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Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?

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Subject: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 06:30 PM

I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but Martin Guitars are, in many cases, far from the best guitars ever made.

The name however appears to make people salivate, lose all sensible judgement, and pay stupid prices?

Can someone tell me why?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 06:39 PM

Some names are like that.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 06:46 PM

I suppose Martins have a pretty good average score...and the best ones seem to make even experts salivate.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 07:04 PM

Image - and Demand.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 07:22 PM

As my dear old Dad used to say, once you get the name of being an early riser, you can lie in bed all day .


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 07:46 PM

Ahhh, 'cause maybe they sound better than all the Martin wantbees out there, Taylor incluided...

As far as sound goes, I'll put my 60's D-18 up against anything I've heard...

There are no free lunches...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 07:58 PM

Bobert, I'll see you at the Getaway with my Taylor. Be prepared to eat crow.

Anyway, if you get a good Martin guitar, you have one that is worth the price. It will only increase in value as no other guitar will.
They do build some really fine guitars, and they also put out some pretty crappy ones. In my opinion, they got really complacent in the 70's and put out a lot of junk. Now, with Taylor hard on their heels they are once again being competitive.

Now,when it comes to intonation, most Martins leave something to be desired. If it is on key in "E" it will be out in "A" and that's where the Taylor shines. As I have said before, when I got the Taylor 810, I sold my HD 28 Martin and I gave away my 1956 Gibson J 45.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 08:06 PM

What you really need is a "Fanshaw" very few are made but the quality is first class.....Maker of mainly Electric guitars but his acoustic guitars....WOW. If you ever find a "Fanshaw" try it and buy it! If you can afford one of course.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 09:54 PM

Just an opinion, but I think Martin guitars are a victim of their own success.

When I first got interested in folk music back in the early Fifties, a Martin was the guitar that every fledgling picker lusted after. And they definitely deserved this honored place.

I started out on a $9.95 Regal plywood guitar, which, fortunately, had a decent action and was fairly accurate as far as intonation was concerned. It had a tone like an apple-crate, but at least it was playable, so in that respect, I was darned lucky. During the two years I had it, I learned my first chords and fifty or sixty songs with it. Then I found myself with a little surplus money, so I went to the Broberg House of Music in Seattle.

Mrs Broberg's music store on upper University Way had a piano or two, a few student violins, and a couple of brass instruments and maybe few oboes, flutes, and clarinets around, all good quality, but she specialized in Martin guitars. Mrs. Broberg, who was in her seventies, was small, had iron-grey hair, intense dark eyes, and looked a bit like a falcon, kept at least one of each model Martin guitar in stock at all times. She was a classic guitarist herself, and she maintained that "There is no guitar but the classic guitar, and Martin is its prophet."   When we folkies wandered into the shop to worship at the shrine, so to speak (standing in front of the model we wanted and drooling—I don't actually recall anyone sacrificing a goat, or anything like that, though), she would try to nudge us toward the nylon-string classics, but most of us were adamant about wanting a steel-string model. Dreadnaughts were favorites. Also the 00-18 (mahogany back and sides) and, ideally, the 00-28 (rosewood) were also big favorites. I don't know the designations now, but 0, 00, and 000—small, medium, and large—and D-Models (Dreadnaughts) indicated body size and style, and 18 and 28 indicted the wood used for the back and sides—mahogany and Brazilian rosewood respectively. There were also the 00-17 (all mahogany, including the soundboard) and the 0-16-NY (parlor guitar), plus the four-string tenor guitar (Nick Reynolds of the Kingston Trio played one). She also kept a couple of Martin ukuleles and a tipple (pronounced "TEE-play," a ten-string instrument similar to a ukulele, but with steel strings grouped in courses of 2, 3, 3, and 2) in stock.

I had about $100.00. I could afford a Martin 00-18 ($95.00 in 1954) and a $15.00 fiberboard case. I would have prefered a hard-shell case, but they were $45.00, so I had to get what I could afford. But I was one happy guy! When I showed up at the next "hoot" (songfest), I was like a young executive driving into the company parking lot with a brand new, shiny BMW, smelling inside of real leather! People looked at me in awe! I had a Martin!

A year later, I took up the classic guitar in a big way, and traded the 00-18 in on a Martin 00-28-G (the "G" indicated a classic model—"G" for "gut-string?" I dunno). It was an excellent classic. I play it for five years, but when the Seattle Classic Guitar Society got organized in 1958, I was soon introduced to European-made classics, and that's a whole different ball-game. The Martin 00-28-G was the Cadillac of American-made classic guitars, but playing a Vincente Tatay or a Herman Hauser or a José Ramirez was like driving a Bentley or a Mercedes or a Rolls-Royce.

But when it came to steel-string guitars, the Martin reigned supreme. Which, of course, is why everyone wanted one. The company is much bigger now than it was a few decades back. And they make far many more guitars now than they did back then. The reason that Mrs. Broberg tried to keep at least one of each model in stock all the time was that if you wanted a particular model, frequently you had to wait a while for it. They only made a certain number of each model per year. The idea was that they couldn't maintain the high quality if they cranked them out faster than they did.

The father of a girl I knew back in the late Fifties was a lumber grader. He told me that one time he got an order for Sitka spruce. The required specifications were mind-boggling. He said that the order called for boards of a particular size with absolutely no knots or other imperfections, perfectly straight grain, a specific number of grains per inch (no more, no less), and a whole bunch of other stipulations, including an even, warm off-white or egg-shell color. He soon learned that this narrowed the selection of acceptable wood down to about one board-foot out of about fifteen-hundred. He asked who in blazes wanted such bizarrely high quality spruce with so many nit-picky specifications? The answer came back, "C. F. Martin and Company of Nazareth, Pennsylvania." Oh! Guitars! Martin guitars!

Martin still makes some of the best steel-string guitars around. But the quality is not as consistent as it used to be. They're making a whole lot more models than they used to, and they're cranking them out a whole lot faster—like link sausages. It's harder to maintain consistent high quality that way. Also they have a whole lot more heavy-duty, high quality competition these days, in both American and foreign-made guitars. Taylors are excellent. And some Japanese guitars are superb.

When buyiing any guitar, it pays to be sharp-eared, gimlet-eyed, and very, very picky. But if you're looking for a steel-string Martin, be sure to always tip buskers and be kind to small animals, and then the gods may smile upon you and allow you to luck into an old Martin in mint condition that won't cost you the deed to your ranch and your firstborn child.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Deckman
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 10:23 PM

I'll jump in here and give you a straight answer, or at least as straight as I ever get.

I certainly agree with everything that has already been said. But, to answer your question I'll put a little different persepective on it:

I was teaching guitar classes one night, many years ago, when this new lady student walked in. I was awe struck at the sight! Her shape was curvacious yet restrained. She glowed with an inner light that hinted at delights yet unknown. She (it) was simply gorgeous. And she carried her self as though she was totally innocent (new?) of her qualities.

It was obvious that she (this) was a new instrument that craved to be played. She (it) hinted at wonderous vibes yet to be sounded. She (it) responded to new tunings and finger patterns that only hinted at what was yet to come.

I'll stop the analogy now before I get myself into trouble.

I hope that my answer has helped to clear the air a bit! CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 10:24 PM

Tell ya what, Kendall, I'm gonna let you play my Martin at the Getaway.... I ain't evn gonna put new strings on it and then ones that are on it are at least 7 months old...

You play it an' come back here afterwards and tell the folks why "Martin guitars are so expensive"...

Okay?

Bobert

p.s... See you, Friday, Martin an' all


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 10:28 PM

Bobert ... I'd even put my Taylor up against yer 'ol Martin too!! :)

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Cluin
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 12:04 AM

Martin, like every other maker of anything, charges what the market will bear. They haven't priced themselves out of business yet.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 12:21 AM

My '71 D-18 is gorgeous ands sounds tremendous. It is the perfect blend for folk, country, and bluegrass. The farther you get into the '70s, the more chance you will get one that might not be as good. However, they can't be all that bad either. I have followed the vintage guitar market for quite a few years now. Even those mid to late '70s D models go for some pretty good bucks and are still in demand.

Call it a mystique or call it what legends are made of. Martins are the standard of the industry and the brand name sells itself. Like bobert says, everything else, especially Taylors are wannabees and their resale value compared to a Martin speaks for itself.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 12:35 AM

After all these years I have found a guitar (my Taylor) that I'm happy and satisfied playin with ... I'm certainly not going to sell it,and if you have a guitar that your happy with, who cares about the resale value.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 12:42 AM

Resale values can mirror public opinion and reputation for quality.

Case in point: Toyota vs Ford

But if you're happy to settle for anything but the best............................


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 12:49 AM

Hmmmmm .... funny ... I try Marins out in the music stores ... some are absolutely fantastic (case in point a D-35) and some are duds. Lately they have to be one of the most inconsistant guitars out there. I agree, if you find a good one, and you got the money buy it ... Taylors, are probably the most consistant (in good sound, tone, resonance) guitars out there ... and the polls I have been reading select the Taylor 810 as the best on the market, Martin is coming in second.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 12:57 AM

All Martin guitars, like all Taylors are not created equal. for Martins, anything lower than the Standard Series D-18 is a sub pro model, filling a price range niche. Martin makes D size guitars like the DM at $500. A fine guitar for the money and better than some piece of nato wood from Yamaha, probably. Is that a better guitar than some $1800 Taylor. for sure, probably not.

But overall, I would think the Martin name still outsells the Taylor name, based on reputation for quality, brand loyalty, and of course resale value.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Hayman Shergold
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 01:00 AM

Resale values can mirror public opinion and reputation for quality.

but can just as equally mirror consumer insecurity,
gullibility,
lack of personal judgement in the face of prevailing'carved in stone'received opinion,
irrational denial of alternative options,
blind prejudice.. etc.. etc..

very complex dynamics and behaviour at play in 'the market'


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 01:02 AM

.. but then again there are are also Collins, Goodalls, Estebans, Santa Cruz ... hell you don't have to buy one of the legacy makes these days to have a good guitar!

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 01:04 AM

"But overall, I would think the Martin name still outsells the Taylor name, based on reputation for quality, brand loyalty, and of course resale value."

I'll agree to that MG.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Hayman Shergold
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 01:10 AM

nope... mine measures over 7".. which aint too bad when alls considered.

I'd happily accept a martin if someone wants to give me a present..


but if its my own money, I'll spend it wisely after much research
and guitar testing


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: biglappy
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 01:35 AM

Martin guitars have set a high standard for such a long time that there are plenty of excellent older instruments to hear and play. There are plenty of other good guitars. Many of them are better one-on-one than some Martins. Nevertheless a century and a half on top of the heap earns a instument maker a lot of respect.

There isn't any maker of guitars that has a larger number of excellent guitars out there in the hands of serious players.

They sound great. They are solid and durable. They have a great reputation. Everyone who buys one makes money as it ages and gains value.

They cost too much for what you get, but I still have yet to meet someone who bought a Martin and regretted their decision later.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 01:37 AM

If they did, they probably wouldn't admit to it.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 02:23 AM

About a year ago we took the tour of the Martin factory in Nazareth, PA. They have about 700 employees there and everything except the fancy inlay work found on models like the D-45 is done there. They turn out a little over 200 instruments a day.

Everything is done by hand. There is virtually no automation. Each person does a single step with extreme care and to a specification. It is amazing to see all these people doing hand work like sanding parts and very carefully fitting them together.

After the tour we told the guide that before the tour we thought Martin guitars were expensive. Now we think they're cheap.

This description should be compared to the Taylor factory which, we are told, is one hundred percent automated.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Sherman Haygold
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 02:25 AM

just out of curiosity..

apart from legitimate far eastern licensed copies of big brand name
US guitars..

there is now an increasing traffic in couterfeits produced to dupe unwary
collectors and investors..

valuable vintage Fenders are so easy to replicate down to every aged and rusted detail..

and neither do gibsons or other collectable brands escape the attention of skilled forgers..

the profit margins in taking eg.. a good $500 Jap copy,
putting in the hours of skilled labour required to
'age & authenticate' even down to copying internal factory
production process lables and handwritten quality control checks etc..

its all worth the effort if an unsuspecting collector can be conned out of thousands of $$$$$..


so has this counterfeiting criminality inevitable consequences for high value acoustic guitar investment market..



how certain can you be that what you purchased is really
what you beleive it to be..????


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 06:24 AM

Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?



It is because they use only the finest quality plastic.


No. Seriously, they are GREAT guitars, don't believe that rubbish about the intonation being out, I have never come across a dud yet.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 08:23 AM

Then my friend, you haven't played many
Martin guitars. Their intonation sucks. Period.I've seen more than a few that came through with the bridge off by as much as 1/4 of a inch. They are like buying a new car and having to give it a complete tune up before you can drive it.

Many years ago, Packard made the top of the line in American cars. Anyone who was anyone drove a Packard. Then in the 50's they allowed their quality to slip and within a few years they went under. Martin was headed the same way, riding on its reputation, but fortunatly they woke up and felt Taylor nipping at their heels. Now they are back to building good guitars.
If I were going to buy another Martin it wouldn't be one made in the 70s.

It always gives me pleasure to hand my Taylor to a Martin lover and watch his reaction as he plays it.Instant converts. One well known collector/picker played it and was both amazed and crest fallen. he said, "This sounds as good as my vintage Martin for which I just paid $10,000!" So much for value. In my opinion, playability and sound are far more important than resale value. Of course, if I owned a music store I'd fill it with Martins


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Auggie
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 09:09 AM

Kendall knows whereof he speaks. I have one of those damn 70's D-19 Martin's and my bridge was misplaced by over a quarter inch. It was evidently made during a strike/work stoppage/lockout/whatever by management (keep shuffling those papers, but stay the heck away from the shop floor,ok?).

Mine was resurrected by a wonderful luthier named Bruce Petros who by the way, creates some really impressive fingerstyle guitars
(http://www.petrosguitars.com/)

Still, I haven't seen a Taylor (or anything else) that could touch my Brazilian D-41.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 09:26 AM

Then, Kendall, that is posibly why Martins are played by virtually all of the best and most well respected players. They all suck - come on! There may have been a few that have sliped through the net, as any manufacturer may have problems like this, but some of martins best production was in the seventies. Just how many duds out of how many martins that you have tried were out like this?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 10:35 AM

Too many to count. And I didn't say that all Martins suck. I said their intonation sucks. However, a good luthier can cure that.

Lookie, I didn't decide that Taylor makes better guitars before I bought this one, I decided it after playing this one.
Everytime I go into this particular store, the owner hands me a guitar and says, "Try this one." I always humor him and have a go at whatever he's pushing that day, and at the time I was quite happy with my HD28 Martin, and to a lesser extent with my Gibson J-45.
I brought home the Taylor and the other two went by the boards. Both the Gibson and the Martin were two of the better ones I had ever played but neither could hold a candle to the Taylor.

I stand by what I said. For value buy a Martin; for playability a Taylor.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 11:51 AM

De gustibus non disputandum est.

Other people's preferences and obsessions never make sense.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,J
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 11:58 AM

Went to buy a Martin @ Dick Lurie's Guitar Store in Cleveland Heights, Oh. Mr. Lurie had a rep for being a pompous, opinioniated, sarcastic pain in the rear, but he knew guitars in and out. Segovia stayed at his house when he would come to Cleveland for a concert. When he asked me why I wanted a Martin I said, "Because they're the best and I want the best!"
He replied, imperiously, "Go stand over there and turn your back!"
He strummed at least 10 guitars and asked me to judge the tonal qualities of each. For a solid hour at least. I picked five I liked...they were ALL Guriens. The ones I didn't like were ALL Martins.
He repeated the process with the Guriens and I chose an S3M(Size 3 Mahogany) as being the best balance of bass/treble, projection, warmth, etc.
When I made my selection he looked at me with genuine respect, affection and warmth and said, "Young man you have chosen my favorite steel string guitar in the store. If you will pay the sales tax on the full retail price I will sell you the guitar at my cost, agreed?"

$350.00 with a hard shell case out the door...are you kidding?

For years afterward everytime I would go there he would give me a set of strings and showed me great kindness. So much for his reputation.

Years later the Gurien was stolen as was a '64 Martin D-18S I had. Have had a '67 D-18, '69 D12-35, '57 D-18, '67 D-18S, '77 D-35S. Was never fully satisfied with any of them.

Had a 'Dove'(brand name of Jan Burda at the time) fashioned on the S model Martins made from red cedar and black walnut. Scalloped bracing. The BEST sounding guitar new, used, vintage, foreign or domestic I have ever heard. Including Lowdens, Goodall, Santa Cruz, Whitebrook, etc. Had to sell it to relieve a tax problem(f**king blood sucking leeches!).

Spoken from personal and professional experience, Martin's are over priced, inconsistant and overrated. Like the little girl with the little curl...


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 12:06 PM

Martin has always been my guitar of choice. It always sounded the best to my ears. It had the sound I wanted. On occasion I played other guitars --- a Gurian that went bad--an Alvarez Yairi.

But the big Dreadnaughts were perfect for what I did!! The large booming bass, and the clarity just always got better and better as the guitar aged. I could only manage to have one main instrument at a time, so when I had to have the instrument's neck or body repaired I then traded one D-28 for another because I couldn't be without the guitar for any real length of time. The trick was to trade "up".

BUT the Martin is not always an expensive guitar!

The Martin model D-76 was a Dreadnaught put out in a limited edition (exactly $1,976.00 if I'm remembering right) to celebrate the 200th Bicentennial birthday of the USA. For that era and time, the price was so high that nobody around the Old Town School Of Folk Music in Chicago could or would pay the asked price for the one at the Folklore Center. They decided to raffle the guitar off!!

The tickets went on sale for $3.00 each ! I bought two of them!!

The night of the raffle I had a gig in a combination bowling alley and folk club in Crown Point, Indiana -- where John Dillenger had once escaped from jail. During one of my sets, the phone rang, and I said into the mike, "That call is for me. I just won a Martin in a raffle in Chicago!!!"

Well, for some reason my "premonition" was right! I answered the phone saying, Where and when can I pick it up!!!!

