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Back Story....



As some of you know, I have been fiddling around with soundhole pickups in guitars I don't want to alter...



I was happily plunking away acoustically and events overcame me a while back - I bought the TC Electronics Clip Tuner and enjoyed the quality build. On their website was an ad for the TC Helicon "Play Acoustic' voice and acoustic guitar gadget, soon to be mine!


But then a lot of my guitars had no pickup and I didn't want them to.



But I had seen the new Martin small guitar with Aura video - 00-15E Retro and had thought: "Hmmm" Nice little Martin all mahogany with the Aura in it! [tongue]



Except nobody here had one yet..... [confused]





Gibson has nothing with the Aura at the moment.




I watched the video below, and others and also thought: "Hmmm"



So yesterday I rang the shop and they had the whole range of the Aura guitars, except the little 00-15e. So in to the city I go with intentions of trying all the range.



First up was the D18E Retro - I played it a while and asked the guy to plug it in and I listened to him play electrically......Oh Oh, that's it!


I played a couple of others to make it official, but the decision had really been made already. The clincher was that in the back of my head I thought there might be a few compromises to get an Aura fitted guitar and probably in the guitar side, but the D18E is a superb mahogany/sitka guitar in it's own right!



So new owner of Martin D18E Retro. [thumbup]




Video of a similar guitar:





There may be a photo or 2 later.....







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D18E Retro mic list for those interested - I have the modern version of the Neumann KM84 (my Neumann KM184) and the image sounds very, very similar - absolutely superb, but the menus not for the electronika skaredies:


Image Microphone


#1 AEA KU4


#2 Miktek CV4


#3 RCA 77 DX


#4 Neumann KM84


#5 Neumann U67


#6 Sanken 31


#7 Neumann U47


#8 Neumann U64


#9 RCA 74B






Photos as promised......





They do grow on trees here!








more t>C>

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Looks like a winner! How do you like the tapered neck?



A bit early to comment, Doug. I do like the Mod V necks on my other Marts very much, but this tapered thing is different. I didn't really notice it at the shop, so that must be good, eh?


As a warm up, I do sliding E major scales over the length of the neck, then major scales across as I move up the neck by semitones......the 10th fret to 12th fret are a stretch on the 6 string, but now on the new neck, not!


It is still on the factory setup, and really it is set a whisker high for D18 Bluegrasser fans, but the tech is not getting hold of it just yet.



All we look for now is Mr Gibson to put an Aura system on that new Hummingbird and it will also be mine! (Wild boast as I heard the Princess on the phone saying: "We went blah, blah, and did blah, blah and HE bought ANOTHER guitar and then we took blah, blah" etc, get the picture - maybe a few sales coming?)




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That looks like a terrific all round guitar. Easy neck too...I prefer the low oval to the mod V's.Sounds beaut in that clip.

Which shop BK?

Looking forward to a shot of the hound sitting in the case [biggrin]





Acoustic Centre, South Melbourne, FB. Dangerous shop!




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Thanks guys....


It IS a very nice acoustic guitar and I played it acoustically only late last night and again this morning trying to get the hang of it. It doesn't seem new, perhaps the scalloped braces make it more balanced sounding that older D18s.


For the Aura owners, It is strange with the preset "Easy" images because I am using headphones - on the Aura Spectrum I would turn the image blend up a lot for headphone play and then down to about 35% if running to an amp. Just can't do that on the easy presets, so I am already in the editing menu.


I would stay with image #4 or 5 mics (see above) for a while on 100% image - both Neumann mics! Sound superb!




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Lawdy, what a gorgeous looking instrument. And it could not have landed in better hands.


I got as chance to play two Martins in my favorite little shop yesterday. A 1947 000-28 and a newish D-16. Both sounded great and were just a joy to play. Here is the weird thing - I had not an inkling of desire to snag one of them even assuming I had the cash. Played a used Bourgeois as well. Once again, a magnificent dread in every sense of the word. But nope, not even a passing thought of snagging it even after the store owner said sit down and le's talk which translated means "I am going to cut you a deal you cannot refuse." I truly appreciated all of those guitars but no remorse walking out of the store empty handed. It finally dawned on me, I may just be totally GAS free.

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Thanks there!



It is a very cool guitar....



I did 3 tracks as a test, but Soundcloud is giving me grief lately - it just shows scrambled type on the homepage on my Mac, and on the wobbly work pc, the tracks will load in an instananeous 'zap' and can't be played - have to reload the track until I see it crawling through a download...if that makes sense.



Turn the beast off, kick it in the youknows, try later.... :mellow:





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Well, a little update - not a lot of interest in a D18e Retro on a Gibson forum I know, but I had it set up and now it plays great and sounds great. Just a wonderful guitar!


There is always something - I have a bit of a blister on my pickin' thumb and while I can't say it is painful to play, it is uncomfortable and I am sort of glad I don't have a big gig tonight.


But with the Aura business in a great mahogany guitar - I should have bought one when they first came out in 2012. And even though I have used the Aura pedals since they came out, there has been some head scratching.





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There's plenty of interest BK

Keep the info coming. There was a tom jones charity thing on tele last night and the shires who guested im fairly sure were playing one of those guitars.

Not that it was a stirling example of how they sound.


Enjoy your new toy !



Well here is some info then.....



With the Aura Spectrum pedals, when playing in an amp you set the blend of sound image to the sound of the guitar pickup to about 30 - 35% image. If you are running to a recording unit, and using headphones, it can still sound quacky. So for recording and headphone practice, I often bumped the image to max.


So now with the Aura inbuilt on the guitar they have 4 presets in 'Easy' mode that have been selected and mixed by the genii to be used in an amp or PA live and easy without having to go into the full settings.......you can't adjust the blend of image. Turn up at the gig, plug straight to the PA...and away you go.


So if I play with the Easy Mode presets in to my amp, it sounds normal but if I use headphones and my mixer, say late at night, the quack is quite unbearable! Which hurried up my experimenting with the 'Edit' mode......


That make any sense? Probably not if you haven't heard it.




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