Martin guitars...WTF ?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Timmo, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. Timmo

    Timmo Member

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    I stopped into a new chain store that recently opened up in my city and on the wall were a decent selection of Martin acoustics of which I have been looking forward to playing.
    Well, my bud and I begin to dig into some of these beauties and WOW ! Every last one of them was a complete DOG!
    Toneless, vibeless, volumeless, you name it they DIDN'T HAVE IT!
    We played models on the low side in price all the way up to the high side ( over $3,000 is high side to me ) and not one had anything whatsoever interesting about it.
    How in the world does Martin Guitars stay in business nowadays with all these other builders putting out far superior products?
    I am sorry to say but you new Martin guitar lovers are just plain "tone deaf" I guess. I am amazed Martin is still around.
    LOUSY, lousy guitars! Pretty, but plain LOUSY!
    Whew...........I just feel better now thank you. :)
     
  2. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    Chain store + Martin acoustics = dead strings
    Dead strings = no tone, vibe, or volume

    I'm not a huge fan of Martin guitars, but I'd bet that a lot of those guitars would be much more inspiring with fresh strings. Other manufacturers ship with Elixirs that retain their tone for a lot longer.

    Bryan
     
  3. stephenT

    stephenT Silver Supporting Member

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    I am a fan of Martin guitars and have owned a few low end models that were quite nice. Lot's of folks love 'em.

    That being said, my Martin copy was built by the Merrill Bros.
     
  4. Doug

    Doug Member

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    Ding ding! Martin strings aren't known for their long life to begin with. Old strings can indeed make the guitar sound dead as a doornail.

    My dad bought a DX1 a couple of months ago. Best sounding $500 guitar on the market, IMO.

    Doug
     
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  5. clarkram

    clarkram Member

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    hmmmmmm. I bought a new Martin (OMC Aura) a few months ago and it is not dead, toneless, etc. As a matter of fact it has a great rounded tone that makes my Taylor 810 sound anemic.

    Clark
     
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  6. Timmo

    Timmo Member

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    Well, we more than made allowances for 'dead strings' but a shiny new set of strings wouldn't have helped these "toneless wonders". "Can't polish a turd" as the saying goes.
    I cannot understand how you can spend so much time and energy on building a very pretty guitar and then not put any thought into how it is going to sound.
    Building guitars is not rocket science nor is it magic as much as we all would like to think.
    Just takes time, good materials and some freakin' common sense! :confused:
     
  7. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Timmo......speak with your wallet......don't buy one.

    There are plenty of other choices out there.
     
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  8. Timmo

    Timmo Member

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    Hey Riff:
    I know, it's just I used to always want a MARTIN guitar and it was just a rude awakening.
    I remember playing Martins years ago in stores and they seemed to be glorious.
    Maybe they weren't. I don't know now...........
     
  9. JMintzer

    JMintzer Burned Out Mod

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    Were they also hanging on the wall for weeks with every greasy fingered pre-pubescent pimple popper mucking them up?

    I know when I bought mine, they had me choose from more than a dozen cased guitars. They had been played little, if at all...


    Jamie
     
  10. Timmo

    Timmo Member

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    I just don't buy this argument about 'strings and things'.
    The other brands in the store while not awesome, kicked the Martins in the arse!
    So, it goes WAY beyond hanging in a window with lousy strings etc. ALL guitars in a store go through that same scenario.
    Nah, there's more to it than that. I just haven't come to my own conclusions on it yet.
    I'm afraid my first impressions are what I'm going to conclude.................that Martins just are NOT for me anymore!
     
  11. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I would bet that the other brands had Elixir or some other coated strings. If you really care to see if you like Martins or not, go to a small acoustic shop that takes care of their guitars, including keeping them in fresh strings and in the correct humidity range. Dead strings and incorrect humidity levels can make a great guitar sound like a piece of cardboard. It could also be that Martins aren't for you, but your comments really make me blame the store rather than the manufacturer.

    Bryan
     
  12. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I felt the same when I played a bunch. They left me absolutely cold, every one.

    They're assembly line guitars, is all. There's no tone shaping during construction at all. There's a reason why handmade acoustics cost so much more.
     
  13. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Collings & Santa Cruz will put a larger dent in your wallet, but wow......they are everything Marting guitars ever *dreamed* of being!
     
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  14. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009

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    I've owned a plain jane D28 for about five years and it's a total cannon. Sonorous, thunderous and indeed glorious. Must have been pot luck....

    The D18's that I've tried have been impressive, too. I'm pretty sure, almost positive, just about certain I like them better. And although my wife's Gibson J45 is not an articulate and bright speaker it sure sounds wonderful going chucka-chucka-boom-boom, chucka-chucka-boom-boom, chucka-chucka-boom-boom.
     
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  15. Chops

    Chops Gold Supporting Member

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    I played a new D-18V(E) at a Guitar Center a few weeks ago that was awesome--I could easily live with it. A beautiful woody tone.
     
  16. NeuroLogic

    NeuroLogic Supporting Member

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    I you are really after an improved sound, try a guitar w/ the thurman sound ports. This invention takes the acoustic guitar to a whole new level of clarity & volume. The audio on the web site is poor so don't go by it. I have played several of these by various makers and the ports dramitically improve any guitar. Matt Artinger recently agreed with this after a personal audition.
    Another benefit the cut-away type access without the typical loss of sound. ;)
    Go to: http://members.aol.com/rogluthier/indexhome.html
     
  17. flume

    flume Gold Supporting Member

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    24 hours ago I was on a personal guided tour of the Martin factory...my second time through, but this one was twice as long with nobody else but my father and a friend along.

    I have one Martin already and another on the way. Got to see it in the making.

    The tour and my subsequent time in the demo room with some of the higher and mid range priced models confirmed for me that Martin is at the top of their game. I've played some Martins in Guitar Center that left me cold too but I would not say that's indicative of what Martins can do.

    If you are hearing dead lifeless tone, I would encourage the same as others have done--go to a shop that give a fat flying rip about the product they sell and try them. Yes, you may end up paying a few more dollars but it's ultimately your call.

    To me, it's simply the willingness to pay for customer service, vs. customer contempt.
     
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  18. ChrisP

    ChrisP Member

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    Your loss...my Martin sounds glorious :)
     
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  19. Bluzsteel

    Bluzsteel Member

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    sounds like someone has a hard on aginst Martin, .....dead strings make any guitar sound like crap. I own old Martins that are cannons, but sound like most other guitars when the strings go bad. I just bought a D-28V fresh out the box and its the greatest sounding guitar I own. my Taylor cant stand up to it, Elixers or not
     
  20. Timmo

    Timmo Member

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