Latest Acoustic Guitar Reviews and News

T Spoon Phillips – Music for a Socially Distant Audience – May 6

Live from Brooklyn, It’s T Spoon Phillips with his Martin Guitar

Edited for Length, and With a Bonus Song from the Afternoon Set

May 6, 2020

Every Wednesday, 8 PM Eastern Daylight Time on YouTube Live onemanzguitar channel.

With a run through at 3:30 PM for those across the sea (8:30 British Summer Time, 9:30 Central Europe Summer Time)

Dick Boak Interview – Aaron Short Music Hangout

Wonderfully entertaining and informative talk between Aaron Short and Dick Boak

Stories about great artists, guitar making, and of course Martin Guitars.

A great way to spend a Social Distancing day or night. All of 111 minutes in length, former Martin Guitar employee Dick Boak opens up about so many interesting topics.

I have had many sit down talks with Dick and always wished others could have been there. Well now you can be.

Distant Arts for Socially Distancing Audiences

Musicians, Comics, Writers, and Readers to Perform Social Distancing Show

I am organizing a collective of performing artists to stream live to a Facebook Group

Check back here for more information soon.

If you are interested in taking part, drop me a line. oneman@onemanz.com

I am expecting the new Group (not yet public) will work like a public access TV station, with a calendar that participating artists share and the collective “friends” of all the artists can visit the group to see Facebook Live streaming performances, typically up to 20 minutes in length.

But I also want to organize shows on specific evenings where a succession of artists take their turn doing a 20 minute set. This would be similar to some of the long-running avant garde variety shows I have taken part in here in NYC since the 1980s, like Dog & Pony NYC, and Blow Hole Theater.

Audience members will not need to have a Facebook account to visit the page and watch the performances. But they will need an account to leave comments or live emote reactions.

Spoon

 

American Tune for COVID-19 Social Distancing

Paul Simon sings American Tune for us all

The 78 year old American musical institution posted a solo performance of American Tune on his Facebook page.

Paul Simon American Tune COVID-19 onemanz

https://www.facebook.com/paulsimon/videos/2898856330168238/?__tn__=%2CdkCH-R&eid=ARBApPN6e9yzouJLizcgHTT8hpSKOJuRo0-ZKzq7y5IEm47NwPCmgiZw7j6KUpMpGFSElLvZNhBFtCod&hc_ref=ARTj-T66GQRQE2IvxzVjH1d5ptaiv0e6-PvZoYVi1bHrp73yZK34HkvHbLVPJtf6NN4&fref=nf

He recorded it on 3/19/2020 for the web “show” Til Further Notice, which takes place in Willie Neslson’s back yard. But this year is including Socially Distant performances.

For those who cannot access the performance,  a different performance of the same song appears below. He ended the Facebook performance with “Stay save everyone. Be well!”

I used to perform this every 4th of July, until I forgot how to play it. Since I may have some time on my hands, it is nice the composer provided this handy How-To video. 🙂

I had forgotten his Martin Paul Simon Limited Edition signature models have faux tortoise shell binding, ala Style 21. They also has a special fretboard width that has a 1-11/16″ width nut, at a time when Martin OMs all had 1-3/4″ width-at-nut. But the Simon models taper wider to almost the same width as a traditional OM once the fretboard reaches the 12th fret.

This particular guitar is the PS2 model released in 2000, signified by the inlaid image of Earth on the headstock. Unlike the original 1997 version, the OM-42 PS, the PS2 guitar does not have a traditional hand-fitted dovetail neck joint, but rather the Mortise & Tenon joint, and probably lower grade tonewoods, which allowed the price to be a lot lower.

Here is the maestro performing American Tune on his OM-42 PS, from 2015.

Why Does Martin Warranty Card Show a Different Model?

