2-16-2017 Guitar Comparison

Guitar comparison of two similar instruments

Close in construction and materials, with a notable difference or two.

Recorded in the same place on the same day with the same mics, same type of strings, etc.

What are your impressions of the tone, and how they differ or equate?

View in 1080p hi-def for best audio

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The identity of the two guitars will be revealed here after allowing time for various people to respond here, on Youtube, and guitar forums where this is referenced.

Thank you.

Other comparison videos and audio of similar and divergent guitars will appear in the coming weeks.

Here is the page that will list all the comparisons


Thanks to everyone who has commented thus far. It has been highly educational.

Perhaps I should have stressed not trying to guess what they are so much as requesting comments about personal preference and if you actually like the sound of either guitar, as well as how do they compare or equate. And maybe stressed not trying to guess what they are.

Having been through similar comparisons myself, I have learned how easy it is for one’s imagination to lead them astray, when it comes to things like specific models or sizes. Or even specific tonewoods when there is no reference provided to ground one’s perspective, like “this is what rosewood sounds like with these mics in this room…” etc.

And in this case things were a little more off the beaten track than usual.

Guitar #1 is a prototype of the new Martin DC-16E.

It is a dreadnought shape with a 000 depth, made with Sitka spruce and sycamore back and sides, forward-shifted scalloped 5/16” braces, a neck of some sort of mahogany with their simple dovetail neck joint, ebony bridge and fingerboard, Tusq saddle and bone nut, and Fishman Matrix VT Enhance onboard pickup system.

Guitar #2 is a prototype of the new Martin D-16.

It is essentially the exact same guitar with the same specs mentioned above, only without a cutaway or the slightly extra weight and possible damping of the electronics and undersaddle pickup.

It does raise the question, what if any of the tonal differences perceived are due to the cutaway body or lack thereof?

And, what differences are due to the specific organic materials used to make each very similar guitar?

I shall point out that I did not record them with the intention of comparing them in this manner.

They were recorded about two hours apart, during my annual trip to the Martin factory to collect audio and video of the Winter NAMM 2017 Martin models for eventual on-line reviews.

While the mics stands and recording gear were all set the same way, it is possible the mics would have moves slightly one way or another or the guitar wasn’t pointing in exactly the same orientation to the mics, etc.

1-23-2016 Guitar Comparison Needs Your Ears

While I iron out some technical difficulties with my sound editing situation, it will be early next week before I can post any videos or reviews of the 2016 Martins. So I thought I might offer instead something I have wanted to post for some time.

Here is an A/B comparison of two similar guitars, via three short excerpts of music. It is a .wav file that I put on Youtube with a blank background.

I would love to hear what people think, and more importantly what they HEAR.

How are they different? Which has more of X or less of Y? How are they similar? If you think they are in certain ways, a lot or a little.

Hear the guitars and leave your comments HERE