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Anyone Here Own A Martin Along With Their Gibson?


jw3571

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Own 2 Martins (d28 & d18) and a gibson j45 and all 3 are different. The woods are different, the neck profiles and feel are all different. I use each 1 for different songs or you get in the mood to play one of 'em at any particular time. The build quality is masterful on all 3 - the 2012 spec d18 is the lightest weight. My fave?-- all 3 of 'em.

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I have a D-28 that was my main guitar for quite a while....For many years I had a 1969 00-16C nylon string that had an absolutely amazing tone (I sometimes miss that guitar)...I traded that in as part of a great deal on J45TV about four years ago. Since then, the Martin D-28 as gotten little play....add to the fact that for the last year or so it has been all about LG-2 love for me. I prefer the tone, short scale, neck profiles and sunburst finish on Gibson guitars.

 

I am not sure if it is because of the difference between Martin and Gibson or the difference between rosewood and mahogany, but the D-28 sound is not doing it for me these days. The D-28 is a fine guitar though and it will stay in the family.

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I do own one Martin, the 00-15 but have to admit since I got my LG-2 it doesnt get much play. The 1 11/16 nut width frustrates me, but I like the tone of the guitar.

 

I respect Martin but feel they are generally overated as guitars and rely a lot on heritage and brand power. However I do like some specific models, in particular 000-18-GE, old school D-18's and the 40 series dreads which to my ears have a lovelly 'shimmer' that you dont find on the D-28, which I think is the worlds most overated guitar.

 

I do feel that Collings makes a great Martin however, a bit more crispier, in a good way.

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Sure do....present count is 2 Martins and 4 Gibsons. As others have said, two iconic brands with two different sounds and playabilities. I've always found my Martins easier to play, because of the neck width at the nut, but there's no way you couldn't tell which brand was being played, regardless of the model.

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What differences do people notice in build quality, sound, etc?
Have owned both. As a rule (there are always exceptions) a good Martin (applies to pre-1970s and reissue series* ) are characterized by an articulate voice (every note a rounded little gem) and clear note seperation (solo voices, not a choir). While your average Gibson has a honking midrange, your average Martin is going to be scopped in the mids with more hi-lo separaton. Think Tony RIce or Jorma Kaukonen (M36) vs Jackson Browne

 

*not a fan of the models with the composite fretboards and so forth. They sound Martin-ish, but not quite.

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Of my current guitars, my D41 Special, which is out of production, is probably my favorite.

You can see that model on the cover of last months Acoustic Guitar being held by Jason Isbell.

http://www.acousticguitar.com/Magazine/Issues/251

Excluding a few sentimental guitars, the D41S is the one I would keep if I had to eliminate the herd.

I like the quality model variances that Gibson offers more than Martin.

I wish Martin would sell their non USA models under a different name such as Sigma like Gibson does their Epi's.

I think Martin and Gibson both make quality products with something for everyone.

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I own a J45 Custom that I got recently and a D28. They're both rosewood guitars but there is quite a difference in sound. I'm not nearly as adept as some of the people on this board about describing differences. I think the D28 is very mellow sounding most of the time and the neck feels smaller and a little easier to play chords. The J45 Custom has a ringing bite to the sound that I love for playing finger style blues and the neck feels bigger and easier for that.

 

I love both of them, but maybe since I just got the J45 Custom I've been more enthralled with that guitar lately and have played it more often and find it more interesting. I've been trying to learn some of the acoustic songs on the early Rolling Stones albums (Exile, Let it Bleed, Sticky Fingers), off a guy on YouTube called privet tricker and the J45 seems perfect for that.

 

Anyway, that's the difference from my perspective for what it's worth.

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Funny you should ask because I just bought a D-35 Martin last week. I've been a Gibson owner for decades and decided about 2 years ago to buy a Martin. I could not find one that was playable or sounded good to my ears. Typically the necks were too large and/or the sound was too tight (mostly I was looking at new Martins). Along the way, I found several Gibsons that I really liked and two that I love. Finally I ran across a D-35 that was very playable (nice modern slim neck) and wonderfully sounding, a '06 that looked new but was played enough to have opened up nicely. I love it and it is a great all around guitar. BUT ......

 

It doesn't do blues nearly as well as my Gibson '12 L00TV

It is not as warm as my '12 J50TV

It does not have the wonderful brightness and undertones of my '92 AJ (although the Martin is just a slight bit louder but not much)

 

Having said that It's a keeper! It's great all around, especially the overall sound .... hard to explain but lovely to play and hear. So now I have my 35 Dread and the 3 above to keep forever and some Gibbies to sell and trade as the mood hits me. LIFE IS GOOD and so are both Martins and Gibsons.

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About a month or two ago I purchased an HD-28 Martin. As said in previous posts, different animals for sure! I love this Martin! I bought it because it was one of the "good" ones. As with any guitar maker, you can play several guitars of the same model, but one will stand head and shoulders over the rest. This is what I found in the HD-28 that I purchased. This guitar is a monster!!! Different tone and feel from my Gibbys, but sustain and volume and crisp response from it. Excellent build and quality. A great "keeper". Here's a short clip of it:

 

 

 

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About a month or two ago I purchased an HD-28 Martin. As said in previous posts, different animals for sure! I love this Martin! I bought it because it was one of the "good" ones. As with any guitar maker, you can play several guitars of the same model, but one will stand head and shoulders over the rest. This is what I found in the HD-28 that I purchased. This guitar is a monster!!! Different tone and feel from my Gibbys, but sustain and volume and crisp response from it. Excellent build and quality. A great "keeper". Here's a short clip of it:

 

 

 

 

Nice sound - nice playing!

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Moving along from "me and my guitar", here's a few more general observations for the OP (clipped from previous threads):

 

Dadeedo. "my favorite Gibsons have a nasal or throaty quality that you just don't hear in Martins. The trebles are fat (thick with the fundamental note) while good Martins tend to sound glassy with delicate overtones in the trebles. The characteristic Gibson sound is more like a saxophone, while the sound of a good Martin is more like a french horn."

 

Ballcorner: "I would encourage you to buy the Gibson if you are a singer, songwriter in any genre but country and the Martin if you primarily play country or if you are primarily an instrumentalist.

 

Modoc: "vintage Gibson flatops had a tonal quality that was reminiscent of these old archtops. Thinking about that, it made perfect sense. Gibsons builders, at the outset, were mandolin makers, and builders of archtop guitars." Whereas CFM came from the world of classcial guitar.

 

Rambler: the feel the the necks is different as well. Martin uses a flat-feeling 16" neck radius, Gibson a more rounded 12". How this works out in action? Its the classical-jazz divide again: Martin for barre chords, arpegio picking and single string runs; Gibson for inside chords (strings 5-2), bends and playing partials up the neck.

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I own a Martin D28 along with my Gibson J45 Custom, J45 Cobra and Hummingbird. I like them all and each has their specific tones.

 

I guess the best way I can describe them for me is that the Martin D28 rings like a crystal clear bell and the Gibsons have a more down and dirty sound to them. Much grittier to me anyway. Like I said....I like them all! [thumbup]

 

I'm looking forward to getting a Martin D35 somewhere down the line. Does anyone here own a Martin D35? I have never played one. The music stores around here always seem to be sold out of them. How is the sound as compared to a D28? Is it worth the purchase?

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