A Reader Asks Why His Martin “GPC-16E Special” Warranty Card Shows A Different “Model”

Mark from Iowa writes –

I purchased a Martin guitar and when I registered it the warranty card said the style was CMGCGT0083. Is that explainable? It was sold as GPC-16E Special.

Spoon Replies:

Hi Mark and thanks for your query,

As far as I can tell, these hieroglyphs say that your guitar was made for Guitar Center/Musician’s Friend, with a long history of Martins designed exclusively for them. So, it is not technically a GPC-16E because Martin either wasn’t making them at this time for the regular catalog, or the ones they were making had some different specs.

For instance, 16 Series GPCs weren’t offered in rosewood for some time. Also, GPCs in the 16 Series are built with a 000 side depth rather than the actual, deeper GP depth, with less bass boom for anti-feedback reasons. That includes the new 2020 GPC-16E Rosewood.

Your guitar being rosewood, from a time when Martin wasn’t offering that, and possibly having true GP depth, are the probable reasons it was “special.”

Also, your guitar was likely marketed by GC/MF before Martin cracked down on dealers saying things like “Custom D-18” or “GPC-16E Special” in their marketing copy, when Martin wasn’t actually naming specific models that way. Today, Martin dealers are required to say something like “Custom GPC with 16 Series styling and onboard electronics.”

Personally, I feel it would be better for Martin if they said, “So long as it has the same neck joint and bracing as the standardized model and the same cosmetic styling, regardless of the wood species, neck shape, etc., the neck block stamp should read:

GPC-16E
CUSTOM

But they never listen to me.

Hope that helps!

Stay safe, keep well,

Spoon, out

Review: Martin SC-13E – Innovative New Design




Martin Wows NAMM with Ultramodern SC-13E

Ergonomic versatility in a beautiful, cutting edge acoustic-electric guitar

January 15, 2020

 

At three o’clock today, Pacific Standard Time, C. F. Martin & Co. unveiled to the public the SC-13E. With its innovative S size, deep angular Cutaway, and the attractive updated Style 13 appointments, this acoustic-Electric guitar introduces to the world the first new Martin-invented body design since 1934.

 

SC-13E specs include: New S body size with deep scoop cutaway; fine koa veneer back and sides over solid Khaya core; solid Sitka spruce top; unique asymmetrical bracing with partial scalloping; new heel-less Sure Align neck with new asymmetrical ergonomic Velocity profile; FSC Certified Richlite fingerboard with High Performance Taper; FSC Certified Richlite bridge with 2-5/32” string spacing; newly revised Road Series Style 13 appointments; faux tortoise teardrop pickguard; chrome open back tuners; Fishman XT electronics with onboard tuner.

 

Note: Specs based on final prototypes, subject to change between now and actual production models.

 

“Not your granddad’s Martin, the SC-13E is an ultramodern acoustic-electric guitar of tremendous versatility. Its ergonomic design is ideal for long term playing sessions and its innovative shape and bracing provide satisfying tonal balance, good for countless musical styles.”

 

READ THE FULL REVIEW

 

Martin SC-13E onemanz NAMM

Winter NAMM Martins Revealed

New Martins for a New Decade

Limited Edition D-18E 2020 and the latest, greatest Aura Blend electronics highlight Martin’s Winter NAMM 2020 Offerings

Winter Martins

A year ago Martin debuted their Modern Deluxe Series with four new models that employ cutting-edge technologies to create light-weight acoustic guitars that feel and play a lot like vintage Martins, with unique and impressive tone all their own. Today they unveiled the acoustic-electric versions of those same models, the D-28E Modern Deluxe, D-18E Modern Deluxe, OM-28E Modern Deluxe, and 000-28E Modern Deluxe.

 

I’ve had to keep my trap shut for half a year about the new Hi-Def generation of Fishman’s Aura electronics, ever since the power that is C. F. Martin IV decided to not to release the acoustic-electric versions of the Martin’s Modern Deluxe Series until Winter NAMM 2020.

