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Martin D=21

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PHJim 20 Mar 11 - 06:32 PM
pdq 20 Mar 11 - 06:45 PM
kendall 20 Mar 11 - 07:20 PM
PHJim 20 Mar 11 - 08:46 PM
GUEST,Roger Knowles 21 Mar 11 - 07:40 PM
gnu 21 Mar 11 - 07:42 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 21 Mar 11 - 08:21 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 21 Mar 11 - 09:08 PM
olddude 21 Mar 11 - 09:38 PM
ollaimh 21 Mar 11 - 10:00 PM
Bill D 21 Mar 11 - 10:25 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 22 Mar 11 - 12:26 AM
PHJim 22 Mar 11 - 12:51 AM
PHJim 22 Mar 11 - 11:52 AM
Bill D 22 Mar 11 - 07:37 PM
PHJim 23 Mar 11 - 12:12 AM
Little Hawk 23 Mar 11 - 12:57 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 23 Mar 11 - 03:18 AM
Bill D 23 Mar 11 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 23 Mar 11 - 05:26 PM
kendall 23 Mar 11 - 07:41 PM
PHJim 23 Mar 11 - 11:35 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 24 Mar 11 - 12:09 AM
GUEST,CPat 23 Mar 12 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 24 Mar 12 - 12:29 AM
GUEST,Jack 06 Aug 12 - 06:51 PM
kendall 06 Aug 12 - 06:59 PM
GUEST,madx2 01 Dec 12 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 02 Dec 12 - 03:59 PM
GUEST,Hugh Blumenfeld 04 Feb 13 - 07:44 PM
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Subject: Martin D-21
From: PHJim
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 06:32 PM

I think I recall a Guest called "Guest from Sanity" saying that he owned one. Eric Hoard, who accompanied Ian & Sylvia played one. Dede Wyland played one when she was in Tony Trishka's Skyline, Wil Maring plays one, Jim Croce played one and I play one.
There were nearly 3000 original D-21s, made before 1969. Where are the rest of them? I know that Martin has started making them again, but they have different bridges and they're now made with Indian, rather than Brazilian Rosewood. nyone else play one or know someone who does?


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: pdq
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 06:45 PM

Brazilian Rosewood was declared an endangered species about 20 years ago and is illegal to trade. You must prove that the wood was harvested before the ban, or prove that it came from used lumber or old stumps.


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: kendall
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 07:20 PM

Smokey Greene plays an old one. It rocks.


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: PHJim
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 08:46 PM

Since they stopped making the original D-21s in 1969, they are definitely pre-ban.


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: GUEST,Roger Knowles
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 07:40 PM

Although I love and own Martin guitars of various models, the several D-21s I ever played were consistently mediocre.
I can only assume that C F Martin ceased production in 1969 'cos they noticed that too. My humble opinion....


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: gnu
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 07:42 PM

Insightful Roger.


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 08:21 PM

I played a friend's D-21 a few years back and, like Roger, was not much impressed. It sounded okay, but nothing like any similarly vintage D-28 I've ever played. I'm sure there are some good ones, but that one wasn't one of 'em.

However, when I was shopping for a smaller guitar for fingerpicking, I was very impressed by an Indian rosewood OM-21. If I hadn't had my heart set on something besides yet another Martin, I would've bought it. It sounded much better than the much more expensive Eric Clapton model 000-28 hanging next to it. The fact that Martin discontinued the D-21 while keeping the OM-21 in production may indicate that they think the combination of rosewood bridge/fingerboard with rosewood body generally works better for smaller guitars than dreads.


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 09:08 PM

Yes, I have a D-21...'63...It was given to me, it is fantastic! I had some work done on the neck. I set up the action, had an L.R. baggs pre-amp put in it, the tone bars were sculpt, and the spruce top micro sanded. We had some water damage, in the basement, and it got a little wet, so, I took it to my luthier, and he was going to re-finish it. The insurance company thought $3700 was to much, and they offered to just buy me a new Martin. So, I called Martin, told them what it was. As it turned out they re-finished it..to replace it was $8500. Oh, and the luthier threw in a new case.
Anything you want to know about it, just ask. D-21s were made, either of Brazilian Rosewood, or Cocolobo Rosewood, also called Ogalava Rosewood, found only in the Rio Grand, Gorge, in North America. If it has yellowish streaks in the grain, then that's what it is. Also more rare, than its Brazilian counterpart. I also have a Larrivee, (Thomsley) Sea turtles.(named for the inlay on the headstock, by Thomsley's wife, who also does the inlay for Larrivee. Thomsley was the luthier for Larrivee, who, along with Jean Paul Larrivee, hand built all the guitars, before they moved part of their operation to California, from Canada.
Anything else?
P.S. Either of these two guitars I like far superior to Taylors, but Breedloves are another story.

