Best sounding Martin

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

  1. Mr.Ike

    Mr.Ike Tele-Meister

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    I am so done with full size dreads, picked this up last year and couldn’t be happier. Om-28
     

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  2. Churchjack

    Churchjack Tele-Meister

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    I played an HD-28V for 10 years, and I always thought it sounded too "pretty", couldn't get right with it. I'm playing a 000-18 now, it's glorious & perfect.
     
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  3. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Did you do the 'buy at the factory' experience? Would love to hear about it. Did they let you play a few D-28's and pick?
     
  4. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I did buy at the factory.

    I've attended the UMGF forum gathering on the first weekend in August and performed there. It's a wonderful weekend. Great people. I'm just right of center in front with the OOO slot head.

    [​IMG]

    You have to prearrange the sale with a dealer. They bring the guitar into the lobby and hand it to the dealer - that's the distributor/dealer delivery. Then the dealer hands it to you - that's the sale the end user/retail consumer. It's pass/fail. You can accept or reject the guitar. You don't get to go through cases in the warehouse and try 10 of them.

    This is me and Jon Garon who owns My Favorite Guitars. Jon is an avid UMGF member and he is an amazing guitar player. Jon and his wife are fantastic people.

    [​IMG]

    I told Jon that I was hopeful for high contrast in the rosewood and he told me that it was getting harder and harder to find that in a new D28. I can't help but think that they picked a real winner for Jon. He's a substantial distributor. I admired the silking in the top (it's nice) and flipped the guitar over to see this......

    [​IMG]

    It was a great day.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing the pictures. Sounds like a great day. I've been to the museum, but not the tour - didn't have enough time that day. and I didn't go up to take delivery either : (
     
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  6. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Meister

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    Don’t know where you live but last summer we toured the Martin Factory
    You can buy guitars there and if you don’t see what you want they will find one for you
    But they will not undercut their dealers
    On the other hand talk about inventory and selection what could be better
     
  7. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    D18 or D28, just depends on your preference. Just like Vanilla and Chocolate, Mahogany vs. Rosewood, both great, just different. Crisp note separation vs. gorgeous overtones and thumpy bass.
     
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  8. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Bad news/good news. I don't think there's a lower end Martin that sounds exactly as the Standard Series (D18, D28, etc.) but, like @Milspec, I think the D16's are great instruments. The older D16s are the nicest but the newer ones (like the D16GT and D16RGT) are great guitars for the money, too. I have a 2001 D16RGT that I love. It doesn't project quite as well as a D28 or have the really deep thumpy bass but it sounds like a great Martin dread and at almost 20 years has opened up wonderfully. They're readily available on the used market. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  9. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    Whoever mentioned Adirondack top, as a first step, hit the nail on the head. The ones I've gravitated towards have that. I recently tried about 30 different Martin models across the landscape of Los Angeles looking for a new guitar which is easier to record but sounds outstanding. The ones that I enjoyed are dry sounding with sustain and the D28s with the Adirondack tops excel at this. Not too boomy like a D45 or D35 and very balanced with the top strings. Very pleasing harmonically as well when strumming chords. These are not cheap however.

    The holy grail for me is the sound of old wood, those old parlor models from the early part of the last century. Vince Gill has a video of his guitar collection on Youtube and about the 2nd or 3rd guitar he picks up has that sound. Those are extremely rare and expensive. Some of the newer 00, 000 and OM models get you in the ballpark for that. These are the best guitars for recording along with the D18 & D28 (also the Gibson J45 or an older Dove or Hummingbird). These just produce a finished sound with out a lot of manipulation after the fact when recording.

    For live, yeah, a good D18 or D28 would be my weapon of choice singing solo. For a band not so much, would use a beater acoustic for that duty. I agree with Greggorios, the low end models do not come close to the higher end Martins. I tried to go down that path but could not find a model that really compares to the Adirondack spruce top models.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
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  10. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    I use to believe an HD-28 was the best sounding Martin. And, if you bought a D-45 it was just for the extra "fluff."

    Then I played a few more at the factory and guitar stores, and found that there are good and really good Martin's of every model(s).

    And, maybe more importantly, different application's for each model.

    I have an '95 OM-21 that is very even toned but somewhat quiet. Nice for fingerpicking a traditional blues as it's sound is pure without a lot of over/under tones.

    And, a 2017 D-18 that is a cannon! Great for flatpicking or leads in general, is loud and really ring's/sustains like a bell.

    I also have a 2013 OOO-15SM parlor style that does the folk music thing... i.e., when strummed lightly it has beautiful, sweet, mellow tone. Great for accompanying one's voice.

    Lastly, I have/use a 2012 OOO-16RGTE that I only use for my live solo shows. It's fairy dependable (pickup is a Fishman Aura, that I like, but has crapped out a few times) and is set up with very low action for an acoustic. It's a dream to play in a long show.

    It's cutaway allows me to get up in higher register's for lead's and fill's.

    It also accepts capo's well.

    Best Sounding?

    I really think it's up to you!
     
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  11. OldDude2

    OldDude2 Tele-Afflicted

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    I think it's safe to say that once you find the right sound you won't be able to live without it.

    My 2017 D28 is absolutely perfect and if I ever have to liquidate any of my guitars the Teles will go first, but let's hope that day doesn't happen I'm curious what my great grand kids will think of her.
     
  12. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Afflicted

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    I prefer the Adi/Madi combo. It’s all personal preference though, of course. I find the rosewood back and sides give a much more focused and articulate sound versus the warmer, rounder Mahogany. Ebony fretboard helps too. Mine also has fossilized ivory end pins and nut. It’s the only guitar I’ve ever referred to with that silly “piano-like” analogy. When you hear it though, it has to be the first thing that comes to mind. Doesn’t hurt that it’s an OM shape/size either. OM 28 Marquis Madagascar.
     
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  13. 6String69

    6String69 Tele-Meister

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    D-18
     
  14. Uncle Butch

    Uncle Butch Tele-Meister

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    D-18 Golden Era is my #1. Adirondack Spruce top, forward shifted scalloped braces, awesome tone for the music I'm playing. My semi retired workhorse is a '71 D-35, very balanced sound, great for recording.
     
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  15. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    Which Martin sounded best?

    Hmmm...

    Either the one Clarence White played or the one Tony Rice played.
     
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  16. Troubador

    Troubador TDPRI Member

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    Yes, I would love to visit there, but unfortunately I'm too far away -- several states.
     
  17. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Afflicted

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    The one with the best driver.
     
  18. Rufus

    Rufus Tele-Afflicted

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    ...UNLESS you're lefthanded.
    I wanted to buy from the factory, but they said they did not keep one single southpaw guitar in stock.?!?!?!
    Apparently they only make lefties when ordered by dealers?
    I ended up buying from a dealer just down the road...I think it was Maury's
     
  19. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    ...but, but, but...that's the same guitar?...Ahhh, you knew that, right?:confused::)
     
  20. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    What I was trying to suggest is perhaps it’s more about the Indian and less about the arrow.
     
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