Martin Ukulele – Experience the Sound Quality

You’ve heard of Martin Guitars, right? Silly question, we know. What about Martin Ukulele?

Did you know Martin also makes some pretty amazing Ukuleles? That might be a surprise. Many people don’t know about them, and many people are missing out.

Starting production in 1919, Martin puts 175 years of guitar manufacturing and ​almost a hundred years of Ukulele-making experience into all of their instruments, and it shows.

Recommending a Martin Ukulele is actually kinda tough. They don’t make a bad instrument, therefore it’s almost an embarrassment of riches as we talk about them.  

To decide which Martins we’d recommend we had to look at a lot of factors. Not only did we look at all of the items we normally consider, things like: volume, tone, sound, material, construction, and appearance, with Martin we decided to ​consider the cost too. It would be easy to recommend a bunch of $1000-$2000 Ukes that many in our audience couldn’t afford. but we wanted to select some that most of our audience would really enjoy and still be able to afford. 

Before we get into our recommendations, we want to cover the sizes available to you when shopping for Martin Ukuleles. ​

Martin Ukulele Sizes

The only major size category that Martin does not currently offer is the Baritone, they have very strong offerings in the Soprano, Concert, and Tenor sizes, though. 

​Martin Soprano Ukes

Martin Guitar S1 Acoustic Ukulele with Soft Case, Genuine Mahogany Construction,...
33 Reviews
Martin Guitar S1 Acoustic Ukulele with Soft Case, Genuine Mahogany Construction,...
  • PROFESSIONAL SOUND: The top, back, and sides of Martin’s S1 ukuleles are constructed from genuine mahogany wood. Mahogany allows the ukulele to deliver a sweet, warm, and beautiful sound. The soprano body style complements the solid wood construction by providing soft and pleasing tones, allowing the musician to enjoy the captivating melody.
  • SUPERIOR APPEARANCE: The Martin S1 soprano uke is expertly handmade and boasts a genuine mahogany top, back, and sides. Each instrument sports a hand-rubbed finish. It has an applied dovetail neck joint, non-scalloped brace, standard taper neck, and nickel uke peg tuners, making it look as captivating as it sounds.
  • PREMIUM HANDMADE UKULELE: Handmade from the highest-quality wood, each Martin ukulele is built to stand up to late-night jams, long studio sessions, outdoor playing, and plenty of strumming or picking. Each wooden ukulele is designed from high-quality materials and delivers unique designs, professional sounds, and enjoyable playing.
  • ENHANCED PLAYABILITY: In addition to Martin’s iconic tone, known worldwide, our acoustic ukuleles deliver enhanced playability that makes playing a pleasure, no matter your experience or skill level. Whether you’re playing traditional Hawaiian music, rock, country, folk, or bluegrass, these ukuleles deliver a natural playing experience that you will love.
  • MARTIN UKULELES & GUITARS: Martin’s superior ukulele, guitar, and string products remain the choice of musicians around the world for their unrivaled quality, craftsmanship, and tone. Still handmade. Still the standard. Martin instruments are the real deal—not an imitation.

Martin’s Soprano Ukes carry a traditional size and shape. Most are 20” long and have 17 frets. Despite their small size, Martin manages to get great, relaxing, light sound out these instruments that makes it easy to imagine you’re enjoying the beaches of Hawaii. While many of Martin’s ukes are fairly plain and unassuming looking, their sound is anything but!

Martin Concert Ukulele

Possibly the perfect starter Ukulele, the concert size is easier for many to play than the Soprano but carries more of a traditional sound than some Tenor or Baritone models. Weighing in at 23” long and equipped with 17 frets, these are some of our favorite Martins. 

Martin Tenor Ukulele

If you’re transitioning from a Martin Guitar to the Ukulele this may be the perfect size for you to start with. The Tenor Uke is the largest size that Martin makes and is just a little smaller than a travel guitar. 

Measuring 26” long and equipped with a standard 20 frets, this instrument will be comfortable for most former guitar players. Normally we would recommend a baritone ukulele as the transitional instrument for the guitar to ukulele, but if you want to stick with Martin they don’t have one. You can look into Luna, Lanikai, and Kala. They all have nice baritone ukulele selections!

Want more choices? Check out our other favorite Ukulele Brands 

Now, on to the information you came for! Here are our recommendations for Martin Ukes in each of the three size categories they produce Ukuleles in. 

