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Hey guys, just wondering here - limiting the question for Martin and Gibson, but of course feel free to add what is "for you."

I know many of you have both and are very happy with both, but anyone here who feels that Martin, although excellent build and great sound, it just doesn't fit on your playing style?

My experience with Martin guitar is decent, but I have yet to find a Martin guitar that knocks my socks off, as Gibson does. I have had two Gibsons - a J45 and a Humminbird, and felt great as soon as I played the first chords and the honeymoon lasted pretty much forever. I am excited waiting for the Sheryl Crow!

As far as Martin goes I have had sooo many but after a short honeymoon I don't feel them, if you know what I mean. I have now a 000-28EC on order that I am seriously considering to cancel and just stop my Martin search, just not excited trying anymore.

I have had the following Martins, and again although great guitars they just don't speak to me as much:

00-28

000-28 CS (Custom Shop) with Adirondack top

D-28 standard (2 of them)

D-28 CS with Adi top

D-28 '37 Authentic VTS

D-28 '37 Authentic Aged VTS (2 of them)

HD-28

D-18 CS with VTS 

D Jr (2 of them) - still have one for my son

 

Anyone else here feels the way I do?

 

 

Edited by Violeiro
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Pass the popcorn please. 

One has to look at actual acoustic flat-top guitar history to put the whole Martin and Gibson thing in perspective and why one feels the way they do about one or the other or both.   Historically, Mar

It's like audio gear or motorcycles or whatever, there's no right or wrong answer, it's just a matter of what you like. The Martin sound appeals to me, the Gibson looks appeal to me. I mostl

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I love Martin guitars, I love the history and really like to look at them. I had my share of Martin D size, 18, 28, 42,45 over the years and thought there is nothing I would like better. I also had some SCGC D's. Than I played an AJ at Guitar Showcase in San Jose around 2008 and loved it, couldn't get that guitar out of my mind and really regret that I didn't buy it. In 2013 Gibson introduced this limited edition 1935 AJ which is like a Gibson version of the Martin Authentic series. I bought it and was so impressed that I also bought the OJ from the same limited edition.  After about 6 month owning them I sold all my Martin D size guitars. From time to time I check out Martin D models but I prefer my Gibson's. I guess they just fit me better.

However my Martin 000-18 Authentic is my all time favorite smaller body acoustic, that's  for sure is a keeper for life.

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While doing my Martin search I found the 40 series guitars is what floats my boat I’ve had some very nice ones that could have been my forever guitar. 

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I’ve been through a number of Martins over the last 40 years and enjoy the tone and feel, the history and legacy of the company.  I have a lot of respect for Martin as a company.  With the exception of a D42, most of them have been mid to lower end priced instruments.  They don’t seem to have staying power with me.  

  Nothing keeps dragging me back to my senses like a good J45, however.  
 

rb

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1 hour ago, Violeiro said:

Hey guys, just wondering here - limiting the question for Martin and Gibson, but of course feel free to add what is "for you."

I know many of you have both and are very happy with both, but anyone here who feels that Martin, although excellent build and great sound, it just doesn't fit on your playing style?

My experience with Martin guitar is decent, but I have yet to find a Martin guitar that knocks my socks off, as Gibson does. I have had two Gibsons - a J45 and a Humminbird, and felt great as soon as I played the first chords and the honeymoon lasted pretty much forever. I am excited waiting for the Sheryl Crow!

As far as Martin goes I have had sooo many but after a short honeymoon I don't feel them, if you know what I mean. I have now a 000-28EC on order that I am seriously considering to cancel and just stop my Martin search, just not excited trying anymore.

I have had the following Martins, and again although great guitars they just don't speak to me as much:

00-28

000-28 CS (Custom Shop) with Adirondack top

D-28 standard (2 of them)

D-28 CS with Adi top

D-28 '37 Authentic VTS

D-28 '37 Authentic Aged VTS (2 of them)

HD-28

D-18 CS with VTS 

D Jr (2 of them) - still have one for my son

 

Anyone else here feels the way I do?