GfS


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: olddude
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 09:38 PM

Don Mclean if that is how you spell it, American Pie guy plays one also. They are incredible guitars


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: ollaimh
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 10:00 PM

there was a blues guy on commercial drive in vancouver who played one--he duoed with "monty" the former joe's barista--i'll have to ask around for his name. great guitar and he was a great guitarist


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 10:25 PM

I don't know guitars, but I do know wood... and "Cocobolo" Rosewood ,Dalbergia retusa,is common in a number of places in Central America. I believe there are some crafters who do knives & guitars & such of Cocobolo in Rio Grande, Texas...but their wood comes from much further south ...and the Rio Grande Gorge is in New Mexico.
   

It can be excellent instrument wood, but not everyone can work it because many, (like me) are violently allergic to oils in the wood.


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 12:26 AM

Yes, I know, but the cocolobo with the YELLOW streaks, only comes from North America.

GfS


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: PHJim
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 12:51 AM

When I first got my 1962 D-21 about 32 years ago, I wrote the late Mike Longworth, the official Martin historian, and asked him why they quit making D-21s. He said that they were $20 cheaper than the D-28 and most customers opted for the ebony bridge and board and iveroid binding over the rosewood bridge and board and faux tortoise binding. He said that most of the musicians he`d talked to said that they wouldn`t be able to distinguish the instruments in a blindfold test.
I`ve played many D-18s, D-28s and D-35s and have yet to find one that I`d trade for my D-21, although I`ve had a few offers. Much of this probably has to do with how the instrument is set up.


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: PHJim
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 11:52 AM

Mike Longworth wrote that the construction of the D-21 and D-28 was identical except for the binding, board and bridge and the neck volute on the 28. He also mentioned that when a choice had to be made, the 28 was given the most attractive piece of rosewood (often the slab cut piece would be more attractive than the quarter sawn, like on my guitar, though I've seen slab cut backs on D=21s.)
I'm sure the material of the board and bridge don't have much effect on sound, especially since rosewood and ebony are both very hard, dense woods. The binding material would have even less effect on the sound.


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 07:37 PM

One more pedantic try, GfS....Cocobolo...(not Cocolobo) has some yellowish streaks in random trees from all regions it grows in...and it 'barely' grows in N. America.

"It can be found in the Pacific regions of Central America, extending from Panama to southwestern Mexico. The trees grow best in the drier uplands and tend to be small in stature. Cocobolo is usually shipped from growing areas like Costa Rica and Nicaragua in small, round billets."

I am pedantic about this because the various Rosewoods are the most mis-understood and widely mis-named woods in the world. I fight with wood dealers who try to sell me "Bolivian Rosewood", and they do not wish to be told "there is no Rosewood in Bolivia".


........................

and it just hit me....we went thru a lot of this last year! You thought it was 'ogalava'....

I'm sure you have a fine guitar, but we wood nuts get feisty when wood is misidentified.


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: PHJim
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 12:12 AM

Is cocobolo a type of Brazilian Rosewood? All information I can find, including Mike Longworth's book, Martin Guitars, state that all D-21s, D-28s...made prior to 1969, had backs and sides made of Brazilian Rosewood. The first Indian rosewood guitar was a D-21 in 1969, the same year the D-21 was dropped from the Martin line. I've searched for information about cocobolo D-21s or D-28s, but have had no luck. Where did you hear about these guitars, Guest From Sanity?


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 12:57 AM

I remember you and GfS having this identical argument about the Cocobolo before, Bill. ;-) Was it a year ago? I thought it was maybe 2 years ago, but I guess it hardly matters. I keep getting a sense of deja vu...


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 03:18 AM

Yes...I mistakenly pronounced it 'ogalava', because the luthier used that word, or something like it. Upon Bill D's questioning of that, I went back to the luthier, and inquired about it, and he corrected my pronunciation of it, and also produced some literature about it...and yes, again, the strain with the yellow streaks in it are the ones found in the southwest America, near the Rio Grand, near Mexico. The other varieties, that DO NOT have the yellow streaks, are primarily found in South America. This was verified by a call to Martin.
jeez, you think I just made that up?? Frankly, before I had it worked on, I had never heard of cocobolo, but he had the info on it. I also found out, that the Native Americans also used it to carve out bowls, and other stuff.

