Read the Full Review of this model HERE
Well it didn’t take long for C.F. Martin & Co. to go ahead and offer a public notification about the Custom Shop model, the CS-00S-14.
So I can offer more details today than I could last week.
According to Fred Greene, Vice President of Manufacturing, The CS-00S-14 is “a hide glue 00 slothead in Style 42.” Style 42 includes the very highest grade tonewoods, along with abalone pearl inlaid around the top and fingerboard extension, as well as other premium cosmetic appointments.
This new grand concert size guitar features a back and sides of Honduras rosewood, which has often been considered a close tonal cousin of Brazilian rosewood, that Holy Grail of tonewoods, now a protected and very endangered species. Dick Boak, Head of Artist Relations, used to run the Martin sawmill back in the day. He said they milled lots of Honduras rosewood, but the logs were typically too small to use for guitar backs. Instead, they were milling it for marimba makers, as it is the traditionally preferred wood for that instrument.
This is Martin’s first model offered in Honduras rosewood. There have been more than one species of rosewood given that name. Some have a brighter, crisper tone, along the lines of Madagascar rosewood, while others have a thicker, darker sound that might be considered more Brazilian-esque. I am very curious to hear what this new CS model sounds like.
This guitar also features a top of “torrefied (temperature aged) Swiss spruce.” Torrefication is an ancient process that subjects wood to high heat, which results in a lighter, denser wood. It was originally used to treat firewood so that it would not suffer so much from decay, but it also resulted in a more efficiently burning fuel. Brewers use the same process with grains for various reasons.
All wooden guitar tops take time to break-in and “open up.” The use of torrefied guitar tops is a new fad, as experiments suggest it may result in a top that behaves or possibly sounds like a top that has been played-in for many years. While I remain skeptical to the extent of such claims, I look forward to hearing the results for myself.
New Martin Neck Rod
Another exclusive feature on this guitar is the neck rod of “ultra lightweight non-adjustable carbon fiber.” This is the first Martin to have this neck reinforcement. It is possible it may allow guitars to sound more resonant, like the pre-war Martins with ebony rods, while having the strength to keep a neck straight like a modern steel rod.
Melding Tradition and Progressive Design
CS Series models often include vintage Martin features with modern aesthetics and engineering.
The neck on this model is solid mahogany, and the neck profile is denoted as a modified V. But that can mean many things. The CS models have typically had a neck hand-carved by Aaron VanWhy of the Custom Shop, with profiles typically shallower and sleeker than other Martins.
Other vintage-esque features include Golden Era style scalloped braces under the Adirondack spruce top, and a short-scale 1-13/16” neck with a pyramid bridge and 2-5/16” string spacing.
Fred Greene designed the new guitar, along with the other models of the CS Series, which first appeared in 2011. He gave it a new fingerboard inlay, reminiscent of the last year’s CS-OM-13, and a truly unique rosette pattern.
photos: C.F. Martin & Co.
Fishman Aura Plus
He was most excited about the on-board pickup system, explaining that it was a “custom Fishman Aura with one sound image and the controls in the sound hole (no holes in the side of the guitar –just an end jack). Unobtrusive and simple to use, plug and play.”
Fishman’s Aura pickup system is the result of highly complex technology. Basically, they record a guitar with a series of high-end microphones, while also recording the signal from the guitar’s under saddle pickup. They then tweak the wave file of the pickup to mimic that of the microphone. They then put this into what is basically a small computer that resides in the guitar, which has complex algorithms that adjust in real time to how hard the guitarist is playing, etc. and adds in micro-delay to simulate the distance the acoustic sound waves travel from a guitar to a microphone. The player may adjust the EQ as well as the blend between the raw pickup signal and the Aura mic image. And the results do a pretty great job of making a plugged in guitar sound like an acoustic guitar as heard through a quality microphone.
Fred Greene is a even keel kind of guy and not prone to hyperbole. “The guitar is amazing!!! A great player like you will really enjoy it.” was how he put it in his initial communique about the new CS-00S-14. “It is a little more pricey than past CS models due to the pearl and electronics and we will only make 114.”
The 00-42 of the prewar era has long been considered one of the finest steel string acoustic guitars ever created. Whether this new model will qualify for such accolades remains to be seen and heard. But it has tremendous potential to at least be one heck of a 12-fret 00 and it won’t be too long before this particular website will provide a thorough review to follow up this preview.
The list price is $8,999.
And that is one man’s word on…
Martin CS-00S-14 – Preview
Full Spec Sheet
- Construction:Mahogany Blocks/Dovetail Neck Joint – Hide Glue Construction
- Body Size:00-12 Fret
- Top:Torrefied Swiss Spruce
- Rosette: 3 Ring
- Top Bracing Pattern: Standard ”X” Scalloped (Golden Era Style)
- Top Braces: Solid Adirondack Spruce 1/4”
- Back Material: Solid Honduras Rosewood
- Back Purfling:Style 45 – Golden Era
- Side Material:Solid Honduras Rosewood
- Endpiece:Solid Cocobolo
- Endpiece Inlay: Black/Maple/Black Fiber
- Binding:Solid Cocobolo
- Top Inlay Style:Style 42
- Side Inlay:none
- Back Inlay: Black/Maple/Black Fiber
- Neck Material:Solid Genuine Mahogany
- Neck Shape:Modified V
- Nut Material:Bone
- Headstock: Slotted/Square Slots/Diamond/Square Taper
- Headplate: Solid Black Ebony
- Heelcap: Solid Cocobolo
- Fingerboard Material: Solid Black Ebony
- Scale Length:24.9”
- Number of Frets Clear: 12
- Number of Frets Total: 19
- Fingerboard Width at Nut: 1-13/16”
- Fingerboard Width at 12th Fret: 2-5/16”
- Fingerboard Inlays: Concave Diamond Design – Orange/Red Spiney Recon Stone/Solid MOP
- Fingerboard Binding: Solid Cocobolo
- Finish Back & Sides: Polished Gloss
- Finish Top: Polished Gloss
- Finish Neck: Satin
- Bridge Material: Solid Black Ebony
- Bridge Style: Pyramid w/ Drop-In Saddle
- Bridge String Spacing:2-5/16”
- Saddle: 16” Radius/Compensated/White Tusq
- Tuning Machines: Nickel Grand Tuners w/ Butterbean Buttons
- Bridge & End Pins: Bone w/ Paua Pearl Dots
- Pickguard: none
- Case: Geib Style – Custom Shop
- Interior Label:none
- Electronics: Fishman Aura VT
- Other Options: Available left-handed at no additional charge
- Other Comments: All prices & specifications are subject to change without notice
- Read More
- Official Martin Press Release