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Thread: Martin Ukulele: Reproduced?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Klumbus Uh-Hi-Yuh
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    I can clarify some things here. The S1 and S-0 are made in Mexico. The #2 series is made in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. The difference between the #2 (modern) and the vintage ukes is as follows:

    1. top is a little thicker for durability.
    2. bracing is a little heavier, again for durability.
    3. dove-tail is an "applied" dove-tail meaning it is glued and bolted onto the neck and not full integrated like the original. It is, thus, easier to build and just as strong, and easier to reset if it ever needs it.
    4. binding material is different.

    Martin said that they are remaining committed to the ukulele and trying to be faithful to the original instruments in terms of performance, while adding to durability because the market is much more demanding now and there are lots of great performing ukes that are imported.

    Martin does not acknowledge the imports as competition in one respect... they have the "Martin" name and they know that Martin players demand a top-shelf product. Otherwise, they know that if their quality is sub-standard on the American-made products, they will lose the potential customer.
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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New York City
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    Well stated, Mickey!

    The Style 2 is the one that matters if Martin is going to be a force in the world of ukuleles again. I really can't wait to try it. Sadly, unless I get a massive raise, I won't likely be buying one!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jnobianchi View Post
    Well stated, Mickey!

    The Style 2 is the one that matters if Martin is going to be a force in the world of ukuleles again. I really can't wait to try it. Sadly, unless I get a massive raise, I won't likely be buying one!
    I agree with everything John has posted to this thread. I've played the S-1 one, side-by-side with a vintage 1M, 2M, and 3M. There is no comparison to be made in either tone or appearance. The vintage ukes were louder, fuller, and more responsive. Even with various dings and even repaired cracks, the vintage ukes looked better to me, more mojo perhaps, but somehow they also look more like they sound, if that makes any sense. The appearance of Mexican-made Martins is less than rich - they look pale. Street price for the s-1 is about $379.00. It sounds decent and plays well enough, but I wouldn't pay that much for it when I could buy an Ohana for a couple hundred less, or a vintage style O for a couple hundred more.

    I've also played a few of the style 3 reissues last fall, side by side with a vintage 2M and 1M. Again, no comparison in the sound: the vintage ukuleles were much better. The new style 3's are extremely well made, however. They do look good. I was particularly disappointed with the 3C (cherry), mostly because it looked so nice, but sounded so dead. Also, I had watched/listened to Brian Hefferan's videos where he plays the 3C and it sounded pretty good. He's a great player though (everything sounds better in his hands) and maybe he got a good one.

    The style 2's are getting very good reviews. I have not played one yet, so I can't speak from experience.

    My Martins, sopranos, are old and wonderful. For the prices at which they typically sell, I still think a vintage O is a very good deal.

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