1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Stupid Martin

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by 3fngrs, May 1, 2021.

  1. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,659
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Location:
    Nashville
    There's a used D-18 at a shop in town, '19 or '20, I took a gander at and there's almost no saddle left while the neck is dead straight. They're asking full price too on it, lol, someone is going to get burned. I guess that's why there's at least some solace in buying new.

    Those designs are like rolling the dice though, don't think Collings & others aren't stocked up with warranty repairs too. I'm in the market and I'm guessing I'll settle for something old that's had a recent reset/work...that **** is expensive when not under warranty.


    Still, you should be good for a long time after one reset, sounds like a lemon. I know Gibson just replaces the guitar at a certain $$ amount on warranty claims. You'd think Martin would go down that road at this point.
     
    Piotr likes this.
  2. Larry Mal

    Larry Mal Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    432
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Saint Louis, Missouri
    Well, like someone pointed out, after a neck reset the guitar should be playing well. If it still isn't, the neck reset was done poorly. It's not something that can really "break", you know?

    I get it. I got a Martin and it was new and for it to have action the way I like it- low- it would have required a neck reset. I dropped that saddle down as low as it could go and it was still too high for me, not too high for everyone, though, still I could see that I was never going to be happy with it and should I really have to be considering a neck reset in a few years on a new guitar?

    I'm always skeptical of these "quality control" talks on the internet because you hear it about Gibson all the time and I've owned like forty of those, most ordered blind, none with any problems.

    But I'm a little leery of Martin now. I would buy one again, just be prepared to inspect and return or something.
     
  3. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    3,507
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2019
    Location:
    Adirondack Coast, NY
    Is this a standard D-28 or one of the fancier "vintage" model guitars with older style construction techniques/glues? Just wondering what type of neck joint it has.

    Regardless, it sounds like the first reset was poorly done.
     
    985plowboy likes this.
  4. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,720
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Location:
    trumansburg, ny
    A 3 year old Martin should not need a neck set.

    I'd call the factory and explain what is happening.

    Depending on what they tell you, I'd send the guitar to the factory in Nazareth, PA., and have them examine it and repair it.

    A 6 month's turnaround time is a drag... but, I've done it and it was worth it.

    imo.
     
  5. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,720
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Location:
    trumansburg, ny

    BTW... It should NOT cost anything; if you're the original owner.

    It's warranty work and they're very good about that.

    Ask for Paula in Customer Service... she knows what she's doing and is great!
     
    northernguitar and bottlenecker like this.
  6. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,720
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Location:
    trumansburg, ny
    I believe the change in warranty coverage (if there was a change) would be due to peeps with older Martins coming in for a "warrantied" neck set.

    Not a 3 year old D 28, unless it was abused.

    Almost all acoustic guitars, if they're played hard, will require a neck set down the line.

    Martin can't warranty their guitars for normal long term wear and tear... or abuse.

    (I've had this conversation with them.)

    I have 4 of their guitars (had 5).

    - OM 21
    - 000 16C
    - 000 15SM
    - D 18

    IMO, their guitars are still wonderful and, really, to me... works of fine art and American craftsmanship in instrument making.

    (Disclaimer: I am from PA and of German extraction; but, I have no affiliation with them other than being a proud owner of 4 of their great guitars. I've been to the factory many times and have witnessed their workers commitment, and pride, in making the very best acoustic guitars.)
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
    Jake909, Boreas and MilwMark like this.
  7. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,411
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere Over The Rainbow
    If you have the coin, go for it.
     
  8. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    3,714
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario.
    Wow, that has to be worth a few beans. I only use 10-47's on my 2011 OM28 Marquis. It sounds fantastic, and I much prefer the feel of that gauge.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  9. 39martind18

    39martind18 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    2,499
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Location:
    Spring TX
    I'm with you, bro!
     
    Jared Purdy likes this.
  10. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    3,714
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario.
    I think it comes down to statistics and odds. Martin puts out so many guitars, there are bound to be some issues here and there. I've read similar complaints regarding Fenders (various models) and Gibson electrics (various models).

    I've had two Martins: a 2014 00028 standard, and a 2011 OM28 Marquis. The 00028 developed finish issues at the heel (you could scrape it off with your finger nail) about two months after I bought it. The authorized repair centre (not where I purchased it) looked it over and said it would be covered under warranty. In as much the entire service department is staffed with highly competent luthiers, Martin asked them to send it to them. I was told it would be gone a year (and it was).

    The repair centre suggested I go to the manager of the store where I bought it and ask for a loaner given the short time that I had it. They just happened to have a barely used 2011 OM28 Marquis. It looked new, not a swirl on it. As soon as I picked a few notes, I knew I'd be keeping it, as the tone and playability was that much better. I told the manager that I'd be happy to pay the difference when the 00028 came back, and that is what I did. That was in 2015.

    About three or four years later, I noticed a weird, very small blemish on the finish of the sound board, about an inch to the left and right of the fret board, next to the binding and a similar mark on the left side, also next to the binding at the sound board. I took it to the same authorized repair centre that I took the 00028 to and I was told it's called "orange peel", for the orange peel-like texture it imparts on the affected area. I was also told that it is caused by a contaminate that gets on the wood at the time of spraying, and it's much more common than people realize.

    The luthier at the shop that I gave it to to try and smooth out told me not to expect a miracle, but he'd do what he could. He advised against stripping it. He also advised against sending it to Martin because of the time that it would be gone, and if they stripped the finish, it could very well ruin the tone.

    He did what he could, and in the end, he said it sounds so good, and plays so well, to just live with it, and so I have. It's unlikely that if I gave it someone to play, they'd even notice the marks on the sound board, as they are small, and the guitar has to be held at a certain angle in the light to see them. The mark on the left side is more noticeable, but it looks more like a small scuff.

