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Very strange….I think Martin is voicing their guitars differently


onewilyfool

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I have traded recently for a 2013 Martin D-18, and have played a D-18GE (aid top), and a D-28VS….and I swear, that martin Guitars are being voiced differently than I remember in the past!!! The ones I played are woodier and have much fuller mids than the older versions. Bass response is more even with the other strings, and not so Martinesque BOOMY….in other words….more like a Gibson than old timey Martins….lol….at least this thought occurred to me…any of you have that experience with newer (2012 and up) Martins? Also, the new "low oval performing artist" necks are eerily like a Taylor neck…almost identical in feel….lol…what is happening over there in Nazareth, PA? Well, I think it is a compliment to imitate the sound of another company, it just seems soooo Un-martin-like, to do anything non-traditional-Martin….lol….I guess things change!!!

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I have traded recently for a 2013 Martin D-18, and have played a D-18GE (aid top), and a D-28VS….and I swear, that martin Guitars are being voiced differently than I remember in the past!!! The ones I played are woodier and have much fuller mids than the older versions. Bass response is more even with the other strings, and not so Martinesque BOOMY….in other words….more like a Gibson than old timey Martins….lol….at least this thought occurred to me…any of you have that experience with newer (2012 and up) Martins? Also, the new "low oval performing artist" necks are eerily like a Taylor neck…almost identical in feel….lol…what is happening over there in Nazareth, PA? Well, I think it is a compliment to imitate the sound of another company, it just seems soooo Un-martin-like, to do anything non-traditional-Martin….lol….I guess things change!!!

 

Great topic, Wiley. That was the reason my last purchase was a 2013 HD-28. Like you, when I played it I was expecting the "classic" Martin tone. What a surprise! Not at all like the old Martins. More of a "Gibson" tone. After some adjustments and set-up to my personal liking, one of my go-to guitars! BTW, I LOVE that ebony fretboard!!!

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I would rather think that Martin is going back to a sound their guitars once had. Like Gibson, design changes over the years such as different bridge plates and moving from scallop to non-scallop bracing changed the guitars voices. I can't speak to Martin but by 1969 Gibsons had become so homogenous that there was no difference between a J45 and a Hummingbird.

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Let me say this to clarify, they do not sound as GOOD as the Gibson sound, but it is interesting that they seem to be moving in that direction, or as others have pointed out, back to the original Martin sound…I'm happy they chose this route!

I agree, Gibson sounds better to me all the way around. I tried VERY HARD for 10 long years to love my Martin HD-28. I just never warmed up to it because it seemed so dark, and deep, which was fine...but it lacked mids...and the base seemed to wash out any sweet highs that were available. So it was buy bye to the HD-28 and Hello to Gibson and Epiphone...because Taylor seemed the reverse of Martin...Just too many highs. If the new Martins sound more like Gibsons, they will do well! haha..let's hope Gibson doesn't revert to copying Martin and start making mumbly base guitars instead of balanced one!...but I don't Gibson will be that foolish. Gibson has a good thing going!

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...let's hope Gibson doesn't revert to copying Martin and start making mumbly base guitars instead of balanced one!...but I don't Gibson will be that foolish. Gibson has a good thing going!

 

 

Foolish - where do you think the Epi Frontier and Gibson Hummingbird came from. A Martin dread was dropped on Gibson's chief engineer's desk and he was told to make a Gibson version of it.

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Foolish - where do you think the Epi Frontier and Gibson Hummingbird came from. A Martin dread was dropped on Gibson's chief engineer's desk and he was told to make a Gibson version of it.

 

Hardly a reasonable issue to nit pick about. In the end what Gibson built was nothing like a Martin. Nothing could be more different from a Martin than a Gibson Hummingbird. We're talking balance, particularly of the mids. Martin specializes in base and does it well, while supplying a bit less balance of mids and highs. My HD-28 is from another planet compared to the balance and mids of my Gibson Hummingbird. Anyone would tell you that. Two entirely different guitars. How's that for "foolishness?"

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A Martin dread was dropped on Gibson's chief engineer's desk and he was told to make a Gibson version of it.

Yeah, so speaks the myth and I kind of like it.

A shame no one present at the meeting ever described what happened in detail - and how that short scale hog square got wings.

That said, it must be claimed that either the challenged acoustic designer made a failure or was bright, brave and talented enough to deliver Gibson an ace of their own.

The unique and instantly embraced Hummingbird.

 

For as GuitarLight states - A Bird definitely isn't a Mart. dread. . .

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I have traded recently for a 2013 Martin D-18, and have played a D-18GE (aid top), and a D-28VS….and I swear, that martin Guitars are being voiced differently than I remember in the past!!! The ones I played are woodier and have much fuller mids than the older versions. Bass response is more even with the other strings, and not so Martinesque BOOMY……any of you have that experience with newer (2012 and up) Martins? Also, the new "low oval performing artist" necks are eerily like a Taylor neck…almost identical in feel…

 

I compared a new series OM21 to an OM28v recently. The 28v is classic Martin: scooped mids, huge sound/susatain even with a light touch. Way too much for my kind of picking. The 21 is more balanced and contained. Nothing like a Gibson, tho. More note to note clarity and chisled articulation. A Gibson is about chords.

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