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Martin acoustic volume vs Gibson

#21 User is offline   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 02:43 PM

View PostFZ Fan, on 12 March 2018 - 12:13 PM, said:

Would you have wanted to see Motorhead play a 20db or 120db.

Then the question is why is anything a criteria?(Tone, projection, color, tonewood, bridge and nut material, pickguard, no pickguard. bridge pins, ect ect)


Motörhead volume has nothing to do with this discussion
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#22 User is offline   FZ Fan 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 03:21 PM

View Postblindboygrunt, on 12 March 2018 - 02:43 PM, said:

Motörhead volume has nothing to do with this discussion


I know. It was for comedic relief.


Never got to see MH, and for that I am sad.


Just got home form work. Need to take myself out an ice cold beer... you know the rest you have seen them too.

This post has been edited by FZ Fan: 12 March 2018 - 03:25 PM

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#23 User is offline   Tarrr 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 04:54 PM

It's why Martins are favored for bluegrass.... banjo killers, go Martin go.
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#24 User is offline   fortyearspickn 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 06:20 PM

blindboygrunt said:

1520887399[/url]' post='1923358']
Motörhead volume has nothing to do with this discussion


Would you rather hear Segovia at 20db or at 120db?

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#25 User is offline   FZ Fan 

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 04:28 AM

View Postfortyearspickn, on 12 March 2018 - 06:20 PM, said:

Would you rather hear Segovia at 20db or at 120db?



Well, Segovia with a LP and a wall of stacks behind him would be killer. He could tear it up on the etude's.
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#26 User is offline   Rambler 

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 05:59 PM

Gibson built its flattops along the lines of its archtops: punchy chop, clear projection, quick decay. They didnt need to be loud. They needed to cut through. For that sound, you dont want individual notes to stand out or sustain.

The extra string tension on martins long scale gutiars (OMs, Ds)is going to give them more pop than a Gibson. But even on the short scale models,Martin's focus on note to note separation is going to give a perception of loudness.
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#27 User is offline   MissouriPicker 

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 08:57 AM

As far as criteria is concerned, my main criteria is "Do I like the guitar?" Had an HD28 for many years. Nice guitar. Loud guitar. Not as loud as the J150 rosewood I had, but that was okay. Both were cannons in their own way. My Hummingbird is a mellow cannon. My Dove is a very loud guitar if one wants to play it that way. I don't necessarily want to play a loud guitar or a mellow guitar. Just want to play a guitar I like. If I like it, the other things will be taken care of.
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#28 User is offline   BC Mike 118 

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 11:23 AM

View PostMissouriPicker, on 14 March 2018 - 08:57 AM, said:

As far as criteria is concerned, my main criteria is "Do I like the guitar?" Had an HD28 for many years. Nice guitar. Loud guitar. Not as loud as the J150 rosewood I had, but that was okay. Both were cannons in their own way. My Hummingbird is a mellow cannon. My Dove is a very loud guitar if one wants to play it that way. I don't necessarily want to play a loud guitar or a mellow guitar. Just want to play a guitar I like. If I like it, the other things will be taken care of.


Exactly. 100% agree. In my original post I simply made a technical observation and with very little Martin experience wondered if the louder percieved volume on mine was an exception or the rule. That being said I have enjoyed the evolution of this thread and learned some thngs - :)
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#29 User is offline   slimt 

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 12:10 PM

Some gibson acoustics just have there own tone and its hard to compare.
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#30 User is offline   D-28 

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 12:59 PM

View Postslimt, on 15 March 2018 - 12:10 PM, said:

Some gibson acoustics just have there own tone and its hard to compare.

So do Martin and so do Taylor.
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#31 User is offline   slimt 

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 01:28 PM

A taylor is a taylor ive owned many of this walnut brazilans.maples not overly impressed with those.
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#32 User is offline   jvi 

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 01:52 PM

volume and sustain are very important in my books, I can play lighter or dampen strings to reduce either but theres nothing I can physically do to a git that is quiet by nature or lacks sustain that would enable me to get either, I do ,however ,find the Martin dreds volume capacity thrilling , that said I now play a gibson j 29. good volume, good sustain and I enjoy it, next axe coming tho is a Martin dred (again). I enjoy them all !
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#33 User is offline   tpbiii 

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 09:17 AM

Hi,

Since I have put so much energy in something related to this subject, I thought I might post a bit more.

As many of you know I have spent a lot of time and treasure because I have a passion to understand the tonal pallet offered by American flat top guitars from the first half of the 20th century. We have a lot -- 100+ -- and the my personal primary era of interest is basically the 30s and the 40s. My study is biased by me -- I am only interested in genres my wife and I pursue. I have no great passion for personal solo performance -- what lights my fire mostly is playing with others in jams and string bands.

