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I thought Martin was right for me. I bought one, thought I loved it, thought it was the greatest playing and sounding guitar I've ever had... then I tried a new Southern Jumbo. After that, my opinion changed completely. 

Martins are absolutely stunning guitars. They're built well, sound amazing and are as high quality as it gets. But despite this, they're still not for everyone.

Later this year, I plan to try out the whole slew of them (D-18 all the way up to D-45 and 000-18 to 000-28) with the hopes of finding one that speaks to me. 

Edited by Sevendaymelee
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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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On 4/9/2021 at 8:54 AM, SteveFord said:

Every Gibson I've tried has a fast note decay where the upper end Martins tend to sustain for days.  You can hit a harmonic, go get lunch and it'll still be ringing when you come back.  

 

Funnily enough, it's partly this why I didn't care for my Martin. My ears don't like that high-pitched "chime" and warble-shimmer that (at lease on the model I had) Martin's have. The high E jumps out, announces its self and my ears get annoyed in a hurry. I can't tell you how many times I tried to tune that string, thinking it was sharp. It drove me nuts!

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8 hours ago, Sevendaymelee said:

I thought Martin was right for me. I bought one, thought I loved it, thought it was the greatest playing and sounding guitar I've ever had... then I tried a new Southern Jumbo. After that, my opinion changed completely. 

Martins are absolutely stunning guitars. They're built well, sound amazing and are as high quality as it gets. But despite this, they're still not for everyone.

Later this year, I plan to try out the whole slew of them (D-18 all the way up to D-45 and 000-18 to 000-28) with the hopes of finding one that speaks to me. 

I've owned / own (3) D-15's and currently own one, (1) J12-16GT and currently own one, (2) D-18's and currently own one, (1) 00-18 and currently own one, (1) D-28, (1) 000-28 and currently own one, (1) HD-28V and currently own one, (2) D-35's and currently own one and (1) D-41. If your not a fan of the guitar ringing forever then I would suggest you stop trying to force yourself to like them. That is Martins thing. Just like people say Gibson has the thump, and that is their thing. My 00 and 000 I didn't not think I would like as much as my big booming Dreads, but those small body guitars are killer.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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i use to think volume and sustain  were more  important than 'tone', the latter being elusively subjective while the other two you could measure with a seismograph.   But back then I also use to think McDonalds was fine cuisine.     

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I love the ringing sound of a Martin Rosewood with advanced bracing. I’ve had quite a few. I’ve been downsizing so I’m down to one and I kept it mainly due to its neck shape. I went on a Gibson search for a similar sound/tone.  I prefer Gibson’s looks, round shoulders and neck shapes. I’ve went  through quite a few and currently have what I think I want, a NL RW and a baked top SJ RW. 

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18 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I've owned / own (3) D-15's and currently own one, (1) J12-16GT and currently own one, (2) D-18's and currently own one, (1) 00-18 and currently own one, (1) D-28, (1) 000-28 and currently own one, (1) HD-28V and currently own one, (2) D-35's and currently own one and (1) D-41. If your not a fan of the guitar ringing forever then I would suggest you stop trying to force yourself to like them. That is Martins thing. Just like people say Gibson has the thump, and that is their thing. My 00 and 000 I didn't not think I would like as much as my big booming Dreads, but those small body guitars are killer.

Well, I have a D-35 and jam with someone else who has a 00-16. I think both of them are (subjectively) wonderful sounding, but they can be a bit too loud and way too bright. The treble is just over the top to my ears. The 00-16 is a lot less offensive in that department, but I think that's because it's a smaller body and a shorter scale. 

Either way, yeah. I agree. I think my ears just like the mellow-silk tone of the Southern Jumbo more. As soon as I played it I was like, holy crap... that annoying, high-pitched ZING is gone! Hallelujah! 

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3 hours ago, Sevendaymelee said:

Well, I have a D-35 and jam with someone else who has a 00-16. I think both of them are (subjectively) wonderful sounding, but they can be a bit too loud and way too bright. The treble is just over the top to my ears. The 00-16 is a lot less offensive in that department, but I think that's because it's a smaller body and a shorter scale. 

Either way, yeah. I agree. I think my ears just like the mellow-silk tone of the Southern Jumbo more. As soon as I played it I was like, holy crap... that annoying, high-pitched ZING is gone! Hallelujah! 

Why are you keeping a guitar that has "... that annoying, high-pitched ZING, and can be a bit too loud and way too bright, and the treble is just over the top to my ears"?

