The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #77051   Message #1371848
Posted By: Lanfranc
05-Jan-05 - 06:22 AM
Thread Name: Info reqd: Martin guitars
Subject: RE: Info reqd: Martin guitars
As the owner of four Martins, and a Martin nerd of some forty years standing, I understand that the backpackers (GBP 140 for a backpacker uke!!!), and at least some of the plastic guitars are made in Mexico, but everything else is made in Nazareth. Given the multitude of models and the numbers in which they are made these days, productivity at Nazareth must be awesome!

This might cause one to question quality control, but my three recent Martins - a 1998 SPD16, a 1999 DM12 and a 2003 00016C-GTE - show no sign of compromise, but they are all significantly lighter in construction than my original 1968 D18. Nonetheless the sound and playability of all of them is excellent. Will they last 37 years like the D18? Who knows, I'll ask my executor to get the next owner to post the answer when the time comes, because I doubt if I'll be around!

My DM12 is quite awesome considering what it cost, it blows away any other 12-string I have ever played and has the finest-grained spruce top of any of my guitars. I was initially somewhat miffed to discover that the 00016 had a plastic (Micarta) fingerboard and bridge, but there's nothing wrong with the way it plays and ebony is an endangered wood and expensive if you can find it, so I suppose that it's an ecologically sound substitute.

Even the entry-level laminate models I have come across sound and play well. The main problem for guitar snobs (which I hope I am not, I also own Washburns and a Tanglewood) is that there are now so many affordable Martins in the UK (the US Dollar rate must help, here) that they are becoming almost commonplace! I went to a singaround recently where four of the six guitars being played were Martins!