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Buying a new Martin guitar

Richard Bridge 06 Sep 11 - 06:37 AM
Backwoodsman 06 Sep 11 - 06:26 AM
Backwoodsman 06 Sep 11 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,999 06 Sep 11 - 05:42 AM
banksie 06 Sep 11 - 05:17 AM
Richard Bridge 06 Sep 11 - 04:31 AM
Backwoodsman 06 Sep 11 - 03:34 AM
GUEST,Woodsie 06 Sep 11 - 02:25 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Sep 11 - 07:47 PM
Brian May 05 Sep 11 - 02:38 PM
Backwoodsman 05 Sep 11 - 02:23 PM
Backwoodsman 05 Sep 11 - 02:07 PM
ollaimh 04 Sep 11 - 10:06 PM
Brian May 03 Sep 11 - 10:58 PM
Backwoodsman 03 Sep 11 - 10:20 AM
Will Fly 03 Sep 11 - 09:03 AM
Blues=Life 03 Sep 11 - 08:42 AM
morning wood 03 Sep 11 - 06:22 AM
GUEST,Woodsie 03 Sep 11 - 05:34 AM
Brian May 03 Sep 11 - 04:26 AM
Backwoodsman 03 Sep 11 - 02:54 AM
Rob Naylor 02 Sep 11 - 03:13 PM
Richard Bridge 02 Sep 11 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Woodsie 02 Sep 11 - 01:34 PM
saulgoldie 01 Sep 11 - 01:39 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Sep 11 - 01:28 PM
mayomick 01 Sep 11 - 12:37 PM
Backwoodsman 01 Sep 11 - 11:54 AM
Continuity Jones 01 Sep 11 - 10:11 AM
Backwoodsman 01 Sep 11 - 05:10 AM
Continuity Jones 01 Sep 11 - 04:47 AM
Richard Bridge 31 Aug 11 - 06:02 PM
Lonesome EJ 31 Aug 11 - 05:00 PM
Backwoodsman 31 Aug 11 - 03:07 PM
Will Fly 31 Aug 11 - 02:07 PM
Backwoodsman 31 Aug 11 - 01:27 PM
Will Fly 31 Aug 11 - 11:44 AM
Richard Bridge 31 Aug 11 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,Woodsie 31 Aug 11 - 09:46 AM
Backwoodsman 31 Aug 11 - 08:37 AM
Midchuck 31 Aug 11 - 08:27 AM
Richard Bridge 31 Aug 11 - 07:50 AM
kendall 31 Aug 11 - 07:42 AM
Backwoodsman 31 Aug 11 - 07:35 AM
Silas 31 Aug 11 - 05:48 AM
Mick Woods 31 Aug 11 - 05:41 AM
Zen 31 Aug 11 - 05:02 AM
Silas 31 Aug 11 - 03:34 AM
Richard Bridge 30 Aug 11 - 11:02 PM
GUEST,Big Ballad Singer 30 Aug 11 - 08:53 PM
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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 06:37 AM

Brian Rodgers, Walderslade. Some very good guitarists bring theirs the entire length of the country to have him do them. PM me if you want his number but he is out of the country at the moment.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 06:26 AM

OK Richard, I have to ask - where does one go to have one's guitar Rodgered (in the nicest possible way, of course!). :-)


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 06:25 AM

I'm a firm believer that any guitar will "go to sleep" if it's not played for some time. Even my Lowden, normally Like-a Ringin'-a Bell (as Chuck once wrote), does it. Dull as ditchwater if left in its case for a week or two or three, but Like-a Ringin'-a Bell again after an hour or two of playing.

My problem isn't the lack of will to play them all, it's lack of time. Grrrr!


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 05:42 AM

Banksie: I'd put my D 28 away for I am ashamed to say 25 years. When I started playing it again it was dull, 'mushy', dead. About a year later it sounded as good as it ever did. And I've since heard it in the hands of a really good guitarist and it is beautiful.

Good advice.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: banksie
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 05:17 AM

I will pass on some advice I was given by a salesman at Ivor Mairants' shop in Rathbone Place, London, many years ago now. I was helping a friend buy a new guitar and we tried several, including a Martin D28. Someone earlier used the word `mushy' as a description of how that can sometimes sound and it was certainly true of this one. In fact is sounded quite `dead', and I observed this to the salesman.