 

But now they are out of the bag and I can tell you this is one of the most exciting upgrades in a long while when it comes to live acoustic tone via a plugged-in guitar.

 

At the heart of the new Aura VT Blend system is the amazing and highly-complex algorithm that is the adjusts in real time to whatever  and however a guitarist is playing the instrument, and the proprietary tone-sculpting effects that work together to make the plugged-in tone sound much more like the actual acoustic instrument as heard through a world-class microphone.

 

Their are two parts to why this new version of the Aura technology is an improvement over the one that is currently in use on other Martin models. First, there is the greater detail and definition to the overall amplified voice. But perhaps best of all, the new Aura Blend system includes the ability to control how much of the Aura filters are applied to the direct signal from the Fishman undersaddle pickup. So, in addition to the VT volume and general tone control, the player blends in the amount of the onboard Aura microphone image they like best, depending upon the sound system, room, or purpose.

 

It has been a while, so I went looking for my notes from last year and can’t find them. So, I returned to the source, and asked Tim Teel, Instrument Design Manager at C. F. Martin & Co., what is his current take on the new Modern Deluxe models with the latest, greatest Fishman Aura VT Blend system.

 

“I thought it was very important to marry this new incredible sounding Aura VT Blend system to what I consider is our best sounding series; Modern Deluxe.

 

The new Aura VT Blend starting in 2020 on the Modern Deluxe series is the next evolution regrading pro-level sound reinforcement for the acoustic guitar. Full blend control between under-saddle piezo pickup and Aura microphone image has been given back to the player!

 

In a live setting, 40-60% Aura Image is more than enough, and when plugged directly into a computer for recording, up to 100% of Aura image can be utilized. Also, new for this release is Aura HD Imaging, giving stunning realism to the sound of the guitar when played through an amplifier or direct recording. A volume and multi-effect EQ scoop round out the user controls located conveniently in the sound hole of the guitar.

 

 I encourage folks to give it a test play at their local dealer.

 

And I shall be testing them out in the now public version next Thursday, on the very day they are released at Winter NAMM.

 

Here is a quick overview of many of the new Martins debuting next week.

 

​​C. F. Martin & Co.® (Martin®) will introduce a suite of upgraded X Series guitars, a new 12-fret nylon string guitar, a new acoustic bass guitar, new 16 Series models, new Modern Deluxe Series models with electronics, a limited edition D-18E 2020, and the fourth in a series of exquisite Purple Martin models at Winter NAMM in Anaheim, California, January 16-19, 2020.

 

​​​​LIMITED EDITIONS

​​D-18E 2020

Winter Martins D-18E Modern DeluxeThe D-18E 2020 is a limited edition version of the historic 14-fret D-18, which officially joined Martin’s lineup in 1934. Like its namesake, the D-18E 2020 is constructed with a Sitka spruce top and genuine mahogany back and sides plus all of the Standard Series elements that, combined, offer supreme playability and legendary Martin tone. What sets it apart is the use of exquisite East Indian rosewood for the headplate, fingerboard, binding, bridge, and heelcap. The D-18E 2020 comes stage-ready with LR Baggs Anthem electronics. The guitar is strung with Martin Authentic Acoustic Lifespan® 2.0 strings, and it is limited to 2,020 instruments.

​​List price $3,649

​​

D-42 Purple Martin Flamed Myrtle

Winter Martins NAMM Purple Martin​​The D-42 Purple Martin Flamed Myrtle is the fourth instrument in the Purple Martin Series. The “Purple Martin” theme is inspired by a native bird of Pennsylvania, where Martin Guitar’s headquarters and factory are located. Limited to 100 instruments, this head-turning model includes 42-style pearl inlay throughout and highly decorative inlay on the fingerboard and pickguard of the purple martin bird and mountain laurel flowers, the state flower of Pennsylvania. It is a full-gloss guitar with a heavy bearclaw Engelmann spruce top with a deep purple burst and stunning flamed myrtle back and sides. Each model includes a label signed by C. F. Martin & Company Chairman and CEO Chris Martin. The D-42 Purple Martin is strung with Martin Authentic Acoustic Lifespan® 2.0 strings.

