Help Me Decide Between Silver Sky or Mario Martin

Discussion in 'Non-Fender S-Type Guitar Forum' started by thekingzepp, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. thekingzepp

    thekingzepp New Member!

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    Hey all, this is my first time posting here in a lonnnggg time. I'm looking to pick up a new S-Type guitar. I currently own a 60th anniversary 1954 AVRI Strat, and a 1993 PRS EG-1 with HSH pickup setup with coil tap. I'm looking to either pick up a PRS silver sky, or custom order an s type from Mario Martin. Where I live there's no sales tax, so a new SS would cost me $2400usd and my current spec on an MM would cost me about $2850usd.

    I took my 2 aforementioned s type guitars to a store to shoot them out with a silver sky. The one I tried played better than any guitar I own. By play better I mean I found myself playing better on that silver sky in the couple minutes I was trying it than I was on my own instruments. Something about the feel of that guitar just made things easy to play. I don't know if it was the setup, or the guitar, or a combination of the two.

    The pros to the Mario Martin is an almost masterbuilt level of craftsmanship for only 400-600 more than a production off the line silver sky would cost me. The con with the MM is it would be a 12-14 month wait, I won't be able to play it before purchasing, and I absolutely loath the look of the headstock. I don't like how edgy the shape is and I think the huge MM signature is a little obnoxious.

    Curious to hear your thoughts on this. Appreciate any feedback or recommendations.

    My current spec for the Mario Martin comes out to around $2850usd and is as follows:

    Type: S
    Body: Alder
    Neck: Maple
    Fingerboard: Madgadcar Rosewood(Brazilian for $215 more?)
    Nut width: 1.65"
    Neck profile: Chunky C
    Frets: 22
    Fret wire: 6230
    Radius: 7.25"
    Pickups: undecided
    Finish: 3 tone sunburst, vintage tint gloss
    Nut: Slotted bone
    Tuners: 11/32nds"
    Relic: heavy (to somewhat represent the look of an old strat I really like)
     
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  2. stevierayfan91

    stevierayfan91 DEEPLY SHY.

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    Hi, @thekingzepp

    I suppose it would come down to which features want most??
     
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  3. cranky

    cranky Senior Stratmaster

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    Seems like the Silver Sky is what you really want
     
  4. unionjack515

    unionjack515 Senior Stratmaster

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    Well…I’ll start by saying I have zero experience with the Silver Sky. Looks like a nicely put together guitar. I bought my first PRS (a McCarty 594 Semi-Hollow) just a couple weeks ago—I love it (I’d tried many others over the years and this is the only one I’ve found that I have loved). If mine is any indication, I’m sure the Silver Sky is great. Oddly…I’d be much more annoyed with a Strat that has the PRS headstock shape than I would be with Mario Martin’s! Ha.

    Anyway. I have LOTS of experience with Mario Martin and you probably won’t find a bigger fan here than I. I own two of their Strats and two of their Teles and I have another Strat on order. ALL were bought without playing them, and they’re all fantastic. The 2nd Tele is the only one so far that I’ve custom-ordered and it’s the standout of the bunch. Mario has access to an absolutely stunning palette of woods—Brazilian (as you mentioned), really pretty quartersawn roasted flame maple necks, flame maple tops, one piece swamp ash bodies, lightweight alder, etc. And their finishes are nicely applied and their relic work is tasteful in my opinion. They’re also open to using customer-supplied hardware and pickups. On the Strat I have in their build queue now, I asked for a specific neck carve and they were able to take measurements to the hundredth (if I recall correctly) and charge maybe $150 per measurement?

    Their customer service is spectacular too. They’ve always been very willing to talk through ideas and make suggestions and they’ve kept me informed on changes in the timeline. I know they had some staffing/timing challenges during COVID but things seem to be back on track now in that 12-14 month time frame you mentioned.

    At the end of the day, I’d vote for the Mario. But I’m sure you’ll be happy with either.
     
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  5. Ferpie

    Ferpie Senior Stratmaster

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    I have a LOT of experience with Stratocasters and my only S-guitar right now is this


    E85B9D78-9506-4970-8562-5255DDC2D944.jpeg

    What you felt is the real thing. They are that great.
     
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  6. thekingzepp

    thekingzepp New Member!

