Acoustic Guitars in the Words of One Man

Welcome!

“So we’ll written! The best I have ever read…I’ll keep an eye on your site all the time.” - John Lynch, guitarist

“Thanks for your time and professional opinion. Martin owes you a huge debt of gratitude as I have bought a few new ones thanks to your excellent reviews.”  – Jim Roberts, guitarist

“Best, most intelligent, acoustic guitar lovers site I’ve found. I’m getting a Martin CS-OM–13 because of your review. Keep up the good – thoughtful – work!” - Angus Yates, guitarist

“Great site by a wonderfully sensitive and perceptive reviewer of music and instruments. He is an artist with words, and a good guitarist himself!” – El McMeen, fingerstyle wizard and Mel Bay author

“What a guy! All the best, LJ” – Laurence Juber, guitarist extraordinaire

Check out our Arts and Culture Reviews and Commentary at onemanz.com

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One Man's Guitar Logo color onemanz.com

Spoon’s Mailbag: Can you tell me about the Martin HD-28E Retro and D-45E Retro?

Recent Acoustic Guitar Reviews With Video

Wingert Model F
Custom Beauty

Martin OM-42 Deep Body
Custom Slothead

Schoenberg Quartet
12-fret 0000

News and Articles

Tervetuloa Muusikoiden.net lukijoita Suomessa!

And greetings to our recent visitors from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Venezuela!

At the Met:

From Guitarmania to Beatlemania

The Metropolitan Museum of Art gave a lecture about Martin Guitars, featuring Dick Boak, who has worn many hats at Martin and now is the company’s chief archivist, historian and head of the Martin museum. He was joined by two-time Grammy award winner Laurence Juber, who is among the finest guitarists of this or any era. Juber’s first book, Guitar with Wings, is set for release in May 2014, and features his personal photography from the years he spent as a member of Paul McCartney and Wings.

Read More…

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Special Thanks!

Thanks to Jim in Wisconsin for taking the time to inform me that the article on Martin’s Performing Artist series, originally penned in 2010, contained some out-of-date facts on display, primarily relating to Martin’s phasing out of their old M&T neck joint in favor of the new and improved “simple dovetail” neck joint.

A more detailed explanation of the significant differences between Martins traditional dovetail neck joint, their Mortise and Tenon neck joint, and the Simple Dovetail neck joint can be read HERE.

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Q & A:

 

The Martin Retro Series?

A reader seeks an opinion on the HD-28E Retro and D-45E Retro

Spoon, of course has one

000 vs OM?

A reader inquires as to why some Martins are called 000 but others are called OM, yet they have the same body size.

Read Spoon’s Response

 

OM-28 vs OM-21
(the new ones)

A reader inquires about Martin’s recently announced OM-28 when looking for a companion for his OM-21.

Read Spoon’s Response and Suggestions

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Martin OM-18 Authentic 1933 sighting

Guitar Center in Brooklyn, at Atlantic Center, has an OM-18A 1933 in stock. I stopped in for some picks and was pleasantly surprised to find the Authentic there behind the glass case, in their small room of higher-end guitars.

It impossible to remember fully just how light of weight this model is compared to other modern guitars, and just how big and lovely the voice is when played with the lightest touch, yet it does not break up at all when played full throttle with a flat pick.

So if you are in the NYC area, and have always wanted to see one of these excellent guitars, now is your chance.

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New Martins for Frankfurt Show

The Standard OM-28 is resurrected by C. F. Martin, alongside an upgraded, updated 000-18, and new Aura models

New OM-28

As expected, Standard Style 28 has received a makeover, following in the footsteps of the one that appeared with the fabulous D-18 and the upgraded OM-21. And some well-loved Martins have been put out the pasture to make room…

Read More

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Paco de Lucía Dies

Trail Blazer and Traditionalist was 66

“With fluid fingering, a flare for the dramatic, and compositions that flit and flutter like birds over a pastoral valley, or soar like eagles atop the winds of the world, de Lucía was among the most highly regarded guitarists of the twentieth century.”