Bottom line is that after my gig at "The Cave" (I think it was called) I drove through an ice storm to arrive back in Chicago about 3:00 AM. The all night George Washington Day Party was in full swing at the Old Town School. I walked in to a chorus of loud "BOOS" and a couple hundred drunken folkies/friends yelling good naturedly (I hoped) things at me like, "IT WAS A FIX. IT WAS A FIX!!" --------------- One guy, John Calhoun, was wearing a sport jacket and trousers with all the raffle tickets he'd bought trying to win pinned to it---about 40 of them.

But that Martin D-76 guitar cost me, I figure, $6.00 !!!!!

The guitar got better and better over the years---even after I drilled 3 holes down the center of the tuning stock and made a 9-string guitar out of it.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 12:47 PM

Art, I've been playing your CD titled The older I get the better I was, and your guitar playing is excellent. I can't tell what guitar you are playing but it is a kick ass instrument in your hands. It sounds like a Martin D 28 or maybe a D 45. Which is it?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 01:30 PM

It's possible that the bad intonation you come across Kendall originates in your left hand, rather on so many Martins as you claim.

Bev and Jerry's post nailed it on the head.

And you can get a dud in any guitar. But living up to an ovedr 150 year reputation as the best, as CF Martin does, and considering the amount of guitars they make is very remote.

Besides, Taylors have no soul and many guitars look pretty stupid without a pick guard.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Maurice
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 01:43 PM

It seems to me that the frets on Martins are very low and I don't like them. I got one refretted with regular fretwire and the improvement was unbelievable. I know people must like these low frets (1,000,000 Martin owners can't be wrong) but for me it's a very negative feature.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 02:15 PM

People often hand me their special guitar to try out, and I've never tried anything I like better than my 1985 HD28 Martin. Tried a few bad Martins (from the 70's!) before this one showed up via George Youngblood, world-class luthier. I'm done. Don't care how good anything else is, this one is all I need.

About the durability: last weekend I started out a gig with my Herringbone on a stand near the front of the stage as our band was getting ready to begin. Somehow the wind caught the thing and blew it off the stage onto the grass below!! I literally screamed into the live single mic, and the entire audience witnessed my panic. Unbelievably, although the guitar was certainly bounced around, it was fine, and didn't even need re-tuning. It took ME awhile to recover, but the Martin was fine, thank you very much.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 02:50 PM

I've played them all, I've owned most of them, and I know what I'm talking about. Anyone who knows anything at all about guitars knows that intonation problems are in the neck of the guitar and nowhere else.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Maurice
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 02:57 PM

Martin Gibson...what's this with the coloured dots remark? That's the comment of a bad-mannered fool. I like Taylor frets, I like Gibson frets, I don't like Martin frets. I've played many instruments over the last forty or so years. If you have a different opinion, fine.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Sherlock Holmes (friend of Doc Watson)
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 03:11 PM

GUEST, Maurice, just ignore Martin Gibson. He is the Village Idiot. If anyone doesn't share his narrow, ill-informed opinions, he gets sarcastic, insulting, and more often than not, obscene. Just consider the source and treat it accordingly.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: John Hardly
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 03:13 PM

Barbara,

I'm another happy HD28 owner. Quite the workhorse.

I needed something to carry the low end of a trio, so I traded an OM size for it. Just a practical consideration. What surprised me, as I got to know this thing, was how well it handled everything -- not just the fiddle tune and backup thing, but fingerstyle stuff as well. I absolutely love the sound of it capoed 3 or even higher -- love that as much as the rumble it's capable of when I need it. Extremely well built.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: John Hardly
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 03:21 PM

By the way, Art Thieme,

Pretty good return on a $6 investment -- Elderly's, in the past few weeks, just sold a D76 they had listed at $1800. I noticed it because I have a friend who bought one new and I take note when one pops up from time to time.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 03:40 PM

Sherlock...thank you, thats what I thought. This is a great site with lot's of well-informed and helpful people. It's just the nature of the internet that it will always attract a few lonely losers.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 03:56 PM

"Both the Gibson and the Martin were two of the better ones I had ever played but neither could hold a candle to the Taylor."

Exactly Kendall !!

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 04:55 PM

One of the many features I like about the Taylor is the neck. I can play "F" by wrapping my thumb over the 6th sting instead of the usual position. That fat club Martin uses for a neck makes that near impossible.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Gurney
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 08:25 PM

I've heard some lovely Martins. Lovely enough to comment on. I saw ONE at a luthier's about 1980, brand new, "can you do anything," which had discoluration where the strutting glue had soaked through the belly! All of it. Caveat emptor.

Never owned an expensive guitar myself, but I do have a good ear.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 08:46 PM

Kendall,

I'm glad you enjoy what I was doing. I appreciate it.

That particular CD had some tracks from the 1970s, some from the 1980's, and the last track, Jerry Rasmussen's "Handful Of Songs", was recorded at Bob Gibson's farewell party, in Sept. of 1996.

There were 3 different guitars (sort of) on the CD:

1) the D-76 as a 6-string guitar.
2) the D-76 as a 9-string guitar.   
3) a 000-18 (6-string) that I went to after I couldn't manage playing the dreadnaught any more---tuned quite loose and low. (By then I was trying anything to make fretting the instrument easier.)

Art


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 08:49 PM

Contrary to the views expressed by some above, the only "high end" guitar I know on which I find the intonation jarring is a particular very attractive looking Taylor. I'm not a pro Martin bigot but I have only come across one Martin ever that I felt failed to measure up - an all-mahogany one which seemed to lack the characteristic Martin "ring". Played in comparison with other instruments it was plenty OK - it just didn't sound like a Martin.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Bobert
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 08:51 PM

Now I will have to weigh back in on Kendall's statement regarding playability... No, Martins aren't at the top of the list in that category... They are somewaht difficult to play compared to Taylors, or even Ovations fir thast matter...

But as Art has pointed out, we Martin playersd aren't after playability, but tone and. yeah, I can pick out a good martin's tone over a good Taylor's tone... No, don't go throwin' cheapie Martins into the mix witrh 20 other Martin/Taylor wantabees... That is a rediculous exercise indeed...

But give me one decent Martin and one decent Taylor and I'll pick the Martin, blind folded, every time...

Yeah, I realize that everybody just loves the tone they get from their instruments and I'm no different... But I perform with two resonators and my Martin so my listenin' tastes are all over the place and I expect different tones from each one... I also occasionally perform with a Hohner acoustic which has yet another distinct tone to it...

I guess it comes down to what you like... Some folks like Coke, others Pepsi...

But it ain't right fir anyone to say that Martin's are junk because thoser of us who have grown up playin' them know that's just a bunch of crapola...

MO...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Midchuck
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 09:35 PM

The playability issue is, in the majority of cases, due to the fact that Martin so often ships new guitars with the nut slots cut too high. I guess they figure that old bluegrass dudes like them that way ("It can't be a Real Man's Guitar if it doesn't take a lot of strength to play it, and hurts some.") and that everyone else can have them lowered if they don't like it. Most Martins need a setup after you buy them, seems like. And I speak as a Martin lover.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 10:54 PM

Who said Martins are junk?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 08 Oct 05 - 10:56 PM

I'll take a Dodge Ram pickup Truck over a Ford 150 anyday

... just a diversion from this guitar debate.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 03:21 AM

Right on the nail, Bobert.

And certainly in the UK, Martins are no more expensive than Taylors, Santa Cruzes, etc., unless you start going along the 'exotic' road.

Choice of instrument is dependent on many personal factors. The sound I like may be totally different from the next guy, and my views on what a guitar should look like aren't shared by everyone. For a player of one brand to slag off another brand seems a bit daft to me, the beauty is in the eye (and ear) of the beholder. You try out instruments until you find one that fits your personal requirements - from then on, it's the best. Doesn't matter a toss what others think, as long as you're a happy man.

Personally I find Taylors very comfortable to play, but they sound like Taylors which isn't a sound that grabs me. My Martin's harder to play, but the sound is PRECISELY what I want, and she looks real pretty, so for me it's a no-brainer. Others, like Kendall, will disagree - fine, variety makes the world go round.

IMNSHO.
S:0)


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 04:33 AM

Has anybody any experience of these models. I am at the looking hard stage.

OOOC16SGTNE and the OOOC16SRNE


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 05:24 AM

Your Yamaha sounds good to me w.l.d.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 06:07 AM

I dunno I went to this seminar at Fylde Folk festival with Ken Nicol. Great player. he's thought stuff about guitars that just hasn't occurred to me.

he was saying a cedar topped instrument was probably better in terms of the sort of fingerpicking that he and I do. Only he does it better.

Since when I've handed my guitar (cpx8 yam) to a couple of luthiers, clever guys and they both think its a pretty crap instrument. laminated sides so the sound won't improve apparently. Too much strutting inside (overbuilt was the term both of them used!). Apparently Yamaha build them like that so they can be shipped around the world safely. They both said what I had paid the money for (£625 or so) was the electrics inside - which are very good.

I'm getting on -the opportunities for getting things right diminish. I was watching Alan taylor last weeek. he's definitely got his guitar sound right. To be quite honest - I sort of agree with you - why spend a lot more money when hardly anybody would notice a difference. whatever happens its not going to turn me into alan taylor, or Bob Dylan, or Martin carthy.....yeh sod it, why bother?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 07:51 AM

I agree with everyone on this thread - so to speak!!
Please remember I wriite this as someone from the North East of England and not an hours drive from Nazereth.
I have 2 Martins - '94 HD 28 bought brand new ,I've nurtured it - I never play it when wearing a buttoned shirt so I don't scratch the back - don't care how hard I play it in sessions and the like .When I say I agree with everyone , I've definitely played better guitars esp. of the Taylor ilk ,the HD 28 has problems around the 12th Fret compared to playing around the first 5 frets . I've taken it to Martin-approved Luthiers with no improvement, but still it is a beautiful sound if you play / select songs which do not demand you playing at the top of the fret board.
The problem I have identified is most irritating to me, but seemingly non-existent to some people, when I have tried to show / let them listen to the fault.
It was only when I became a lot more adventurous and thought about a cutaway - and I don't know the series Nos. - ( to know if I'm going to assit weeliittledrummerboy question ) - but I bought a Martin DCX1E Dreadnought.
I thought had got a bargain - however when I showed it to my Luthier friend - he said Jeez!! I din't know Martin were making formica guitars these days !!! .( Only the neck and the front are natural wood ). Fact of the matter is - it is a superb play - true as anything I have ever played ,and ,most importntly is very true, well-past the 15th fret , and loads of quality sound ,so I am well pleased.
It was half the price of the HD and came with all the DI stuff ( not on the HD 28) which has already been proved at concerts which I have done. Superb value . The comparison to the cars, which some have made is valid, I think the HD is a Rolls Royce - but as with any quality product in which humans are involved they are bound to vary slightly in finished product.
Nevertheless I think Martin should sit up and take notice as they appear to be arrogant about their product and seem to take the attitude that their product is the best, and, any percieved fault must lay with th player / purchaser.
I would like Martin to provide some expert service /guidance /advice especially in the U.K. - after all what is the old addage ? it takes years and years to build the reputation for being the best, and only a very short time to lose it.
Whatever you're playing, I hope you get as much enjoyment out, as you are putting-in.

Cheers Betsy.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 07:53 AM

Of course guitars all have their specific sounds, tones etc. which appeal to specific individuals .... and like Kendall, I don't think anyone in this thread said Martin's are junk ... funny, how one will stickup for their preferred guitar model with such passion only paralleled by their choice of pickup truck or breed of dog.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 08:10 AM

A large number of pickers have told me that my Taylor is an outstanding guitar, and that not all Taylors are that good. Well, that's possible, this one has a serial number of 4 digits (1982) So it has had time to mellow. It has been played by scores of pickers and not one of them has had a bad word for it. Nine out of ten have been very impressed with it, and some wanted to buy it.

As I have said, I have played them all, and I've owned most of them. I've played professionally for 55 years and no guitar has suited me better than this one.

Nuff said.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 08:53 AM

THe CPX series Yamahas are designed to be amplified LOUD. So the tops have to be fairly rigid or when the PA rig is turned up, instant feedback.

Intonation is a simple matter of string length and tension. If luthiers cannot improve the intonation (eg by repositioning the saddle slot, a fairly trick task, if there is not enough meat on the saddle to fix it there) then it can only be frets or neck progression. If there is too much forward bow on the neck, you will pull the strings sharp when fretting, but a luthier should have spotted that.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 09:10 AM

The qustion was about the cost of martin guitars.

Most people will have their own favourites, and this will often colour their own views. I have owned many different makes, Martin, Gibson, Ovation, Dobro, Fylde, Yamaha ( even Suzuki) etc, and have played many more. Always, the guitar that I currently play is 'THE BEST'. I have never ownes a Taylor, although I have played a few and agree that they are a very fine instrument.

There does seem to be a lot of unjustified 'Martin Knocking'going on at the moment which is a little unfair. Martins are undoubtedly a good guitar, some of them are great, my own Dh28 is brilliant, and I have yet to hear a guitar that would suit me better. But just because you are a particular fan of 'x' manufacturer, does not mean that'y' manufacturer is crap. A freind of mine has an Epiphone j200 that is absoloutly stunning, yet remarkably cheap.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 09:38 AM

Richard,
Just to try to extend /answer your thoughts, there is no bowing, its quite a true neck and the luthier has taken the saddle slot to its limit for adjustment. What I need is a luthier with another trick up his sleeve , as I suppose luthiers - in the same way as any craftsmen - there are some who can tackle normal problems, and, some who have a little extra to source and cure unusual occurences.
The average player wouldn't realise where I find fault and I repeat it is still an emminently fine guitar but ....but.......

Story time ..........
I still have 2 Nos Yamaha FG 180's circa 1971 which were a well made copy of the D-28. Yamaha made them really well to get into the market.
I had bought a Harmony Sovereign , and when I got it home from the shop I put on the brand-new strings the shop had provided me as part of the deal. To my horror when I tuned it all up - and twanged a chord - the bridge pulled off the front of the guitar. The shopkeeper offered me the FG 180, and gave me some money back as it was less expensive than the Sovereign.
I had many many years of pleasure from playing it,and I confess on occasions to not giving it the care and respect it deserved . A true workhorse !!Incidentally the 2nd one was bought not out of greed / possession - years ago a guy who was getting married offered it to me as he needed the cash and he wasn't such an avid player anyway.   

Incidentally,I don't know if I've got my wires crossed, but when you mentioned Yamaha CPX series - I assume you were replying to another message - you lost me with THAT reference - it's easy to lose me these days !!!.

Cheers Betsy.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 09:59 AM

CPX reference was to weelittledrummer.

As to that intonation issue -

It sounds as if the luthiers you have used so far are agreed that the issue is saddle positioning.

Next step therefore has to be either removing and repositioning the bridgeplate, or routing a wider saddle slot and then partly filling the new widened slot so as effectively to reposition the saddle. This in turn may mean (depends on spacing) plugging and redrilling (and tapering) new pin holes.

You can get a fair idea of how far out the guitar is by comparing the harmonic at the octave with the fretted note at the octave. You can retune the adjacent string for a reference if you don't trust your ear or an electronic tuner. If the difference appears large you may even be able to measure the length difference required with a tape measure. Always do this with new strings on - old strings may have become non-uniform in diameter. If the octave is right, you have a fretting problem.

You can also determine the right position experimentally. You will need an old saddle. File it down until it roughly does nothing - simply fills the saddle slot up to the level of the wood. Now take something like a giant paperclip bent straight, or a long thin nail with the head cut off, or a plastic cocktail stick. Put it pretty much where the saddle slot is. Now slide it (carefully, so as not to break it if it's plastic) backards and forwards until the harmonic octave is the same as the fretted octave. That is where the saddle (for that string) needs to be.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 12:06 PM

The "problems" that forced me to try a 9-sting, and then eventually go to a 000-18 with slackened strings, WASN'T the playability of the Martin guitar. It was the natural progression of my MS.

Thr Martin guitar was great until I turned it into matchsticks by closing the car trunk on it.

Old friend, Jan Burda, in Berian Springs, Michigan literally put it back together again just beautifully---but by then I couldn't play it even as a 6-string with looser strings. I couldn't wield it's size. My rendition of "Handful Of Songs" on that '98 CD is much less than I would've liked it to be. But that night when we all played music for Bob Gibson, a week before he passed on, was very special for me, so I used that live track.----- Our son, Chris, has the D-76 guitar now.

Keep pickin' !! (and appreciate what you can do.)

Art


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 12:27 PM

I don't care what kind of guitar you used on that CD, I love it!


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Grab
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 03:59 PM

If you thought Martins were expensive, how about Gibson? Sheesh! If it wasn't for selling Les Pauls to rockers, Gibson would be *so* dead - talk about resting on their laurels...

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 04:08 PM

The fact is that all top quality guitars are expensive.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 05:09 PM

I have a friend who got rid of his Martin (OM1) when he got a Taylor (315CE). Then he got another Taylor (512CE). Then he sold the Taylors and I helped him find a Gibson J-45. It was only GBP999, new. He is happy. It sounds (and smells) great, both acoustic and plugged. He likes it much better than the Martin or the Taylors.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 05:47 PM

apples and oranges. Have him play an 810 Taylor and he will throw rocks at the Gibson.Those small body guitars just don't have what it takes in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 06:13 PM

Its always fun looking outside ones own field of vision. My wife needed a tenor Viola De Gomba made by her dad , Don Warnock and one came on the market last year . After getting it ( I used the second morgage!) we added up all of my guitars and banjos and they did not match the price of Her tenor viol. So what we consider expensive has somthing to do with perseption . I think a new ford ranger costing 20 + thousand is over priced; yes obseen.
       I got a new OOO18 Martin Carthy model that is just incredable in a room on a mike and most importantly for me in the studio . It cost a ton of money but for what I get from it I do not consider it in the least bit exspensive . This being said by a potter who dosent mind selling a good vase for $500.00 or more.
      Oh on the high action point . If you realy SOUND the instroment the strings have to be a bit higher. A square dance guitar needed to speak up and to make it speak you needed to HIT the strings . Hitting a modern set up guitar ready for an amp and it not only buzzes it sounds like abuse of some kind .
          That said the Taylor has the best electrics on a factory set up acoustic I have ever heard . Now if we could raise the action so I could hear the tone of the thing ....Sorry Kendell just joking ...
          Different Guitars different tones different jobs : quality cost money and is worth the effort to obtain them . What a joy we have so much to choose from ! All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Midchuck
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 06:22 PM

Those small body guitars just don't have what it takes in my opinion.

