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"Richard" Boak of Martin Guitars talks about pre-war tenors


onewilyfool

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Very interesting. I thought it was quite magnanimous of **** to show the Gibson tenor, until I found he brought the Gibson out to show how Gibson had copied Martin's "curly bracket" shape for the end of the fretboard (although he doesn't provide a Martin example). Who knew this Gibson trademark was actually Martin. Funny you don't see any Martins with this shape but there are thousands of Gibsons out there with it (my Songwriter AND J200 have it).

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Very interesting. I thought it was quite magnanimous of **** to show the Gibson tenor, until I found he brought the Gibson out to show how Gibson had copied Martin's "curly bracket" shape for the end of the fretboard (although he doesn't provide a Martin example). Who knew this Gibson trademark was actually Martin. Funny you don't see any Martins with this shape but there are thousands of Gibsons out there with it (my Songwriter AND J200 have it).

 

Every Gibson Acoustic that ever came out of Montana has it. Every one. No exceptions. The "Bird beak" at the end of some fretboards is just the reverse of the Gibson headstock. Every Gibson has that headstock. No. Martin didn't invent Gibson's headstock. They did invent the x-brace but not the "bird beak". Dan Erlewine knows this so I'm a bit surprised that he let it slip by. It amazes me that none of the experts hear know this.

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I kinda get the feeling that D.Boak thinks gibson copies every single martin guitar feature ... it's ridiculous ... the birdsbeak is elegent while those Martin uke headstocks are way ugly !!! the points are so sharp you could probably use them as a fork to eat your lunch or dinner !!

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Every Gibson Acoustic that ever came out of Montana has it. Every one. No exceptions.

I don't see that Montana production has anything to do with the discussion.

 

Boak was of course talking about the origins of these design features, and he's got access to a lot of historical information & instruments. I'm not saying he's 100% accurate on every detail, but it wouldn't surprise me if indeed there were Martin models that used some of these elements before Gibson.

 

I have a book showing a 1924 Martin Uke with the exact features Boak discribes.

But then Loar's L-5 also had a birdsbeak in the early '20s.

 

In the grander scheme of things, so what?

 

Martin utilized a very Fenderish headstock in the early 1800s. Did Fender copy them, or Bigsby?

 

The same book shows a 1898 guitar made by Orville with an overall headstock shape quite similar to today's "open book" design, and a number of 1906 models with an open-book design on a classical style slot-head peghead.

 

The Larson Brothers also used strikingly similar designs in the 1920s.

 

Early banjos were also very creative.

 

The reality is that guitar construction has been evolutionary.

All you had to do was pick up & hold the other guy's work to get more ideas and inspiration.

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