"Well, it's a new one," he said. "Never buy a new Martin if you mean to perform with it straight away. Buy it before you need it, keep it at home and thrash the hell out of it for a year. Then it will start to sound good."


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 04:31 AM

I have heard some good ones. Will you take it to Knockers so I can hear it or is it going to be coddled and kept for best? Do get it Rodgered. If nothing needs doing he will tell you so (it's what he did on Monsieur le Chapeau's Tanglewood 12 if my memory serves me).

You should play it every day if possible. At the very least pick it up, tune it up, and belt power chords up to the octave and back. The wood needs to be wiggled to make it ring like a bell. Rodgers also has a wiggling machine - put the guitar on it and it vibrates it (oooh matron) to speed the opening up of the sound. Or put it by your hifi speakers so long as you listen to the hifi loud, so that they can musically wiggle the wood for you.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 03:34 AM

"Don't look at the labels, don't look at the pricetags, don't look at the decoration or inlays, do it blindfold if you must - just play and listen, and remember that a good guitar tech can fix most playability problems."

Amen to that.

And another good principle is "Don't be put off by other peoples' criticism of a brand of instrument to which you're attracted, and of which you enjoy the sound and playability". Their criticism can frequently be shown to be based on nothing other than rumours and/or The Green-Eyed Monster.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: GUEST,Woodsie
Date: 06 Sep 11 - 02:25 AM

I went to Andertons in Guildford and spent a few hours trying various guitars and came away with this one Faith although I didn't pay the price stated.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 07:47 PM

Actually, to get a guitar that will ruv you rongtime you probably need to spend more than you can afford. Don't look at the labels, don't look at the pricetags, don't look at the decoration or inlays, do it blindfold if you must - just play and listen, and remember that a good guitar tech can fix most playability problems.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Brian May
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 02:38 PM

Must agree with that. Some of the worst criticism I've heard of Martins, Gibsons, Taylors et al are from people who've not owned one.

The other 'school' are people who've chosen and then need to convince everyone else that only THEIR choice is valid.

What a load of bollocks. Buy what you can afford, enjoy what you've bought and don't slag anyone else's choice, it was a free one and every bit as valid as yours.

Rant over.

Have fun


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 02:23 PM

I don't believe that any reputable builder sets out to produce 'duds'. I believe they intend every single instrument to be top quality, however they are built by human beings and they use organic materials, and the performance of both these elements may vary slightly. I may be lucky, but I don't recall ever hearing a Martin that I'd describe as a 'dud' - the worst I've heard I'd describe as 'good', some as 'excellent', and a few as 'stellar'. And I reckon I'd do the same if I was rating a selection of any builders' instruments. Anything built by humans, and especially built from organic materials, will be subject to some variation between individual examples - anything.

And I don't believe that any reputable builder, let alone one of the biggest internationally-known builders, would deliberately offload sub-standard product to Canada, the UK or anywhere else. It doesn't make good business sense. I think that rumour is another example of the horseshit-bullshit about quality-builders (not just Martin, I've heard unbelievable tales about Gibson, et al) put around by people who either can't afford or are too tight-arsed to pay for whatever brand they're slagging off.

People talk the same shite about brands of cars which are different to theirs.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 02:07 PM

I finger-pick both my OM and HD. Both work fine.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: ollaimh
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 10:06 PM

i have played some new martine high end models recently and i was disapointed. rumour has it they ship the duds to canada--and maybe the uk. maybe you're better off with ebay from the usa.

on the other haqnd back in the ninties i played a few that were sizzling guitars.

howver in the uk there are a lot of very good guitar makers that aren't as expensive. i saw mathew ord playing a moon guitar at the sharp house and it was a great finger pickers instrument.

again the d 28s and d 18s are mostly flaypicker instruments. most don't have the balance between the trebble and bass that finger style guitarists want. the triple 0 models and the oms are more for finger style playing.

i have played a couple of newer laminate martins that i thought were great for the price but also a few that were dead as a doornail.

over there i would look closely at the uk makers. many have really developed there own great sound and construction techniques. however the high end martins do retain their resale value--people really collect them.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Brian May
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 10:58 PM

I think he's probably a bit like The Stig . . .


