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Martin Owners

For those who own one or more Martin guitars, those who want to own a Martin, or those who just like talking about Martins

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Latest Activity: on Tuesday

Discussion Forum

dumb ass thing to do 8 Replies

Started by joey pinter. Last reply by Terry Angelli on Tuesday.

anyone been to the exhibit at the Met Museum?

Started by michael schwartz on Monday.

Finally making the pilgrimage to Nazareth! 21 Replies

Started by Jud Hair. Last reply by Jud Hair Oct 17.

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Comment by Phil Manuel on April 4, 2012 at 6:18pm

@Jud,

I did try a D-18, both the D-18 and the D-18GE.  Neither one matched to tone or playability of the HD-28 I've tried.  The necks were just a bit too much from my hands, and while I could play one for a bit, I don't think it would lay comfortably in my smallish hands over a 2 or 4 hour stretch.  I found I could finger pick just fine on the HD-28, so I may not need the 1.75" neck.  Also, tried some Seagulls, but those 1.8" neck widths just don't feel comfortable to me.  It's an odd thing that my parlor guitar measures 1.75" and feels great on my Grand Artist, but maybe it's the shape of the neck itself that helps the most.

Comment by Mike Bishop on April 4, 2012 at 5:44pm

I have been playing guitar for over 40 years and have wanted a Martin for almost all of it, ever since a friend got D-28 way back in the early '70's (man, would I love to have that one now). Back in the summer of 2010 I broke down and told myself in a late life crisis - it was time. Played a bunch of Taylor's, Gibson's even a Zager but knew I wouldn't be satisfied with anything besides a Martin. Guitar Center showed me the MMV and I was hooked. Now, almost a year later I am looking again to upgrade or add, not sure which yet. There is nothing wrong with my MMV but I really want a wider nut and something that plays a little easier on the fingers and wrist. My one biggest question, does a higher price really translate into a better playing guitar or does it just get you prettier inlays? 

Comment by Jud Hair on April 3, 2012 at 6:11am

Phillip ... Have you considered the new D-18 with the "Performing Artist" neck?  It would be 1.75 inch nut with 2 3/16 string spacing at the bridge.  I keep hearing great things about the 2012 D-18.  They have also put the "PA" neck on a new version of the OM-21, I believe.

Comment by Phil Manuel on April 2, 2012 at 6:38pm

Ready to pull the string on a new Martin.  Question for folks more familiar with the various models...

I'm leaning towards the HD-28 which feels and sounds really great to me.  However, there are just a few tweaks I'd like, which show up on the D-21 Special, like the pyramid bridge and 1 3/4" nut width.  Haven't been able to play one of those D-21 Specials, but they sure look sweet to me.

I play a broad mix of music, including bluegrass, folk, and CSN&Y tunes with alternate tuning.  I flatpick, and fingerpick depending on the tune or my mood.  My smallish hands are comfortable around the 1 11/16th neck of the  D-28 and I can manage to use my thumb to make an F chord, which is not easy to do with the 1 3/4" necks I've tried.  I don't see that as a show-stopper though, as I can make that low F chord barred pretty easily, it just changes my approach a bit.

So, the question I have...

Does the D-28 work well with alternate non-standard tuning?  How does the D-21 Special perform when flatpicked?  Maybe silly questions, but any help or advice on the topic is appreciated.  I've tried other Martin like the CW model, but it sound rather thin and really required 'diggin' in to get the tone that the HD-28 gets without much effort.  The D-21 Special is still in the running, but I'd sure like to play one before deciding.  Although, I know I'd be happy with the HD-28 too.

Comment by Michael S. Jackson on March 15, 2012 at 9:42am

Yup. And a lot of it has to do with whay you use the guitar for.

Comment by Edward Sparks on March 14, 2012 at 7:57pm

No problem Michael...I only ever speak from my experience and opinions.  I guess the reason there are so many guitars and different strings to choose from is that we all have different likes and dislikes and opinions...ain't that what makes the world go round!  Edward 

Comment by Michael S. Jackson on March 14, 2012 at 9:59am

Elderly Instruments: 2001 HD-28V; $2,300.

Comment by Michael S. Jackson on March 14, 2012 at 9:55am

Just the view from over my fretboard: The D-28 definitely sounds best with medium strings: greater separation, balance, full, and definitely increased volume. Medium for Martin is light for other strings. With all due respect, Edward, I have tried the Martin Bluegrass strings but found them to be an unbalanced mixture of soft/loud and dulcet/harsh.

The scalloped braces on HD and vintage series guitars provide a wider range of tone and can better handle lighter strings, but these also sound best with mediums.

Again, just my opinions. To get the best out of Martins, use mediums. One thing I've noticed is that, if your guitar is rigged with an amplification system, the string gauge doesn't seem to make a difference when plugged in.

Experiment and play what you like and what lends itself to playability, I guess.

Comment by Bob Niemiec on March 14, 2012 at 3:46am
Oh yes, the listener.
Comment by Bob Crain on March 14, 2012 at 3:06am

I have a '74 D28 and use Thomastik-Infeld Spectrum Bronze .11 - .52 with a Fishman undersaddle pick-up with a power booster, no volume control on the guitar. This guitar booms at the bottom and rings at the top at all times plugged or unplugged, but still retains all the warmth when finger-picking or light strumming a quieter song. Bob, that is correct, its all in the hand and ear of the player....and listener.

 

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