Martin Soprano Ukulele Recommendation:  Martin S1 Ukulele

Martin Guitar S1 Acoustic Ukulele with Soft Case, Genuine Mahogany Construction,...
33 Reviews
Martin Guitar S1 Acoustic Ukulele with Soft Case, Genuine Mahogany Construction,...
  • PROFESSIONAL SOUND: The top, back, and sides of Martin’s S1 ukuleles are constructed from genuine mahogany wood. Mahogany allows the ukulele to deliver a sweet, warm, and beautiful sound. The soprano body style complements the solid wood construction by providing soft and pleasing tones, allowing the musician to enjoy the captivating melody.
  • SUPERIOR APPEARANCE: The Martin S1 soprano uke is expertly handmade and boasts a genuine mahogany top, back, and sides. Each instrument sports a hand-rubbed finish. It has an applied dovetail neck joint, non-scalloped brace, standard taper neck, and nickel uke peg tuners, making it look as captivating as it sounds.
  • PREMIUM HANDMADE UKULELE: Handmade from the highest-quality wood, each Martin ukulele is built to stand up to late-night jams, long studio sessions, outdoor playing, and plenty of strumming or picking. Each wooden ukulele is designed from high-quality materials and delivers unique designs, professional sounds, and enjoyable playing.
  • ENHANCED PLAYABILITY: In addition to Martin’s iconic tone, known worldwide, our acoustic ukuleles deliver enhanced playability that makes playing a pleasure, no matter your experience or skill level. Whether you’re playing traditional Hawaiian music, rock, country, folk, or bluegrass, these ukuleles deliver a natural playing experience that you will love.
  • MARTIN UKULELES & GUITARS: Martin’s superior ukulele, guitar, and string products remain the choice of musicians around the world for their unrivaled quality, craftsmanship, and tone. Still handmade. Still the standard. Martin instruments are the real deal—not an imitation.

The Martin S1 is everything you’d expect from a Martin without the heavy price tag you may be dreading. This Uke sports a one-piece mahogany top paired with a full solid wood mahogany body. The fretboard is made out of a super playable Morado material. 

You can normally find this Uke for under $500, giving you all the quality you’d expect from Martin at a very reasonable price. 

Martin Concert Ukulele Recommendation:  Martin OXK Concert Ukulele

A special Uke, the Martin OXK has everything you’d expect from a Ukulele at this price. Genuine one-piece Koa front and spruce back make up the body and neck are coupled with a mahogany fingerboard and bridge. 

Just like so many of Martin’s other offerings, this ukulele won’t turn heads as you pull it out of its case. When you start to play, however, nobody will mistake the quality of this instrument for a cheaper knockoff!

Runner Up:  Martin C1K Concert Uke

This instrument sports the beautiful traditional Uke wood Hawaiian Koa and a price tag that will fit in more budgets than the Martin 2 while being a bit higher-end than the OXK. 

Martin Tenor Ukulele Recommendation:  Martin 1T IZ Tenor Ukulele (Note – 1TK shown)

Hand-Rubbed Finish, Tenor Ukulele Neck Shape with Standard Taper
35 Reviews
Hand-Rubbed Finish, Tenor Ukulele Neck Shape with Standard Taper
  • PROFESSIONAL SOUND: The top, back, and sides of Martin’s T1K ukuleles are constructed from solid, Hawaiian koa wood. Hawaiian koa allows the ukulele to deliver a crisp, clear sound. The tenor body style complements the solid wood construction by providing soft and pleasing tones, allowing the musician to enjoy the captivating melody.
  • SUPERIOR APPEARANCE: The Martin T1K tenor uke is expertly handmade and boasts a solid Hawaiian koa top, back, and sides. Each instrument is finished with a satin lacquer. It has an applied dovetail neck joint, non-scalloped brace, standard taper neck, and nickel open gear tuners, making it look as captivating as it sounds.
  • PREMIUM HANDMADE UKULELE: Handmade from the highest-quality wood, each Martin ukulele is built to stand up to late-night jams, long studio sessions, outdoor playing, and plenty of strumming or picking. Each wooden ukulele is designed from high-quality materials and delivers unique designs, professional sounds, and enjoyable playing.
  • ENHANCED PLAYABILITY: In addition to Martin’s iconic tone, known worldwide, our acoustic ukuleles deliver enhanced playability that makes playing a pleasure, no matter your experience or skill level. Whether you’re playing traditional Hawaiian music, rock, country, folk, or bluegrass, these ukuleles deliver a natural playing experience that you will love.
  • MARTIN UKULELES & GUITARS: Martin’s superior ukulele, guitar, and string products remain the choice of musicians around the world for their unrivaled quality, craftsmanship, and tone. Still handmade. Still the standard. Martin instruments are the real deal—not an imitation.

There may only be one artist who played the Ukulele who is a household name. That man, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (IZ) inspired millions. This instrument is Martins’s tribute to him. As a finishing touch to a brilliant Uke, this instrument is adorned with an “IZ” inlaid in a hibiscus flower that is pink awabi pearl. 

Simply put, this Ukulele is worth every penny. 

***Note – We’ve updated this post with a link to the 1TK Ukulele. The IZ is currently out of stock and may not be replenished.

Runner Up: Martin Natural Koa Tenor

This beautiful Hawaiian Koa Ukulele doesn’t have the bells and whistles that the “IZ” does, but its an amazing value and one you’ll be happy with for years.

The Final Note

It is obvious if you look at any of the Martin Ukuleles that they’ve used the lessons they’ve learned from almost 100 years of manufacturing to guarantee they remain an elite instrument maker. 

Yes, these Ukuleles are expensive. That being said, it’s safe to say that if you spend the money you won’t need a new instrument for many, many years! ​

  • Recent Posts
Edward Bell Author

A ukulele player pretty much from birth, Edward has gone on to play banjo, lead guitar, and bass for a number of bands and solo projects! Edward loves talking, teaching and writing about music!

Last update on 2022-05-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API