The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8894   Message #56346
Posted By: Chet W.
29-Jan-99 - 06:56 PM
Thread Name: Info/Opinions RE: Martin Guitars
Subject: RE: Info/Opinions RE: Martin Guitars
What we are really talking about here is the sounds of the guitars, right? Among the big American companies, there are basically the Martin sound and the Gibson sound, of which most others (except resonators and those wonderful cheap Stellas, of course) seem to be but variations. Taylor, for example, is clearly a Martin style guitar and a very good one. But then again, the fact is that every individual instrument is different, especially if you are into older guitars. The reason that the old ones can make sounds that new ones can't is that it takes the wood, regardless of normal drying processes, about 50 years (depending on the species of wood) to completely dry, leaving millions of dry hollow tubular wood cells to resonate like organ pipes. I think what drives most of us in one direction or another, especially when we're starting out, is that there is somebody we want to sound like. If you want to sound like Lester Flatt when he played in Bill Monroe's band, then there's nothing but an old Martin D-18 that will make that sound. After some years of experience, we refine our ideal sound and hopefully find the guitar that has it. Mine is a 1933 Gibson L-00 flattop. I have played several others of the same model and era, and only one of them sounded very similar to mine, though all were very good. You just have to listen and listen to what you like and then begin that search, which hopefully will be over soon enough for you to enjoy that guitar for a big part of your life. I also have several other guitars, each with its own sound, some expensive and some far from it. If you can, keep several guitars that you come across along the way. But there will be one that you love the most.

Over-rhapsodizing maybe, Chet W.