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Author Topic: Martin D-16GT vs. Larrivée D-03  (Read 25276 times)
kwakatak
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« on: September 28, 2009, 08:09:56 PM »

Anybody here have love for the Martin D-16GT? I love my OM-03R and have been thinking of getting a L-03 or D-03 to keep it company, but I've also played a number of Martins and just prefer their tone with regards to dreads. They're all out of my price range though, except for the D-16GT which still has that nice bass/subdued mids that I prefer for strumming. I only wish they were as richly-appointed as the D-03, i.e real ebony bound fretboard, unstained mahogany and maple binding. That reddish faux aging that they do to the mahogany and black boltaron body binding is nearly a deal-breaker for me - but again, oh that tone! 
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Neil

2009 Martin D-16GT

2006 Larrivée OM-03R

1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, Ash Body, Natural finish

1989 Kramer 610

1973 Takamine F-360 ("Martin Lawsuit" all-laminate D-28 clone)
gitnoob
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2009, 08:30:58 PM »

Hey, Kwak.

How about a rosewood D-15?

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Martin-D15-Custom-Spruce-and-Rosewood-Acoustic-Guitar?sku=515888#used

Use the "USED" coupon to get it for $764.
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DaveyO
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2009, 04:22:40 AM »

I have that same Martin guitar, a rosewood custom d15 for sale
Dont like the D16gt micarta fingerboard and bridge.
725.00 shipped
Dave
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kwakatak
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2009, 07:53:40 PM »

I'm more in a mahogany/sapele/khaya mood at the moment. My local shop has a D-16GT that sounds pretty good to my ear but let's face it, Larrivée's quality beats Martin at this price point. OTOH there's a local shop with some nicely bearclawed 03's but I need a dread that isn't quite so balanced inasmuch something to sing along with. If I could find a guitar that looked and played like a D-03 but sounded like a D-16GT my short term GAS for a workhorse would be resolved. Is there such a beast though? Maybe one of those special tonewood D-03's? How does bubinga sound? Hmmm, sounds like a topic for another thread...

I think the biggest difference though is the bracing pattern and the fact that Martin's bracing on the D-16GT is partly scalloped and the Larrivée is strictly straight-braced, and let's face it: they're built like tanks and take awhile to open up. I need to bear that in mind. It took over 6 months for my OM-03R to really start to sound like the one I'd originally fallen in love with.

I also don't want to sound like I'm disregarding the suggestion for that rosewood D-15, but I'm not really interested in any other rosewood guitar than a D-35 and that's a ways off I'm afraid. No other rosewood dreadnought model will suffice, Martin or otherwise.

Finally. I would prefer not to deal with one of the large mail order places and either purchase locally (so that I know firsthand what I'm getting) or talk to one of the trusted dealers over the phone (Notable/Trinity/Guitar Adoptions/Maury's/Elderly.)
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Neil

2009 Martin D-16GT

2006 Larrivée OM-03R

1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, Ash Body, Natural finish

1989 Kramer 610

1973 Takamine F-360 ("Martin Lawsuit" all-laminate D-28 clone)
saxman10
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2009, 04:01:05 AM »

Hello, I completly understand what your saying, Sometimes i wish i could take two and put it together. Thumbs up for asking the question that were all thinking.
Also, does anybody know exactly what micarta fingerboard wood is, synthetic?
thanks,
marcus
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kwakatak
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2009, 03:56:28 AM »

Micarta is partly synthetic. In this application it's actually part wood fibers but mostly a resin.

FWIW, the Martin is growing on me. It has sort of an understated charm. OTOH there was also a nicely bearclawed sapele L-03 at another shop. I think it's all gonna come down to the tone though. I've wanted a mahogany/sapele L to give my OM-03R company but I'd get more use out of a D-16GT. Other dreads in its price range and lower just don't seem to appeal to my ear.
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Neil

2009 Martin D-16GT

2006 Larrivée OM-03R

1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, Ash Body, Natural finish

1989 Kramer 610

1973 Takamine F-360 ("Martin Lawsuit" all-laminate D-28 clone)
cc407
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2009, 11:57:18 AM »

I had a D-16GT (striped ebony board back then) and before that a 000-16GT. Nice. Not as nice as a Larrivée. The 16's taught me what it meant to overdrive a top.

Micarta board - had one on a Martin Cowboy - very smooth, very black. Felt a little hard and slick, but it turned out I liked it after a while.
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kwakatak
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2009, 04:14:39 AM »

I had a D-16GT (striped ebony board back then) and before that a 000-16GT. Nice. Not as nice as a Larrivée. The 16's taught me what it meant to overdrive a top.

Micarta board - had one on a Martin Cowboy - very smooth, very black. Felt a little hard and slick, but it turned out I liked it after a while.