GfS


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 12:09 PM

PHJim...no...Cobobolo is not Brazilian.... Cocobolo is only from Central America.

   There are other 'Rosewoods' in Central America and Mexico...(Honduras Rosewood...which grows in Belize) and Kingwood and others in Mexico.

I'm sorry, GfS...but you do have your facts mixed up. I have no idea where 'he' got his information, but I get mine from Dr. Mihály Czakó of the Univ. of S. Carolina, who has been identifying all known varities of Rosewood for many years. He is a leading plant geneticist and has explained to me personally about the confusion over Rosewood species. There is NO genuine 'rosewood' growing near the U.S./Mexico border. The luthier may have obtained his wood from some supplier in that area...*shrug*....but dealers are notorious for being less than careful about names and origins.... they commonly hype supplies to SELL better.

In Southern Mexico, there are several species... or sub-species... listed (botanists argue over whether a tree from "the other side of the hill" with different patterns, is a different type).

Here is an interactive map of the area you refer to, listing the species of all botanical specimens collected in that region. Click in the 'taxon filter' box and scroll down..... there is NO Dalbergia listed.
The only timber from that general area with a common name of 'rosewood' is Arizona Rosewood...which was named many years ago, and which is Vauquelinia californica, and NOT a rosewood.


Here is a list of 'presumed' species of Rosewood... many of which are attempts by researchers to get their name listed as discoverers.


Better yet, here is a page with a map showing where Dalbergia retusa is found.
(see overview page)
Here is a list of locations ALL in Western Costa Rica & Nicaragua.

So... I'm glad you have a great guitar. Having better information does not decrease the quality of the guitar...and no doubt extra yellow streaks IS less common, and special.


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 05:26 PM

Well Bill, as I said before, I wasn't even familiar with the name 'cocobolo, or 'ogalava' or where it is from or where its going. Thanks for the links.........but, you are right about the guitar, and it DOES kick ass! I can hit a chord, with a reasonably good strum, and If I hold the strings down, it will resonate for 32 seconds!!!
At this point I Do have one concern regarding it...and that is, who to leave it to. None of my kids play guitar, and one my grandsons, plays flute and bass cello. There is not a scratch on it, or even a 'reasonable facsimile' of a ding, nor even worn out spots behind the neck(being as it was recently refinished! There is one collector hear, with a standing offer of the $8500, but being as it was given to me, and I've had it for just over 40 years, selling it was not my top choice. Being as I'm playing keyboards more these days, I haven't even played it as much as I used to, though, once in a while I pick it up, and knock myself out for a bit. Though it records beautifully, when I was doing some recording in L.A., I very often used a Yamaha FG-110, and/or a Yamaha FG-140..(go figure), which, in all honesty, recorded extremely well!
The strings I use, normally, are Guild Phosphor Bronze, either, light guage, or mediums, and have, at times tried Elixir extra lights or lights, phosphor bronze, though before I put them on, I take off some factory stuff, they use to 'prolong' the life of the strings. I put some 'other' stuff on them, once I clean off the factory stuff, and they last a lot longer, and ring longer, too. I have, on some occasions used 'Slinkies', both in light and extra light gauge!!...which most players would go, "WHAT!!???!!"...but the work done on the guitar, back in '73-74, allows that to work, and very well, I might add. The neck was taken down to a Gibson SG, so it is VERY fast, when I need to play that way, without anything suffering.

Most guitarists who come over, even before I knew as much as I do about it now, when I would say, "Here, try this"...would drool after playing it...though a few thought the neck was a little thin for what they were normally used to. The original work I had done on it, was done at the 'Candyman', in Santa Fe, New Mexico, being as they were authorized Martin people, and had a pretty good luthier there. They must have had an idea what it was, because when I went to pick it up, months later, they were a bit reluctant, and offered me ANY Martin on the wall, PLUS $800, and that was in '74!!.........but I wasn't going for it, and then found out, that one guy who worked on it, had taken it to New York, for some gig there. It took the threat of a lawsuit to get it back!!!!..but I did, and have loved it ever since, and as mentioned before, just had some more work done on it, about a year ago.

