Best sounding Martin

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Troubador, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    First and foremost, there is no best. Period. What might be best for me could be far, far, far from what might sound best to you.

    There is classic, however, and if ever there was a classic Martin sound, it is that D-18, pure flattop acoustic goodness. I've played more than a few, and when you find one that is right, well, boy howdy, that's it. That's it, that's it, that's it, no bones about it. That is a classic Martin sound and feel. J,M & J, the first time you feel that feel, and hear those angels, well, then you know. And you don't really need anyone else's opinion really. Oh sure, Martin makes plenty other good stuff, great stuff, really and it's a wonderful world.

    That being said, I've played a ****ton of other acoustics, mostly USA style, including the Gibson, your Taylors, Boudreau, Santa Cruz, Collings, plenty boutique, as well as a lot of the Canadian & Asian varieties, Larrivee, Yamaha, Takamine, Hondo, lots of stuff that people swear by. And that's wonderful too.

    My adventure led me to a Gibson Advanced Jumbo. That was it for me. Sure, I've got a friend whose got a D-16 and one of those little New Yorker Martins that is amazing, both of which I would love to play at any time, but for me, it's my AJ.

    At least so far.

    But now I'm curious - what you gonna do with all these opinions?
     
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  2. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Interesting. I guess that aligns with the adage that mahogany records better, because of the focused tone. The listener in that case being a mic, up close.

    So, I guess that means the rosewood overtones need space (like a room) to move and flow. Makes sense, because up close, I find my (lovely!) OM28 to be a bit congested compared to the D18.

    I wonder what it means about a D18 played in a larger space? I just play for myself...
     
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  3. AngelStrummer

    AngelStrummer Friend of Leo's

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    I bought a J-40 at Manny's in '93. These days it spends more time in its case than it does out, but when I play it, there are few things that to me feel and sound as good as that guitar.
     
  4. MattyK-USA

    MattyK-USA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Another vote for the D-35, at least for dreadnoughts. The scalloped bracing and rosewood just give a deep, beautiful tone.
     
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  5. Fendarr

    Fendarr Tele-Meister

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    I probably like D-28’s the most but my grandpa had a 1951 D-18 he purchased new and to this day is the best acoustic guitar I’ve ever heard.
     
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  6. OldDude2

    OldDude2 Tele-Afflicted

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    Here's my 2017 D28 which was the pick of the litter at GC Cool Springs Tn. I think it will continue to "bloom" a little more over time, but it was the hands down winner.

    20190102_181915.jpg
     
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  7. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    Had a D-18 years & years ago, great-sounding guitar but not for me -- too pretty-sounding, is what I remember. Traded it off for a reso of some kind. Fast forward to last summer and a 000-18 shows up for a fair price on CL, always been curious, took the plunge. For me, this is everything I look for in a Martin: well-balanced, projects like a demon, many tone changes as you move your picking hand in relation to the bridge. I'll confess, I was hoping for the sound I heard on the first couple of Ry Cooder records, and I found it.
     
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  8. Troubador

    Troubador TDPRI Member

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    I will definitely take all opinions into consideration.

    However, I should have added this in my OP: I prefer spruce/rosewood instead of spruce/mahogany. I am sure about that much anyway. :)
     
  9. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    I prefer the bloom and harmonic complexity of rosewood, particularly Brazilian, but it's crazy expensive. I like the sound of any rosewood over the drier sound of mahogany, and I like a lot of bass, so the HD35 is my favorite. It has the lightest braces of any current production Martin under $5k, although a rosewood 12 fret dread might be even better. But the only 12 fret dread in current production is mahogany. All the current rosewood 12 fret guitars are smaller bodies. I've always thought that 12 fret guitars sound way better than 14 fret ones. Martin is once again making Brazilian D28s, but they're $20k, and the three Brazilian D45s are $45k, $60k, and $65k, while the Brazilian OM45 is $100k.
     
  10. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    The best bang for the buck is the D16 rosewood at $2200.
     
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  11. Alcohen

    Alcohen Tele-Meister

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    As you can see, internet opinions on this question are useless. Go forth and play as many as you can, in as many environments as you can, and pick what's right for you.

    Just got my first Martin today, an HD-28, used off Reverb. I figured the D-28 is kind of a baseline Martin dread, I'll see how I like that and then reconsider if necessary once I've fully experienced that.
     
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  12. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just bought a LX Little Martin does that count ?
     
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  13. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have not played many Martins, but my D-35 is a keeper. Great tone and good volume, and it seems to sound better each year that passes.

    A516D386-4D57-435F-95E9-834707B89CAC.jpeg
     
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  14. MattyK-USA

    MattyK-USA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Good choice. :)

    2019-10-06_15-44-02.jpg 2019-10-06_15-44-34.jpg 2019-10-06_15-45-03.jpg
     
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  15. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Whatever sound appeals to you ... it's personal ...
    I also prefer 12 fret with a smaller body ... not as loud, but different tonally ...
     
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  16. Guitardvark

    Guitardvark Tele-Holic

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    the best sounding martin is the one you choose to use :)

    have a few of them and like them all but one gets played all the time everyday bec its sound suits me the best for what i enjoy doing now.

    The D 16m is much like a D-18. D-16M is from before Martin began their cnc building and began using the bolted mortise-and-tenon neck joint on 16 Series guitars ala Taylor. 1988 thru 90 D-16M's have a hand-fitted dovetail neck joint, and the same materials, as a D-18. . Had scalloped forward shifted top bracing and a maple bridge plate that gives its tone a warm bass like the D-18V models . A few of them are still out there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  17. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Meister

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    mmhmm
    There are so many flavors and sizes and something for everyone.

    But I do too love a D18. Here are my ‘48 and ‘56. Old wood sounds nice.
     

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  18. Guitardvark

    Guitardvark Tele-Holic

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    if you take them d 18s out and play them all the time you need insurance and if you dont have insurance you aint as smart as them guitars look :)
     
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  19. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If you prefer spruce/rosewood then a D-28 or HD-28 or there many variants. You just need to play them.
     
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  20. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    Standard D35s don't have scalloped braces, only the HD35 has them. Standard D28= 5/16" non-scalloped braces, HD28= 5/16" scalloped braces, standard D35= 1/4" non scalloped braces, HD35= 1/4" scalloped braces.
     
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