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 10:20 AM

Kewl!
Will, what are you listening to in the vid.? Click track?


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 09:03 AM

Here's the Ian Chisholm guitar I play in sessions - No. 18 from his hands. The piece is called, appropriately enough... "No. 18"!

"No. 18"

Indian rosewood back & sides, Lutz spruce face.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Blues=Life
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 08:42 AM

Personally, I love the Tacoma guitars as the best bang for the buck. Pity they stopped making them.

Best advice I can give you came from Frank Zappa:

"Guitar Player magazine, 1983: What do you look for in a guitar?

Frank Zappa: If you pick up a guitar and it says, "Take me, I'm yours," then that's the one for you. You don't go into a guitar store and say, "Hey, what a great paint job." You have to put it in your hand, because a real guitar that's going to be something you make music on — as opposed to a piece of machinery that makes you look good onstage — is going to have some relationship to your hand and body. It feels right when you pick it up. And that's the way I felt when I got the first SG that I had. It felt right in my hand, so I got it. Same thing with the Gibson Les Paul.

Guitar Player: Will you overlook such things as lousy pickups?

Zappa: Well, you can always change the pickups."


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: morning wood
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 06:22 AM

Out of interest a while ago I purchased a fake Marti(a)n from tradetang.com in China. I got a fake D45 for approx £220 landed in the UK. Apart from a few finishing flaws, and the headstock wasn't square, it actually wasn't bad and certainly played ok out the box, but it was no Martin. The only thing missing at a glance to tell it wasn't a Martin is the internal labels or laser etching on the heal block. It had fake grover tuners etc. I think they're certainly good enough to catch the uninitiatted buying on Ebay or from a non-authorised source etc. And as more leak through (I think I contributed to that!) It'll get worse.

Fake Marti(a)n 1
Fake Marti(a)n 2


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: GUEST,Woodsie
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 05:34 AM

Hopefully I will be going to Guitar Village & Andertons in Surrey tomorrow to spend some time trying out their wares - also interested in the Marshall 50 watt acoustic amp.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Brian May
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 04:26 AM

+1 on that. I just love good quality 'plain Jane' guitars. That's a cracker. Beautifully played.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 02:54 AM

Nice guitar, and very nice playing, Will!


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 03:13 PM

Woodsie, Hi there man...don't spend all that pay-off at once: it's amazing how quickly it evaporates :-)

Great advice from many...in paerticvular from Will Fly and Richard Bridge.

The Martin I used to bring to Seven Stars is very similar to Will fly's and although the back and sides are HLP, the soundboard is spruce. It's correct that it won't "open up" with age, but it's a perfectly decent guitar.

The Ian Chisholm I bring to Seven Stars on the few occasions I can now get there is superb. I believe it was under your originally stated max price when new ( I bought it second-hand) and for a custom-made hand-built jobbie with cocobolo back and sides and a spruce top I'd say it was a value that couldn't be beat...you might want to consider asking Ianto quote for making you one. His lead-time is a few months but it's much shorter than some of the more "known" names. I've played 4 of the guitars he's made now and they're ALL, without exception, superb:
Ian Chisholm

And here's Ian and Will taking my guitar for a "run" before it became mine:

My Chisholm Guitar No 30

It's truly worth having a word with Ian if you have £1500 to spend on a guitar!


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 02:08 PM

If it TALKS to you, it may well be right for you. That's how Travelling Charles got his Tak - which I hated. I thought it sounded like a banjo - but it recorded well.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: GUEST,Woodsie
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 01:34 PM

I am now seriously considering a Faith FMEHG


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: saulgoldie
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 01:39 PM

While back, I went in search of a Martin. The guy at HOMT sold me on an Alvarez Yari, which I have been very happy with. But I have always wondered...

If YOU are set on a Martin, then I suggest you get one. Or YOU may always be wondering.