My Tribute, With Videos

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Vintage Gibsons by Lloyd Loar
and Pre-war Martins

Old Gibson and Martin archtops

“There were two Loar F5 mandolins present, a fern signed by Loar on March 24, 1924, and one without the fern signed on April 12, 1923. Also present was a stunning K-5 Mandocello, one of only six known to exist. This one was signed by Loar on October 13, 1923.”

Read the Full Article

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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO of New Martins!!

We went to the Martin Factory on a frigid Thursday morning to play the red hot off the griddle Martin Prototypes, at the same hour NAMM was opening its doors…

2014 Martin Guitars Winter NAMM Sampler

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New Martins for NAMM!

A few days before the NAMM show opens, January 23, C.F. Martin & Co. have announced their new models for 2014

New Martins for NAMM SS-000S-14

Read More About Them

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Exclusive Report:

Opening Reception for

Early American Guitars:
The Instruments of C.F. Martin

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Early American Guitars: the Instruments of C.F. Martin Metrpolitan Museum of Art door

An after-hours reception was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last night, where an invited group of some 60 guests were treated to a private viewing of the exhibit Early American Guitars: the Instruments of C.F. Martin, which opened to the public earlier that day. I was among them.

Read More

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Latest Martin Model News!

The New Blue Clapton

The third collaboration with Hiroshi Fujiwara, this is the first Eric Clapton model made by Martin Guitars with a long-scale neck and 1/4″ OM bracing.

Read Preview

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Preview of the New CS-00S-14

12-fret 00 in Honduras rosewood!

“Amazing guitar!!!”

- Fred Greene, VP of Manufacturing, C.F. Martin & Co.

Read Preview

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Book Review – Johnny Cash: the Life
by Robert Hilburn

More than just another Johnny Cash biography, Robert Hilburn’s latest volume reexamines the rags to riches details of this unique example of the American Dream with its extremes of peaks and pitfalls, as lived by one the nation’s most iconic musical artists.

“…an insightful yet sympathetic analysis that conjures up the late Man in Black in living color… it is Hilburn’s ability to include the many quoted snap-shots within the smooth emulsion of his own smart prose that keeps the focus on events as they happen, present and alive. And his insistence on allowing others to speak with emotion and opinion, while he sticks to the facts and resists any temptation at grand conclusions that provides a sense of authenticity to the story, and keeps the pages turning…”

Read the Full Review

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SPOON’S MAILBAG

I receive email from all over seeking my opinion and advice, or simply asking questions related to all sorts of guitar-ish things. Our blog will now feature some of these questions, and the new Q & A section on the menus will begin to offer links to some we feel may be of greater general interest.

READERS PHOTOS

Select photos sent in by our readers of their great guitars!

Greenfield G2 rosette readers photos One Man's Guitar

Got a question or want to share your photos: oneman@onemanz.com

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David Gahr photographs,

joyous and evocative, on display and for sale at the Morrison Hotel Gallery, Soho.

“From Leonard Bernstein to Patti Smith, a young Willie Nelson to a very young Bruce Springsteen, the royalty of Jazz, Folk, Blues and Rock n Roll preserved by David Gahr in living black and white…”

Read the Full Article

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Dylan’s “Gone Electric” guitar sells for record price

“When Bob Dylan ripped into “Maggie’s Farm” in front of a stunned crowd at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, not many people realized they were seeing a paradigm shift in the current of popular culture that would reverberate around the globe for decades to come…”

Read the Full Article Here

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Neil Young New Vault Release – Solo 1970

With 13 tracks recorded live at the Cellar Door in D.C…

“this record provides a glimpse of an emerging superstar on the verge of going supernova.”

Read the Full Article

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Martin 000-42 Marquis photos

Our good friend Rich sent us some photos of the guitar he purchased in part because of our review, back when that model first appeared on the market.

Great stuff, Rich!  Thanks.

000-42 Marquis review One Man's Guitar onemanz.com

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Martinfest 12 – Annual gathering of Martin lovers

While other guitar brands have their loyal fans, none seem to evoke as much reverence and affection from their admirers as Martin, and this has led people from greatly diverse backgrounds to find they share a similar love of music that transcends their many differences…

Republicans room with Democrats, liberals stay up till dawn with the conservatives they looked so forward to seeing after a year apart; even Yankees fans find themselves warmly embraced by fans of the Tigers, Oriels and Red Sox. From the Oscar winner to the homemaker, the CPA to the MBA, all and all, they have found common ground in this most unpretentious celebration rooted in the love of music and Martin guitars…

As one member put it, “Music is a unifying force that reaches across many boundaries and brings people together in very deep and lasting ways.” Martinfest is living proof of that.”

