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video making a martin guitar

olddude 07 Mar 10 - 08:53 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 07 Mar 10 - 09:18 PM
Bev and Jerry 07 Mar 10 - 10:28 PM
Melissa 07 Mar 10 - 10:39 PM
John MacKenzie 08 Mar 10 - 05:38 AM
Will Fly 08 Mar 10 - 07:36 AM
alex s 08 Mar 10 - 08:35 AM
olddude 08 Mar 10 - 08:37 AM
Will Fly 08 Mar 10 - 10:03 AM
PoppaGator 08 Mar 10 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,leeneia 08 Mar 10 - 04:33 PM
Melissa 08 Mar 10 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 08 Mar 10 - 11:48 PM
John MacKenzie 09 Mar 10 - 04:40 AM
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Subject: video making a martin guitar
From: olddude
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 08:53 PM

cool
martin factory


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Subject: RE: video making a martin guitar
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 09:18 PM

I toured the Martin factory last year. I found it very interesting but I was surprised at the level of automation in the production of all but the very highest models. I guess I expected more hands on work. There was a room where you could try out some samples hanging on the wall. There was a D18 that I tried that sounded fantastic to my ear, but my playing ability was not any match for the instrument. There were also displays of models going back many years. Eye candy to make this old fool drool,


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Subject: RE: video making a martin guitar
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 10:28 PM

Sorry to hear that. When we visited the factory about 7 years ago there was no automation at all except for one experimental machine that was polishing guitar bodies. The guide was very proud of the fact that everything was done by hand. It looked just like what was shown in the video.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: video making a martin guitar
From: Melissa
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 10:39 PM

What are they putting on new Martins that make them so stinky?
The 'new' smell doesn't seem to go away and it isn't very pleasant..


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Subject: RE: video making a martin guitar
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 05:38 AM

Yup, I went round in 2005, and was somewhat disappointed at the degree of 'industrialisation' of the factory.
I suppose we have this sub-conscious image of a little old luthier, hand crafting one's beloved Martin, so it's a shock to see a factory, albeit not too big.
Funny though, since I bought my Apollo, the Martin hardly ever gets played now. Now the Apollo is a traditional, hand made guitar, and beautifully so.


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Subject: RE: video making a martin guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 07:36 AM

It doesn't matter, in the end, what level of automation is introduced - it's the end result and the quality control that matters. I tried several new Martins when I was on a new guitar hunt about 4 years ago. I remember trying a "Martin Carthy Signature" model - priced at £2,700 or something like that - and the one I bought - priced at around £850. I bought the £850 model, which is a composite guitar and - I can assure you - it knocked spots off the more expensive one for tone and clarity and playability. Every time I take this Martin and play it in public, someone always comments on the excellent quality of the sound. I had a similar experience when I bought my Larrivée. I tried 3 identical models - but the one I bought sounded better than the other two. Why - I don't know. Now, Larrivée guitars are built with a mixture of automation and manual building - and no two sound quite the same. Taylor guitars bring a very high level of automation to their factory, and they're probably more equal in sound, guitar to guitar, than many other makes.

I also, by the way, own 3 handmade instruments - all made by a luthier friend of mine - and they're extremely fine in all sorts of ways. And I've ordered a custom parlour guitar from him, whcih will be ready for me next May (2011). But I don't have any bias - the sound and playability of an instrument is what matters to me.

My own theory is that the quality of wood is very important - and no two pieces of wood can possibly be the same. I'm also told, by my luthier friend that Torres maintained that the crucial part of a guitar for sound was the face. To prove the point, Torres made a guitar with a spruce face and a papier-maché body - and it sounded superb! It didn't last, of course, being made of papier-maché, but it was good while it lasted.


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Subject: RE: video making a martin guitar
From: alex s
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 08:35 AM

I'm with Will on this - I've never been a Martin fan in over 40 years of playing but I started playing one to kill time in a music shop while my mate was being served. I hadn't looked at the make and was amazed to find it was a £950 Martin. I tried all the other highly expensive ones and they weren't a patch on the "cheapo" (relatively), which I bought on the spot.
I have an old Guild I love and a nice Taylor, but the Martin is fast becoming a firm favourite.
It's interesting to note that, contrary to what Will says re Torres, Taylor made a guitar out of an old pallet and a fence post, which they toured. THEY said it was the construction that mattered......
This debate will roll on and on!


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Subject: RE: video making a martin guitar
From: olddude
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 08:37 AM

has anyone played any cheap guitar lately, I mean very low end beginner?   The sound 5 times better than anything we ever played starting out ... why ... because a computer automated system can make a precision cut far more precise than any human can and will do it over and over again without error... that is a sad fact.


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Subject: RE: video making a martin guitar
From: Will Fly
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 10:03 AM

The thing with cheap automated guitars is that, although they can be made with some machine precision, in terms of cutting and some points of assembly, they often fall down in several crucial areas. One example is in the fretting - rub your hands along the fretboard and you'll often as not find that the fret edges are sharp and crude. The bindings are often equally cheap and crudely finished, and the detail of the finish will often be just adequate. Automation is good for the things which automation can do well - such as part cutting - but most good guitar makes have some element of manual assembly and finishing which makes the essential diffference. The instrument is inspected and tested at several points in the construction, ribbing, edge blocks, binding, fretting, polishing/lacquering, etc., are finished in meticulous detail. It's all that which makes a difference, plus the quality of the tonewoods.

Incidentally, Alex, I don't think we're much at odds re Torres and Taylor - an old pallett is equally as weird as papier-maché! :-)


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Subject: RE: video making a martin guitar
From: PoppaGator
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 02:19 PM

I made the Martin factory tour about four years ago. I had the strong impression that automation was used where appropriate, but that all the necessary/critical finishing operations were still being done by hand (frets/fretboard, bindings, etc., as well as the "finish" coating and polishing).

Those new Martins are awfully expensive though ~ I've been surprised to learn that, model for model, the new ones cost just as much as well-played-in vintage instruments.

Every guitar is an individual case, of course, but if you have a chance to try out, say, some brand-new D-18s for $2500 or so, you might also see if you can find a 50-year-old D-18 and give that a test-drive as well. The price will probably not be higher for the old one as for the new.

The lower-priced Martins are those with less pricey back-and-sides woods than the traditional favorites, rosewood and mahogany. There's a wood called sapele that is supposedly comparable to mahogany, and then there are laminates ("plywood"). As long as the TOP is real solid spruce (or cedar, etc.) and not laminated, these guitars are probably pretty good for their respective prices. I would assume that the same production techniques ~ automated cutting and assembly, handcrafted detailing and finishing ~ and the same quality standards, are in force as for Martins made out of more expensive materials.


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Subject: RE: video making a martin guitar
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 04:33 PM

Thanks for the link. old dude.

Geez, the confidence of that woman who shapes the braces. One slip of the chisel, and "That's all," she wrote.


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Subject: RE: video making a martin guitar
From: Melissa
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 06:24 PM

I know it's a dumb question, but I really would like to know what makes the smell..is it the finish, the wood itself, or maybe something they're packed in for shipping?


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Subject: RE: video making a martin guitar
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 11:48 PM

My Martin is now about 8 years old and I loved the smell of the mahogany that lingered for nearly five years. Reminded me of the boat shop I worked in thirty years ago. No better smell on the planet as far as I'm concerned.

Don


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Subject: RE: video making a martin guitar
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 04:40 AM

I love the smell of cedar from my Apollo, too.


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