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Flea Market Music offers an on-line community for ukulele players, informative books on the ukulele, ukulele CDs,songbooks, videos and information on our instrument manufacturing of the FLUKE ukulele. Brought to you by "Jumpin" Jim Beloff.
Roy Smeck Concert Ukulele


Original Post By: Mike Date: 10/16/2018 11:20:46 AM
I am trying to decide between a Martin concert uke or a Martin tenor uke. Any input, pro, or cons would be appreciated. Also, are the Martin 2 concerts worth $1000 more than the Martin C 1 k ukes. Finally, can a Martin concert or tenor uke be strung to low G tuning? Thanks
Posted By: Muttzukii Date: 10/17/2018 1:09:29 PM
I'm surprised that no one has taken a poke at you about your post, Mike. Regardless of brand, Concert or Tenor is strictly subjective. What do you play now? Regarding cost vs value. If you think it is worth more, it is. Everything can be tuned low G. There are several brands of strings that have a low G that you don't need to regroove your nut to use.
Posted By: RAWright Date: 10/17/2018 2:05:39 PM
Hi Mike,

Agree with Muttzukii, totally subjective. Many people base the choice of size based on the size of their hands and what feels best. I gravitate to tenors, because I have larger hands and longer fingers. That said, I also have a concert and soprano. The concert is my favorite to just sit down and strum a little (even during TV commercials). The tenors (I have 3) are what I use to do more serious practice sessions.
Posted By: Dave Means Date: 10/18/2018 3:18:18 PM
While I agree with Muttzuki that any uke can be tuned to low G, that doesn't mean they all will perform well in that tuning.

Acoustic stringed instruments are designed so that the body (air) resonance props up the response of the lowest-tuned string, and that requires a certain amount of air volume inside the body. That volume is simply not there for low G in a normal concert or soprano. Without that support, the fundamental response of the 4th string will be weak relative to the other strings. You will hear a G, but the note will be more harmonics than the actual fundamental G note.

You can't fool the Laws of Physics!
Posted By: Tom B. Date: 10/20/2018 11:57:43 AM
I'm assuming you're talking about modern Martins, not vintage. I think the C1K is a terrific uke at street value. It's cheaper because it's imported. The Martin 2, at least the one I played in a store, was slightly better. If money were no object, I would have preferred that nicer-looking, American-made, better-set-up instrument. But for my purposes, I couldn't justify that bump in price. The key words here are: "for my purposes." What are your purposes? What are your priorities? (I should note: the C1K may need fret dressing and setup. Mine didn't, but a friend bought a new one from big dealer, and it really had sharp fret ends.)

As for low-G, I agree totally with Dave. I've never liked the sound of the low fourth string on a concert ukulele, whereas I don't think I've owned a tenor that didn't hum along with a low G.
Posted By: Ukubee Date: 11/1/2018 4:24:13 PM
I've found a wound string will pull it off on a concert size. The brassy attack of the metal string creates a doable low G on a concert. To me the Soprano should always be high G re-enterant. It's the true uku!
Posted By: mLKauai Date: 11/29/2018 12:49:19 AM   (Updated: 11/29/2018 1:02:01 AM)
I'm not a soprano or concert person (tenor is my choice) but I've never seen or heard a much better Ukulele sound than what an old well tuned Martin soprano puts out. Its bright and loud and sweet. And the one old Martin concert that I tried was absolutely fantastic as well.

When you get up to tenor, most, even the Martins will make an overall drop in brightness... but if strumming along is your thing, and the scale length fits your hand better, than many production tenors will fit the bill.

Bruddah Iz and Peter Moon made old Martin tenors sing, but most professional tenor players use custom made tenors for soloing, clarity and sustain, as well as playability.

Tenors, no problem with low G but the string groove at top needs widening.
The high G brings out the mid range of the tenor scale nicely, and the low gives more range on the low end and adds to the low end volume. I use Low G.
I use D'addario J4304 Light tension silver plated wound.
and Savarez Alliance 541R, 542R, 543R as was suggested way back by the old time famous custom Kawika maker, on my Tenors. They are guitar strings but I find them excellent for a nice balance of everything.
The only low G soprano I've seen/heard is my hero Ohta San.
Posted By: mLKauai Date: 11/29/2018 1:03:17 AM
If you mean the newer series of Martins that came out a while ago, I have no experience with them.
Posted By: Photodan Date: 11/30/2018 3:01:29 PM
I've been very happy with my T1-K. Great sound and mine has some nice stripe on the koa but some are more plain than others.

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Flea Market Music offers an on-line community for ukulele players, informative books on the ukulele, ukulele CDs,songbooks, videos and information on our instrument manufacturing of the FLUKE ukulele. Brought to you by "Jumpin" Jim Beloff. -