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MaiLei#7  sort of answered your question in his initial post on Monday 10:43PM.   Sounds like he's looking to replace his D-35 after hearing a Southern Jumbo, and plans to also look at other Martin models in the process.

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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 mostly play electric so one high end acoustic is enough for me.

If I was going to own multiple expensive acoustics I could see a Martin J-40 and maybe a Dove or a Hummingbird for some variety (and the looks).

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3 hours ago, SteveFord said:

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 mostly play electric so one high end acoustic is enough for me.

If I was going to own multiple expensive acoustics I could see a Martin J-40 and maybe a Dove or a Hummingbird for some variety (and the looks).

Martin doesn't have enough flightless birds etched into their pickguards.

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14 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Why are you keeping a guitar that has "... that annoying, high-pitched ZING, and can be a bit too loud and way too bright, and the treble is just over the top to my ears"?

I'm not keeping the guitar.

I originally bought a D-35 and played it for awhile. At first, I liked it. But as time went on, the tone started to annoy me. I would constantly insist that the high E was sharp and tinker with it. Constantly. I would ask other people if they thought so too, and none of them did. It was frustrating. Eventually, I asked the person who owns the 00-16 what they thought and their response was something like "I just think you don't like the way it sounds". After that, I decided to try something else and go in an entirely different direction.

Instead of normal scale, I went short scale. Instead of rosewood, I went mahogany. Instead of a Martin, I went Gibson. And as soon as I did, it was like the heavens had parted. My ears were no longer being pierced by what perceived to be an overly sharp high-E string... which wasn't sharp... just sharp to me since I apparently don't care for that sort of sound.

When I tried a Southern Jumbo, my issues were solved almost immediately. The treble was mellowed and blended into the other frequencies. It was smooth and sat right where my ears thought it should sit. It didn't have that brittle bite that my D-35 had.

But none of that means Martin guitars sound bad. I can judge them subjectively enough to know that they're beautiful sounding guitars. But it's just not my type of beauty. At least not with the D-35, anyway. As the other poster said, I do plan to go to the store later this year and try out some other models. Hopefully there's one that speaks to me. We'll see.

Edited by Sevendaymelee
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12 hours ago, Sevendaymelee said:

I'm not keeping the guitar.

I originally bought a D-35 and played it for awhile. At first, I liked it. But as time went on, the tone started to annoy me. I would constantly insist that the high E was sharp and tinker with it. Constantly. I would ask other people if they thought so too, and none of them did. It was frustrating. Eventually, I asked the person who owns the 00-16 what they thought and their response was something like "I just think you don't like the way it sounds". After that, I decided to try something else and go in an entirely different direction.

Instead of normal scale, I went short scale. Instead of rosewood, I went mahogany. Instead of a Martin, I went Gibson. And as soon as I did, it was like the heavens had parted. My ears were no longer being pierced by what perceived to be an overly sharp high-E string... which wasn't sharp... just sharp to me since I apparently don't care for that sort of sound.

When I tried a Southern Jumbo, my issues were solved almost immediately. The treble was mellowed and blended into the other frequencies. It was smooth and sat right where my ears thought it should sit. It didn't have that brittle bite that my D-35 had.

But none of that means Martin guitars sound bad. I can judge them subjectively enough to know that they're beautiful sounding guitars. But it's just not my type of beauty. At least not with the D-35, anyway. As the other poster said, I do plan to go to the store later this year and try out some other models. Hopefully there's one that speaks to me. We'll see.

You should never put a Taylor in your hands, it may send you running for the hills. The famous Taylor treble is supposed to be more tame with their new bracing system.

Anything Martin 18 and below will be Hog back and sides. The 15 Series is all Hog including the top (I love all 3 I've owned, and one I gave away as a grad present and one I traded for a Tele).  Martins 28, 35 (as you know) and all the 40 stuff is Rosewood back and sides with a Spruce top. I wouldn't suggest based on what you wrote to even go to the 40 series. A D-41 new is 4.7k and a D-45 new is 9.5k. The D-35 has 1/4 inch bracing (which is what sets it apart) vs 5/16 inch like all the other Dreads they make. So the D-35 top can move more air vs the other Dreads. The D-18, and 40's have scalloped bracing, where the D-28 and D-35 do not. The 00 and 000's are all Martins shorter scale and an OM is Martins longer scale with a smaller body (and is said to project more than 00 and 000's). The 00, 000 and OM's are all scalloped.

Sounds like letting the D-35 go is the right choice for you.