Read the full Article on Martinfest 12

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We heard from our friend Laurence Juber this morning…

The double Grammy-winning guitarist dropped by One Man’s Guitar to check out the new site, and then dropped us a line to let us know about his new guitar, and tell us that our copy of his latest CD is on the way.

Read More

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Artist CD

Laurence Juber – Under an Indigo Sky

“A warm, layered and very human scene painted entirely with one acoustic guitar drenched with resonant chords, clear and unhurried melody lines, and shadowy blue bass notes that rise or fall in pitch or pace like a melancholy pulse. An exquisite piece of music played on an exquisite guitar, exquisitely.”

And that is just the first track on Juber’s Under an Indigo Sky, the latest CD from the two-time Grammy winner.

Read the Full Review

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Jazz Great George Barnes:

The First Electric Guitarist

“Countless musicians across many types of music have been greatly influenced by the man with the big blonde guitar. Even if they had never heard his name, the amount of blues, rock n roll, folk, country, and jazz recordings he had a hand in would fill a large catalog. Many young guitarists playing today were inspired by guitarists who were inspired by other guitarists who were directly inspired by George Barnes.”

Read Full Article

What else is new?

Find out HERE

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From Our Reviews

SUMMER NAMM

D-18 Sycamore

A D-18 with a difference, the D-18 Sycamore comes in somewhere between maple and mahogany in looks and in tone.

“…It sounds like a more complex maple, with thicker top notes, more overtones and complexity over all, like mahogany, but with a maple-like bass that shifts the focus into the mid-range, which has the same kind of defined top notes and high overtone ring as the trebles.

It still has plenty of the complexity, resonance and sustain one looks for in a dreadnought. In fact, it excels at traditional flatpicking, with the kind of punch and “cut” that would leap out of a Bluegrass jam when it is time to switch from playing rhythm to a solo break…”

Read the Full Review

Martin D-18 Sycamore side review at onemanz.com

Martin CS-GP-14

From the Custom Shop it comes….

“…a versatile instrument of the highest order, with an expansive dynamic range of clear and present fundamentals, surrounded by complex rosewood sympathetics, a full but open undertone, and a forthright over-reaching ring thanks to the torrefied European spruce top, and all laid out with exceptional balance across the six strings…”

Read the Full Review

Martin CS-GP-14 port

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More new Martins on the way…

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K Wingert Model F Custom

The first thing that comes to mind when seeing this K Wingert guitar is, “That’s a big guitar!” The first thing that comes to mind when I hear this K Wingert guitar is, “That’s a big guitar!”

But as big and bold as it sounds, its voice remains refined and lovely from the first note to the fading final moments of the resonant sustain.

“With quality tonewoods matched by the artistry used to create it, this custom Wingert Model F has a full-bodied voice rich and satisfying as steaming hot cocoa made with half and half, while allowing for clear notes that come right through all that indulgent rosewood/alpine spruce tone.”

Read the Full K Wingert Guitar Review

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Martin OM-42 Deep Body

Combining the looks of a pre-war Style 42 12-fret slothead with the convenience of a 14-fret OM, made all the more powerful with extra-deep sides, this Madagascar/Adirondack jewel box from Martin’s fabled Custom Shop is a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.

“From the first strum there is a stark ring to the fundamental voice, each note pure but with pronounced substance, clear yet dense, like diamonds. And with each steely note ringing off a string an expanding sonic reaction blooms, from an echo beneath the top voice and a woody hum deeper down, to a shining choir of lofty overtones. This guitar shows off the most sophisticated type of Madi-Adi tone.”