​​List price $14,999

 

​​MODERN DELUXE WITH ELECTRONICS

Winter NAMM Martins Modern Deluxe Aura D-28 D-18 000-28 OM-28

​​The award-winning Modern Deluxe Series was introduced at Winter NAMM 2019, and Martin has received universal praise for marrying vintage appointments, like a VTS top, and modern upgrades, like a titanium truss rod. This year, Martin has added all-new Fishman® Aura® VT Blend electronics to offer players more control over the voice of the guitar than ever before. It utilizes Aura HD Imaging to provide stunning realism and delivers a new level of performance for direct recording in live situations. The stage-ready Modern Deluxe Series with electronics is offered in four models—the D-28E, 000-28E, OM-28E, and D-18E—and all are strung with Martin Authentic Acoustic Lifespan® 2.0 strings.

 

​​List prices range from $4,999 – $5,799

 

​​16 SERIES

​​Winter NAMM Martins 16 Series

D-16E Mahogany

​​The Martin D-16E Dreadnought is crafted with satin-finished mahogany back and sides for a big sound, punchy midrange, and bright treble response. It include a Sitka spruce gloss top for balanced tone and projection and a 000 body depth and high-performance neck taper for comfort and ease of playability. It comes equipped with Fishman® Matrix VT Enhance™ electronics and Martin Authentic Acoustic Lifespan® 2.0 strings.

​​

List price $2,049

​​

GPC-16E

 

​​The Martin GPC-16E Grand Performance Cutaway is crafted with satin-finished mahogany back and sides for a big sound, punchy midrange, and bright treble response. It includes a Sitka spruce gloss top for balanced tone and projection and a 000 body depth and high-performance neck taper for comfort and ease of playability. It comes equipped with Fishman® Matrix VT Enhance™ electronics and Martin Authentic Acoustic Lifespan® 2.0 strings.

​​

List price $2,049

​​000C12-16E NYLON

​​

The Martin 000C12-16E Nylon 12-fret guitar is ideal for any classical guitarist looking to take their playing to the next level. This Auditorium-style, six-string guitar features a Sitka spruce gloss top and satin-finished mahogany back and sides for bright treble response and plenty of volume. It comes equipped with Fishman® Matrix VT Enhance™ electronics and is strung with Martin Magnifico® premium classical strings.

​​

List price $2,499

BC-16E

​​

The Martin BC-16E is the ideal tool for the modern bassist’s acoustic or electric needs. The BC-16E includes a solid Sitka spruce top, East Indian rosewood back and sides, and forward-shifted scalloped bracing to deliver deep, thumping Martin tone, whether you’re unplugged or using the built-in Fishman® electronics. It also includes a fast, comfortable neck so you can keep the rhythm section tight. The BC-16E is strung with Martin Authentic Acoustic SP® Bass strings.

​​

List price $2,399

​​ ​​

X SERIES

Winter NAMM Martins X Series

​​

​​Two decades ago, Martin broke into the world of alternative, sustainable materials and created a whole new class of high-quality guitars called the X Series. Today, with new HPL patterns, scalloped bracing, and a solid wood neck, fingerboard, and bridge, the new X Series guitars look and sound better than ever. Plus, every X Series guitar now comes with a padded, water-resistant gig bag. The new and improved Martin X Series guitars are built to go anywhere, offering beginners and active musicians a carefree playing experience.

 

Learn more about the MANY new X Series instruments via the links below.

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X2 Series 

​​

Made with Solid Wood Tops with High Pressure Laminate Backs and Sides

 

​​List prices from $799 – $899.

​​X1 Series

 

Made with High Pressure Laminate Top, Back, and Sides.

 

 

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