When I called Martin, and gave them the name of the guy, at Martin, who had built it, the acknowledged that they knew who he was, and apparently, was an older guitar make at Martin, at the time, and said that I was very fortunate to have one of his guitars, because he was the guy who built the more higher end models, and a true craftsman. his name was Jim(something)..and my ax is downstairs in the studio, or I'd give you his last name. (Something like McCallister, or something like that, but I'm not sure).

I don't know if there is much else that I can think of, off the top of my head, so you might want to ask a specific question, that hopefully I could help you with.

The late Dan Fogelberg thought it was an amazing ax, with a superb sound, and pointed out that because of its age, that it had cured VERY well, something, he said took normally about 12 years AFTER the actual time of being built, though the wood is cured before being put together. Dan had a line of Martin, bearing his name, in the model, though I'm not sure, at this posting, if they were just ones made for him, or available to the public. Perhaps a Martin 'aficionado', would know more about that, than I, but I believe they were marketed, bearing his name, as the model.

Anything else??

Regards,

GfS


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: kendall
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 07:41 PM

Smokey's D-21 is a kick ass guitar.


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: PHJim
Date: 23 Mar 11 - 11:35 PM

How did you find out who built your guitar? I thought standard Martins were made on a line and not by a single luthier. I'd love to find out more about mine. As I said above, It's the nicest dreadnought I've ever played. Mine is not mint condition like Guest From Sanity. I has definite wear scars, but it's nearly 50 years old. Never been refinished nor had a neck set. It has had a few fret dresses and had a top crack repaired. The present tuners are Gotohs, but the old Klusons are still in the case.


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 24 Mar 11 - 12:09 AM

Look inside the sound-hole, sometimes up toward the neck, you may find either a piece of paper 'glued' and signed by the guy who actually put it together, or on some I've seen the actual wood signed. Not all Martins were done on an 'assembly line' type of production. Some, were made individually, especially the older ones, and in this case, by an older fellow who had worked there for quite a while. According the the people at Martin, this particular man, was very highly regarded, as he was pretty old, by the time this guitar was made.
Hope that helps you, and happy hunting!!..Hope you find it!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: GUEST,CPat
Date: 23 Mar 12 - 07:26 PM

I have owned a 1965 Martin D-21 for the last 35 yrs; it is a fantastic axe-sounds terrific. Went to a local retailer years back looking for the Martin samsonite-style hardshell case; after we checked the fit, and he played the guitar for an hour, he sold me the case for $25 saying it deserved that level of protection - its lived within that case since... a great guitar


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 24 Mar 12 - 12:29 AM

PHJim, Yes, I still have it...anything I can help you with, let me know. It's a WONDERFUL guitar, and with new Guild Phosphor Bronze light gauge strings, It will resonate for 32 seconds, if I hold the chord down.
I think the only guitar I liked better, was a Larrivee 'Presentation Model', circa 1980. When I played that one, I offered a trade to the guy, of both my Martins (F-65, and D-21) for it...he, at first wanted to do it..but later decided differently. A loss for both of us...but, at least I still have my sweetheart!

GfS


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 06 Aug 12 - 06:51 PM

I've owned my 1966 D-21 since it was new... I've owned lotsa guitars since but now own only one... my D-21. I'd rather sell my left arm...


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: kendall
Date: 06 Aug 12 - 06:59 PM

One of my brothers owns an old D 21 from about 1957 and Fred Pike also had one. They are excellent guitars for bluegrass, loud and true.


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: GUEST,madx2
Date: 01 Dec 12 - 06:24 PM

I attended a benefit concert last night. The group consisted of two brothers and a "non-related" bass player. One brother played a 1920 A2 Gibson (black) mandolin. The other brother played a 1957 D21 with Brazilian rosewood back and sides. He is the third owner and has owned it since the mid '80's. It is in very good original condition and sounded fabulous. A very fortunate set of brothers!


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 02 Dec 12 - 03:59 PM

Not a D28, but I liked the one I played...an old memory...:0)


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Subject: RE: Martin D=21
From: GUEST,Hugh Blumenfeld
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 07:44 PM

A friend sold me his 1969 D-21 with Brazilian rosewood in the late 80's - not sure how he got his hands on it and neither of us really knew we had at the time, but I can tell you this much: unless I lose everything I will die with it. Has all the warmth and soul and power of a high-class Martin, with nothing to show off but its wood.


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