Eric Clapton Navy Blues Guitar by C.F. Martin – Preview

Martin Guitars is releasing another in the long line of popular acoustic guitars created in association with legendary guitarist Eric Clapton.

Eric Clapton Martin OM-ECHF Navy Blues

Photo: 6StringMusic

The new OM-ECHF Navy Blues is the third such guitar that was created in collaboration with Hiroshi Fujiwara, the musician and designer credited with founding the Harajuku movement in popular fashion and integrating Hip Hop musical forms into Japanese music.

It will make its public debut at the NAMM show in Anaheim, California, January 23- 26, 2014.

The new blue guitar is a long-scale OM, unlike all previous Clapton models, which were short-scale 000s. The traditional 000 and Orchestra Model have the same body size but 000s typically come with 5/16” bracing, while the Navy Blues model has the thinner 1/4″ bracing used on most OMs.

Fujiwara provided the initial design for a custom black Martin model made for his friend Clapton, and it was later released to the public as the “Bellezza Nera” (Black Beauty.) This was followed up by the “Bellezza Bianca” (White Beauty). The white version was made out of maple with an Engelmann spruce top. The Navy Blues features Indian rosewood for the back and sides and a top designated as European spruce, more like the Nera. That Martin was specified as Italian Alpine, while the recent Madagascar rosewood Clapton models sported Carpathian spruce. I hope to nail down the exact source of the new model’s soundboard by the time we review the model next week. My guess: Swiss Alpine spruce.

 Eric Clapton Martin OM-ECHF Navy Blues front

 OM-ECHF Navy Blues headstock

 OM-ECHF Navy Blues back

 Photos: C.F. Martin & Co

The list price on this model is $6,999. According to the official Martin press release:

“Each OM-ECHF Navy Blues guitar bears an interior label, individually numbered and personally signed by Eric Clapton, Hiroshi Fujiwara, Dick Boak and C. F. Martin IV. Quantities will be limited to 181 guitars.”

 Spec Sheet:

Model: OM-ECHF Navy Blues
Construction: Mahogany Blocks/Dovetail Neck Joint
Body Size: 000-14 Fret
Top: European Spruce
Rosette: Two Ring – Small MOP Squares Set in Black Corian
Top Bracing Pattern: Standard ”X” Scalloped
Top Braces: Solid Sitka Spruce 1/4”
Back Material: Solid East Indian Rosewood
Back Purfling: Fine Herringbone w/ Style 18 Black Fiber Strips
Side Material: Solid East Indian Rosewood
Endpiece: Grained Ivoroid
Endpiece Inlay: Black/White/Black Boltaron
Binding: Grained Ivoroid
Top Inlay Style: Fine Herringbone
Side Inlay: Black/White/Black Boltaron
Back Inlay: Black/White/Black Boltaron
Neck Material: Solid Genuine Mahogany
Neck Shape: Modified V
Nut Material: Bone
Headstock: Solid/Diamond/Square Taper
Headplate: Solid Black Ebony
Heelcap: Grained Ivoroid w/ Black/White/Black Inlay
Fingerboard Material: Solid Black Ebony
Scale Length: 25.4”
Number of Frets Clear: 14
Number of Frets Total: 20
Fingerboard Width at Nut: 1-3/4”
Fingerboard Width at 12th Fret: 2-1/4”
Fingerboard Position Inlays: Style 45 Snowflake – Select Abalone
Fingerboard Binding: Grained Ivoroid
Finish Back & Sides: Polished Gloss – Dark Navy Blue
Finish Top: Polished Gloss – Dark Navy Blue
Finish Neck: Polished Gloss – Dark Navy Blue
Bridge Material: Solid Black Ebony
Bridge Style: Belly
Bridge String Spacing: 2-1/4”
Saddle: 16” Radius/Compensated/Bone
Tuning Machines: Chrome Enclosed w/ Small Buttons
Bridge & End Pins: Black w/ Abalone Pearl Dots
Pickguard: none
Case: 533E Geib Style
Interior Label: Blue label signed by CFM IV, Eric Clapton, Hiroshi Fujiwara & Dick Boak
Electronics: Optional
Other Options: Available left-handed at no additional charge
Other Comments: All prices & specifications are subject to change without notice
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Read More
Official Martin Press Release
Special Thanks to onemanz reader “6StringMusic” for the great photo of EC in action!

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