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Buc McMaster

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Well, I have been just so put off by the laminated parts showing up on Gibson acoustic guitars I have gone out and spent my money on one that is indeed all solid cuts of wood: a new Martin D18V! Nah, not really......just foolin'......I love my Gibsons........but I did buy a new Martin this afternoon. Played a few....... The Gibson Firebird is still there and still wonderful but perhaps a thousand dollars more than I want to spend. The 5-Star Quilt SJ200 is still there and still a boomer, but it still sports all that glue squeezed out of the kerfing......looks terrible inside! The very nice SJ is there still, but perhaps just a bit too much like the J45 I already have....... So it came down to a pair of Martins: a D18GE and a D18V, both outstanding instruments. I had them put new strings on both for a fair side-by-side play test. The GE (Golden Era.....a 1934 throwback model) has an Adirondack top with a FWI nut & saddle, while the V has Sitka and bone.........otherwise pretty much the same. Both have a nicely V'd neck profile, scalloped forward bracing, Waverly machines. It was a close call, but the D18V was more balanced across the strings and quite chimey, very bell-like........the GE was a bit muted in the high end and did not seem to have good separation like the V did.........does! Fine guitar! Still mahogany, now without doubt my favorite back & sides wood, but of long scale. While I have gotten away from long scale lately, I think one guitar out of three being long neck won't bother me too much. And this thing is loud! Very loud! I like it!! So crucify me!!

 

d18two.JPG

 

d18bridge.JPGd18headstock.JPG

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Say what happened to the Buc that only needed one guitar?!! [rolleyes] You must have gotten a deal since they put the pickguard on the wrong side.

 

Congrats Buc, looks like a fine instrument. I look fordward to hearing it .... perhaps it's good for a Sunday morning song?

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Would you have bought a Martin or any other guitar if you weren't currently without your J45TV?

 

Yes, I believe I would have bought regardless of the 45's absence.........just in a guitar buying mood since late last year........this makes three since late November.

 

18andbirdtwo.JPG

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Buc ,

 

Wow !!!! I always thought that Martins were pretty plain looking ...

and they never really caught my eye but something about yours that shows elegance !

I don't know what it is but it looks like a fine guitar .

 

Enjoy !!! ... I guess this brings down your "1 guitar at a time" rule ?

 

 

btw : Does Jim have any lefty D 45's or Johnny Cash Models ??? . Do they get custom shop leftys from Martin ?

 

 

thanks

 

 

 

JC

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Buc ,

 

Wow !!!! I always thought that Martins were pretty plain looking ...

and they never really caught my eye but something about yours that shows elegance !

I don't know what it is but it looks like a fine guitar .

 

Enjoy !!! ... I guess this brings down your "1 guitar at a time" rule ?

 

 

btw : Does Jim have any lefty D 45's or Johnny Cash Models ??? . Do they get custom shop leftys from Martin ?

 

 

thanks

 

martin has been using sythetic materials for fretboards and bridges a lot longer than gibson.

 

JC

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martin has been using synthetic matrials for fretboards and bridges a lot longer than gibson thats for sure

 

Not on my Martins, for sure.

 

Actually, Gibson's unfortunate foray into plastic bridges in the late 1960's (including some J-45's!) may have set a lousy precedent.

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I always thought that Martins were pretty plain looking ...

and they never really caught my eye but something about yours that shows elegance !

 

Does Jim have any lefty D 45's or Johnny Cash Models? Do they get custom shop leftys from Martin?

 

Part of the draw of the D18 for me is it's plain appearance, simple elegance as you say. Much like a Gibson J45 in that respect, both stripped down to the basics.......they just say "guitar" when I look at them. This one was factory strung with mediums (.013-.056) and though not what I've been using on my Gibsons I really like them on the D-18, long scale and all. Plays very well and is tres loud! And no laminates nor synthetics on this one

 

He has one Cash model on the wall........I did not take it down for a go as the all black doesn't appeal to me. There was a D42, a couple of OO-18V, D28 Marquis and maybe 4 or 5 others I didn't take much note of......mostly rosewood models. The Gibson Firebird he has is excellent. Beautiful quilted maple back in dark cherry red, flawless inlay work and a great neck set. Plays very well right off the wall with room for adjustment at the saddle.

 

Zomby: No sir, have not crossed the path of an HD-28VS, lefty nor righty. I used to own a D-18S back in the late nineties.........12 fret, slot head, w-i-d-e fingerboard.........one of those I should have held on to.

 

duluthdan: It's a lefty specialty shop. He has literally hundreds of southpaw guitars in stock. I played a Gibson Les Paul Jr TV Yellow double cut just for fun today......played one with the last band for a time, probably the most fun guitar to play I ever held, so lightweight and compact.......great little rock n' roll guitar!

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Nice one Buc. Its great to have another shade of tone in the stable to the Gibson, makes life even more interesting. As much as I love my Gibsons I really appreciate also playing my Martin and Furch. Ive always liked Martin mahogany dreads, the 18v is a really nice guitar. Still has a lot of fundamental tone without the over the top pimped out voicing of GE's and Authentics.

 

By the way, did you try a 2012 D-18 ? My understanding is that the D-18v line has been scrapped and the D-18 standard upgraded to essentially be like a D-18v, with 1 3/4 nut, forward shifted scalloped bracing, ebony bridge and fretboard. Would love to try this model to see how it stacks up.

 

Enjoy man, looking forward to performance and sample soon !

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Another fine Board surprise –

 

What really becomes clear when gettin' more guitars, is how much is opted out when only owning one. Maybe that's logic for spring-chickens, but in the luxurious position of having a herd, that underlying feeling of 'limitation' connected to any particular model, disappears. It simply evaporates by the fact that you are able to switch from second to second and pick another that fills the hole, so to speak. This circumstance is relaxing (on a deeper level too) and makes the pleasure of the guitar actually played even more pleasureful. Add to this that being close to different brands increases the general awareness. Only in the contact with, and knowledge of f.x. Martins, the Gibsons can be seen, felt, heard, experienced and fully appreciated - vice versa of course.

In other words : Buc, you've done the right thing. Sunday congratulations from here.

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Congrats Hoss. Curious if in your hunt you ran into a Martin HD-28VS with the 12 fret neck and slotted headstock. I am real interested in taking one for a spin.

I tried one in the shop a year ago. Have to say I found it too boomey, , , even slightly hollow. My mate has a Santa Cruz build from this template.Has a bit of the same problem.

Have you tried the HD-28V (scalloped forward shifted), , , or the HD-28 (scalloped). They are on the same path, just not that far. I have been testing two 28V's (a 2001 and a 2005) over the last 6 months and still don't know which one is 'best'. Besides I met a superb HD-28 not so long ago, that really got to me. All in all haven't yet zoomed in on my final 2 Martins. Time will speak -

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Okay.......D-18V demo. Listening from a microphone's perspective really brings home the Martin tone to my ear.......that first G chord just shouts "MARTIN!" The overall sound is balanced, string to string, moreso than my Gibsons........not a good or bad thing, just how it is between brands. So there's a little piece of Donovan here, and then what is likely the best song every written about Woody Guthrie, Boy From Oklahoma by Willis Alan Ramsey.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM01jdlmiFM

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