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Non-Gibson Question for Gibson Players.......


J-200 Koa

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I have been playing Gibson acoustics for a long time but was thinking of adding

a........Martin.......to the mix. I know a lot of the forum members here own

and play play both. Looking for recommendations: standard "D' series or

maybe a "000" body. Any recommendations? Hopefully this thread won't

be deleted!

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Couple years back, I found a new HD-28V at Guitar Center in Lewisville, that took me about 2 seconds of playing time to realize it was going home with me.

 

p.s. no one is gonna delete the thread unless you do. We discuss other brands here all the time. A good guitar, is a good guitar, I don't care who makes it.

 

A good Gibson however is a passion!

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the 000 series are amazing. i just played a 000-42 at elderly and had one of those 'no more calls we have a winner' moments. i was unbelievable in every respect. i wanted it bad. great strummed and picked. punchy bass and clarity throughout. a tonne of volume and a comfy neck. nice, spongy snap when picked and no compression when played hard. mmmmmm. $4100us, though. i thought gibby was the king of the small body but these are wonderful guitars as well.

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I own more Gibsons than anything, but Martins are great guitars. A different sound and feel, not inferior, just different. If you are a bluegrass flatpicker, you are a Martin player. The Golden Era (GE) guitars are a terrific value; D-18GE and 000-18GE. Both can be found used for around $2,000. But the main thing is to play a lot of guitars until you have moment like LiveSoundGuy had. Good luck.

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Here's my own personal little weird take on it, at least as it applies to my collection. My three Gibson acoustics all have pickups, so they're the ones I use when I need to be plugged in (mostly). I have a HD-28V as well as an OM-28V. They are both awesome guitars, but neither has a pickup and I don't intend to install one.

 

Also, my Martins, when I play them, whisper in my ears words like "folk" and "bluegrass" and "Celtic" (which kinda sucks because I don't play bluegrass and Celtic, but whatever). On the other hand, my Gibsons whisper words like "rock" and "country" and everything else. So it just depends on how I feel. I'm very fortunate. It's an embarrassment of riches and yes my guitars speak to me. Better them than the dog.

 

But Martins are fine guitars and I'm enjoying mine quite a bit, just maybe not quite as much as I enjoy my Gibsons.

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I have been playing Gibson acoustics for a long time but was thinking of adding

a........Martin.......to the mix. I know a lot of the forum members here own

and play play both. Looking for recommendations: standard "D' series or

maybe a "000" body. Any recommendations? Hopefully this thread won't

be deleted!

 

I have mostly Gibson acoustics, and a few non-Gibsons as well.

 

A Larrivee J-05, a Heiden 12-string, a Duncan small jumbo, and a Martin OM.

 

Had a HD-28 many years ago, sold it without looking back when I found a J-200 once on a vacation (yikes).

 

I only recently came across this OM-21 Special, and after trying numerous D and OOO and OM Martin guitars, this one just seemed to 'fit'.

 

For you, the choice will be an individual thing, hard to give any sort of 'one size fits all' type of recommendation. You'll like what you like.

 

Fred

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Koa......why not get something that is completely different that the Gibson line.....like an 0, or 00 body? They have some interesting ones this year with 1 7/8" nuts.....beautiful appointments...I used to own an M-38 which is a narrow box, jumbo body size (0000) which was just a fantastic guitar, good luck on your search

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Martins are fine guitars. I owned a '53 00-17, '67 D-18, '68 D-28, '90s D-18 SB (some vintage-type model, can't recall) and an '89 HD-35. The latter was my No. 1 guitar for nearly 13 years. They make a quality product. The HD-28 is, IMO, one of the most consistently good boxes around.

 

I finally realized that I'd started w. Gibsons, still loved 'em and would end with Gibsons, so that's all I have now. But I'm nuts that way. It is great to compliment different guitars with others, and Martins are wonderful.

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Lots of good advice. I am attracted to the "000" body simply because

it is a shorter scale than what I am used to and the nice curves are

similar to Jumbo and Super Jumbo Gibsons. Will I be disappointed in the

smaller-body tone compared to full Super Jumbo sound I am accustomed to?

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Will I be disappointed in the

smaller-body tone compared to full Super Jumbo sound I am accustomed to?

 

Only you can answer that. It will certainly sound different, but that doesn't = disappointing. Some smaller bodied guitars are even quite loud.

 

If you can at all, go play some.

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well...hmmm.

 

I just have one basic thought I'd throw out there, but it begins with a question -do you want to add a Martin just to have a Martin in your stable, or do you want to add a Martin thinking you are going after a certain sound/feel?

