NGD Martin

BramptonRob1958

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Grand J-16E 12 String Electric Acoustic.

In a Factory sealed Martin Shipping Box. The model is new for 2021.

Last Saturday, I traded a couple of Fender's and ordered a Martin HD-28 that will hopefully arrive by the weekend or early next week. The store had one but it had been on display and was no longer a New guitar by any stretch of the imagination, so they are bringing in stock from another location for me .. hopefully its in better shape.... I really don't want to wait till April 2022 for their next stock order to arrive...

Back to the 12 string.... I own a 1972 Ovation 12 string Glen Campbell Signature Model that I picked up as a project about 5 years ago. At this point it's probably nothing more that a wall hanger and since I don't have a lot invested, I'm ok with that.

Well for the last couple of years, I've been occasionally looking and playing any 12 string that I could get my hands on. One thing that I was noticing was that Taylor 12 Strings were exceptionally easy to play. I played everything from their entry 150 up to a Builder Edition 652 and was leaning Taylor all the way till I ordered my HD-28.

I hadn't even considered Martin and while I love the HD-28, I wasn't keen on it's twin in a 12 string especially the price point and in Canada nobody has any stock. So while I was researching I came across the Grand J.

Found out it had been introduced at Namm this year and was new model.... Never been a Grand Body Guy, not in love with looks, worried about the size, ease of playability, size of the neck etc.....

On the Plus side Solid Sitka Spruce Top, Solid East Indian Rosewood back and sides. Fishman Electronics already factory installed. Reviews were positive and while there weren't hundreds of reviews, there was a lot of mentions about the ease of play.... (wasn't convinced but thought they probably meant easy to play compared to the average 12 string which can be a handful depending on set up and neck profile.

Knowing from experience that if its not easy to play, it won't see a lot of lap time....But, the sound of a 12 string can be intoxicating and lure me in even if it's harder to play.

So after a couple of days of research, I pulled the trigger so to speak. I received notification this morning that it had arrived at my local store. I stopped in to pick it up on my way home.

Here's are my initial thoughts. Factory set up was excellent. Fit and finish as one would expect from Martin are flawless. Action was more than acceptable. The Martin is easy to play and on par with the Taylors I had been looking at. I wasn't really expecting that. A couple of the Youtube video's said it was easy to play, but I had no idea of what their reference point was. Sound and volume is pure 12 string.....

The size class "Jumbo" isn't much bigger than my Casino while the Martin is deeper than my Casino, the overall feel is very similar. So Jumbo is no longer a concern. The overall look of the Jumbo is starting to appeal more after playing it.

So if you're in the market for an easy to play solid body 12 String, do yourself a favour and at least try and track one down to play. I took a leap of faith, but did so knowing that I had a good return policy to fall back on if I ended up not liking it.....
 

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Boreas

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The funny thing is that it doesn't feel LARGE.

I was worried about that when I ordered it. I think the reason is the depth is shallower than a standard Jumbo like a Guild.

I'm not a big guy by any means, but it's actually very comfortable.

Yeah, I think the shallowness is the key. I guess that is how people can play those big Gretsch hollowbodies.

I assume it sounds great now. Just wait a couple years and it will be even better and more responsive. It will fill a big church with sound!
 

BramptonRob1958

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Yeah, I think the shallowness is the key. I guess that is how people can play those big Gretsch hollowbodies.

I assume it sounds great now. Just wait a couple years and it will be even better and more responsive. It will fill a big church with sound!
The Gretsch HB’s are definitely not in my wheelhouse. Lol

But I said the same about Jumbo’s until today. I do love my Casino.

And your point about sound is absolutely correct the sound is what hear in my head when I think 12 String. And I’m looking so forward to the Martin aging.

I appreciate your comments.

Cheers Robert.
 

Boreas

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The Gretsch HB’s are definitely not in my wheelhouse. Lol

But I said the same about Jumbo’s until today. I do love my Casino.

And your point about sound is absolutely correct the sound is what hear in my head when I think 12 String. And I’m looking so forward to the Martin aging.

I appreciate your comments.

Cheers Robert.

Enjoy it and play it until it sings!
 

moosie

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Big guitar. Fills up that recliner, for sure. Where are you gonna sit?

I'm not surprised the Martin was good. I've had nothing but good experiences with them.

That's a neat guitar. Enjoy it!
 




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