martin Style 3M, ca. 1927-'28 Martin Style 2M, 1950s Martin Style 1M, ca. 1930 Gibson Uke 3, Kiwaya KTS-7, Mainland Gloss Mahogany Soprano, Mainland Red Cedar Pineapple Soprano, Mainland Maple Soprano Banjo Uke, Flea Soprano, Maccaferri Islander Soprano and Baritone, et al...
    My paltry Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/ukecycle

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Toronto, ON
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    I own a SO and a 1930s vintage Style 1. Today I tried out a S1 at a local music store.

    The vintage Martin sounds awesome, but I thought that the S1 sounded very nice, it is also nicely made with an extended fretboard and solid mahogany body. Nicer than the S0 which it replaces. I think it is a nice uke for the price.
    Allan

    Frequently Played
    National Triolian
    Godin Multi-Uke
    Kala 5-String
    Martin Style 2
    Koaloha Sceptre
    Other Instruments
    Harmonica, Lap Steel, Flute, Guitar

  7. #7
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    Jan 2010
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    Colorado
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    I must say, I haven't played an S1 yet, or even seen one in person. I am curious to try one out someday. I think they LOOK nicer than the S-O.
    There are two types of people in this world:
    1. Those who need closure.

    ca. 1923-'27 Martin Style 3M, ca. 1927-'28 Martin Style 2M, 1950s Martin Style 1M, ca. 1930 Gibson Uke 3, Kiwaya KTS-7, Mainland Gloss Mahogany Soprano, Mainland Red Cedar Pineapple Soprano, Mainland Maple Soprano Banjo Uke, Flea Soprano, Maccaferri Islander Soprano and Baritone, et al...
    My paltry Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/ukecycle

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Honolulu
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    I have a vintage Martin S-0, Kamaka standard, Favilla soprano, daughter has a Koaloha soprano. I played the OKX and thought that it was a nice instrument and would be happy playing it. The S-O I felt was not worth the time. Can't comment on the S1.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    VT
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    My store just got in the Martin ukes we ordered in February...a couple of S1's (one for the store, one for me) and an OXK. I like them both. I have never played an SO or a vintage Martin but I thought the S1 and OXK were both made well, and they both sound pretty good. I'm definitely not a soprano guy but I've been finding myself playing the S1 one a decent amount since I got it home.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Apollo, PA
    Posts
    524

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    I bought a new S-O at a discounted price. Not a bad uke, but for the going prices of the now discontinued S-O and even it's replacement, the S-1 there are a lot better ukes for the money. They just don't say Martin on the headstock
    My 4-String Family:
    Kamoa E3 Pineapple Soprano
    Martin S-O (given to my brother for Christmas with the stipulation he learns to play it)
    Early-70s Kamaka Soprano
    KPK Acacia Concert (given to a friend for his birthday because he wanted to learn to play ukulele)
    KPK Deluxe Long Neck Acacia Pineapple Soprano
    Gretsch Concert Resonator
    Lanikai O-8 Spruce/Ovangkol 8 String Tenor
    and various guitars

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