Read the Full Review

Martin OM-42 Deep Body review at One Man's Guitar onemanz.com high color abalone torch

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Martin Custom Shop Series

We expand our CS Series reviews with the

CS-D18-12

A throwback in the best of ways, Martin’s CS-D-18-12 is one classic mahogany 12-fretter

Made from 400 year old sinker mahogany, reclaimed from a river in Belize

“The CS-D18-12 has a marvelous voice that is effortlessly large yet clear, ringing, and simply a joy to hear. Once again Greene and his team have put together a unique instrument and gotten it right.”

Read the full CS-D18-12 Review

CS-D18-12 heel cap

and the

CS-21-11

A woody aesthetic and sleek modern neck, matched to impeccable and “Authentic” pre-war construction techniques makes the CS-21-11 a uniquely versatile dreadnought, even by Martin standards.

“That ultra-light build contributes mightily to the guitars breathtaking resonance, response, and purity of tone. It astonishes with how much resonant, living tone swells out of it with the lightest touch, and how that glow increases as chords and picking patterns sustain over time. And the response to nuanced playing and the ultimate payoff in tone only increase as the top brakes in and the guitar grows up.”

Read the Full CS-21-11 Review

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Martins from NAMM 2014

OM-ECHF Navy Blues

With thumbs up, the Navy Blues earns a row of gold stars

“The Navy Blues is the third guitar designed in collaboration between the legendary Eric Clapton and Eric’s good friend Hiroshi Fujiwara (a renowned Japanese artist, DJ, musician, fashion designer and trendsetter) and design assistance from Martin’s Dick Boak. With a deep navy blue finish and upscale inlays, the OM-ECHF offers rich, complex tone, powerful dynamics, and wide-ranging versatility.”

Read the Full Review

OM-ECHF Navy Blues headstock

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CS-0012-14

The first Martin made of Honduras rosewood

A carbon fiber neck rod and Martin’s first foray into the world of torrefied wood, adds exciting new facets to one of the most classic guitar designs of all time, the 12-fret 00.

“If the CS-00S-14 is anything, it is resonant. It comes alive with the lightest touch, and it feels alive…  from the warmth glowing out of the bottom end and a low E string impressive for this body size, a fatness to the midrange strings that reaches down like a pillar into the echoing cellar below the top voice, and trebles with a distinct chime that leaps out, with a vintage-like openness directly under them, but reflecting harmonics off the midrange like the surface of a mirrored pond disturbed by the sound waves firing off that crystalline fundamental chime. It is a sophisticated voice…”

Read the Full Review

Martin CS-00s-14 review onemanz.com torrefied spruce lobby shot small

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D-28 Authentic 1937

Time capsule recreation of the dreadnought

“… the envied owner of a new D-28 A 1937 will be afforded the privilege of breaking in the fledgling tone woods and ultra-thin nitrocellulose finish, to coax out more and more of the guitar’s rich, round rosewood lows, punchy Adirondack mids, and pure, ringing trebles that signify the classic Martin sound.”

Read the Full Review

Martin D28 Authentic 1937 Madagascar rosewood

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000-28K Authentic 1921

A one of the kind Martin is recreated in exotic Hawaiian koa wood, with hide glue construction throughout.

000-28k Authentic 1921 pyramid bridge review at onemanz.com

“Aesthetic beauty, effortless playability, and charming tonality make the 000-28K Authentic 1921 a big success.”

Read the Full Review

COMING SOON!!!

SS-000S-14 NAMM Show Special

D-35E Retro

000-18E Retro

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G7th Performance Capo

High-tech but simple to use, this capo with the postmodern looks was the brainchild of guitarist Nick Campling.

“His primary concerns were the effect of the capo on a guitar’s intonation, the ease of use in terms of applying and removing it, making sure the capo did not damage the guitar’s neck or get in the way of the guitarist’s fretting hand, and finally, a capo that was attractive to the eye. The G7th Performance capo does a good job in all these respects…”

Read the Full Review

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Kramers Headed to Woodstock Invitational!

Sparky Kramer was visiting one of his customers in New York City last night, on his way to the big guitar show. So, I stopped by for a chat with the California wood charmer, and a look at these new and delightful musical instruments, made with gorgeous woods and super smart design features.

“The guitar sounded huge for such a small size. It invited one to play with the absolutely lightest touch they could, and be rewarded with such lovely tone and marvelous projection. But it had no issue with being attacked, and effortlessly turned into a blues machine.”