Any more of that and I'll have to drive to Portland with the 0002H Collings, hit one open chord, and blow your house into the bay!

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 06:35 PM

Good one Peter . !! I have a 1930's Kallamazoo the size of an O18 we could add to the list of house flateners.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Auggie
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 06:36 PM

Gotta second Midchuck's point of view.
My 00-42 will cut through a ton of voices, strings and pianos as well as any of my dreads.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 08:00 PM

Aint opinions wonderful?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Bobert
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 08:14 PM

And just fir grins, these are just a few folks who also play Martins:

Roger McGuinn
Stephen Stills
Steve Miller
Mike Longworth
Bill Staines
The Shaw Bothers
Brad Marshall of Marshall Artz
Kevin Artz of Marshall Artz
Shawn Colin
Dick Dale
Mark Erelli
Frank Hannon of Tesla
Scott Johnson of Tesla
Roy Rogers
Andy Summers of the Police
Keithe Richards of the Stones
Rufus Waunwright
Tom Petty
The Smothers Borhters
Chris Thile of the Tone Poets
Mike Marshall of the Tone Poets
Eliza Gilkyson
Peter Rowan
Tony Rice
Josh Rouse
Ramblin' Jake Elliot
Rick Robbins
Tom Paxton
Judy Collins
Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane
John Prine
Buffie St. Marie
Jackson Browne
Janis Ian
Krsi Krstofferson
Clay Hess
Ricky Scaggs
the late Eva Cassidy
Paul Simon
Rob Thran
Hanl Cramer
June Steans of the Louvin Bros
Charlie Louvin of the Louvin Bros.
Mac Wiseman
the late Jim Croce
Paul McCartney
Nick Drale
Charlie Walker of the Country Gentlemen
Mark Knopfer
and Willie Nelson...

Bobert

And thems is jus fir starters!!!...


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 08:18 PM

..and how many of them got their guitars free in endorsement deals from Martin !!!???


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 08:25 PM

Hey Bobert ... noticed Paul McCartney on the list ... just saw an ad recently of him promoting the Epiphone Mastercraft!

Kewl seeing Roy Rogers on the list.

Ya forgot Elivis Presly.

Ya forgot Neil Young ... but hey, wasn't that a Taylor he was seen playing at Molson Park for Live 8?!?!?! Yikes !!!

Anyway ... if I was a pro making big $$ I'd probably be on the list too ... and I'd probably have a Taylor or 2 also. But I'm just some guy from New Brunswick who plays a Taylor, with a Blueridge for backup.

sIx :)


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 08:44 PM

Looks to me like it's horses for courses - as we say over here in the UK.
Another story - when I bought my HD 28 in 1994 I took my Yamaha FG 180 to the shop - a place called Musicsound in Doncaster England. Reason being, they had private rooms for playing " quality " guitars and I wanted to be able to compare sounds - I hope that makes sense .
At first I thought, maybe I could save money by buying a second hand Martin ( again I hope THAT makes sense ). I played all the second -hand guitars but none really sounded or felt any better than what I already had so I never realy pressed the issue.
One had a price tag of £3,500 ( say $7,000-ish in the U.S.A.) and when I played it it sounded like shite so I went and sourced a new one, and after 5 hours of deliberation , I bought what I bought a HD 28.
Whilst in the playing room, a guy played the £3,500 second-hand guitar ( I'd previously tried ) and he prononced it - not bad.
I dismissed it for two reasons No.1. - 'cos it wasn't as good as the cheap Yamaha I had with me and No.2 'cos it was twice the price of the new guitar which I eventually bought.
Regarding the £3,500 - it turned out the shop had all the documentation / the guitar was fully authenticated as previously being owned by Mr. Neil Young ( the famous one ).
I suppose it might have made a useful investment - but I was looking for a decent guitar.
I bought my guitar from said establishment in 1994 so I'm sure my story will not be difficult to verify ,I also remember that the establishment was desperate to purchase from any source, Marshall valve amps for resale to the USA, he reckoned he could sell all that he could get his hands upon.
As a guy who plays through PA / Amp System it meant nothing to me but I had to listen ..............

Such is life

Cheers ,Pete


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Bobert
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 09:15 PM

Like I said, sIx, this was just a starter's list.... Yeah, sure, some of these folks mighta gotten some promo guitars from Martin, but guess what??? Thay played 'um... Hey, if some guitar company offered me a guitar, sho nuffg I'd take it, but if it din't play good, I wouldn't perform with it...

These folks I listed all have perforemed with their Martins...

But this is just the tip of iceburg when it come to folks who prefer to perform with Martins...

You Martin bashers can twist whatever you want but, botoom line, lotta folks like the sound that they get outtta these guitars...

Ain't badmouthin' none others here but you gonna pick on Martins as over-rated, yer gonna get a lot of arguements from folks other than myself... Like the list of folks I posted above...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Auggie
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 09:32 PM

C.F. Martin has always made a point of publicizing the fact that NOBODY gets a Martin in exchange for promos or publicity.

Not Neil Young, not Johnny Cash, not even Bobert.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 09:34 PM

I would say "Aint options wonderful ! "


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Bobert
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 09:48 PM

Not that I wouldn't take a freebee if it was offered, Auggie... Sho nuff would..

Hey, I'm just happy to have mine... I bought it in 1966, have the Owner's Certificate in the safety deposit box and a couple years ago, after 30 some years of my abuse to my Martin, ghot aneck reset done under warrenty... They even patched up a couple cracks I know I cuased over the years....

Hey, I bought the guitar in 1966 and it's still under warrenty!!!

But better than that, it sounds better than it ever has..

No brag, just fact...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 10:34 PM

I have to admit Bobert when I first noticed your list I thought it was famous guitarists who are Freemasons!

I'm certainly not a Martin basher ... If I could justify the expense, I'd certainly get a HD35, again if I could find one that sounds exceptional! Just jokin .... but as previously mentioned I bought my Taylor cause I fell for the tone, resonance, playability it called out to me. I've had a Guild, Yamaha sushi board and Gibson 335 in my past, but have not relished any of them as much as my Taylor ... bottom line. Never have been affected by GAS, I always stick to one main guitar. Nothing makes a guitar player happier than being completely sastisfied with his main axe. Mine just happens to be a Taylor.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Bobert
Date: 09 Oct 05 - 10:50 PM

Cool beans, sIx... That's whats it's all about anyway...

I've got a cheapie Syaria small bodied guitar that I gave my son when he was about 13 years old and he lived with his mom in a house where there where temp extremes and humidfity extreems and cat pee extremes...

Need;erss tp say, thios wonderfull soundin guitra is now a beat up, cracked, structurally compromised guitar...

Too bad... I would have kept on top of it... It was easilly as good as my '66 Martibn in terms of tone and playability....

Maybe one day I'll get it fixed... Maybe not.....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 09:26 AM

When Roy Rogers was working there were no Taylors.

Tommy Smothers played a Guild on the old Smothers brothers show.

Dan Crary, a world famous bluegrass picker plays a Taylor, and if you watch closely you will see more and more Taylors on tv.
Martin does build some great guitars, but they are not the only game in town anymore.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 09:32 AM

By the way, I spent an evening with Ramblin' Jack and he loved my Taylor. We swapped guitars during the evening; he played mine and I played his Martin. Nice guitar, but I was glad to get my Taylor back.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 10:20 AM

Last I heard, Tony Rice was plugging Santa Cruz guitars, and making them sound damn good too.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Midchuck
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 10:52 AM

Last I heard, Tony Rice was plugging Santa Cruz guitars, and making them sound damn good too.

Yeah, but keep in mind that both Santa Cruz and Collings have been very successful essentially by copying old Martin (and a few Gibson) guitars, but making them sound even better, and selling them for top dollar.

No matter what Tony Rice plays, he'll always be associated with the The D-28 - the one that Clarence enlarged the soundhole on, and installed an old Guild fingerboard, and that TR still has but doesn't play out much because it has to much historical value. Martin, Collings and Santa Cruz have all produced close copies.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 11:01 AM

Even I could make a Santa Cruz sound good!


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 11:03 AM

I wonder why Doc Watson doesn't play a Martin?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Duke
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 11:09 AM

I agree! My 60's guitar is the best sounding guitar that I have ever played. Including the new Martins. I think the change in wood made a change in the sound.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Pete Peterson
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 11:30 AM

There's several questions, all conflated here.
1) Are new Martin guitars worth the asking price?
2) Are there other NEW guitars offering a better tone for the money?
3) Is there anything out there as good as an old Martin?

to #1 and 2-- WHICH new Martin? They offer such a bewildering assortment of models that if what you "want" is to play something with a Martin label, you can get it, and it won't be (IMHO) as good a guitar as some others out there at the same price.

to #3: Again IMHO-- the Martins of 1920-1945 can't be beat. You can expect trouble every time you put a capo on and need to retune all six strings to get back in tune, but it's worth the effort if you're going to record with it. If you're doing a gig, it's probably a good idea to have a newer guitar which will have good intonation when capoed. I can think of several old time musicians (Tracy Schwarz, Kay Justice, others) who use a Taylor at gigs for just that reason.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Cumbrian
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 11:58 AM

Sorry to jump into this discussion so late, but are run on the mill Martins really that expensive ? ( by run of the mill, I mean standard series down and at a push the vintage series guitars ).
We have to start with the premise that everything is relative, and there is always someone who can refer to a great sounding Yamaha etc. which cost a fraction of the price of perceieved high end brand guitars ( experience has shown me that there are plenty of guitars out there that justify this claim ), however, Martins, as good as they can be, are now just one of a number of high output manufacturers within the same general price bracket.
Where Martin do struggle to compete and justify their prices, is at the higher end of their range, especially when compared with the plethora of smaller output operations ( Collings and Santa Cruz to mention but two US buiders, plus some great builders outside the USA. take Fylde and Lowden as examples, offering custom designs in beautiful master grade woods
Beyond this group is a mass of very special small shop, single luthier operations who can offer incredible attention to detail and some remarkable guitars.
Within these two latter catergories are instruments that bring Martin's general output down into the mid range of acoustic guitar pricing ( I said everything was relative ).
At the end of the day, whether or not something can be conceived as expensive or not is down the value that the potential purchaser places upon the item in question. If someone has always dreamt of owning a D28 or a 00028, the current prices make this as reasonable a possiblilty as it has ever been.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,potbelly
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 01:15 PM

u gave away aj45 realy.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,sorfingers
Date: 10 Oct 05 - 01:59 PM

Nope theres absolutely no point in comparing brands!

I have played on Taylors that were superb but the very next month others that were rubbish. The other day I got hold of a Larivee that was on sale for 1019 bucks and it was a box to die for, superb and no equal in a place full of high dollar boxes.

Once had a used rosewood Fender that almost played itself. There's no such a thing as buying unseen untried 'WOODEN' guitars! You have to try first and be satisfied with what you get.

We now have a Martin DM - because we liked it so much when we tried it, and we did not know at the time it was a Martin! Only a couple of years in use it is now in the Guitar hopital for wear on the fretboard and frets, also needs some other adjustments. I wouldn't trade it for anything even another Martin, again, because I like it soooo much.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 05 - 09:27 AM

Midchuck - (10 Oct 05 - 10:52AM)

Point well taken ...


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 14 Oct 05 - 09:50 PM

There is a great article in the Bostonia magazine this month on Christian Martin and his tenyer (sp?) as head of the company . Its a very interesting article if you can get a chance to read it .
            It sounds like he has quite a passion for wood and hand work of a type his dad was not interested in.Funny ><<><> his dad ran the place in the early 70's .
          All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Oct 05 - 01:15 AM

I remember reading an interview with the late Waylon Jennings. Somebody complimented him on his old telecaster, he said - yup, guess it was the way they pissed on the wood that year


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Oct 05 - 01:26 AM

Senor, i tink de martin gitar is xpensive cos she cost a lot of money: no?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 15 Oct 05 - 04:42 PM

T-e-n-u-r-e.   :-)


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Oct 05 - 07:33 PM

I own a Taylor 814ce, but before that I tried every martin I could find, and they just sounded flat. The workmanship seemed OK at fisrt glance, but just not precise enough, and the action is way to high for me on most Martins. So, I had basically given up on martins as a high end guitar purchase...until I played a Tom Petty signature model at Guitar center. AWESOME guitar...I am in the process of putting my musicman silhouette down as payment to put it on lay away, its worth it. In my opinion, you want precision and playabilty, go with Taylor. Martin is great, but you REALLY have to look for something special because they are really inconsistent.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 15 Oct 05 - 10:31 PM

Thanks Stolling Johnny I would have never guessed !! You are a scolar and a gentleman .. My wife keeps handing me the dictionary .


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 16 Oct 05 - 09:53 AM

I own three Martins. Two of them are the inexpensive 15 Series, and the other is a DC-28 (a D-28 with a cutaway) that I bought used. I have no complaints with any of them. And there's no doubt that the finest sounding guitars I've ever played have been older Martins.

But there's a difference between paying $500 for a 15 Series guitar or $800 for that used DC-28 and paying $2000 for a new D-28. I doubt I would ever buy a brand new higher end (Standard Series, Vintage Series etc.) Martin. I'm over the "Martin mystique" except when it comes to fine vintage instruments. When I decided my fingerpicking had progressed far enough to deserve a good small-bodied guitar, I didn't even think about a Martin, but went straight to a Santa Cruz.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: John Hardly
Date: 16 Oct 05 - 10:17 AM

BWL,

Funny, I remember some guy on another guitar forum talking in glowing terms about his new Martin X series guitar (chipboard guitar with print-of-wood laminate -- no kidding -- they now make camo-guitars the same way -- don't believe me? check this out ). He was saying how this X series guitar had that "Martin sound".

hmmm.

So, the......

D28
HD28
D18
OM28
OM18
00028
00018
0018
0028
D15
D16
OM15
OM16
D28VS
D18VS
D28GE
D18GE
D35
D40
D42
D45
J18
J28
M35
CEO4
CEO5

...and the "smart wood series", and the X series, and the "Road" series...

ALL have that "Martin sound"?

And one doesn't like the Martin neck....

.....hmmmm...

would that be the pre-'50s neck, or the modified "V" neck, or the new low profile neck, or the.......


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: mooman
Date: 16 Oct 05 - 10:24 AM

Each to their own.

I've owned a Martin 000-18, a Gibson J-45, a Guild D-25, a Manson Kingfisher (made personally by Andy Manson), a Lowden and a custom Lakewood M-18 (made personally by Martin Seeliger) over the years (amongst others).

The €360 (USD 435) Korean small luthier-shop-made "unknown brand" tiger maple-topped archtop (with extensive and exquisite abalone inlay) I now almost exclusively use (apart from a Czech-made Regal Duolian copy for some music) actually beats all of these (some of which are at the €4000 - €5000 price tag these days).

Same with the mandolin family. I own one expensive "name" instrument, an outstanding Terry Docherty OM bought second-hand from another Mudcatter. My mandolin and tenor mandola are both made by a virtually unknown UK luthier, the latter to my own specifications, for a very democratic price.

I don't think "name" accounts for much any more and I don't give a monkey's ankle what Martin Gibson thinks about it.

Peace,

moo


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Auggie
Date: 16 Oct 05 - 02:06 PM

Bee-dubya-ell-

What kind of Santa Cruz do you use for finger picking?

I have 3 Martins, all different from each other in woods, tone and action, and all fall into the "never to part with" catagory.

But when it was time to find something to just fingerpick with, I wound up with a little 00 size Santa Cruz. Bought it a month ago, and if I could only keep two guitars, it would be the Cruz and one of the CFM's.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Deckman
Date: 16 Oct 05 - 02:28 PM

Being 168 years olde, I've owned many guitars ... Martins, Takimine's, others. I've always returned to Martins. For the last 15 years, or so, I've kept two Martins: A 1922 steel string,and a 1938 Classic. The classic does play itself. It's by far the most responsive, gentle, yet full voiced instrument I've ever had the honor of owning.

But, as I said earlier, the qualities in a guitar are very personal and sometimes fleeting ... just like a woman! CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 16 Oct 05 - 07:02 PM

" I don't think "name" accounts for much any more and I don't give a monkey's ankle what Martin Gibson thinks about it."

amen to that Mooman!

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Peace
Date: 16 Oct 05 - 07:05 PM

"Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?"

Same reason Rolls Royce are so expensive. Quality.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 16 Oct 05 - 11:12 PM

Hmmmmm ..... it's all urban legend Peace.

http://www.snopes.com/autos/dream/rolls.asp

So .. why are Rolls Royces so expensive?

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Mooh
Date: 17 Oct 05 - 07:10 AM

"That Martin sound" really cracks me up. It only means the company believes they can con the market with some unrealistic ideal. Every guitar sounds different, some more different than others. Most guitars that meet the threshold of build and materials quality, playability, and appearance will sound acceptable, and some of those guitars will sound superior to the majority of ears. As for an individual "sound", that depends on what the individual hears, or even wants to hear. Various Martin models sound variously different, otherwise why make so many models? And, they sound as various and different as models by other builders.

Don't get me wrong, I love many Martins, and would really like a nice dread someday, but if a competing builder's guitar pleased my ears as much that would be good too.

The fact that you can get as good (and sometimes better) a guitar from another manufacturer is just an apples and oranges thing, or in my case, peaches.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Peace
Date: 17 Oct 05 - 10:03 AM

OK, sIx: They are the Macintosh apple of guitars.

Mooh's right however; a good guitar is a good guitar. I have a good Martin. I have played a few bad ones over the years. BUT, very few bad ones.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 17 Oct 05 - 11:04 AM

That's more like it Peace. More specifically the Mac apples grown around the southern part of Georgian Bay ... damned good apples they are.

As much as I'm happy with my China Blueridge and my Taylor .. one day I'd like to get a Martin d-35.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Peace
Date: 17 Oct 05 - 11:06 AM

Jean Larrivee makes a great guitar. I wish . . . .


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 17 Oct 05 - 11:13 AM

That's it Peace ... now your gonna get the Larrivee fans going here.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: John Hardly
Date: 17 Oct 05 - 11:34 AM

Larrivee is just the tip of the huge Canadian iceberg of GREAT guitars. It's just a very tasteful tip.

