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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / NGD on Tuesday - another Martin...

reverend mikey
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N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Apr 13th, 2019 04:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

Finally arriving on Tuesday - if FedEx doesn't have issues and we don't have sudden weird weather (!) will be the Martin Model America 1 that I ordered back in November.

It's a Standard Series model that started out as a Limited Edition: when I first played a right-handed MA-1 I asked about ordering a lefty, and was told, "All orders for this model have been filled."

I was very frustrated, because it was a great sounding, great looking dreadnought made with all American woods. I seriously thought about looking for a used right-handed one and having it converted.

Then I found out it had been added to the Standard Series (the only SS model with an Adirondack Spruce top, BTW). So I ordered it through Jon at My Favorite Guitars, Surprise, AZ. Jon's a great dealer, with great prices (40% off MSRP).

Specs--Same trim as a D-18, with these woods:
Adirondack top & braces
Sycamore sides & back
Cherry neck
Black Walnut bridge, fingerboard & headplate
Tortoise trim & guard (like D-18)
Open back Grover tuners
Old style large Martin logo
Bone 1 3/4" nut, bone 2 5/32" saddle
Modified low oval neck with high performance taper

Looking forward to seeing the Sycamore on this, because it varies so much from one guitar to another.

These sound excellent compared to the D-18 and the D-28...

P.S. Posted some of this in the Lefty Forum; sorry for the regurgitation...


MA-1 versus D-18

(This message was last edited by reverend mikey at 06:53 PM, Apr 13th, 2019)

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
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N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Apr 13th, 2019 04:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

Oh, yeah - pics when it arrives!

And another nice example:

MA-1 versus D-28

Therealfrogman
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Pueblo, Co

I qualify!
Apr 14th, 2019 01:29 PM   Edit   Profile  

Wonderful tones! Just got my sorry butt back into acoustic and loving it.

Chris Greene
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Idaho, USA

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Apr 14th, 2019 06:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

Looking forward to a report!

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
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N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Apr 16th, 2019 11:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

The guitar arrived this morning and I am both relieved and grinning from ear to ear!

Relieved because ordering a guitar sight unseen (this one was made to order for me) is scary - you have no idea what the woods are going to look like, or what the quality of the build will be. I also had a few nightmares last night about it arriving with a snapped off headstock, or a crack in the side (hey, we all know it happens). When you've already waited over 4 months from the time your ordered and first plunked down your cash, you tend to be a little paranoid!

The woods look excellent. The Adirondack top has some pretty wide grain lines, which narrow quite a bit toward the center seam. No runout visible on the lower bout. No bear claw, which is good; I'm not really a fan.

This top will only get better looking as it ages. I've gotten to the place recently where I'm not crazy about the aging toner Martin is using on the Standard Series tops; I'd prefer to just see them age naturally, but I'll live with it. I don't want to spend the extra it would take to delete it on a custom shop model.

The Sycamore is gorgeous! This is what I was most anxious about; I've seen pics of a few that looked pretty ho-hum; others that were spectacular. This one is as nice as any I've seen so far (pics below).

The walnut fretboard and bridge look nice - there is one small fingerprint on the bass side of the bridge...don't know if this is finish or what; I'll try to buff it out soon. The cherry neck's grain looks very even, and it's a one-piece neck, no wings.

The sound has started to open up in just the hour or so I've played on it (mostly some vigorous strumming). I can definitely hear it changing. I'm also hearing the difference from my Sitka-topped Martins. This one isn't as warm, and each note is sharper, yet there is still a warmth in the bass. It has it's own tonal signature; I won't even say "it's between mahogany and rosewood."

Nope, that doesn't really describe it. I'm looking forward to hearing this thing mature and open up. I'm glad it has it's own tone - it should! Right now, comparing it side by side with my J-40, J-18 and Gibson J-35, I'd say the J-40 is still the tone king, the J-18 is in a close 2nd (and is the volume king), and the MA-1 and J-35 are about neck and neck (but have their own tone).

I'm a happy camper. My wife is visiting the grandkids overnight, so I'm strumming away, surrounded by guitars! Fingers are already getting sore (and black from these Martin MA550T strings - what gives?!).

First pic has to be the beautiful back!

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
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N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Apr 16th, 2019 11:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

Those who are "in the know" say that Adirondack takes longer to open up and sound good than Sitka. Looking forward to hearing this thing change over the next few months/years...

Adi front

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
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N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Apr 16th, 2019 11:11 PM   Edit   Profile  

A few more

pics in profile

Viera
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Apr 18th, 2019 08:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

That's a nice looking Martin Dread. I looked into getting one, but ended up with a Standard D-18 (yes, I need pics and a review).

"I'm not crazy about the aging toner Martin is using on the Standard Series tops"

Me neither. I like them new, but they don't age well IMO. I have a 2008 HD-28V that just doesn't look quiet right.


reverend mikey
Contributing Member
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N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Apr 19th, 2019 09:48 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah, that's what I wonder about down the road; will it look like a normal or naturally aged top?

Also, I think the aging toner looks better on my Sitka tops than it does on this Adirondack/Red Spruce top - but maybe they've changed the formula a little? It just looks darker and more yellow that my Martin J-40 and J-18 - and those guitars are 4-6 months old now.

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
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N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Apr 19th, 2019 09:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

But - all that to say - with every play the guitar sounds a little better. I can hear it starting to open up more with every hour of play.

And I changed the strings to Martin Retro Mediums, plus I oiled the walnut fretboard and bridge with 3 in 1 Oil - looks a little darker/more finished - and it smells awesome! After I play it, my hands smell like I've been out in the garage working on the car (which I like - some might not).

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / NGD on Tuesday - another Martin...




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