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    It's not that I don't want the Mario. The idea of a custom Mario actually appeals more to me than a production line guitar so many other already own. I guess where I'm held up on it is how well the SS played in comparison with the not knowing what the Mario will feel like. I'm worried I'll wait the year or so for the Mario and then not end up being in love with it.
     
  7. thekingzepp

    thekingzepp New Member!

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    Did you sell off your other strats after getting the SS or what's the story with that?
     
  8. thekingzepp

    thekingzepp New Member!

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    Spec wise they'd be very similar. Both 7.25" Radius, both 6230 frets.
     
  9. thekingzepp

    thekingzepp New Member!

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    Yeah emailing back and forth with them they told me wait is 12-14 months. Oddly enough I chose the chunky C neck profile because I felt it would be close to that of the silver sky neck I tried. I liked the neck on the SS because it was still chunky but not quite as thick as the '54 reissue I have. If I do go the MM route I'm considering paying the additional for the Brazilian rosewood board, as I think it'd be nice to have a guitar with one. The Brazilian rosewood board is a $250 upcharge though so not sure it's worth it, but in the grand scheme of things $250 isn't that much and I might regret not getting the Brazilian.

    If I go MM too I have to look through what pickups I'd want. They give you a $150 allowance on any build for them, then extra if they're above that obviously. Right now it's on builders choice, but I'll definitely be picking out my own set as I don't want to risk getting super hot pickups in there when those aren't really my thing lol.

    I was also considering Birdseye maple because I love the look, but I don't want the guitar to be too flashy so I'm unsure. I could purchase both these guitars, but it just seems dumb to spend that amount on 2 VERY similar guitars.
     
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  10. Stratafied

    Stratafied Most Honored Senior Member

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    That’s a beauty!!
     
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  11. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Dr. Stratster

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    If I could do it, I would get both. You won’t be missing a thing then.
     
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  12. Stratafied

    Stratafied Most Honored Senior Member

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    I’d probably go silver sky, I hear good things about them. This is first I’ve heard of Mario Martin . But they look great.
     
  13. Stratafied

    Stratafied Most Honored Senior Member

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    Problem solved lol..
     
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  14. Ferpie

    Ferpie Senior Stratmaster

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    i was on the market for an S type, I had a 2009 Squier Classic vibe that I literally killed the frets to the point it needed a refret. My wife gave me 4000 to buy a guitar to play her something on wedding day. I knew i wanted a strat and that Silversky was doing stuffs I just couldn't match with other S-type around the shop

    i also had a 1977 a 1994 and a 2015 and played at least 20 different guitars including a 1957 and a 1966

    I don't have anything to gain from saying this, but the Silversky is amazing.
     
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  15. thekingzepp

    thekingzepp New Member!

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    I can technically afford to do it, just seems silly. Would be better to probably get one or the other + a different amp lol. I'm currently running a '66 fender bassman, but it's in the shop for tube changes currently (it still had the same tubes from 1966 in it )
     
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  16. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Dr. Stratster

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    Gotcha! I ordered an Ibanez Jem Jr, just to see if I could get along with such a thin neck. Turns out I really liked it, then I spend nearly 4 times as much on a real deal Jem. Probably will wind up giving the Jem jr to my son.
     
  17. nigelr

    nigelr Senior Stratmaster

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    Why would you spend money on a guitar that you say you "loath the look of the headstock"?

    Doesn't make any sense to me. In this case go for the PRS
     
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  18. thekingzepp

    thekingzepp New Member!

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    Because I could get over not being a fan of the look of the headstock if it's an awesome guitar. Just a aesthetic gripe.
     
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  19. Groovey

    Groovey Dr. Stratster

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    Great shot!
     
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  20. Mind Flayer

    Mind Flayer Strat-O-Master

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    Go with the Silver Sky. You played it, thought it was great and made you play better. It’s less expensive than the other one you’re considering, you can get it now. And you apparently like how the silver sky looks, but don’t like how the MM looks. Looks are important. You’re less likely to enjoy a guitar you think is ugly.

    You say the MM has great craftsmanship, but so does the silver sky. Who cares if it’s “custom” craftsmanship? Good craftsmanship is good craftsmanship whether it’s custom or not. And silver skies are great guitars, very well built.

    Also, in the event you ever decide to get rid of the guitar, you’ll have a much easier time selling a silver sky than a MM. In fact, I had never heard of MM until I saw your post, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I’m sure they’re great guitars, but if they’re not a well known brand, you’ll have a harder time selling it.
     
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