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Main Forums => Other Guitar Makers => Topic started by: Mikeymac on December 09, 2017, 05:19:14 AM



Title: Another Martin in my future (Custom Shop build)
Post by: Mikeymac on December 09, 2017, 05:19:14 AM
Did I really just do this?! I have an Emerald carbon fiber guitar on order (should be done around March), and today I ordered an(other) all wood guitar...

Here's what I dreamed up:

Martin J-18
Left-handed
J/0000 size body
D-18 trim and neck specs (1 3/4" nut, ebony board, Old style logo, open gear Grover tuners)
Sitka Spruce top (Grade 5-6), aging toner on top
Forward shifted scalloped braces
Genuine Mahogany B/S (Grade 3-4)
Large sound hole, no pick guard
Rosewood bridge, 2 5/32" spacing

The Sitka grade (5-6) is typically used on the 42/45 series and up guitars
The hog grade (3-4) is reserved for Authentics

I'm going after the tone of a discontinued signature model, the DPJ II (Diane Ponzi Jumbo), which sounds huge, clear and open - but with more traditional Martin aesthetics.

Here's a video clip of that model: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6pLqcsB8ek

I decided not to spring for the slotted headstock - which kept this build very reasonable, just north of $2,500.

Now the wait begins - probably 5-7 months based on others' current experience.




Title: Re: Another Martin in my future (Custom Shop build)
Post by: AZLiberty on December 09, 2017, 05:40:35 AM
Traditional Martin aesthetics to me would mean a matching ebony bridge and fretboard at least to me.

Given the new CITES issues I might even spring for an ebony headstock overlay.  Martin will do this, I saw a custom 00-15M with ebony headstock overlay, bridge and fretboard that looked killer.


Title: Re: Another Martin in my future (Custom Shop build)
Post by: Mikeymac on December 09, 2017, 03:39:11 PM
Traditional Martin aesthetics to me would mean a matching ebony bridge and fretboard at least to me.

Given the new CITES issues I might even spring for an ebony headstock overlay.  Martin will do this, I saw a custom 00-15M with ebony headstock overlay, bridge and fretboard that looked killer.

The reason for the rosewood bridge is tonal; it (supposedly) gives a more open, airy sound than ebony. So while it looks different to have it mismatched, Martin does this on a couple of models for tonal reasons (like the M-36 and some custom models based off of the J and M bodies, like Jorma Koukonen's signature guitar and the above mentioned Diane Ponzi signature). Then there are those guitars which have rosewood bridge and finger board standard, like the D-21, 00-21, etc (the 21 series rosewood b/s Martins).

I remember somewhere that Jean Larrivee said something about the tonal difference of rosewood finger board and bridge when Larrivee was using it on the 02 series for a brief season...


Title: Re: Another Martin in my future (Custom Shop build)
Post by: AZLiberty on December 09, 2017, 06:34:55 PM
like the M-36 and some custom models based off of the J and M bodies,

You know, I never noticed that the M-36 has a rosewood bridge.



Title: Re: Another Martin in my future (Custom Shop build)
Post by: Mikeymac on December 09, 2017, 11:14:09 PM

You know, I never noticed that the M-36 has a rosewood bridge.


I agree it can look a bit odd, especially if the rosewood is quite light in color...I suppose a little oil can help darken it if needed...


Title: Re: Another Martin in my future (Custom Shop build)
Post by: George on December 10, 2017, 01:30:34 AM

I remember somewhere that Jean Larrivee said something about the tonal difference of rosewood finger board and bridge when Larrivee was using it on the 02 series for a brief season...

My D-02 MH is all rosewood trim, fretboard, headstock overlay, bridge, heel and end.  Recently I heard that they also had 40 series bracing.  I do not know if it is the combination of Rosewood or the enhancement of 40 bracing, or both, but that little guitar absolutely resounds with tone and cast.  I have two Gibsons with Rosewood fretboard and bridge, and they too sound loud and clear.  Gibson bracing these days is pretty much the same as Martin, there must be something to it...


Title: Re: Another Martin in my future (Custom Shop build)
Post by: Mikeymac on December 10, 2017, 03:30:41 AM

My D-02 MH is all rosewood trim, fretboard, headstock overlay, bridge, heel and end.  Recently I heard that they also had 40 series bracing.  I do not know if it is the combination of Rosewood or the enhancement of 40 bracing, or both, but that little guitar absolutely resounds with tone and cast.  I have two Gibsons with Rosewood fretboard and bridge, and they too sound loud and clear.  Gibson bracing these days is pretty much the same as Martin, there must be something to it...


"tone and cast" - what is "cast"?



Title: Re: Another Martin in my future (Custom Shop build)
Post by: mike in lytle on December 10, 2017, 04:27:46 AM
"tone and cast" - what is "cast"?
Projection or "throw", I do surmise. The guitar's ability to produce an articulate tone at a distance.
Of course, I may be wrong on what George meant. He may have talking about fishing.
Mike


Title: Re: Another Martin in my future (Custom Shop build)
Post by: George on December 10, 2017, 02:16:19 PM
You are correct MIke, it is volume projection forcefully thrown in a specific direction... It may not have been meant as a musical term, but it is the closest thing I could think of that represents what I attempted to describe...


Title: Re: Another Martin in my future (Custom Shop build)
Post by: Mikeymac on December 10, 2017, 06:56:54 PM
 :thumbsup


Title: Re: Another Martin in my future (Custom Shop build)
Post by: dorisroberts on February 07, 2018, 10:50:56 PM
Do you have photos of your guitars? Or something like sketch? It is very interesting to see them


Title: Re: Another Martin in my future (Custom Shop build)
Post by: Mikeymac on February 09, 2018, 02:06:40 PM
Do you have photos of your guitars? Or something like sketch? It is very interesting to see them

If you're referring to the custom J-18, no - no pics yet; it's still being built. No sketches either...I envisioned the J-style body (which is Martin's 0000 size with dreadnought depth) with Martin D-18 cosmetics and the current D-18 neck, which I like (1 3/4" nut "modified low oval" shape). Those were my basic criteria.

To those specs I added two custom options that are different from normal:

1) a rosewood bridge (instead of ebony bridge with ebony fingerboard), which comes from their M-36 model and is said to have a slightly different, more open tone than an ebony bridge, and
2) an enlarged soundhole, which is said to give the guitar more volume and more pronounced mids - we'll see.

I'm really looking forward to comparing this J-18 to my Larrivee L-05 Custom, since they will have similar body sizes and woods (plus a few differences, obviously).