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Why are 50's Martins less expensive than 50's Fenders?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Soundboard' started by mikej89, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Rosewood. Standard on the 28s and on up.

    I'll bet I could have looked at a hundred backs and not seen this one.

    It is well known looks do not equal sound in anyway.

    An early image of the HD-28 back. Superb bits of rosewood, but without the contrasting bang the 12 string has.

    I've since polished the back of the satin neck into a decent gloss.

    [​IMG]


    A good look at the pre-war "zig zag" back strip:


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  2. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Herringbone top inlay. What gave me a chubby as a teen.

    Click for detail.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member

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    lol. I'll have to re read this in the morning.

    Being form Delaware myself, I figure SE PA is just a stone's throw. I feel like I'm talking to my neighbor. Maybe we both speaking Brit.

    Cheers
     
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  4. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Superb!

    I did not want electronics.
     
  5. Skrofhyrguitarism

    Skrofhyrguitarism Strat-Talker

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    Ultra cool...keep that one in the vault.
     
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  6. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Don't use Cheers so much... :)

    I do tend to ramble if you get me started on Martins.
     
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  7. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member

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    Truer words were never spoken. Love that @EC Strat
     
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  8. Skrofhyrguitarism

    Skrofhyrguitarism Strat-Talker

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    Roger that...I play my acoustics unplugged 99% of the time. I've got a Tak 341SC Steve Warner Custom that has some killer nice electronics...wanted to see how the Fishman set up sounded. It's hard to beat a great acoustic unplugged...inspiring!
     
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  9. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Where it all started.
     
  10. Skrofhyrguitarism

    Skrofhyrguitarism Strat-Talker

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    Gorgeous! So sweet...
     
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  11. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    My first Martin was a 2002 D-16GT (gloss top) I bought in 2003. Was all I could responsibly afford then.

    Mahogany back and sides, Sitka spruce top. Had an older cousin to Richlite called Micarta for a fretboard and bridge.

    A fine sounding guitar, but not my coveted HD-28. Sold it to help finance my StratoMutt after I had my 28s.

    The herringbone rosette suckered me in.

    IMG4746.JPG

    IMG4736a.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  12. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Thanks.

    Like I said, I think you'll find it difficult to find a recent Martin dud out there.
     
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  13. Fatmaninthebath

    Fatmaninthebath Strat-Talker

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    While the 50s were the Golden Era for Fender Instruments ,Martin instruments from the 50s were not the best Martins made. The 10 years prior to WWII was Martins Golden Era
     
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  14. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Not exactly. 50s Martins have their appeal and command decent prices. Brazilian back and sides were still in use. High quality Sitka tops were the norm. The occasional Addy top too.

    The biggest issue was the bracing. During the post war years, Martin made changes to the bracing, supposedly to cut down on warranty claims. The debate will continue on that being the sole reason.

    Two changes; the X intersection was moved backwards slightly, closer to the bridge. Then the thinner outer bits of the bracing were thicker - "non-scalloped". Still tapered, but not to the degree the prewar hand carved scalloped bracing was.

    A third less expensive visual change was made. Gone was the more complex herringbone inlay and replaced with simple alternating lined inlay. Part of that that was we bombed the snot out of German purfling manufactures in WWII.

    The result was less movement in the vibrating top. Made for a more stable top action and warranty-wise, but took away some of the vibration the pre-war bracing had. Don't let the accounting department run a guitar company.

    Fast forward to 1976 when the HD-28 was introduced. Herringbone made its return along with hand scalloped bracing. The X intersection was still still the post war location. A limited reach back to the past.

    Fast forward another 20+ years and Martin started offering pre-war "forward shifted" bracing like in the golden 30s era.

    More or less than where they are today. You can get your level of golden era at a few price points now. Why I think there has never been a better time time to get the Martin of your dreams.

    Ye olde timey hand scalloping from a 2019 tour:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Blackmore Fan

    Blackmore Fan Senior Stratmaster

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    I liken them both to cars from the 50s. We're no longer talking "performance" with either....its all about their prices as collectables. There's plenty of great cars and guitars to be bought for a quarter of the price.
     
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  16. sadmoodyfrazier

    sadmoodyfrazier Senior Stratmaster

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    'Cause Martin has less "fanboy factor".
     
  17. Jerseystratfiend

    Jerseystratfiend Strat-O-Master

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    Less bullet holes? :)
     
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  18. EC Strat

    EC Strat Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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  19. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member

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    Not a Martin, but mahogany. Guild D25M. She's a boomer.

    20170623_094225.jpg
     
  20. Chilidawg

    Chilidawg Strat-Talk Member

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    Coincidently, that what my '15 goes by, too. Sounds beautiful with 80/20's on it.
     
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