I'm not sure what you think you are going to hear tone wise in the 28 - 40 stuff if your 35 didn't do it for you. It is basically painting with the same colors. Its like the J-45 for me. People here rave about them, and every time I'm in a store that has one I strum it and it and underwhelms me.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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8 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Anything Martin 18 and below will be Hog back and sides.

Actually, the 16-Series has long had models with solid rosewood back & sides.  I considered them a great buy until Martin started slapping Micarta (and then Richlite) on their fingerboards & bridges in 2001 (just a personal thing).

Edit:  Prior to the above change in ‘01, the board & bridge was striped ebony, a wonderfully smooth wood.

Edited by bobouz
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1 hour ago, bobouz said:

Actually, the 16-Series has long had models with solid rosewood back & sides.  I considered them a great buy until Martin started slapping Micarta (and then Richlite) on their fingerboards & bridges in 2001 (just a personal thing).

Edit:  Prior to the above change in ‘01, the board & bridge was striped ebony, a wonderfully smooth wood.

The 00 and 000-16E has ebony fretboards and ebony bridges. They do, however, come with tusq saddles. But that can easily be swapped out with a Martin bone replacement for cheap. Pretty good, US-made guitars (and good sounding imo) for the money. Probably more for your money than most of their standard line.

9 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

You should never put a Taylor in your hands, it may send you running for the hills. The famous Taylor treble is supposed to be more tame with their new bracing system.

Anything Martin 18 and below will be Hog back and sides. The 15 Series is all Hog including the top (I love all 3 I've owned, and one I gave away as a grad present and one I traded for a Tele).  Martins 28, 35 (as you know) and all the 40 stuff is Rosewood back and sides with a Spruce top. I wouldn't suggest based on what you wrote to even go to the 40 series. A D-41 new is 4.7k and a D-45 new is 9.5k. The D-35 has 1/4 inch bracing (which is what sets it apart) vs 5/16 inch like all the other Dreads they make. So the D-35 top can move more air vs the other Dreads. The D-18, and 40's have scalloped bracing, where the D-28 and D-35 do not. The 00 and 000's are all Martins shorter scale and an OM is Martins longer scale with a smaller body (and is said to project more than 00 and 000's). The 00, 000 and OM's are all scalloped.

Sounds like letting the D-35 go is the right choice for you.

I'm not sure what you think you are going to hear tone wise in the 28 - 40 stuff if your 35 didn't do it for you. It is basically painting with the same colors. Its like the J-45 for me. People here rave about them, and every time I'm in a store that has one I strum it and it and underwhelms me.

Yeah, I think you're right. I'll probably start at the 15M and then try out some 18's, either 00  or 000. Shorter scale and mahogany should mellow out some of high end, don't you think?

As for Taylor, you don't need to worry about that. I'm about as attacked to them as a vampire's attracted to holy water.

 

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1 hour ago, Sevendaymelee said:

The 00 and 000-16E has ebony fretboards and ebony bridges. They do, however, come with tusq saddles. But that can easily be swapped out with a Martin bone replacement for cheap. Pretty good, US-made guitars (and good sounding imo) for the money. Probably more for your money than most of their standard line.

I haven’t looked at Martin’s lineup in a long time, so I checked it out and yes, they’ve currently returned to ebony on the 16 Series - nice to see.

Now if these had a 1-11/16” nut width and 12” fretboard radius, they would indeed have a significant slice of my attention.  I played a 1970 00-18 for over twenty years, and currently have a 2000 000-16 (spruce/mahogany w ebony B&B), as well as a 2001 custom dread (spruce/rosewood w ebony B&B) structurally based on the 16 Series, but with a number of Style-45 appointments.  Looks to me like the 16 Series once again is offering a solid value at it’s given price point.

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1 hour ago, bobouz said:

I haven’t looked at Martin’s lineup in a long time, so I checked it out and yes, they’ve currently returned to ebony on the 16 Series - nice to see.

Now if these had a 1-11/16” nut width and 12” fretboard radius, they would indeed have a significant slice of my attention.  I played a 1970 00-18 for over twenty years, and currently have a 2000 000-16 (spruce/mahogany w ebony B&B), as well as a 2001 custom dread (spruce/rosewood w ebony B&B) structurally based on the 16 Series, but with a number of Style-45 appointments.  Looks to me like the 16 Series once again is offering a solid value at it’s given price point.

Yeah, the nut width isn't as comfortable as I was hoping it would be. The radius was neither here nor there, but I did notice it was a lot harder to wrap my thumb around the top of the fretboard when fretting the low E string. On the Southern Jumbo, that's an absolute breeze. 