That's odd. What kind of strings/saddle did you have on it? I A/B'd a D-16GT against an HD-35 (you just can't break those things up it seems!) and it actually came pretty close - though there was some "string clang." I figure putting mediums on it and doing the all-bone upgrade might serve it well, as I did with my Larrivée OM-03R which sounded muted before.
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Neil

2009 Martin D-16GT

2006 Larrivée OM-03R

1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, Ash Body, Natural finish

1989 Kramer 610

1973 Takamine F-360 ("Martin Lawsuit" all-laminate D-28 clone)
Bltprf502
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2009, 01:34:42 PM »

I have a D-16GT and a OM-03R.  Both great guitars and different!  The GT is a bargain and sounds great once its played in.  Leave the Tusq in there though... I tried the bone with the Micarta bridge and it surely isn't peanut butter and jelly!  I have had at least 7 or 8 people agree with me... Some from this forum.  Honestly, the HD-16R adirondack (which I recently bought) is a 35 killer for under $2K.  I chose it over several guitars including an HD-35!  They are pretty hot right now.  You get a high end Martin in a 16 package.  No Micarta on this one.  It sounds better than my previous H&D I once had which was a very nice guitar! Martin went a little far on this one. I would not print this if it were not true.  You get a lot of appointments on this guitar that you wouldn't get anywhere else... Even in the Martin traditional series.  I upgraded to a bone nut and saddle.  I originally upgraded to Grover tuners, but they were bad!  My stock Pings were better so I sent the Grovers back and put the Originals back on.  Also added a strap button.  All mods done by Richard Starkey from Martin.  I also added a Geib case (swap for original) and after all this I was still under $2K.  Herringbone top purfling, aging toner, diamond volute, 1.75 in nut width, ivroid binding and The Summer Sizzle package that came with 13 sets of Martin strings.  i am happy as a pig in MUD!  Just thought I'd share....
  
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cc407
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2009, 07:53:45 PM »

That's odd. What kind of strings/saddle did you have on it? I A/B'd a D-16GT against an HD-35 (you just can't break those things up it seems!) and it actually came pretty close - though there was some "string clang." I figure putting mediums on it and doing the all-bone upgrade might serve it well, as I did with my Larrivée OM-03R which sounded muted before.

If you mean the D-16GT, this was a long time ago, when they were spec'd with striped ebony fingerboard and bridge. The saddle was whatever came with it, and I used lights.
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kwakatak
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2009, 02:11:14 AM »

Ah. I get it. Odds are the lights weren't doing the guitar any favors. That was certainly the case with my OM-03R.

FWIW, I've been strumming on a laminated Takamine with lights (it can't handle anything heavier lest the bridge fly off) and sometimes on my OM-03R with mediums and BOTH break up if I play with dynamics above mf. OTOH the D-16GT I've tried in my local store is brand new and strung with mediums, though it is regularly tuned down a 1/2 step and it's never broken up when I strummed it aggressively. Not as good as the HD-35 but better than anything else I've tried that costs around $1000. I don't have a problem with the lowered tuning either since I usually play solo and that's how I like my guitars tuned. If I play with others I'll capo I - my other guitars usually sound and play better this way anyway.

Thanks for the heads-up on the HD-16R Adi. I'd love to try one, but odds are it'd probably be another entry in a long line of guitars I'd love to own but couldn't afford. My Holy Grail Martin is the HD-35, followed closely by the D-21 Special. The D-16GT is the best Martin I can afford right now.
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Neil

2009 Martin D-16GT

2006 Larrivée OM-03R

1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, Ash Body, Natural finish

1989 Kramer 610

1973 Takamine F-360 ("Martin Lawsuit" all-laminate D-28 clone)
DaveyO
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2009, 02:31:24 AM »

I beg to differ on the Martin d16gt, for my money, try a Martin Dsr,less than the d16gt , matte finish , but all wood, and a sound that rivals other higher priced Martins.
Available at Musicians friend, and guitar center(ugh)or ebay right now for 750.00 shipped!good deal
Dave
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Bltprf502
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2009, 02:55:05 AM »

I have my D-16GT and my OM-03R string with lights... Perfect!  Both sound killer with EJ16's.  As far as the D-21 Special... I had a chance at that too... The HD-16R Adi just killed it!  Save your $ and buy what you want.  If you want the GT then go for it. Good guitar. Played mine tonight.  You gotta give em 6-9 months before they really start to mature. After thatit kicks butt..... I have settled so many times and spend more in the long run.  Comfort in what you can afford and what you are happy with is the key.
 
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kwakatak
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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2009, 03:22:44 AM »

I actually found a comparison between a mahogany Martin and a mahogany Larrivée, namely the D-16GT vs. the discontinued D-04. IIRC those were essentially just glossed 03's, right?

Anyway, here's the review from way back in 2001.
http://www.epinions.com/review/pr-D16GT_Martin_D_16GT_Acoustic_Guitar/content_40820313732

Interesting reading to be sure. I think I may be able to pull the trigger on something soon as well.
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Neil

2009 Martin D-16GT

2006 Larrivée OM-03R

1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, Ash Body, Natural finish

1989 Kramer 610

1973 Takamine F-360 ("Martin Lawsuit" all-laminate D-28 clone)
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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2009, 09:04:06 PM »

Great read!  Thanks for the link
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kwakatak
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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2009, 11:47:14 PM »

OK, here's the deal. I've played that particular D-16GT several times now and absolutely love the tone but although the reddish hog stain, pale sitka top and uniform black binding/fretboard/bridge are growing on me they still look cheap to me. Well, maybe not that bad. I'd say "utilitarian" might be a better term. The red hue of the dye they use on their sapele/mahogany

Still, that tone is like a fine red wine: robust with a nice rich fullness. I could strum a Martin and be totally satisfied with cowboy chords and just list up my voice without inhibition.