Now I am a true believer -- and I totally LOVE both old Gibsons and Martins. And I try them perpetually in different acoustic environments -- every week we play in from one to maybe five sessions of some sort, and in addition to their musical and social goals, these sessions are all chances to compare guitars. I have developed a great familiarity with all of our instruments over the years and I am always excited about adding to my knowledge. One of the reasons we own so many guitars and we don't own multiple copies of the same instrument is so they can be studied over time intensely -- you have to have free access over a long period to do this.

Now a social fact is people get very excited about their own opinions about music and their instruments -- a human property which is basically good but one has to be careful not to upset people. So these are just my personal experiences -- your mileage may vary.

So not let me hold forth on the question of volume and power comparisons for Gibsons and Martins in the period 1930-1945 -- often called the golden era. As I said earlier is I am crazy in love with a bunch of guitars from this period. My particular loves initially were prewar Martins for bluegrass and wartime (banner) for finger style folk and gospel. This fact is about tonality -- and not necessarily power.

What I discovered as I hung out in the Georgia highlands is that bluegrass players basically dismissed all Gibson as viable guitars for bluegrass. As an arrogant academic who did acoustics research, I thought maybe they were just biased and not knowledgeable -- be very careful dismissing crowd knowledge. Actually the "common knowledge" in this area turns out to be very true and very nuanced -- if a bit incomplete.

Late me describe an experiment I have done probably 100s of times over the years -- always with the same outcome. They say the definition of a fool is a person is does the same thing over and over and hopes for a different outcome. Well I would love to pick wartime Gibsons in bluegrass sessions. Last week I did it again. My excuse was I was selecting a couple of guitars to leave in Texas with my daughter to play in sessions when we visit. So the two guitars were a Martin 1937 00-18H (small body converted Hawaiian) and a 1943 Gibson SJ -- both in my experience wonderful guitars IMO. In the first half of the session, I used the little Martin and you could basically hear every note -- I played with both a flat pick and fingerpicks. The other musicians commented on how good it sounded and how LOUD it was. Then I brought out the SJ and I played it the same way -- and it was like I disappeared. Even with cooperative experienced musicians in the sessions who modulate to the situation, I was still buried.

Well that is the effect. What is going on.

Well what is going on is not that Gibsons won't work well in bluegrass sessions. Many of the Js from the 30s are standout guitars for bluegrass and string bands -- AJs, Jumbos, J-35s, RSRG, RSSD ... These guitars will peel paint -- they are not well known in bluegrass for two reasons. First there are not very many of them, and in addition their tonality is different enough from the old D-28s that that is also an issue. Mostly it is just that there are so many J-45s -- they are everywhere and everywhere rejected for bluegrass, largely for power/loudness issues. There have always been a minority that knows about the AJs and such -- the bone crushers -- and they deserve their reputation.

So what happens in 1942 that caused the power break? The short answer is I don't know. If you look inside banners -- with their scalloped braces and tone bars -- the naive observer would think they would be very loud. John Arnold -- the NC luthier -- says it is because the way the braces are tapered. I don't know, but I do know the effect is there.

Bye now,

Let's pick,

-Tom

This post has been edited by tpbiii: 18 March 2018 - 04:15 PM

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#34 User is offline   Jinder 

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 03:21 AM

View Posttpbiii, on 18 March 2018 - 09:17 AM, said:

Hi,

Since I have put so much energy in something related to this subject, I thought I might post a bit more.

As many of you know I have spent a lot of time and treasure because I have a passion to understand the tonal pallet offered by American flat top guitars from the first half of the 20th century. We have a lot -- 100+ -- and the my personal primary era of interest is basically the 30s and the 40s. My study is biased by me -- I am only interested in genres my wife and I pursue. I have no great passion for personal solo performance -- what lights my fire mostly is playing with others in jams and string bands.

Now I am a true believer -- and I totally LOVE both old Gibsons and Martins. And I try them perpetually in different acoustic environments -- every week we play in from one to maybe five sessions of some sort, and in addition to their musical and social goals, these sessions are all chances to compare guitars. I have developed a great familiarity with all of our instruments over the years and I am always excited about adding to my knowledge. One of the reasons we own so many guitars and we don't own multiple copies of the same instrument is so they can be studied over time intensely -- you have to have free access over a long period to do this.

Now a social fact is people get very excited about their own opinions about music and their instruments -- a human property which is basically good but one has to be careful not to upset people. So these are just my personal experiences -- your mileage may vary.

So not let me hold forth on the question of volume and power comparisons for Gibsons and Martins in the period 1930-1945 -- often called the golden era. As I said earlier is I am crazy in love with a bunch of guitars from this period. My particular loves initially were prewar Martins for bluegrass and wartime (banner) for finger style folk and gospel. This fact is about tonality -- and not necessarily power.

What I discovered as I hung out in the Georgia highlands is that bluegrass players basically dismissed all Gibson as viable guitars for bluegrass. As an arrogant academic who did acoustics research, I thought maybe they were just biased and not knowledgeable -- be very careful dismissing crowd knowledge. Actually the "common knowledge" in this area turns out to be very true and very nuanced -- if a bit incomplete.

