Martins sound good...or great....or brilliant...or orgasmic, but let's face it, it's still only a point of view. That they are well made (generally) and hold their value (apparently) there seems to be no doubt, but I recall picking up a box (and I use that word deliberately, because it WAS a box)that, to my mind, sounded, felt and played like I imagine a well made angels' harp would sound. Yet this sad old thing had no 'pedigree' that I could see, or of which its owner was aware; the man had owned several 'quality' guitars, among them a Martin and a Fender, but swore he would never trade his beloved box for any other. I've played a few in my time, and I confess (apart from the aforementioned box) the best I've ever had the joy to play was built by a guy who lives in the West Country, called Chris Eccleshall. I doubt his guitars will ever gain the wide praise that the Martins and so on of this world have attained, BUT those who play an Eccleshall would play no other. Sure, instruments gain a reputation (good or bad) because of press, but much better is a recommendation from a happy, satisfied user. Teller.