OTOH, today I finally got around to playing a new sapele and pale (almost looked like Adirondack) Sitka-topped D-03. Looking at this guitar I can't help but be impressed yet again by Larrivée's impeccable choice of visually-appealing tonewoods and the natural and smooth (yet swishy) feel of the poly finish. I could sit and look at the wonderfully unspoiled visual appeal of that guitar and admire as a testament to the beauty of nature shaped into a work of art.

My overall impression of the D-03 as a musical instrument is that it has a nice strummed presence and good sustain and really does well as a fingerstyle guitar as well. I played TE's "Those Who Wait" which is a pretty good test of a guitar's bass response and sustain. Because of this I came to the determination that its tone is very similar to my OM-03R with just a tad more bass, so even though I think it's a fine guitar it's probably not a good fit for me.  
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Neil

2009 Martin D-16GT

2006 Larrivée OM-03R

1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, Ash Body, Natural finish

1989 Kramer 610

1973 Takamine F-360 ("Martin Lawsuit" all-laminate D-28 clone)
SMixon
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« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2009, 05:16:00 AM »

Hey,
  I've got a Martin D-16gt (2008) in Great Shape that I'll sell you if you want it.
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kwakatak
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« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2009, 11:04:00 PM »

OK, at the suggestion of others I did something I swore I'd never do: I went to Guitar Center. They had new strings on all their guitars, inclusing another D-16GT that sounded just about as good as the first one and a GC - MMV. Now I know why people recommend them. Still slightly above my price range and seemed to weigh about $400 more too, even if I'd say I'd pay about $250 more for its tone over the D-16GT.

BTW - they had a D-35 there too (though not an HD-35.) Damned sweet guitars, those. Still want the HD, badly.

Now I'm intrigued more though. I have yet to find the elusive HD-16 Adirondack or HD-16 LSH. 

BTW, here's what I've tried so far:

00X1 Java Mahogany
DR
D-1
DC-1E
OM-1
DX1
000-15
OMC-15E
D-15
D-16GT
D-16RGT
D-16R
OMC-16E Koa
D-18
D-21 Special
D-28
D12-28
000-28EC (sunburst top)
HD-28
D-35
HD-35
D-41
SWOMGT
OMJM
America's Guitar

I feel like the crocodile hunter! Every time I walk into a guitar store and find a Martin that speaks to me I feel like saying to somebody "Crikey, have a gander at this beyooooty!!!" just so they'll buy it and I won't be tempted anymore!
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Neil

2009 Martin D-16GT

2006 Larrivée OM-03R

1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, Ash Body, Natural finish

1989 Kramer 610

1973 Takamine F-360 ("Martin Lawsuit" all-laminate D-28 clone)
dermot
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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2009, 06:25:39 AM »

from far in left feild...

find a D18 like this one;
http://cgi.ebay.com/MARTIN-D18-IN-EXCELLENT-CONDITION_W0QQitemZ140366281987QQcmdZViewItemQQptZGuitar?hash=item20ae7b7d03

or this one;
http://cgi.ebay.com/Martin-Vintage-D-18-D18-1975_W0QQitemZ280435894091QQcmdZViewItemQQptZGuitar?hash=item414b48274b

Then send it to this guy;
http://www.bryankimsey.com/
If on a budget (and no structural issues) i would  have him do the following;
Quote
# new Madacascar RW bridge, 2 1/4" spacing, long drop-in saddle- $125
# maple bridgeplate- $75
# brace scalloping- $100
# popsicle brace pull- $75

Just a thought....

No affilation with the sleeezebay sellers
I have talked to Brian a few times, but have not asked him do any work, there's a lot of happy 70's Martin D owners out there, good word of mouth on teh bluegrass & Martin forums

d.
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SMixon
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« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2009, 02:33:42 PM »

As a side note to the D-16gt vs. D-18.  I had the money to buy a D-18 and I wasn't disappointed at all in the D-16gt.  In fact if you read the reviews on Harmony central you will see excellent reviews for the 16gt and several life long guitar players who have played and owned just about every Martin out there and now play the D-16gt as their primary guitar.  If you are not into the Micarta then the 16gt series is not for you. 
A very reputable Martin dealer in my town doesn't carry the standard D-18 and doesn't like like them.  He is much more of a guitar Nazi.(that's my term for some folks) He did recommend the D-18V or the D-18GE, but your going to PAY for it too.  I think there are good standard D-18's out there.  I did not try on out before buying my 16, but after much review reading I settled on it.  Now it has been sold and is no longer up for sale.  Good luck and buy what is right in your heart to buy.  You can find good deals all the time hear or on the bay.

Mix.
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