Fraudulent Guitar Sites Steal Credit Card Info

Consumer Alert: Fraudulent Guitar Sites

Steal Credit Card Info

C. F. Martin has received numerous reports of multiple websites that point to online guitar stores with the icons below, that claim to sell Martin, Fender, Gretsch and other well-known manufacturers’ guitars at significantly reduced prices.

These websites are not authorized dealers of Martin, Fender or Gretsch. These are fraudulent websites designed to steal consumers’ credit and debit card information.

Representatives from Martin, Fender and Gretsch are all actively working to have these websites taken down; however, new websites appear daily with the same content.

Please be vigilant when making your musical instrument and accessories purchases. Verify that you are purchasing from authorized dealers and trusted websites.

An example screenshot is provided below:

Fraudulent Guitar Websites

Hi Def digital download now available

T Spoon Phillips’ album Lost and Haunted Ways is now available for digital downloading

Please follow the link below

Praise for Lost and Haunted Ways…

 “A five star soundtrack for a long journey… Well done, Mr. Phillips!” – Gary Hlavinka, Pittsburgh, PA

 “A musical storyteller who spins yarns in his playing, the cuts on Spoon’s Lost and Haunted Ways have an evocative, narrative quality, with unpredictable plots and dramatic twists that draw in the listener.

At moments — for example, during “The Ghost’s Walk” — I felt the sensation of getting pulled toward the speakers.  Really well done. “ – John Stone-Mediatore, fingerstyle guitarist, Delaware, OH.

 “The quality of the recording is crisp and clear, with a performance that is flawlessly executed. Enjoying it!”  – Stan Entsminger, Jacksonville, FL.

“Love it! … With each song, I envision traveling to a new location and enjoying the trip.” – Steve Bolfing, Brazoria, TX

“A very gifted song stylist at a really, really high level. And with songs so well constructed, so melodic, so visually evocative, I found myself not even listening to the sounds, but just traveling on little journeys. – Max Zug, Lancaster, PA.

Check out the new album HERE.

T Spoon Phillips – Lost and Haunted Ways

The Music of One Man’s Guitar

T Spoon Phillips – Lost and Haunted Ways

Hear the full compositions of the original guitar music used in our video reviews at, and Spoon’s guitar demos at

Click to hear mp3 excerpts from all the tracks (may not work on all browsers)

“…a brilliant piece of musical art for the ages. Bravo, Spoon!” – Rhys Ord

Available on CD and as a Digital Download*

CD – $15 + $5 processing, Total $20 – Click to Buy

CD Outside USA – see below!

Digital Download – $12 + $3 processing fee, Total $15 – Click to Buy

CD and Download Combination (best deal) Total $25 – Click to Buy

Solo Acoutic Guitar Album Cover Lost and Haunted Ways T Spoon Phillips

CDs will be mailed within 24 hours of payment.

*The Digital Download is a pre-order, as it is still in production. Expected completion date is August 20, 2018.

The Download will include two copies of the album, in remastered 24-bit high definition wav files and mp3 files.

If providing additional donations, please specify in the note area “CD Only,” “Download Only,” “CD/Download Combo.”

Canada, the UK, and Europe: CDs are $30, but will include a coupon for a FREE digital download.

For other locations, and for other payment options, please inquire here or at

Check out Spoon’s detailed notes on each track HERE.

Spoon Phillips Lost and Haunted Ways banner Solo Acoustic Guitar Album


T Spoon Phillips New Album

Lost and Haunted Ways, the new album by T Spoon Phillips

Here at last, the original solo acoustic guitar compositions

Have you ever wanted to hear the pieces Spoon uses for his One Man’s Guitar video reviews in their entirety? Well now you can! Along with many others…

T Spoon Phillips - Album Cover Lost and Haunted Ways

Official Release, Thursday, August 9.

*Early Bird Special for Martinfest attendees*

Visit for details!

Martin 000-28 (2018) Review

Martin Guitar’s bright future and storied past merge in the 000-28 (2018)

Enduring through the decades, now refreshed with a long-awaited makeover

Select Specifications: Solid tonewoods throughout, including Indian rosewood back and sides, Sitka spruce top with scalloped 5/16″ Sitka spruce bracing; short-scale High Performance neck with Modified Low Oval profile, ebony fretboard with 1-3/4″ width at the bone nut, 2-1/8″ width at 12th fret; ebony bridge with compensated bone saddle, 2-5/32″ string spacing; Style 28 (2018) appointments including Aging top toner, herringbone purfling, Antique White binding, abalone Diamonds and Squares fret position markers, Style 28 back strip, chrome color open back Schaller GrandTune tuners.