 

 

Seeing your list. Your 000 28 cs  Should be everything a Clapton is.    The problem is with these guitars. We have a tendency to want all of them.    
 

 

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28 minutes ago, slimt said:

Seeing your list. Your 000 28 cs  Should be everything a Clapton is.    The problem is with these guitars. We have a tendency to want all of them.    
 

 

 

Almost - what differs from the EC, which I like the modified V neck profile.

Edited by Violeiro
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13 hours ago, SteveFord said:

Yes.

2EWXMXY.jpg

The answer is yes they are for me. Hey that looks like mine, except I put ebony pins on mine. Here is the current flock.

https://imgur.com/flnzo2R

https://imgur.com/0Y6zHqp

https://imgur.com/jcJgAOA

https://imgur.com/ocnI6Hs

https://imgur.com/r8nYoJY

https://imgur.com/4k0Z5rL

https://imgur.com/0mOE3ob

Here is what is gone. I don't have a pic of my first D-35 and D-18.

https://imgur.com/eY5piNz

https://imgur.com/WYdxDkN

https://imgur.com/5dGkAqN

https://imgur.com/fJSqUIW

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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In 55+ years while I have played more Martins than I can recall I have owned only - a 1970 or so D-18 and a 1953 000-18.  The 000-18 tended to respond better to a lighter touch than I have and I liked my Harmony Sovereign better than the D-18.  Deeper low end and a more piercing tone.  Much nicer neck as well (a 1950s Gibsony carve with a 1 3/4" nut)  

My wife owns a Martin D12-28 and loves the thing.  And with me it  had nothing to do with the guitars.   I guess Martin preciseness and me were not a good mix.

Edited by zombywoof
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1 hour ago, zombywoof said:

In 55+ years while I have played more Martins than I can recall I have owned only - a 1970 or so D-18 and a 1953 000-18.  The 000-18 tended to respond better to a lighter touch than I have and I liked my Harmony Sovereign better than the D-18.  Deeper low end and a more piercing tone.  Much nicer neck as well (a 1950s Gibsony carve with a 1 3/4" nut)  

My wife owns a Martin D12-28 and loves the thing.  And with me it  had nothing to do with the guitars.   I guess Martin preciseness and me were not a good mix.

That is how I feel. I might give a try on the 000-28EC, still thinking... but I feel the end result for me will be the same.

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One has to look at actual acoustic flat-top guitar history to put the whole Martin and Gibson thing in perspective and why one feels the way they do about one or the other or both.   Historically, Martin was the originator of current hand crafted acoustic flat-top guitars.   That being said, Gibson as well as any other hand crafted acoustic flat-top guitars are variation alternatives to the original design of hand crafted flat-top guitars.  For example, Gibson, produced an alternative to Martin’s dreadnaught design by producing a round shouldered Jumbo that was similar to the original Martin design, but different in a way that made its sound and playability appealing.  But, historically, the round shouldered Jumbo was in response to Martin’s Dreadnaught. Same thing with Gibson’s short scale neck.  Martin had a long scale neck, in response, Gibson created a short scale neck.   Then, the copy factor also figures in.  And f Martin had a square shaped Dreadnaught, Gibson could create a square shaped model also to copy it but give it a slightly different sound by its braces or woods.   (Likewise, if Martin and Gibson had a glued in dove-tail jointed neck, Taylor created an alternative with a bolt on neck that they could market as easier to have neck resets.  Etc.)

Likewise, Martin had natural finishes, Gibson had the alternative, a sunburst finish.  

But, it all started with Martin historically creating what still remains the standard of acoustic flat-too guitars.   Everything else is a variation or a copy to make it have a nuance and appeal that makes Gibson have its own following or another manufacturer have its own following.  But, none would exist without Martin blazing the trail.  Fir that reason, I never criticize Martin because frankly, none of the other acoustic flat-top makers with their great alternatives would exist without their original trailblazing.  
 

That s why some prefer Martin.  Some prefer Gibson (because Martin set the standard, that Gibson that changed to create an alternative to the standard, and some like both Martin and Gibson because they like the standard and the alternative.

