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Tech: The New Martin 1 Series

01 Apr 09 - 10:42 PM (#2602753)
Subject: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: Riginslinger

What does anybody know about the New Martin 1 Series guitars. They seem to be new. Are they just a foreign manufacture of something else? The price is low. There must be a reason.


02 Apr 09 - 01:56 PM (#2603277)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: PoppaGator

I just looked 'em up on the CF Martin website.

Back and sides are solid wood, not laminate. The tonewood is something I hadn't heard of before:
[snip]
GENUINE SAPELE
ENTANDROPHRAGMA CYLINDRICUM
Similar in appearance and tone to Genuine Mahogany, Sapele exhibits a powerful midrange, great punch and bright and airy trebles.
[snip]
The top is sitka spruce, and the fingerboard and bridge are solid East Indian rosewood; that's all pretty standard.

The neck might be some kind of laminate:
[snip]
Stratbond neck is 25% stronger than mahogany
[snip]
No mention of where they're being manufactured.

There are four models, two dreadnaughts and two orchestra models. In each body style, they offer an acoustic and an electro-acoustic version. The electros have cutaway bodies, the acoustics don't.

The D-1 and OM-1 acoustic models are both listed at $1199, and the DC-1E and OMC-1E (electrified/cutaway versions) are $1499. (Martin, as always, includes a good hardshell case as part of the purchase.)


02 Apr 09 - 02:25 PM (#2603306)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: Riginslinger

They're advertised as being offered as some kind of reaction to the recession. Odd that they'd just pop up like that.


02 Apr 09 - 02:37 PM (#2603317)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: PoppaGator

I believe the website mentioned something about the "One Series" having been introduced a number of years ago, then discontinued, and now reintroduced. So I suppose that it's a resurrection being offered in reaction to the recession ;^)

While I was at CFMartin.com, I took a peek at the price list to see the current MSRP for the model I own, the D-18. It's $2599, which is a little higher than I expected because my very nice 1969 D-18 was appraised (informally) at $2250-2400 less than five years ago. Surely a vintage Martin in decent shape is worth more than a new one ~ no?

I'm NOT at all interested in selling, but I am always interested in the current value of my instrument, purchased new for $299.00 in June of 1969.


02 Apr 09 - 02:38 PM (#2603320)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: Wesley S

I've played a few Sapele guitars and yes - they are a lot like mahogany. If I'm not mistaken Martin is already using sapele on some of their 15 series guitars.


02 Apr 09 - 02:43 PM (#2603325)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: Amos

"Stratabond
    This is a trademark product of the Rutland Plywood Corporation. Composed of dye impregnated wood veneers in rich earth tones, Stratabond has formed the stocks and handles of millions of guns and bows for major manufacturers around the world since 1987. However, it has more recently been discovered by some guitar builders to be an excellent, cost-effective alternative to tropical mahogany, which has skyrocketed in cost over the last few years. "


02 Apr 09 - 04:54 PM (#2603415)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: Richard Bridge

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapele


03 Apr 09 - 10:28 AM (#2603910)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: Riginslinger

Does this mean Mahogany has gotten much harder to come by, and that in very short order Sapele will as well?


03 Apr 09 - 12:43 PM (#2603993)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: Richard Bridge

Braz Mahog has been banned for yonks - planet, endangered species etc..


03 Apr 09 - 01:53 PM (#2604025)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: TI

Sapele is about half the price of good quality mahogany. There is no shortage or legal bans on mahogany that I know of. Brazil bans the export of Brazilian Rosewood.


03 Apr 09 - 02:17 PM (#2604045)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: PoppaGator

I would think that one of the electro-acoustic models might be nice to have. Especially as a "companion" to an old unpluggable mahogany D-18.

Amplifying the acoustic sound distorts it a bit anyway, so any subtle differences between the sapele-wood sound versus mahogany (i.e., any aspects in which the sapele might be discernably inferior) would presumably be minimized.

Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to consider anything costing $2599 to be "inexpensive."


03 Apr 09 - 06:27 PM (#2604192)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: Richard Bridge

I think you will find that most Amazonian logging of Mahogany is illegal and has been for some time.

http://forests.org/archived_site/today/recent/2002/euqulega.htm


03 Apr 09 - 10:23 PM (#2604313)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: Riginslinger

You're quite right, Richard. I need to bring myself up to date. Thanks!


04 Apr 09 - 11:49 AM (#2604549)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: Dave Wynn

My mate in the band I am in has one. It cost him about 600 (or equivalent as he bought it in France). Plays very well, pretty loud but not harsh and has the strange looking compound neck mentioned previously. Personally I like it even though I am a J45 type of person, it isn't Martin-ish in that it isn't as crisp but has a real pleasant boomy base nicely balanced by the top end.

Budget in appearance but definately from a good stable, tunes easily and all the tonics ring true. Well worth a punt at the price in my opinion.


04 Apr 09 - 01:04 PM (#2604587)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: Riginslinger

That's interesting, Dave. I'm going to look one over, very seriously.


04 Apr 09 - 03:35 PM (#2604685)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: Richard Bridge

The X series also sound much better than they ahve a right to!


07 Apr 09 - 11:57 AM (#2606570)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: GUEST,TaylorPlayer

Thanks for your post, Dave. Just curious... Does the label in your band mates' guitar say whether it was "Made in USA" or "Made in Mexico?" I had a DX-1 that I enjoyed very much but sold recently to a student. I really liked the neck on the DX-1. I might go for the OMC-1E as a replacement for a Taylor A/E I use now.


07 Apr 09 - 10:52 PM (#2607057)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: GUEST,DonMeixner

Taylor has used Sapele for years on their base model instruments. I think it sounds fine.

Stratabond is used by several harp builders to create the pillar and the Arch (Limb?) I'm not sure what the name is. The part what the tuners are in. It can be had 3" thick so I imagine it would make a fine work bench as well.

As necks go this wouldn't be a hobbyists first choice. I'd not like to hand carve it. It would adapt well to CnC routers for production shop work.

Don


08 Apr 09 - 10:50 AM (#2607340)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: Riginslinger

I wonder if it maintains its structural integrity over a long period of time?


13 Apr 09 - 10:46 AM (#2610166)
Subject: RE: Tech: The New Martin 1 Series
From: Riginslinger

Or maybe the material is too new to know!