“…this new short-scale 000 has a full-bodied voice that immediately says it is no “small guitar.” The bass has Grade A beef in its rosewood brisket, a satisfying heft in the midrange fundamentals under a firm flatpick, and trebles that sound precise and strong when picking out melody, or glint like whitecaps atop a flood of sweeping strums that swell and heave with the woody warmth from the Stika/rosewood undertone. And yet, when played with delicacy, notes from the unwound strings roll out from arpeggios as defined, delicate, and pure as sunlit dewdrops…”

Full Review With Video Here

Martin 000-28 (2018)

Updates to the Understanding Martin Model Designation article

After far too long, I have updated the popular article, Martin Model Designation.

Martin’s Standard Series (2018) specs now included

I very much appreciate all the mail I receive from this article alone and I regret that other technical difficulties have kept me from updating it for 2018.

Until now that is!

Read more here…

And as ever, if you come across any typos or errant text, please do drop me a line at, or via the contact form at the bottom of each post or page.

Summer NAMM 2018 Recap

Acoustic guitars of note among the booths and pavilions of Nashville NAMM

Something for every budget and taste

Summer NAMM banner

The summer installment of the biannual trade show of the National Association of Music Merchants took place on July 28-30, at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. While never having quite the impact and inventory of Winter NAMM, the 2018 summer show provided some interesting additions to this year’s lineup of new guitars. Most of those being electric guitars, the acoustics required some sleuthing to track down. But they still cover most price ranges and a great deal of the familiar brand names.

Here are some of the most interesting acoustic guitars seen at Summer NAMM


Alvarez Artist Series was attracting attention with the updated AGW77AR showing up on Twitter videos throughout the weekend.

This long-scale Grand Auditorium model has walnut top with forward-shifted scalloped bracing and walnut back and sides, and their new, sleeker body bevel. Priced to sell at $499.

See all the 2018 Alvarez guitars here.


Luthier Dana Bourgeois clearly enjoys his trips to NAMM, and always comes up with some some seriously amazing one-of-a-kind guitars, like this OMS wood deluxe,  with a redwood top and figured English walnut for the back and sides!

Bourgois OMS wood deluxe Summer NAMM 2018

Check out Bourgeois Guitars’ Facebook page for an eye-popping array of this NAMM’s belles of the ball.

Or go to their main website to what’s new and interesting, and which dealers landed these very special instruments.



“The AJ-220S has a unique bell-like shape, a larger lower bout, and a small round upperbout which gives this new addition to our Advanced Jumbo family of guitars a unique voice.” These guitars feature a glued-in dovetail neck joint, mahogany back and sides, and solid Sitka Spruce tops, or an optional solid mahogany top that has its own mahogany burst toner option.

Typical price $269. And there is also the cutaway acoustic-electric AJ-220SCE for $369.

Epiphone J-200CE Summer NAMM 2018


Offered in a variety of colored and burst finishes, these cutaway Super Jumbos feature the Shadow eSonic-II™ Stereo Pickup System and Grover machine heads, pricing starts at $459.

“The EJ-200SCE reimagines the historic ‘J-200 Jumbo’ acoustic guitar now featuring a Solid Spruce top, Grover Rotomatic™ machine heads, and the revolutionary new Shadow eSonic-II™ Stereo Pickup System that maintains your true acoustic tone when plugged in to an amp or PA system.”


Guild_jumbo_junior_mahogany_Summer NAMM 2018

The new Jumbo Junior is a smaller jumbo model made with a solid Sitka top and Guild’s arched back of either mahogany or maple. These should prove comfortable couch or travel guitars for a MSRP of $555


C. F. Martin & Co. had a smallish offering compared to the January show, but it is spread across board. These include, but are not limited to a new affordable Road Series model, the 000RSG, with solid Siris back and sides and a solid Sitka spruce top (MAP $1,499,) two limited edition models made from black walnut, GPCE Black Walnut Ambertone, and the DE Black Walnut Ambertone which come with Fishman electronics(MAP $2,649 each,) a black, slope shoulder Jimmy Buffet Custom edition to go along with the Broadway musical Margaritaville (MAP $5,999,) the had-to-happen D-16EPD with soundboard featuring the iconic poker playing dogs painting (MAP $2,799,) and the stunning OM Arts and Crafts 2018 featuring ornate pearl inlay evoking the aesthetic of the Arts and Crafts movement in design, as well as German white oak back and sides, a torrefied Adirondack spruce top, Guatemalan rosewood trim with a MAP of $13,999.00.

Martin Summer NAMM models

See all the new Martin models here.


After introducing their new “V Class” bracing at Winter NAMM, Taylor Guitars released a new Builder’s Series model at Summer NAMM, the maple Builder’s Edition 614ce, as well as new Grand Auditorium models in their affordable 300 Series, the 314ce (Saple/Sitka) and the 324ce (Tasmanian Blackwood/mahogany) and 400 Series, 414ce (Ovankok/Sitka) and the 414ce-R (Indian rosewood/Stika) that feature V Class bracing, and individual cosmetic appointments.