My first REALLY nice guitar was a Larrivee CS09M -- the maple had just begun to age to that beautiful amber color. Man, that was a beautiful guitar -- loud too.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: John Hardly
Date: 17 Oct 05 - 11:34 AM

...oh, and it had that "Larrivee sound".


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Oct 05 - 05:50 PM

This thread also reminds me of an incident that happened to me in "67." That's "1967," thank you. In 1867 i was just recovering from the civil war.

Eastern airlines flew my guitar and I to Indianappolis, Indiana. They used my guitar as a landing skid. It came out of baggage claim 2" thick, case and all!

They made good the damage, which resulted in my being given a blank check to replace that model of Martin guitar from the largest guitar store in town. As it happened, they had a dozen models in stock of my guitar. I took three weeks and spent many hours playing each and every one of those twelve guitars.

The differences between them were quite surprising to me. Some were dead, some were lively, some were O.K. I picked the one that was the closest to what I had lost ... but ... it still never became equal to it. (one bonus though was that I dated the baggage claim supervisor for the three months I was in town). CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: frogprince
Date: 17 Oct 05 - 05:57 PM

I have no idea how that LXTREE sounds , but I know what looks ugly to me. Are people actually buying that damn thing in any real numbers?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: John Hardly
Date: 17 Oct 05 - 06:06 PM

The thing is, frogprince...

If you are playing it in the woods it becomes essentially invisible, and therefore, considerably less ugly.

....sure, out in the open you gotta bag it, but, hey, you use a tool where you use a tool.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: John Hardly
Date: 17 Oct 05 - 06:07 PM

BTW, Deckman, I think I saw your guitar in a Roadrunner episode.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Oct 05 - 07:13 PM

J.H. Highly likely!


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 18 Oct 05 - 07:52 PM

Interesting circles of conversation here. I might have changed the thread's name to "Why are quality guitars expensive?" Sort or self explanitor though . I just stopped by a local store and tried a beautiful Talyor 700 searies drednaught .Bright clear and great sustain : List was $3,200.00 but I could have it for only $2,500.00 . Brazilian rose wood is hard to come by and the interior had an army of micraphones . Great Guitar. How much is a concert shaped Santa Cruz now anyway ??? I think I tried a Froggy Bottom in Madison for $4,00.00 a few years back .. All the best , guy


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Coldeb
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 07:50 AM

Depends what you buy, they used to be very good Guitars making sweeps into the Gibson market, the Old D series especially. My brother recently bought the Martin 16GTR cutaway; it's one of the best Guitars I've ever played! the build quality is superb!, however, and this is important, recently Martin have tried to take a swipe at the Takamine, Taylor and Yamaha mid range market and produce Guitars around the £500.00 mark. (Such as the road series). I've tried quite a few of these mid range guitars of theirs and they are poorly made using laminates and nato necks, they look bad too!, there is no way these come close to a good Taylor or Takimini just in build quality alone. In fact, I just played the Yamaha LL6, a Beautiful Guitar, build quality is amazing and it's only £329.00 (approx) and will nock spots of any Martin under a grand! My advice for what it's worth is, by all means by a Martin but don't consider anything under a £1000.00 (PS I have an Old Fylde Caliban, I'll give it a Pepsi test against ANY Martin or Gibson whatever they cost!!!)cdshuk@yahoo.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Tam the man
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 08:09 AM

because they are, mind you I don't know that much about Guitars, I Play one, and to me one sounds exactly like another the same goes for srtings.

Tom
Mind you I did buy a guitar in Australia, and When I brought home I played my old guitar and it sounded shit compared to the new one that I bought.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Peter T.
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 08:45 PM

The question no one seems to have asked/answered is: what is it that makes guitars cost what they cost? If you had to work out percentages, is it the different kinds of wood that go up in price as you get better wood; or the workmanship, or what? When you jump price categories, is it because the woods change? or does the workmanship take longer? Just wondering. I assume it is a mix of both.....

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 23 Oct 05 - 11:32 AM

In the article about Chrisian Martin they mention in passing of going past a locked volt with vintage guitars and speicialty woods. I think Peter T is on the money when he brings up wood expences and hand work . Keeping any hand made product going means making some form of Profit Margin after the material hand work tools and rent are taken care of so that the company is there next year. Also the Music store needs to pay rent and all . So looking at the lines of expenditures before one sits down to try a great guitar on the floor at either of the Stans ( Mandolin bros. & Music Emporium ) or Elderly are very substantial . In fact its amazing we have the choices we have .
                On the lower level Martins that I emagine come from the Mexican factory I am sorry to read the above. I have tried a few but not carfully . I liked the tone of one 018 I tried at Fretted Workshop last year but at $650.00 it may have been from Nazaeth .
               All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: John Hardly
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 10:50 AM

"The question no one seems to have asked/answered is: what is it that makes guitars cost what they cost?"

1. Demand in the world of luthiery is not unlike demand in the world of art. ...or the world of fashion, for that matter.

The world of luthiery has a very insider/cache' element to it, with guys "in the know" who influence a very committed and maleable buying public.

2. Whether by the influence of famous players, or the insider buzz of who's "hot" in the world of luthiery, some builders must then set prices in such a manner as to keep up with the necessary production.

What's "hot" keeps the prices high, while well-made imports tend to force a different reality onto the pricing.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 02:44 PM

We took a tour of the Martin Guitar Factory in Nazareth, PA this past spring, and I took photos throughout the tour. The detail and attention given each part was most impressive, and I for one think their guitars are worth every penny. You can check out my album here: Martin Guitar Tour

The guys at the very end have the best job: they just stand around playing the finished guitars all day to make sure they're up to standards.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: John Hardly
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 02:51 PM

Terrific photos, Barbara. Thanks for posting that.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Martin gibson
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 03:14 PM

I love saying it.

Martins rule. Gibsons are cool. Taylor's blow. country and bluegrass musicians are just not like many folkie fags who have a problem with Martins or Gibsons probably because they are American made.

Many who don't like Martins just can't afford the more decent expensive ones in the standard series or they are tone deaf or both,

Or they are morons like Guest, Sherlock Holmes who can't play worth a shit anyway and uses his color by numbers on his frets like that other dope he defended.

Love to the rest of you who are smart enough to know.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 03:28 PM

People who think they know it all really bug those of us who really do.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 03:49 PM

People who pretend to really know it all, are usually full of crap, because they don't.   And are.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 04:14 PM

Interesting pics Barbara. Thanks for posting.

I wonder what the employee discount is?

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Sherlock Holmes (Friend of Doc Watson)
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 06:54 PM

Always talking about yourself, eh, Martin Gibson?

I'm not tone deaf at all, but even if I were, I could console myself by knowing that it's better to be tone deaf than brain dead.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,TC
Date: 26 Oct 05 - 01:13 PM

The simple answer is, that customers are willing to pay the price!
If you want something badly enough then you will part with your cash and manufacturers know this. I paid £92/12/6 in 1961 for a 000-18. This was 3 month's salary. The only competition at that time being from Gibson. The Martin sounded much better in the treble range. Although this was a fortune to me at that time, I never regretted the purchase. Occasionally I will try some new Martins or other quality makes but I have yet to find one that would make me part with this member of my family. I can come into the room where it is lying on the bed, clap my hands and the guitar rings in response. The vibration can be felt on the soundboard.
To sum up, I was forced to part with the money because the choice was non-existant. Buying a guitar today I would look and play all the models I could see and then choose the best I could afford.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Oct 05 - 08:30 PM

Nice pics, Barbara... I've had my '65 D-18 back to Martin once in '76 fir some "warrenty" work and was very impressed by the the folks there... Sure, it took a couple weeks to get it back but it played even better than new when they were finished tinkerin' with it...

Plays even better now... Even Kendall got to hear it at the Getaway and though he'd never admit it, if he could he say, "Great soundin" Martin....

I did play his Taylor a couple times and found it very playable and sounded purdy good but, in all honesty, din't quite have the tone as my Martin... Might of fact, that's what I think makes Martins better than Gibsons, Guilds or Taylors... It's that Martin tone... No, not all the new ones have it but the oldies sho nuff have it...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: John Hardly
Date: 26 Oct 05 - 09:26 PM

um......

Bobert, there was no Taylor in '65. If your Martin sounds good because of age, perhaps that's not it's "Martin-ness" you're hearing?

Listen to an '80's Taylor in 2025 for a fairer comparison?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,phgarrett
Date: 05 Nov 05 - 02:15 PM

I have a dozen or so fretted instruments. They include a Gibson J50 that I have owned for 40 years, a Gurian JM,'64 Epiphone Bard,Westerman Bouzouki,Dobro,Taylor etc. etc.
When I go to play a gig I never leave the house without my 2000 Martin OM28V. Nothing else comes close except the Gibson.
My bandmate plays a couple of Lowdens and the Martin eats them up tone-wise.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 05 Nov 05 - 08:25 PM

My challenge still stands. Bring them on.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Nov 05 - 08:49 PM

Fair enuff, John... What year is yers, Kendall???

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 08:20 AM

1983


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Bernie
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 02:31 PM

If I may add my two cents worth at this late date,I don't think they ARE all that expensive.......the high-end models are up there,but not any more than the Collings,Bourgeois,Goodalls,even Santa Cruz[the few I've seen]...where I feel Martin has an advantage is in the lower-end series,in particular 16 series.....a friend has a rosewood dreadnaught that is super for the price,another has a DVM[which I believe is partly laminated]...both sound much beter than current Gibsons,Taylors and Larrivees that I've played,dollar for dollar,that is.....I'm currently trying out a Martin OOO16SGT[12-fret slothead]...amazing little guitar,only about $1000.00 in the states[$1300.00] in Canada.....blows away the two small Taylors I've owned,plus all other small guitars I've seen.......no doubt there are many in Santa Cruz,Huss & Dalton lines,countless others that would equal or surpass it,but,at that price?..I don't think so......Stan Jay[Mandolin Bros.]told me that Martin is "eating eveybody's lunch" when it comes to moderate priced guitars.....guess he knows..
I've had the pleasure of Playing Kendall's Taylor a few times,it's in a class by itself....to my ear,a cross between an old Gibson J45 and an old,seasoned D28,if that makes any sense.......a killer....


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 02:39 PM

I rest my hard shell case.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 04:25 AM

Can anyone please give me their view on the Martin Classical guitar (i.e. nylon strung)? I've recently started learning to play nylon-strung guitar, and will eventually need a better model than the lovely old war house I have (it's a hand-made UK model, the only identifier being a label saying J.E.Vickers, 1966. Any information welcome!!). I fancy the idea of a Martin nylon-strung 'cos that's the kind Willie Nelson plays - sorry, that's the extent of my argument!

Cheers

Norman


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: breezy
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 04:30 AM

Norman make guitars Totnes way

Bye


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Midchuck
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 08:53 AM

For all Kendall's talk about his Taylor, he actually bought Jacqui a 000-16SGT.

And I'm told she has a hard time getting to play it.

Tee Hee.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 02:56 PM

Actually, the hard time comes from the typical action of the Martin, and the ONLY reason we bought the Martin 000 was because my Taylor is too big for her. Shut up Spaw.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Midchuck
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 03:11 PM

Well, we'd best get Jacqui some nut files....HAW!

P.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 03:12 PM

Spaw is the least of your worries ..........he, he, he


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 09:41 PM

Martins rule.
Gibson's are cool.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 10:20 PM

just got a new CD from an old friend who played pro bluegrass for many years, had a beautiful old Martin D 28, swore by Martins and all, but on this CD he is playing his new Santa Cruz. It really kicks ass.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Wesley S
Date: 08 Nov 05 - 01:31 PM

Tony Rice seems to do pretty well with a Santa Cruz...


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Nov 05 - 02:21 PM

I think that Martin guitars are so expensive for one key reason: The people who run Martin are an old-time outfit, with old-time values, and they have very high ideals. It is their genuine wish to give all other guitar companies out there a decent chance to sell their instruments to a public that is very concerned about price. Accordingly, Martin deliberately overprices their guitars just to give the other guys a fair chance! This is incredibly compassionate on their part, and it shows what terrific people they are.

With this in mind, I recently bought another Martin anyway. ;-) It's great. Just couldn't resist it. Mind you, I was really tempted to buy a cruddy-sounding Fender acoustic with "banana neck" for 1/5 of the price, not to mention an old laminated thick-as-a-brick and wellnigh indestructible Kent for 1/10 of the price. Then there was a Seagull that sounded pretty good, but it looked like something the Schmengy Brothers would play at a polka show. Yup, it was a tough decision! The Martin D-28H won out by a hair.

The thing is, I'm a little worried that Martin & Co. are just too nice to the other mainstream guitar makers, and I'm afraid they'd go out of business if someone didn't buy their stuff, so I do. Hell, I'm a nice guy too, eh?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 08 Nov 05 - 04:19 PM

LH, you are a piece of work LOL


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 08 Nov 05 - 04:25 PM

LH .... didn't you sell a D-28 (that you owned) last year? You were all set on buying a guitar made by a local luthier.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 11:38 AM

Seems to me that Martin has simply kept up with the times. My brother bought a new D-18 for $150.00. That was in 1957.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Wesley S
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 12:47 PM

My 1967 D-18 was used. I recall that I paid 225.00 for it in 1969.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 03:58 PM

I wish someone, just someone would deliver us the answer as to why Martin Guitars are so expensive .... just to put this thread away for good.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Wesley S
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 04:39 PM

The definitive answer is - They are NOT expensive if you like them.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 04:46 PM

Compared to other top quality guitars such as Santa Cruz, Taylor Collings they are not expensive. Reminds me of the story of the oats. I used to quote this one whenever someone wantewd me to drive many miles and perform for peanuts. When they complained about the price, I gave them this"
"If you want top quality oats, they come at a premium price.
However, if you are willing to settle for those that have gone through the horse, they are much cheaper."


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 09:38 PM

OK then .... that's the answer. Martin Guitars are not expensive. End of story. End of thread.

Thankyou very much Wesley and Kendall.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Nov 05 - 07:50 AM

"One gets what one pays for."


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 10:28 PM

We had a party this evening, my brother came over and we wanted to make music. I was unable to get my Taylor away from him, so I broke out Jacqui's Martin. This piece of shit is only a year or so old, and already the friggin' neck is pulling away from the body. I knew we should have bought a Taylor.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 24 Nov 05 - 03:15 PM


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Tedstera
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 10:48 AM

I have about 25 guitars. Cheap, expensive, all kinds. Gibson, Martin, etc. I think we are living in the golden age of acoustic guitar builders. There are so many excellent ones it boggles the mind, and the ear. Still, some of my faves are old cheap Harmonys and Silvertones, even a 100 dollar Takamine, and of course, my 71 Martin D18S (a cannon, as they say), my Bourgeois, my 35 Gibson HG00, my 35 National O. The thing I like most about old guitars is that they seem to sound old, and you don't have to worry about scratching them if you get drunk. I like that very much. And any half good guitar has virtues, something unique about that guitar. I find some of mine can only be used for certain songs or techniques. But as far as great new guitars, there are too many to mention. I've played all kinds of new guitars at festivals, from friends, and in shops, and there are thousands I would like to own. I can never get enough guitars, and there are too many to chose from. Thanks to all those great luthiers out there!


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 11:17 AM

I played a friend's Martin the other day...junk.

Lately, I've encountered a few Taylor guitars that did not measure up either. Everyone who plays mine says it is an exceptional instrument, way above most Taylors. I thought they were all alike.

Last Saturday night I played another friends guitar, a Larrivee, and it was a sweet heart; more playable than any Martin I ever played and just as user friendly as my Taylor.

And the debate goes on...


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Maton Gobson
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 03:27 PM

"Martins blow Taylors glow Gibsons are toe.....jam" AHAHAHAHAHA

Hey you know you can get yourself a Gibson now at Walmart????? Oh yeah and Toys Are Us too. What a great American brand. What a joke. Gibsons made these days SUCK WIND. Martin? Yeah they make nice gits but charge you minimally 20% over their worth even after a 45% DISCOUNT. 70's Martins sucked the worst. If you have a 70 anything Martin you got gypped on account they cranked them out like hamsters make hamsters.

Give me a new MARTIN maybe above a 28 level and it MAY sound nice tho I played 4 D28's of which only ONE didn't SUCK! Taylor turns out consistently great gits and those who took a Martin Tour should take another one. All the computerized and robotics are THERE too, so don't be dissin' Taylors or whoever for that. Martin has ROBOTS buffing their gits. Oh yeah hand made. AHAHAHAHAHA. Gibson? You got to be kidding me. Their management is an idiot in a box. They dropped their best USA stores. They sell to Best Buy. Hey yeah they're "FUN" guitars ok if you like paying 500% what theyre worth which is CRAP.

Martins aren't expensive-you can get easily 40% off or more from any Martin dealer. Anyone who pays over that is an idiot. They cant compete with Collings or other hand made gits in the D variety.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Cluin
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 04:37 PM

Well, I've said it before...

Martin, like any other business, charges what the market will bear. As long as people will pay those prices for the product they want, that's charged, that's the price you'll see. It's capitalism at work and those who think that is the best system going will always praise the most profitable kid on the block. Hey, if they're the richest, they must be the best, right?

And as soon as yuppies started buying guitars as investments and some pencil-pusher somewhere decided Martins would be THE one to invest in and seal up in a glass case till it appreciated and turned a huge profit at auction, then those became the ones all the money boys bought up.

Doesn't mean Martins aren't excellent instruments which became the standard in certain types of music, but they ARE still a factory product, albeit one with very high standards and quality control. Law of averages means the odd clunker might get through since it takes a few years for a guitar to come into its own, as well as maybe suffering some mistreatment and environment-related problems along the way.

Martin emphasizes a hand-making tradition; they have a long one and people expect them to keep making their machines the same way. Taylor explores innovation and uses new technology (like laser cutters and fine tolerance equipment) to make their instruments. Both approaches are valid and both turn out fine instruments.

Which one you like best comes down to personal opinion, which is very subjective and fairly non-quantifiable, beyond how loudly the enthusiast trumpets his preference from the mountain top. That goes for other makers too. And any of them can turn out a clunker and that one will likely get out into the marketplace somewhere because there was an investment in making it and it's certain someone will buy it because they are paying for the name on it, more than anything.

