The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8894   Message #59384
Posted By: Liam's Brother
20-Feb-99 - 02:56 PM
Thread Name: Info/Opinions RE: Martin Guitars
Subject: RE: Info/Opinions RE: Martin Guitars
I was talking with Orrin Star a few months ago. Orrin is a former National Flatpicking Champion and a knowledgeable guy about guitars and a number of other things. I asked him what his thoughts were on Martin guitars. He said that his preference is towards older Brazilian rosewood Martins (basically, guitars in the 20/30/40 series made in early 1969 and before) but he continued to say that, if he were buying a brand-new guitar today, he would more likely to get a Collings or Santa Cruz. This probably represents nothing more than information for most of us because pre-1970 Brazilian rosewood Marin guitars start about $2500 and the others he mentioned are not inexpensive either.

While many chores at the Martin factory are now mechanized, their guitars are still essentially handmade and still made in America. A question for Americans (in particular) to consider when they're buying a guitar is whether there is any value to owning a guitar handmade in America since 1833? There is no correct answer to this. Certainly it means a Martin guitar is going to be more expensive.

The Law of Diminishing Returns indicates that you can get a perfectly acceptable machine made guitar for $300 and that a handmade one for $3000 will not sound 10 times better, will not give you 10 times more range or, necessarily, be 10 times easier to play.

Whether the price of Martin (or any other) Guitars are fairly valued is a personal choice dependent on one's budget and level of interest. Who says your car should be worth 5 times more than your car? "You pays your money and you takes your choices!"

All the best,