Saul


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 01:28 PM

Ain't that the truth, MayoMick.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: mayomick
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 12:37 PM

If you go for an expensive guitar , don't scrimp on buying new strings for it. I recently played a friend's Martin that he had been praising ever since he'd bought it about a year ago . He hadn't changed the strings in that time .In my opinion it sounded worse than the guitar I have which cost less than two hundred euro .


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 11:54 AM

CJ, as I said, I own both Lowden (this is my second)and Martin (these are my 4th and 5th), have done for 12 years or more, all fine instruments, but none 'blows the others away' because they're all good in their own way. They're not in competition, they complement each other and live happily side-by-side.

But each to his own.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 10:11 AM

I didn't say any of those things, Backwoodsman.

My guitar, which happens to be a Lowden, "blew away" all the Martins I tried (and the Taylors and whatever else was there) and I've only played one modern Martin which I liked as much as my Lowden.

But that's that. If I were choosing a guitar without hearing it (which I wouldn't do) of co course I'd choose Lowden over Martin, as all my experience tells me they are more for me. But, in actuality I'd listen in fairly beforehand of course.

I've probably only played 7 or 8 Martins, I guess I've just been unlucky in getting the unwieldly clunkers.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 05:10 AM

CJ - I've got a Lowden and two Martins, (had more of each but some had to go to make way for the current herd).

I love them equally, for different reasons. They are very different in appearance and sound, but I don't consider one brand as being 'better' or 'worse' than the other - they're just 'different' (and, of course, that's precisely why I have the two brands, for their very different properties).

I think what you're really saying is that the Lowden sound (and perhaps appearance?) appeals to you more than the Martin sound. Others might disagree. But either way, that doesn't mean that 'Lowdens are better than Martins', or vice-versa, it just means that what suits one person may not suit another.

You can't really say that Brand A "blew away" Brand B, because you're comparing apples and oranges - if you say that you prefer the sound of Brand A over Brand B, that makes sense because sound is subjective, what my ears hear is different to what someone else may hear. If you compare individual guitars of the same model/brand, then I'd agree that one may 'blow away' the other, but to say that, for example, "Martins blow away Taylors" is arrant nonsense - it's a case of one man's meat etc., and whilst some love the Martin sound, there are just as many others who love the Taylor sound, and they are all right!

So the answer is to play lots of guitars and buy the one which sounds, looks and feels good to you, irrespective of the name on the headstock, and bollocks to what everyone else says.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 04:47 AM

When I bought my first decent guitar, I was trying all the £2k Martins, but they all sounded remarkably similar to my £350 Takemine. Then I tried a brand I had never heard of - Lowden - and was blown away, so got that. The only new Martin I've been jealous of was a £5k one a civil servant friend of mine had. But that's a hell of a lot to pay for a name, seeing as it only just edged the Lowden...


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 06:02 PM

I was wondering when they would get a mention. The top notch ones are rare in the UK AFAIK.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 05:00 PM

I have a Martin D-16R rosewood body with spruce top that I bought for about 1,000 dollars in 2002, and I have been very happy with it. At the time, I was also looking at Taylor 310 and 410 models in similar price range, and actually liked their action better, probably because of the neck girth and shape. I was told that I would likely have less problems long term with the Martin, from a structural standpoint, but I can't vouch for that.
If I were to pick up a second 6 string acoustic guitar, I would think seriously about the Seagulls, which are great-sounding guitars, and I would get a cutaway model with a built-in pickup.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 03:07 PM

LOL! :-)


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 02:07 PM

I reckon your guy was either fibbing...

I wouldn't be surprised...


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 01:27 PM

That's a new one on me, Will. I'm looking at the Warranty Registration card for my most recent Martin (August 2010) and it clearly states:-

"Only "C.F. Martin" instruments purchased in the United States or Canada from an Authorised Martin Dealer are covered by the "Limited Warranty" provided by C.F. Martin & Co. Inc., with main offices at 510 Sycamore Street., Nazareth, PA 18064"

And in the Warranty T&Cs in the 'Care & Feeding' book, it states:-

"This warranty is valid only if the instrument is purchased from an authorised C.F. Martin dealer located in the United States and Canada"

Seems pretty unequivocal to me. I reckon your guy was either fibbing, or didn't know the T&Cs of the Martin warranty?