Still, if I had the big bucks to spend on a guitar, I'd go with a custom-built from a reputable luthier who builds each guitar by hand to specification, not on an assembly line.

Aw hell, if I had the big bucks, I'd buy a few Martins too. And a few Gibsons... and a few Taylors... and a few Guilds... and a few Fyldes... and a few Larrivees... and a few Lowdens.... and a few...


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Anonny Mouse
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 10:13 PM

Any of you fellas hear of a gent named Wayne Henderson? Guess he takes forever to build a git-but what he builds out Martins Martin. Some book or something out on him crafting "the perfect guitar" for Clapton, by Allen St. John. Anyway, I hear tell this Henderson guy is a bit on the eccentric side, but builds one whale of a guitar; and you can't "order" one from him. I'm not sure how one goes about getting a Henderson, but they're pretty well priceless and may take 10 years to get one once you DO order it! Hand carves practically the whole thing. Amazing luthier. The book by St. John is a must-read for anyone serious about the art of building a guitar.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Auggie
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 10:43 PM

The book is called Clapton's Guitar : Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument by Allen St. John.

It's garned a bunch of 5 star reviews, and I'm hoping it's a good read because I have a copy stashed away for my vacation next month.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,dave in boise
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 03:44 PM

I've rarely played a bad Martin. I find them to be very consistant, especailly for they type of music I play. The one thing I find is when playing them in a place like Guitar Center, they aren't cared for. The strings are dead and alot of the times they are under humidified and not set up correctly. Guitars like Taylors come with Elixer strings that tend to stay somewhat fresh for a very long period of time. Martins usually have there own Martin brand strings which I find fowl on any instrument. At the same time I don't like Elixers either. They sound somewhat plain and vanilla.

String up any Martin or Taylor with a DR, John Pearse, D'Addario set of strings and you'll hear what the guitar is capable of.

Martins tend to have a high action at first but that's to accomidate many different types of playing. If you flat pick Bluegrass the last thing you want are buzzing strings because the saddle is to low. Any guitar shop worth their weight will do a rough set up before putting the guitar out on the floor and fine tune to your needs once it's sold.

If you have a bad perception of Martin guitars check out a mom and pop guitar store where they take care of their instruments. I know some people don't care for their sound but alot of the times it's the way that the "music super stores" present the instrument.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 09:19 PM

Hang it up, Kendall. Or go practice. Thread's dead.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Everardo
Date: 08 Jul 06 - 07:34 PM

I was reading along, and then somebody made a list of Martin Guitar players. I try and make it my business to know what certain pro's play. Smother's Brother's were listed as Martin players. All the times I have seen them play, Tommy has ALWAYS played a Guild. Not that I dislike Martins, by any means. I'd love to own one. A HD-40LSH would be my pick. ONLY 5,000. But, I would also love to own a Gibson J-45 Rosewood, just for something different to play. I began with your regular plywood guitar, something called a Silvertone. A twenty-something dollar guitar from SEARS and Rosycheeks. The next one was not a whole lot better. A Fender 12 string guitar. The Fender Villager. I was in hog heaven, until the damn thing imploded, luckily, the insurance came through. Another body and 30 years later, it did it again. But, I had stopped alowing people to play on it. My next guitar was a nice little classical I bought in Barcelona, Spain. That lasted about twenty years. Through my own fault, I let the wood dry out during the winter, and it made a pop, when I hit the body against the wall. Rosewood body, too. Sounded great. (74-94).
You wouldn't hear me bitch if I had a Taylor either. haha. Right now, I'd settle for a 110 just for shits and grins. Mainly because I don't even own a guitar. My last one was a Gibson J-45 Working Man. That damn guitar blew my hair back, man. Only, I was in need of some bucks, can you dig it? I hated having to part with it. Only $1,200 but the best damn guitar I ever owned. What I wouldn't do to get that one back. Only, because of physical problems I can't work anymore. Yeah, I'd love a Martin D-18, 28, 40 etc. But, I am a guitar player that's never played a gig, only at home, but I still love it. Only thing that I wonder about are these Blueridge Guitars, seems as if they are 1/2 price, they supposidly are made with high end woods. But, a nice one goes for only 799.00? How can that happen? I am talking ebony fretboard, Rosewood B and S, and Sitka top. Perhaps I should buy one of those? Only I am worried about how they are put together. Like someone else very ably noted...you get what you pay for. Good talking to you, everardo.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 08 Jul 06 - 07:44 PM

I've also heard very good things about the Blueridge guitars - and of course I've also heard that their quality is starting to slip. Hard to say - I haven't played one yet. But several people who's opinion I respect - like Stefen Grossman - have said they can be an excellent value. But it's really up to your ears and pocketbook to decide if it's the right guitar for you.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 09 Jul 06 - 11:25 AM

The beauty of any fine guitar is that they each have their own unique sound.

The Martin doesn't sound like any other guitar on the market.

It's all a matter of preference and applicable to the style you are playing.

My Martin 0021 would not sound good in a bluegrass band but I love it for accompanying songs. It also works as an acoustic swing guitar and can keep up with horns.

The Larivees, Taylors, Guild's, Gurions, Gibsons etc. all have their special sound. Some are better quality than others but they have an individuality about them.

You're buying an individual sound.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Lucius
Date: 09 Jul 06 - 12:52 PM

"Established 1833 and for decades an American icon Ð Martin guitars are a genuine benchmark by which others are judged."

This quote is from the Martin website. It makes sense to me, as I don't own a Martin, but I can quickly grok the standards that they have established. I would much rather compare my C Fox to any Martin over having it compared with a Sears Silvertone.

Should they be expensive?
Yes, just as any fine guitar is worth paying for.

Are they the best?
No, but they are the benchmark, and even Frederick Martin understands that.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 09 Jul 06 - 01:04 PM

Well I bought mine new about 4 years ago, and it is playing in beautifully. Some people have expressed doubts about the new Martins as opposed to the early ones, and I dare say they're right. Although there may have been some rough ones in the early days, and they haven't lasted the pace, so we can't compare. Martin have made an awful lot of guitars where did they all go?
Now if I can just persuade the staff to regard a Taylor 12 string as a good investment, I'm home and dry.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: kendall
Date: 09 Jul 06 - 01:24 PM

Guest, I'll decide when I "hang it up."


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 16 Jul 06 - 08:32 PM

I play folk rock and there was no other choice for me. A Martin is iconic, and the model a D28. Look at the list of greats that have played them over the years. I ws made redundant two years ago, and there was only one thing I was going to do with the final cheque. I bought a brand new D28, and it is beautiful and will only ever get better.

Regardless of what else is said about quality control slipping and the factory banging out a lot more guitars than they ever did, I can only say what my fingers and ears do and hear each time I pick it up. Nothing comes close - well, actually I spent an afternoon playing right through the range, and a D45 is certainly worth every penny of it's retail price!

I haven't read through the whole thread but an answer as to why they cost so much - I think I read that it takes one luthier three working days to bind a D28 - that's 3 days pay for a highly skilled craftsmen. And as said in a post I did read, C.F. Martin certainly use the very finest woods as a starting point.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 16 Jul 06 - 09:08 PM

Well, I can certainly vouch for the reliability of their warranty. My Martin required a neck reset, possibly after being damaged in a transatlantic flight (not sure exactly when it occurred) and they repaired it, no problem.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Charlodius
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 07:21 PM

I have a '40s martin o-17 and a new Taylor 200e. Can't really compare the two straight up, b/c they are so different. The Martin BOOMS for a smaller sized guitar. Great low end. But the Taylor shines on mids and highs, and is generally a more comfortable instrument to play. Love em both, and be glad there are so many cool guitars to play in the world!


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: 282RA
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 07:31 PM

>>I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but Martin Guitars are, in many cases, far from the best guitars ever made.

The name however appears to make people salivate, lose all sensible judgement, and pay stupid prices?

Can someone tell me why?<<

You think Martins are expensive, try buying a Larrivee.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 07:47 PM

here's the Martin d100 ... garish as hell, but I really wonder how it sounds.

The $100k Martin

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 26 Aug 06 - 07:53 PM

More info on the D100 here ...

D100


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,jcmontero
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 12:09 PM

"In many cases far from being the best guitars"?

Can you show some example for this sentence?

How many guitars did you play in your life to say in order to be able to judge Martins in such an authoritative way?

What's your criteria of expensive? Do you mean out of your range, maybe? If so, buy an Esteban and be happy!


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,jcmontero
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 12:14 PM

Sorry, I didn't want to be rude, but some questions are ridiculous, indeed.

It's like asking why Ferraris are so expensive.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 03:19 PM

"How many guitars did you play in your life . . . in order to be able to judge Martins in such an authoritative way?"

Well, quite a few, actually. I got my first Martin in 1954, and I've owned three altogether. Since then, I have played dozens and heard hundreds. At the time, Martin was the guitar. Prices ranged from about $100.00 up to close to $300.00, depending on the model. The quality of any model was excellent, and it was almost possible to buy a Martin sight-unseen and be pretty certain that you were getting a fine instrument. The occasional not-so-good Martin was a rare beast indeed.

But times have changed. During the late Fifties, through the Sixties, and beyond, the demand for good guitars, particularly Martins, has multiplied many times over. Of course, the prices skyrocketed (law of supply and demand), and to meet that demand, Martin increased production and the number of models. And, unfortunately, as all too often happens in circumstances like that, quality began to slide.

For the most part, Martins are still excellent guitars, but as far as buying sight-unseen is concerned, it's definitely not advisable. The ratio of not-so-good Martins to the very good ones has increased markedly, and if you're in the market for a Martin, you really want to try several before you buy.

Are Martin's out of my financial range? No. I currently own three full-sized guitars, two made in Madrid, and one made in Japan. I also have a couple of very nice travel guitars, both made by Sam Radding in San Diego. If I really wanted a Martin, I could sell one of the Spanish-made guitars and use the money to buy two or three Martins.

Are Martins good guitars? Most certainly. But they've become very expensive of late, and the quality is far more spotty than it used to be. Caveat emptor

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 17 Sep 06 - 03:31 PM

I would have to agree with everthing Don said. Luckily there are lots of fine guitar makers to choose from nowadays. Those that want a Martin can find one. Those who don't have plenty of other choices they can make.

Myself - I own a 1967 Martin D-18 and a 2004 Collings OM {among others}. And I can't imagine getting rid of either one of them. And the Martin was cheap. It only cost me $250.00 {back in 1969}. The Collings cost a bit more however.


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Subject: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Johnny K
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 12:56 PM

I agree there are many fine new guitars. Bought a Martin D-18GE earlier this year. Why? Because I liked the sound and I liked the name. When I bring it out, there is a mystique and people respond to it both visually and auditorily. Just like my Harley and my Boston Whaler. Are there better guitars, bikes and boats? Maybe, my personal opinion, it is in the eye of the beholder! Along with quality, the name does something for me. Does it make me a better guitar player, biker or boater? Probably not; but it makes me feel good about what I own and adds to the enjoyment of ownership.

Finally, I have never had anyone tell me my Martin sounds like a dud. They like to hear me sing and play. The instrument supports that, the rest is left up to me.

I believe Tony Rice could play any guitar and people would respond positively to his talent. While the rest of us would be scratching our heads and asking. " How did he make that plywood guitar sound like that?"


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: oggie
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 04:34 PM

I recently went looking for a new guitar to replace my Epiphone FR25 which I've had for 25+ years. Set myself a budget of £500 and hit the guitar shops of London. I nearly bought one, a Yamaha, nice instrument, good action etc, internal mike not Piezo, then I made a mistake. I played the cheapest Martin they had in the shop, D15 I think, £750, just too much and that was it. I knew if I bought the Yamaha I would always regret not buying the Martin. So now I need some more pennies and a rethink.

All the best

oggie


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 04:38 PM

Take some advice ... don't waste your money on that D15.

I'd much rather buy a good offshore guitar than that.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Midchuck
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 04:42 PM

I played the cheapest Martin they had in the shop, D15 I think, £750, just too much

Send me the 750 - about what? US$1,250? and I'll buy a D15 and a round trip plane ticket and bring it to you. Come pretty close, anyway.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: oggie
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 12:40 PM

From a UK perspective the problem may partly be that the UK is viewed by many companies (not just in music) as a cash cow which will stand high prices.   Checked on some USA sites and did the conversion and yes, Martins, Gibsons and a whole host of others are considerably cheaper in the States BUT the shops will not ship to the UK as presumably it breaches their agreements with the manufacturer.

oggie


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,UKpickstrum
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 10:04 PM

Ever heard of import duty?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: number 6
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 10:10 PM

Yeah, currency differences also ... they add the the high price here in Canada also.

sIx


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: oggie
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 11:18 AM

Yes, I have heard of import duty, 3.2% plus 17.5% VAT so approx 21% of the value of the instrument plus shipping costs. Still seems to be quite a diference at the moment as the dollar is at 1.82.

All the best

oggie


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Scrump
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 11:38 AM

Although I've never yet owned a Martin (but I do have a Sigma which is amazingly good for what it cost me), I've tried several and my impression is that the cheaper ones are not particularly good value, i.e. you could get something better for that money (at least here in the UK), and I think you are paying more for the name at the lower end, relative to the overall price.

But I thought the mid-higher end ones (say from £1,300 - £1,500 upwards) are very good quality (I think the most expensive one I tried was about £2,500). Unfortunately I can't remember which models they were, but mostly dreadnought size or thereabouts.

But of course they all vary individually. Again it could be argued that for that money or little more you could get something equally good or better, depending on your own preferences.

To sum up, I think yes, you do pay for the name, but at the higher end the 'name' part is less significant than at the lower end. I'd be interested to see if anyone else agrees? That was just my impression, as a non-owner.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 11:39 AM

dont forget thats 17.5% VAT of the entire total

including shipping cost and import duty..


then the profiteering bastards at Royal Mail
slap on top of all that

their extortionate 'clearance fee'

while they hold your parcel to ransom
until you pay up the import/VAT tax..


but having said that..


and even though some American instrument sellers,
ask for unreasonable shipping fees and expensive bank transfers etc..

.. i've stll imported in some great guitar bargains from the US..


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: oggie
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 04:11 PM

Secret is not to use Royal Mail. I've had fretsaws delivered from the States and my supplier uses Schenkers. They do all the clearances and then dliver and I give them a cheque on the doorstep.

oggie

PS Woodworking tools are 1.7% duty - God knows why the difference.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Midchuck
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 01:11 PM

Send me the 750 - about what? US$1,250? and I'll buy a D15 and a round trip plane ticket and bring it to you. Come pretty close, anyway.

I decided to research it and find out how far short I was. The results were surprising.

Google says 750 British Pounds = US$1,403.

Elderly Instruments lists $849 as the "minimum advertised price" for a D-15.

The cheapest price I came up with for New York to London round trip was $447.

Looks like I'd have a few bucks left over for Customs and local travel.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,chill, kendall
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 01:38 PM

Per Kendall:

It always gives me pleasure to hand my Taylor to a Martin lover and watch his reaction as he plays it.Instant converts. One well known collector/picker played it and was both amazed and crest fallen. he said, "This sounds as good as my vintage Martin for which I just paid $10,000!"

Sorry, Kendall, but Taylors are the quintessential point-of-sale guitar. They arrive with Elixer strings and easy action, and reward the neophyte player with the sense that they're holding a brilliant instrument. But the sound is trebly and thin, and lacks, well, balls. Taylors are he favored guitar of a lot of folky girls. Nothing intended by that but observation.

Enjoy your Taylor- it probably has opened up in twenty years, as any guitar will. But your "collector/picker" friend sounds like he was stroking you behind the ears back there, buddy. He'll never be buying Taylors for his collection.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Scoville
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 01:44 PM

I don't see the point of buying a low-end Martin just for the name; I've both heard and played them and wasn't impressed (and definitely wasn't impressed enough to pay the price difference). I can see that it might make a difference in the upper-end guitars, though. Personally, I'd never rule out a guitar based on name prestige/lack of name prestige and I'd never buy a guitar without playing the exact instrument (I'd never mail-order one based on make & model).

I've "met" a few guitars for which I would have given my eye teeth; one was a teeny little 1936 Martin 0-18, one was a friend's big old Fender (the SOB sold it and got a new Taylor that sounded like a fence post; I could have killed him), and the third was a 1960's Guild. They were all great guitars, but then they were all higher-end guitars (at least, much higher end than I could afford/my playing skills would justify).


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: oggie
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 05:39 PM

Once you're past the entry level isn't the sound/feel of any guitar largely a matter of taste? I personally find that Taylors leave me cold, I've tried a number of Avalons, one was gorgeous (to me), my wife hated it. Yesterday I took my Epiphone with me when I went to try some guitars and the salesman's attitude was 'why are you trying to trade up? how much do you want for it 'cos I'll have it!'

Yes I did try another Martin (well sveral in fact)and guess what, didn't like them! So the search for a new guitar goes on but I've learnt one lesson, when you find the guitar that 'speaks' to you BUY IT, don't rely on finding another like it even if it is the same brand and model.

All the best

oggie


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Chris
Date: 30 Oct 06 - 06:01 PM

Martin v Taylor. Who cares. Have any of you guys ever played a Levin?

My point is that we all have our favourites. A martin lover will never agree with a fan of Taylors and vice versa.

One thing is for sure though. Once you get above amateur level instruments, which for Martin is anything less than a D18 or 00018 or 0M18 etc. the quality of all makes starts to really soar. Over here in the UK, if you pay anything under £1200 for a new Martin, you are almost certainly getting less than professional quality and by the time you drop to those costing under a grand, you really ought not to bother because they are pure shite, better to buy Jap-crap plywood rubbish from Yamaha. However, once into the realms of model 28 and above, you really are driving a Rolls Royce.

Another thing that might put off Taylor fans is that a Martin needs at least 3-5 yrs playing in before it reaches its peak tonal quality whereas Taylors tend to leave the factory as good as it gets. So they sound great as soon as you buy them. I prefer to buy something that sounds good new knowing that in a few years it will sound so good it would make angels cry.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Midchuck
Date: 30 Oct 06 - 06:19 PM

...Taylors tend to leave the factory as good as it gets...

