Martin 00-17 Authentic 1931 – REVIEW

Torrefied mahogany debuts on the Martin 00-17 Authentic 1931

The most affordable Authentic model yet, and perhaps ever

“This 12-fret 00 generates tone that expands in all directions, filling the room with clearly defined notes and woody sympathetics, while creating a soundscape of inner depth that seems far greater in size than the physical dimensions of the instrument should allow.”

Read the full review HERE

Read the full review HERE

Martin 00-17 Authentic 1931

Martin 000-30 Authentic 1919 Review

Classic pre-war Martin mojo lives again in the historic 000-30 A 1919

Colorful and responsive in looks, feel, and tone

Specs include: All-solid wood with hide glue construction throughout; Madagascar rosewood back and sides; Adirondack spruce top with Vintage Tone System torrefaction, high-color wooden marquetry top trim and back strip, torrefied period-correct scalloped 1/4” bracing and torrefied maple bridge plate; one-piece mahogany neck with shallow vintage V profile, slotted headstock with Martin brand at the back; ebony fingerboard with period correct snowflake fret markers, 1-7/8” width at nut, 2-5/16” at the 12th fret; ebony pyramid bridge with 2-3/8” string spacing; bone nut and saddle; StewMac Golden Age reproduction three-on-a side tuning machines with unique engraved plates and pearloid buttons, grained ivoroid binding, extra-thin Vintage Gloss nitrocellulose finish.

“The 000-30 A 1919 offers the kind of sound many luthiers and guitarists have sought to produce since the invention of steel strings.”

Read the Full Review and see the Video Here

USE Martin 000-30 Authentic 1919 fret markers

Martin OM-28 Authentic 1931 Review

With all the projection and string-to-string balance heard from the legendary first modern acoustic guitar, Martin has resurrected their original Orchestra Model in the OM-28 Authentic 1931 – the most anticipated addition to the Authentic series in many years.

Martin’s historically accurate Vintage Gloss Finish makes its first appearance on this new OM-28 Authentic, and heard for the first time is a refined version of their Vintage Tone System of wood torrefaction, reserved exclusively for the Authentic series of vintage Martin reproductions.

“…I approved of how it responded at every level of attack, and how it felt in the hands, both in terms of the tactile experience of holding it, and how the strings pull and release, as well as the clarity of the notes and how they pop out, yet stay connected to the resonant undertone glowing behind them.

Even though this OM requires little effort to reach the “sweet spot” of optimum resonance with minimal resistance, this is not a frail instrument. In fact, it flourished with a certain amount of extra string tension from the fingertips. It was like it said, “Oh yeah. That’s the stuff!” when I would increase the pull on the strings, so it could convert that potential energy into kinetic energy, and ultimately full, unbridled tone.

That was but one of the subtler prewar Martin traits to be found in this new OM-28 Authentic 1931.”

Read the Full Review

OM-28 Authentic 1931 torrefied spruce top
photo: Maury’s Music

New Martins for NAMM 2014!!!

New Martins for NAMM SS-000S-14

A few days before show opens, the new Martins for NAMM 2014 have been announced.

The new models include entrants in the Custom Shop Series, the Authentic Series, the Retro Series, the Performing Artist Series, and Martin’s NAMM Show Special. The SS-000S-14 (above) is a 12-fret 000 in stunning high-figured Claro walnut, with ornate aluminum inlay.

We shall be providing detailed reviews, with video, of most of these new Martins, as soon as we can get a hold of them.

For the time being, you can see the new Martins for NAMM 2014 at the Martin Website

Martin D-45S Authentic 1936 Review

Visit the Mountaintop of Acoustic Guitars in Our D-45S Authentic 1936 Review

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. The D-45S Authentic 1936 provides a sumptuous feast when playing even the basic cowboy chords. Add in some harmonic drone strings, or Jazz chords, and you also get to have Christmas pudding while sitting before the tree in all its trimmings.

Not many readers will ever get to see one of these, let alone actually afford to buy one. But we present this review for educational purposes, and to offer the opportunity that some might be inspired to knuckle down and put their nose to the grindstone, and become the kind of self-made man who actually can afford to buy one. We feel we owe it, to society. You can thank me when you invite me over to play your D-45SA 1936.