How does that 000-16 sound? I'm guessing it's a smaller scale? Does it have a warmer tone? Really looking for a warmer-sounding Martin.

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1 hour ago, Sevendaymelee said:

How does that 000-16 sound? I'm guessing it's a smaller scale? Does it have a warmer tone? Really looking for a warmer-sounding Martin.

First, let me qualify this by saying I’m a fingerpicker almost exclusively.  What I look for is a balanced tone from low to high notes, with relatively little sustain or overtones - but I do need a reasonably strong bass that doesn’t get lost in my drop-thumb style.  This particular Martin does that well, with a rich but direct delivery.  It’s actually a long-scale, and although I prefer short-scale, the neck has a slim profile combined with a 1-11/16” nut width which makes it an easy player (however I still don’t care for the 16” fingerboard radius!).  It is not harsh in any way, and projects well for it’s small size.

With all of the above said, every example is going to be different, and this is one of few Martins that I’ve found satisfying enough to actually purchase.

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11 hours ago, bobouz said:

I haven’t looked at Martin’s lineup in a long time, so I checked it out and yes, they’ve currently returned to ebony on the 16 Series - nice to see.

Now if these had a 1-11/16” nut width and 12” fretboard radius, they would indeed have a significant slice of my attention.  I played a 1970 00-18 for over twenty years, and currently have a 2000 000-16 (spruce/mahogany w ebony B&B), as well as a 2001 custom dread (spruce/rosewood w ebony B&B) structurally based on the 16 Series, but with a number of Style-45 appointments.  Looks to me like the 16 Series once again is offering a solid value at it’s given price point.

I just looked and 16 series are RW. For an American made guitar at that price its a steal.

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13 hours ago, Sevendaymelee said:

The 00 and 000-16E has ebony fretboards and ebony bridges. They do, however, come with tusq saddles. But that can easily be swapped out with a Martin bone replacement for cheap. Pretty good, US-made guitars (and good sounding imo) for the money. Probably more for your money than most of their standard line.

Yeah, I think you're right. I'll probably start at the 15M and then try out some 18's, either 00  or 000. Shorter scale and mahogany should mellow out some of high end, don't you think?

As for Taylor, you don't need to worry about that. I'm about as attacked to them as a vampire's attracted to holy water.

 

The 15 series for an American made guitar at $1200 is a great price. I have  D-15M and love it. My buddy has 000-15 and its killer.

Yeah you might like the 15's. My D-18 and 00-18 are killer axes too.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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On 4/6/2021 at 8:57 AM, kidblast said:

I've tried to love em,  something stops me..  it's called "neck profile"... 

 

One of the things I thank the guitar gods for on a daily basis is that I’m one of those fortunate souls who can easily and comfortably play many neck profiles and/or nut width, string spacings etc. 
 

My modest collection would be a lot more bland if only myself happy with only one of the multiple great options available. 
 

As far as the topic in the OP, I love my D-18 just as much as I love my J35. So yes, Martin, Gibson and many other great builders, like Larrivee for instance, are definitely for me.  

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1 hour ago, geetaruke said:

One of the things I thank the guitar gods for on a daily basis is that I’m one of those fortunate souls who can easily and comfortably play many neck profiles and/or nut width, string spacings etc. 
 

My modest collection would be a lot more bland if only myself happy with only one of the multiple great options available. 
 

As far as the topic in the OP, I love my D-18 just as much as I love my J35. So yes, Martin, Gibson and many other great builders, like Larrivee for instance, are definitely for me.  

I can move pretty easy myself,  and I'd love an OM or M36..  I just know that I would never be "home" on it.

 

welcome to the forum..

 

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My first quality guitar was an early 70's square shouldered J-50 that I really loved. However, I heard a guy playing an 72 (? )Hummingbird and absolutely had to have one. I have been hooked on that sound ever since, and nothing has ever been able to scratch that itch for any amount of money. 

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Well this is a Gibson forum so I would expect some Gibson bias however as an owner of both makes can I add some points. 

Re the member buying a 00028EC this has a V shaped neck but the standard model has a neck very similar to a J200 

 I have a Martin 00028 and a Gibson CJ165 these guitars are almost Identical in size, woods and neck profile the Gibson even having an ebony fretboard unusual for Gibsons but standard on Martins. Even the sound is similar to the fact that I can't tell them apart on recordings.

The interesting thing is Gibson made a short run of Cj165 about twenty years ago and no more since. Martin have been making 00028 since 1933. 

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