Yeah, that's the problem.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,vyperr
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 07:55 AM

I cant believe I sat here and read all these posts!
The debate can rage from now till the heavens fall, and the fact remains this. We each are individual, with individual needs and tastes. I play, wont say what I play, its pointless, what is most impportant is this, I play for the joy it brings me, the smile, or feeling of peace it may bring another, even if only briefly during that time. I ask you, "Can a price be put on what we feel when we share a gift, be it from an Ibanez Aw-200, a Martin D-35, a Taylor 800....and the list goes on, but, I have made my point.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 05:34 PM

I have a D35 12-fret slothead Martin. Normally I take it wherever I go locally. However this winter when it's been raining and blowing or snowing I leave it home and use a friend's guitar. It isn't far to Friday Night music -only about 3 blocks - but one of those blocks is up an 84-step staircase.

I've been using my friend's Washburn the last couple of months. My friend used it and liked it until she bought a D28.

The Washburn, imo, is close to being junk, mostly because it never sings. The low E string, for instance, positively thuds. She says, however, that she paid about $400 for it, which surprises me because I thought a Washburn is pretty much a $100 guitar.

Last night another friend brought an extra Martin for me to use, a D35. It's a 14 fret and it doesn't have the sound that my own guitar has but it was a joy to use. Stroke those strings and it talks back to you.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Fred Boulton
Date: 10 Dec 06 - 11:45 PM

They're not! For an instrument that is so beautiful, so well-made, such great quality, I don't think they're expensive.

I had a 1964 000-28 for many years and it was a lovely guitar. Always turned people's heads with its clear balanced tones.

I bought a D76 in 1976 and it's been my friend ever since. Once again, people are always amazed at the beautiful balanced sound across all strings and tones.

I'm about to buy a D41, a different creature again.

Not, expensive, just not cheap!


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,jock whitby
Date: 14 Dec 06 - 06:13 AM

are they?you can buy a dx1 for less than 500 notes.its tone of the best sounding jumbos ive ever owned-not competing with the d28 ecits such a beautifull guitar i darent play it.try the dxi


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Bubblyrat
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 05:48 PM

For many guitar-players, ownership of one of the finest,if not THE finest,guitars in the world is a lifetime goal !! Yes, you can buy cheaper guitars that perform very well,and are satisfying to play, But to paraphrase a recent advertisement for Belgian Lager, a Martin is "reassuringly expensive". Then there is the kudos of owning a Martin, and knowing that people know that you own & use a Martin !!That is priceless, & obviously you don"t want too many others to share that feeling ! And,to be honest, Martin guitars have a tone,and a build quality, and "feel", that just sets them apart from the rest, & naturally,that comes at a price . So I will continue to lend people my Avalon, if they really MUST borrow a guitar, but my Martin   ?? ?NEVER !!!


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 09:50 AM

Never really liked Martins, always sound a bit metallic to me. Now my 1964 Gibson - that really does have a wonderful, rich tone.........


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 11:45 AM

I wouldn't part with my oo-21 for any money.

But what isn't being said here is that one guitar in the hands of one player will sound different in the hands of another.

Case in point: I have played Big Bill Broonzy's guitar on numerous occasions at the Old Town School. No way am I going to make it sound like Big Bill did it.

OTOH I make my guitar sound the way I play it and others have played it and not sounded the same. Some of them don't like it for themselves which is perfectly understandable.

The guitar is such a personal instrument that to try to standardize it is to miss the boat.

Martin Guitars are expensive because of their long reputation. Nowadays, there are makers who are just as good but it really comes down to the player.

Also, body type has a lot to do with it, size of hands, approach to the instrument....all the personal variables. The discussion here is almost a red-herring.

The guitar that works for you is worth what you pay for it.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Tim Ausburn
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 12:19 AM

I've read most of the postings about Martin guitars and the one by Frank Hamilton explains it the best that I've heard.
I'm 72 and have played guitar for 60 years. I've owned just about every kind of quality guitar going and have played many others that I haven't owned. I've done repairs and set up on hundreds of guitars in the 50 years that I've been in the repair business. I have checked out MANY D-18 and D-28 Martin guitars that had the bridge located wrong. Some were over 1/8 of an ince out, usally short so that the guitar played sharp. I have found this problem in all other makes of guitars also.
I have always advised anyone looking to buy a guitar to travel as far as practical and try as many guitars as they can before deciding on one.
I agree with postings that say that a given guitar will sound different when played by different people.
I have played Taylor guitars, most of their higher priced models at least and most were fairly decent sounding and playing guitars. I just can't get the tone and volume from the Taylor guitars that I'm looking for. Some Santa Cruz guitars are good also but I find things I don't like with every brand I try.
I've found duds in every brand of guitar that I've ever tried. I still believe that overall when you compare same quality guitars from all makers that Martin comes out ahead.
I play a 1951 D-28 Martin that plays in tune all up and down the neck. I have a 2004 HD-28V Martin that sounds great and plays in tune all up and down the neck. I have a 2005 DCME acoustic/electric Martin that has a neck that feels like a Gibson electric. It is really fast. It also plays in tune all over the neck.
I was very upset when Martin started putting the Martin name on their line of cheap guitars. I think they should have kept the Sigma line for low priced guitars.
Anyway these are just my feelings about guitars that I've developed from 60 years of playing and comparing them.
Thanks for your time.
Tim Ausburn


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Grimmy
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 07:51 AM

Martins are undoubtedly the standard by which other guitars are judged. However, it is interesting to note just how many of the 'big name' British folk/celtic guitarists DON'T play Martins. This is a quick list of the artists (all nationalities) I've seen in the past 12 months, together with their guitar make:

Bert Jansch - Yamaha
John Renbourn - Bown
Clive Carroll - Bown
Ralph McTell - Yamaha
Martin Simpson - Sobell
Pierre Bensusan - Ryan
Martin Carthy - Martin (his 'other' guitar is a Fylde)
Davy Graham - unknown (Woolworths?)
Tony McManus - Kelday
Kelly Joe Phelps - Martin
Keith Hinchliffe - Brook
Michael Chapman - ? (not Martin)
Gordon Giltrap - various (not Martin)
Thomas Lieb - Lowden

I offer this as an observation only. You may draw your own conclusions.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: mandotim
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 08:31 AM

I've seen Michael Chapman and Gordon Giltrap playing Fylde guitars; in fact I played Michaels old Fylde Caliban last night. Gordon Giltrap has a Fylde 'signature' model, but also has a collection of Rob Armstrong guitars. Maartin Allcock plays Sobell, Armstrong and ...wait for it...Crafter guitars. Last time I saw Ralph McTell he had two guitars on stage; one was a Martin D28, and the other was a Santa Cruz.
Tim


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,james t
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 09:37 AM

this debate is certainly informative for me who have just acquired a D28 (2005) a guitar which i have aspired to since beginning to strum 40 years ago when i was being brought up on the kingston trio, the guys who really first used the things to their potential.

i do have to agree though, having played some fine instruments over the years and some collector's models, that i am for the moment a bit disappointed with the D28 for one reason mainly. The projection is just about right (have tried both lights and mediums -- elixirs, martins, you name it...), the action is ok, i was expecting a tougher go at it, but i guess after 40 years of playing my chops are in shape. The looks and durability are not to be questioned, the ebony fingerboard is uniform even if the spruce grain in not exactly straight but does contain two or three "unique" irregularities... No, the ONE thing that is irking me for the moment is ... the intonation!!!!

The dude you said above "if the E comes through clear then the A is out", I would be even more specific and say its the second B string that doesn't want to adhere when going through even the most basic chord progressions. The problem seems to level out though when you tune by tempering (and tampering) so that even in C or D bar chords in any position it rings truer. I do know a bit what I'm talking about having not only played all styles over the years in all conditions with and without amplification but also from experience as a pianist (player and tuner). so much that the intonation "problem" has been bumming me out, proportionally to my expectations for finally owning the mythical D28.

I've been surfing on the web for the past week looking for help/hope as to this intonation tweak-out and that's what brought me here today.
I'm prepared to see a qualified and creative luthier but certainly do not see the point of having to re-do the instrument.

By the way, have also played some fine sounding Taylors, even the damn 310 sounds great, i can only imagine what a fine sounding instrument the 810 must be... hell, I'm not married to Martin, just looking for a reliable (tone and intonation-wise) instrument that will surprise me every day, make me and others smile any time I bring it out.

Thanks for reading me and love to all

james t


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 10:05 AM

Well my D28, also the realisation of a lifetimes ambition to own one, is of 1997 vintage. I was pleased with it when I first got it, and over time it has 'played in' beautifully. However the biggest improvement to both it's intonation and playability was when last year I took it to my Luthier and got it 'Set up' He didn't do that much, checked all the grooves in the nut were the right width, and that the strings laid flat in them all the way along, he then took out the saddle and sanded it down to lower the action a bit, and he reamed out the peg holes to they sat in there more snugly. It made the guitar so much easier to play, and less painful on the fingertips too.
As for strings I struggled for a while, didn't like the Martin strings, took to D'Addarios, then tried Elixir. I loathed Elixir, found them 'slippy'. Then I tried Newtone strings, and for me they are the best I have found so far.
So persist with you D28, consider getting it set up, and try Newtone strings. They do take time to play in, most guitars do.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,james t
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 10:21 AM

thanks for the encouragement giok, yeah, i intend to do just that anyway, being a patient kind of guy. the question of the guitar's price, of course, looms in the background of this discussion but i trust you'd agree that most cheaper guitars are exactly that, "cheap" with the possible exception here and there... (my brother has a yamaha jumbo that plays like a rolls). As for the elixirs, i find them at first to be smooth and quick, the first impression being like wow what tone! but after a couple of weeks i find the tone to be irregular, with funky second and third harmonics detectable in open string playing, which does not at all lend itself to achieving harmonious intonation, does it... so when the current set of elixir lights runs itself thin, i take your advice and try the newtones. AND i will make an appointment with the luthier. Yes, I do know that about 99% of Martin acquirers end up admitting they've had to have it regulated at the outset for this and that. Let's hope that'll do the trick 'cause, once again, it's just a beautiful instrument otherwise that's just waiting to sing. last question : are those medium or light newtones you've got on your '97 martin?

james t


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 10:28 AM

Mediums
G ¦¬]


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Texas Guitar Guy
Date: 08 Mar 07 - 02:48 PM

I'm so grateful to Bob Taylor for making good guitars for the masses. Keeps them from buying all the truly great Martins that those of us with a more discrening ear.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: pirandello
Date: 16 Apr 07 - 09:26 AM

james, re: your Martin and intonation. Firstly, ANY guitar, if it has a scale length calculated by the Rule of 18 (and most have) will show discrepancies in intonation. This is a mathematical fact of tempered tuning and no guitar can be made to play perfectly in tune in every key, no matter how stellar the builder, or how accurately the fret positions or bridge location have been calculated. If your guitar was perfectly intonated in the key of D it would sound horribly out of tune in A, which is why I never use an electronic tuner as very few except the most expensive Peterson stroboscopic models allow for tempered tuning.
There are some ways to marginally improve intonation like the Earvana nut and the Buzz Feiten tuning system but, ultimately, you still have to compromise and the shorter the scale the more difficult it is to achieve acceptable intonation.
You just have to use your ear and sweeten the tuning to suit the guitar; for example most of my guitars need the bottom E flattened a touch as well as the top E and B.
Most Martins now have compensated bridge saddles, particularly on the B string, but, again, you are limited in how much adjustment you can do by the width of the saddle.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: English Jon
Date: 16 Apr 07 - 10:04 AM

They aren't! The dollar is worth bugger all, so now is a great time to have one sent over from the states.

Cheers,
Jon


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Peter Green
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 08:52 AM


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: pirandello
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 08:44 AM

Anything is expensive if you can't afford it!
Martin guitars, like any other, will vary in perceived quality of tone; but that is so subjective as to be almost meaningless.
I have owned close on a dozen Martins and currently own one, a 0000-36 Custom and three Gibsons; Advanced Jumbo, SJ 200 and J185 Koa Custom.
They were all expensive but what I'm paying for is premium tonewoods, great build quality and superb tone. It takes a long time to find really great sounding examples but, if you take your time looking, they are out there and when you find THE one the expense is easily justified.
I'm also paying for intangibles; heritage, ownership of a bit of guitar building history and pride of ownership.
If you think Martins are expensive then take a look at Jeff Traugott's creations-they start at $26,000. Martin prices pale into insignificance...
As to what's the best guitar; it only exists in the ears and hands of the buyer irrespective of the name on the headstock.
In 1969 my lowly Yamaha FG 180 was the best I could afford and at £40.90p was a lot of pocket money for a 16 year old kid.
It's all relative and it's all good.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 04:44 PM

In the 70's I was fortunate enough to own a 1938 Martin 00018, my pride and joy. It was better recieved than I was. However I unfortunately had to sell it to keep a roof over my head. A couple of years ago I bought a new 00018 but it was not the same. Does the years dim the memory or do they not make 'um like they use to?
Incidently I now play an Avalon L32c. Now that IS a fine guitar!


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Midchuck
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 10:29 AM

n the 70's I was fortunate enough to own a 1938 Martin 00018, my pride and joy. It was better recieved than I was. However I unfortunately had to sell it to keep a roof over my head. A couple of years ago I bought a new 00018 but it was not the same. Does the years dim the memory or do they not make 'um like they use to?

Two points:

1) In the thirties and early forties Martins were more lightly braced. When people started trying to use them for rhythm in string band settings, they strung them with heavier and heavier strings and beat on them harder. Martin started getting more warranty claims than they could afford. So they beefed up the bracing. That made the guitars more durable, but hurt the sound. Now they're selling the more lightly braced models again, as "vintage" versions, at a premium price. Doesn't seem quite fair, but what do I know about merchandising?

2) There is no quick way to duplicate the effect of 40 years of aging and being played, on guitar wood. None.

If you'd kept the '38, you could probably sell it now and buy a couple of houses, live in one and collect rent on the other...

Peter


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 11:31 AM

One of the reasons VINTAGE Martins are so expensive is that people (particularly owners)tend to promulgate myths about them. Some sound better than modern guitars but some don't. And as for a 1938 0018 being valuable enough to fund the purchase of two houses- well, maybe- if you had about 60 of them!


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: pirandello
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 02:06 PM

If the houses were in Merthyr Tydfil you could probably buy a couple of streets!


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 02:20 PM

When I sold the 1938 00018 in about 1976 Orange Music in London gave me £195 which I accepted becouse I was desperate. I was ripped of but it appeared the Music Shops of the time operated a cartel as I was expected at each shop and offered the same price!!!! Coincidence or what?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Marco
Date: 12 Jun 07 - 12:44 AM

I Just bought a 2006 HD28. This guitar is the best sounding guitar I've heard in a long time. When I was trying out guitars, I had it down to a taylor 810, Martin HD 35, and HD28. While the taylor did sound nice, I went with the HD 28. I like the darker sound. I'm mostly a flatpicker and the martin suites me well. The taylor was nice, but it seems like when you play a nice martin you will not buy anything else. I do believe that it does not matter what kind of guitar you buy as long as you love it. Martins are expensive, but if it is the guitar that suites you well than it is well worth it. And I know there is so many Taylor fans out there and they do make a great guitar, but I tell you taylor fans to check out a tour of the Martin factory and it just may change your mind about quailty guitars.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 12 Jun 07 - 01:44 AM

If you think Martin guitars are expensive take a look at Gibson mandolins, currently on eBay is a 1926 Gibson F5 Fern, price £48,328.24 or in the US $95,000.00

It's not even a new one.

eric


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 12 Jun 07 - 01:55 AM

"It's not even a new one," indeed. Nice one!


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Jun 07 - 02:11 AM

I hope you enjoy your Martin, Marco - best wishes. Whatever you do - now that you've paid for it, don't make the mistake I did. Persist with it. Get a good luthier to look at it straightaway, and sort out any minor problems that he can see with a good set up.

My Martin D35 would never stay in tune for long - I realise now that it was probably the holes in the bridge which were too tight, or the nut that was cut wrongly. Something really trivial that could easily be sorted out. In my naivety, I thought if I paid a lot for a guitar it would be perfect from the word go.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,GUEST frodopogo
Date: 12 Jun 07 - 09:46 PM

I don't currently have a steel string acoustic.
When I had one, the best I had was a lawsuit Takamine.
Like people have mentioned about Martins, it took some
playing before it started to open up.
One day I played way too long for what I was used to (weekend warrior)
and injured the index finger. Now I max out at about a half hour
on a steel string acoustic... and so it's not worth having one.
I try them now and again in shops.
I make do for my own playing with a nylon string...
but I'm very sensitive to acoustic guitar tone,
especially as a member of the audience, or hearing others
play them in shops.

I can totally agree with the comments about the differences
in sound- to me, Taylors have a clarity and a bell like quality,
but lack warmth.
Martins sound much warmer and richer to me, but almost
too warm and rich- they lack clarity.
They also tire my bad finger out the quickest.
The acoustic whose tone I have enjoyed the most listening to
was actually a fairly old (20 year old?) Alvarez Yairi.
The sound was rich, and yet every note was clear and distinct.
However, I understand how some people preferring the sound
of Martins, Gibsons or Taylors is a matter of taste.
They are definitely not the same. And it's also a matter
of function- what genre, solo or ensemble, etc.

I also play electric guitar, since it is easier on my injured
finger. I tend to like Stratocasters, and there I am well
aware of this "iconic" aspect, which is a factor with Fender's
electrics, just as it is with Martin acoustics, and virtually
all Gibsons. Some have mentioned this. There is just something
about a Martin or Gibson acoustic (if of the classic designs)
that just "looks right" for certain genres of music. (those
that have a history stretching back to the 20's,30's,40's,and 50's)
This iconic quality is a big factor, especially in the resale market.
Many good guitars that don't have that iconic quality
lose a lot of value if you bought them new and try to resell them.
Some of that resale value is partly because you have ignorant
people who wouldn't know a good guitar from a bad one buying
Martins, Gibsons, and Fender electrics, just because their dad
or granddad had one. But if resale value is a factor,
then it might be worth it to look for a good Martin or Gibson.
I would say a new guitar's price is more reflective of the cost of the
labor and materials it took to build it,
where a used guitars price is based on its reputation...
and some of that is perhaps deserved, and some
has this irrational iconic quality.

Martin is the only American company whose quality stank in the '70s.
So did Fender and Harley-Davidson- the companies barely survived because of their trashed reputations. And all the American carmakers
were making absolute junk in the '70s... what was it about those times? Surprisingly, Fender's and Harleys are still American icons.

