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Why are Martin Guitars so expensive?

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GUEST 07 Oct 05 - 06:30 PM
Le Scaramouche 07 Oct 05 - 06:39 PM
Bill D 07 Oct 05 - 06:46 PM
The Fooles Troupe 07 Oct 05 - 07:04 PM
GUEST 07 Oct 05 - 07:22 PM
Bobert 07 Oct 05 - 07:46 PM
kendall 07 Oct 05 - 07:58 PM
Georgiansilver 07 Oct 05 - 08:06 PM
Don Firth 07 Oct 05 - 09:54 PM
Deckman 07 Oct 05 - 10:23 PM
Bobert 07 Oct 05 - 10:24 PM
number 6 07 Oct 05 - 10:28 PM
GUEST,Cluin 08 Oct 05 - 12:04 AM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 08 Oct 05 - 12:21 AM
number 6 08 Oct 05 - 12:35 AM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 08 Oct 05 - 12:42 AM
number 6 08 Oct 05 - 12:49 AM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 08 Oct 05 - 12:57 AM
GUEST,Hayman Shergold 08 Oct 05 - 01:00 AM
number 6 08 Oct 05 - 01:02 AM
number 6 08 Oct 05 - 01:04 AM
GUEST,Hayman Shergold 08 Oct 05 - 01:10 AM
biglappy 08 Oct 05 - 01:35 AM
number 6 08 Oct 05 - 01:37 AM
Bev and Jerry 08 Oct 05 - 02:23 AM
GUEST,Sherman Haygold 08 Oct 05 - 02:25 AM
GUEST,Silas 08 Oct 05 - 06:24 AM
kendall 08 Oct 05 - 08:23 AM
Auggie 08 Oct 05 - 09:09 AM
GUEST 08 Oct 05 - 09:26 AM
kendall 08 Oct 05 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,Russ 08 Oct 05 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,J 08 Oct 05 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 08 Oct 05 - 12:06 PM
kendall 08 Oct 05 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 08 Oct 05 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,Maurice 08 Oct 05 - 01:43 PM
Barbara Shaw 08 Oct 05 - 02:15 PM
kendall 08 Oct 05 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Maurice 08 Oct 05 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,Sherlock Holmes (friend of Doc Watson) 08 Oct 05 - 03:11 PM
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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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