Note:  this trailblazing by Martin refers as I handcrafted guitars.   There is a whole other set of trailblazing (also still derived from Martin and handcrafted guitars) that ties to manufacturers trying to mass produce guitars that were handcrafted.  Thus, we have the cheap Kay and Harmony copies of Martins, leading to today’s imported mass market copies of Martin’s and Gibsons that are now quite good.  Interestingly, Martin in this race has fallen behind Gibson primarily due to Gibson’s Epiphone efforts and other overseas mass market manufacturers and is playing catch up with their trailblazing.   As well as Martin now on occasion copies Gibson and Taylor alternative creations their own designs that now compete with them.   ie.  Martin still periodically tries to break into the sunburst finish field that Gibson spearheaded as an alternative to Martin’s natural finish.  Gibson’s natural finishes has made better inroads into Martin’s realm than visa- versa.  Etc.
 

But, it all really started with Martin, their 14 frets, theirX bracing, their Dreadnaughts, their hand crafted workmanship, their tuners, etc. etc.  So though I prefer the Gibson alternatives (and present Epiphone mass made copies), I have the utmost respect for Martins as they set the standard that all others have alternatives to.

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

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18 minutes ago, QuestionMark said:

One has to look at actual acoustic flat-top guitar history to put the whole Martin and Gibson thing in perspective and why one feels the way they do about one or the other or both.   Historically, Martin was the originator of current hand crafted acoustic flat-top guitars.   That being said, Gibson as well as any other hand crafted acoustic flat-top guitars are variation alternatives to the original design of hand crafted flat-top guitars.  For example, Gibson, produced an alternative to Martin’s dreadnaught design by producing a round shouldered Jumbo that was similar to the original Martin design, but different in a way that made its sound and playability appealing.  But, historically, the round shouldered Jumbo was in response to Martin’s Dreadnaught. Same thing with Gibson’s short scale neck.  Martin had a long scale neck, in response, Gibson created a short scale neck.   Then, the copy factor also figures in.  And f Martin had a square shaped Dreadnaught, Gibson could create a square shaped model also to copy it but give it a slightly different sound by its braces or woods.   (Likewise, if Martin and Gibson had a glued in dove-tail jointed neck, Taylor created an alternative with a bolt on neck that they could market as easier to have neck resets.  Etc.)

Likewise, Martin had natural finishes, Gibson had the alternative, a sunburst finish.  

But, it all started with Martin historically creating what still remains the standard of acoustic flat-too guitars.   Everything else is a variation or a copy to make it have a nuance and appeal that makes Gibson have its own following or another manufacturer have its own following.  But, none would exist without Martin blazing the trail.  Fir that reason, I never criticize Martin because frankly, none of the other acoustic flat-top makers with their great alternatives would exist without their original trailblazing.  
 

That s why some prefer Martin.  Some prefer Gibson (because Martin set the standard, that Gibson that changed to create an alternative to the standard, and some like both Martin and Gibson because they like the standard and the alternative.

Note:  this trailblazing by Martin refers as I handcrafted guitars.   There is a whole other set of trailblazing (also still derived from Martin and handcrafted guitars) that ties to manufacturers trying to mass produce guitars that were handcrafted.  Thus, we have the cheap Kay and Harmony copies of Martins, leading to today’s imported mass market copies of Martin’s and Gibsons that are now quite good.  Interestingly, Martin in this race has fallen behind Gibson primarily due to Gibson’s Epiphone efforts and other overseas mass market manufacturers and is playing catch up with their trailblazing.   As well as Martin now on occasion copies Gibson and Taylor alternative creations their own designs that now compete with them.   ie.  Martin still periodically tries to break into the sunburst finish field that Gibson spearheaded as an alternative to Martin’s natural finish.  Gibson’s natural finishes has made better inroads into Martin’s realm than visa- versa.  Etc.
 

