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GUEST,jeff Martin Factory Tour (10) RE: Martin Factory Tour 06 Jan 11

"...played every guitar in the 'expensive stuff' acoustic room...etc."

I did exactly the same thing a couple of years ago w/the same brands you mentioned both new and vintage. The best guitar in the room hands down was a Rainsong JM-1000. I've posted the story on other posts, so please excuse the repetition.

And I've owned and/or played over a hundred Martins(pre and post war), Gibsons, Guilds, Gurians. Carbon fiber in the abstact may or may not be one's taste, but one can't argue w/t sound.

Recently, Martins I've heard have been 'dead'. Even HD-28s and 'Special Edition' models. I've been around long enough to know that w/a good onboard transducer and eq one can hide a multitude of sins in terms of tone. I'll hear a fine sounding guitar in a songwriter's round w/a transducer and ask the owner to play it off-stage and they sound like crap. I've got an Alvarez DY39 solid/laminate w/a well designed internal system that blows away guitars costing thousands of dollars. Mine was 450.00US. That being said I KNOW when the tone of a guitar will lend itself to a microphone. None of the present day Martins I've heard would qualify.

Therefore, based on objective criteria the OP is right. They ARE overpriced. On the otherhand Olsens, Lowdens, etc. though expensive are not. Consider yourself fortunate to have gotten a good one which is very much an anomaly in today's manufactured guitar market.

Another thing. If one is primarily a finger-style guitarist most of the Lowden, Taylors, etc. would be too 'boomy' for one's playing style. Unless they're the OM or 000 size. My style is plectrum for most songs w/a use of thumb and metal fingerpicks for finger-style so a full-sized dreadnaught or jumbo is more suitable for my playing style.

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