Anyway, this thread was an interesting read- lots of good points
mixed in with irrational iconic statements that remind me
of Ford-Chevy debates when I was a kid.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Guest: Ed
Date: 19 Nov 07 - 07:20 AM

They are expensive because somebody pays the asking price. Personally I don't care for Martin's and I've owned several. They are great, given the right strings, for those that like it loud and in your face. However, that's not my thing. I like kinder and sweeter tones. After 65 years of playing I've settled on a Gibson J-185. Not too big. Not too little. Round shoulders and narrow waist makes for great snuggling and ease in wrapping around her. If you play long hours regularly that makes all the difference in the world. Martins were all right for quickies.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,belerecords
Date: 19 Nov 07 - 03:27 PM

Now I'm old and a little better off than I used to be I have bought both a Martin 00018gt and a taylor GS cedar top. They are like 2 great singers with very different voices both unique in their own ways. They were both bought in separate blind playing sessions in a great shop where the assistant passed me instruments without me really being able to notice the precise details of what they were until I'd played them for at least a good 15 minutes when I stopped to have a look. It took a lot more playing before making final decisions but I don't regret either purchase. In fact buying the Martin (the first one) is one of the best decisions of my musical life - it revolutionised my playing and gave me a confidence I'd never had before. The Martin is an ultra reliable workhorse that will do anything gig after gig after gig. The Taylor came 4 years later and is a bit more of a Diva. The Taylor GS does not sound like a Taylor - it has a massive bottom end and played with a 5 string capo is amazing! I will never ever part with either, both worth every penny and I wish I'd mortaged my life 20 years earlier to buy them.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 05 Jan 08 - 06:25 PM

Given the weakness of the US Dollar and the current oversupply of Martin guitars, they appear to be in the process of becoming much less expensive!

On UK eBay there is currently a 1997 D-41 in near new condition going for less than GBP1000 (current RRP GBP2700) and this is about the only auctioned Martin (as opposed to "Buy it Now") that has any bids at all at the moment.

Does anyone else remember the song "Keep that wheel a'turning", where the hero "turned out more than his boss could sell"?

I rather fear that Chris Martin has saturated the market and we have reached the point where everyone who ever wanted a Martin has now got one (or, in my case, four!)!!!

Alan


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 06 Jan 08 - 04:25 PM

Why is the pope a catholic?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Stewart
Date: 06 Jan 08 - 05:04 PM

Expensive?

Heck, I only paid $99.95 for my Martin D-18,
new, in 1956!
And when the (slot-through) bridge flew off
(CRACK!!)
a month ago, I called Martin in Pennsylvania.
A real person answered the phone (amazing!).
After I explained my problem she connected me
directly with a service rep.
Because Martins (at least back then)
were guaranteed for life, I asked if they would
repair it under warranty.
He asked me if I had my warranty papers, and I replied,
"no, that was over 50 years ago."
After I gave him the serial number and mentioned
that I had had some warranty repair about 25 years ago,
after I had written Martin explaining I was the original owner,
he said, "no problem, just contact a certified Martin repair person
in the Seattle area and we will pay for the repair."
Done!
Best investment I ever made,
and NO, I'm not going to sell it
for any amount of money.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 06 Jan 08 - 11:26 PM

Just to clear a few things up, Martin mills many parts (necks) on CNCs and then assembles and finishes the guitars by hand. I think many mfgs do this, and they will tell you when asked. No biggie, you get more exacting tolerances that way, it's still hand assembled.

So why are some $900. and others over $3000.? It has to do with the grades of woods used and the amount of time spent hand-shaving braces for that "perfect" tone. Many more man-hours on a D-35 than a D-1. Then there's inlays! The inlay on a D-45 takes a bit more than an afternoon to complete!

My 2 cents on tone: The sturdiest and heaviest guitars seem to have that "reference sound" that fills a room with sweetness and clarity.
The fatter the neck, the better the sustain, period. (sorry taylor!)This about tone, NOT ease of play. Also, don't be a putz and put light strings on a jumbo or dreadnought! They are designed to have a certain tension on them for optimum tone and projection-use at least 13-56!
I have noticed that cheaper guitars, for whatever reason, cannot handle this tension. feh. Don't waste your money.
I play locally and regionally, and I have accepted that I can't find a GREAT-sounding acoustic for less than $2300.-$3000. here's what I use:
-(1) Gibson SJ200: Kapow! Fat neck, Big and loud! REFERENCE TONE!
-(2) Gibson J-185EC: fat, fat necks (think L-5 archtop), Great big frets, REFERENCE TONE!
-(1) Martin HD28: a tonal standard, had to try several out though, great capo guitar, REFERENCE TONE!
-(1)Guild F512 12 string: THE 12 string-REFERENCE TONE!
-(1)Lowden S25J-Nylon "jazz" neck, sturdy, smooth play, REFERENCE TONE!
These all sound great mic'ed with condensers from cheapo russian-made to expensive german-made(Neumann)ones; Any Shure or Akg, etc. dynamic mic is fine too. My point is that they sound good anywhere, anytime, under any conditions. They never, ever fail me and they ALWAYS sound great.

Back to Martin: I don't like the cheap ones and many of the new D-18 thru D-35s don't enthrall me, historic, vintage, whatever. Find a late model HD28-35, D41-42-45, but SHOP AROUND and be patient, you'll find one you like.

So, save your bucks, get a GREAT-sounding guitar whatever make. Shop around. The lifetime of pleasure outlasts the sting of the (well-worth-it)price tag. And DON'T buy a Taylor!(LOL)
goodnite, irene!


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,James in Brooklyn, NY
Date: 09 May 08 - 03:28 PM

I own a Martin 000-28 Norman Blake and it is the best sounding Martin, (or any other acoustic guitar) I have EVERY played, let alone owned, IMHO.

Let's not forget a big issue regarding price- it's made in America. Not Chine, Korea or Canada. Also, as others have stated, it is the quality of the Tonewoods that are used and the man/woman hours for all the hand carving. And yes it is a bit about the "Martin" name but people, why does Martin have a name for Guitars? Because they build bloody fantastic ones, that's why.

Guitars, like a lot of things in life, are personal. What floats your boat may sink my boat to the bottom and vice versa. I have played over 20 Taylor Guitars and I would not pay $300 for ones they sell for 4 Grand! I put Taylor's on my lap and within seconds it is always-NO WAY! I am not right nor am I wrong. It just comes down to- what grooves you...........


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 09 May 08 - 03:52 PM

You want quality, you pay for quality, you want cheap. you get cheap. Martins are not cheap.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 09 May 08 - 09:31 PM

My Mrs Bought me a Martin Guitar end of 2007.
I am as pleased as punch with it and think it to be lovely to look at and to hear.
I would never have spent so much money on a guitar for me 'cos I dont think I will ever play well enough to make the most of wahat it can do.
Also I am not usualy a "Equipment snob" but I have to admit I am proud of me little guitar whenever I take it out and get a real player to have a go.
I thionk they are expensive 'cos they are good.
Same as taylor,Lowdon,etc.
Be happy and play proud


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: van lingle
Date: 10 May 08 - 11:12 AM

I try (with varying degrees of sucess) not to pay too much attention the name on the headstock but I did play a new Martin Norman Blake 000-28 model a few years back in Salt Lake City and found it to be both an awesome fingerpicker and flatpicker and that after playing a bunch of fine vintage instruments at Intermountain Banjo.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: glueman
Date: 10 May 08 - 12:38 PM

My guitar is a £30 Chinese dreadnought and I rather like the way it sounds. It has the fattest strings known to man and you can't play it for more than half an hour without sustaining an industrial injury. For those thirty minutes it makes a great noise, neither sweet nor beautiful but kinda phat and bluesy and weird. All the guitars mentioned would be a million times 'better' but none will make the sound that thing does.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,mikey
Date: 17 May 08 - 07:26 AM

because they, along with gibson, have built the best instruments ever made


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 May 08 - 08:01 AM

because they, along with Gibson, have built the biggest myth ever made.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 07:39 PM

I just stumbled upon this site and had fun reading much of this thread. It almost felt like guys arguing over whether blondes, brunettes or redheads were hotter. They can all be hot.

I used to have an old D28 (Brazilian rosewood) which I had to trade for a good Gibson ES 340 and Fender Pro Reverb...damn I wish I still had either of them. When I got a D 18 in 1972, everyone said...it's nice, but they don't make 'em like they used to. After a few years, it sounded like they used to make 'em. Last summer, I drove to Nazareth and they reglued all the struts, reset the neck, reglued the bridge and refretted it. They only charged me for the frets. It came out sounding new...but after a week or so, it sounded old again. It's a great guitar, but it's still recovering from the new glue. I plan to keep it. It's very sweet and well balanced.

However, to keep it from further wear and abuse, I just bought a DCX1E. It has a very very nice sound...full bass like rosewood, clear treble and sweet tone. My friend just got a 7 year old DCX1E and wow...sounds like an old Martin. I wasn't sure how they would age...but apparently, the top is what matters most.

Every piece of wood is unique. Every guitar top is unique. I've played some beautiful Taylors, Gibsons, Guilds and some luthier made guitars. They were all beautiful. Personally, I really like the feel and sound of my Martins, but I did have to take the action down...I play a lot of blues...not bluegrass. All the Martins I've seen improve greatly with playing and age, but some of the newer ones sound outstanding right out of the box. I just played a Tawny Satinwood my dealer just got in. I want to get a solid rosewood model, but the ones he has aren't as nice sounding to my ear as the X and plywood Martins. Over the years, I've played a bunch of Martins and they all sounded nice and consistent, but the older ones were best. I would just as soon have a Dillon or a Schulte but they are both retired and the ones they made are coveted and costly. (I do have a great Schulte Les Paul Custom and some of my friends have Dillons.)

Martin has turned out so many great guitars that they have a well deserved reputation. And their higher end ones have snob appeal. I don't care about pearl inlay and cosmetics as much as the feel and sound I like. Taylors seem a little more fragile here in this climate...I live a little over an hour from the Martin factory. I'd love to have a nice Taylor for my collection, but for my taste, Martins suit me a little more. But...my sister has an old mahogany top Guild that sounds far far better than it should...it's as nice as a Martin or a Taylor and some far better guitarists than I agree on that point.

Badmouthing a Taylor won't make your Martin better and vice versa.
Enjoy what you like.


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Subject: For Sale: Buy:Guitars/Gibson/Martin/Taylor/Larrive
From: GUEST,john Marquez
Date: 07 Dec 08 - 11:41 AM

WE STOCK A LARGE RANGE OF CHEAPER ACOUSTICS FROM £65 INCLUDING, WESTFIELD, STAGG, YAMAHA, CRAFTER, IBANEZ, TUNER,E.T.C,WE TRADE AND WE ARE REGISTERED,ALL OUR PRODUCTS THAT ARE LISTED HERE ARE BRAND NEW,SEALED WITH ONE(1) YEAR INTERNATIONAL WARANTY. GUITAR/AMP/BAG/STRAP/LEAD/PLEC/TUNER/ SUPERB VALUE FROM £500 TO £700,DONT MISS THESE INCREDIBLE OFFERS.
Contact this E-mail address for Buying/Inquiries...
E-mail:
Frailers@live.com
Frailers@live.com

Gibson Cascade LC-1 £860
Gibson L75 30's £630
Gibson J-185 EC Soundhole pickup £1000
Gibson L4A £900
Gibson Gospel £790
Gibson L3 circa 1923 £870
Gibson CL-30 £622
Gibson J-150 Rosewood £1100
Gibson J-100 £977
Gibson Mk53 £450
Gibson CJ-100 £POA
Gibson J40 1300 £799
Gibson J40 1430 £799
Gibson J150 £1010
Gibson Advanced Jumbo £1001
Gibson EC-20 £1011
Gibson Blueridge £650
Gibson Gospel £510
Gibson N-710 £462
Gibson J-50 1950's £1100
Gibson Mk-35 £500
Gibson J-45 £610
Gibson Roy Smeck £1320
Gibson J-45 Rosewood £1013
Gibson Heritage £578
Gibson B-45 12 String £501
Gibson CL-30 Deluxe £735
Gibson EAS £502
Gibson LG-2 Three Quarter New Neck £290
Gibson VIOLIN with pickup £401.

Guild D40 £401
Guild D35 £402
Guild D60 £801
Guild RF47RCE £603
Guild F30 £510 choice 2
Guild D25 £512
Guild F45-CE £514
Guild D4 £270
Guild D4NT £311

Martin
Martin SPD-16K £877
Martin D12-28 £899
Martin 00-15 £356
Martin D-12 £345
Martin JC-16 RGTE £800
Martin JC-16WE £826
Martin DR £300
Martin 000-16 K2 £910
Martin D-16GT £490
Martin D-16 Custom £567
Martin 0-17 3/4 £509
Martin 5-15 £381
Martin SW-0MGT £588
Martin 0-16 New Yorker £920
Martin OR-16 £801
Martin D-18-VS £1000
Martin DX-1R £210
Martin DX-1E £575
Martin MTV-2 £877
Martin DC-1 £400
Martin D-16GT £511
Martin HD-28 £1100
Martin D-41 Custom £1400
Martin SWDGT £867
Martin D-28 £911
Martin D-35 £910
Martin 00016 £815
Martin 000-18 £817
Martin 000-18 c1983 £910
Martin J40C £992
Martin D-16-GT £523
Martin D-16-RGT £561
Martin D-28E £911
Martin Alternative Resonator £490
Martin D-16RE £780
Martin DC16-GTE £510
Martin MC-28 Custom £1011
Martin B-1 BASS £510

Ovation
Ovation 1151-12St £210
Ovation 1657-7 £312

Taylor
Taylor 214 Hard Case Was £699 Now £342
Taylor 214E Hard Case choice of Three Was £570 Now £512
Taylor 210 Hard Case Was £430 Now £400
Taylor 110 Gig Bag Was £310 Now £290
Taylor 114 Gig Bag Choice of 3 Was £320 Now £300
Taylor 510 £811
Taylor 415 CE £1109
Taylor 454 CE £850
Taylor T5-C1 £999
Taylor Doyle Dykes £1300
Taylor 314-CE £699
Taylor GSME £899
Taylor W10-CE £999
Taylor NS-34CE £699
Taylor NS-44 £599
Taylor NS-44 £699
Taylor 310CE £525
Taylor 310 S/H £499
Taylor 510 2002 £899
Taylor 510 2000 £899
Taylor 314 £450
Taylor 410 £599
Taylor 414-CE £850
Taylor 514-CE £909
Taylor 600 Special Edition £1099
Taylor 614-CE 2004 £1099
Taylor 614-CE 2002 £1099
Taylor 412 KE £599
Taylor 615 £999
Taylor 910 £1199
Taylor 710 £908
Taylor 810 £1099
Taylor 312 CE £699
Taylor 410CE LEFT HAND £899
Taylor 355-12St £599
Taylor 355-12St £700
Collings 0002H £1399

GALLAGHER G50 £1099
Epiphone Prototype 12 String £100
Epiphone EJ200CE/N £199
Epiphone Hummingbird £199
Epiphone Dove £129

Dobro Acoustic £399
Larrivee L-10 £999
Larrivee L-09E £699
Larrivee SD-50 £699
Larrivee LV-05 £699
Larrivee OMV-10 £999
Larrivee L-05 £599
Larrivee LV-10 £990
Larrivee L-03R £499
Larrivee D-30K £399
Larrivee OM-3 £350
Larrivee om-3 Left Hand £359
Larrivee LV-19 £899
Larrivee L-19 £899
Larrivee OM-19 £809
Larrivee OM-09 £699
Larrivee 0MV09 £1099
Larrivee DV-09 £1099
SANTA CRUZ TONY RICE £1150
Breedlove Focus DR p/up £839

Crafter TCO35N E/Q £119-Best Seller 50 In Stock
Crafter TO35 £79
Crafter GA6/N £80
Crafter GA6/8 £100
Crafter TCL70 EQ £100
Crafter GAE69 £199
Crafter GAE8 LSV £149
Crafter FX 550 £99
Crafter LITE CE/SP £101
Crafter SF40-CENT £55.51
Crafter JM180 £149

IBANEZ NOW IN STOCK
Ibanez AC-90 £179
Ibanez AEG10E Black £149
Ibanez AEG10E Blue £149
Ibanez AEG8E-NT £149
Ibanez EW20ASE-NT £199
Ibanez AEL20EW-ACV £169
Ibanez AEL40SE RLV £249
WESTFIELD ACOUSTICS
Westfield WF500 CEQ Various colours 3 In Stock £70
Westfield JBEA-35 Built In Tuner Full Pickup System Cutaway With Pod Type Hard Case Black/Blue/Sunburst £77
Westfield WF500 Folk Various colours £50
Westfield B200 Folk Various colours £40
Westfield B220 £457
Westfield B220CE £71
Yamaha
Yamaha APX 700 was £239 now £210
Yamaha APX-700-12 £229
Yamaha APX 500 £149
Yamaha CG-131S £99
Yamaha FGX-720SCA £199
Yamaha FG7-20S £129
Yamaha FG-700S £79
Yamaha DW9 £199
Yamaha F-310 £59
Yamaha FG-720S-12 £100
Yamaha LS-16H £619 Now £329
Yamaha LJ-16 £339
Yamaha LJ-6 £199
Yamaha LJ-6C £379
Yamaha LL-6h £219

WildwoodD
Wildwood Bluegrassbanjos - see Wildwood website from links
Wildwood Soloist Tree of Life Inlay £1199
Wildwood Heirloom £1099
Wildwood Artist £1199
Wildwood Paragon £1299
Wildwood Troubadour open back £999
Wildwood Balladeer Openback Tree of Life inlay £1295
Wildwood -- superb banjos made in California.

