Martin electrics?

davess23

Member
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6,375
Does anyone have, or at least remember having, one of those Martin electric guitars from the 1960s? Any love for them?

I'm not thinking of the Frankenstein versions of their acoustics with added pickups and knobs, but the true electrics, thin line hollow body F series or GTs. I knew a kid who had one (not sure which model) when I was in high school, and I remember playing it and thinking it was pretty good, but that was a long time ago. Martin also made amps, or at least had their name on some, but I never tried those.
 

Porschefender

Supporting Member
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198
A GT-70 keeps showing up at a local guitar show but I never bit on it. They are funky of course, the DeArmond pickups sound pretty unique. Jackson Browne takes one out occasionally.
 

Babaji

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1,337
...One of the best tunes of the long ago Garage band era! I had the record...My younger brother ran off with it! The record even had them doing a cover of 96 tears! Interesting that there was a Martin electric and a Guild Starfire involved...According to VG, the bass player just passed away...
 

Highnumbers

Member
Messages
632
I've played a couple of the GT series guitars (GT-70 / GT-75) and thought they were great for the money. It's still a hand-built instrument made by one of the most famous American guitar companies, the build quality is very high and they sound pretty good.

They're fully hollow (like an ES-330) so they're prone to feedback issues. Really the only reason they're not more expensive is because people generally think of Martin as an acoustic company - just like people don't really prize the acoustic Fender guitars made in the 60s. And mostly because no famous players are closely associated with these guitars. Jackson Browne, the guy from the Music Machine, Billie Joe Armstrong and guitarist Nick Waterhouse are the only notable players of Martin electrics, I think.
 

DrumBob

Gold Supporting Member
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16,882
My friend Mark Steele down in South Jersey has one of those old Martin electrics and he takes it out to open mic jams. He loves it. Personally, the guitar does nothing for me, but that's just my opinion.
 
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zombiwoof

Supporting Member
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5,682
When I was a kid, there was a music store I used to go to in Culver City CA that had those Martin electrics hanging high on the wall. I really liked the look of them, and always wanted to get one, but never got my hands on one. They didn't last long, I think they only made them a couple of years and then they were gone. Not big sellers I guess. I liked the unique look they had.
Funny, I've seen that Talk Talk video many times over the years and never noticed the guitar player was playing one of the Martin electrics!.
Al
 

Mr Fingers

Member
Messages
2,473
I've encountered a few but finding them relatively ugly and, in the case of the all maple ones, kind of off-base, I never considered getting one, even when they were available super-cheap because they were such duds. IMO, it's really just a matter of so many other guitrs being so much better in so many ways.
 

davess23

Member
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6,375
Thanks for the replies. I'm not sure what made me recall these electric Martins and ask about them, but I think that at the least they represent an interesting detour by a maker of great acoustics.
 

Sweetfinger

Silver Supporting Member
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12,089
The closest I got to owning one was buying the "M" logo Bigsby for one on eBay. "Migsby"?

The ones I've seen were always priced stupidly high so I never really considered them for something I might like. I'm sure I would, they're my kinda guitar.
 

Rumble

Instrumental Rocker
Silver Supporting Member
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2,432
Yeah, I've had a 1966 GT-75 since 1980. My first "vintage" guitar (or so I thought at the time). Put it on layaway, then got laid off from work. Almost starved to pay the damn thing off for several months with my unemployment checks! The DeArmonds on it are killer. I remember writing Martin to inquire about it, and got a reply from Mike Longworth (still have the letter). Come to think of it, in September, I will have had it for 40 years. Damn!

View media item 227105View media item 227104
 

Rumble

Instrumental Rocker
Silver Supporting Member
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2,432
Tommy Roe used a GT-70 on many recordings. He emailed me around 20 years ago as I had asked about the guitar on his forum. It can be seen on the back of his "Sweet Pea" album of 1966.
 

slider313

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,109
I've seen a few GT-75's over the years, at guitar shows, but never felt a desire to try one. The amps, however, were made by DeArmond Rowe and sound really, really good. I've had a Martin 112 for over 20 years and bought it when no one really knew much about them. I knew it was something special as soon as I plugged into it.
 

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