Guitar interior by Randall Kramer from sound port

Read the Full Article

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 D-45S Authentic 1936

An instrument as impressive as its hefty price tag

“… a sound bigger than Texas and just about as audacious. I have played examples of them all, from the D-100 to the Celtic Knot, to the Stephen Stills. There just hasn’t been a modern-day pearly Martin with a sound this enormous.”

Read the Full Review

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D-18 Authentic 1939

The time machine sought by so many

“The light build on this mahogany/Adirondack is reinforced by rear-shifted braces, with the main X brace placed a bit farther back than on modern Martins. This helps add to the openness of the voice, and reduces the rumble in the bass, so the bottom notes retain great definition while the highs have all the cutting power a Bluegrass flatpicker could hope for.”

Read the Full Review

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D-28 Authentic 1941

As our D-28 Authentic 1941 review shows, “this isn’t just a good vintage D-28 reissue; it’s a great guitar.”

“Tone, dynamics and playability matter most to me when judging a guitar. This guitar gets top marks in all three areas. When it comes to tone, it had me at the first strum, because of its ringing purity, impressive depth, effortless volume, and its expansive, open, room filling presence.”

Read the Full Review 

MORE Authentic reviews

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Schoenberg Quartet

- the Stephen Bruton model

A 0000 reimagined with a Standard 12-fret body shape.

“This guitar is so finely tuned in terms of dynamics and response that it is basically effortless to play, in any tuning. There is a gorgeous complexity to the harmonics, but an unperturbed clarity to the fundamentals, and an organic sensibility to the sustain and decay of each, which makes it a delight to play.”

Read the Full Review

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Martin CEO-7

Martin’s successful take on the prewar Gibson L-00 remains more Martin than anything else. A slope-shoulder 00 for the ages.

“When it came down to it, the whole time I was playing the guitar I kept feeling like the CEO-7 is the Golden Era Series reissue of a pre-war Martin that never existed.”

Read the Full Review

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Huss & Dalton TD-M

Sinker Mahogany

Review now up!

“In a word, the voice is huge … a good example of a Bluegrass banjo killer with focused trebles that cut through the stout, strong bass of its pronounced bottom end …”

Read Full Review

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If you have an acoustic guitar in mind that you would like included, please drop us line at guitar@onemanz.com

If you are in the New York City area and own a professional level acoustic guitar that we might video, record and review on the site, please contact us at the same address above.

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The writing is that of one man…

with input from the owners of many of the instruments reviewed as an important part of the overall presentation, along with luthiers, manufacturers, and purveyors of acoustic guitars from all over the world. Thanks for visiting!

21 Comments

21 thoughts on “Acoustic Guitars in the Words of One Man

  1. great site….just discovered it and will review it .
    can you tell me the name of the song spoon Phillips plays at the end of his guitar reviews for Maury’s Music.?
    thanks

    • Hello Sleeper, and thanks for your question.

      If you mean the “Bluegrass” flatpicking section, it is a Scottish folk tune called “For A’That.”

      It is most well known as the melody to the song “A Man’s A Man For A’ That”, written by Robert Burns and published in 1795. But the actual tune is at least 100 years older than that and had many different sets of lyrics put to it before Burns’ poem.

      If you meant the music during the closing credits, it is an excerpt from an original work called “Riding Back from Boston.”

      • thank you for your thoughtful insights and in depth articulate reviews…they are a tribute to your credibility….a much welcome oasis in the desert of salesman knowledge. As for the music…. I was referring to the closing credits. I listen to the emotive excerpt from “Riding Back from Boston” over and over just as I will return to your site…..you have gained another fan

        • Well that is indeed very nice to hear. Thank you.

          I use a peppier version for the closing credits. The actual composition is designed to be more on the contemplative side, as it meant to evoke someone riding out on the old Post Road from Boston, having said goodbye to his true love for the very last time, before she sails o’re the sea.

          I hope you never grow tired of the tune, since I hope to use in on many more videos coming up!

          • While reviewing your site I see a video where you comment an Tyminski’s martin guitar practically “laughs”. Wonderful to seen each band member take their part in that number. Could you comment on why Dan Tyminski
            appears to change guitars during the video? thanks

          • You have a good eye for detail, Sleeper!