Goldtone BOB CARLIN £399 inc case
Goldtone CB100 £250 inc case
Goldtone OB250G £599 inc. hard case
Goldtone MM150 £299 inc. hard case
Goldtone Pro Tenor £399 w-case
Goldtone C100 £250 inc. hard case
Goldtone BG250G used £250 case

Fender
Fender Telecaster 1978 Original Sunburst £821
Fender Telecaster Deluxe Cherry Red £599
Fender Telecaster Deluxe Plus 3 Pickups Sunburst £599
Fender Telecaster Deluxe 3 Pickups Blue £599
Fender Ash Telecaster £399
Fender Telecaster Usa Std Black £360
Fender Telecaster Usa Std White £349
Fender Telecaster 52 RI Special Edition Black Gold Hardware £699
Fender Telecaster 52 RI £599
Fender Telecaster 52 RI Thinskin series £780
Fender Telecaster FSR USA 52 RI £800
Fender Telecaster Usa Standard Diamond Series case £499
Fender Telecaster Neck Humbucker Case £350
Fender Telecaster power Bridge Warmouth Neck Custom £199
Fender Clapton Strat £499
Fender Stratocaster 57' Reissue Thinskin Series £765
Fender Stratocaster 62' Reissue Thinskin Series £780
Fender Lone Star Stratocaster Sienna Burst Ash Body Case £450
Fender USA STD Strat Teal Metallic R/W Neck Case £360
Fender American Std Strat £399
Fender Double Fat Strat Red £450
Fendr BIG APPLE Strat £499
Fender Strat Std. red. £299
Fender Squire Stratocaster White £88
Fender Squire Telecaster £89
Fender Bronco Black 1978 £299

Gretsch
Gretsch Jet firebird £499
Gretsch 6120 (1960)New £910
Gretsch 6120 Left Hand £970
Gretsch rancher Mod 6-22 £619
Gretsch Malcom Young £609
Gretsch White Falcon D/cut £1009
Gretsch 6122-58 Country classic £911
Gretsch 6122 Jnr £802
Gretsch 6120 Jnr £822
Gretsch Round-Up £724
Gretsch 6120 Keith Scott £877
Gretsch 6120 Nashville £862
Gretsch 6122 Country Classic £854
Gretsch 6120 1960 Reissue £854
Gretsch Tennessee Rose £865
Gretsch Country Classic 62 R.1 £843
Gretsch Duo Jet £721
Gretsch Duo Jet S/H £643
Gretsch 57 Duo Jet S/H £621
Gretsch 6128 TSP Duo Jet £632
Gretsch country classic £900
Gretsch Stephen Stills White Falcon £1000

National Resorocket vintage Steel £1210
National Polychrome Tricone C/way (Volcanic Ash) £1210
National Polychrome Tricone (Volcanic Ash) £1000
National Polychrome Tricone £860
National Delphi Volcanic ash £870
National Delphi Frosted Duco £1100
National Tricone One £1100
National Tricone One £1100
National Tricone One £1100
National Tricone Vintage Steel £900
National Tricone Cutaway Vintage Steel £990
National Estralita £870
National Trovadour £P.O.A
National Model D £880
National Delphi £710
National 12 String £750
National Style 014 out of stock £1200
National Resolectric JNR £600
National Jazz Blues £600
National Style 0 Choice of 2 £950
National Style 0 deluxe £1001
National Style 0 Used £918


Mode Of Acceptive Payments:

1)Western Union Money Transfer:
2)Money Gram:
3)(T/T) Bank To Bank:


Frailers@live.com
Frailers@live.com
thanks...
john marquez


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: goatfell
Date: 07 Dec 08 - 11:45 AM

to me a guitar at £100 sounds exactly the same as one at £4,000

and the same with guitar strings, a set the cost you £7 sounds exactly the same as ones at £12

so I can't see what is difference about Guitars and strings, becasue as I say one Guitar sounds exactly the same as another.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 07 Dec 08 - 12:16 PM

I wish I had your ear Goatfell - would have saved me a lot of money!


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Stringsinger
Date: 07 Dec 08 - 12:55 PM

I have had the Martin 0021 that I play for years. It has a beautiful balance and
the intonation corrected by John Carruthers.

The instrument is only as good as the player. You can have all kinds of
preferences but the bottom line is that a good player can make any guitar
sound good.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Dec 08 - 01:08 PM

Guitars have their own personalities. Some players can make some makes
sound right for their style of playing. Their style may not work on all
brands. Each Martin has it's own personality and reason for being built.
Yamaha had a testing program in California where they attempted to
compare their brand with the Martin in an A.B. testing. The Yamaha had
a different tonal texture which would be desirable on certain musical styles.
The Martin on others.

The reason Martin is expensive is because they were there first. Over the
years they built quality instruments. I would never trade mine for any
other.

For example, when Josh White had his original Gibson guitar stolen, he
switched to the Martin 0021 which he played in later years. I played one
that he had owned at the time in possession of Bess Hawes and fell in love
with that instrument. I subsequently bought one and have stayed with it
for a long time. It sounds good with a Rare Earth going through a Sunrise pre-
amp and mixed with a standing mic.

Every player gets something different out of each instrument. To compare
good guitars against one another makes no sense. It comes down to
the player's style and personality.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 11:21 AM

My first D-28 was purchased in 1967 for around $350, which included a hard-shell case. The sound was wonderful and the straight-grain Brazilian rosewood was gorgeous, but the neck needed some adjusting. It was stolen in 1978 and I never found anything with that particular sound until I came into possession of a Taylor dreadnaught about three years ago. Because of an index finger injury to my left hand suffered a few years back, I don't play it as much as my classical guitar (bar chords can be problematic), but I love it when I do. Now, if I could just get it back from my son, who is using it for all the acoustic work his band does.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Mr Big palms-short fingers
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 11:44 AM

Irrespective of price, I just wish more acoustics would be marketed with thinner/narrower electric guitar dimension necks.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: goatfell
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 11:47 AM

I know a guy who payed £4,000 for a guitar, god you can buy a second hand car for that and still get change


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 11:55 AM

But the guitar won't make a hole in the Ozone Layer! :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 11:56 AM

I'll bet the £4,000 guitar will increase in value whilst a car soon becomes worthless.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 03:34 PM

Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Lanfranc - PM
Date: 05 Jan 08 - 06:25 PM

Given the weakness of the US Dollar and the current oversupply of Martin guitars, they appear to be in the process of becoming much less expensive!



what a difference a day year makes ...


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 01:42 PM

Given the weakness of the US Dollar and the current oversupply of Martin guitars, they appear to be in the process of becoming much less expensive!

Don't count on it. They are making some nice lower priced instruments, but the upper models are still selling at high prices


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Amos
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 02:06 PM

I wouldn't surrnder my Martin for twice what I apid for it.

But partly that is because of its accumulated seasoning in the forty-odd years it has made music.

That siad I would be open to a Taylor if I met one I loved and had the dough to buy it.

Martin prices their product high (a) because they can, having the brand cachet and (b)because they have developed a very high quality product line.


A


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 05:48 PM

My trusty old 1970 D-41 is in the hospital for some restorative surgery. Actually it's in to try to undo the damage the last guy (Randy Wood) did who was supposed to restore it but wrecked it instead. So I haven't had it to perform with for nearly two years.

I originally thought I'd have it back much sooner but I needed a performing axe in the meantime so I picked up a Blueridge BR-260. It's a herringbone dreadnought with Brazilian back and sides modeled after the pre-war Martins. It is a very nice sounding guitar. It probably sounds as good as any new Martin D-28 or any model below that. I've performed with it and recorded with it and people would often come up after a show just to find out what make it was.

But two or three months ago I was in a local shop and the owner said he just got one in that I needed to see. I picked it up and started playing through some things and it was as if the heavens had opened and the angles were singing. I had never heard any guitar (and I get around) that could hold a candle to my 1970 D-41 but here it was. A 2004 Martin HD-28CW. Not the Brazilian one, just the standard HD-28CW. What an amazing guitar. A rich and loud but wonderfully focused sound perfect for driving a working bluegrass band (which is what I do). It handles sensitive crosspicked passages with the same clarity as a balls-out fiddle tune and the bass runs cut right through without needing to overpower the other instruments. It is now mine and the other members of the band are very pleased too.

A student of mine owns an HD-28CW but I never thought it sounded better than my Blueridge. But this one... Oh, my.

Martin is capable of making really wonderful guitars and every once in a while... they do.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Cretzon
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 06:27 PM

I bought an Epiphone 12 string guitar in 1970 and it cost around 60 quid, which represented about 5 weeks pay as a young journalist. I've still got the guitar, and today it plays as well as it ever did and sounds finer. Not everybody's an Epiphone fan, but I never thought I'd find another guitar I preferred.

Two years ago I bought a Martin D12; had it set up by a luthier, and now I wouldn't part with it. It's usually the most striking sounding guitar in the room; at 62 I seriously doubt I'll be around to hear what it sounds like in 40 years.

Cost? 535 quid - including import duty, postage and VAT. And it came in faultless condition with a Martin case. Don't overlook the cheaper range Martins.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 02:51 PM

The guitar gets sweeter with age I could not put a price tag on my 1971 D35.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Amos
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 03:33 PM

See the new thread of this date on "Eric Claptons Guitar"--all is revealed.


A


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,twangbar king
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 06:24 PM

Some Martins are great, but the new ones are not worthy of the heralded reputation. Taylor's have gone WAY downhill fast. I will stack my Larivee up against all of them. Want a decent inexpensive acoustic made in canada, solid wood, try out a seagull by Godin. Maybe the best acoustic (nothing fancy) made today for the money.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Kosmo
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 09:27 PM

This answer comes late but it may be because they are made by blind nuns ... no?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 06:40 AM

hi

I agree with your point about what other people hear.
I used to p[lay a Martin D-18 and thought it had a great sound.

Unfortunately it got badly damaged in a road accident and I had to replace it quickly.

I couldn't afford a comparable Martin at the time and so after much looking and testing I bought a Yamaha FG-360.

I didn't think it compared with my Martin but I got used to it.

Because I had changed instruments I asked around at various gigs and not one person said that they could detect or notice any difference in sound quality.

I could but I experiment with different strings and I have to say that the mixture of Yamaha with Martin strings does make a big different to my own ears.

So it satisfies me and the others clearly can't tell any difference so why pay the extra money ???

One other point about the differences in some of the opinions about the quality of Martins' sound.

I have found that certain players sound better on different guitars...and buying a Martin is not going to make the buyer sound any more like his particular "idol".

I once bought a Guild when I was going through my John Denver phase...didn't work !!! lol

I now thrash away on my Yamaha and it satisfies me and as the people out there don't appear to be able to tell....so I'm a happy bunny.

happy playing

John


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Bigjoe from Jersey
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 09:17 PM

Lordy I used to be such a fan of Martin. But now I have two high end Martins with neck warps and other more minor finish flaws, and action rising faster than the Mississippi. I'm broken hearted, gonna drown my sorrows in a nice Collings I think (Bob Collings, not Tom).


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,CN
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 09:40 PM

Bigjoe's quite right. Over the years Martin have made some fantastic instruments but for sheer consistency these days you simply can't beat Collings guitars. Expensive, certainly, but stunning.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Bert
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 08:31 PM

It's known as 'Peter's Placebo'. You remember, from the book 'The Peter Principle'

Explained by Peter as 'An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance'


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Have a Martin D 76-E to sell
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 10:33 PM

My sister's partner has a D 76-e to sell. I do not have all the info but could get photos and provenance. He says it's in very good condition and would like around $2500.
Anyone interested?


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Martin D 76-E to sell
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 10:40 PM

Sorry, meant to say a Martin. Apparently these were made for employees of Martin. If interested, I can put you in touch with him.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: guitaaress
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 06:42 AM

I own three Martins. D35 HD28 and M38. My local store stocks Talylors and I've played every model over the years. Fine consistant instruments. The only Guitars I've ever played that are either equal to or better than any of my Martins are Santa Cruz and Collings. A friend has a 1948 D18 that sings and a D28 from the same year that is simply beautiful beyond words. Of all the Taylors I've played and I've played loads, not one has made my pulse race the way it does when I again pick up a Martin.
That is why Martins are the price they are. Sheer quality and tone at a consistant level. There are poor Martins but so few and far between it's not worth mentioning. Taylor = Toyota does everything it should. Martin = Bently it's the benchmark that everyone aspires too.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,JC
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 01:50 PM

I bought my D-35 from Mr. Music in 1980 and it's tone just keeps getting better and better as the years add up. I can put it away in that original form shaped case I got with the guitar and come back in 6 months and pick it up and it is still in tune. Even with the strings being a little dead, it still resonates good quality sound. It's got good action and I love just picking and grining.

Owned and tried several other brands and yes, I admit hats off to those people at Taylor. They've come up with some good quality guitars as well. Got good action as well but they still lack that deeeeep rick base sound that a Martin rings out.

I paid just a little over $1700 for the D-35 and case in 1980 and yeah I know paid a little over the top at that time, but it's part of me now after all of these years and I would never give it up.

What can I tell ya, but I really like my old Martin regardless what I see and read from others. I have never had to test out it's lifetime warranty cause it just does get damaged.

Thank you Mr. Martin.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 02:14 PM

When I again saw the title of this thread, I was reminded of my years in the premium wine business. Particularly in France; in Bordeaux, more specifically, some labels command high prices because of a historic record of quality. Others because of scarcity - and a recognizable and well-marketed name. Some, on the other hand, trade on long-lost attributes from a prior ownership and management.

How many instrument makers are still in the hands of original owners? How many, once highly regarded, have disappeared? Martin has had its downs, but has a single family legacy of ownership and a very good track record of quality overall - and it is one of the oldest and best known producers of string instruments anywhere.
In the end, people will always be willing to pay a bit more for what they perceive is a higher level of quality.

In the end, it's a love affair. As we all know, they don't always make sense to others. They don't have to.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 29 Jun 10 - 07:06 PM

Some time ago I toured the Martin plant in Nazareth. At the end of the tour each guest was given a genuine Martin soundhole. If they are giving their holes away it just has to increase the cost to the buyer! If anyone out there has a Martin with a soundhole missing I could supply one for a small cost and of course shipping and handling charges. :-}


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,Achromat
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 04:04 AM

Bought a brand new HD-28 Oct. 2010. Intonation was off but soon realized that the guitar was built in 2008 and had a set of strings on it that were 2 years old! Mind you it sounded fantastic. Changed the strings and the intonation problems disappeared. The high E and G ring out a bit but I'll take care of that after I've had it for awhile as they seem to be working themselves out the more I play it.

I went through a lot of Martins before I settled on this one so the fact that they are hand made and not mass produced on a CnC machine makes them expensive and worth it.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Brian May
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 06:17 AM

As an owner of 3 Martins, a 000-28, a D-28 and a D12-28 and VERY happy with them, I note that generally the most disparaging comments come from people who don't have them.

Not always the case, but more often than not.

I waited 40 odd years before I bought my first, and at 60, I think I now know what 'floats my boat'.

They are individual 'characters' and an absolute delight to play.

I didn't pay list price for any of them (the 12 string was flawless and second hand) and in terms of satisfaction for price - wonderful.

Why did I spend so much overall? Because I'm worth it (as the advert goes).

The best test perhaps, is to play a few makes with a blind fold on - then analyse the results.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Oct 11 - 09:32 PM

I've been around a long time (71yrs.) I'm retired.I've been a studio owner, Record label owner and agency owner. I've owned a lot of guitars. I have'nt seen a real answer to the question of "why martin guitars are so expensive? One thing that always made martin stand out in the feild when I was doing some radio, and television in the 60's and 70's was the tonal quality. There was absoloutely no mistaking the martin sound, it stood alone. Gibson also had a sound
of it's own. I heard nothing that came close. I owned both. Each had distinguishing tones, I'm talking acoustics of which I'm very familiar with. Martin built on this reputation but did slip on build quality in the 70's to 80's. Yet you might pick up one that is up to tonal quality in those years. An example I still have a 1970 D-35 12 string with poor quality build. The neck collapsed on it. Why did I keep it? Any musician who came into my studio and picked it up said " what a great sounding guitar." I hope this helps answer the question. They built a reputation in my musical area on the distinguishing tone.


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Oct 11 - 10:35 PM

It's a crap shoot...

I own a 1966 D-18 that I bought new...

I also own a 60's S. Yaria parlor that I bought for $40 in a pawn shop...

One I gave to my great niece...

The other I perform with...

Guess ya'll know where this is going...

I gave away the D-18 and perform with the S. Yaria...

Hey, I loved my Martin until it wasn't the right guitar for me... Great guitars... Just had to do what was right for me...

B~


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Subject: RE: Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?
From: GUEST,herringbone jones
Date: 24 Jan 12 - 05:55 AM

Gee, I can't believe I read the whole thread.
I really do need adult supervision, methinks . . . .

I have a Martin, and I like it a lot.
It's pretty beat up and not too pretty, but you could say that about me too and that's alright . . . I don't care, I live in a swamp . . . . . and try to live by the gospel according to Pogo . . . . .

I also got some similar dreadnoughts a lot newer and not as icky as the old D-28, among them is the Takamine Jasmine . . . a hundred dollar guitar brand new and I like them a lot too . . . . seriously.
Nobody asks why THEY are so expensive . . . . . and I think we can agree that a hundred bucks ain't chickenfeed. The Jasmine may not be handmade, but what's the big deal with that anyway?
Show me a guitar somebody built with their feet, and then you'll REALLY have something . . . .

I like my Gibsons, my Nationals, my old Guild 12 and my Henway** etc. ad nauseam . . . . . . . . I have several other guitars as well (seventy-some stringed instruments), but I do like my old D-28 the best I guess for an acoustic. My ugly old '64 Strat is nice too, but not as good as the Martin for fiddle tunes, ragtime, open tunings and such and it isn't much good without electricity on a mountaintop. . . but I digress . . .

Which reminds me, does anyone know if a dreadnought is a Rastafarian with a normal regular haircut? Just wondering . . .

My ratty old Martin may be old, (1935 ~ SN: 60915) but it sounds real good, boy howdy, and is not near worn out, but again the Jasmines ain't bad and cost a lot less.
I only got a couple of Martins these days, but I got four of the Jasmines (no waiting).
So . . . .
Can ANYONE read between the lines here?

I may (I dread) nought be as dumb as I look.

I have heard it said about sex and pizza:
"It's all good, but some's better".

So lighten up sez I, you snobsters (ya know who ya are) . . . or, you could grow up to be a mule (so sayeth Der Bingle, 1944).

Namaste

herringbone jones
KIng of the Smurf Guitar
Law West of the Pecos


(P.S. I can see y'all is pretty smart . . . . could somebody tell me what diddy wah diddy means?)

**(what's a Henway?)


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