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 11:44 AM

When I bought my Martin - from an authorised Martin dealer in the UK - I was told that I had a lifetime warranty on it, as long as it was taken for repair to an authorised Martin dealer in the UK, with proof of purchase.

I don't suppose I'll ever use that (hopefully), but that's certainly what I was told by the dealer - Guitar Junction in Worthing.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 11:21 AM

Yes I was.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: GUEST,Woodsie
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 09:46 AM

Richard - "under the railway arches near the Greek and Indian restaurants and the Old Mill" there are no railway arches at Blackheath in fact the railway runs below street level and then enters a tunnel! nor is there an old Mill - are you thinking of Bexleyheath?


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 08:37 AM

"I'm pretty sure, Backwoodsman, that even if you buy a Martin from a US Martin dealer, if you the buyer are outside the USA you don't get that warranty"

And I'm pretty sure you're Wrong Again, Moriarty! I asked the question when I was looking to buy from the US for the first time. Their warranty only requires that the instrument is purchased in the USA, and that you are the first owner. No restrictions on residence. And of course if you buy from a UK dealer you don't get any warranty from CFM & Co. at all, just the standard 1-year dealer's guarantee which is required of the dealer under UK law. The main drawback with the CFM warranty is the cost of shipping a guitar back to them if you need to get some warranty work done (although Dave King's an official Martin Service guy now, so no doubt such work could be undertaken here by him? But it's a long drive down to Sussex, Hampshire or wherever).

But even if the Warranty issue didn't arise, the savings in cost alone make a deal with a reputable US dealer very attractive.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Midchuck
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 08:27 AM

I've played Kendall's Taylor, and it DOES have the "guts" of a good Martin or of any Collings. But based on other Taylors I've played (and owned, for limited periods), I think it's a fluke.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 07:50 AM

That may be so in the USA kendall, but have you looked at the prices of second hand genuine George Lowden Lowdens anywhere near the UK lately?

I'm pretty sure, Backwoodsman, that even if you buy a Martin from a US Martin dealer, if you the buyer are outside the USA you don't get that warranty. I know that to be true of Eminence speakers and the US instrument distributors Saga, because I tried to claim off both on their warranties and was given the bum's rush simply because I was in the UK.   

Blackheath - yes, it has gone. It was the expensive place under the railway arches near the Greek and Indian restaurants and the Old Mill.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: kendall
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 07:42 AM

I like to hand my Taylor 810 to bluegrass pickers and watch the look on their faces when it takes no back seat to any Martin in the group.
Maybe I got a good one, I don't know, but I'll put this one up against any guitar you wish to drag out. I had a really nice HD 28 Martin and a 1956 Gibson J 45 when I bought the Taylor.
I sold the Martin and I gave the Gibson to my friend, Dave Mallett.

I've either owned or played just about every guitar make in existence, and I will not trash Martin (except for some of them made in the 70s) but, there are many guitars on the market that are just as good.
Taylor, Santa Cruz, Collings,Larrivee( some, not all) to name a few.

If your heart is set on a Martin, grab one. You will not be pleased with anything else.
And, one final point, the Martin will always be worth more than any of the others because of brand name and loyalty.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 07:35 AM

Mick, if you are really determined on a Martin, and you don't mind buying sight-unseen, you'd do well to talk to one or two of the major US dealers, such as My Favorite Guitar, or Elderly. They can sell at prices that UK dealers can't (or more likely won't) even get close to - so much so that even with shipping charges, duty and VAT added, there are big savings to be made. Don't be put off by the MAP prices they show on their web-sites, they frequently will offer a considerably lower price if you call and talk to them.

And, of course, by buying from a US dealer, you get the Lifetime Warranty.