            Near the end of that video, featuring Alison Krauss and Union Station, you can here the distinct *snap!* of a string on Dan’s guitar, near the end of the the Jerry Douglas solo. In fact, he gets his back up guitar and gets the capo on the correct fret with like 2 seconds to spare before he has to start his own solo, and of course, never misses a beat.

            That back up guitar appears to be his Martin D-28 Dan Tyminski signature model, and the one previous guitar looked to be a much older Martin.

  2. Lyn Walker says:

    March 8 2014

    I have ordered the Martin 00028 koa guitar which I am really looking forward to arriving in New Zealand. By watching onemanz guitar video I was able to watch and chose this guitar.
    Thanks for your good work.
    Hope to watch many more.

    • Hello Lyn and welcome to One Man’s Guitar.

      I am very happy for you, as you are in for quite a treat when you take receipt of what may be the best new koa guitar made today. Congratulations, in advance. :)

  3. I just spent a good 1/2 hour listening & watching you at the Maury’s Music website. I don’t know of any better reviewer of fine Martins than yourself. You left me longing…. er lusting over the John Sebastian (again, as I watched this vid several times last summer). Plus your session with the D-28 Authentic 1931 has me in a tailspin. You did a magnificent job of showing that wonderful instrument’s attributes in a very short time. Both, as well as so many of CF’s stable, are true gems. The Authentic series is an admirable nod to a most worthy past.

    I hope all’s well and your guitars are ringing this winter. I’ll get deeper into your site- better than curling up with a good book IMHO. Hats off to you for this wonderful endeavor and many thanks for sharing your knowledge, skills, and friendship. See you in August, if not sooner.

    Best, WillySunday ; )

  4. Hi There,
    Love the website!!!!

    I have a Kramer Big Sky that Sparky built a few years ago.It ia an amazing guitar!!!

    Madagascar Rosewood and German Spruce. I would love to share the pictures with you and maybe have you do a review on it if you like.

    In my honest opnion, Sparky builds some of the finest guitars in the world!!!

    Dale

    • Dale,

      Thanks for stopping by! We would love to see the photos. You can send them to oneman@onemanz.com, and include an note specifically giving us permission to display them on the website.

      As for reviews, are you in the New York City area? We will have our hands full with all the new guitars coming out at NAMM next week, but we will be looking for other guitars to review thereafter.

  5. I had an opportunity to have a good look (and read) of your new website.

    It is very informative and more importantly, so are the detailed and objective reviews of guitars.

    I am sure there are many people who appreciate reviews that are not “bought” by major guitar manufacturers and will find your take on instruments refreshing.

    You may wish to consider (for the time being) a Paypal type donation button to keep the site up and running.

    I am not a wealthy man by any means but I would certainly consider making a donation to help with the groundwork on your worthwhile endeavour.

    Anyways, all the best with the new website. Take care.

    • Ed,

      Thank you for the kind words and the generous offer. We call em like we see em. But it is nice to hear that someone understands that a review can be objective while taking into account personal taste. But I try to remember that whatever I may not enjoy about a particular guitar may be exactly what someone else is looking for.

      One Man’s Guitar has considered advertising revenue once the site was well-established. Donations were not something that was thought of. I appreciate the suggestion and your kindness. I will have to learn more about Paypal and if we decided to go that direction, consider yourself acknowledged as the one who thought it up.

    • Thanks Matthew! There is indeed a Wingart in the queue for review! Should be on line sometime in June. Stay tuned!

  6. Best, most intelligent, acoustic guitar lovers site I’ve found. I’m getting a Martin CS-OM–13 because of your review. Keep up the good – thoughtful – work!

    • That is very kind of you to say, Angus. Thank you! Please feel free to let us know more about your CS-OM-13 once you acquire one. They are indeed unique, even by Martin standards. We hope you enjoy owning one as much as we enjoyed reviewing them.

  7. Todd, like the web site. I am seriously thinking of trading in my beloved HD-28 for a 000-28 – ever do a review of the 000-28?
    Also, love the scotch site too – guitars & single malt scotch – what more could a guy want :)

We'd love to hear what you think about all this.