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Martin 0XK Concert Uke
 
An affordable ukulele with a great sound and a koa photo finish.
May 10, 2021
 

Martin has made ukuleles for more than 100 years. As with Martin guitars, the company’s vintage ukes are valued by players and collectors alike, resulting in prices that match the instruments’ limited availability. And as demonstrated with models such as the 5K Uke, Martin continues to build high-end ukuleles that are faithful to its tradition. However, for players whose budgets are more limited, Martin has done a remarkable job of combining classic uke designs with the high-pressure-laminate (HPL) technology familiar from its X-series guitars. We were impressed when we demoed the soprano-size Martin 0X Uke Bamboo back in 2017, and I recently had a chance to check out the slightly larger 0XK Concert Uke. 

The 0XK Concert Uke is based on Martin’s traditional uke body and has the company’s typical ukulele peghead shape. The HPL material used for the top, back, and sides is made from wood particles pressed together under high heat with a special resin. The result is a wood alternative that is not only extremely durable—one of its benefits is the ability to withstand extremes of temperature and humidity—but it can also be given virtually any appearance by way of a “photo finish.” For the 0XK Concert Uke, Martin applied images of beautifully figured Hawaiian koa (the premier wood used on high-end ukuleles) to the instrument’s HPL body. While the outcome is unlikely to fool folks familiar with the real thing, it is surprisingly realistic and undeniably good-looking, and could easily be mistaken for koa from a few feet away. The body construction of the 0XK Concert Uke is similar to a wood instrument, with Sitka spruce braces and a fingerboard made from sipo wood, while the bridge is made of morado. The neck is made from laminated birch, and the peghead is home to a set of Grover banjo-style friction tuners. 

The 0XK Concert Uke offers solid performance. It was set up beautifully and strung with Martin’s M600 fluorocarbon strings, giving it easy playability, great intonation, and a powerful voice. The concert scale length provides a little extra room for the fretting hand fingers, and players with larger hands may find this size easier to play than the shorter scale of soprano-size instruments. 

Overall, the 0XK Concert Uke is an excellent choice for players looking for a great-sounding and beautiful-looking ukulele that’s a step up from entry-level instruments while still coming in at a very affordable price. 

SPECS: Concert ukulele. High Pressure Laminate top, back, and sides. Sitka spruce bracing. Birch laminate neck. Sipo fingerboard. Morado bridge. 15-inch scale. 1¹³/₃₂-inch nut width. Grover friction pegs. Made in Mexico. $299 (street). Martinguitar.com

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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
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