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I learned to play guitar in 1949. The first Martin I played was a D-28.  The sound that came out of that guitar was the most beautiful sound I had heard in my life and I knew I had to have  a Martin. At that time a 15 year boy couldn't think  about buying a Martin. In 2006, I finally got me a Martin. I now have 6 Martins. My favorite being my D-35. The D-35 sure brings a lot of pleasure to this old man. When I'm playing it, I'm in a different world. Hope you folks get same enjoyment out of your Martin.

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My one and only Martin is an OMC-16E Koa that my wife bought me for Valentine's day a couple of years ago. We had stopped at Tejon Street Music (a little mom & pop shop in downtown Colorado Springs) just to look around. I'd been taking lessons and playing for about six months, and it was becoming increasingly obvious that my cheap acoustic guitar had some serious shortcomings, but I wasn't really serious about buying another guitar yet.

Or so I thought.

My teacher had suggested I look at Recording King guitars. The guitar that he played regularly was a Johnson (insert your own punch line here), and the Johnson line had apparently been since renamed to Recording King. There was a Recording King guitar hanging there on the wall, so I pulled it down and played it. It was definitely an upgrade to what I'd been playing, but there was a whole wall of guitars yet to be seen.

Eventually I got to the Martin. The koa wood was stunningly beautiful (pictures don't do it justice). And when I started playing it, even my wife remarked at how gorgeous it sounded. Eventually, I put it back on the wall, but I found myself returning to it over and over again. I was clearly smitten, and my wife knew it. Finally, she said, "Let's get it. You know you love it, and you won't be happy with anything else. It'll be my Valentine's gift to you!"

Once I got it home, I could hardly put it down. Comparing its tone to that from my cheap guitar was like comparing a Rolls Royce to a Yugo. It was a joy to play, and a joy to listen to, even in the hands of a rank beginner like me. I've put hundreds of hours on that guitar since then and it's still as much of a joy to play as it was when I first played it.

(Apparently, Tejon Street Music has another one in stock. They have some nice pics of it on their site.)
I had a very nice D-18 I bought about 1978 or so. That's the "plain" mahogany-bodied dreadnought. Very nice instrument; great for flatpicking bluegrass and country material.
Not so great for jazzy fingerstyle stuff, which I was getting into when I let it go. Financial problems didn't help.

Now, if I could have any guitar, it would likely be one of those small-bodied "O" or OM-sized Martins. However, they are a tad pricey.
Seems to be what most of the "in" fingerstyle players have these days. Bromberg, Kaukkonen, Foucault....
I started trying to learn to fingerpick a short while ago, but I just can't get my darn fingers to cooperate. Maybe it's cause I'm 5 years older than dirt or some other unknown reason. Guess I'll just keep on doing what I've been doing for all thes years. Hope you get good at it.
Martins were worse than potato chips for me! I could't own just one or two....or three or four!

I enjoy them all....and each is unique. Not only that....but to me Martin is unique in the guitar world as a whole. I can usually identify the Martin sound when I hear one live...and quite often recorded (if recorded well!). Especially a "dread" or a Jumbo. In addition to a number of large and small bodied Martins, I have a tenor guitar and an acoutic/electric bass also.

Try out the Martin Owner's forum on this site! Lots of discussion and information!
The "best" guitar I ever recall playing was a vintage Martin D-28, made back when they still had two-piece backs.

The whole guitar would vibrate when you strummed a chord, felt like it was alive....
Another friend of ours always had Guilds; he preferred the big Jumbos. Never cared for either the sound or feel, but to each his own.
They still have two-piece backs. They are bookmarked so each side matches the other. The D-35 is the three piece back they made as the Brazilian rosewood started to become scarce. They gave the D-35 some extra appointments and adjusted the bracing to give it a fuller sound in the bass register.

Now, the D28 also has variations of versions that copy the older models like HD-28, HD-28V.

They also have lower priced line of similar guitars...dreadnoughts with solid spruce and solid rosewood. These are called the 16 series. I have one D16RGT.
I've owned several Martins and loved everyone. My first was a 1973 D-18. I had it for 30 years, sold it and bought an OM-21, then 000-28 EC, sold that and bought an OM-42. Loved the OM-42 but I wasn't crazy about the neck radius. I ended up having a custom Brazilian rosewood OM built by Otto D'Ambrosio. I sold the OM-42 and still have the OM-21, sweet guitar, the custom and a couple of others.

I wanted to keep all of them but I can't justify having a guitar sit in a case unplayed. Guitars are meant to be played and I knew I wouldn't play them all regularly. To make sure I play what I have they all have different set-ups. The OM-21 is now my alt tuning guitar, one is a Nashville set-up, one electric and an acoustic bass. The custom is my standard tuning.
As mentioned before this post - try the Martins owners grounp here!

I had a very similar experience as you. I was learning on a cheap guitar from China. Everything from the action to the sound was sub-par, however one wouldn't notice it until you actually played a great guitar. I was wandering through the music store searching for an upgrade and I found my wonderful Martin...and I was hooked! I couldn't put it down. It is a JC-16GTE - Premium (as I recently found out means a jumbo cutaway - since been discontinued), with on-board Fishman blender, eq with preamp. While not the top of the line it certainly costed me a good months pay....what is they say about engagement rings? The tone, quality of workmanship and materials more than live up to the Martin name, and reguardless of how good I get at playing I really can't see wanting anythiing more!

kudos! /\/\
" It is a JC-16GTE - Premium (as I recently found out means a jumbo cutaway - since been discontinued),"

They still make a jumbo cutaway, but the electronics have been upgraded.

http://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/choosing/guitars.php?p=m&m=...
Completely off topic here, but it's the only forum I was able to access after three days of not being allowed on the site. Has anyone else been having this problem? I know of one other, but I've been getting the same message every time I'm notified of messages in my email. It says the site is a security risk & won't allow me to continue. I finally got here this afternoon by doing a little fancy footwork & it brought me to this page.
Sure do miss reading & posting here the last 3 days. Any suggestions what it might be?
Thanx
~G~ ♪

I've been noticing very little activity on this site recently (past week).  Could be the site is having a problem.

Chuck

It's possible more than just me is having probs getting here then. I know Robert emailed me the other day saying he couldn't get on & asked if I was having problems. I told him no, but obviously spoke too soon.

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