I've bought two superb Martins this way and saved a shedload.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Silas
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 05:48 AM

Mick, always remember that price does not always mean a good sounding guitar. about 40 years ago I bought the cheapest Yamaha I could get (I think it was a FG340) I still have it, though it is rather battered and bruised now, I paid less than £100.00 and the guitar sounds much, much better than it should. Sometimes, even with a cheap guitar, they 'accidently' use a great piece of woood and it can transform an 'ordinary' guitar into something special. Conversly, you could pay the earth and end up with something pretty mediocre, a friend of mine recently paid a small fortune for a Gibson he always wanted, and I have to say that it has a really dire sound.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Mick Woods
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 05:41 AM

Thanks for all the advice. Not sure if I'm more confused now than ever! Richard - there is no guitar shop in, or near Blackheath! it must have been in the distant past. I am glad to have found out that "plywood" is used in the cheaper Martins, I'll steer clear of those. I saw a Martin once in the window of Ivor Maraints a couple of years ago for £22,000.00 it wasn't an antique or anything - must of had diamonds embedded in the headstock or something. I have heard some fantastic Martins in particular that played by Peter Jagger, but I do believe that I would be paying well over the odds for just a fancy name. As so many people have said I will shop around over the next few weeks. The shame is that I have just retired from a job in Rathbone Place - a stone's throw from some of the best music shops in the UK! Now I'm gonna have to travel! Thanks again to y'all I will use the info on this thread as a reference point.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Zen
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 05:02 AM

Lakewood has some excellent models that might fall in that price range... Santa Cruz too.

I've owned Guild (D25), Martin (00018), Gibson (J-45), Manson (Kingfisher), Lowden/Flambeau and Lakewood (M-14) guitars amongst others... all excellent in their own ways but, strangely, one of my very favourite guitars has been my rather less expensive Washburn 125th anniversary parlour. My partner now has that and I have two other guitars, a Taylor T5 and a Godin archtop, both chosen for their suitability for the kind of music I play these days.

The point really is that don't just look at the label. You may find a sublime Martin at a very good price or may end up with a duff one of exactly the same model. Or you may find a belter of another make, perhaps even a less "known" label... as people have said, you really need to find the instrument that speaks to you.

And don't get me started on mandolins...!


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Silas
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 03:34 AM

And, if Mick is not looking for a Dred or Jumbo, I was playing an absoloutly stunning Larrivee Parlour guitar last week.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 11:02 PM

We've all missed the Lowden/Avalon family of guitars. Should be investigated. And the lawsuit Takamines - Jon Loomes used to have a lovely small-bodied one.


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Subject: RE: Buying a new Martin guitar
From: GUEST,Big Ballad Singer
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 08:53 PM

Mick, as someone who has owned many fine/expensive and cheap/cheap guitars over the years, as well as many that fall somewhere in the middle, let me offer you one well-learned piece of advice:

I am a gear JUNKIE. I will even pick up and play instruments I have NO idea how to play at all. When, in times past, I have had a goodly amount of money to spend, I did what you just described being ready to do... I RAN and tried the "name brand", expensive guitars, because they're supposed to be the "good ones".

Baloney. Stuff and nonsense. Bosh, balderdash and hooey.

Go, take your time (as some have suggested), play LOTS of different guitars (as others have suggested), and LISTEN with your ears and heart and NOT with your wallet. DON'T listen to the whispers of the price tags, either... price tags on guitars can lie like cheap rugs.

I know you must have a favorite song or piece of some music that you LOVE to play... what I do is try out a guitar with THAT favorite piece of music... if the guitar plays "with me", indeed, even seems to play itself FOR me, then I know I am on the right track, Martin be hanged.

I've busked for years; in fact, I made my bones as a performer by earning a reputation on the streets BEFORE hitting the coffeehouse and bar circuit for gigs. I say that to say this: there have been many, many times that I have been so broke as to need to sell all my gear (like recently, almost). The times in the past few years that I HAVE had enough money to buy a guitar have still been times of VERY little money, so I walked into a store that I know has decent used guitars, played some till one of them "played with me", and then bought the one that was the best combination of playability and price.

Do that. Keep looking until you either find the ONE that blows you away, that you MUST have at your last dollar's expense, or till you find the one that plays the way you want it to and makes sense financially as well.

Best of luck in your search. My long-time writing, performing and busking guitar was a 1970s Japanese dreadnought under the Lyle brand. Sounded great, played well, took a beating and lasted for years till the neck finally gave out. Just goes to show you might find YOUR guitar who-knows-where.


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