Best sounding Martin

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

  1. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    There are those who believe that the best sounding Martins are the 12 fret 00's from the late 20's until 1934. From 1934 on, the only 12 fret guitar available was the 00-21. I have a few from 1931.Volume and projection can be quite powerful from a 12 fret 00....
    20160605_022742-1.jpg
    My 31 0028 and 0018....


    RJ
     
  2. Troubador

    Troubador TDPRI Member

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    Let me ask this: In your opinion(s), are there any lower-end Martins -- Custom D rosewood, MMV, D-16RGT, etc. -- that come close in sound/tone to the higher-end Martins such as D-28, D- 35, D-41?
     
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  3. MattyK-USA

    MattyK-USA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Thank you for the correction. It's an ongoing education for me. I suppose I can take at least some refuge in the fact that the non-scalloped D-35 seems to also have a deeper, beautiful tone as well.

    Regardless, I think I'll stand by my recommendation, specifically of the HD-35. Mine is an amazing instrument. FWIW I also have a '67 00-18, so I like to think of myself as something other than a one-trick pony (however ill-educated) :).
     
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  4. Chuckster

    Chuckster Tele-Holic

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    I don't believe there is a real answer to this question, but I have a D-1228 that may be the voice of angels.
     
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  5. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I think the OOO/OM are the most balanced/ record the easiest.

    But that’s a big generalization.

    I personally prefer mahogany to rosewood. But, again a big generalization. Specific guitars may give a big ymmv.

    You simply have to play a bunch and see what speaks to you. You may find preferences for body shape and style, woods etc. Or you may find it’s just not that simple. IMO it’s generally not that simple. For me. Ymmv.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  6. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Holic

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    My 1939 D18. I've had it for 47-48 years, and I've played/heard a number of acoustics, Martin and others, that sounded nearly as good, but NONE better! _585.JPG
     
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  7. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Holic

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    Tery- If you like .it counts!
     
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  8. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Holic

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    Know what you mean- am there, doing that!
     
  9. LPTyler

    LPTyler Tele-Meister

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    HD-28 followed by the d-45. I’m mostly a strummer, but if I was more of a finger picker I would say a 000-18.
     
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  10. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Afflicted

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    I just love the bass response from a good HD28. I have a maple Taylor 615 jumbo from the 80's that has a nice bright and balanced sound, so the booming bass of an HD28 really appeals to me for a different "flavor" of acoustic.
     
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  11. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Holic

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    Martin 000-28GE (1996) twelve fret.
    I owned one for years, but the wolf was at the door..
    A seriously nice guitar.

    Mark
     
  12. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    For me - OM21.

    Simple design, complex sound. Piano bass, sweet treble and plenty of chewy mids.

    Perfect size. Long scale.

    Sounds great at home and on stage.
     
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  13. arlum

    arlum Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    HD-28.
     
  14. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    My Goldilocks is the M36 I wrote of recently

    Small enough to bend, big enough for boom boom bass. Had the edge on the ooo and oo for me

    Bit I agree this is like saying which doorkey is best: the one that fits your doorlock in your head. You have to try loads till you find out

    Just strumming a dread with 13s on it with a pick, hearing the boom, and forgetting you fingerpick and bend, can leave you with something unsuited to you, if you cannot bend 13s like you want
     
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  15. jonnyfez

    jonnyfez Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I also have a '98 D-1 and a '99 000-15. Both sound great but I think the 000 models across the range sound the most consistently good. That said, I've never picked up a D-35 that disappointed.
     
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  16. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

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    Every model has its own character. Best depends on the intended use.
    And of course wood is variable so theres good and not so good(relatively speaking) within identical models.
    I have a D28 Standard I bought new in 1985. At the time it was the best sounding bluegrass guitar that I could afford. Its only gotten better with time. Its basic character is a strong bass and top end, more fundamental than scalloped braced models, and its loud.
    I've heard and played many Martin Dreds over the years, 18s, 28s, 35s, 41s, 45s.
    18s are great all rounders, flat picked leads cut thru better than Rosewood models for the most part.
    28s are great rhythm machines, along with the fancier 41s and 45s. How well flatpicked leads cut thru kinda depends on the individual guitar.
    35s tend to be sweeter and not as loud and powerful. Nice rhythm or singer-songwriter dreds.

    These days if I was in the market for a nice Martin, Id probably step out of the bluegrass world and go for something more versatile across genres like an OM or OOO.
     
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  17. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

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    Not in my experience.
    With the exception of the 15 series, which are a specific sound and kinda their own thing. But they are powerful sounding and can hold their own in most situations. Esp the 12 fret versions. In that price range Id look more to Eastman. For $1000-2000 you can get an Eastman clone that will hold its own with a comparable 18 or 28.
     
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  18. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Actually, I remember playing a Martin Hog back in the early 70s. Not sure of year.
    Greatest thing I ever played. Never found another hog
    or Martin like it.
     
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  19. stormsedge

    stormsedge Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    Try as many as you can...pick the one right for you.
     
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  20. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    D 18. Bought mine new in '76. Seventies Martins don't get much love, but mine has done nothing but sound better with time. Neck reset (warranty!) about 10 years ago and plays as great as it sounds. Always the loudest guitar at any jam I go to.
    Martin 1.JPG
     
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