    Would I buy another Martin? You bet. However, I'd also consider a Bourgeois.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
    getbent likes this.
  11. Texicaster

    Texicaster Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,115
    Joined:
    May 9, 2018
    Location:
    It Varies.....
    Martin may be the only major guitar maker using glued dovetails on top of the line guitars. I recall even when bolted they glued them but I haven't paid attention in a few years...

    Collings, Taylor, Bourgeois and other have "proved" a bolted neck works great! Some claim to be able to hear a difference in tine but I'm not one of them....

    That said a Collings neck reset takes a couple hours if that to be back to being playable. I'm betting an experienced tech could do it quicker as you just loosen the neck bolt and sand down the neck heel...tighten back up. Taylor uses shims....

    I'm scratching my head as to how and why a competent neck reset would fail in 3 months. I'd be concerned the dovetail was never properly matched and the tech not all that good enough to check and notice it. Unless the neck is bowing which should be evident....

    Sorry man! Hope it works out!
     
    Boreas likes this.
  12. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    3,507
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2019
    Location:
    Adirondack Coast, NY
    Martin is a big name in acoustics with a bazillion instruments out there. But they are not the only guitars that need neck resets. Neck resets usually have nothing to do with the neck, but rather either a dip in the body where the neck connects, or bellying/distortion of the top at the bridge - or a combination of both. If you want great tone, you can't brace a top like a tank. The better sounding guitars have thinner woods and lighter bracing, but are typically more fragile. This is the art of making good acoustic instruments - how to make a wooden box flexible to vibration, but stiff enough to resist distortion. The more you push tone, the more you risk structural instability. Martin has walked this line for well over a century, and thus, many of their instruments need neck resets over time since the switchover to steel strings.

    You can switch to whatever brand you wish, but don't expect to be free of the worry of a neck reset if you play it for 70 years with medium steel strings.

    This being said, it shouldn't need a reset twice in 5 years. I don't know which type of neck joint this particular D-28 has, But something ain't right and would advise sending it to Martin rather than a local luthier. You won't see it again for a long time, but hopefully it will be sorted properly. Just my $0.02.
     
    rand z likes this.
  13. fjblair

    fjblair Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    847
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Location:
    NC High Country
    I've owned over a dozen Martins, and the only issue I've had was a bridge on a D-16 started leeching and staining the top. Weird, but they repaired it. Other than that they have all be perfect.
     
  14. fjblair

    fjblair Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    847
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Location:
    NC High Country
    Guitars that get resets don't need another one in three months. There is something else going on.
     
  15. Turtleneck

    Turtleneck Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    620
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2019
    Location:
    Earf
    My 00-18 has been dream come true, it's travelled all over the world with me. My son bought a 000-18 a few years ago and has had binding issues with it. We have my old D-28 somewhere and now it too has binding issues.

    I've owned 15 or so Martins and they have for the most part been rock solid. I guess there are some lemons every once in a while, and it is very disappointing when it happens. The D-28 I mentioned had to have a neck reset after about 4 months of ownership when I had bought it new. I remember being crushed when I sent it to Gryphon for repairs. Longest 7 months of my life.

    Oh well, life goes on.....
     
    Boreas likes this.
  16. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,536
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    This is a bummer. I hope you get this straightened out and get to enjoy it.
    I'm still in the honeymoon phase with my DSS-17, and I hope it doesn't end (or get paused).
     
  17. dankilling

    dankilling Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,566
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    My father has been collecting Martin’s since the 70’s, with several up through 2019. The only one that has ever needed a neck reset was his jumbo 12 string custom built around 1982. The reset was around 2010. I’m sorry you are having problems with this one, but send it back to Martin and they will make it right. Any acoustic guitar will need more care and feeding.
     
    rand z and Boreas like this.
  18. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    3,507
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2019
    Location:
    Adirondack Coast, NY
    FWIW, in my limited experience with LIGHT strings:

    1951 00-18 2 resets

    1954 000-18 2 resets

    1977 HD-28 1 reset

    1998 SP000-16 1 reset (Bolt)

    1998 SP000-16R 1 reset (Bolt)

    2005 000-16SGT None (Bolt)

    2015 0-15M None (Bolt)

    Similar results with all of my friends' Martins. So when you purchase a Martin, it may need a reset every 20 years or so. Likely more frequently with heavier strings. Just like classic cars need engine rebuilds every so often. Doesn't make them bad cars or any less desirable.

    That being said, My guitars spend allotta time sleeping in their case. I pull them out and rotate them on a fairly regular basis, but they probably sleep 4-6 months at a time. On my acoustics, I started de-tuning them somewhat when putting them to bed. Don't know if it helps or hurts, but so far no surprises.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
    rand z and getbent like this.
  19. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,131
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    Between the Raindrops
    Sometimes a billet of otherwise beautiful wood has an area of softer wood; it's an organic material and variation in the structure does occur.

    When this happens where a neck dovetails into the neck block, no amount of shimming can fix it because the wood collapses into itself under string tension. If the problem is in the neck wood, a neck replacement will fix it.

    If the neck block is the soft side, replacing that is cost prohibitive unless it's a particularly valuable unstrument that will benefit from a top-off restoration.
     
    Boreas likes this.
  20. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,123
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Location:
    Here
    It sounds like you have a lemon. I think I'd campaign with Martin for a complete replacement or ship it to them to address and be responsible for. You've gone above and beyond and maybe they want to keep you as a customer by going above and beyond too.

    Maybe someone else has tried this with them and will comment?

    I'm a Martin fan, but "lemons" happen to the best of them, it's a shame.
     
    Boreas likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.