Read the full D-45S Authentic Review

D-45S Authentic 1936 Review

Our Martin D-18 Authentic 1939 Review

The Classic Mahogany Dreadnought Explored:
Our D-18 Authentic 1939 Review

The time machine Martin closest of all to the priceless pre-war instrument sought after 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.

Whether you are listening to Brownie McGhee singing the Blues, or Kris Kristofferson singing about Bobby McGee singing the Blues, you are hearing a D-18 laying down the rhythm. The folk music of Simon and Garfunkel, Donovan, and Gordon Lightfoot featured the D-18, as did the Rock n Roll of Elvis Presley, Jerry Garcia, and Kurt Cobain. And when it came to Mountain Music, Old Time, and Bluegrass, the D-18 has reigned supreme, especially among the hot-handed pickers.

And no D-18 yet is as like to taking a time machine to the 1930s and buying one, days after the glue has dried.

Read the full D-18 Authentic 1939

Martin D-18 Authentic 1939 review
photo: R. Dennie


Martin D-28 Authentic 1941 Review

We get to the heart of the heart of Martin’s Authentic Series with our D-28 Authentic 1941 Review

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.

If I didn’t already have a 1966 D-28 that was converted to pre-war specs, I would have bought one of these guitars the day I played the prototype at the Martin factory.

The Martin D-28 is the most copied guitar in history. Martin alone has no fewer than 10 different versions of the D-28 available in their current catalog, with varying prices and levels of vintage appointments.

Many luthiers, from small workshops to major manufacturers have come out with their own take on the D-28, and many have tried to put in the specs they think matter most when trying to capture some of that legendary vibe, sound and feel that made pre-war Martins so famous. Well, this is Martin’s own attempt to make a D-28 as close to how they made them back in the day, as realistically possible. And they have done a pretty amazing job, especially considering the relatively low price tag.

Yes, Brazilian rosewood would have been very nice to have for the back and sides. But it simply would have put these guitars out of sight. The D-28 1941 Authentic is not a collectable museum piece to be set in a closet to protect the investment required to own one. It is an exquisite, yet practical musical instrument that can and shall be played, recorded and enjoyed.

Read the Full D-28 Authentic 1941 Review Here

D-28 Authentic 1941 review

Martin OM-18 Authentic 1933 – Exclusive Review

This new OM-18 A 1933 is the first OM made with Martin’s Authentic Series specs and hide glue. And boy, is it a doozy!

Martin OM-18 Authentic 1933

I played the prototype at the factory in January, when it was about as new as new can be. With mahogany for the back and sides, the OM-18 Authentic 1933 sounded clear and full at the same time.

This weekend I played an example of the production run and it was even better. It is like taking a time machine back to 1933 and getting your hands on a brand new OM-18, made the year C.F. Martin and Co. were celebrating their 100th anniversary and were busy setting the gold standard that all acoustic guitars have been compared to ever since.

Read the Full Review of the OM-18 Authentic

Watch the Companion Video

Martin Authentic Series – Exclusive Reviews

Martin OM-18 Authentic 1933

New vintage models like right out of a time machine, the Martin Authentic Series offers affordable replicas of their most legendary pre-war guitars.

While we have been slow to update the site after our successful review of the new Schoenberg Quartet, we have been busy as bees preparing for a whole slew of new reviews. July is shaping up as Martin Month, as One Man’s Guitar delves deep into the Authentic mystique, with reviews of all the new Authentics, in many respects more authentic than ever.

“Between 1930 and 1944, C.F. Martin & Co. set the gold standard for steel-string acoustic guitars. Today, Martin offers a new a growing number of models virtually identical to those priceless vintage instruments…

As economic realities changed after World War II, along with tastes in popular music, so did Martin’s designs and core product line. While their contemporary instruments remained popular with professional musicians and amateur enthusiasts alike, the lightly-built and ultra-responsive instruments from Martin’s “golden era” remained highly coveted, even after prices for a pre-war dreadnought, 000 or OM reached into the tens of thousands of dollars. As C.F. Martin IV was fond of saying, “Our number one competition for a new Martin is a used Martin.”

… in January 2013, Martin introduced a collection of guitars as part of the Authentic series. Made entirely in the Custom Shop, the new Authentics have proven to be among the most accurate reproductions of pre-war Martins available today, and certainly among the most affordable available anywhere.”

Read the full article and the reviews of individual models


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