Late me describe an experiment I have done probably 100s of times over the years -- always with the same outcome. They say the definition of a fool is a person is does the same thing over and over and hopes for a different outcome. Well I would love to pick wartime Gibsons in bluegrass sessions. Last week I did it again. My excuse was I was selecting a couple of guitars to leave in Texas with my daughter to play in sessions when we visit. So the two guitars were a Martin 1937 00-18H (small body converted Hawaiian) and a 1943 Gibson SJ -- both in my experience wonderful guitars IMO. In the first half of the session, I used the little Martin and you could basically hear every note -- I played with both a flat pick and fingerpicks. The other musicians commented on how good it sounded and how LOUD it was. Then I brought out the SJ and I played it the same way -- and it was like I disappeared. Even with cooperative experienced musicians in the sessions who modulate to the situation, I was still buried.

Well that is the effect. What is going on.

Well what is going on is not that Gibsons won't work well in bluegrass sessions. Many of the Js from the 30s are standout guitars for bluegrass and string bands -- AJs, Jumbos, J-35s, RSRG, RSSD ... These guitars will peel paint -- they are not well known in bluegrass for two reasons. First there are not very many of them, and in addition their tonality is different enough from the old D-28s that that is also an issue. Mostly it is just that there are so many J-45s -- they are everywhere and everywhere rejected for bluegrass, largely for power/loudness issues. There have always been a minority that knows about the AJs and such -- the bone crushers -- and they deserve their reputation.

So what happens in 1942 that caused the power break? The short answer is I don't know. If you look inside banners -- with their scalloped braces and tone bars -- the naive observer would think they would be very loud. John Arnold -- the NC luthier -- says it is because the way the braces are tapered. I don't know, but I do know the effect is there.

Bye now,

Let's pick,

-Tom


Wonderful insight, Tom-thankyou! A very interesting read. It’s very curious about the post-‘42 change in volume and projection. If these were modern guitars, it would be fascinating to deconstruct them and explore every nuance of construction, wood composition and density, variables in bracing and neck shape etc to get to the bottom of the changes. Obviously prewar Gibsons and post-‘42 Banners etc are too precious a commodity to rip apart, but it’s a very interesting question that needs to be answered!
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#35 User is offline   ajay 

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 07:37 PM

Hey Tom@tpbiii, are Your Advanced Jumbos East Indian Rosewood or Brazilian?
Also, I assume that You're up on the AJ Reissues. Is the bridge and fretboard on my 2002 Brazilian? Mine is the standard EIR AJ. Also, forgive me if this has been posted before, but this 1936 picture of the Kalamazoo factory is pretty cool. I wonder how many of these acoustics are still being enjoyed? Maybe Your AJ is being built in this photo Tom.[ooattachment=23863:image.jpeg]

This post has been edited by ajay: 27 March 2018 - 11:13 PM

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#36 User is offline   Slinky1 

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 03:10 AM

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#37 User is offline   tpbiii 

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 09:35 PM

View Postajay, on 27 March 2018 - 07:37 PM, said:

Hey Tom@tpbiii, are Your Advanced Jumbos East Indian Rosewood or Brazilian?
Also, I assume that You're up on the AJ Reissues. Is the bridge and fretboard on my 2002 Brazilian? Mine is the standard EIR AJ. Also, forgive me if this has been posted before, but this 1936 picture of the Kalamazoo factory is pretty cool. I wonder how many of these acoustics are still being enjoyed? Maybe Your AJ is being built in this photo Tom.[ooattachment=23863:image.jpeg]


I am quite sure it is East Indian RW. Gibson RW from about 1934-1943 has a characteristic look to it. All (3) of out RW Gibsons from that period look that way. Willi Henkes -- the renowned German luthier -- had the wood tested -- it came back east Indian.

I am not really up on the modern AJs, although I have heard a lot of good things about them.

I can't see the picture -- I would like to.

Best,

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#38 User is online   Dave F 

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 10:20 AM

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#39 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 10:50 AM

View PostDave F, on 01 April 2018 - 10:20 AM, said:

Posted Image



I love this photo. Based on the guitars I can identify (plus things like the clothes the workmen are wearing), this would appear to be the higher-end archtop production station, maybe sometime in the late 1930's. The two hanging guitars in the middle look like 17" advanced body models. Looking at the guitars on the top left rack, you can see a couple with the picture frame inlays on the headstock that you associate with late-30's L-7 and up models.

Unfortunately, you can't see a logo clearly enough to date the photo that way.

There are a couple of necks with the narrow headstock on the lower left rack.

Any way you look at it, that's a great photo for some detective work. Anyone know where others from this era might be posted in high resolution?

This post has been edited by j45nick: 01 April 2018 - 12:16 PM

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#40 User is online   Dave F 

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 12:01 PM

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