 

Here's why I asked that question - it all gets down to your personal tastes in feel, action, and the sound you're expecting. YOu may find a Martin that suites you perfectly, but you may try dozens of them and not find one that feels right.

 

My own recent story illustrates this. I was looking for a high quality, American made acoustic guitar. I play all kinds of music - mostly folk, rock, and bluegrass. I do probably 70% flatpicking. Because of this, I heard people tell me to go buy a Martin. I tried a ton of them, regardless of price. I also tried a ton of Taylors, a Huss and Dalton (great guitar for flatpickers - made in VA) and a few others. Long story short - when I picked up the Gibson Songwriter Deluxe Studio, the first chord had me sold. THe sound was unlike anything I had ever heard, the feel was perfect, the setup was perfect, it was perfect for ME. Now I tried a ton of guitars in the $3000 range, ended up buying a Gibson at half the price and wouldn't trade it for anything.

 

Based on that, my own suggestion would be go and play them. If you just want to have a Martin, then playing through their lineup will reveal which one you like the best. If you're after a new guitar regardless of make, you might find something other than Martin as the ultimate guitar for you.

 

Regardless, I wish you all the best in trying them out. So many variables go into the sound - shape, woods, soundboard bracing, etc. that it's hard to suggest one Martin to you. I'd be curious to see how it goes, though.

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The Martins I most commonly recommend are the 000 bodies. I feel a Gibson AJ is a better dread than a D-28 because it has that booming sound but is easier to play, at least for me.

 

I have an HD-28V, which someone else mentioned takes about two seconds to buy, but I find it hard to sing with as it has a lot of presence. The guitar I play the most, especially when singing, is a Martin OM-21.

 

This past week I bought a Martin stage guitar - a 000C-16RGTE - with the new Aura pickup and I am beyond pleased with it. Acoustically, it won't tickle anyone's fancy - but plugged in it is a monster.

 

I don't personally have a preference for any brand of guitar. I like guitars that sound great and play well and this is the criteria I use to make my selections. I will say, however, that Martin's warranty is a big plus for us here in Canada as many other brands don't validate the warranties outside the USA. Gibson is a great example of this where I have to register my Gibson warranty with the Canadian distributor and while this might get me a required repair it will never get my guitars back to Bozeman.

 

So, try the following Martins if they are available at your local stores:

 

D-18V

HD-28V

OM-21 or OM-21 Special or OMJM

 

Happy hunting.

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Having a variety of "flavors" is always good. I love my Gibson AJ and it get's a ton of playing time but I have another acoustic that I fell in love with first.... it's an... oh what the hell is the name brand..... where is my head today.... oh yeah a Taylor!

 

Both guitars are wonderful in their own respect but I certainly would not want to go back to just having the Taylor. The Gibson opened up a new world of tone for me. Some songs I play just sound better on the Taylor, while others scream for the Gibson.

 

I say Viva la differance (I am pretty sure I spelled that wrong but you get the idea!) If there is a Martin calling your name, run.... don't walk to get it!

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Like most of you, the majority of mine our Gibsons, but I do own some Martins too. If you're set to get a Martin just for the name, then I'd recommend the HD28. However, if you're looking for something different and you don't know what you want, you might want to check out the Blueridge line too. They're cheaper than Martins and I think you'll be surprised at with their sound. They also now come with a limited lifetime warranty. I own a couple and they're nice guitars. They also have 00 and 000 models in their lineup.

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Last year I decided to get a second acoustic, and wanted something to contrast with the one I already had, a Gibson super jumbo. So I set out in search of a small body, a type of guitar that I knew nothing about since acoustics for me meant either dreads or jumbos. I knew Martin made small bodies and just assumed I wind up with one of theirs, as I really didn't know much about any other guitar makers.

 

Anyways, I hit the local shops and played everything they had in terms of small bodies (tried a few dreads as well, I admit): 0s, 00s, 000s, OMs, "babies," etc., made by Santa Cruz, Martin, Goodall, Collings, Bourgeois, etc. I went back and played them repeatedly over a period of about 5-6 weeks and in the end I wound up buying a Collings OM. Of all the guitars I played, it sounded, played, and felt most like what I was looking for/imagining.

 

On the issue of Martins, maybe I just had bad luck, or the dealers I was dealing with had bad guitars or good ones that they weren't treating right, but I played only 2-3 Martins that I would even have considered. Most sounded dead and/or didn't play very nicely, and I admit that I don't care for the satin finish necks, but whatever. The nicest one I did try out was an Eric Clapton model, though it did have that yellowish (varnish?) finish that looked odd to my eye...

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