But, it all really started with Martin, their 14 frets, theirX bracing, their Dreadnaughts, their hand crafted workmanship, their tuners, etc. etc.  So though I prefer the Gibson alternatives (and present Epiphone mass made copies), I have the utmost respect for Martins as they set the standard that all others have alternatives to.

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

Nice post. I do have the greatest respect for Martin, and also love the history behind Martin!

My post has more todo with personal connection and intimacy with the guitar. 

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Hey V - For what its worth I have owned and loved a bunch of Martin's.  Though to be honest the 000-28EC Which I have owned three - I just never bonded with and none of them sounded that great.  Like allot of high end Guitars people either love them or hate them - I joined the latar. Ken

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I’ve owned a few Martins. Three (OM18V, 00DB Jeff Tweedy, D18GE) really got their claws into me. The Tweedy in particular was glorious, absolutely nothing that didn’t please me about that little thing.

However, one thing all my Martins have in common is that they aren’t here anymore. I’ve always had Gibson acoustics, but Martins have come and gone. A Dove, AJ or SJ200 is home to me in a way that no Martin has ever been. 
 

I have always liked Martins a great deal, but I’ve never loved one the way that I’ve loved my best Gibsons. 

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You reach for the Mart. and hear :

                                                    Yes sir, , , , dig in pal, , , , right on bro, , , , let's work, , , ready to ride. .

You reach for the Gibson and hear :

                                                            Okay my dear, , , , sure love, , , , I'm so ready, , , oooh darling, , , , yeeearrh

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3 hours ago, rct said:

"Anybody can buy a Martin, it takes someone special to buy a Gibson."

lolz

rct

I think Sigmund Freud said that, or Albert Einstein. I think both were Taylor guys though. No wait they had Guilds.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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6 hours ago, Gasman said:

Hey V - For what its worth I have owned and loved a bunch of Martin's.  Though to be honest the 000-28EC Which I have owned three - I just never bonded with and none of them sounded that great.  Like allot of high end Guitars people either love them or hate them - I joined the latar. Ken

So you went through three 000-28EC's and didn't bond with them and none sounded great. I love Martins, and currently own 7,  but I only need to be punched in the head once to know it hurts.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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Like some of the other folks here I’ve owned or played most all of them. Owned Dana builts , Terry Walker Guild builds, lots of Martin’s , Guilds, Gibsons etc. The one Martin I’ve kept was a late 70s D 35. That thing sounds wonderful, big bridge plate and all. Over 40 years old, top is thin and wobbly , but it doesn’t need a reset and it sounds like a band of angels. But I have three Gibsons that I like better. The only Taylor that I’ve ever liked is a baby Taylor and I own one of those.

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Like others here, I've owned a number of Martins & have had a soft spot for them since crossing paths with a little 1970 00-18.  Purchased it in 1980, and twenty-one years later when it needed a neck reset, traded it in towards a new custom rosewood Martin dread, which I still have.  Also revisited my Martin small-body lust by picking up a nice 000-16 made in 2000 (striped ebony board & bridge - pre micarta & richlite).

But overall, the truth is that Gibsons work much better for me than Martins, so the Martins rarely get played.  It starts with my fingerstyle of play, in which I'm after quick decaying notes.  Generally, the assorted maple jumbo-shaped bodies tend to work quite well for this, but I can also find it in Gibson's dry & punchy J-45/J50 roundshoulder bodies (I have one in mahogany & one with rosewood).  Then there are a couple of key playability factors:  Gibson's common use of 12" radius fingerboards vs Martin's 16" radius, and Gibson's frequent use of short-scale fingerboards in a wide variety of body sizes.

So I could very easily do without my Martins, but the Gibsons aren't going anywhere!    

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28 minutes ago, BluesKing777 said:

There are Martins and then there are Martins!

I am fortunate to have one of the OM18 Authentic VTS, similar to this video guitar. Sensational fingerpicker.....

This guy shares my thoughts on decay, which have been written here more than once - I'm sure he reads these pages 😎

A very alluring small guitar. The chestnut burst is irresistible. And he's a good demonstrator. 

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