Taylor Summer NAMM 2018

This debut was accompanied by the announcement that Taylor expects to convert all their series to the new bracing. It is intended to deliver a “more dynamic voice.” And from my experience with their Winter NAMM offering it does do exactly that, at least when compared to similar Taylors made the previous year.

The Builder’s Edition 14ce has solid figured Big Leaf maple back and sides with a torrefied solid Sitka spruce top, beveled armrest, new Silent Satin finish with a Wild Honey burst on the back and sides (optional for the top,) and Scepter faceplate and fretboard inlays are among the impressive features.

The 300 and 400 Series instruments will begin shipping in July and include the 314, 314ce, 324, 324e, 324ce, 414e-R,414ce, 414ce-R

More at

About NAMM

NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), established in 1901, is the not-for-profit association that strengthens the $17 billion global music, sound and event technology products industry. Our association and our trade shows serve as the crossroads for professionals wanting to seek out the newest innovations in music, recording technology, sound, stage and lighting products. Membership also includes access to the latest industry news and education, opportunities for music advocacy and cost-saving programs that will help your business thrive. All of these activities and programs are designed to promote music making for people of all ages and to help create a more musical world.

Martin D-40FMG: Reader Q&A

Reader asks about the rare D-40FMG

A Lost Martin Model

Although I’ve been happy my 1975 D-18 for a long time, the Martin I now want is a 1995 D-40 FMG. I’ve been trying to figure out what FMG stands for, since it’s not a standard designation, and all I can come up with is Figured Mahogany – the wood used for its back and sides. I’d never even heard of a style 40; do you have any clues about a D-40 FMG? I appreciate anything you can tell me. Thanks!

– Dave P.

Spoon Replies:

Ah the D-40FMG, I understand the allure. They have figured mahogany back and sides, with the cosmetics of a D-40, only with tortoise rather than white binding on the body, neck and headstock.

I would love to own one myself. Being a bit of a rare bird, I see modern pricing listed from just over $3K to just under $5K; the latter seems like wishful thinking to me for a mahogany/Sitka dreadnought from 1995.

Still, I think they look gorgeous with the tortoise binding on the neck, and it is unusual to get a mahogany Martin with so much abalone inlay.

The “FM” would have stood for Figured Mahogany, but the examples I have seen have figuring that could be called “quilted” or “ribboned” or even “waterfall.” It is a naturally occurring feature in quartersawn mahogany. But it is relatively rare compared to figuring seen in flatsawn wood.

I never could find out what the G stood for. So asked Michael Dickinson, wood buyer for Martin. He said that at the time MG stood for Mahogany, rather than just M, or FM which could be Figured Maple. I assume it might also be related to the fact M at that time had just started being used to refer to the M top size, as in the new J-40M that had recently come on the market.

This model was part of the Figured Wood Edition series, which included the D-40FMG, made in 1995 (two were made in 1996,) and a D-40FW (figured walnut, 148 made,) and the D-40QM (quilted maple, 164 made,) both were built in 1996.

In the 1980s they also had similar series of dreadnoughts made in Style 16 that had Mahogany, Ash, Walnut, and Koa for the back and sides.

Otherwise, The D-40FGM has the styling similar to the D-40, but came out two years before the Standard D-40 was released in 1997.

The D-40BLE appeared in 1990, as a Guitar of the Month (which did not come out anything like monthly.) It was designed by Mike Longworth, and was based on Style 40 from the 1930s, with snowflake fret markers and other features that make it unrelated to the Figured Wood Edition D-40 models.

Most interesting to me is the fact the D-40FMG seems to be a forgotten model. By this I mean, it was left out entirely from Martin Guitars: A Technical Reference, wherein Richard Johnston and Dick Boak edited and greatly expanded Longworth’s original history of Martin Guitars.

Modern Style 40 gets a meager one sentence, about the J-40, and while it mentions the D-40 in the notes beneath, none of these LE D-40 models are listed among the other Limited and Special Editions.

The production totals for all D-40 models do appear in the appendix, but they are buried in an obscure table, and not listed between the D-37 and D-41, as one might expect.

Here is a spec sheet for the D-40FMG

Style 40 has been around since the 1850s, when it was made in Size 2 for $40. It was $84 in the first printed price lists of the 1870s. It did not appear in sizes 0-000 until after 1900, and up until it was retired in 1941 it was basically Style 42 with slightly less pearl trim.

Modern Style 40 (with the small hexagon fret markers and black and white ply purfling) debuted on Martin’s J-40M (M stood for the M body silhouette, not for mahogany.) It was Martin’s first jumbo model and Chris Martin’s first major contribution to the Martin line.

The D-40 followed in 1997. In terms of construction and wood quality, it is an HD-28, but has the cosmetic features of a D-41 – except it has unique reversed black and white ply trim around the edge of the top rather than abalone shell.

The D-40 remained in the catalog until quite recently, but it was not nearly as common as the J-40, which was offered in the normal Style 40 and in an all-black version.